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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
submitted by haveyouheardaboutit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

With the pretty awesome rise of almost all crypto currencies, it's time to restart our machines and mine the most profitable coin today 30.01.2020!!!

So let's talk about the GPUs to start with, the ranking has radically changed and even those that were running at a loss have become profitable again The top 10 chart:
1.NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 4.60 Mh/s 220W $1.35 $0.55 Zcoin(XZC) MTP Algo
2.NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 4.00 Mh/s 190W $1.17 $0.48 Zcoin(XZC) MTP
3.AMD Radeon VII 78.00 Mh/s 230W $1.22 $0.39 EthereumClassic(ETC) Ethash Algo
4.NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 3.60 Mh/s 190W $1.05 $0.37 Zcoin(XZC) MTP
5.AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 51.50 Mh/s 140W $0.81 $0.30 EthereumClassic(ETC) Ethash
6.NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 2.60 Mh/s 130W $0.76 $0.29 Zcoin(XZC)MTP
7.NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 2.80 Mh/s 150W $0.82 $0.28 Zcoin(XZC) MTP
8.NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 2.80 Mh/s 150W $0.82 $0.28 Zcoin(XZC) MTP
9.NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 2.50 Mh/s 130W $0.73 $0.26 Zcoin(XZC) MTP
10.NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 2.00 Mh/s 100W $0.59 $0.22 Zcoin(XZC)
Now let's go to the asic Top 10:
  1. Innosilicon A10 ETHMaster 500.00 Mh/s 750W Ethash $5.13 EthereumClassic(ETC) Ethash
  2. Bitmain Antminer Z11 135.00 kh/s 1418W Equihash $3.45 Pirate(ARRR)
  3. BlackMiner F1+ 22.00 Gh/s 860W Eaglesong $3.23 Nervos(CKB) FPGAminer
4.Bitmain Antminer B7 96.00 kh/s 528W Tensority $1.87
5.Bitmain Antminer S17+ 73.00 Th/s 2920W SHA-256 $1.67 BitcoinSV(BSV)
6.StrongU STU-U6 420.00 Gh/s 2100W X11 $1.52 Dash(DASH)
  1. Bitmain Antminer S17 Pro 56 Th/s 2212W SHA-256 $1.46 BitcoinSV(BSV)
  2. Bitmain Antminer S17 59.00 Th/s 2385W SHA-256 $1.34 BitcoinSV(BSV)
  3. Innosilicon A9 ZMaster 50.00 kh/s 620W Equihash $1.08 Pirate(ARRR)
  4. FusionSilicon X7 262.00 Gh/s 1300W X11 $1.03 Dash(DASH)
Dont forget you can find around new Firmware for example for Z9/Z11 Efudd Firmware,and Hive OS firmwares which can Overclock S9/S15/S17 or Underclock (if your electriciy fee are too expensive), for example my S17 Pro I switched to new firmware (Hive OS) to 36Th/s with 900 Watts power gives me a 2.90 usd/day profit without electricity of course, for Z11 Overclocking without changing PSU from 135 to 150-160Ko/sol.
I calculated everything on the basis of 0.15 cens Kw / h.
Brand New Miner coming out:
ASICminer Zeon Turbo 400,000 Sol/s Equihash
Most Profitable Miner in the World. ASICminer Daily Revenue: $27 $16 (less 0.15 Kw/h fee) ASICminer Power Consumption: 2500W
asicminer dot co/shop (Factory)
submitted by pushingworld77 to BitcoinMining [link] [comments]

A 14-year-old's experience with Bitcoin

First-time poster here, don’t bully me, apologies for the potentially atrocious formatting :) TL;DR at the end
So in the wake of Bitcoin’s explosive rise in value and media attention, I’ve been encouraged by others to share my experience over the past few years as a miner. Here's my story (it's kinda long, you've been warned)

Humble Beginnings

It all started almost three years ago in the beginning of 2015 when Bitcoin flew under my radar. Looking into it, I admittedly wasn’t drawn in because of the decentralisation or the anonymous payments, I was hooked on the idea that anyone could get their hands on some just by running a program and leaving it to do its own thing. I know, how shallow of me. But the idea of making even a bit of money without ‘any work’ was convincing enough for 11-year-old me to do more digging into the matter.
To my disappointment, I soon found out that the era of mining Bitcoins with a PC’s CPU or GPU was long obsolete and instead it was all ASICs at that point.
So that summer, for my twelfth birthday, I got a little ASIC machine for €60, an Antminer U3. This little thing took up less space than a graphics card but could mine at 60 GH/s. Because, at the time, I didn’t have a controller device that could be kept up and running all day long so it could run the program that mined Bitcoin using the U3, I went ahead and got a Raspberry Pi. After setting up the Pi and installing all the necessary stuff (took an awfully long time), I connected it to AntPool and plugged the U3 in. Two days past and the mining pool sent the first Bitcoin I ever received to my wallet (I was using Blockchain.info). It was just 30 cents worth of BTC but I felt a bit of a rush because I was earning a bit of money through this completely new thing and the idea of that was thrilling.
Let’s back up for a second. I just used the term ‘earning’ as if I was profiting, and naive me 2 years ago was no different. In reality, I was at first oblivious to the fact that I was most likely LOSING money overall because of how much energy that little sucker was taking in. But, I was comforted thinking that using that machine was just a practical way of learning about this modern currency and that the loss of several cents’ worth of energy was acceptable in the name of education and learning.
Fast forward ten months to the wonderful summer of 2016. I had recently turned 13 and the Antminer U3 had been running on and off throughout. Various pauses and breaks in mining would be observed, as I had to manually get everything up and running after frequent breaks in the Internet connection. You’d expect my newly-turned-teenage brain to lose interest in Bitcoin as it does with many other gimmicks, but – even surprising myself – I miraculously didn’t. Good thing I maintained interest thinking about it now, not so good at the time for my parents. Why do I say this? I felt like it was time to get a little upgrade in my hardware.

Getting an upgrade

Days passed with me comparing every ASIC miner I could at that price point. It was then I set my eyes upon the Antminer S7 (same folks who did my U3, nice). I had put it up against a plethora of other miners and I figured the S7 was my best bet; the thing costs only about 10 times that of my U3 but could run at 4.73 TH/s, almost 80 times as powerful. The only problem being its power consumption was at 1300 watts, which would put a massive dent in the electricity bill and eliminate any profit I would make. Fortunately, I had a secret weapon up my sleeve – or rather my mum did. She had rented out an office outside our apartment where she would keep files and paperwork. The office’s electricity bill was a flat rate as far as I’m aware and it ended up being my saving grace because it virtually got rid of the “oh no I’m actually going to be losing money because of how much electricity I’m eating up” factor, making this whole hardware upgrade viable.
After convincing my parents, they finally agreed to shell out the requested amount, with the initial investment being paid back with time. I went to a local Bitcoin vendor and purchased 1 BTC for about $665 in cash (sigh yes, I know. $665 dollars). Shortly after, I used about 0.9 BTC to purchase the Antminer S7 and a 1600W power supply for a grand total of $600. The products would be made and shipped from China so I was definitely in for a wait.
A month passes and the package arrives at last. I connected all the wires from the power supply into the S7 and – with great anticipation – I plugged it into the wall to start its first ever run. And what do you know? An extremely loud and high-pitched whirring sound blasted out from the fans on both the power supply as well as the S7. After killing the thing, I questioned my choices. I couldn’t dare put that thing anywhere near my mum’s office in the event it drive everyone in the building absolutely nuts. I was at a loss. However, I soon recovered from my temporarily debilitated state and got working on a solution.
The first idea that came to my mind: change the fans. The stocks fans were by Evercool and spun at around 3000 RPM. The power supply used a small, robust fan that looked like a cube that must’ve spun at extremely high speeds judging by how high the sound it produced was. I got my parents to give me some more funding so I could acquire the replacement fans and I did. Bust. After installation and testing, none of the fans would work. I managed to configure the S7 to connect to my Antpool account and the machine would manage mining for several minutes running at peak performance but ultimately be automatically cut off because of how hot the machine was getting (I’m talking about 80 degrees Celsius kinda hot in that thing). The fans got refunded and I was back to the drawing board.
After combing through some forum posts and videos, I came across this video and a forum post in which people have their mining rigs placed inside a ventilated, muffled cabinet. Undertaking a project like this would be time-consuming and risky but I had no better ideas so I decided to go through with the idea anyway.
Firstly, I sought out a cabinet with suitable dimensions. I managed to get just what I needed at a second-hand IKEA shop. Great. Secondly, I went ahead and acquired some sound-absorbing acoustic foam from a local provider. Fantastic. Finally I had to get a ventilation system going within the cabinet, otherwise, all the hot air would roast the machine alive in there in a bloody mess. With the help of my dad, we found a pair cabinet fans on the Internet that were close to silent but could circulate the air well enough.
Eventually, all the materials came and, with the help of my parents, put everything together. The process took quite long time and we had a couple hiccups along the way, but we got it done and it came out pretty nice.
The moment of truth came and, to my relief, it ran so much quieter than without the cabinet. It was nowhere near silent but it reduced the noise a great deal. Soon after, I got the thing into the office and set everything up from there. Unfortunately, I was forced to underclock it because you could still hear the machine’s whining from outside the thin office door. Gunning the hashrate down about 25% to 3.7TH/s, I could lower the fan speed without risking the machine burning up. Sure, I wasn’t getting the full potential of the machine but I didn’t complain because electricity was not an issue there and it was still a whole lot better than my U3. With it up and running, I could leave it there, periodically checking to see if it was mining on Antpool.

