Category: Bitcoin Mining

Cryptocurrency mining banned in Plattsburgh, New York

Well, it was only a matter of time until municipalities, provinces or even countries start to ban cryptocurrency mining.
In Plattsburgh, the ban just happened last night (Mar 15, 2018). City council decided to put it in place because the power
bills of home owners and business owners has skyrocketed due to the demand for power that cryptocurrency miners require.

The reason why so many miners have been setup in the city of Plattsburgh? Well, in most of the United States, the cost for
electricity is about 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. However, in Plattsburgh, the cost of power is less than half of that – 4.5
cents/Kwh. To top it off, there’s an incentive for industrial companies, like factories and manufacturing – they pay an astounding
2 cents. This is so low. Furthermore, it’s not like it is here in Canada. Here, we have three different times throughout the day
where the hydro company can just brutalize us if we run expensive equipment (like miners) in peak periods.

In Plattsburgh, you’re paying an even 2 or 4.5 cents/Kwh no matter what time of the day it is. Amazing.

This has lead to companies like Coinmint taking up residence in Plattsburgh. If you can get power this cheap, obviously the incentive
is there for businesses such as Coinmint to move in and setup shop. In the mining world, the cheaper you can find power, the
more money you can potentially make on daily mining operations. In places where the cost of power is 10 cents per Kwh and higher
(like in Ontario), the concept of mining becomes a far fetched one – you simply can’t break even unless you’re willing to build
some very powerful machines.

Another consideration is that after 1500 watts or so, you also need special outlets to power these miners. So the concept here is that
many miners will build systems with 6 GPU’s, because that’s generally the max you can get away with without requiring a special
outlet and a much larger power supply.

It’ll be interesting to see though, how Plattsburgh enforces this actual policy. There is no real way to enforce it unless
they are willing to invest in an expensive solution which can do packet checking. All ISP’s that operate in that city would
also need to setup and install costly hardware. At the end of the day, it’s more likely that the venture of banning
Cryptocurrency will actually outweigh the amount of energy cost that people are paying in the city. No official comment has been made as to how the city will implement the ban, other than they “plan to work with local cryptocurrency mining companies.” Sounds more like a compromise than a ban, really, and furthermore it’s very possible that Coinmint may sue the city over this one as it sounds like the city is trying to close their business. This would be a breach / overstepping of what a municipal entity can actually impose on it’s citizens.

How to Install Nice Hash

Ok, so if you recently downloaded Nice Hash and are having trouble installing the program, this guide should be able to help you out. First of all, this guide assumes that you have some idea how to use computers and you are a little more advanced than the average bear. E.G if I say you need to unzip a file folder and extract the contents, and you don’t know what I’m talking about or have never heard of something being zipped, then you probably don’t have enough experience to go through with this so just stop now and do something else 😉

That being said, the first thing you need to do is download the zip file for Nice Hash and extract it to your hard drive. Create a folder, something like C:/nice hash and then make a shortcut to the Nice Hash legacy exe from your desktop. Simple. The legacy version does not install to the system, you just extract it to your hard drive and then run it when you want to use it. If you are trying to run the program from the zip without extracting it, it will not load or work!

Winzip noob

Are you a noob and you have never seen WinZip before? I certainly hope you know what extract means

OK, now if you are having problems loading or executing the legacy exe file, check in your task manager if it’s running or not (CTRL + ALT + DEL) if you don’t see it running anywhere in your processes then the program is not running, you did not execute it properly. You may need to run Nice Hash as an administrator, if you don’t have admin privileges on your PC you should probably not be running Nice Hash anyways because you don’t know what you’re doing.

Once you’ve extracted the legacy exe file just double click it, it should load no issue. Once inside the program, you’ll need to benchmark first before you can start mining. Benchmarking will check to see what algorithms are the most profitable to run against your GPU’s, you only need to run benchmarking once for Nice Hash to learn. It does take some time and it is a little noisy

Be sure to read our articles on optimizing Nice Hash next

Where is a good place to find a Geforce 1070 without paying an arm and a leg?

