Bitcoin mining

dtf

Sparrow
I know there's separate thread on bitcoin market valuation but couldn't find any details on mining techniques.

I've got an old server from a previous business venture sitting around gathering dust. It has two dual core 3.0 Ghz processrors and 16G of RAM memory. Figured I'd put it to work mining coins.

From my research, it seems that CPU mining is the slowest & least profitable. GPU, FPGA and ASIC machines are much better. Now I'm thinking this idea might be a waste of time/money. Some articles do recommend joining mining pools but they sound risky.

Has anyone here tried it? Maybe become rich or at least make some decent money from it? What's your setup?
 
I've followed bitcoin a fair bit and the consensus is that CPU and GPU mining is basically dead. Unless you have free electricity, forget it. Even the vast majority of miners using ASICs to mine would've been better off just buying bitcoin directly.
 

mental

Kingfisher
Bitcoin mining is dead, unless you have lots of money to buy lots of ASIC's. Anything less (CPU's, GPU's and FPGA's) will not be profitable, as you'll pay much more for electricity than you'll earn. It's better to buy bitcoins directly by mining alternate scrypt-based coins which can be mined only by GPU's and CPU's (Litecoin, Feathercoin, Novacoin...) since you can mine a lot more of those coins - scrypt-based coins can't be mined by ASIC's, only by your processor and graphics card. Their value isn't as high, but the higher the coin value, the harder it is to mine it , and if their value rises, you'll have a profit - even Litecoin, which is worth 20-30 bucks each, is slow unless you have multiple high-end ATI GPU's (compare the price of Bitcoin, which is worth over $500 each, and you'll see why Bitcoin mining is impractical if you're just starting and don't have thousands of bucks to invest in ASIC's).
If you decide to mine, stay away from nVidia - their cards mine coins much much slower. The best mining card for the price, if you can find it, is ATI HD7950.
You can compare the Litecoin mining effectiveness of various graphic cards here - just compare the Kh/s, the higher that number is, the faster it will mine; the comparison is valid for any scrypt-based coin, not just Litecoin.
 

SwayMe

Sparrow
mental said:
Bitcoin mining is dead, unless you have lots of money to buy lots of ASIC's. Anything less (CPU's, GPU's and FPGA's) will not be profitable, as you'll pay much more for electricity than you'll earn. It's better to buy bitcoins directly by mining alternate scrypt-based coins which can be mined only by GPU's and CPU's (Litecoin, Feathercoin, Novacoin...) since you can mine a lot more of those coins - scrypt-based coins can't be mined by ASIC's, only by your processor and graphics card. Their value isn't as high, but the higher the coin value, the harder it is to mine it , and if their value rises, you'll have a profit - even Litecoin, which is worth 20-30 bucks each, is slow unless you have multiple high-end ATI GPU's (compare the price of Bitcoin, which is worth over $500 each, and you'll see why Bitcoin mining is impractical if you're just starting and don't have thousands of bucks to invest in ASIC's).
If you decide to mine, stay away from nVidia - their cards mine coins much much slower. The best mining card for the price, if you can find it, is ATI HD7950.
You can compare the Litecoin mining effectiveness of various graphic cards here - just compare the Kh/s, the higher that number is, the faster it will mine; the comparison is valid for any scrypt-based coin, not just Litecoin.


Could you explain this in easier words for non-miners?

Thank you!
 

Grit

Kingfisher
Mining explained:

Every computer that you hook up to bitcoin is trying to 'write a block' which is these several steps:

1. Prove that your machine has an accurate history of all bitcoin transactions from day one until the most recent block of transactions.
2. Prove that your machine has an accurate history of transactions since the last block, usually about 10 minutes of worldwide transactions.
3. Has decrypted a complex code cypher proving that #1 and #2 are valid.

