Mining Complexity: What It Is and Where It Will Get

mining complexity

Not long ago there was a real gold rush around cryptocurrency mining – thousands of people started digging digital rock to get the precious digital gold, while its rate was beating all records and surpassing all expectations. It all started from simple mining on users devices – laptops, personal computers, tablets, etc. – and turned into a complicated industry with a developed infrastructure. Mining pools appeared, specialized equipment (ASIC-miners) was produced, huge mining farms were set up, where mining was conducted on an industrial scale. Mining even partially switched to the cloud – services appeared that offered cloud cryptocurrency mining without any investments, except for financial ones. Although mining has not changed the structure of the world economy, it is nevertheless not an ordinary phenomenon. The fact that currently cryptocurrency mining consumes more electricity than many countries is a case in point.

Today we will talk about what mining complexity, its function, how it changes, what it depends on and how can it set the tone for the entire cryptocurrency mining industry.

Contents:
(please, click the topic to scroll down to it)

  1. Brief review of mining
  2. Complexity: how it changes and what it depends on
  3. What will happen to mining in the future
  4. Conclusion

 1. Brief review of mining

Mining actually means making computational operations to decode a certain algorithm and find its hash. Every mineable cryptocurrency is based on a particular hashing algorithm. When the algorithm is successfully decoded, a new block is added into blockchain, a new coin is issued and miners get their rewards. Many popular digital currencies can be issued only through mining, these are Bitcoin and its forks, Ethereum, Monero, Litecoin, Dash, Zcash, etc. Some, however, are pre-mined and do not provide mining opportunities, like Ripple, NEO, NEM, EOS, Tether, etc.

Depending on hash features, different equipment can be used to mine different digital currencies. Initially all mineable coins, including BTC, were mined on users devices (PCs or laptops) using CPU. Today it is not that common and there are a few popular coins that still provide such type of mining. Soon CPUs became not enough to profitably mine digital coins and miners started using graphic cards to cope with more resource-intensive calculations and growing complexity.

Later the specialized equipment appeared on the market – ASIC-miners that are used today to mine Bitcoin, as well as other coins, such as Litecoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Zcash, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, etc. ASIC is a specialized microchip that performs calculations much faster than graphic cards. Although ASIC today is mostly associated with mining, the technology itself was developed in early 1980s to advance graphic performance of PCs. Besides, miners create pools where they combine their processing power to make mining more efficient for the whole group. The reward for the created block is then distributed depending on the processing power provided by each pool member.

There is also another mining solution – cloud mining. Graphic cards and ASIC-miners are rather expensive, more and more of them are required to mine profitably. The equipment needs space to be placed, has to be connected to the power grid, cooled, cleaned, repaired, set up, monitored, etc. Cloud mining implies leasing of computing power from companies that manage large mining farms and data centers. In addition, cryptocurrency is mined in other sometimes even illegal ways. For example, your computer can be infected with a hidden virus-miner that uses its resources to mine a particular coin.

2. Complexity: how it changes and what it depends on

Complexity indicates how difficult it is to find hash. The specified hash parameters determine how difficult calculations should be to find it. The more users are there in the network and the more cryptocurrency is mined – the higher complexity is. Bitcoin complexity is reviewed every 2016 blocks (about 2 weeks) and depends on how much time was spent to mine previous 2016 blocks.

What is the function of complexity? Bitcoin is designed to add every new block in  10 minutes on average. This can differ from one cryptocurrency to another (2.5 minutes for Litecoin and up to 20 seconds for Ethereum). The amount of processing power in the network can drastically change over time – when Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first BTC, there was only one device in the network, probably a laptop or a PC. Today we have huge industrial farms with thousands of special mining devices.

To ensure the stability of the generation of new blocks, cryptocurrency software automatically makes it more or less difficult for miners to find hash. So if there are more miners and the computing power of the network increases, it is more difficult to find hash. If the power decreases – it becomes easier to make all necessary calculations. This is the way the system remains sustainable – no matter how much processing power is their in the network it will still take around 10 minutes to generate new Bitcoin block. In early 2010, Bitcoin complexity was just a little bit above 1, while in 2013 it was already 3 million. Today it has already exceeded 7 trillion.


Source: BitcoinEnergyConsumption.com

So, every 2016 blocks (about every two weeks), Bitcoin corrects its complexity, so that each block is generated in approximately 10 minutes, regardless of the number of miners in the system. Other mineable cryptocurrencies has the same role for complexity and it is implemented in a similar way.

