Japanese Internet Giant GMO Postpones Shipments of 7nm Bitcoin Mining Equipment

Japanese Internet Giant GMO Postpones Shipments of 7nm Bitcoin Mining Equipment

Mining

Japan’s GMO Internet has postponed the shipments of its two lines of 7nm bitcoin mining rigs. A representative of the company has clarified the situation to news.Bitcoin.com, noting that some refunds have already been issued. In addition, the company is planning to relocate its mining operations.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Shipments Postponed

Japanese Internet Giant GMO Postpones Shipments of 7nm Bitcoin Mining EquipmentGMO Internet announced on Monday that it has postponed the shipments of its 7nm ASIC bitcoin mining equipment. The company has two lines of mining rigs: B2 and B3. The former was scheduled to start shipping at the end of October and the latter in November.

A representative of GMO revealed to news.Bitcoin.com on Tuesday that the shipments of both lines have been postponed, elaborating:

It is because the parts we need for our mining machines are actually very difficult to acquire right now … It is difficult to acquire some of the electronic components, such as resistors, due to the tight global supply-demand balance.

He added that the company has not decided whether to ship any miners this year.

Japanese Internet Giant GMO Postpones Shipments of 7nm Bitcoin Mining Equipment

GMO Internet launched the B2 line in June and the B3 line in July. In August, the company upgraded the B3 case shape design in order to improve its cooling performance and operational stability. Both B2 and B3 are priced at $1,999 and are sold out.

The representative emphasized that refunds will be issued to any customers who ask for them, noting:

We asked our customers whether they wish us to refund at the time of delay announcement. So far, we have already completed issuing refunds to customers who demanded them.

Relocating Mining Operations

Through its Swiss subsidiary, GMO engages in three mining business areas: in-house mining; developing, manufacturing and selling mining machines; and cloud mining.

On Nov. 5, the company released the monthly report of its mining business which shows that 595 BTC and 875 BCH were mined in October. GMO’s total hashrate increased to 674 PH/s during the month from 479 PH/s in the previous month.

Japanese Internet Giant GMO Postpones Shipments of 7nm Bitcoin Mining EquipmentIn its quarterly earnings presentation, the company still says it aims “to become No. 1 in the field of cryptocurrency.”

The internet giant further detailed that the mining business recorded a loss during the third quarter even though the expansion of mining facilities progressed as planned. The company attributed the loss to a small net sales increase of only 1.249 billion yen ($11 million) year-on-year “because of a decline in profitability due to the deteriorated macro environment including stagnant bitcoin price and an increase in hash rate,” reiterating:

Cryptocurrency mining business experienced a decline in profitability due to a downturn in the macro environment.

At Monday’s press conference, GMO Internet’s founder and CEO, Masatoshi Kumagai, unveiled his company’s plan to relocate its mining operations in an effort to boost profitability by lowering electricity and production costs.

The GMO representative confirmed the plan to news.Bitcoin.com. However, he noted that the details of location and timeframe are “under consideration at this moment,” emphasizing that “we have not decided it yet.”

What do you think of GMO postponing the shipments of its 7nm bitcoin mining equipment? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and GMO Internet.


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Sompo Holdings Acquires 10% Stake in Kenyan Cryptocurrency Exchange Bitpesa

Sompo Holdings Acquires 10% Stake in Kenyan Cryptocurrency Exchange Bitpesa

Finance

Japanese insurance group Sompo Holdings has acquired a 10 percent stake in Bitpesa, a Kenyan digital currency exchange and payments company, for 570 million yen ($5.02 million). The deal is expected to further digitize the insurer’s international remittance service.

Also Read: Namibian Bitcoin Trading Platform BTN Persevered Despite Crypto Ban

Crypto-Backed Remittances

Sompo Holdings said in an online statement that it intends to use the digital currency-backed fiat remittance business of Nairobi-based BTC Africa, which trades as Bitpesa, to lower the cost and time it takes for global currency transfers.

Sompo Holdings Acquires 10% Stake in Kenyan Cryptocurrency Exchange Bitpesa

“Using Bitpesa’s technology, developed through various experiments in remittances and settlements, we will extend our presence in the international remittance service market and consider the application of this technology to the insurance field,” Sompo Holdings said.

The Tokyo-listed insurer, which reported sales of 192.78 billion yen ($1.7 billion) for October, did not disclose the terms of the deal. However, Japanese-language media outlets have valued the transaction at roughly 570 million yen, without citing sources.

“We believe that the two companies will be able to solve the problem of expensive commissions and remittance times for international remittance by using the virtual currency … digitizing international remittance services,” Sompo Holdings explained, describing the arrangement as a “win-win” for both companies.

The Japanese insurer also claimed that the tie-up will raise Bitpesa’s global profile by having it as a shareholder. It said that it will help the Kenyan company to expand its customer base.