Upon step 3, bitcoin recognizes that you have fulfilled all the steps and 'seals the wax' figuratively speaking on your computers version of 10 minutes of history. Remember that all computers are doing the exact same process. This rewards you with 25 bitcoins- although the payout decreases over time.

Now all computers begin analyzing the next 10 minutes of transactions, and your block becomes official, aka computers have to acknowledge your block as valid in order to prove the validity of the next batch of transactions.

The faster the network and the better the machine/array/supercomputer, the better chance you have of being first to get the payout.

Since everyone wants that 'dangling carrot' of more bitcoins, and the only way to get that is to have bigger and faster computer farms, it ensures that bitcoin remains valid. It also means you have increasingly little chance of decrypting the code before the supercomputer farms you are competing against.

But the common thing to do is donate your computer power to a large communal pool of machines to multiply the collective power and get a fractional (but easily obtained) amount of those 25 coins.
 

mental

Kingfisher
SwayMe said:
Could you explain this in easier words for non-miners?

Thank you!

Grit has explained what mining does. To actually mine, you need a program that will use your processor (slowest), graphics card, a FPGA device or an ASIC chip (fastest) to mine for bitcoins.
Since using your processor is very slow and wastes electricity, you should use a graphics card (for non-bitcoin) or an ASIC chip (for bitcoins).

For non-bitcoins you need to find scrypt-based coins (litecoin, novacoin, feathercoin...), as these can be mined using only graphics cards, so you don't have to invest as much to get started. For ATI cards, you can go here for a tutorial on how to set up the miner, while for nVidia go here.
You'll need to join a pool. Give me coins supports litecoin, feathercoin and bitcoin. Just click register, enter your details, and after confirming your registration, create a worker by going to Create new worker, then typing your user and pass for the pool (for example, if you registered an account under the username irt, you type "1" for worker user, and "x" for worker pass, your worker username will be irt.1, and the pass will be x).
After you've added a new worker, you should find pool servers here and copy the address and port for the coin you'd like to mine (for example, ltc.give-me-coins.com:3333 is a litecoin mining pool).
 

dtf

Sparrow
mental said:
Bitcoin mining is dead, unless you have lots of money to buy lots of ASIC's. Anything less (CPU's, GPU's and FPGA's) will not be profitable, as you'll pay much more for electricity than you'll earn. It's better to buy bitcoins directly by mining alternate scrypt-based coins which can be mined only by GPU's and CPU's (Litecoin, Feathercoin, Novacoin...) since you can mine a lot more of those coins - scrypt-based coins can't be mined by ASIC's, only by your processor and graphics card. Their value isn't as high, but the higher the coin value, the harder it is to mine it , and if their value rises, you'll have a profit - even Litecoin, which is worth 20-30 bucks each, is slow unless you have multiple high-end ATI GPU's (compare the price of Bitcoin, which is worth over $500 each, and you'll see why Bitcoin mining is impractical if you're just starting and don't have thousands of bucks to invest in ASIC's).
If you decide to mine, stay away from nVidia - their cards mine coins much much slower. The best mining card for the price, if you can find it, is ATI HD7950.
You can compare the Litecoin mining effectiveness of various graphic cards here - just compare the Kh/s, the higher that number is, the faster it will mine; the comparison is valid for any scrypt-based coin, not just Litecoin.

Thank you for the response. +1 from me
 

dtf

Sparrow
Grit said:
Mining explained:

Every computer that you hook up to bitcoin is trying to 'write a block' which is these several steps:

1. Prove that your machine has an accurate history of all bitcoin transactions from day one until the most recent block of transactions.
2. Prove that your machine has an accurate history of transactions since the last block, usually about 10 minutes of worldwide transactions.
3. Has decrypted a complex code cypher proving that #1 and #2 are valid.

Upon step 3, bitcoin recognizes that you have fulfilled all the steps and 'seals the wax' figuratively speaking on your computers version of 10 minutes of history. Remember that all computers are doing the exact same process. This rewards you with 25 bitcoins- although the payout decreases over time.