3. What will happen to the mining in the future

Mining is no longer the same as it used to be – says… everyone. While some digital currencies can still be mined using PCs, it is rather difficult to join the “extraction” of most of the leading coins. To start mining Bitcoin today you should have… started mining Bitcoin a few years ago. The same thing is happening to other digital currencies, and ASIC-miners are to blame in fact. They are able to make calculations way faster and more efficient and wherever they enter the mining market, the total complexity increases and CPU/GPU-mining retires. However, some still manage to make money out of mining. There are still those coins that are not mined using ASIC-miners, which means one can still mine them on average laptops or PCs.

Anyway, one thing is clear – today, mining is no longer stands for easy money, and the market is being taken over by large, “professional” miners, who mine digital coins on an industrial scale. Industrial mining is associated with a whole range of logistics, legal and resource issues. Until recently, most of Bitcoin miners were located in China, but last year the government banned ICOs, cryptocurrency trade and mining. Another thing is energy consumption. Calculations require a lot of electricity, so the miners are looking for countries with lower power prices.

 

Source: BitcoinEnergyConsumption.com

Another problem is obsolescence of equipment. Many industrial miners have found out, that the hardware they used to mine BTC 2017 cannot ensure the same profit in 2018.

So, mining becomes less profitable and new members have no chance to join the market easily. This lead to the fact that mining of top coins becomes way less popular. Not mineable coins, as well as those who still provide available mining can take advantage of that. For example, in 2017 there was a boom for mining browser extensions (like Coinhive). Of course, browser-mining of Bitcoin or Ethereum sounds rather weird, but there is another relatively popular coin – Monero – that still provides such an opportunity.

4. Conclusion

So, complexity is one of the key categories that form a technical structure of mineable cryptocurrencies. Written in the protocol, it helps blockchain to remain sustainable in terms of the time necessary for the generation of new blocks. Complexity directly depends on the number of miners in the network and, accordingly, on the total processing power. Most of the leading cryptocurrencies have already became much more difficult to mine and this is obviously an ongoing process. There are more users, more special equipment and more professional industrial-scale miners which make mining unavailable for average users.  

Subscribe to The Coin Shark news in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coinshark/

Bitmain Closed Its Branch In Israel Due To Crypto Market Situation

Chinese mining giant, Bitmain, has closed its branch Bitmaintech Israel in Ra’anana. It was set up two years ago as a company which specialized in developing blockchain technology, AI technology and controlled one of the mining pools Connect BTC in Israel.

The branch was headed by Gadi Glikberg, who held the title of VP International Sales and Marketing. He and his 23 employees will be laid off.  The reason of closing the branch is that Bitcoin trading price fell down by more than 80% since its all-time high, while Ripple’s XRP and Ethereum decreased by more than 90% since the peak of their prices.

Glikberg commented on the situation: “The crypto market has undergone a shake-up in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and to refocus its business in accordance with the current situation.”

We remind you:

Is Bitmain Really Dying, or How Much Money Was Lost in 2018?

Subscribe to The Coin Shark news in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coinshark/

Andreas Antonopoulos Does Not Think Bitcoin Is in a “Death Spiral”

With the current downtrend of Bitcoin and the crypto market in general, a lot of crypto experts and enthusiasts do not see any bright future for #1 digital coin. The infamous prediction of John McAfee now seems even more far-fetched than before.

However, some people still have faith in BTC. A famous author of books about cryptocurrency and blockchain Andreas Antonopoulos made a video where he explained what a death spiral is and why it does not relate to Bitcoin so far.

According to Antonopoulos, a death spiral arises when the hashrate of the network drops.

Since it is directly connected with the mining complexity, the complexity also reduces together with profitability, causing miners to leave.

However, the author believes this is not the case with Bitcoin, since BTC miners do not react to such price jumps immediately. Their plans are usually calculated for the long-terms results. Only if Bitcoin keep dropping for a significant period of time, the danger of a death spiral may appear.

Part of the reason that’s unlikely to happen is that miners have a much more long-term perspective, meaning that they have existing investments in equipment and they usually purchase electricity on long-term plans, they don’t pay it by the week,” says Antonopoulos.

Hopefully, the crypto author is right, because if miners start leaving the ecosystem of Bitcoin, the coin is doomed.

We remind you:

Books About Bitcoin: Top Editions by Andreas Antonopoulos

Subscribe to The Coin Shark news in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coinshark/

What is Common Between Ripple Technology and XRP Token?

In this article, we will focus on the project, which has recently taken the second place in the cryptocurrency rating. Today we will talk about how XRP token is connected with the famous Ripple technology, which should make a revolution in banking sector in the future.