The aftermath

In the months that followed, I was getting a solid $2.5 worth of BTC on daily basis. Half a year later, May of 2017, I had accumulated a satisfactory $600. I thought, “At this rate, I’d be able to pay my parents’ investment back in a few months” (the total investment came close to $900). Bitcoin had risen to over $1500 so I was already over the moon at that point because of how well everything was going. Little did I know…
I hit 0.5 BTC midway through September this year. The price of BTC had dropped after a sudden rise to $5000, but I couldn’t have asked for more. Although I possessed only half the amount of BTC I paid for the machine, its value was over twice that of the initial investment. I thought BTC would level off at around $4000 but nope.
In the month of October, the price skyrocketed. Since September, I had only mined 0.017 BTC but the value was already over $3000. It was just a matter of selling it, but I decided to hodl. Good thing I did.
As of November 5, I have approximately 0.52 BTC mined in total from my S7, valued at $4000. If I were to sell it right now, I’d have a profit of over $3100. And as for my miner, it’s churning out 0.0006 BTC daily, sounds like nothing but it’s still the equivalent of $5 today and I couldn’t be happier, at least with the miner and Bitcoin.
You remember that $665 for 1 BTC that I mentioned earlier? In hindsight, it would’ve been such a better idea to just keep that one Bitcoin and not do anything with it until today (in the interest of making much more money), as I’d theoretically have upwards of $7000. The idea of that still haunts me sometimes if I dwell on it too long but knowing that I’m in possession of an already hefty amount, the pain of it had numbed slightly. It’s not all doom and gloom for me from the exponential increase in Bitcoin’s value, however. Those first $0.3 payments from my humble little U3 all those years ago now are now the equivalent of over $6 today!
Bitcoin and everything it encompasses has been and still is a journey of discovery and an adventure. Looking back, starting with a modest €60 Antminer U3 to having a sum of Bitcoin equivalent to two extremely high-end gaming rigs (first thing I could think of as a comparison, sorry) has been something I can’t really describe. Through the course of the past few years, I’ve learned more about technology, I’ve unexpectedly gotten insight into economics and business and – of course – I’ve made a lot of money (if I decide to stop hodling that is).
Also, props to my parents for keeping an open mind throughout, I know some parents would be horrified at their kids being involved in something that has been used in some less-than-savoury ways and it's great knowing mine have been supportive all the way.
TL;DR got into Bitcoin mining 3 years ago at age 11 with an Antminer U3 that ran at 60 GH/s, got an Antminer S7 (4.73TH/s) and built a sound-muffling, ventilated cabinet for it. Am sat here today with $3000 profit if I decide to sell right now.
submitted by xx_riptide_xx to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Mining Profitability: How Long Does it Take to Mine One Bitcoin in 2019?