Now all computers begin analyzing the next 10 minutes of transactions, and your block becomes official, aka computers have to acknowledge your block as valid in order to prove the validity of the next batch of transactions.

The faster the network and the better the machine/array/supercomputer, the better chance you have of being first to get the payout.

Since everyone wants that 'dangling carrot' of more bitcoins, and the only way to get that is to have bigger and faster computer farms, it ensures that bitcoin remains valid. It also means you have increasingly little chance of decrypting the code before the supercomputer farms you are competing against.

But the common thing to do is donate your computer power to a large communal pool of machines to multiply the collective power and get a fractional (but easily obtained) amount of those 25 coins.

Thank you for the further explanation. +1 from me too
 

svenski7

Woodpecker
Good thread.

What everyone has said this far is spot on. Bitcoin mining with ASICs is dead. GPU mining is great if you can find REASONABLY priced Radeon 7950s. R9 280X/R9 290X cards work as well but are much more expensive and run hotter.

I got into GPU mining end of November 2013 (around the time bitcoin made national news in the US) and have had a great experience.

If you know how to build a desktop computer, have around 3k at your disposal and can find suitable graphics cards, you can return your original investment in three or four months.

My machines run in my apartment. At first I thought this might hurt my Game but telling chicks that I'm hacking the Great Firewall of China seems to have a positive "intrigue" effect.

Anyone interested in GPU mining feel free to PM.
 

Grit

Kingfisher
I hear that the next new trend is crafting malware that covertly pools your GPU with other compromised machines in a bitcoin mining botnet. :laugh:
 

svenski7

Woodpecker
@Grit: That's a good (evil) idea. Isn't that the same premise used in DDoS attacks? Most of the hundreds of thousands of computer directed to ping the website are out of the control of their owners.

I'm not sure how it would work if your rigs are dedicated and only access a https-secured mining pool. How would they target you? Would they just hack the mining pool website (seems easier)?
 

pants

 
Any software/app that have access to cpu/gpu can do it.

Create a "calculator/light/game/something"-app with some additional bitcoin code within and you would be abel to "borrow" the users hardware.
 

Alpha_Romeo

Kingfisher
If I have an old laptop and I want to re-purpose it to mine bitcoins as a side hustle (obviously not my main source of income), can it be done (assuming access to free/cheap electricity)?

I suppose a faster CPU is better, but are there any other aspects I should look at, for example the operating system (Windows vs Linux)? Would I need to maintain a constant Internet connection? Which coin would be best to mine or make it all worthwhile?

If these questions sound Noob-ish. Well, I am new to this and willing to learn.

But the common thing to do is donate your computer power to a large communal pool of machines to multiply the collective power and get a fractional (but easily obtained) amount of those 25 coins.
I would be up for this as well.
 
Alpha_Romeo said:
If I have an old laptop and I want to re-purpose it to mine bitcoins as a side hustle (obviously not my main source of income), can it be done (assuming access to free/cheap electricity)?

I suppose a faster CPU is better, but are there any other aspects I should look at, for example the operating system (Windows vs Linux)? Would I need to maintain a constant Internet connection? Which coin would be best to mine or make it all worthwhile?

If these questions sound Noob-ish. Well, I am new to this and willing to learn.

But the common thing to do is donate your computer power to a large communal pool of machines to multiply the collective power and get a fractional (but easily obtained) amount of those 25 coins.
I would be up for this as well.

You are about 6-8 years too late. You need an ASIC farm and cheap electricity in 2018 to mine Bitcoin profitably now.

Assuming free electricity you are better off farming altcoins but you will need a dedicated graphics card to do this, these are expensive and they take 1-2 years to pay for themselves now. If you have free/cheap electricity (ie China, Iran, Argentina) and some modern GPUs lying around it might be worth it.

The standard advice for mining is don't do it. Instead buy Bitcoin or ethereum and hold it.
 
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