1. Briefly about Ripple cryptocurrency

The Ripple project is in no way just another copy or an improved Bitcoin`s version. The only thing that unites these two coins is the blockchain technology. Let’s clearly define what the Ripple is:

  • There is a system of gateways at the heart of the Ripple network, the performance of which is provided by hundreds of servers. Ripple works through distributed registry technology, but its architecture is completely different from the standard blockchain. The project does not have decentralization, since only those servers that have been approved by the company, are involved in transaction validation.
  • The main task of the project is to ensure a free and fast exchange of assets with minimum fees (0.00001 XRP).
  • The target audience of the project is banking institutions, which can save about $3 for each transaction with the help of Ripple technology. If we consider, that large banks spend millions of transfers per year, this leads to significant savings.

2. What positions does Ripple take now?

In mid-November 2018, the entire cryptocurrency market collapsed sharply. Many coins lost 40-50% of their value in a week. In this situation, XRP token showed relative stability and fell by about 20%. At the same time, Ethereum fell substantially in price. Because of this disbalance, Ripple took the second place in the cryptocurrency rating. For the moment of writing this article, the project`s capitalization is equal to 12.5 billion dollars. The gap from ETH is almost 3 billion dollars.

3. Future forecasts

Let’s talk briefly about prospects for this project, and what XRP hodlers can expect. For a start, it is worth noting that Ripple is a legal entity officially registered in the United States. This is an undeniable advantage for investors. But it should be understood that the Ripple technology used by banks has nothing to do with XRP token. The fact is, that Ripple has three different products (xCurrent, xRapid and xVia). Banking institutions are interested in the first one, and XRP token is directly related to the second one. Therefore, there is no direct correlation between XRP token rate growth and the introduction of Ripple technology into the banking sector.

Some experts say that banks can start using xRapid technology. If this happens, then XRP token will be really useful and needed. But if you go a little deeper into this question, it becomes clear that such a scenario is highly unlikely. In this case, banks will have to buy an intermediate XRP token additionally, which will increase the cost of transactions. Therefore, the vast majority of analysts believe that banks will not take such a step.

But there are still some reasons for token`s price increase:

  • The possibility that banks will shift to xRapid technology. It is unlikely, but still possible.
  • Increasing of customer base.
  • Regular burning of tokens (deflation).
  • Expanded applications (using Ripple technology, you can exchange absolutely any assets).
  • A general trend change on the market, may lead to another sharp rise in the token price.

4. Conclusion

The Ripple Company is a legal entity registered in the United States. It actively cooperates with the leading banks in America, but this does not concern the XRP token.

The coin definitely has a future, so it is better to keep it in cryptocurrency portfolio in a small amount (no more than 5% – 10%). Recently, XRP cryptocurrency firmly entrenched on second place in the global ranking CoinMarketCap.

Subscribe to The Coin Shark news in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coinshark/

Bitcoin’s Price in 2019: Forecasts and Opinion of Experts

Attention of many people around the world is focused on the Bitcoin price. No one can say for sure, where it will go next year, or moreover in a few years. Some people believe, that the cryptocurrency industry has already reached its maximum, and all that we are waiting is a continuous decline of value. But there are experts who are sure that the maximum marks of BTC is only beginning and we are expecting for the new heights in the future. Well, let’s try to look into the matter and analyze the words of leading financial experts of the world.

1. Analysis of the current situation

As we all remember, the capitalization of the cryptocurrency market reached its historic maximum 831 billion dollars in January 2018. After this, a deep and prolonged correction has started, which partially continues until now. At the time of writing, the market capitalization is 107 billion dollars, the Bitcoin price has fallen in 6 times, and many coins have become cheaper in 10-20 times.

Source: CoinMarketCap

At first glance, everything seems to be bad and prospects are rather vague. But what if we tell you that everything is absolutely opposite and now it is the best time to invest in cryptocurrency? We are ready to back up our words with concrete facts about which very few people talk. 

  • Continuous growth of network`s hashrate. Despite the fact that the price of first cryptocurrency shows negative profitability throughout 2018, the total computing power of Bitcoin network is constantly growing. It means that miners are increasing their production capacity. And it is not about small or medium farms, since their share is negligible on the general background.

Source: https://bitinfocharts.com/

After analyzing this graph, it appears that big miners continue to invest hundreds of millions dollars in equipment. This means that major players continue to believe in further development of the industry, and therefore in future growth of the BTC rate.

