Solo Mining: A Brief Review of Pros and Cons

solo mining

Mining has been a highly discussed type of earnings in the cryptocurrency industry in the last couple of years. This concept includes not one or even two types of coin mining. In this article we will talk about SOLO mining, learn about its strengths and weaknesses, and also understand whether it is worth doing.

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

  1. What is solo mining?
  2. Advantages and disadvantages of this type of mining
  3. What is better: solo or a pool?
  4. Conclusion

1. What is solo mining?

Unfortunately, it is impossible to give a 100% recommendation, which kind of cryptocurrency mining is the most profitable. Like the entire cryptocurrency market, the process of mining is very unstable, and the profit depends on a multitude of factors.

So, solo mining is an exceptionally independent search for blocks and getting a full reward for it. If you choose the direction of solo mining, then your equipment will independently collect transactions in the block, sign them and search for nonce value.

2. Advantages and disadvantages of this type of mining

The undoubted advantage of solo mining without a pool is getting all the reward in one hand. If your equipment finds the required value of the block, you will get the whole profit, for example, it is now 12.5 BTC in the Bitcoin network. This is a fairly large amount of cash, even given the current drawdown rate.

But, perhaps, this is the only advantage of this kind of mining, since it has two sides of the coin. The most offensive and unpleasant thing in this whole story is the chance that someone else get all of your money. For example, your computing equipment may be working on a certain block for a month, but another miner will find the necessary value by “happy” chance. In this case, all the reward will go to him/her, and you will be left with nothing. This possibility directly depends on the computing power of your equipment. Here everything is simple, a more powerful miner is more likely to find this nonce (because of the ability to process more data).

For this reason, the vast majority of small and medium-sized miners work within pools, where all participants receive a stable reward, which corresponds to the computing power of the equipment.

Today, solo mining of Bitcoin or any other high-capitalization coin is not the best idea. The fact is that due to the large number of participants, the complexity of the networks of popular cryptocurrencies has reached an unreal level. The probability of finding the unit alone is close to zero. Let’s give a clear example of the chances of solo mining in the Bitcoin network with a relatively high hash rate (1 Pth/s). To make it more clear, a farm of this capacity will cost about $200k. This is without taking into account the huge bills for electricity and supplies. So, with 95% probability, after 200 days of continuous work, you will be able to find the value of a block and get 12.5 BTC. This is provided that the complexity of the network during this time will not grow or someone else will not find the value of a nonce before you.

100 times more capacity is required to find a new block every day, and this is an investment of millions or even tens of millions of dollars.

3. What is better: solo or a pool?

We all love stability and reliability, if, of course, such concepts are applied correctly to the cryptocurrency industry. But still, it’s much safer to receive new coins every day than to be in a state of uncertainty six months or more, without any guarantee of success. And if you do not have tens of millions of dollars in seed capital, you will be better off joining a mining pool.

Every year the of network complexity of popular cryptocurrencies is growing at a high pace, for example, in 12 months it has increased for:

  • Ethereum by 30 times;
  • Bitcoin by 4 times;
  • Litecoin by 15 times;
  • Dash by 150 times.

Even when the industry was just starting out, the miners saw this trend and realized that it would be simply impossible to mine coins by themselves and decided to combine the equipment capacities with the aim of stable and fair earnings.

4. Conclusion

You can totally engage in solo mining of little-known coins with relatively weak equipment, where the complexity of the network has not yet managed to become prohibitive. But it is worth considering the fact that such cryptocurrencies at the moment are worth hundredths or thousandths of a dollar, so they will not bring big profit in the short term. Of course, if the coin takes off in the future, then you will wake up as a millionaire, but you should not really count on such an outcome.

If you want to earn on solo mining of BTC here and now, you need to invest huge amounts of money. For a more stable and quiet coin mining on an ongoing basis, the vast majority of the miners join pools and combine their powers, and the dividends are divided fairly, according to the personal contribution of each miner.