When it comes to Bitcoin (BTC) mining, the major questions on people’s minds are “how profitable is Bitcoin mining” and “how long would it take to mine one Bitcoin?” To answer these questions, we need to take an in-depth look at the current state of the Bitcoin mining industry — and how it has changed — over the last several years.
Bitcoin mining is, essentially, the process of participating in Bitcoin’s underlying security mechanism — known as proof-of-work — to help secure the Bitcoin blockchain. In return, participants receive compensation in bitcoins (BTC).
When you participate in Bitcoin mining, you are essentially searching for blocks by crunching complex cryptographic challenges using your mining hardware. Once a block is discovered, new transactions are recorded and verified within the block and the block discoverer receives the block rewards — currently set at 12.5 BTC — as well as the transactions fees for the transactions included within the block.
Once the maximum supply of 21 million Bitcoins has been mined, no further Bitcoins will ever come into existence. This property makes Bitcoin deflationary, something which many argue will inevitably increase the value of each Bitcoin unit as it becomes more scarce due to increased global adoption.
The limited supply of Bitcoin is also one of the reasons why Bitcoin mining has become so popular. In previous years, Bitcoin mining proved to be a lucrative investment option — netting miners with several fold returns on their investment with relatively little effort.
bitcoin mining hardware
Mining Hardware
The mining hardware you choose will mostly depend on your circumstances — in terms of budget, location and electricity costs. Since the amount of hashing power you can dedicate to the mining process is directly correlated with how much Bitcoin you will mine per day, it is wise to ensure your hardware is still competitive in 2019.
Bitcoin uses SHA256 as its mining algorithm. Because of this, only hardware compatible with this algorithm can be used to mine Bitcoin. Although it is technically possible to mine Bitcoin on your current computer hardware — using your CPU or GPU — this will almost certainly not generate a positive return on your investment and you may end up damaging your device.
The most cost-effective way to mine Bitcoin in 2019 is using application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) mining hardware. These are specially-designed machines that offer much higher performance per watt than typical computers and have been an absolutely essential purchase for anybody looking to get into Bitcoin mining since the first Avalon ASICs were shipped in 2013.
When it comes to selecting Bitcoin mining hardware, there are several main parameters to consider — though the importance of each of these may vary based on personal circumstances and budget.
Performance per Watt
When it comes to Bitcoin mining, performance per watt is a measure of how many gigahashes per watt a machine is capable of and is, hence, a simple measure of its efficiency. Since electricity costs are likely to be one of the largest expenses when mining Bitcoin, it is usually a good idea to ensure that you are getting good performance per watt out of your hardware.
Ideally, your mining hardware would be highly efficient, allowing it to mine Bitcoin with lower energy requirements — though this will need to be balanced with acquisition costs, as often the most efficient hardware is also the most expensive. This means it may take longer to see a return on investment.
In countries with cheap electricity, performance per watt is often less of a concern than acquisition costs and price-performance ratio. In most countries, operating outdated mining hardware is typically cost prohibitive, as energy costs outweigh the income generated by the mining equipment.
However, this may not be the case for those operating in countries with extremely cheap electricity — such as Kuwait and Venezuela — as even older equipment can still be profitable. Similarly, miners with a free energy surplus, such as from wind or solar electric generators, can benefit from the minimal gains offered by still running outdated hardware.
Longevity
The lifetime of mining hardware also plays a critical role in determining how profitable your mining venture will be. It’s always a good idea to do whatever possible to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible.
Since mining equipment tends to run at a full (or almost full) load for extended periods, they also tend to break down and fail more frequently than most electronics — which can seriously damage your profitability. Equipment failure is even more common when purchasing second-hand equipment. Since warranty claims are often challenging, it can often take a long time to receive a warranty replacement.
Price-Performance Ratio
In many cases, one of the major criteria used to select mining hardware is the price-performance ratio — a measure of how much performance a machine outputs per unit price. In the case of cryptocurrency mining hardware, this is commonly expressed as gigahashes per dollar or GH/$.
Under ideal circumstances, the mining hardware would have a high price-performance ratio, ensuring you get a lot of bang for your buck. However, this must also be considered in combination with the acquisition costs and the expected lifetime of the machine — since the absolute most powerful machines are not always the cheapest or the most energy efficient.
Acquisition Costs
Acquisition costs are almost always the biggest barrier to entry for most Bitcoin miners since most top-end mining hardware costs several thousand dollars. This problem is further compounded by the fact that many hardware manufacturers offer discounts for bulk purchases, allowing those with deeper pockets to achieve a better price-performance ratio.
Acquisition costs include all the costs involved in purchasing any mining equipment, including hardware costs, shipping costs, import duties, and any further costs. For example, many ASIC miners do not include a power supply — which can be another considerable expense, since the 1,000W+ power supplies usually required tend to cost several hundred dollars alone.
Ensuring your equipment runs smoothly can also add in additional costs, such as cooling and maintenance expenses. In addition, some miners may want to invest in uninterruptible power supplies to ensure their hardware keeps running — even if the power fails temporarily.
asic mining
Current Generation Hardware
One of the most recent additions to the Bitcoin mining hardware market is the Ebang Ebit E11++, which was released in October 2018. Using a 10nm fabrication process for its processors, the Ebit E11++ is able to achieve one of the highest hash rates on the market at 44TH/s.
In terms of efficiency, the Ebang Ebit E11++ is arguably the best on the market, offering 44TH/s of hash rate while drawing just 1,980W of power, offering 22.2GH/W performance. However, as of writing, the Ebang Ebit E11++ is out of stock until March 31, 2019 — while its price of $2,024 (excluding shipping) may make it prohibitively expensive for those first getting involved with Bitcoin mining.
Another popular choice is the ASICminer 8 Nano, a machine released in October 2018 that offers 44TH/s for $3,900 excluding shipping. The ASICminer 8 Nano draws 2,100W of power, giving it an efficiency of almost 21GH/W — slightly lower than the Ebit E11++ while costing almost double the price. However, unlike the E11++, the 8 Nano is actually in stock and available to purchase.
ASICminer also offers the 8 Nano Pro, a machine launched in mid-2018 that offers 80 TH/s of hash rate for $9,500 (excluding shipping). However, unlike the Ebit E11++ and 8 Nano, the minimum order quantity for the 8 Nano Pro is curiously set at five, meaning you will need to lay out a minimum of $47,500 in order to actually get your hands on one (or five).
While the 8 Nano Pro doesn’t offer the same performance per watt as the Ebit E11+ or AICMiner 8 Nano, it is one of the quieter miners on this list, making it more suitable for a home or office environment. That being said, the ASICminer 8 Nano Pro is easily the most expensive miner per TH on this list — costing a whopping $118.75/TH, compared to the $46/TH offered by the E11++ and $88.64 offered by the 8 Nano.
The latest hardware on this list is the Innosilicon T3 43T, which is currently available for pre-order at $2,279, and estimated to ship in March 2019. Offering 43TH/s of performance at 2,100W, the T3 43T comes in at an efficiency of 20.4GH/W, which is around 10 percent less energy efficient than the Ebit E11++.
The T3 43T also has a minimum order quantity of three units, making the minimum acquisition cost $6837 + shipping for preorders. All in all, the T3 43T is more costly and less efficient than the E11++ but may arrive slightly earlier since Ebang will not ship the E11++ units until at least end March 29, 2019.
Finally, this list would not be complete without including Bitmain’s latest offering, the Antminer S15-28TH/s, which — as its name suggests — offers 28TH/s of hash power while drawing just under 1600W at the wall. The Antminer S15 is one of the only SHA256 miners to use 7nm processors, making it somewhat smaller than some of the other devices on this list.
Like most pieces of top-end Bitcoin mining hardware, the Antminer S15 27TH/s model is currently sold out, with current orders not shipping until mid-February 2019. However, the S15 is offered at a significantly lower price than many of its competitors at just $1020 (excluding shipping), with no minimum quantity restriction. At these rates, the Antminer comes in at just $37.78/TH — though its energy efficiency is a much less impressive 17.5GH/W.
Mining Hardware Mining Hardware Comparison
Performance (GH/W) Price Performance Ratio ($/TH)
Ebang Ebit E11++ 22.2GH/W $46/TH
ASICminer 8 Nano 21GH/W $88.64/TH
ASICminer 8 Nano Pro 19GH/W $118.75/TH
Innosilicon T3 43T 20.4GH/W $53/TH
Antminer S15-28TH/s 17.5GH/W $37.78/TH
How To Select a Good Mining Pool
Mining pools are platforms that allow miners to pool their resources together to achieve a higher collective hash rate — which, in turn, allows the collective to mine more blocks than they would be able to achieve alone.
Typically, these mining pools will distribute block rewards to contributing miners based on the proportion of the hash rate they supply. If a pool contributing a total of 20 TH/s of hash rate successfully mines the next block, a user responsible for 10 percent of this hash rate will receive 10 percent of the 12.5 BTC reward.
Pools essentially allow smaller miners to compete with large private mining organizations by ensuring that the collective hash rate is high enough to successfully mine blocks on regular basis. Without operating through a mining pool, many miners would be unlikely to discover any blocks at all — due to only contributing a tiny fraction of the overall Bitcoin hash rate.
While it is quite possible to be successful mining without a pool, this typically requires an extremely large mining operation and is usually not recommended — unless you have enough hash rate to mine blocks on a regular basis.
Although it is technically possible to discover blocks mining solo and keep the entire 12.5 BTC reward for yourself, the odds of this actually occurring are practically zero — making pool collaboration practically the only way to compete in 2019 and beyond.
Selecting the best pool for you can be a challenging job since the vast majority of pools are quite similar and offer similar features and comparable fees. Because of this, we have broken down the qualities you should be looking for in a new pool into four categories; reputation, hash rate, pool fees, and usability/features:
Reputation
The reputation of a pool is one of the most important factors in selecting the pool that is best for you. Well-reputed pools will tend to be much larger than newer or less well-established pools since few pools with a poor reputation can stand the test of time.
Well-reputed pools also tend to be more transparent about their operation, many of which provide tools to ensure that each user is getting the correct reward based on the hash rate contributed. By using only pools with a great reputation, you also ensure your hash rate is not being used for nefarious purposes — such as powering a 51 percent attack.
When comparing a list of pools that appear suitable for you, it is a wise move to read their user reviews before making your choice — ensuring you don’t end up mining at a pool that steals your hard-fought earnings.
Hash Rate
When it comes to mining Bitcoin, the probability of discovering the next block is directly related to the amount of hashing power you contribute to the network. Because of this, one of the major features you should be considering when selecting your pool is its total hash rate — which is often closely related to the proportion of new blocks mined by the pool
Since the total hash rate of a pool is directly related to how quickly it discovers new blocks, this means the largest pools tend to discover a relative majority of blocks — leading to more regular rewards. However, the very largest pools also tend the have higher fees but often make up for this with sheer success and additional features.
Sometimes, some of the largest pools have a minimum hash rate requirement ù leaving some of the smaller miners left out of the loop. Although smaller pools typically have more relaxed requirements with reduced performance thresholds, these pools may be only slightly more profitable than mining solo.
Pool Fees
When choosing a suitable pool, typically one of the major considerations is its fees. Typically, most pools will charge a small fee that is deducted from your earnings and is usually around 1-2 percent — but sometimes slightly lower or higher.
There are also pools that offer 0 percent fees. However, these are often much smaller than the major pools and tend to make their money in a different way — such as through monthly subscriptions or donations.
Ideally, you will choose the pool that offers the best balance of fees to other features. Usually, the pool with the absolute lowest fees is not the best choice. Additionally, pools with the lowest fees often have the highest withdrawal minimums — making pool hopping uneconomical for most.
Usability and Features
When first starting out with Bitcoin mining, learning how to set up a pool and navigating through the settings can be a challenge. Because of this, several pools target their services to newer users by offering a simple to navigate user interface and providing detailed learning resources and prompt customer support.
However, for more experienced miners, simple pools don’t tend to offer a variety of features needed to maximize profitability. For example, although many mining pools focus their entire hash rate towards mining a single cryptocurrency, some are large enough to offer additional options — allowing users to mine other SHA256 coins such as Bitcoin Cash (BCH) or Fantom if they choose.
These pools are technically more challenging to use and mostly designed for those familiar with mining, happy to hop from coin to coin mining whichever is most profitable at the time. There are even some exchanges that automatically direct their combined hash rate at the most profitable cryptocurrency — taking the guesswork out of the equation.
bitcoin mining pool
Best Mining Pools for 2019
The Bitcoin mining pool industry has a large number of players, but the vast majority of the Bitcoin hash rate is concentrated within just a few pools. Currently, there are dozens of suitable pools to choose from — but we have selected just a few of the best to help get you started on your journey.
Slushpool was the first Bitcoin mining pool released, being launched way back in 2010 under the name “Bitcoin Pooled Mining Server.” Since then, Slushpool has grown into one of the most popular pools around — currently accounting for just under 10 percent of the total Bitcoin hash rate.
Although Slushpool isn’t one of the very largest pools, it does offer a newbie-friendly interface alongside more advanced features for those that need them. The pool has moderately high fees of 2 percent but offers servers in several countries — including the U.S., Europe, China, and Japan — giving it a good balance of fees to features.
BTC.com is another potential candidate for your pool and currently stands as the largest public Bitcoin mining pool. It is responsible for mining around 17 percent of new blocks. Being the largest public mining pool provides users with a sense of security, ensuring blocks are mined regularly and a stable income is made.
Image courtesy of Blockchain.info.
BTC.com is owned by Bitmain, a company that manufacturers mining hardware, and charges a 1.5 percent fees — placing it squarely in the middle-tier in terms of fees. Unlike other platforms, BTC.com uses its own payment structure known as FPPS (Full Pay Per Share), which means miners also receive a share of the transaction fees included within mined blocks — making it slightly more profitable than standard payment per share (PPS) pools.
Another great option is Antpool, a mining pool that supports mining services for 10 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin (LTC) and Ethereum (ETH). AntPool frequently trades places with BTC.com as the largest Bitcoin mining pool. However, as of this writing, it occupies the title of the third-largest public mining pool.
What sets Antpool apart from other pools is the ability to choose your own fee system — including PPS, PPS+, and PPLNS. If you choose PPLNS, using Antpool is free but you will not receive any transaction fees from any blocks mined. Antpool also offers regular payouts and has a low minimum payout of just 0.001 BTC, making it suitable for smaller miners.
Last on the list of the best Bitcoin mining pools in 2019 is the Bitcoin.com mining pool. Although this is one of the smaller pools available, the Bitcoin.com pool has some redeeming features that make it worth a look. It offers mining contracts, allowing you to test out Bitcoin mining before investing in mining equipment of your own. According to Bitcoin.com, they are the highest paying Pay Per Share (PPS) pool in the world, offering up to 98 percent block rewards as well as automatic switching between BTC and BCH mining to optimize profitability.

