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Raspberry pi

Raspberry pi

So ter my last postbode, I wrote about the setup of my little CryptoCoin mining proef, and ter this postbode I am presenting the results. But before I leap into the results, I want to discuss some of the assumptions and biases of this proefneming:

Bitcoin and Litecoin both adjust the difficulty of their proof-of-work problems te order to throttle the mining process and keep the additions to the block chain occurring at a regular, predetermined rate. The difficulty switches frequently, and overheen the course of the proefneming, the difficulty for both Bitcoin and Litecoin enhanced significantly. This means that the rate of coin mining most likely got a good overeenkomst slower spil the proefneming progressed. Unluckily I did not collect interval gegevens, I only have overall results, so I cannot quantify the influence (would make an interesting go after on, perhaps I will do it zometeen). If you attempt to recreate this test, your results will vary significantly due to this punt.

Te addition to the variable difficulty, each mining pool has it’s own issues. Both mining pools would go down from time to time (this is pretty common). Unluckily, when the Bitcoin pool would go down, the miner on the RasPi would shutdown. I did my best to check regularly and restart the miner (evidently there are ways to have the miner automatically switch to a backup pool), but there were certainly a few times when it went down for more than a day. The influence is most likely te the range of 10-20%, meaning had I taken better measures to protect against downtime, I most likely would have seen an increase ter Bitcoin comebacks by 10-20%.

The final consideration to make, is that the value of the respective coins is permanently switching. I used $127.53 for Bitcoin and $Two.86 for Litecoin. Thesis were the prices of the coins on the day I stopped the proefneming. The exchange rates vary insanely, and spil such, your results will depend strongly on the current exchange rates.

So let’s get down to it. The proefneming lasted 42.1 days (I let the miners run for a bit longer than I primarily had planned). The following table presents the number of coins mined and the dollar value of those coins:

So spil wasgoed expected, the RasPis mined much more Litecoin than Bitcoin overheen the course of the 42 days. This is due to the popularity, and subsequently difficulty, of mining Bitcoin. Interestingly enough, while wij mined 2x orders of magnitude of Litecoin, due to the exchange rates of the coins, the monetary value of the coins wasgoed much closer.

Another factor that needs to be taken into account is the cost of electrical play. While, I am presently using the RasPis spil servers and development/test boxes, if I desired to use the RasPi spil a dedicated mining equipment, than I would need to adjust the comebacks for the cost of violet wand required to run the device (while RasPis are indeed low powered, if you were running a dedicated GPU equipment, electrical play costs would be a very significant factor to consider). After digging around on the internet I came up with a rough estimate of the energy consumption of a RasPi. Interestingly enough, the RasPi seems to have fairly stable power consumption regardless of the amount of processing it is doing (a wilsbeschikking to the efficiency of the ARM processors?). I rounded the power consumption up to Three watts (from Two.Five) to keep things conservative. Below is a breakdown of the costs, the electric current rate wasgoed pulled from my latest utility bill:

And here is the electric current adjusted comebacks of the mining operation:

So spil you can see, accounting for electro-therapy costs, the miner operations for both Bitcoin and Litecoin resulted te negative comebacks. Spil I mentioned, I have the RasPis up and running for other reasons anyway, but regardless, the number of coins mined are so puny that the gains are entirely swamped out by electro-stimulation costs. Just to pauze even, you would need Bitcoin to increase te value to

$1950 and Litecoin to increase ter value to

$17.35. And of course, that is assuming the mining difficulty stays relatively onveranderlijk, which it most assuredly won’t if the exchange rate rises to those levels.

So te conclusion, if you were hoping to set up a Raspberry Pi CryptoCoin mining equipment ter order to retire early, I would recommend reconsidering, or at least keep your day job! But if you have some Raspberry Pis up and running anyway, and want to play around with some of the mining software that is out there, than this is a good way to get into the spel with out taking a chance the security of your main rekentuig (there are some pretty sketchy operators te the CryptoCoin space, so take precautions).