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Other Side of Blockchain: How Is the Technology Used Today?

blockchain technology

Today when we hear the word “blockchain” we think about Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. The distributed ledger technology as it exists now first appeared in 2009 together with the first cryptocurrency. Bitcoin, as well as the vast majority of digital currencies are based on blockchain. Probably the only exception is the project and the coin called IOTA that is based on Tangle technology and does not include blockchain. Anyway, it soon became clear that cryptocurrencies are just one possible way to apply the distributed ledger technology. Blockchain is actually a new and advanced way to store and exchange information, and if we stick to such a broad definition it will become clear how big is the potential of these technology.

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

  1. What is blockchain technology?
  2. Blockchain and digital currencies
  3. Where is blockchain being applied and what are its prospects?
  4. Conclusion

1. What is blockchain technology?

To put it simply, blockchain is a kind of database, a way of its management. In fact, blockchain comes down to electronic recording of particular information;storage and amendment of this information must be coordinated between independent parties. The method of information storage with the help of blockchain guarantees impossibility of spontaneous information amendments by a user without other users’ concord. Blockchain resembles torrent, both technologies are based on peer to peer principle,where information exchange is carried out directly between equal participants.Every information record is a block. Blocks constitute a chain; so, every other block contains part of information from the previous one. All information of this distributed database stores on  computers of every net user.

2. Blockchain and digital currencies

Nearly all digital currencies are based on the blockchain technology. Cryptocurrency actually exists as a recorded information about transactions just like the real fiat money that we transfer between bank accounts. Digital currencies record, store and change their information using a distributed ledger technology. Many coins are based on the same blockchain. For example such currencies as Namecoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, etc. are based on bitcoin blockchain. Ethereum blockchain was used to deploy more than 500 other cryptocurrencies, including such popular coins as  Binance Coin and OmniseGo. Some leaders of the cryptocurrency market also used to be based on Ethereum blockchain but later developed or at least started developing their own distributed ledger. These are, for instance, EOS – top-5th digital coin by market capitalization, and TRON. However many cryptocurrencies were not satisfied with what bitcoin and Ethereum could offer and designed their own blockchain. These are Ripple, Zcash, NEO, Dash, Monero, Cardano and others.

So, how blockchain is implemented in cryptocurrencies? A block is a special structure where the information about transactions is recorded. Each block contains the information related to the previous one, so they form a single chain where no one can edit the information on their own discretion. The whole information about what has happened in a decentralized database is recorded into the blocks. Each block includes a header and a list of transactions. Blocks are formed by miners that carry out calculations necessary to find hash. The main function of the distributed ledger is that it ensures cryptographically secured and decentralized storage of the information about transactions.

3. Where is blockchain being applied and what are its prospects?

Blockchain technology is quite cross-functional, because it provides us with the new method of information storage and exchange. In all areas where it is applied, blockchain functions as a universal database that almost cannot be hacked or amended without sanction. However, anyone who has the right can get access to the information. A great interest to blockchain comes from the finance sector.  Traditional banks and fintech startups pay their attention to distributed solutions that blockchain suggests.

Governments treat cryptocurrencies rather negative, but at the same time they realize blockchain potential. Some countries, like Sweden or Arab Emirates, plan switch their register of properties to blockchain.  Estonia develops mechanisms for blockchain-voting at shareholders meetings. Besides,there is e-Residency platform in the country — electronic identification system based on blockchain.

The world’s largest humanitarian organization called World Food Programme uses blockchain to provide refugees with food via existing shops and retail chains instead of directly distributing food or money to buy some.   

Smart contract technology that is realized on Ethereum blockchain is not restricted only to cryptocurrency transactions processing. It is a kind of new method of contractual arrangements where there is no need for lawyers,banks or other mediators.

Today blockchain is already being used for creating distributed cloud storages, where users’ data (including personal data) will be protected by cryptographic means.

4. Conclusion

Anyway, blockchain is definitely an important technology that is likely to increase its impact in the near future. World Economic Forum describes blockchain as a fundamentally new form of computer architecture that brings the opportunities that could be compared to those brought by the development of the Internet in 1990s and smartphones in 2000s. The potential of distributed ledger is obvious for businesses and even state authorities and many of them started applying the technology in a number of areas.

