Cryptocurrency Mining Post-Bitcoin

While the age of using your own computer to mine Bitcoin during spare CPU cycles has long passed, average folks aren’t entirely shut out of the cryptocurrency game yet. Luckily, Bitcoin isn’t the only game in town anymore, and with GPUs coming down in price it’s possible to build a mining rig for other currencies like Etherium.

[Chris]’s build starts with some extruded aluminum and a handful of GPUs. He wanted to build something that didn’t take up too much space in the small apartment. Once the main computer was installed, each GPU was installed upwards in the rack, with each set having its own dedicated fan. After installing a fan controller and some plexiglass the rig was up and running, although [Chris] did have to finagle the software a little bit to get all of the GPUs to work properly.

While this build did use some tools that might only be available at a makerspace, like a mill and a 3D printer, the hardware is still within reason with someone with a little cash burning a hole in their pockets. And, if Etherium keeps going up in value like it has been since the summer, it might pay for itself eventually, providing that your electric utility doesn’t charge too much for power.

And if you missed it, we just ran a feature on Etherium.  Check it out.

46 thoughts on “Cryptocurrency Mining Post-Bitcoin

      1. Correct. The POS algorithm “caspar” is not ready yet, but the Difficulty Bomb is looming and the first signs of it going off are being spotted as the time between blocks is starting to increase.

        To delay this the developers have planned to implement a 40% block reward reduction to go along with the upcoming Metropolis upgrade. This would artificially induce a Mining Crash on ethereum causing miners to abandon it for other coins thus bringing the difficulty back down to safer values.

        Is a good thing really. In a way Ethereum has a hard-cap in how much miners can earn from it so unless all the other coins suddenly become just as fast-growing as ethereum the Miners will be in for a nasty suprise.

      1. I am also annoyed that GPU prices are where they are at the same time I am thinking of replacing my just-over-3-year-old GeForce GTX 750 with something better (something able to handle e.g. the Fallout 4 super-high-res texture pack)

        1. They are saying Q4 or Q1 coming up there will be a release of newer cards that are more targeted for mining and cracking – headless in some cases. Most of the “experts” I have talked to think buying a GPU now for those things is stupid. However, if this is the case – there will be many higher end cards available at better prices (used) for people that are going to upgrade their systems for gaming. I’m not sure who to believe, waiting for me seems to always be a fools deed, since many times the newer cards usually have driver issues that need to be resolved – and many don’t run on older systems anyway. Keep your fingers crossed.

          1. No doubt, there are problems. I might argue the opposite though. A mining rig is built to handle heat, and other stresses that you wouldn’t get from buying a used gaming system GPU. Games usually have the effect of going from low GPU usage to max GPU over and over again, where as a miner rig is setup to squeeze the maximum amount of value from the system – so the GPU power is usually lowered as much as possible (85% power) and the clock is increased, but this results in a consistent use of the card, little no throttling like a gaming system. I’m betting that’s better for the card. But yes, there are systems – like on a cracker, that they run maximum power and clock/mem clock on the GPU, since the goal there is speed, not efficiency. And I did say used – but it should also open the market up for higher end cards new – that will be redefined as second tier with the new cards pushing them downward.

      1. A lot of the demand for bitcoin is that the transactions using it can easily be made untraceable, so its probably ideal for all sorts of shady dealings including tax dodging and money laundering. Its possible that governments will eventually come up with some way to regulate it, but it might take a while (a bit like how its taken so long to catch up with unregulated filesharing on the internet).

        1. It isn’t untraceable, but unlike a bank, you can’t just walk in with a judge-signed paper telling them to hand over all the info, there is actual work to be done by experts and that costs time and money, usually costing more then the damage being done by the illegal act. The same goes for any attempt at seizing the funds, you have to actually steal them, there is no central authority to give an order to seize an account.

  1. “While the age of using your own computer to mine Bitcoin during spare CPU cycles has long passed, average folks aren’t entirely shut out of the cryptocurrency game yet.”

    Book 1,001 uses for mining because toaster oven isn’t enough. Also wouldn’t a rig with those no-video GPU mining cards be better? Something meant to run continuously.

    1. The thing would be to run it in the winter so you can use the otherwise waste heat. After all, a kilowatt of electricity will become a kilowatt of heat. A cryptocurrency miner device will create heat at the rate of its wattage so you get “free” heat. In the summer the waste heat adds load to the A/C system unless it’s water cooled and the radiator is outdoors. What you want is a cryptocurrency mining device that you can control the wattage of so as to throttle the heat it produces.

  2. At least he will have something to heat the apartment during the winter. With the amount of heat that will give off you don’t need a furnace. Actually, with the cost of cards coming down this makes a little sense – but you really can’t compete with the big mining farms these days. And the rules for taxes depending on your State can be tricky too, since any currency mined will need to be declared as income. Then you run into the whole issue of fluctuating costs of crypto-currency during the year, and power costs. I’m not sure it’s worth the hassle – unless you need a furnace that is. The other problem is power, the amount of power those cards draw means you need multiple 120v circuits, or 220v split up between multiple power supplies, since you will be drawing about 15-20 amps of 110v continuously, and I don’t know a lot of apartments that could handle that. It can be tricky, since you need to power the motherboard, the risers from the motherboard, the drives, the cards themselves, and the cooling system. The power supply usually starts at 1300 watts for a small rig, and goes up from there. And you can’t buy a crappy power supply either – since it will be running 24/7, and the cards need to be reference video cards, not OEM. That can be a major problem. In other words – there is a lot to consider if you are going to put one of these together to actually make money, and not spend it all on the build, so the motherboard needs to be balanced along with the cards and everything else.

