First Time/Small Miner

First time/Small miner reference
for getting started.

If you want to start mining here is what you need… and what you need to know.

This is written for home miners/small farms, but can be used as a guideline for most operations. Use this as a reference for what you need to research, or what questions you need to ask before jumping in.

What you need to mine can be broken down into the following categories:

  • Hardware
  • Electricity
  • Location
  • Internet connection
  • Information

Mining BITCOIN is done exclusively with dedicated BITCOIN mining hardware based on ASICs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application-specific_integrated_circuit .

You CAN NOT meaningfully mine bitcoin today with CPU, GPU or even FPGAs. Bitcoin difficulty adapts to match the amount of mining done on the network and has reached levels trillions of times too high to mine meaningfully with PCs, laptops, tablets, phones, webpages, javascript, GPUs, and even generalised SHA hardware.

Even if you combined all the computers in the world, including all known supercomputer, you would not even approach 0.1% of the bitcoin hashrate today.

There isn’t any point attempting to mine bitcoin with CPU or GPU even in the interests of learning as it shares almost nothing with how bitcoin is mined with ASICs and will not teach you anything.

Hardware

Asic Miner:

Here is a list of the companies currently manufacturing Miners for public purchase.

Each one has their Pro’s and Con’s it is up to you to do your research and decide what is best for you.

A few points to consider while researching are :

  • efficiency
  • reliability
  • warranty period/policy
  • power draw

Each company has a different way of handling warranty repairs, depending on your situation and the policy repairs can become cost prohibitive. I will touch more on efficiency and power draw in the electricity section.

• Current list of competitive hardware

Power supply: You will need to purchase a power supply to run your miners. You will find ATX and Server grade PSU’s, the latter being preferred for mining BTC. 

When it comes to selecting a PSU purchase something with a capacity 25% higher than your miner is rated to draw. This will have you operating within the 80% rule.(explained further in the electricity section)

EX. Miner draws 1000 PSU should be able to provide 1250W.

** Many current generation miners are now being manufactured with Integrated PSU. Again do your research to see if your unit comes with or without. Generally you will still need to source a power cable.**

Auxilliaries – Avalon miners require an external controller, 1 per 20 miners. You may have to run additional fans for intake and exhaust depending on your location.

PSU’s can be purchased large enough to run 2 Miners; or the opposite 1 Miner fed by 2 PSU’s. Ensure the PSU you have selected will have the correct amount of PCI-E connectors required to operate your miner(s)

You can also find a large supply of used miners and PSU’s. Again it’s up to you to do your research as these often are a no return transaction.

Electricity

Follow all local codes and regulations

This is the number 1 factor in whether mining is right for you. As discussed with Miners being a 24/7 machine drawing power those costs will make it cost prohibitive for some people to mine. You need to be aware of what your costs/kWh are and run the numbers.

This will be done in a profitability calculator. This is just an example of 1 there are many out there.

( Miner usage in kW ) * ( Hours run per day ) 24 * ( Cost/kWh ) = Cost per Day to Operate

( Ideally less than the FIAT value of BTC mined )

The second part to the electrical requirements of mining is the available service; written for North America.

You will need to figure out the amperage you can spare, what circuits and receptacles you have in place, are you setting up on 220V or 110V. You will need to make sure that you have the right cord end for your PSU to match the receptacle, picking the wrong one can cost you a few days of mining if it has to be shipped.

If you can try and set up on a 220V circuit for 2 reasons :

– You will pull half the amps, and it is more efficient.

– Doing so requires 2 breaker spaces in your panel. Breaker sizing will depend on how many miners you plan to run. Here is the formula for calculating amps.

Watts / Voltage = Amps

Here is where you will bring the 80% rule back into play by sizing the continuous miner load to 80% of the breaker rating. 12 Amps on a 15 Amp breaker, 16 Amps max on a 20 Amp breaker, 24 Amps on a 30 amp breaker.

If/when you increase the amount of miners you are running you may want to look into PDU’s, as opposed to more receptacles. 

Location

This is something that is often overlooked to the headache and frustration of many would be miners. These machines are loud and hot .
You essentially have an electric heater that also uses an industrial fan to keep it from melting itself. This space will need to have the electrical requirements as discussed previously.

So make sure you have a space that is well ventilated with a plan to exhaust heat, and bring in fresh dust free air. I say this as using AC to cool the room will eat into your profits and may even make mining unprofitable.

The noise issue is a consideration you can sort out depending on whats available. (garage, basement, remote building)

Both of these issues can be handled with hosting, which is further explained in the information section.

Internet connection

Some miner setups have the option to use wifi. It is advisable to use a wired connection where available. This will provide a more stable connection and ensure you are submitting the expected amount of shares which is directly related to your payouts.

Please note that mining uses a negligible amount of bandwidth, and will not affect your other internet usage.

Information

You can use this information in this post as a good baseline to get you going. In addition to this you will want to research network difficulty; this readjusts every 2016 blocks to maintain a 10 minute block time on average. While this can go down it generally increases.

Solo or Pool?

You can solo mine but this is essentially a lottery even as a large scale miner. Should you chose this you can check this out as a starting point.

solo.ckpool.org 1% fee solo mining USA/DE 250 blocks solved!

Odds are most of you will join a pool. I will only say that it is in your best interest to mine at a pool that pays transaction fees (miner rewards). Then you will want to consider the fees associated with the pool.

