Early 2014 — after much debate — I decided to become a co-founder of a new project called Bitcoin-Economy. Not that I needed another project or e-learning course, but getting paid to learn about something that’s an extension of what I’ve been interested about for a while?
But this article is about something else … As I’m not a total newbie to the world of bit coin.
Bitcoin ASIC Miner Introduction
I heard about bitcoin mining aspect a few years back. Roughly know what it is. But I also know when we were doing all the algorithmic calculations for SETI, cancer research and similar projects around 2001-2003, that the energy bill boosted to humongous proportions. So mining with a PC? Was a no go a few years ago, and still is a no go.
Long story short I know the way forward is ASIC hardware. Last time I look into that; around 3ish years ago; they were released in limited supplies, quite difficult to acquire (only through ebay), insanely expensive and next to high power usage also extremely noisy. Ever been to AMS-IX or any large server room? That noisy.
Still … technology seems to progress, and I was just wondering. Had a vision last year of building an Adobe After effects rendering farm. I read a little last week about cloud mining. And was just wondering …
1 hour of researching later — before writing this article — I shared this snippet on FaceBook:
I always thought ASIC Bitcoin miners were expensive. Boy …. Was i wrong. Im gonna build myself my own homemade Bitcoin farm. Been a while i had a Linux + hardware challenge. Finally a nerdy project again.
Cause I ‘found out’ about something ultra neat! In the article below a quick summary.
To save myself from disappointments and to satisfy my curiosity I started with searching the national classifieds sites. And to my great surprise got a lot of search results! For … huh?! USB dongles?! Nah … can’t be. What happened to 4U 19″ racks? Times have changed!
Extremely popular devices are the Block Erupter Sapphire and Block Erupter Emerald who do their job at ~ 333MH/s. Holy cow! That’s quite a lot of processing power at just 2.5W!!! And can be held second hand for about €40. Then you got 1 USB dongle that you can plug into your …
Any Windows/Linux PC or Mac … how cool is that? But wait a minute! I’ve got multiple USB ports on my computer. And what if I hook them up to USB hubs? Hmm could that work software wise? A challenge?
Mining Software compatibility
Haven’t really dug into this much, but looks extremely easy with multiple platforms and parallel processing supported.
- EasyMiner software is provided for Android, Windows & Linux operating systems.
- BFGminer – Open source available (most common)
- CGminer – Open source available
- BitMinter – Java Client
The Nerds Approach (A comparison)
Let’s take a few steps further. Starting with the interface. Sure a laptop is cool, but also read you can interface the whole bunch through a Raspberry Pi or a modified Linksys Net / TP-Link TL-703N / Asus WL500 with OpenWRT. Woohoo! All familiar stuff.
Most bang for the buck?
And while researching what kind of USB hubs and cooling is required I ran into some neat USB hardware with a far better value.
- (for comparison sake) Block Erupter | 333MH/s | ± €40
- AntMiner U1 | 1.7-2.2GH/s | ± €70 … Tutorial for Linux
- Red Fury | 2.2-2.7GH/s | €150
- Bi Fury | 5GH/s | ± €250 … OSX tutorial & Review
All roughly using 2.5W. And they can be easily over clocked! And yeah I’m one of those old skool over clockers I can still remember the days when I over clocked my Abit BH6 Dual Celeron 366Mhz to 620MHz with Aircooling. So love to mess around with that. My gosh that’s ages ago! Anyway ..
Taking it a bit further
I would need 7 Erupters to match the speed of a Red Fury, or even 14 to match a Bi-Fury. Imagine stacking a few of those together?
Cool tip: Firmwares for Bi-Fury that limit temperature; download here
But that also increases prices fast, and saw a few other great offers:
- BFL Jalapeño | 7.5GH/s | 45W | ± €200
- Avalon BitBurner | 8GH/s | ± €175
- TechnoBit HEX16B | 40-50GH/s | 45W | ± €800
- 200+ GH/s range | €2200 and higher
Thinking about getting an AntMiner U1 for my Hackintosh notebook + Jalapeño with RaspPi.
Show me the money!
So how does all this Giga Hash power related to money? A few calculator suggestions:
- http://www.bitcoinx.com/profit/ (in USD)
- http://bitcoin.web-share.nl (in EUR)
- http://bitcoinwisdom.com/bitcoin/calculator (best one)
Based on some things I read: 60GH/s does about 0.8BTC = 460EUR. So investing in better equipment seems advisable to get a higher ROI faster.
The Future of Mining
While googling I ran into these babies: http://www.bitcoinx.com/bitcoin-mining-hardware/
4th generation in May 2014?
Butterflylabs will be releasing a device called the “Monarch” somewhere in March that can do 600GH/s for roughly $2k and fits in either a PCI-X or USB slot. Or what about the 2TH/s device from cointerra.com for just $5,999 ? One thing is sure. USA ain’t a bad place to live! Although the Black Arrow Prospero X1 that does 100GH/s for €450 / $373 ain’t a bad deal either. All pre-order though!
But also don’t underestimate Cloud Mining solutions:
- Black Arrow (also manufacturer … better deal than BFL)
- ButterFlyLabs (also Manufacturer)
- and …
you know what? I can barely wait for the Advanced course of Bitcoin-Economy launching soon:
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