Hello and welcome to this week's episode of Overbit Insights. Our first story of the day is on the United States' new enlarged role in Bitcoin mining. Long before China chose to expel all of its Bitcoin miners, miners were already fleeing in droves, according to recent Cambridge University statistics, and they were most likely headed to the United States.
The United States has quickly emerged as the new darling of the Bitcoin mining industry. It is the world's second-largest mining destination, accounting for almost 17 per cent of all Bitcoin miners as of April 2021. This represents a 151 per cent increase from September 2020. "For the last 18 months, we've had a serious growth of mining infrastructure in the U.S., We've noticed a massive uptick in mining operations looking to relocate to North America, mostly in the U.S.," said Darin Feinstein, founder of Blockcap and Core Scientific.
This statistic excludes the enormous mining migration from China, which resulted in half of the world's miners going offline, and analysts tell CNBC that the United States' share of the mining business is likely far larger than the figures indicate.
According to recently published Cambridge data, the country accounted for 46 per cent of the world's total hashrate, an industry term used to characterise the collective processing power of the Bitcoin network, right before the Chinese mining ban began. This is a significant decrease from 75.5 per cent in September 2019, and the number is expected to be substantially lower given the current exodus.
Marathon Digital's Fred Thiel said, "500,000 formerly Chinese miner rigs are looking for homes in the U.S," said. If they are deployed, it would mean North America would have closer to 40% of global hashrate by the end of 2022." The new Mecca of mining America's emerging dominance is a straightforward case of good fortune meeting good planning.
For years, the United States has been quietly increasing its hosting capacity. Before bitcoin miners began to arrive in the United States, businesses across the country bet that they would eventually set up shop in the country if enough infrastructure were in place. That bet seemed to have paid off.
To close out today’s edition of Overbit Insights, we move over to covering Square - a fintech company that’s slowly becoming a household name for cryptocurrency.
The payments company Square has been making headlines in the cryptocurrency industry, specifically the Bitcoin side, for months now.
In the latter half of 2020, the company made headlines for its vast purchases of Bitcoin on the balance sheet, converting tens of millions into the digital asset. In fact, MicroStrategy was one of the only companies that surpassed Square in terms of the asset hold.
To add to this move into blockchain, Square announced a new independent division around that same time - Square Crypto - to fund new projects and initiatives in the crypto sphere. On top of all this, of course, is Square’s existing digital arm - CashApp, one of the world’s leaders in online payments, especially with regards to Bitcoin.
Well, it seems the Square cryptocurrency empire won’t stop there. Jack Dorsey, head of Twitter and Square, recently came out and announced Square’s plans to launch a new business with the intent of providing “decentralised financial services” on Bitcoin.
In short? Square is jumping full into DeFi. And unlike many others, they are going with a Bitcoin-first approach.
There have certainly been other DeFi projects launched with similar goals, but few can claim the scale and success with financial products that Square has. That being said, we will undoubtedly be keeping a close eye on Square as they continue to demonstrate a real interest in the space.
Thanks as always for reading Overbit Insights.