AMD vs NVIDIA Mining

GPU manufacturers are having a great year selling out many products.Which GPU chipset manufacturer is better for 2018? It still depends on what you are mining. For Ethereum mining AMD is still the preferred GPU chipset. NVIDIA is better in terms of per watt efficiency and does better at a variety of algorithms. Since there are a lot of algorithms besides Ethash which are profitable NVIDIA tends to pull ahead. For most new mining rigs NVIDIA is preferable with the 1070/1070Ti/1080Ti being the best for density.

The best way to compare various GPU’s is to visit What To Mine. By toggling between the various GPU chipsets you can get a pretty good idea of power usage and hashrate for a variety of GPUs. The site offers other data such as live coin profitability calculations as well. It is useful but be aware many people use it so some of the best coins to mine will be ones that are not listed there.

Hashflare.io Minimum Withdrawal Issues

Hashflare.io LogoHashflare.io is refusing to pay out customers below 0.05 BTC because of “unconfirmed transactions”. This is highly suspect since they were charging 0.0007 BTC for withdrawals until recently which is enough to eventually get into a block. The Bitcoin network is indeed congested but Hashflare.io is being disingenuous by suggesting that fees are too high to withdraw. If Hashflare adds a selectable fee paid by their users then there should be no problem with withdrawing Bitcoin. Recently they began refusing withdrawals below 0.2 BTC then they lowered it to 0.05 BTC using the excuse in the image below. Cloud mining is not usually a good idea any way but I highly recommend you stay away from Hashflare.io before they become a full-blown scam.

 

Hashflare withdrawals are becoming more difficult.

Bitcoin Transaction Accelerators

Bitcoin Transaction Accelerators speed the inclusion of your transaction in a block.Bitcoin transactions are taking longer and costing more than ever due to increased load on the network but Bitcoin transaction accelerators may be able to help. Unfortunately there is no sign of this increased load letting up. Typically it takes a high fee to be included in the next block because transactions bid against each other for top places in the mempool. Transaction accelerators are services which fast-track your transaction into the next block regardless of the fee paid. There are few operating transaction accelerators. A popular transaction accelerator is run by ViaBTC. You will need to be very quick and submit your transaction exactly as the hour changes (within a second or two) to get into the ViaBTC transaction pool since they only allow 100 accelerated transactions per hour. Members can receive free acceleration credits by buying their cloud-mining service or by mining Bitcoin at their pool. Another transaction accelerator exists at Antpool but may be broken. Another transaction accelerator operating as a paid service Confirmtx.com is confirmed to be a scam that merely utilizes the two aforementioned free acceleration services after you pay.

Easy GPU Mining with MinerGate

Cryptocurrency is mined with ASICs and GPUs.GPU mining with an out-of-the-box solution such as NiceHash or MinerGate is the easiest way to get into cryptocurrency mining. Prior to the recent hack NiceHash was a great solution for easy cryptocurrency mining but since they are down while they fix their systems we now recommend MinerGate. You can obtain the same run-and-done functionality from MinerGate with few caveats.

The primary difference between the two services is the payout cryptocurrency. NiceHash would pay out directly in Bitcoin while MinerGate pays out in the cryptocurrencies that you mine. The only issue this presents is a need for an exchange to convert the cryptocurrencies to Bitcoin. If you want to keep your cryptocurrencies in a diverse portfolio then you might not mind this. We recommend Binance as an exchange due to its broad range of offered cryptocurrencies. Its free to open an account and a great altcoin exchange.

MinerGate also offers Cloud Mining solutions but since you must pay in cryptocurrencies we do not recommend using their cloud mining services. Rule #2 of our cloud mining tips article suggests that you do not buy hashrate with cryptocurrency (paying in cryptocurrency to mine cryptocurrency can be a mistake- pay with fiat). Be aware that during installation your anti-virus or anti-malware software will give you a warning but this is due to the fact you are installing mining software and some newer malware mines cryptocurrency for its owners. MinerGate is generally regarded as safe to install within the cryptocurrency community.

Join the MinerGate Discord chat here. Visit this site for information on minimum withdraw amounts. Click “read more” to see a screenshot of the dashboard.