Bitpesa Sees Rapid Growth

When Bitpesa was founded by American political science graduate Elizabeth Rossiello in 2013, the company initially focused on facilitating bitcoin-supported cash transfers between citizens of the U.K. and Kenya. However, Bitpesa now has operations in eight African countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. It helps people to trade digital assets while making payments for goods and services at home and abroad.

Sompo Holdings Acquires 10% Stake in Kenyan Cryptocurrency Exchange Bitpesa

The company boasts a range of clients, from African businesses to multinational companies that need to pay suppliers in countries such as the United Arab Emirates and China. It also caters to global remittance companies using API services for payments to mobile money operators, as well as bank networks in the African countries in which it has a presence.

In September, Bitpesa signed a deal with another Japanese company, SBI Remit, to allow people throughout Africa to make payments for cars, which is a multimillion-dollar industry on the continent. The two companies also aim to facilitate faster overseas payments for beauty products and electronic gadgets at lower costs than similar services.

Africans making overseas purchases can now deposit their local fiat currencies into Bitpesa’s bank account, after which the payments are sent on the Bitcoin blockchain to SBI Remit, which in turn makes the final payments in Japan. The entire process can be completed within a matter of hours, at about half of the usual transfer cost. They claim that conventional banking methods on the continent take about two weeks to handle similar transactions, with transfer fees of around 7 percent of the total purchase amount.

Sompo Holdings Acquires 10% Stake in Kenyan Cryptocurrency Exchange BitpesaElizabeth Rossiello

Although Rossiello has not commented on the latest deal with Sompo Holdings, she has spoken out about the SBI Remit partnership. “If it makes sense for us to settle using cryptocurrency or fiat currencies, then we do,” she said. “And in this case, we’re happy that SBI feels the same way, so we’re open to using digital or fiat currencies to settle between us.”

Shares of Sompo Holdings had fallen roughly 5 percent to 4,646 yen ($40.88) in Tokyo trading at press time.

What do you think about the partnership between Bitpesa and Sompo Holdings? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Venezuela: Petro Can Be Converted Into Any Cryptocurrency If Bought This Year

Venezuela: Petro Can Be Converted Into Any Cryptocurrency If Bought This Year

News

The Venezuelan government has announced that its national digital currency, the petro, can be exchanged into any cryptocurrency if purchased this year. However, the wallet for the petro is still not available and petro buyers receive certificates of purchase.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

‘Special Period’

Venezuela: Petro Can Be Converted Into Any Cryptocurrency If Bought This YearVenezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, visited the headquarters of the Superintendency of Cryptoassets and Related Activities (Sunacrip) last week to sign up for a petro savings plan, the Ministry of Popular Power for Communication and Information (Minci) announced.

Minci is dedicated to promoting the government and communicating its message to the public. Sunacrip is responsible for regulating all crypto-related activities in Venezuela.

During his visit, Maduro offered a new incentive for people to purchase his country’s national digital currency. El Nacional quoted him as saying:

Anyone who buys petro [from now] until December 31 can convert it into any digital currency or international convertible currency, such as bitcoin or yuan.

Venezuela: Petro Can Be Converted Into Any Cryptocurrency If Bought This YearHe was further quoted by Minci elaborating that “in this special period, from now until December 31,” the petro can be converted and “then in December you can buy what you want, through the internet.”

The petro savings plan was launched on Nov. 5. It can be redeemed after 90 days, 180 days, and 270 days, according to Tarek El Aissami, the country’s economic minister and former vice president. “Within three months I will receive what the petro is worth at the time,” Maduro said.

Buying the Petro

According to Sunacrip, a number of Venezuelans and government officials have purchased the petro since it went on sale on Oct. 29. Purchasers need to complete know-your-customer (KYC) requirements which include being fingerprinted before they are issued a petro certificate of purchase.

Venezuela: Petro Can Be Converted Into Any Cryptocurrency If Bought This YearTwo petro buyers — Omar Prieto, Governor of Zulia, being photographed while holding his ID (left). Manuel Quevedo, Minister of Petroleum, putting his fingerprint on his petro certificate (right).

Meanwhile, the petro currently does not have any of the usual hallmarks of a cryptocurrency. The official wallet for the petro is still unavailable. Links on the official petro website to download both the Windows and Linux wallets return the message “This wallet will soon be available for your operating system.” In addition, El Aissami explained that the Android app for the petro wallet, previously available in the Google Play store, has been removed by Google.

Venezuela: Petro Can Be Converted Into Any Cryptocurrency If Bought This Year

Furthermore, there is no code repository with the Petro code available to the public, so independent confirmation of its existence or functionality is impossible. There are also no published charts or data showing the health of the Petro network, such as network activity, confirmation times, transaction throughput, mining hashrate, or other basic cryptocurrency statistics.

Despite the petro’s whitepaper describing a block time of one block per minute on average, the government’s own block explorer shows only 743 total blocks at the time of this writing — over a month after the explorer was published and its first block displayed.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by any parties in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

Do you think the petro can be converted into any cryptocurrency like the Venezuelan government promises? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Venezuelan government.


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