Electricity Costs
While your mining hardware is most important when it comes to how much BTC you can earn when mining, your electricity costs are usually the largest additional expense. With electricity costs often varying dramatically between countries, ensuring you are on the best cost-per-KWh plan available will help to keep costs down when mining.
Most commonly, large mining operations will be set up in countries where electricity costs are the lowest — such as Iceland, India, and Ukraine. Since China has one of the lowest energy costs in the world, it was previously the epicenter of Bitcoin mining. However, since the government began cracking down on cryptocurrencies, it has largely fallen out of favor with miners.
Technically, Venezuela is one of the cheapest countries in the world in terms of electricity, with the government heavily subsidizing these energy costs — while Bitcoin offers an escape from the hyperinflation suffered by the Venezuelan bolivar. Despite this, importing mining hardware into the country is a costly endeavor, making it impractical for many people.
Finding ways to lower your electricity costs is one of the best ways to improve your mining profitability. This can include investing in renewable energy sources such as solar, geothermal, or wind — which can yield increased profitability over the long term.
if you are looking to buy bitcoin mining equipment here is some links:

Model Antminer S17 Pro (56Th) from Bitmain mining SHA-256 algorithm with a maximum hashrate of 56Th/s for a power consumption of 2385W.
https://miningwholesale.eu/product/bitmain-antminer-s17-pro-56th-copy/?wpam_id=17
Model Antminer S9K from Bitmain mining SHA-256 algorithm with a maximum hashrate of 14Th/s for a power consumption of 1323W.
https://miningwholesale.eu/product/bitmain-antminer-s9k-14-th-s/?wpam_id=17
Model T2T 30Tfrom Innosilicon mining SHA-256 algorithm with a maximum hashrate of 30Th/s for a power consumption of 2200W.
https://miningwholesale.eu/product/innosilicon-t2t-30t/?wpam_id=17
mining wholesale website:
https://miningwholesale.eu/?wpam_id=17
submitted by mohamadk to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

howmanyconfs.com - How does the security of different Proof-of-Work blockchains compare to Bitcoin?

https://howmanyconfs.com
Original post in Bitcoin here: https://np.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/biokgy/howmanyconfscom_how_does_the_security_of/

https://github.com/lukechilds/howmanyconfs.com/raw/mastescreenshot.png

How are these values calculated?

It's easy to compare blockchain hashrates when the Proof-of-Work algorithm is the same. For example if Bitcoin has a hashrate of SHA-256 @ 40 PH/s and Bitcoin Cash has a hashrate of SHA-256 @ 2 PH/s, it's easy to see that for a given period of time the Bitcoin blockchain will have 20x (40/2) the amount of work securing it than the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. Or to say that differently, you need to wait for 20x more Bitcoin Cash confirmations before an equivalent amount of work has been done compared to the Bitcoin blockchain. So 6 Bitcoin confirmations would be roughly equivalent to 120 Bitcoin Cash confirmations in the amount of work done.
However if the Proof-of-Work algorithms are different, how can we compare the hashrate? If we're comparing Bitcoin (SHA-256 @ 40 PH/s) against Litecoin (Scrypt @ 300 TH/s), the hashes aren't equal, one round of SHA-256 is not equivalent to one round of Scrypt.
What we really want to know is how much energy is being consumed to provide the current hash rate. Literal energy, as in joules or kilowatt hours. It would be great if we had a universal metric across blockchains like kWh/s to measure immutability.
However that's fairly hard to calculate, we need to know the average power consumption of the average device used to mine. For GPU/CPU mined Proof-of-Work algorithms this varies greatly. For ASIC mined Proof-of-Work algorithms it varies less, however it's likely that ASIC manufacturers are mining with next generation hardware long before the public is made aware of them, which we can't account for.
There's no automated way to get this data and no reliable data source to scrape it from. We'd need to manually research all mining hardware and collate the data ourself. And as soon as newer mining hardware comes out our results will be outdated.
Is there a simpler way to get an estimated amount of work per blockchain in a single metric we can use for comparisons?
Yeah, there is, we can use NiceHash prices to estimate the cost in $ to secure a blockchain for a given timeframe. This is directly comparable across blockchains and should be directly proportionate to kWh/s, because after all, the energy needs to be paid for in $.
How can we estimate this?
Now we have an estimated total Proof-of-Work metric measured in dollars per second ($/s).
The $/s metric may not be that accurate. Miners will mark up the cost when reselling on NiceHash and we're making the assumption that NiceHash supply is infinite. You can't actually rent 100% of Bitcoin's hashpower from NiceHash, there isn't enough supply.
However that's not really an issue for this metric, we aren't trying to calculate the theoretical cost to rent an additional 100% of the hashrate, we're trying to get a figure that allows us to compare the cost of the current total hashrate accross blockchains. Even if the exact $ value we end up with is not that accurate, it should still be proportionate to kWh/s. This means it's still an accurate metric to compare the difference in work done over a given amount of time between blockchains.
So how do we compare these values between blockchains?
Once we've done the above calculations and got a $/s cost for each blockchain, we just need to factor in the average block time and calculate the total $ cost for a given number of confirmations. Then see how much time is required on the other blockchain at it's $/s value to equal the total cost.
So to calculate how many Litecoin confirmations are equivalent to 6 Bitcoin confirmations we would do:
Therefore we can say that 240 Litecoin confirmations are roughly equal to 6 Bitcoin confirmations in total amount of work done.

Notes

$/s doesn't mean what it sounds like it means.

The $/s values should not be taken as literal costs.
For example:
This is does not mean you could do a 51% attack on Bitcoin and roll back 6 blocks for a cost of $360,000. An attack like that would be much more expensive.
The $/s value is a metric to compare the amount of work at the current hashrate between blockchains. It is not the same as the cost to add hashrate to the network.
When adding hashrate to a network the cost will not scale linearly with hashrate. It will jump suddenly at certain intervals.
For example, once you've used up the available hashrate on NiceHash you need to add the costs of purchasing ASICs, then once you've bought all the ASICs in the world, you'd need to add the costs of fabricating your own chips to keep increasing hashrate.

These metrics are measuring "work done", not security.

More "work done" doesn't necessarily mean "more security".
For example take the following two blockchains:
Bitcoin Cash has a higher $/s value than Zcash so we can deduce it has more "work done" over a given timeframe than Zcash. More kWh/s are required to secure it's blockchain. However does that really mean it's safer?
Zcash is the dominant blockchain for it's Proof-of-Work algorithm (Equihash). Whereas Bitcoin Cash isn't, it uses the same algorithm as Bitcoin. In fact just 5% of Bitcoin's hashrate is equivalent to all of Bitcoin Cash's hashrate.
This means the cost of a 51% attack against Bitcoin Cash could actually be much lower than a 51% attack against Zcash, even though you need to aquire more kWh/s of work, the cost to aquire those kWh/s will likely be lower.
To attack Bitcoin Cash you don't need to acquire any hardware, you just need to convince 5% of the Bitcoin hashrate to lend their SHA-256 hashpower to you.
To attack Zcash, you would likely need to fabricate your own Equihash ASICs, as almost all the Equihash mining hardware in the world is already securing Zcash.

Accurately calculating security is much more complicated.

These metrics give a good estimated value to compare the hashrate accross different Proof-of-Work blockchains.
However to calculate if a payment can be considered "finalised" involves many more variables.
You should factor in:
If the cryptocurrency doesn't dominate the Proof-of-Work it can be attacked more cheaply.
If the market cap or trading volume is really low, an attacker may crash the price of the currency before they can successfully double spend it and make a profit. Although that's more relevant in the context of exchanges rather than individuals accepting payments.
If the value of the transaction is low enough, it may cost more to double spend than an attacker would profit from the double spend.
Ultimately, once the cost of a double spend becomes higher than an attacker can expect to profit from the double spend, that is when a payment can probably be considered "finalised".
submitted by dyslexiccoder to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Asicpower AP9-SHA256 Review


Asicpower AP9-SHA256 Review

Bitmain is regarded as one of the most influential companies in the ASIC mining industry. It is estimated that they have manufactured approximately 53% of all mining equipment.Without including their mining profits, that’s around $140 million dollars in sales. These figures are staggering, but Bitmain’s monopoly of the Bitcoin ASIC market may come to an end, following the release of PowerAsic’s asicpower AP9-SHA256.

About the asicpower AP9-SHA256

Designed with brand new technology and boasting 94 TH/s per miner, the AP(-SHA256 is the most powerful and efficient Bitcoin miner to date.PowerAsic claims they spent $12 million dollars on research, development, and prototypes.PowerAsic also noted that their miners take advantage of ASICBOOST, an exploit of Bitcoin’s algorithm which improves mining efficiency by 20%.An unusual approach separate Powerasic’s miner to the other manufactures is the implementation of copper heat-sink claimed to have a superior thermal conductivity 69% better than aluminium. Don’t take their words for it but confirm the facts are correct on widely well known and published science documents as this one.The first batch of miners were announced and made available for order in August of 2019, with start scheduled for shipment in September, 2019.
Powerasic claims that the machines are around 40 percent more productive than the most proficient ASIC on the market, Bitmain’s Antminer S17.According to PowerAsic, they started a mining project with the aim to bring much needed competition to the market…We want to ‘make SHA256 great again.Sitting at the hefty price of $2,795.00, the powerasic AP9-SHA256 is far from affordable for the average person. Fortunately, due to the newly born rivalry between Bitmain and Powerasic, the price will probably lower with time and competition.The power supply for this unit is included and integrated in the top-box also including the controler card as a one unit. You will also get standard power cable, network cable, manual and software in the packet. In comparison to the price of the Antminer S17 , the Powerasic AP9-Sha256 is a better value.

Power Supply

The integrated PSU 3300W has a inputVoltage 220V 50Hz 30A. There are 2 fan 40mm., 1 fan 60mm to keep it cool and the power cable 3 legs following CEE 7 standard.Professional mining hardware runs optimally at 220-240V, hence why mining farms step down their own electricity supply to 220-240V. Note that 220V current is only found outside of the US – American outlets are 110V by default. Unless you want to hire an electrician, this could cause some people trouble adapt to the eficient and recomended 220V power needed, still 110V will get the job done, but they are not ideal for optimum mining performance.

Power Consumption

Thanks to the powerasic AP9-HA256’s new 7nm generation of ASIC chips, the AP9-SHA256 has become the most electrically-efficient miner on the market.Consuming merely 30.J/TB, or 2860W from the wall, the 16T is 30% more electrically-efficient than the Antminer S17.

