Bitcoin Weekly 2016 May 11: OpenBazaar 1.1.5, Bitbank Chinese mine, Gemini adds Ethereum trading


Looks like Bitcoin survived the recent appearance and disappearance of self-proclaimed inventor of Bitcoin, Craig Wright. Who made his debut along with promises of proof last Monday and lasted until Thursday when he abruptly pulled up stakes taking his alleged proof with him and closed his blog.

This week’s news is nowhere near as exciting as attempting to analyze the rise of yet-another Satoshi Nakamoto; but it still has some fun topics.

Peer-to-peer marketplace OpenBazaar continues to develop apace with the release of version 1.1.5, which adds e-mail notifications, easy server switching, CSV data export and improved listing information.

The BBC published a report about a giant Bitcoin mining facility located in a remote Chinese village with an interesting 360-degree video.

Also, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex just upgraded some of their services.

The Bitcoin market price last week was close to $450 USD and once again this week it remains right around $450. In between those seven days, the price rose on May 6 to $460, held that price until May 10, and then fell back down to near $450 again.

Screenshot of OpenBazaar client.

Screenshot of OpenBazaar client.

New features in the OpenBazaar 1.1.5 release

Unique open source peer-to-peer marketplace project OpenBazaar has announced the release of version 1.1.5. New features in this release include e-mail notifications, multiple server management in the client, export to CSV and improved information in listings.

Users with OpenBazaar stores may now enter SMTP server settings to send e-mail notifications when the orders are submitted to the store. This feature is still in early development, so users will need an advanced understanding of SMTP and e-mail server settings. Future improvements to this feature are expected.

Previous OpenBazaar clients had difficulty switching between different servers; this new client allows for storing and switching more readily.

It is now possible for stores with a large amount of listings and transaction data to export that information to a CSV file. With a CSV file, a type of text database, the data can then be imported easily into third-party programs such as Microsoft Excel or Quickbooks.

Finally, listings will have improved information: “New listings created will now have a tag in the top right corner which shows the type of listing they are: Physical, Digital, or a Service.”

To download the client and learn more about OpenBazaar visit the website.

Amazing 360-degree video of a giant Bitcoin mine in China

China has a wealth of cheap energy and that makes remote places perfect for setting up giant banks of Bitcoin mining equipment to mine bitcoins, the process of finding and securing blocks on the Bitcoin blockchain that generates a 25 BTC reward (about every 10 minutes). Recently, 30-year-old Chandler Guo, the owner of Bitbank, gave a BBC reporter a tour of one such giant Bitcoin mine in tiny mountainside Chinese town.

The result is an amazing 360-degree YouTube video showing off the post-industrial forest of computer banks inside of a concrete-floored warehouse datacenter. The shelves seem to go on forever, marching off into shadow as fluorescent lights reflect off silvered surfaces in the ceiling.

For those so inclined, this video is also viewable in Google Cardboard for a very interesting experience.

“All day we mine 50 bitcoins,” Gao told the BBC. At the current average market rate of Bitcoin of about $450 USD this mine makes approximately $900 (or 5,800 yuan) a day. “24 hours this machine never sleeps.”

Gao also told the BBC that he has built two functioning Bitcoin mines in China and is currently building what he expects will be the largest Bitcoin mine in the world: capable of mining 30% of the Bitcoin hashrate.

This new Bitcoin mine, details via The Merkle, will be built in Xinjiang, China and product 30 petahash of mining power. To fund this mine, Bitbank has run a crowdfunding campaign [website in Chinese] to raise 3,500 BTC (approx $1.57 million), which has already ended with the target met. Time allotted to construct and equip the mine is set at 180 days, which means the mine may go online in November this year.

Bitfinex introduces major update including notifications

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex (BitGo, Inc.) released a set of new major functions this week including notifications, new security features and some interface changes.

For security features, Bitfinex has added the ability to lock all withdrawals for 24 hours and trigger a notification anytime a new IP accesses the account. An e-mail will also be sent if two-factor authentication (2FA) is disabled on the account. A new “Change HIstory” page has been added so that users can review historical changes to the account.

Notifications have been changed to allow for sounds to be played and e-mails sent when certain price triggers are met. Notifications will also make different sounds to distinguish between partial order executions and full order executions. Settings have been added so users can be e-mailed when an order is fully executed and when margin funding bids/offers fill.

Etherium Founder Vitalik Buterin

Etherium Founder Vitalik Buterin, courtesy of the Ethereum project

Gemini begins offering Ethereum on cryptocurrency exchange

The New York-based Bitcoin exchange started by the Winklevoss twins, Gemini (Gemini Trust Company, LLC), just got permission from the NY government to begin trading Ethereum. As a cryptocurrency, Ethereum trades ETH as its tokens and runs a blockchain designed to permit well-defined smart contracts. In a press release last week, New York Governor Cuomo called this “ robust regulatory oversight” and that it would “[maintain] our status at the forefront of this technological revolution.”

This move makes for the first cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. to be regulated by a government entity to trade in Ethereum.

The Ethereum blockchain and cryptocurrency are of particular interest to blockchain developers due to its smart contract capability. As a result it has been tapped for experiments dealing with blockchains and the Internet of Things (such as a project ADEPT for smart machines) and its cryptocurrency tokens (ETH) are fairly valuable.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Founders of Gemini Trust Company, LLC said, “We thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership and DFS for being the first regulator in the world to build a licensing framework for virtual currency businesses. Their approval of Gemini as the first-ever licensed platform to support Ether trading demonstrates their commitment to being global thought leaders in financial regulation that both protects consumers and fosters innovation.”

Gemini is also one of the Bitcoin companies to receive New York’s infamous BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) in 2015 after itBit Trust Company and Circle Internet Financial.

Gemini began trading in Ethereum Monday this week and the market rate for the currency currently sits at $9.96 per ETH according to

Featured image credit: via reddit member huevos_de_acero
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Kyt Dotson
Kyt Dotson


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