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Bitcoin mining.

Started by Bitcoin, Feb 14, 2021, 08:32 am

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USB Bitcoin mining.
Before you begin to mine for Bitcoins using USB Miners, here's what you'll need -
A Bitcoin mining Software.
Joining a Bitcoin mining Pool.
Creating a Bitcoin mining Wallet.
While we have dedicated chapters for each of them, let us refresh our memories by taking a quick glance at each of them:
Best USB Miners -
This is the most critical part as this is the actual, physical device that will do handle the mining operations. When handling major mining operations, users usually tend to purchase an ASIC device which has only one dedicated purpose - to mine for Bitcoins. Similarly, USB Miners too are used to mine bitcoins by connecting them with your PC. As of 2017 there are no 'new' Bitcoin USB Miners as the technology is itself about 4 to 5 years old now. However, if you still wish to mine for Bitcoins, here's a quick look at some of the best USB Bitcoin Miners:
Sapphire Miner:
The ASICMiner Block Erupter USB Sapphire Miner, popularly known as just the 'Sapphire Miner' has been around for a really long time. It was one of the first USB Miners to be created. It offers the users with a hash power of 330 MH/s. Using it according to modern day standards would give you a grand total of about $0.01 per month - bASICally you'd make your first dollar in about a 100 months (a little over 8 years) considering prices stay stable.
Not a very profitable device, but none of the USB miners are profitable, even in the long-long-long run. However a good tool if you want to understand how mining functions. It is priced in at $29.99.
Avalon Nano 3:
One of the cheapest and the most easily adaptable USB Bitcoin miner, you can stick it up any computer and it will mine for bitcoins. However, as is the case with USB Miners, this is painfully slow and will take you almost a year to make a full dollar. The Avalon Nano 3 gets you a revenue of about $1 per year.
The device features a mining power of about 3.6 GH/s - a significant improvement over the Block Erupter above. The Avalon Nano 3 comes out at a price of $19.99 - which will still take about two decades to break even.
GekkoScience Compac USB Stick Bitcoin Miner:
A little better compared to what we saw above, the GekkoScience miner is certainly more powerful than the Sapphire Miner. The device comes out into the markets with a hashing power of 8 GH/s and allows the users to mine $0.15 per month. This will ensure that you make your first dollar in the first year itself, as opposed to the Block Erupter above which will take 8 years to do so.
The GekkoScience Compac USB Stick Bitcoin Miner is priced in at $49.99 - you'd break even in about 50 years if you buy this.
Antminer U2:
Coming out into the markets with a hashing power of 2GH/s, the Antminer U2 is one of the most trusted names when it comes to the obsolete world of the USB Bitcoin Miners. The device can still be seen around, though not for mining purposes but for testing setups. It is priced in at $49.99 which is quite expensive for a USB Miner.
A couple of years ago the device became obsolete and the returns were as low as a dollar a month. By now it has gone down to about a dollar per year which means it would take half a century to just break even!
Note: None of these USB Miners are going to be profitable even in the long-long run. As Bitcoin prices rise, more and more people are flocking in to make use of the technology, every four years the block rewards are falling and the mining difficulty is on the rise.
After you have decided on which USB Miner you are going to use to mine bitcoins, you would then need a Bitcoin mining Software. There are a number of softwares which are available - some of them are OS Specific and there are others which are pool specific or even device specific. Depending on which kind of miner you are using or which pool you are registered with, you might need a different miner.
Bitcoin mining software also differ based on the Operating System they operate on. For a complete, detailed list of Bitcoin mining software and how they function, please refer to the chapter dealing with Bitcoin mining Software.
Wallets are places where you can store your Bitcoins - wallets provide you with a key which you can share with the people who are going to pay you Bitcoins. Wallets can be physical or virtual, they can be online or offline. They are a complex lot and need to be chosen wisely. Here's our complete chapter detailing how to choose the ideal Bitcoin Wallet.
Bitcoin mining Pools are the fourth and final component that you'll need. BASICally pools involve a large number of people joining hands to mine for Bitcoins faster and share the rewards that they earn. For a detailed read on pools, check out our chapter on Bitcoin mining Pools.
Arstechnica Inside Bitcoin.