Read moreEasy GPU Mining with MinerGate

Cloud Mining Tips

Cloud mining tips and tricks for cryptocurrency contract mining.In recent years Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency mining has increasingly required sophisticated equipment and economies of scale to be profitable. The era of the profitable home miner for Bitcoin and Ethereum is pretty much over and many people who still want to get in on the lucrative crypto mining industry are choosing cloud mining as a solution. Cloud mining basically means hosted mining. You buy the equipment and the hashrate provider is supposed to run it for you. This makes a lot of sense in theory because electricity cost/climate/scale are all major factors in mining profitability. In reality these are often scams.

Cloud Mining Tips

If you are intent on cloud mining or using hosted mining please keep the following cloud mining tips in mind.

  1. Cloud mining providers are notoriously shady.

    Why continue to mine at a profit for a customer when you could fold up shop and mine for yourself? The only reason cloud mining providers exist legitimately is to raise capital for their own mining operation or as a hedge against a huge downturn in cryptocurrency price. The concept for the owners of cloud mining operations is “take a lesser profit now and avoid losing it all if cryptocurrency prices crash”. Unfortunately many cloud mining providers are scams. Cloud mining is extremely risky.

  2. Do not buy hashrate with cryptocurrency.

    Never pay cryptocurrency to mine cryptocurrency. In other words do not buy cloud mining hashrate with cryptocurrency. You are likely to never see a profit with increasing cryptocurrency value. Paying 0.1 Bitcoin for a contract that ends up only yielding 0.05 in mined Bitcoin because of a huge increase in Bitcoin price and difficulty is not a good prospect. You would have been better off holding the Bitcoin itself.

    Only buy cloud mining with fiat currency and recognize its a gamble. You may make more cryptocurrency mining than you could buy or you may make less. It depends on how fast the difficulty goes up for the particular cryptocurrency you are mining. Cloud mining makes sense if the price is stable.

  3. Do your research into a hashrate provider. Most are scams or ponzi schemes.

    Hashrate per dollar is not the only thing to research when looking into cloud mining. Ensure the prospective hashrate provider has a great track record by checking various websites. Forums such as Bitcointalk.org are an excellent starting place for this but expand your search to Bitcoin service review websites as well.

  4. Read the contract details fully.

    Know the contract length, maintenance fee, and the minimum withdrawal amount before buying. If the minimum withdrawal is 0.01 Bitcoin and you buy 100 GH/s of SHA-256 hashrate the chances of getting to withdraw are zero. Use a mining profitability calculator.

  5. Consider simply buying the cryptocurrency instead!

    In many cases you are much better off just buying and holding the cryptocurrency instead of cloud-mining. Consider just buying the cryptocurrency and keeping it in safe, offline storage.

NiceHash Alternative

MinerGate.com logoNiceHash.com was a great choice for people looking to mine with a CPU or GPU. Unfortunately NiceHash was hacked recently and $65,000,000 USD worth of Bitcoin was stolen. A good alternative that is very similar to the “NiceHash Miner” software is MinerGate.

MinerGate offers a number of pools and their own custom mining software for CPUs and GPUs. MinerGate also offers cloud mining solutions though we cannot comment on the service the hashrate per dollar looks fairly competitive. All you need to do to get started with MinerGate is simply sign up and download the software.

Like NiceHash the software will automatically mine the most profitable coin. To get started with MinerGate simply click here. Alternatively you can read a more in depth guide on our dedicated GPU/CPU easy mining guide.

Bitcoin Vanity Address Generators

Bitcoin vanity address generators are not entirely safe.A Bitcoin vanity address generator will help you generate a custom Bitcoin address. A vanity address is like a vanity license plate for cryptocurrency. Examples of vanity addresses:

1HashrateFVj8ALj6mfBsbifRoD4miY36v

1BankAcctFVj8ALj6mfBsbifRoD4miY36v

Of course these are not real addresses but an example of vanity addresses. Are they a necessary thing? No, but they are fun. Are they safe? Absolutely not safe unless using split key generation. I do not recommend generating your own Bitcoin vanity addresses unless you have well researched doing so and understand the risks. There are quite a few examples of Bitcoin stolen from vanity addresses. If you must generate a Bitcoin vanity address the best way to do so is to through the VanityGen application itself. Using the application run on your own computer ensures you are the only one with access to the private keys.