Profitability

Powerasic ’s new ASIC technology is impressive. When compared to its closest competitor, the Antminer S17, the powerasic AP9-HA256 is the clear winner. It hashes at 94 TH/s, as opposed to the S17’s 56 TH/s. Moreover, the the AP9-HA256 consumes 30J/GH, whereas the S17 consumes 39-45J/TB.The difference in power consumption is miniscule, but when it comes to large-scale mining, the the AP9-HA256’s edge will drastically increase the profitability of a mining operation. This ASIC is profitable not only for mining on a large scale, but for the individual miner as well.Take a look at the projected mining profitability of a single miner:Note that is appears profitable even with high electricity costs ($0.1 per KW/h). With $0.05 / KW/h it’s even more profitable:📷Each powerasic AP9-HA256 will generate about $6,009 per year (calculated with 1 BTC=$10,141.5). Mining profitability may vary. You can usethis free profitability calculator to determine your projected earnings.

Is powerasic AP9-HA256 a Scam?

There is been a lot of talk on Twitter that powerasic AP9-HA256 is a scam. It appears it is not, as many users are already claiming to have received their miners.Slush, the creator ot Slush Mining Pool and the TREZOR hardware wallet, claims on Twitter that he has seen units and knows people who have had their miners delivered:

Verdict: Is The Antminer S17 Outdated?

When the first batch of Bitmain’s Antminer S17 ASICs reached the eager hands of miners, they were all the rage. The S17 was renowned as the most efficient ASIC miner on the market. Many used the S17 as the industry’s golden standard.Up until the launch of the powerasic AP9-HA256, it was the golden standard.But, now?Things have changed.Not only is the powerasic AP9-HA256 more powerful than its predecessor from Bitmain, but also more efficient, and therefore, more profitable.Ever since the announcement of the new ASIC, there was widespread speculation of its legitimacy – and rightly so.The Bitcoin community has been plagued with small, phony companies manipulating images of preexisting antminers as a ploy to hype up their fake products. Nevertheless, powerasic AP9-HA256 is taking things seriously, and their first batch of miners have lived up to expectations.The fact of the matter is, Bitmain’s most powerful and efficient antminer has been dethroned by the new reigning king of ASICs: The powerasic AP9-HA256.

Conclusion

Bitmain has dominated the ASIC market since its inception in 2013.There are a few other companies producing ASICs. However, before the creation of PowerAsics AP9-SHA256., Bitmain was the only company with a proven track record that sold efficient miners directly to the public.Powerasic AP9-HA256 has the potential to bring Bitmain’s monopoly to an end. Powerasic AP9-HA256 has a bright future ahead of them. Now that Bitmain has noteworthy competition, it will be interesting to see how it affects the market. The powerasic AP9-HA256 is the best option (for now) for anyone getting started with mining. Powerasic’s innovation should force other ASIC producers to innovate and force other companies to release new miners with better efficiency. So whether you’re buying a miner now or soon, you’re likely to benefit from the development of this new miner. For more, Visit Us: https://asicpower.net/product.php
submitted by farwa786 to u/farwa786 [link] [comments]

We are miners: There is a legend whose name is derived from King Arthur, meaning the world of bliss

We are miners: There is a legend whose name is derived from King Arthur, meaning the world of bliss
We are an old leek, old miner! Being cut one after another, filling one by one, this thing is very fun, we are still playing.

From 2013 the present, the crypto mining circle is full of stories. Do you remember the butterfly mining machine that was pre-ordered a year later? Remember that the ASICMiner (friedcat) accounted for one-third of the world's hash rate in the BTCGuild mining pool?

In the interviewing ngzhang (Zhang Nangeng, the founder of Avalon) by Cybtc.com, he said,

"Avalon's name is derived from the legend of King Arthur, meaning the world of bliss."

Zhao Dong mentioned in the interview by Cybtc.com,

"I am not selling the house for the sake of speculation. I watched the property market, so I sold the house. I just touched Bitcoin, so I played Bitcoin. If I think that I am selling the house for the sake of speculation, it is a big misunderstanding."

On the 2013 Singles Day (Double eleven day), Bitmain announced that "55nm mining chip test was successful, power consumption is as low as 0.68w/gh/s, the upcoming spot ant mining machine".

2015 Antminer with you and me New Year's Eve - Essays waiting for you! \"Ant and me: my encounter with the antminer machine\" creative painting of beauty fendy.

In an interview with zhanketuan, the CEO of Bitmain always said,

"Doing things well every day is our plan."

Dream

The southwestern border of China is also known as Yunnan, also known as the south of the colorful clouds. The name of Cybtc.com, Colorful Yunnan Bitcoin" comes from here. There is beautiful scenery here, the climate of the four seasons like spring, the blue sky, the white clouds, there is abundant hydropower here. Resources. Every digital currency miner is profitable, but when you are in the arms of nature, watching a mining machine creak and calculating bitcoin transactions from around the world. This feeling is somewhat wonderful. The combination of high-tech and primitive nature will make you forget the difficulty of life, forget the pressure of work, and the feeling of magic and coziness is born. Feel like you don't want to leave, as Lijiang or Dali. In this deep valley, building a small house. The family is enjoying themselves in this pure nature. Sleeping early every day, sleeping until you wake up naturally. Soaking a pot of Pu'er tea, watching the river in front of you, let it be sinister in the world, all thrown into the brain Rear.

On the mining road: the rising sun shines above the sea of clouds.

On the mine road: enter the cloud, a pool of Jasper into the eye.

On the mine road: the lake and the autumn moon are two phases, and the windless mirror on the surface of the pond is not worn.

"Looking at the Dongting Mountains and Waters, a Green Snail in a Silver Plate" - "Wang Dongting" Tang Liu Yuxi
. . . . . . . . .

Reality

Brothers can wake up, it is a dream. The days of miners are actually very hard, Yunnan's highways and mountains are more curved. Every day, going to the mine to drive a mountain road for 10 hours is a common practice. You can see the piles of landslides everywhere. On the road beside the cliff, loneliness and loneliness hit the heart.

On the mine road: the altitude changes, the road surface is slippery.

I hope that the days of the miners will be better every day!

Recently, Miners of Cybtc 2019 New Year One-Stop Group Mining have all been put on the shelves. Bitcoin has been like this river, rolling forward. Come on, let the bear market come even more fierce!

https://preview.redd.it/u4wm4kcdrxa21.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=7fc62840e647f1a0ee3cca9cc08e095e809534f6

Pictures of the mine.

The mining machine has just put on the frame.

Mine curtain temperature has been checked not more than 12 degrees.

Mine air inlet temperature.

Mine air outlet temperature.

Ventilator.

Mine dedicated transformers.
English:www.cybtc.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Cybtc
Telegram: https://t.me/joinchat/LgPYnE1vPpXqYDVpPaQyxw
Discord: https://discord.gg/RfCZMNY
submitted by cybtc to BitcoinMining [link] [comments]

Napkin Math: Total Global Average Cost to Mine a bitcoin

I've made a few assumptions below to try to come to a very generalized understanding of what a bitcoin costs to mine on average, globally, post "halvening." I'm not trying to be too precise and would be happy if I was within 10%-15% of what may actually be true. I tried to stay somewhat conservative (I think) in the estimates by assuming that all mining equipment is the best of the best, and that all electricity is relatively cheap (I understand some operations in China don't pay for electricity).
If there are any glaring mistakes, or major issues I've missed which could skew the result significantly, I would appreciate any help. Thanks.
 
ASSUMPTIONS:
   
CALCULATIONS:
Electricity Cost:
 
Depreciation Cost:
NOTE: I assumed a linear depreciation cost over 180 days useful life of the mining rig. I honestly don't know how long people keep miners (professional, not hobbyists). It does appear that new/better models come out about every 6 months though. It also appears that older mining rigs, at most 2 development cycles old, aren't cost effective. I didn't regard it as appropriate to this estimate to include the few 2 year old USB miners that some hobbyists are using in their basement or attic somewhere. Also, I've heard that some mining manufacturers mine with their new stock first before cleaning it up and sending out for sale, further hurting the ROI on older equipment.
 
Combining the Electricity Cost and Depreciation Cost together we get: (Network Electricity Cost Per Coin) + (Depreciation Cost per Coin) = ($43.30) + ($715.79) = $759.09
 
Property, Plant, and Labor Cost: This is tough and can have a lot of factors. I've written down many but to keep this post length somewhat reasonable, I'm going to simply add on a 15% additional cost to the previous total = (1.15) x ($759.09) =
 
So, the Global Total Mining Average Cost to collectively mine a bitcoin at 12.5 coins awarded per block is about: $872.95
 
As we can see, the Depreciation expense is the biggest factor in the estimate. Any adjustments to the assumption of mining equipments' usable life would significantly affect the estimate. Additionally, this estimate is basically a current "snapshot" of the mining landscape and doesn't include network growth and its effects on mining over time.
 