One of the challenges today in terms of building any system, whether it be a gaming system or a mining system, is finding a adequately priced GPU that is actually affordable. From Googling online and reading forum posts about Nice Hash, or just if you’re building a gaming PC, you’ll see many users who say that a Geforce 1050ti is not a bad card to start with, but if you want some real power, take a look at the 1070ti.

The 1050 has 4 GB of DDR5 RAM while the 1070 has 8. Many people report that the 1070 card is a great card, but the MSRP on the card is around $600 or so. The challenge is that cryptocurrency mining has pushed the value of the card up to a thousand dollars or more. It becomes a real pain to find a 1070 or 1080 card (and sometimes even a 1060 card) and not pay an arm and a leg in order to acquire one!

After doing some Googling, I found that on the Nvidia website you can put in your email address to be notified once they have stock of certain cards. Nvidia also does a great job of actually providing those cards at MSRP value, which is where they are supposed to be, instead of a ridiculous value that you find on amazon, new egg, e-bay, and all the big online retailers.

With that being said, I should probably backup a step when I use the term “online retailer,” because places like Amazon and E-bay actually allow users to post the products. So you aren’t necessarily buying the card from Amazon directly, chances are you’re procuring from a third party source that is using Amazon as a place to hawk their product.

Anyhow, I signed up for the Nvidia notification. I received some emails today letting me know that some cards are now in stock, but when I visited the website maybe 45 minutes later, the cards were already sold out. How annoying! It’s likely that people out there have setup bots to purchase the video cards as soon as they are in stock, or there are just so many users that have signed up for the notifications that the cards sell like hot cakes as soon as they are available.

One almost wishes that Bitcoin would tank, at least for a little bit, so the rest of us might be able to jump onto the wagon and be able to actually buy GPU’s without breaking the bank.

Purchasing a complete built computer with a video card inside – such as CyberPower

One alternative idea would be to purchase a CyberPower PC with a video card already inside – or another already built PC. Some of these PC’s have awesome specs, and for around $1,000 they come with a GPU already thrown into the 16x PCIe slot. This may be a good alternative, especially if the card is valued around $800 or more. Makes you consider buying one and just ripping that card out for it’s resale value!

CyberPower Gaming PC with Geforce 1070ti card

Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to consider buying a PC with the 1070Ti already in it, if you can find one for a good deal.

With that being said, I have noticed also that sometimes the card inside is a Zotac card. I haven’t really tried Zotac yet myself, but they do not appear to be as good as a card as you might get from Gigabyte, MSI, etc. or “the usual guys.” Be careful to read reviews on Zotac and other unknown/newer card manufacturers because you never know if what you are buying a sub-par card. You may think you’re getting a sweet deal, just to find out that particular brand does not hold up to what other manufacturers provide with the same card.

Some retailers offer cards at MSRP value

Some retailers still offer cards at MSRP value, so you can sometimes get a better deal in the store than online. Canada Computers, for example is one of these retailers. Best Buy also sometimes has deals in store that you can find, and the prices should be closer to MSRP. The problem is that scavengers and spammers have infected the buying cycle online. They buy the cards up wherever they can find them and then resell them for higher than MSRP values.

It will take something drastic to happen, in order for values of GPUs to decrease to the point where they are closer to MSRP values. Until that happens, it is still difficult to find a GPU that is affordable. If you know of a good place to purchase a video card at non-inflated values, please do post it to the website and share with our other site visitors!

How to customize Nicehash for optimal mining

If you have installed Nice hash, one of the behaviors you will notice is that it is constantly changing algorithms. If you do other things on your mining box like use applications or play games while mining, you’ll notice more interruption while you’re trying to multitask. Yes, it is totally possible to play games and mine at the same time! If you have a higher end system, why not right? I like to turn off Nice Hash myself when I want to retain more control of my system, however there are times where I may do both processes together.

Nice Hash will use your CPU and as many GPU’s it can pick up, concurrently (or at the same time). One thing you can do is to sometimes monitor Nice Hash and see what algorithm appears to be the most steady and making the most money.

This does not take a lot of effort, just check Nice Hash a few times throughout the day to see how it’s doing. What I noticed from checking up on Nice Hash here and there, was that the program made the most money when my CPU was mining Cryptonight, and my two GPU’s were both doing Equihash.