When it comes to these pools you want them to be large enough that they are getting at least 1 block every Difficulty adjustment period. Larger pools will offer smaller rewards paid out more frequently, and vice versa.





Winter in the Artic…

Even in our darkest hour, we must keep the Spirit Up and positive 🙂😉





Seven common mistakes crypto investors and traders make


Cryptocurrency markets are volatile enough without making simple, easily avoidable mistakes.

Investing in cryptocurrencies and digital assets is now easier than ever before. Online brokers, centralized exchanges and even decentralized exchanges give investors the flexibility to buy and sell tokens without going through a traditional financial institution and the hefty fees and commissions that come along with them.

Cryptocurrencies were designed to operate in a decentralized manner. This means that while they’re an innovative avenue for global peer-to-peer value transfers, there are no trusted authorities involved that can guarantee the security of your assets. Your losses are your responsibility once you take your digital assets into custody.

Here we’ll explore some of the more common mistakes that cryptocurrency investors and traders make and how you can protect yourself from unnecessary losses.

Losing your keys

Cryptocurrencies are built on blockchain technology, a form of distributed ledger technology that offers high levels of security for digital assets without the need for a centralized custodian. However, this puts the onus of protection on asset holders, and storing the cryptographic keys to your digital asset wallet safely is an integral part of this.

On the blockchain, digital transactions are created and signed using private keys, which act as a unique identifier to prevent unauthorized access to your cryptocurrency wallet. Unlike a password or a PIN, you cannot reset or recover your keys if you lose them. This makes it extremely important to keep your keys safe and secure, as losing them would mean losing access to all digital assets stored in that wallet.

Lost keys are among the most common mistakes that crypto investors make. According to a report from Chainalysis, of the 18.5 million Bitcoin (BTC) mined so far, over 20% has been lost to forgotten or misplaced keys.

Storing coins in online wallets

Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges are probably the easiest way for investors to get their hands on some cryptocurrencies. However, these exchanges do not give you access to the wallets holding the tokens, instead offering you a service similar to banks. While the user technically owns the coins stored on the platform, they are still held by the exchange, leaving them vulnerable to attacks on the platform and putting them at risk.

There have been many documented attacks on high-profile cryptocurrency exchanges that have led to millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency stolen from these platforms. The most secure option to protect your assets against such risk is to store your cryptocurrencies offline, withdrawing assets to either a software or hardware wallet after purchase.

Not keeping a hard copy of your seed phrase

To generate a private key for your crypto wallet, you will be prompted to write down a seed phrase consisting of up to 24 randomly generated words in a specific order. If you ever lose access to your wallet, this seed phrase can be used to generate your private keys and access your cryptocurrencies.

Keeping a hard copy record, such as a printed document or a piece of paper with the seed phrase written on it, can help prevent needless losses from damaged hardware wallets, faulty digital storage systems, and more. Just like losing your private keys, traders have lost many a coin to crashed computers and corrupted hard drives.

Fat-finger error

A fat-finger error is when an investor accidentally enters a trade order that isn’t what they intended. One misplaced zero can lead to significant losses, and mistyping even a single decimal place can have considerable ramifications.

One instance of this fat-finger error was when the DeversiFi platform erroneously paid out a $24-million fee. Another unforgettable tale was when a highly sought-after Bored Ape nonfungible token was accidentally sold for $3,000 instead of $300,000.

Sending to the wrong address

Investors should take extreme care while sending digital assets to another person or wallet, as there is no way to retrieve them if they are sent to the wrong address. This mistake often happens when the sender isn’t paying attention while entering the wallet address. Transactions on the blockchain are irreversible, and unlike a bank, there are no customer support lines to help with the situation.

This kind of error can be fatal to an investment portfolio. Still, in a positive turn of events, Tether, the firm behind the world’s most popular stablecoin, recovered and returned $1 million worth of Tether (USDT) to a group of crypto traders who sent the funds to the wrong decentralized finance platform in 2020. However, this story is a drop in the ocean of examples where things don’t work out so well. Hodlers should be careful while dealing with digital asset transactions and take time to enter the details. Once you make a mistake, there’s no going back.

Over diversification

Diversification is crucial to building a resilient cryptocurrency portfolio, especially with the high volatility levels in the space. However, with the sheer number of options out there and the predominant thirst for outsized gains, cryptocurrency investors often end up over-diversifying their portfolios, which can have immense consequences.

Over-diversification can lead to an investor holding a large number of heavily underperforming assets, leading to significant losses. It’s vital to only diversify into cryptocurrencies where the fundamental value is clear and to have a strong understanding of the different types of assets and how they will likely perform in various market conditions.

Not setting up a stop-loss arrangement

A stop-loss is an order type that enables investors to sell a security only when the market reaches a specific price. Investors use this to prevent losing more money than they are willing to, ensuring they at least make back their initial investment.

In several cases, investors have experienced huge losses because of incorrectly setting up their stop losses before asset prices dropped. However, it’s also important to remember that stop-loss orders aren’t perfect and can sometimes fail to trigger a sale in the event of a large, sudden crash.

That being said, the importance of setting up stop losses to protect investments cannot be understated and can significantly help mitigate losses during a market downturn.

Crypto investing and trading is a risky business with no guarantees of success. Like any other form of trading, patience, caution and understanding can go a long way. Blockchain places the responsibility on the investor, so it’s crucial to take the time to figure out the various aspects of the market and learn from past mistakes before putting your money at risk.