ArsTechnica - Bitcoin: inside the encrypted, peer-to-peer digital currencyThis article by Thomas Lowenthal on ArsTechnica provides a good overview on mining:
The usual solution to the double-spending problem is a trusted intermediary. PayPal makes sure that you can't spend the same dollars twice by deducting them from your account before they get added to someone else's account.
This centralized approach is the one that enigmatic creator Satoshi Nakamoto specifically tried to avoid in the original Bitcoin design. The idea was to use cryptography to create verifiable transaction records without the need to trust anyone but your own calculations.
The Bitcoin solution uses cryptography and an open transaction register.
By finding the newest solution to the proof-of-work problem, a Bitcoin client confirms the history of previous transactions and moved the transaction register forward, allowing new debits and credits to form part of the next block that can be mined to earn more coins. Future coins can't be mined in advance, because the computation to find the new block (and hence create new Bitcoins) relies on the the chain of previous blocks and the history of transactions since the most recent block.
Mining Bitcoins takes power, but is it an "environmental disaster?"
Also, Adam Smith would be appalled.


Nate Anderson - Apr 14, 2013 10:00 pm UTC.
Mark Gimein is something of a Bitcoin skeptic, but in addition to his concerns about Bitcoin not being a "real currency," he's now charging that it has created "a real-world environmental disaster."
Writing in Bloomberg News , Gimein notes that mining Bitcoins--performing the computationally expensive calculations needed to define new Bitcoins--uses power. A lot of power. (Read our 2011 Bitcoin primer for more details.) He writes:
About 982 megawatt hours a day, to be exact. That's enough to power roughly 31,000 US homes, or about half a Large Hadron Collider. If the dreams of Bitcoin proponents are realized, and the currency is adopted for widespread commerce, the power demands of bitcoin mines would rise dramatically.
If that makes you think of the vast efforts devoted to the mining of precious metals in the centuries of gold- and silver-based economies, it should. One of the strangest aspects of the Bitcoin frenzy is that the Bitcoin economy replicates some of the most archaic features of the gold standard. Real-world mining of precious metals for currency was a resource-hungry and value-destroying process. Bitcoin mining is too.
Gimein draws on the stats provided by Bitcoin-focused site The numbers fluctuate a bit with each day of calculations being tracked. According to Blockchain's stats this weekend, the last 24 hours of worldwide mining activity burned through 928.24 megawatt hours of power while miners calculated 59,502.6 gigahashes per second. Total power bill: $139,236.07.
Critics are already pushing back against the "environmental disaster" claim. Writing in Forbes , Tim Worstall says the energy being used is "simply trivial," amounting to 0.025 percent of the total US household electricity supply. And worldwide, that percentage would be far lower. Besides, Worstall says, "at some point Bitcoin mining will stop. There is an upper limit to the number that can ever be mined; I think I'm right in saying that we're about halfway there at present. Thus this energy consumption will not go on rising forever. At some point it will come to a dead stop in fact." (The system is self-limiting, with a max of 21 million bitcoins.)
As for the stats themselves, they're fairly speculative to begin with. The computers calculating hashes are assumed to be using 650W per gigahash--which Blockchain freely admits is an estimate that depends entirely on the efficiency of one's computation hardware. In addition, Blockchain assumes the cost of electricity to be 15 cents per kilowatt hour; here in Chicago, it's only one-third that number. Neither the amount of electricity used nor the cost of that electricity is a number worth putting a huge amount of faith in.
Regardless of the environmental impact, though, writers like Nobel laureate Paul Krugman see Bitcoin mining as a terrible step backward for currencies. He cites Adam Smith on "the fundamental foolishness of relying on gold and silver currency, which--as he pointed out--serve only a symbolic function, yet absorbed real resources in their production, and why it would be smart to replace them with paper currency."
"And now here we are in a world of high information technology," Krugman wrote this week in the New York Times, "and people think it's smart, nay cutting-edge, to create a sort of virtual currency whose creation requires wasting real resources in a way Adam Smith considered foolish and outmoded in 1776."
Still, Bitcoin has its boosters. Look no further than the Winklevii, who say they control one percent of the currency.
Chinese government proposes ban on Bitcoin mining.
It's unclear how quickly China will try to phase out cryptocurrency mining.