Some algorithms work better depending what card and what CPU you have. For example, I noticed when Nice Hash would cycle my GTX 1050ti card to DaggerHashimoto, it would take a long time to cycle over and meanwhile that GPU would be making no money. I noticed it would take several minutes to successfully cycle over to Dagger, and after doing so the payout rate per day was also less with Dagger.

I went into the settings, and told Nice Hash to only run Equihash against my two GPU’s. Now, the program is less erratic, and I have less slowdowns due to Nice Hash trying to cycle through algorithms. I noticed my payout per day to be more constant and less all over the place.

NiceHash Version – Legacy or New GUI?

There are two different versions of Nice Hash – the AMD version (legacy) and the newer version. If you have AMD cards, like Vega, Radeon, RX series etc. you will need to use the legacy version.

If you read forum posts on the Internet, you will find that many have reported higher earnings with the older version anyways. The legacy version, despite the name is still very much in use today. NiceHash also continually updates the legacy version too, so it’s not like the legacy version is old and decrepit. It’s more of a name really than actually being “legacy,” which is interesting because in the rest of the IT world, legacy usually means outdated and antiquated.

Anyways, if you want to mix and match cards between AMD and Nvidia, you need to use the Legacy version, too. I currently run a Geforce 1050ti and an AMD Radeon 7700 series. Why? Well, I can’t find cheaper cards right now. The Geforce 1050 card is 4 GB RAM and cost me $250. It makes about $0.75 a day (if I run it all day long). At the time of this writing, I mostly run my rig at night if I run it at all. It’s hard for me to earn more than the cost of power with these two cards and the CPU that I have at this time.

Anyways, depending on your configuration, you may make more with one version over the other. Because I mix cards, I’ve only ever used the legacy version. Try running both and see which you make more with. However, you’ll still need to tweak and optimize to earn the most. The best way to do that is to monitor the rates and set the miner to use only the algorithms that work best with the card. As mentioned, I do best with Equihash running against my two GPU’s

 

 

How to build a desktop mining computer at home

It is possible to build a desktop mining computer. You don’t want to run it on a laptop because you can’t add graphics cards to a laptop. In order to mine properly, you need high end video cards. These cost about a thousand dollars each right now. If your motherboard allows you to pop in at least two PCI Express cards, you’re good to go. However, the best mining boards out there allow you to hold anywhere from six to 19 gpu’s or more. Depending on the motherboard that you have, you may or may not be able to put many graphics cards into it. Most motherboards will allow you to pop in one or two cards.

To find out how many video cards you can put into the system, try using CPU-Z to figure out the make and model of your motherboard. After that, go and google your mainboard make and model. When browsing the specs online, it will tell you how many cards you can put into your system. You may find the specs for your mainboard on the manufacturer website, or some other website. There are probably plenty out there that you will find from running a search.

Important things to note about the PCI express sockets on your mainboard:

  • PCI express (or PCIe) slots have a speed ratio. 16x is the fastest, then 8x, 4x, etc. This is the lane width. Think of these slots for your video card as an information superhighway. The more lanes that the slot has, the faster it can operate and communicate with the rest of the system.
  • The more 16x, 8x and 4x slots the better
  • You can put a 16x card into a 1x or 4x slot, but you have to match up the profile size of the bus (meaning that, a 1x slot can’t hold a 16x card because it won’t fit). Therefore, to make a 16x card work with a 1x slot, you need risers that convert a 1x slot to a 16x connector. However, keep in mind that the card will operate a low slower this way.
  • You need at least a 4 GB card if you want to mine Etherium. As the DAG file gets bigger (that’s the size of the blockchain file), you need a bigger and bigger video card in order to mine. Most times, you’ll need a card at least 4 GB or more to maintain any kind of proper hash rate anyways

The video card most recommended for building a mining rig at home, at the time of this writing is the Geforce GTX 1080Ti. Many people prefer the TI series of cards because they are already optimized and overclocked right out of the box. The card gets an additional 10-20% hash rate over it’s non-ti cousins.

Another card sought after would be the Geforce GTX 1070 series. Many look for the founder’s edition card which has excellent reviews as it pertains to mining. However, the cost of this card has skyrocketed due to it’s popularity with desktop miners. The price usually should be less than a thousand dollars, but now the card is as much as $2400 or more.