Blockchain appeared 10 years ago, which is actually quite a long time given the speed of scientific and technical progress. However, we can state that the real potential of the technology is being discovered today. Blockchain is actually a new useful way of storing and transferring information, while in the modern society it is perhaps the most important asset.

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Cryptocurrency Prices Today, September 22: Cryptocurrencies Are Unstable, Ripple Is Still Growing

crypto prices

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin, Cardano, Stellar, IOTA, Dash, Monero: Cryptocurrency prices

According to the online platform Coin360, Bitcоin (BTC) lost 0.74% in the past 24 hours. The price at the time of writing is $6652 per coin.

Cryptocurrencies stay both in the red and green zones:

Bitcoin Cash lost 1.70% over the past day and costs $473 per coin;

Ripple added 20.57% and is worth $0.56;

EOS grew by 1.87%, and its price is $5.89;

Litecoin increased by 0.71%, and its cost is $58;

Cardano lost 3.40%, and its value is $0.081;

Stellar dropped by 4.54% and is worth $0.23;

IOTA added 0.36%, and its value is $0.58;

Dash lost 3.3.1% and costs $200;

Monero decreased by 0.33% and is worth $119.

Ethereum added 3.97% over the past 24 hours. The cost of the coin is $235.

The total market capitalization is $221 billion. Bitcoin accounts for 52% of the total volume. It is $115 billion in monetary terms.

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HitBTC Added the Gemini Dollar Owned by Winklevoss Brothers to the Listing

gemini dollar listed on hitbtc

The cryptocurrency exchange HitBTC announced on its Twitter the addition of the Gemini dollar, launched by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss on the Ethereum blockchain, into their own list of trading positions.

Since September 20, customers of the HitBTC, which joined it this year, can trade with Bitcoin, EOS, Tether and Ethereum in pairs with the Gemini dollar. The HitBTC platform was the first exchange on the cryptocurrency market, which carries out operations with this stablecoin.

We remind you:

OKCoin Adds Five New Tokens to Its Listing

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Cryptocurrency Prices Today, September 21: Bitcoin and Ethereum Are in the Green Zone, Ripple Rose by More Than 40%

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin, Cardano, Stellar, IOTA, Dash, Monero: Cryptocurrency prices

According to the online platform Coin360, over the past 24 hours Bitcоin (BTC) added 4.51%. The price at the time of writing is $6699 per coin.

Cryptocurrencies are showing positive dynamics:

Bitcoin Cash added 12.86% over the past day and costs $480 per coin;

Ripple added 41.76% and is worth $0.46;

EOS grew by 10.57%, and its price is $5.78;

Litecoin increased by 7.14%, and its value is $57;

Cardano added 16.18%, and its cost is $0.083;

Stellar gained 18.71% and is worth $0.24;

IOTA grew by 9.16%, and its value is $0.57;

Dash added 7.83%, and its price is $205;

Monero increased by 7.28% and is worth $119.

Ethereum added 8.43% over the past 24 hours. The cost of the coin is $226.

The total market capitalization is $217 billion. Bitcoin accounts for 53.2% of the total volume. In monetary terms, this is $115 billion.

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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.  

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OKCoin Adds Five New Tokens to Its Listing

okcoin adds five new coins

To continue our today’s topic related to crypto exchanges, we wanted to inform you about the changes in the listing of the exchange OKCoin. OKCoin is currently occupying the second position of the CoinMarketCap rating. A couple of days ago, the management of the exchange introduced 5 new digital assets:

The newly added cryptocurrencies include:

– Ripple

ZCash

Cardano

– Stellar lumens

– 0x

The CEO of OKCoin seems pretty excited due to this event.

We are very pleased to welcome these five new cryptocurrencies and all of the communities that trade them,” he said.

We remind you:

Bittrex Adds Two New Coins: XRP and ETC

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