The cryptocurrency mining and chip development firm BitFury has announced plans to set up a new department that will investigate the benefits of ‘big data’ analysis using artificial intelligence (AI). Speaking to newswire Reuters this past Tuesday, BitFury CEO Valery Vavilov referred to big data as ‘the next oil’, highlighting the need for a much greater focus on constructive analysis. According to Vavilov, the information available in 98 percent of big data is not being properly utilized, something his company hopes to simplify through AI-powered analysis.
“..artificial intelligence will bring new and extraordinary benefits to nearly every facet of our lives. To help this incredible technology achieve maximum impact, Bitfury is expanding our mission to offer hardware and software solutions designed especially for AI applications,” said Vavilov in a statement announcing the new development.
BitFury, which is headquartered in Amsterdam and has offices in London and San Francisco, represents one of the largest competitors to market-leader Bitmain, the Chinese company that currently dominates the world of cryptocurrency mining and chip production. In 2016, BitFury made headlines when it established a deal with the government of Georgia to develop a blockchain-based system of land registration, later opening a large cryptocurrency mining center in the country.
AI and Blockchain: A Marriage of Convenience
Now, the ever-innovative BitFury continues its expansion beyond blockchain with a foray into AI-enhanced data analysis. Artificial intelligence and blockchain are no strangers to each other, having been party to several crossover projects recently involving big data. The autonomous, trustless nature of blockchain technology lends itself to automated AI processes such as machine learning, and the decentralized model fits perfectly into the needs of big data analysis.
Earlier this year, Coinpayments CEO Alex Alexandrov announced the launch of a new AI-enhanced blockchain system called VELAS, or Virtual Expanding Learning Autonomous System. Utilizing an evolved form of AI known as artificial intuition, the VELAS team aims to develop a blockchain that self-regulates in an effort to address concerns regarding energy efficiency, security, and scalability.
“Here at Velas, our purpose is to address and fix existing issues and challenges faced by most existing Blockchains, such as centralization for example, or 51% attack, nothing at stake problem, scalability, security, high upfront expenses and so on. This is done by using neural networks optimized by artificial intelligence to enhance its consensus algorithm,” explained Alexandrov.
Blockchain projects—Bitcoin in particular—are increasingly drawing criticism for their excessive use of energy, prompting several mining outfits like BitFury to move operations to low-cost, clean energy countries like Paraguay. In February this year, BitFury announced a partnership with South Korean research and development firm Commons Foundation for the launch of two hydroelectric powered Bitcoin mining centers at Itaipu and Yacyreta.
Disclaimer: I currently hold a small amount of Bitcoin, XRP, and ETH. I am associated with none of the companies mentioned.
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