AMD launches beta driver for Ethereum mining

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) launches a beta version new software for blockchain compute workloads 
22 August 2017   2867

Graphics processing unit manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has launched a beta version of its new software driver called the Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition Beta for Blockchain Compute.

The software is designed mainly to improve the performance of GPUs that are used in cryptocurrency mining, e.g. Ethereum mining.

According to the report, the driver is provided as a beta level support driver which "should be considered "as is" and will not be supported with further updates, upgrades or bug fixes". On top of that, the driver is not intended for graphics or gaming workloads.

Instead, as the company details, this new driver has an optimized performance especially for blockchain compute workloads.

As for the compatibility, Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition Beta for Blockchain Compute is compatible with the following AMD Radeon products:

Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition Beta for Blockchain Compute compatibility Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition Beta for Blockchain Compute compatibility

As techpowerup.com speculates, AMD "took it upon themselves to release this driver due to AMD's well documented DAG performance decrease for Ethereum mining hashrates". Thus, according to Legit Reviews, the Radeon RX 480 went from an expected 14.8 MH/s at DAG #199 (down from 24.6 MH/s at DAG #130) to a prospective 24.8 MH/s DAG #199 performance according to Claymore's benchmark script. Performance improvements from the non-blockchain-geared driver release seem to stand at around 10-15%, which is pretty for a beta release.

German Financial Regulator Clarifies Stance on ICOs

The Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) has clarified its position on ICOs
22 February 2018   32

German financial regulator admitted it was receiving many inquiries about the status of tokens and cryptocurrencies. According to an advisory letter, BaFin provides some basic definitions of ICOs and related terms. It is important because the results of a new survey showed that more than two-thirds of Germans know about bitcoin.

In this letter, BaFin educates the public and explains how tokens are typically generated, how blockchain works and that ICOs are used to raise funds for startup projects. The note states that for regulatory purposes, ICOs, tokens, coins, and cryptocurrencies are subject to the existing provisions in the field of securities supervision and other relevant national and EU laws.

The authority advises participants in ICOs to check and follow rules applicable to regulated financial instruments, such as securities. If businesses or individuals have any doubts about regulations, they should approach BaFin.

According to BaFin, companies should fulfill any obligations under the Banking Act and the Capital Investment Code, the Insurance Supervision Act and the Payment Services Supervision Act. The transactions may be prohibited if relevant regulatory requirements are not met.

The authority also states that legal classification of tokens requires precise examination. It will determine their status on a case-by-case basis after studying their features. The token should be transferable and tradable on cryptocurrency trading platforms in order to be classified as a security.