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U.S. takes top spot in crypto mining after China crackdown


Pippa Stevens of CNBC.com brings you today’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 best countries for crypto mining. Additionally, William Shatner travels to space with Blue Origin.

The United States is now the number one destination for bitcoin miners, eclipsing China for the first time. While the trend was already in that direction, new data from the University of Cambridge 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 Center for Alternative Finance. This is an increase of 428% from September 2020.

America partly owes China for its new dominance in the mining industry.

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

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

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

The Canadian actor, who played Captain Kirk in the original “Star Trek” television series, added that space flight was “amazing” and something “everyone has to do.”

“It was so emotional for me,” Shatner said.

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

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

Another sign that the job market is getting closer to its old self, the first unemployment insurance claims totaled 293,000, the best level since March 14, 2020, which saw 256,000 claims as the spread of Covid- 19 intensified.

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

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

In addition, continuing claims, which are a week behind the overall count, have fallen from 134,000 to 2.59 million, another pandemic-era low.

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