U.S. takes top spot for crypto mining after China crackdown: CNBC After Hours


CNBC.com’s Pippa Stevens brings you the day’s top business news headlines. On today’s show, CNBC.com’s MacKenzie Sigalos explains a new survey from the University of Cambridge highlighting the top countries for crypto mining. Plus, William Shatner heads to space with Blue Origin.

The U.S. is now the number one destination for bitcoin miners, eclipsing China for the first time ever. While it was already trending in that direction, new data from Cambridge University released early Wednesday makes it official.

As of July, 35.4% of bitcoin’s hashrate – an industry term used to describe the collective computing power of miners – is in the United States, according to the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance. That’s a 428% increase from September 2020.

America partly has China to thank for its newfound dominance in the mining industry.

Twelve months ago, China was the market leader in terms of hashrate – by a long shot. But Beijing’s crypto crackdown in the spring took half the world’s bitcoin miners offline practically overnight.

“What you’ve given me is the most profound experience I can imagine.”

Those were the words of William Shatner moments after returning to Earth from a trip just beyond the edge of space during an emotional talk with Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos.

The Canadian actor, who famously played Capt. Kirk in the original “Star Trek” television series, added that the spaceflight was “unbelievable” and something that “everybody in the world needs to do.”

“It was so moving to me,” Shatner said.

Bezos’ company launched Shatner and three others in a New Shepard rocket on Wednesday, with the crew spending a couple minutes in microgravity during the trip to space and back.

Initial jobless claims fell below 300,000 for the first time since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Labor Department said Thursday.

In another sign the jobs market is getting closer to its old self, first-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 293,000, the best level since March 14, 2020, which saw 256,000 claims just as the Covid-19 spread intensified.

The Dow Jones estimate for claims was 318,000. Last week’s total represented a decline of 36,000 from the previous week.

The four-week moving average, which helps smooth out weekly volatility, dropped to 334,250, a 10,500 decline that also marked the lowest number since March 14, 2020.

Also, continuing claims, which run a week behind the headline number, fell by 134,000 to 2.59 million, another pandemic-era low.



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