Timothy B. Lee - Apr 9, 2019 3:28 pm UTC.
The Chinese government is considering a nationwide ban on mining bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Every few years, China's National Development and Reform Commission publishes a list of industries the agency wants to encourage, restrict, or eliminate because they are unsafe, illegal, or bad for the environment. The latest list, published this week, includes cryptocurrency mining on the list of industries to phase out.
A Chinese ban on cryptocurrency mining would be a huge deal for the global bitcoin community. In recent years, China has come to dominate both the manufacturing of Bitcoin mining hardware and the operation of Bitcoin mining pools.
Further Reading.
A Chinese ban on Bitcoin mining would transform the Bitcoin mining industry, creating openings for Bitcoin mining operations elsewhere in the world to gain market share. And that would be significant because bitcoin miners wield significant influence over the evolution of the Bitcoin platform.
But it's not clear how serious the government is about the proposed ban. The new list of banned industries is only a proposal--the Chinese government is soliciting public comment on the draft before it becomes official.
Even if the list is ultimately adopted as government policy, it's not clear how aggressively it would be enforced.
Techcrunch points to a skeptical tweet by venture capitalist Dovey Wan: "NDRC updates a new version of such proposal every other 3-5 years since early 2000," she wrote. "Items that should be eliminated by end of 2006 are still in the 2011 and 2019 versions."
Still, there have been other recent signs that the Chinese government is souring on the cryptocurrency sector. In late 2017, in the midst of that year's cryptocurrency boom, China banned retail cryptocurrency trading. In January 2018, a Chinese regulator said it wanted to see an "orderly exit" from the cryptocurrency mining business.
Another possible explanation for China's recent moves: the government hopes to shift the Chinese public toward blockchain-based platforms more amenable to state control.
"The NDRC's move is in line overall with China's desire to control different layers of the rapidly growing crypto industry," investor Jehan Chu told Reuters. "I believe China simply wants to 'reboot' the crypto industry into one that they have oversight on, the same approach they took with the Internet."
Computer from NASA's Apollo program reprogrammed to mine bitcoin.
It takes the Apollo Guidance Computer 10 seconds to compute a single hash value.


Timothy B. Lee - Jul 9, 2019 10:15 pm UTC.
Among the many technological breakthroughs of NASA's Apollo project to land a man on the Moon was the Apollo Guidance Computer that flew onboard Apollo spacecraft. In an era when most computers were refrigerator-sized--if not room-sized--the AGC weighed only about 70 pounds. It was one of the first computers to use integrated circuits.
A team of computer historians got its hands on one of the original AGCs and got it working. A member of the team, Ken Shirriff, then decided to see if the computer could be used for Bitcoin mining.
Mining is a key part of the process for maintaining bitcoin's shared transaction ledger, or blockchain. To win the right to add a block to the blockchain, you have to solve a difficult problem: finding a block whose SHA-256 hash starts with a minimum number of zeros. The only known way to accomplish this is by brute force: miners create a block with a random nonce and compute its hash value. If the hash value doesn't have enough leading zeros, the miner changes the nonce and tries again.
The required number of zeros is automatically adjusted so that the network produces a new block once every 10 minutes, on average. Currently, a block's hash needs at least around 18 zeros (in its hexadecimal representation) to be accepted by the network--which translates to around 10 22 trials to find a valid block.
Today, most Bitcoin mining is done using specialized hardware capable of computing trillions of hashes per second. Shirriff's software for the Apollo Guidance Computer was quite a bit slower than that: each bitcoin hash calculation takes about 10 seconds.
The Apollo Guidance Computer isn't a very good bitcoin miner.
"The computer is so slow that it would take about a billion times the age of the universe to successfully mine a bitcoin block," Shirriff wrote.
This mostly reflects 50 years of progress in computing hardware. Thanks to Moore's law, modern chips have vastly more transistors and can operate at much higher clock rates. Custom mining ASICs can compute a huge number of hashes in parallel.
But Shirriff also had to struggle with idiosyncrasies of the AGC that made it a poor fit for Bitcoin mining. For example, the AGC used a 15-bit word, in contrast to modern computers that generally use 32- or 64-bit words. The SHA-256 algorithm performs a lot of 32-bit operations, so Shiriff had to split each 32-bit integer into three pieces--a 4-bit piece and two 14-bit pieces--and perform calculations on them separately.