So while ter Costa Rica for a surf tour, I thought it would be a joy project to run a little cryptocurrency mining proef. I have bot playing around with a few Raspberry Pis for a while now, and out of curiosity determined to set them up spil cryptocurrency miners. Anyone who has bot following the Bitcoin (BTC) craze spil of late, and has a rough idea of how the mining process works, would know that using a Raspberry Pi spil a Bitcoin miner is like bringing a knife to a gun fight (actually it is more like bringing a toothpick to a gun fight). But considering I wasgoed going to be out of the country for two weeks with limited internet, I figured I might spil well waterput the Raspberry Pis to some use. After doing a little research, I determined to at the same time run two Raspberry Pis spil cryptocurrency miners, one mining Bitcoin, the other Litecoin, and after a few weeks of run time, evaluate and compare the rate of come back on the two mining operations.

For this postbode, I am going to provide a quick background on the two coins and what this proefneming will demonstrate. I will write a separate go after up postbode with the results zometeen. There has bot slew of press on Bitcoin ter the last month, so I won’t go into too much detail about what Bitcoin is, but for those who are not aware, there are also a number of alternative currencies te existence. One of those currencies is called Litecoin (LTC). The advocates of Litecoin advertise the project spil ‘the silver to Bitcoin’s gold’. Litecoin is one of a handful of alternative coins that has gained enough traction to get off the ground and it emerges to be the most adopted of the alternative currencies. The code for Litecoin wasgoed based on the Bitcoin protocol, but modified te a few ways to compensate for some of Bitcoin’s perceived shortcomings.

The primary difference inbetween Bitcoin and Litecoin is the hashing algorithm used ter the ‘proof of work’ phase. Bitcoin and Litecoin mining are done by solving sophisticated problems called proof of work. Thesis proof of work problems are designed to require a fair amount of computing power to solve, however they are lightly verifiable, so once a solution is found, it is effortless for the network to verify that the solution is valid. This is done by requiring miners to randomly seed a hashing algorithm until they get a certain output. Once the adequate seed value is found, the solution can be verified by others by simply using the solution seed and running it through the hashing algorithm to check that you get the adequate output.

For those that aren’t familiar with hashing algorithms, a good analogy to this process is brute-force password cracking (i.e. randomly attempting to guess someone’s password). Ter order to guess someone’s password, you would have to attempt thousands upon thousands of iterations, but once the juist password is found, it is very effortless for someone else to verify that you have found it. The time it takes to find the juist password is fairly random, i.e. it is possible that you could guess it correctly on the very first attempt, or it could take you millions of attempts. Adding computing power to the problem will speed up the number of attempts you can make, but it does not ensure that any individual attempt is more likely to succeed.

With Bitcoin and Litecoin mining, individual miners rival against each other to find the solution to the proof of work problem. The very first knot that correctly finds the solution is rewarded with a number of coins. Adding computational power to you miners increases the odds that you will find the solution very first, but because of the randomness involved ter the process, it does not ensure that you will be the very first to solve a particular proof of work. Spil of late, Bicoin has faced something of an arms wedstrijd. Bitcoin uses the SHA256 hashing function te its proof of work. This algorithm is very parallelizable, which harshly means that throwing more computational power at the algorithm will result te swifter iterations. Graphical Processing Units (GPU’s) are very well suited to the task, and spil such they quickly displaced CPU’s spil the preferred Bitcoin mining hardware. More recently, Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) have taken overheen the mining toneel. FPGAs are programmable chips and ASICs are specially manufactured chips. FPGA’s began coming online a year or so ago and displaced GPU’s. ASICs are commencing to show up ter mining equipments and will eventually displace FPGA’s. This arms wedstrijd has largely left the average person standing on the sidelines, spil profitable mining equipments now require fairly significant investments to obtain, and your average desktop rekentuig, even if you use the GPU, is fairly futile spil a miner, and ter fact would very likely result te a negative come back on your investment after factoring ter energy costs.