Again, this is just some napkin math I threw together from a base of assumptions and wasn't intended to be exact. I appreciate hearing any major faults you find in the assumptions or methodology and any suggestions you have regarding the numbers.
submitted by uboyzlikemexico to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

New people please read this. [upvote for visibility please]

I am seeing too many new people come and and getting confused. Litecoin wiki isn't the greatest when it comes to summing up things so I will try to do things as best as I can. I will attempt to explain from what I have learned and answer some questions. Hopefully people smarter than me will also chime in. I will keep this post updated as much as I can.
Preface
Litecoin is a type to electronic currency. It is just like Bitcoin but it there are differences. Difference explained here.
If you are starting to mine now chances are that you have missed the Bitcoin mining train. If you really want your time and processing power to not go to waste you should mine LTC because the access to BTC from there is much easier.
Mining. What is it?
Let's get this straight. When making any financial commitment to this be prepared to do it with "throw away" money. Mining is all about the hashrate and is measured in KH/s (KiloHash/sec). Unlike the powerful ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) that are used to mine bitcoins using hashrates in the GH/s and even TH/s, litecoin mining has only been able to achieve at the very best MH/s. I think the highest I've seen is 130 MH/s so far. Which leads us to our next section.
Mining Hardware
While CPU mining is still a thing it is not as powerful as GPU mining. Your laptop might be able to get 1 a month. However, I encourage you to consult this list first. List of hardware comparison You will find the highest of processors can maybe pull 100 KH/s and if we put this into a litecoin mining calculator it doesn't give us much.
Another reason why you don't want to mine with your CPU is pretty simple. You are going to destroy it.
So this leaves us with GPUs. Over the past few months (and years) the HD 7950 has been the favourite because it drains less power and has a pretty good hashrate. But recently the introduction of the R9 290 (not the x) has changed the game a bit. People are getting 850 KH/s - 900 KH/s with that card. It's crazy.
Should I mine?
Honestly given the current difficulty you can make a solid rig for about $1100 with a hashrate of 1700 KH/s which would give you your investment back in about a month and a half. I am sure people out there can create something for much cheaper. Here is a good example of a setup as suggested by dystopiats
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks
Type Item Price
CPU AMD Sempron 145 2.8GHz Single-Core Processor $36.01 @ Amazon
Motherboard ASRock 970 EXTREME4 ATX AM3+ Motherboard $99.48 @ OutletPC
Memory Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory $59.99 @ Newegg
Video Card Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (3-Way CrossFire) $245.38 @ Newegg
Video Card Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (3-Way CrossFire) $245.38 @ Newegg
Video Card Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (3-Way CrossFire) $245.38 @ Newegg
Power Supply SeaSonic Platinum 860W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $146.98 @ SuperBiiz
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available. $1078.60
Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-29 00:52 EST-0500
Estimated Hashrate (with GPU overclocking) : 1900 KH/s
Hardware Fundamentals
CPU - Do you need a powerful CPU? No but make sure it is a decent one. AMD CPUs are cheap to buy right now with tons of power. Feel free to use a Sempron or Celeron depending on what Motherboard you go with.
RAM - Try to get at least 4 GB so as to not run into any trouble. Memory is cheap these days. I am saying 4 GB only because of Windoze. If you are plan to run this on Linux you can even get away with less memory.
HDD Any good ol 7200 RPM hard drive will do. Make sure it is appropriate. No point in buying a 1TB hard drive. Since, this is a newbie's guide I assumed most won't know how to run linux, but incase you do you can get a USB flash drive and run linux from it thus removing the need for hard drive all toghether. (thanks dystopiats)
GPU - Consult the list of hardware of hardware I posted above. Make sure you consider the KH/s/W ratio. To me the 290 is the best option but you can skimp down to 7950 if you like.
PSU - THIS IS BLOODY IMPORTANT. Most modern GPUs are power hungry so please make sure you are well within the limits of your power consumption.
MOTHERBOARD - Ok, so a pretty popular board right now is Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 and the ASRock 970 Extreme4. Some people are even going for Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 and even the mighty Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 because it has more PCI-E slots. 6 to be exact. However you may not need that much. With risers you can get more shoved into less.
PCI-E RISERS - These are called risers. They come in x16 to x16 and x1 to x16 connections. Here is the general rule of thumb. This is very important. Always get a POWERED riser otherwise you will burn a hole in your MoBo. A powered rise as a molex connector so that additional power from PSU can be supplied.
When it comes to hardware I've provided the most basic knowledge you need. Also, take a look at cryptobader's website. This is very helpful. Please visit the mining section of Litecoin Forums and the litecoinmining subreddit for more indepth info.
Mining Software
Now that you have assembled your hardware now you need to get into a pool. But before you do that you need a mining software. There are many different ones but the one that is most popular is cgminer. Download it and make sure you read the README. It is a very robust piece of software. Please read this if you want to know more. (thanks BalzOnYer4Head)
Mining Pools
Now that your hardware and software is ready. I know nothing about solo mining other than the fact that you have to be very lucky and respectable amount of hashing power to decrypt a block. So it is better to join pools. I have been pool hopping for a bit and really liked give-me-coin previously known to the community as give-me-ltc. They have a nice mobile app and 0% pool fees. This is really a personal preference. Take a look at this list and try some yourself.
How do I connect to a pool?
Most pools will give you a tutorial on how to but the basics are as follows:
  • Signup for a pool
  • Create a worker for your account. Usually one worker per rig (Yes people have multiple rigs) is generally a good idea.
  • Create a .run file. Open up notepad and type cgminer.exe -o (address_to_the_miningpool:port_number) -u (yourusername.workername) -p (your_worker_password_if_you_made_one). Then File>Save As>runcgminer.run (Make sure the drop down is set to "All Files" and .txt document.) and save in the same folder as cgminer. That's it.
  • Double click on runcgminer.run (or whatever you named it) and have fun mining.
Mining Profitability
This game is not easy. If it was, practically everyone would be doing it. This is strictly a numbers game and there are calculations available that can help you determine your risk on your investments. 4 variables you need to consider when you are starting to mine:
Hardware cost: The cost of your physical hardware to run this whole operation.
Power: Measured in $/KwH is also known as the operating cost.
Difficulty rate: To put it in layman's terms the increase in difficulty is inversely proportional to amount of coin you can mine. The harder the difficulty the harder it is to mine coin. Right now difficulty is rising at about 18% per 3 days. This can and will change since all you miners are soon going to jump on the band wagon.
Your sanity: I am not going to tell you to keep calm and chive on because quiet frankly that is stupid. What I will tell you not to get too carried away. You will pull you hair out. Seriously.
Next thing you will need is a simple tool. A mining profitability calculator. I have two favourite ones.
coinwarz
I like this one cause it is simple. The fields are self explanatory. Try it.
bitcoinwisdom
I like this one because it is a more real life scenario calculator and more complicated one (not really). It also takes increasing difficulty into account.
Please note: This is the absolute basic info you need. If you have more questions feel free to ask and or google it!
More Below.
submitted by craeyon to litecoin [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Mining & The Beauty Of Capitalism

Authored by Valentin Schmid via The Epoch Times,
While the price of bitcoin drops, miners get more creative... and some flourish.
The bitcoin price is crashing; naysayers and doomsayers are having a field day. The demise of the dominant cryptocurrency is finally happening — or is it?
Bitcoin has been buried hundreds of times, most notably during the brutal 90 percent decline from 2013 to 2015. And yet it has always made a comeback.
Where the skeptics are correct: The second bitcoin bubble burst in December of last year and the price is down roughly 80 percent from its high of $20,000. Nobody knows whether and when it will see these lofty heights again.
As a result, millions of speculators have been burned, and big institutions haven’t showed up to bridge the gap.
This also happened on a smaller scale in 2013 after a similar 100x run-up, and it was necessary.

Time to Catch Up

What most speculators and even some serious proponents of the independent and decentralized monetary system don’t understand: Bitcoin needs these pauses to make improvements in its infrastructure.
Exchanges, which could not handle the trading volumes at the height of the frenzy and did not return customer service inquiries, can take a breather and upgrade their systems and hire capable people.
The technology itself needs to make progress and this needs time. Projects like the lightning network, a system which delivers instant bitcoin payments at very little cost and at virtually unlimited scale is now only available to expert programmers.
A higher valuation is only justified if these improvements reach the mass market.
And since we live in a world where everything financial is tightly regulated, for better or worse, this area also needs to catch up, since regulators are chronically behind the curve of technological progress.
And of course, there is bitcoin mining. The vital infrastructure behind securing the bitcoin network and processing its transactions has been concentrated in too few hands and in too few places, most notably China, which still hosts about 70 percent of the mining capacity.

The Case For Mining

Critics have always complained that bitcoin mining consumes “too much” electricity, right now about as much as the Czech Republic. In energy terms this is around 65 terawatt hours or 230,000,000 gigajoules, costing $3.3 billion dollars according to estimates by Digiconomist.
For the non-physicists among us, this is around as much as consumed by six million energy-guzzling U.S. households per year.
All those estimates are imprecise because the aggregate cannot know how much energy each of the different bitcoin miners consumes and how much that electricity costs. But they are a reasonable rough estimate.
So it’s worth exploring why mining is necessary to begin with and whether the electricity consumption is justified.
Anything and everything humans do consumes resources. The question then is always: Is it worth it? And: Who decides?
This question then leads to the next question: Is it worth having and using money? Most people would argue yes, because using money instead of barter in fact makes economic transactions faster and cheaper and thus saves resources, natural and human.