Build your own Mining Computer or Buy One

If you want you could build your own mining computer. Motherboards such as the Asus B250 Mining Expert is an excellent suggestion if you would like to run more than 6 GPU’s in your system – it can run up to 19! Very cool board, which was specificaclly built for mining. The board has 19 GPU connectors on it, built specifically to be plugged into risers and connect off-board to GPU’s. The concept with a board like this is the GPU’s don’t sit on the motherboard, and you would need to buy a big chassis to sit all of the GPU’s on if that’s your goal.

The other option is to buy a rig which already has a number of GPU’s in it. This saves you the hassle of trying to procure the cards on your own and build the system yourself. Other miners have already done the experimentation for you to find what main boards work best and what GPU’s work best. This may save you a lot of trial and error in the long run.

How Everyone is Making Money Mining Bitcoin Online

Everyone is doing it – are you mining for cryptocurrency yet? There’s a few things you need to know. The first thing you should know is that at the time of this article being written – which is early Feb 2018, the cryptocurrency mining market is over-saturated with bandwagon jumpers (including myself) which all want to make money. For the average home user, you need to know that you probably won’t make money on mining. Let’s start with the basics…

How does mining for Bitcoin work?

This is a long answer, but to shorten it up, basically you install a software onto your computer. That software utilizes your CPU and GPU to complete complex calculations using algorithms. These complex calculations build the block chain – a ledger which keeps track of all Bitcoin transactions. Think of a giant spreadsheet which you are helping to build.

In the early Bitcoin mining days, it was mostly trial by fire. Now, you can download a simple program which will determine what algorithm to use for mining. Every GPU has different capabilities, some mine better with a different algorithm than others.

How can Bitcoin mining be profitable for me?

Here inlies the kicker. At the time of this writing (Feb 2018), GPU’s are very expensive. The best cards are the ones that have a lot of virtual memory – 8 GB and up. These cards range from $800-$1200 and more. The saturation of the market with people wanting to get in on the minig craze, has driven up the cost of GPU’s. So realistically, for every $1000 you spend on a GPU, you can earn back maybe $2-$3 a day from that GPU (before energy cost). Thus, mining with desktop GPU’s at this time may no longer be worth it.

Many people today are mining with rigs that have 6 GPUs in them. The cards that you really need for mining at this time are the high end Nvidia 10 series. Unfortunately these cards are very expensive at this time. The mining craze has driven up the cost of most video cards.

Mining is actually quite easy, once you determine the correct software to use. This software will auto-select algorithms, and if you’re observant and able to tweak a couple of settings you too can earn $1-$2/day from your desktop system. There is no point in running mining software on a laptop because you will burn the laptop out.

Mining Software

There is a widely recognized mining software many people use, which will auto-select the right algorithm for you. It’s pretty easy and has a good user interface. Each video card in the system becomes a worker. Some GPU’s mine one currency better than another, so if you mix and match cards it’s likely that the software will choose a bunch of different algorithms for your system to run. It is possible run other applications at the same time as mining, but having a system that is dedicated to mining is often the way to go so the mining processes aren’t interrupted.

Breaking Even

The challenge with building a rig that has 6 CPU’s or more, is that currently with the cost of good GPU’s (or video cards) at $1000 a piece, you will be investing a minimum of $6000 to build a sweet mining rig. The break even on this – let’s say you were making $10 a day so $300 a month – $6000/300 = 20 months but then consider energy cost let’s say 20% of the $300 = $240/mth = 6000/240 = 25 months. So about two years to break even on the investment. Bitcoin also fluctuates and so do the alternate crytocurrencies you would be mining.

Also, the cost will actually be more than $6,000 because you have to consider a motherboard, RAM, cpu, power supply. Most of the components you can cheap out on, but the power supply has to be pretty good to be able to support all the 6 cards (or more) that you need to run.

Throwing in cheap old GPU’s into a mining rig won’t really earn you much either. The GPU’s you choose need to support OpenCL and have a lot of Cuda cores. The more Cuda cores, the more mining operations the card can do.