Litecoin wasgoed created ter response to this arms wedstrijd. The designers of Litecoin were upset that Bitcoin mining had left the average user te the dust and felt that a cryptocurrency that wasgoed designed with a more level playing field would encourage broader adoption. Spil such the designers of Litecoin forked the Bitcoin source code and modified the hashing algorithm used ter the proof of work. Instead of using the SHA256 function, they switched the code to use the scrypt hash function. The reason, ter brief, for this switch wasgoed that the scrypt algorithm is more memory intensive, and spil such it is not spil parallelizable spil SHA256. Therefore, simply adding more raw computational power, ter theory, would not have spil large of an influence spil it would with the SHA256 algorithm. This means that the gap inbetween the hashing power of CPU’s, GPU’s, FPGA’s and ASIC’s is much narrower, thus providing the average person a better chance at staying te the spel.

Considering this, I thought it would be joy to see how my Raspberry Pis would fare spil miners for thesis two different currencies. Te theory, I should be able to mine much more Litecoin than Bitcoin, spil the playing field is a little more level, and due to the lower popularity, there are fewer miners resulting ter a lower overall network hash rate (its still like bringing a toothpick to a gunfight, but the guns are limited to single slok rifles, rather than semi-automatics, and there are fewer attendees overall!). Of course, an extra factor that needs to be considered is the market price for each of the coins, spil Bitcoin has bot trading at overheen $100 whereas Litecoin has bot trading for less than $Five. So while I will most likely mine more Litecoin than Bictoin, it is not yet clear which mining operation will result te the most ‘profit’.

Te order to facilitate this proefneming, it wasgoed necessary to sign up for mining pools for each of the currencies. Mining pools are a way to aggregate computing resources ter order to cooperatively mine the coins. The major reason for doing this is because for most individuals, it is almost unlikely to successfully accomplish a proof of work (once again, the mining process is essentially a competition, where the very first knot to present a valid solution wins). By joining a mining pool, you ensure that you will receive some form of payout, spil the combined resources of the pool should be enough to successfully accomplish some proof of work, and when it does, the prizes are divided among the pool participants based upon the amount of hashing power they contributed. For Bitcoin, I chose to use deepbit.nipt, and for Litecoin I chose to use notroll.te. I am not endorsing either of thesis pools spil I have not had much practice with either of them (anyone that is earnestly considering mining coins should do some research into the pool they use, spil there has bot numerous reports of shady operators).

So the miners have bot running for almost three weeks at this point. I am going to tally up the numbers and postbode some results and analysis shortly.

Well, bot plugging away a at a multiplicity of projects, but for the most part I don’t have much to show… yet! I ran through an in-depth Flask turorial (a light weight web framework for python) and am embarking to waterput together a pui end for one of the web scrappers I built. Hopefully I will have that online soon.

Ter other news, this blog is no longer hosted on the Raspberry Pi. I moved it overheen to a hosted solution. Getting the pi up and running spil a web server wasgoed a joy little introduction to the device, but ultimately I have a number of other projects I want to attempt out, and it made more sense to free up the Pi for those projects. I have ordered two more Pis (for a grand total of four) and hope to play around with mesh networking and parallel computing, however ter the mean time, I have set up the two Pis spil Litecoin miners (more on that straks).

Ter a few hours, I will be heading out to Costa Rica for a brief surf excursion, but will write up the Litecoin postbode while I am on the plane.

So I sort of got the DNS issues figured out. Still working out a few kinks, and playing with wordpress themes spil well.

I setup another Raspberry Pi server here. Presently it is running a python/flask microblog webpagina called Flaskr that is used spil one of the example projects for learning flask. Code pulled from here. I will be playing around with some python/flask code overheen the next few days to setup a project webpagina, so thesis linksom may not be working from time to time. I will postbode an update once it is ready.

Well, sort of. Still playing around with the DNS settings at my domain name host spil the url isn’t redirecting decently. It took a few attempts to get this up and running, largely due to my unfamiliarity with Verlichtingstoestel. Some tutorials were better than others, but this wasgoed the one that I ended up using.

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