    1. You made some valid points, but your one silly comment makes me think you don’t know anything… “and the cards need to be reference video cards, not OEM. That can be a major problem.”

    1. Seconded. Most forms of “work” that result in financial reward, do so because the person/entity doing the work is doing something of benefit to someone else, while using resources.

      Bit-mining is, as far as I can tell of benefit only to the bit miner, while burning through natural resources for no sustainable gain.

      Example. I build a free way. Lots of resources are used, and there is something of benefit to other people. I get paid.

      I mine a bit coin. Lots of resources are used. I realize the main “value” of a bit coin is it’s ability to be traded. But it seems to be a highly inflated value. It’s merely used as an “equivalency” to the currency of your choice, and that seems, to me at least, to not be a good use of resources.

      1. I see your point, but doesn’t the same argument applies to anything banks do — they don’t produce any benefit directly, at best they “lubricate” the activities of those who do produce a benefit. So on one hand, since we as a society are okay with banks existing and turning profits for bankers, maybe we should be okay with cryptocurrency miners.

        On the other hand, maybe they’re both resource-wasting freeloading scum that should be run out of town on a rail.

        1. A large component of society is not okay with banks existing. Constant engineered booms and crashes do not encourage society to engage in active work and instead only concentrate wealth and power in the hands of those who accumulate passive income. This would not be such a problem if banks were solvent but their profit model depends on insolvency and bailouts when, not if, it becomes unsustainable.

          1. Isn’t this the argument socialists use?
            As we know from Marxist theory- socialism is the intermediate condition between the fall of capitalism and the rise of communism.

          2. i wouldn’t mind banks as much if they actually lost money when they made a real mess of things, rather than my tax contribution going towards propping them up under state protection. they basically can’t lose.

          3. @ Brian & Bob,

            its all socialism just different forms of it, no matter how you chop it up, or look at it, the only difference in being accepted or shunned is which one has the majority,

            Socialist economic systems can be divided into non-market and market forms. Non-market socialism involves the substitution of factor markets and money, with engineering and technical criteria, based on calculation performed in-kind, thereby producing an economic mechanism that functions according to different economic laws from those of capitalism. Non-market socialism aims to circumvent the inefficiencies and crises traditionally associated with capital accumulation and the profit system, So then decide, do you want control of your “money” or do you want someone else too have control?

          4. There is no particular reason you need to use a bank. They have poor yields on savings accounts, and you can get much higher returns by investing the money yourself. If you are concerned with loosing your savings, store it in a tangible manner (paper money, gold, silver, bond certificates, or other transferable or trade-able merchandise) in a secure location.

    2. “The good part is that it stimulates video card sales, so we will see better games faster.”

      Uhm. None of these cards will ever see a game in their life and many gamers on a tight budget have been forced to settle with less in regards of Graphics power as Miners are buying so many of the mid to high-range GPUs that there is simply not enough supply to answer demand causing prices to go up a LOT.

      Both AMD and Nvidia are not happy about it as right now these sales are not helping them (Suppliers and retailers are benefiting from the markups, Not them) nor the gaming industry. The adoption rate of GTX1060/RX570 and higher in gaming rigs have decreased which isn’t causing better games to come faster. No it is the opposite!! :<

  3. meaning if the majority agree’s then its capitalism but if the majority doesn’t agree then its socialism or communism, so what you end up with is if it can not be regulated it can’t be taxed if it can’t be taxed its illegal!! sound like a country you know? so you all should be careful about using those labels “socialism & capitalism” cause their really the same thing

  4. Honestly as a Gamer i despise the mining craze.

    Ive been wanting to replace my older GPU and i am expected to pay hundreds more because of greedy miners descending on any supply of GPU like Locusts causing suppliers and retailers to drive up the prices to the extreme. Those new Vega64 for example?? The only retailers who have it in stock in my country sell it for around 900-1200€!!

  5. TORONTO, July 11, 2018 /CNW/ – Anaconda Mining Inc. (“Anaconda” or the “Company”) (TSX: ANX) (OTCQX: ANXGF) is pleased to announce production results and certain financial information from the three and six months ended June 30, 2018 (“Q2 2018”). All dollar amounts are in Canadian Dollars. The Company expects to file its second quarter financial statements and management discussion and analysis by August 2, 2018.

    In 2017, the Company changed its fiscal year-end to December 31, from its previous fiscal year end of May 31. Consequently, Anaconda has now reverted to a customary quarterly reporting calendar based on a December 31 financial year-end, with fiscal quarters ending on the last day in March, June, September, and December each year. For comparative purposes, the results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2018, have been compared to the three and six months ended May 31, 2017.

  6. Anaconda Mining is a TSX-listed gold mining, development, and exploration company, focused in the prospective Atlantic Canadian jurisdictions of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. The Company operates the Point Rousse Project located in the Baie Verte Mining District in Newfoundland, comprised of the Pine Cove open pit mine, the Stog’er Tight Mine, the Argyle Mineral Resource, the fully-permitted Pine Cove Mill and tailings facility, deep water port, and approximately 5,800 hectares of prospective gold-bearing property. Anaconda is also developing the Goldboro Gold Project in Nova Scotia, a high-grade Mineral Resource, with the potential to leverage existing infrastructure at the Company’s Point Rousse Project.

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