Subscribe for Updates from BlockOps
Since joining Steemit and reading through the wide and various posts including the many in depth Cryptocurrency related posts I decided it would be a good time to investigate the Bitcoin Mining phenomenon.
Unfortunately for me, all I actually discovered is that I am a good four years behind the Bitcoin Gravy train. The whole system appears to be based on blocks where very complicated equations need solving within the block – and when this is achieved the block can then be added to the Block Chain and the finder is rewarded.
Because it would be very difficult for one user to solve a block, most join a mining pool where the work is shared amongst many and the rewards are proportionally shared out as to the work put in. The reason I started this post as Bitcoin mining is dead – is mainly due to the fact as mining has grown so have specialist machines dedicated to working out the complicated equations faster and faster.
Obviously you can not create an infinite number of bitcoins, so as computing power has increased so has the difficulty to generate bitcoin – to level out the network and ensure a steady production. The difficulty is changed to account for increases – or even decreases in the amount of computing power being dedicated to Bitcoin mining.
In fact for most small miners – the cost in electricity the miner uses has now increased beyond the possible return in Bitcoin they could generate – so they are packing up the machines or selling them on. Or basically nothing worth while.
But today – even the speeds it achieves are going to generate nothing but tiny fractions of shares in a single bitcoin. So in my journey to investigate Bitcoin Mining I scoured eBay and managed to win a couple of auctions for Antminer S1 units with broken cooling fans. The fans are cheap and simple to replace, but with these machines you have to obtain a power supply – using a PC PSU to provide the regulated 12v power it needs.
Reading up the wattage they need is just watt – so I figured an old watt PSU I had lying around would work fine, and obtained a similar one for the second unit. Following online guides I wired the units up, and set the first one off – lights came on and the fans whirred – so I went off to where I was setting the second one up and hooked that up – it started and lights flashed.
Back to unit number one – and it was dead! No lights, fans still. Quite a mystery, I put it down to the power lead for the PSU – so I replaced that and the unit powered up again – perfect. Or it was for two minutes then it went off again.
Minerfarm Cloud Mining
I left that mystery and returned to the first one that was at least still whirring and flashing. These units are independent computers running linux – just with massive boards of specialist ASIC chips to perform the calculations needed for bitcoin mining. So with everything set up for my mining pool and subnet I plugged the ethernet cable back into a router – the lights started to blink very fast on it – and then went out – all lights and fans silent.
Bemused I took the PSU power lead off and tested the fuse – fine no problem there.