_Merchants exchange goods with the inhabitants of Tidore, Indonesia, circa 1550. Barter was supplanted by using money because it is more efficient. (Archive/Getty Images)_If we are generously inclined, we will grant bitcoin the status of a type of money or at least currency as it meets the general requirements of being recognizable, divisible, portable, durable, is accepted in exchange for other goods and services, and in this case it is even limited in supply.
So having any type of money has a price, whether it’s gold, dollar bills, or numbers on the screen of your online banking system. In the case of bitcoin, it’s the electricity and the capital for the computing equipment, as well as the human resources to run these operations.
If we think having money in general is a good idea and some people value the decentralized and independent nature of bitcoin then it would be worth paying for verifying transactions on the bitcoin network as well as keeping the network secure and sound: Up until the point where the resources consumed would outweigh the efficiency benefits. Just like most people don’t think it’s a bad idea to use credit cards and banks, which consume electricity too.
However, bitcoin is a newcomer and this is why it’s being scrutinized even more so than the old established players.

Different Money, Different Costs

How many people know how much electricity, human lives, and other resources gold mining consumes or has consumed in the course of history? What about the banking system? Branches, servers, air-conditioning, staff? What about printing dollar notes and driving them around in armored trucks?
What about the social effects of monetary mismanagement of bank and government money like inflation as well as credit deflations? Gold gets a pass here.
Most people haven’t asked that question, which is why it’s worth pointing out the only comprehensive study done on the topic in 2014. In “An Order of Magnitude” the engineer Hass McCook analyzes the different money systems and reaches mind-boggling conclusions.
The study is a bit dated and of course the aggregations are also very rough estimates, but the ball park numbers are reasonable and the methodology sound.
In fact, according to the study, bitcoin is the most economic of all the different forms of money.
Gold mining in 2014 used 475 million GJ, compared to bitcoin’s 230 million in 2018. The banking system in 2014 used 2.3 billion gigajoules.
Over 100 people per year die trying to mine gold. But mining costs more than electricity. It consumes around 300,000 liters of water per kilogram of gold mined as well as 150 kilogram (330 pounds) of cyanide and 1500 tons of waste and rubble.
The international banking system has been used in all kinds of fraudulent activity throughout history: terrorist financing, money laundering, and every other criminal activity under the sun at a cost of trillions of dollars and at an order of magnitude higher than the same transactions done with cryptocurrency and bitcoin.
And of course, while gold has a relatively stable value over time, our bank and government issued money lost about 90 percent of its purchasing power over the last century, because it can be created out of thin air. This leads to inflation and a waste of physical and human resources because it distorts the process of capital allocation.

_The dollar has lost more than 90 percent of its value since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. (Source: St. Louis Fed)_This is on top of the hundreds of thousands of bank branches, millions of ATMs and employees which all consume electricity and other resources, 10 times as much electricity alone as the bitcoin network.
According to monetary philosopher Saifedean Ammous, author of “The Bitcoin Standard,” the social benefit of hard money, i.e. money that can’t be printed by government decree, cannot even be fathomed; conversely, the true costs of easy money—created by government fiat and bank credit—are difficult to calculate.
According to Ammous, bitcoin is the hardest money around, even harder than gold because its total supply is capped, whereas the gold supply keeps increasing at about 1-2 percent every year.
“Look at the era of the classical gold standard, from 1871, the end of the Franco–Prussian War, until the beginning of World War I. There’s a reason why this is known as the Golden Era, the Gilded Age, and La Belle Epoque. It was a time of unrivaled human flourishing all over the world. Economic growth was everywhere. Technology was being spread all over the world. Peace and prosperity were increasing everywhere around the world. Technological innovations were advancing.
“I think this is no coincidence. What the gold standard allowed people to do is to have a store of value that would maintain its value in the future. And that gave people a low time preference, that gave people the incentive to think of the long term, and that made people want to invest in things that would pay off over the long term … bitcoin is far closer to gold. It is a digital equivalent of gold,” he said in an interview with The Epoch Times.
Of course, contrary to the gold standard that Ammous talks about, bitcoin doesn’t have a track record of being sound money in practice. In theory it meets all the criteria, but in the real world it hasn’t been adopted widely and has been so volatile as to be unusable as a reliable store of value or as the underlying currency of a productive lending market.
The proponents argue that over time, these problems will be solved the same way gold spread itself throughout the monetary sphere replacing copper and seashells, but even Ammous concedes the process may take decades and the outcome is far from certain. Gold is the safe bet for sound money, bitcoin has potential.
There is another measure where bitcoin loses out, according to a recent study by researchers from the Oak Ridge Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.
It is the amount of energy expended per dollar for different monetary instruments. One dollar worth of bitcoin costs 17 megajoules to mine versus five for gold and seven for platinum. But the study omits the use of cyanide, water, and other physical resources in mining physical metals.
In general, the comparisons in dollar terms go against bitcoin because it is worth relatively less, only $73 billion in total at the time of writing. An issue that could be easily fixed at a higher price, but a higher price is only justified if the infrastructure improves, adoption increases, volatility declines, and the network proves its resilience to attacks over time.
In the meantime, market participants still value the fact they can own a currency independent of the government, completely digital, easily fungible, and limited in supply, and relatively decentralized. And the market as a whole is willing to pay a premium for these factors reflected in the higher per dollar prices for mining bitcoin.

The Creativity of Bitcoin Mining

But where bitcoin mining lacks in scale, it makes up for it in creativity.
In theory—and in practice—bitcoin mining can be done anywhere where there is cheap electricity. So bitcoin mining operations can be conducted not where people are (banking) or where government is (fiat cash) or where gold is (gold mining)—it can be done everywhere where there is cheap electricity
Some miners are flocking to the heat of the Texan desert where gas is virtually available for free, thanks to another oil revolution.
Other miners go to places where there is cheap wind, water, or other renewable energy.
This is because they don’t have to build bank branches, printing presses, and government buildings, or need to put up excavators and conveyor belts to dig gold out of the ground.
All they need is internet access and a home for the computers that look like a shipping container, each one of which has around 200 specialized bitcoin mining computers in them.
“The good thing about bitcoin mining is that it doesn’t matter where on earth a transaction happens, we can verify it in our data center here. The miners are part of the decentralized philosophy of bitcoin, it’s completely independent of your location as well,” said Moritz Jäger, chief technology officer at bitcoin Mining company Northern Bitcoin AG.

Centralized Mining

But so far, this decentralization hasn’t worked out as well as it sounds in theory.
Because Chinese local governments had access to subsidized electricity, it was profitable for officials to cut deals with bitcoin mining companies and supply them with cheap electricity in exchange for jobs and cutbacks. Sometimes the prices were as low as 2 dollar cents to 4 dollar cents per kilowatt hour.
This is why the majority of bitcoin mining is still concentrated in China (around 70 percent) where it was the most profitable, but only because the Chinese central planners subsidized the price of electricity.
This set up led to the by and large unwanted result that the biggest miner of bitcoin, a company called Bitmain, is also the biggest manufacturer of specialized computing equipment for bitcoin mining. The company reported revenues of $2.8 billion for the first half of 2018.

Tourists walk on the dunes near a power plant in Xiangshawan Desert in Ordos of Inner Mongolia, in this file photo. bitcoin miners have enjoyed favorable electricity rates in places like Ordos for a long time. (Feng Li/Getty Images)Centralized mining is a problem because whenever there is one player or a conglomerate of players who control more than 50 percent of the network computing power, they could theoretically crash the network by spending the same bitcoin twice, the so called “double spending problem.“
They don’t have an incentive to do so because it would probably ruin the bitcoin price and their business, but it’s better not to have to rely on one group of people controlling an entire money system. After all, we have that exact same system with central banking and bitcoin was set up as a decentralized alternative.
So far, no player or conglomerate ever reached that 51 percent threshold, at least not since bitcoin’s very early days, but many market participants always thought Bitmain’s corner of the market is a bit too close for comfort.
This favorable environment for Chinese bitcoin mining has been changing with a crack down on local government electricity largess as well as a crackdown on cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin itself and mining bitcoin remain legal in China but cryptocurrency exchanges have been banned since late 2017.
But more needs to be done for bitcoin to become independent of the caprice of a centralized oppressive regime and local government bureaucrats.

Northern Bitcoin Case Study

Enter Northern Bitcoin AG. The company isn’t the only one which is exploring mining opportunities with renewable energies in locations other than China.
But it is special because of the extraordinary set up it has for its operations, the fact that it is listed on the stock exchange in Germany, and the opportunities for scaling it discovered.
The operations of Northern Bitcoin combine the beauties of bitcoin and capitalism in one.
Like Texas has a lot of oil and free gas and it makes sense to use the gas rather than burn it, Norway has a lot of water, especially water moving down the mountains due to rainfall and melting snow.
And it makes sense to use the power of the movement of the water, channel it through pipes into generators to create very cheap and almost unlimited electricity. Norway generates north of 95 percent of its total electricity from hydropower.

A waterfall next to a hydropowerplant near Sandane, Norway, Oct. 25, 2018. (Valentin Schmid/The Epoch Times)Capitalism does not distinguish between renewable and fossil. It uses what is the most expedient. In this case, it is clearly water in Norway, and gas in Texas.
As a side note on the beauties of real capital and the fact that capital and the environment need not be enemies, the water in one of the hydropowerplants close to the Northern Bitcoin facility is piped through a generator made in 1920 by J.M. Voith AG, a company from Heidenheim Germany.
The company was established in 1867 and is still around today. The generator was produced in 1920 and is still producing electricity today.