The AGC also lacked the shift and rotate instructions that are standard on modern computers--and heavily used in a SHA-256 calculation--forcing Shirriff to write subroutines to perform these operations.
The AGC's limited memory was also a handicap:
The AGC, like most computers of the 1960s, used magnetic core memory, storing each bit in a tiny magnetized ferrite ring. Since core memory was fairly bulky, the AGC had just 2K words (approximately 4K bytes) of RAM. The AGC's addressing scheme made things more complicated since you could only access 256 words unless you used an inconvenient bank-switching mechanism. The problem is that the SHA-256 algorithm uses eight (32-bit) hash values, a 64-word message table, and 8 words of intermediate values. These three arrays alone used up 240 AGC words, leaving about 16 words for everything else (temporary values, subroutine return addresses, loop counters, pointers, etc.) I managed to get everything to fit in one bank by reusing these 16 words for multiple purposes, but I spent a lot of time debugging problems when a variable clobbered a location still in use.
This is not the first time Shirriff has implemented Bitcoin mining on ancient hardware. A few years back he implemented Bitcoin mining on an old IBM 1401 computer from the mid-1960s. This machine was even slower than the AGC, taking 80 seconds to compute a single hash. He also programmed a 1970s Xerox Alto to mine bitcoin--it could compute 1.5 hashes per second.
Bitcoin's "halving" is bad for miners, good for everyone else.
A lower rate of bitcoin creation means the network consumes less energy.
Timothy B. Lee - May 12, 2020 5:13 pm UTC.
The bitcoin network underwent a significant change on Monday as the number of new bitcoins produced in each block fell by half. This is according to a schedule established by bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto almost 12 years ago.
Previously, each block in the blockchain came with 12.5 new bitcoins worth roughly $110,000. Now each block includes only 6.25 new bitcoins worth around $55,000.
That's a challenge for the Bitcoin mining industry, which derives the lion's share of its income from these block rewards. But it has a happy side effect for everyone else: the bitcoin network's energy consumption is likely to fall in the coming months as lower profits from Bitcoin mining force miners to tighten their belts.
Lower miner revenues will mean lower energy consumption.
To construct a block, miners make a list of all transactions that have been submitted since the previous block was created. They then race against one another, performing millions of trillions of SHA-256 hash computations every second, looking for a block that produces a hash below an arbitrarily low value.
The winner gets the block reward (previously 12.5 bitcoins, now 6.25 bitcoins) as well as any transaction fees that are included in individual transactions. Right now, transaction fees are worth much less than the value of the block reward--around 0.6 bitcions, or $5,000, per block. So the halving of the block reward means that miners' income fell almost in half overnight.
That sudden decline in the rewards for mining means that the mining is suddenly a lot less profitable. Barring a big increase in bitcoin's price, we can expect bitcoin miners to temporarily stop investing in new mining hardware for the next few months. If Bitcoin mining becomes unprofitable enough, some miners might even switch off less efficient mining hardware because it's not generating enough bitcoins to cover operating costs.
In the short term, fewer resources spent on mining should lead to a slower rate of bitcoin creation. However, the network has an automatic process to ensure that bitcoins get generated at a more or less constant rate. Every two weeks, the network changes the difficulty of the hashing problem in order to keep the network producing about six blocks per hour. If the network is producing blocks too slowly, the network lowers the difficulty of the hashing problem by increasing the range of hash values that are considered "winners." If the network is producing more than six blocks per hour, the network does the opposite, making the hashing problem more difficult to slow down the rate of block creation.
The upshot is that in the long run, the bitcoin network always produces one block every 10 minutes, no matter how much hashing power the network has.
Miners, of course, want to make a profit, and competition among miners keeps profit margins fairly steady over the long run. So if the revenues from Bitcoin mining fall by half, that will ultimately translate to miners spending about half as much to produce those bitcoins. Electricity is one of the biggest costs of Bitcoin mining, so the halving of block rewards should ultimately reduce the amount of electricity consumed by Bitcoin mining by a similar proportion.
