Vladislav Ginko, an author of this OP-ED story, is a former vice-rector of Moscow-based Jewish University. He worked as a Corporate Finance lecturer at New York-based Touro University. Currently, he is an analyst and lecturer at Russia’s leading state think-tank, Presidential Academy.
The key issue is what the United States (US) are going to do with increasing influence over the lynchpin of the cryptocurrencies world?
Many thought that China is a leader in the Bitcoin sphere but Listed Reserve’s,a Sydney based hedge fund’s revealed figures cast doubt over this claim. According to data, two U.S. companies, Square and Grayscale, “consumed over 50% of all new issuance [оf Bitcoins] in Q1”.
Actually, we deal at least with the USD equivalent Bitcoins mined for that period but anyway these two entities have accounted for 52% of the new liquidity. Let’s look more deeply at what’s going on in the U.S. Bitcoin side.
The US share of Bitcoin mining doubled in Q1
The US-based company Layer1 Technologies is eager to secure 30% of the Bitcoin hash rate and established new mining facilities in Texas in which it’s presumably got cheap energy to scale up its business. Riot Blockchain after the US court shielded it against lawsuit regarding its re-naming has announced the huge expansion of its Bitcoin hash rate by 80%. Some US power plants have started using excessive energy to kick-off Bitcoin mining on US soil.
The US share of Bitcoin mining has rapidly increased from the start of the year, from 3.44% to 7.24%, and of course not only due to the ambitious plan of the Layer1 Technologies which business is on the rise and it hires more personnel even amid COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Additionally, VBit DC expands its operations into Canada setting up a 200 MW Bitcoin mining center in Alberta. Hence, we see the situation when the operations will be considered as performed on Canadian soil but actually they’ll be under the control of the US company.
This consideration has led us to suppose that US companies have already accounted for more hash rate as it can be viewed through the lens of the Bitcoin Mining Map developed by the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance.
It’d be natural to suppose that if one takes into consideration another Bitcoin world metrics showing the real US dominance. The United States now hosts 19.04% (1,922) of all Bitcoin nodes, the absolute country leader, and we add to this figure also the huge part of 2,089 nodes whose location is described as “non-available.” Who can make nodes’ location “invisible” unless we think about US power?
Growing US influence on Bitcoin technology
Some kind of US political elite’s involvement in the US expansion into the Bitcoin domain may be highlighted that above mentioned Layer1 Technologies has got extra financing from the investors’ pool led by the ex-top adviser of US President Donald Trump, Peter Thiel.
If so, the US entities may control directly about 40% of all Bitcoin nodes and indirectly some amount of nodes in other countries as well. For example in Canada in which there’re 302 nodes now (2.99%).
The U.S dominance also shows itself in the data for Bitcoin ATMs. The US hosts 73.1% of such machines now. The United States leads in the number of blockchain businesses in the world. The huge deal may occur if the US decides to shun the US dollar and say good-bye to the US dollar nominated state debt and adopt Bitcoins.
At least the United States now looks like the most prepared country in the world to embrace Bitcoin or…to censor it leveraging its rising power over this sphere.