Excess Power

In the remote regions of Northern Norway, there aren’t that many people or industry who would use the electricity. And rather than transport it over hundreds of miles to the industrial centers of Europe, the industries of the future are moving to Norway to the source of the cheap electricity.
Of course, it is not just bitcoin mining, but other data and computing heavy operations like server farms for cloud computing that can be neatly packaged into one of those containers and shipped up north.
“The containers are beautiful. They are produced in the middle of Germany where the hardware is enabled and tested. Then we put it on a truck and send it up here. When the truck arrives on the outside we lift it on the container vehicle. Two hours after the container arrives, it’s in the container rack. And 40 hours later we enable the cooling, network, power, other systems, and it’s online,” said Mats Andersson, a spokesman for the Lefdal Mine data center in Måløy, Norway, where Northern Bitcoin has its operations. Plug and play.

A Northern Bitcoin data container inside the Lefdal Mine data center, in Måløy, Norway. (Northern Bitcoin)If the cheap electricity wasn’t enough—around 5 cents per kilowatt hour compared to 17 cents in Germany—Norway also provides the perfect storage for these data containers, which are normally racked up in open air parks above the ground.
Also here, the resource allocation is beautiful. Instead of occupying otherwise useful and beautiful parcels of land and nature, the Northern Bitcoin containers and others are stored in the old Lefdal olivine mine.
Olivine is a mineral used for steel production and looks green. Very fitting. Hence also the name of the data center: Lefdal Mine.
“We take the green mineral out and we take the green IT in,” said Andersson.

Efficiency, Efficiency

Using the old mine as storage for the data center makes the whole process even more resource efficient.
Why? So far, we’ve only been talking about bitcoin mining using a lot of energy. But what for? Before you have actually seen the process in action—and it is similar for other computing operations—you cannot imagine how bizarre it is.
Most of the electricity is used to prevent the computers from overheating. So it’s not even the processors themselves; it’s the fans which cool the computer that use the most juice.
This is where the mine helps, because it’s rather cool 160 meters (525 feet) below sea level; certainly cooler than in the Texas desert.
But it gets even better. On top of the air blow-cooling the computer, the Lefdal data center uses a fresh water system to pump through the containers in pipes.
The fans can then circulate air over the cool pipes which transfer the heat to the water. One can feel the difference when touching the different pipes.
The fresh water closed circle loop then completes the “green” or resource efficiency cycle by transferring its heat to ice cold water from the nearby Fjord.
The water is sucked in through a pipe from the Fjord, the heat gets transferred without the water being mixed, and the water flows back to the Fjord, without any impact on the environment.
To top it all off, the mine has natural physical security far better than open air data centers and is even protected from an electromagnetic pulse blast because it’s underground.

_The Nordfjord near Måløy, Norway. The Lefdal data center takes the cold water from the fjord and uses it to cool the computer inside the mine. (Valentin Schmid/The Epoch Times)_Company Dynamics

Given this superlative set up, Northern Bitcoin wants to ramp up production as fast as possible at the Lefdal mine and other similar places in Norway, which have more mountains where data centers can be housed.
At the moment, Northern Bitcoin has 15 containers with 210 mining machines each. The 15 containers produce around 5 bitcoin per day at a total cost of around $2,500 dollars at the end of November 2018 and after the difficulty of solving the math problems went down by ~17 percent.
Most of it is for electricity; the rest is for leasing the containers, renting the mine space, buying and writing off the mining computers, personnel, overhead, etc.
Even at the current relatively depressed prices of around $4000, that’s a profit of $1500 per bitcoin or $7,500 per day.
But the goal is to ramp it up to 280 containers until 2019, producing 100 bitcoin per day. Again, the company is in the sweet spot to do this.
As opposed to the beginning of the year when one could not procure a mining computer from Bitmain even if one’s life depended on it, the current bear market has made them cheap and relatively available both new and second had from miners who had to cease operations because they can’t produce at low bitcoin prices.

Northern Bitcoin containers inside the Lefdal Mine data center in Måløy, Norway. (Northern Bitcoin)What about the data shipping containers? They are manufactured by a company called Rittal who is the world market leader. So it helps that the owner of Rittal also owns 30 percent of the Lefdal mine, providing preferential access to the containers.
Northern Bitcoin said it has enough capital available for the intermediate goal of ramping up to 50 containers until the end of year but may tap the capital markets again for the next step.
The company can also take advantage of the lower German corporate tax rate because revenue is only recorded when the bitcoin are sold in Germany, not when they are mined in Norway.
Of course, every small-cap stock—especially bitcoin companies—have their peculiarities and very high risks. As an example, Northern Bitcoin’s financial statements, although public, aren’t audited.
The equipment in the Lefdal mine in Norway is real and the operations are controlled by the Lefdal personnel, but one has to rely on exclusive information from the company for financials and cost figures, so buyer beware.

Norway Powerhouse?

Northern Bitcoin wants to have 280 containers, representing around 5 percent of the network’s computing power.
But the Lefdal mine alone has a capacity to power and cool 1,500 containers in a 200 megawatt facility, once it is fully built out.
“Here you have all the space, power, and cooling that you need. … Here you can grow,” said Lefdal’s Andersson.

A mine shaft in the Lefdal Mine data center in Måløy, Norway. The whole mine will have a capacity for 1500 containers once fully built out. (Valentin Schmid/The Epoch Times)The Norwegian government was behind an initiative to bring computing power to Norway and make it one of the prime destinations for data centers at the beginning of this decade.
To that effect, the local governments own part of the utility companies which operate the power plants and own part of the Lefdal Mine and other locations. But even without notable subsidies (i.e. cash payments to companies), market players were able to figure it out, for everybody’s benefit.
The utilities win because they can sell their cheap electricity close to home. The computing companies like IBM and Northern Bitcoin win because they can get cheap electricity, storage, and security. Data center operators like Lefdal win because they can charge rent for otherwise unused and unneeded space.
However, in a recent about face, the central government in Oslo has decided to remove cryptocurrency miners from the list of companies which pay a preferential tax rate on electricity consumption.
Normally, energy intensive companies, including data centers, pay a preferential tax on electricity consumed of 0.48 øre ($0.00056 ). According to a report by Norwegian media Aftenposten, this tax will rise to 16.58 øre ($0.019) in 2019 for cryptocurrency miners exclusively.
The argument by left wing politician Lars Haltbrekken who sponsored the initiative: “Norway cannot continue to provide huge tax incentives for the most dirty form of cryptocurrency output […] [bitcoin] requires a lot of energy and generates large greenhouse gas emissions globally.”
Since Norway generates its electricity using hydro, precisely the opposite is true: No greenhouse gas emissions, or any emissions for that matter would be produced, if all cryptomining was done in Norway. As opposed to China, where mining is done with coal and with emissions.
But not only in Norway is the share of renewable and emission free energy high. According to research by Coinshares, Bitcoin’s consumes about 77.6 percent of its energy in the form of renewables globally.
However self-defeating the arguments against bitcoin mining in Norway, the political initiative is moving forward. What it means for Northern Bitcoin is not clear, as they house their containers in Lefdal’s mixed data center, which also has other clients, like IBM.
“It’s not really decided yet; there are still big efforts from IT sectors and parties who are trying to change it. If the decision is taken it might apply for pure crypto sites rather than mixed data centers, like ours,” said Lefdal’s Andersson.
Even in the worst-case scenario, it would mean an increase from ~5 cents to ~6.9 cents per kilowatt hour, or 30 percent more paid on the electricity by Northern Bitcoin, which at ~$3250 would still rank it among the most competitive producers in the world.
Coinshares estimates the average production price at $6,800 per Bitcoin at $0,05 per kilowatt hour of electricity and an 18-months depreciation schedule, but concedes that a profitable miner could “[depreciate] mining gear over 24-30 months, or [pay] less for mining gear than our estimates.”
Jäger says Northern Bitcoin depreciates the equipment over three years and has obtained very favorable prices from Bitmain, making its production much more competitive than the average despite the same cost of electricity. In addition, the natural cooling in the mine also reduces electricity costs overall.

Cheap Producer Advantage

At the moment, however, the tax could be the least of any miners worry, as the bitcoin price is in free-fall.
But what happens when the price crashes further? Suffice it to say that there was bitcoin mining when the dollar price was less than 1 cent and there will be bitcoin mining at lower prices thanks to the design of the network.
Mao Shixing, the founder of mining pool F2pool estimated 600,000 miners have shut down since the November crash in price, according to a report by Coindesk.
As it should be in a competitive system, the most energy intensive and obsolete machines are shut down first.
As with every other commodity, when the price drops, some miners will leave the market, leaving space for cheaper competitors to capture a bigger share. But with bitcoin this is a bit simpler than with copper or gold for example.
When a big copper player goes bankrupt, its competitors have to ramp up production and increase cost to increase their market share. With bitcoin, if 3,000 computers get taken off the total mining pool, they won’t be able to mine the approximately 5 bitcoin any longer.
However, because the difficulty of solving the computationally intensive cryptographic tasks of bitcoin decreases automatically when there are fewer computers engaged in the task, the other players just have to leave their machines running at the same rate for the same cost and they will split the 5 bitcoin among them.
“The moment the price goes down, our production price will go down as well,” said Jäger, a process that already happened from November to December when the difficulty decreased twice in November and the beginning of December.
This naturally favors players like Northern Bitcoin, which are producing at the lower end of the cost spectrum. They will be the ones who shut down last.
And this is a good thing. The more companies like Northern Bitcoin, and countries like Norway—even with the extra tax—the more decentralized the bitcoin system.
The more computers there are in different hands mining bitcoin, the more secure the system becomes, because it will be ever more difficult for one player to reach the 50 percent threshold to crash the system. It is this decentralized philosophy which has kept the bitcoin system running for 10 years. Whether at $1 or $20,000.
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