And this is significant because the bitcoin network is stupendously wasteful. The exact figures are known only to miners themselves, but the website Digiconomist estimates that the network has consumed between 50 and 70 TWh per year--roughly as much energy as the 8 million people in Switzerland. We shouldn't expect that figure to fall by half immediately, but if bitcoin's price stays around the same level, we should expect to see it falling in the coming months.
The halving will push up bitcoin's price--but not very much.
Of course, higher bitcoin prices could offset this effect. Higher bitcoin prices push up the revenues from each block and hence the amount people are willing to spend to mine a block. So a higher bitcoin price would induce miners to buy more mining hardware and increase electricity use.
There has been a lot of discussion in the bitcoin world about the likely effects of the halving on bitcoin's price. Yesterday is the third time the block reward has declined. Previous halvings occurred in 2012 and 2016 (the next one is expected in 2024). Bitcoin's price rose 30-fold in the year after the November 2012 halving. It tripled in the year after the July 2016 halving--then soared even higher in the second half of 2017.
Bitcoin bulls are hoping that a 50-percent decline in new bitcoin supply will put upward pressure on bitcoin's price.
However, we should expect this effect to be much more muted this time around. The creation of bitcoins is declining exponentially over time, while the stock of existing bitcoins has been growing. There are now more than 18.4 million bitcoins in circulation, out of a total of 21 million that will ever be created. Only 656,250 were created in the year before yesterday's halving, a figure that will fall to 328,125 for the coming year. In other words, the halving reduces bitcoin's annual "inflation rate" from 3.6 percent to 1.8 percent.
That's probably not a big enough difference to have much impact on bitcoin's price. That's not to say that bitcoin's price won't go up--the currency is famously volatile. But any impact of the halving on bitcoin's price is likely to get lost in the noise.


Promoted Comments.
The argument for the price rise is this:
1) Mining is a marginal business, and as such, miners are forced to sell most of the coins they earn to cover costs.
2) Over the past 36 months, miners have therefore sold about $4.5 billion / year of coins into the market.
3) At similar price levels, the having will result in over $2 billion / year less coins being sold on the market. so an equivalent amount of $ will now need to find other BTC to satisfy the demand. Critically, this "other BTC" is held by holders who are not forced to sell, and can wait for any price they want.
4) Bitcoin may nominally have a $150 billon market cap, but its very volatility is proof of how "thinly traded" is really is. This works on the up and down.
5) Meaning. $2 billion of extra money flowing into Bitcoin in a year will increase the market cap by far more than $2 billion. The size of that multiple is unknown.
Bitcoin mining on kepler?
Just curious because I have some kepler cards lying around. i have 2 gtx770 4gb, and 1 gtx titan 6gb, all kepler cards.
I know squat about Bitcoin mining, but I do know that gpu's are insanely over priced.
is the titan or even the 770's, worth anything at all these days? are you even able to bitcoin mine on them?
I also know squat about mining, but it balances the cost of electricity versus the value of the coins.
I suspect Keplar will be hot and pricey to run, and produce few coins. While it works, you may well lose money buying electricity.
If you look on eBay they are going for a decent amount considering their age. But only because people have resorted to buying them for gaming due to lack of other options.
Kepler is more or less hopeless at cryptocoin mining.
Kepler efficiency is. bad for Ethereum. It may be better for other coins.
I tested out my original GTX Titan. Limited to 180W, it mined at around 12MH/sec (with the fan set to 70%).
For comparison, an RX 460/560 can mine at 10-12MH/sec, using 60W of power.
If your power is free, and you have a way to dispose of the heat, you could mine. Figure around 30MH/sec. For comparison, I mine at 205MH/sec and I make 0.2 coins every 8-10 days.
A GTX680 gets 10-11 MH/s. A GTX770 is more or less the same GPU.
For the same power, an R9 280X will get 28 or so MH/s.
If you're going to mine on Kepler, do it when it's cold so the heat offsets energy you'd be heating with anyway.
I live in a condo and might be able to plug into the community power source. So power wouldn't be an issue in that case. Update to the story. Sold the Kepler Titan for $380 that's a 125 profit. Still have my 770s though.
Look into Boinc and Gridcoin.
I see, so they're more enviro friendly thus less energy use??
i'll give it a shot!!
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