China’s Miners, Africa’s Venmo and Cuba’s New Exchange

China’s rainy season reduces the costs of bitcoin mining but investors aren’t biting, Starbucks and McDonald’s will pilot the “digital yuan” and Openfinance is threatening to delist tokens on its platform.

Top Shelf

Miner Hardships
Spring usually draws in a crowd of miners and investors into the Bitcoin network, as China’s rainy season drives down the costs of hydropower making mining more profitable. However, bitcoin’s recent price drop, the cost of buying the latest mining rigs and the upcoming halving have collided and now, this season, miners aren’t investing.

Leaseback Rig
Private investment firm Arctos Capital has acquired $1 million in assets from Blockware Mining LLC, but will lease them back to the company so it can continue operating as usual. In what’s known as a leaseback transaction, Arctos will lease Bitmain Antminer hardware to the firm allowing the company to continue its mining and hosting operations.

China’s Pilot Chains
Starbucks and McDonald’s are reportedly among 19 restaurants and retail shops that will be involved in testing China’s central bank digital currency in the country’s Xiong’An district. The move signals China’s wider efforts to test out the digital currency project, with state-owned commercial banks already developing wallet applications for the digital yuan, also known as DC/EP.

Token Threat
Openfinance, a security token trading platform, is threatening to delist all tokens and suspend trading next month unless issuers cough up more funds to cover its costs. The company has not seen transaction activity on its platform grow quickly enough to cover operating costs, and is now raising fees to close its budget shortfall.

EXCEPTION: Glen Weyl favors “emergent cooperation,” but says the COVID-19 pandemic calls for concentrating power over “a very narrow part of the economy.” (Credit: Christine Kim for CoinDesk)

Roadmap to Recovery
E. Glen Weyl, founder of the RadicalxChange Foundation and a researcher for Microsoft,…

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