A lot of web based vanity address generators exist. These generators will often do short vanity addresses for free but require payment for the longer ones. Since generating a 5-character or longer vanity address requires a lot of computing power these sites often charge per character for keywords of a certain length.

BitcoinVanityGen.com – Up to six letters for free. Payment in Bitcoin for longer addresses. Safety unknown to author.

VanityGen Wiki – Read more here on Bitcoin vanity addresses.

BitcoinTalk.org Thread on VanityGen Application

 

Venezuela Announces “Petro” Cryptocurrency

Venezuelan Flag
Venezuela seeks to issue an oil-backed cryptocurrency.

Venezulan leader Nicolas Maduro announced on state TV that Venezuela will create its own cryptocurrency. Maduro announced the “21st century has arrived!” as he introduced the public to his idea during his portion of a 5-hour state TV slot. The new cryptocurrency will be called the “Petro”. Venezuela plans to back their cryptocurrency with their substantial nature resources including oil, diamonds, and gold. The hope of the Venezuelan government is that this will allow them to skirt US sanctions and conduct business with the world.

The Venezuelan bolivar has lost a remarkable 57% of its value in the last month alone as it continues its slide into oblivion. Wealthier Venezuelans are now mining and using cryptocurrencies as an alternative. Will the government cryptocurrency solve the Venezuelan currency crisis? It is difficult to know but it seems unlikely a government managed cryptocurrency will be any more successful than a failed government-managed fiat currency. Will the Venezuelan government even be able to successful implement this “Petro” cryptocurrency in its current state of dysfunction? Time will tell.

Read moreVenezuela Announces “Petro” Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin Lightning Network

Lightning Network is a protocol on top of the Bitcoin blockchain.
The Lightning Network may solve the Bitcoin scalability problem.

Bitcoin scalability is a contentious and important issue at the moment. The issue of scalability and increasing transaction fees came to a head recently with the Bitcoin Cash fork. Proponents of Bitcoin Cash (an altcoin) wanted larger blocks. When segwit2x failed they hard-forked off from Bitcoin to create Bitcoin Cash. The issue is increasing fees for space inside a Bitcoin block. At the time of writing it can cost as much as $5 to ensure space in the next Bitcoin block!

Since Bitcoin is increasing in usage and popularity and Bitcoin blocks can currently hold just one megabyte of transaction data the blocks are filling to capacity. While this is good since it means Bitcoin is growing it also means the Bitcoin bottleneck problem is real. Each Bitcoin transaction bids to get data inside a block through the transaction fee. If your fee is too low your transaction may not get into a block and ultimately may get orphaned (lost forever).

There are two potential solutions to this problem. The first is to increase the data each block can hold from one megabyte to a larger amount, this is the solution Bitcoin Cash and others such as Bitcoin XT have tried to implement. The second is to layer another protocol on top of the Bitcoin block chain and this is the approach of the Lightning Network.

Read moreBitcoin Lightning Network

Ethereum Rising

Ethereum is a great cryptocurrency.
Ethereum is a feature-rich technology and cryptocurrency.

The Ethereum project is on the rise. The popular cryptocurrency, Ethereum, is rising in both price per token and public popularity. The recent release of Solidity 0.4.19 has several bug-fixes but nothing nearly as exciting as the Ethereum project offers overall. If you are involved with cryptocurrency then you have probably heard of smart contracts. Smart contracts are contracts built with computer software. They are largely self-enforcing. Ethereum uses the EVM or Ethereum Virtual Machine to process smart contract byte-code (pre-compiled code designed to run on a virtual machine) distributed across thousands of nodes. This is an exciting project with a much broader scope than Bitcoin. Imagine contracts that execute themselves with no enforcement from a court — talk about introducing a whole new paradigm in business globally! This can bridge tons of problems of business and put a lot of lawyers out of business.

I encourage our readers to check out Ethereum if they are considering cryptocurrency investments. Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum compose the “cryptocurrency triad” that serves as a vanguard for the industry as a whole. Read more about the Ethereum project at Ethereum.org.