  • Infrastructure development. In 2018, investor`s interest in cryptocurrency faded a little, but this did not affect infrastructure development. Every day, the number of places where you can pay with cryptocurrency is growing (paying taxes in the USA, real estate, online shopping, transport tickets, physical points of sale and more). It is a very good trend, because the more places you can pay with BTC, the more people will be involved in the digital economy.
  • The acceptance of cryptocurrency at the government level. In 2018, for the first time in 10 years of Bitcoin’s existence, they started talking about it at the international level. If earlier none of the world leaders paid enough attention to this topic, then this year at the G20 summit this issue was put on the agenda. World leaders agreed that it would be pointless to forbid cryptocurrencies and no one would do that. On the contrary, there was decided to develop an international legislative framework.
  • It’s still possible to become a “pioneer”. If you go to the website bitinfocharts.com and take a look how many Bitcoin wallets are registered currently, it is possible to see the number that does not exceed 23 million. Taking into account that more than 15 million of them are wallets, which balance does not exceed $100. The population of our planet now is about 7.6 billion people. Let’s take 40% of insolvent people (children, pensioners, people who live in a third world, etc.) – it comes out near 4.5 billion people. After comparing these numbers, it appears that there are still very few people who are really involved in the cryptocurrency industry. That means, a global large-scale acceptance of technology does not exist yet. This gives us a chance to become pioneers. After cryptocurrency becomes a commonplace for any person (like, for example, a credit card in our days), we will reap the benefits. Most likely you will hear such expression in future: “Why didn’t I buy Bitcoin in 2018?”.

2. Expert forecasts for 2019-2020

Now let’s see what famous experts say about the near future of Bitcoin, namely about its price.

Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital, believes that the start of Bakkt and Fidelity Digital Assets platforms will affect on entry of new investors into the cryptocurrency market. According to Mike`s opinion, now the most important point of resistance is the mark of $ 3,880. If we overcome it, then the rate may reach $ 9,000 till the new year. The next important mark is $10,000. After overcoming it, the price of BTC 2019 will go up sharply. Novogratz has no doubt that the next year rate of Bitcoin will overcome its historical maximum of 20,000 dollars.

Tom Lee, is one of the leading analysts of Wall Street. Previously, he stated that until the end of 2018, the rate of Bitcoin will overcome the mark of 25 thousand dollars. But after a few months, namely in July 2018, he slightly revised his views and named the new price of Bitcoin 2019 – 22 thousand dollars.

The forecast of John Mcafee is the most bravest of all existing on the market. He believed that by December 2020, the price of one bitcoin will be $1,000,000. Moreover, John is confident in his forecast like no one other. In his view, in the upcoming future, Bitcoin will replace dollar, which will cause huge demand.

3. Conclusion

After analyzing the current situation and the words of industry experts, we can conclude that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in particular have a great future. Now we are only at the beginning and in the next decade, cryptocurrency will change our life. It should be noted that this article is not a call for investing in cryptocurrency. These are just our subjective thoughts about the future development of the industry. Remember, any investment entails a certain risks.

Subscribe to The Coin Shark news in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coinshark/

Is Bitmain Really Dying, or How Much Money Was Lost in 2018?

The year 2018, especially its second part, has not been particularly simple for the crypto giant Bitmain. After the unsuccessful IPO, there came Bitcoin Cash hash wars which also negatively influenced the earnings of Bitmain.

According to the data provided by a crypto enthusiast on Twitter, the company might have suffered around $740 million losses in Q3 of 2018, making it the worst quarter in the history of Bitmain.

Other specialists are quite sure that the numbers could be even higher. The epic with Bitcoin Cash, low amount of customers, the crypto market price collapse exhausted Bitmain. Will it be able to recover? We’ll have to wait and see.

Subscribe to The Coin Shark news in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coinshark/

BTC, BCH and BSV: Which Coin Is the Most Profitable for Miners?

Here comes the biggest irony of the last couple of months. As we all know by now, Bitcoin Cash hardforked, forming two new coins: Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCH) and Bitcoin Cash SV (BSV). The developers of BSV claimed very loudly that their coin would be so miner-friendly, that its competitors would not be able to survive. What happened in reality?


Source: Coin Dance

As we can see from the research made by Coin Dance, if BTC is taken as a cryptocurrency to compare the profitability of mining, BSV falls behind drastically. Meanwhile, among the three Bitcoin variations, the world’s first cryptocurrency remains the most beneficial for miners.

We remind you:

Bitcoin Cash Hash Wars: Who Really Won?

Subscribe to The Coin Shark news in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coinshark/