Do you remember how you tried to explain computers to your grandmother?
Now, with this cryptocurrency for beginners guide, you can understand how she felt.
One of the guests at the address of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve in the US Congress managed to affect the cryptocurrency rate literally in seconds. When every camera in the country was pointed at the speaker, he held up a sign that said “Buy bitcoins.” This prank shot up the cost of bitcoin by 3% in one minute.
Bitcoin is the leader among cryptocurrencies in capitalization, price and popularity. In order to join the mining process, you’ll have to buy special equipment that puts a major burden on the power grid. Let’s not forget about the fact that as mining complexity increases, income decreases. This makes crypto enthusiasts consider other tokens. A hard fork and the closest relative of Bitcoin is Bitcoin Cash (BCH), which seems both stable and quite promising under the circumstances.
Features of the first bitcoin hard fork
In 2017, on the wave of incredible demand, the original bitcoin began having clear scaling problems. Poor traffic slowed down its popularization – the commission for transfers increased and the speed of transfers dropped critically. New solutions were required, and the community failed to choose one from the bulk of ideas. The result was the division of the development team and the creation of a hardfork called Bitcoin Cash.
Coin ticker: BCH.
Official website: https://www.bitcoincash.org
BCH Blog on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoincash/
Bitcoin Cash thread on the Bitcointalk.org forum: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2040221.0
Open source on GitHub: https://github.com/bitcoincashorg/
The new cryptocurrency was a modernized version of the original Bitcoin, with some changes to eliminate system scalability problems. A new feature has been added to Bitcoin Cash: “an algorithm for slowly reducing mining complexity.” These coins are based on the same blockchain code. Mining algorithm SHA-256, Proof of Work consensus, ten-minute block formation. Even the emission volume of BTC and BCH assets is the same – 21 million coins. The main fundamental differences between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are:
- increased block size;
- new principle of mining difficulty adjustment;
- additional transaction protection mechanisms.
This technology immediately attracted investors, and the aggressive promotion policy by the founder of the digital currency only contributed to the popularization of the BCH project. Today, Bitcoin Cash is confidently in the TOP-5 of the best cryptocurrencies, boasts a huge capitalization and a high price. The main factor for miners is the possibility of mining with the hash power of a personal PC.
Video card mining
BCH is based on the SHA-256 algorithm. It entails forming a value of a fixed size from a mass of arbitrary data. There is only one correct combination, and it can only be found by trying all possible combinations. This requires a fast video card.
The difficulty depends on two indicators. The first is the time it takes to solve a block. Bitcoin Cash is designed in such a way that it takes about 10 minutes to complete one block. If it takes more time – the complexity falls, if it takes less – it grows.
There’s not a single right answer in the never-ending competition between Radeon and Nvidia. The miners suggest using Radeon for Bitcoin Cash, since their GPUs have more cores. If you decide in favor of Nvidia, not much will change. The key is to correctly calculate the profit. Choosing one of the top graphics cards, like the Nvidia Titan X, is not necessarily the right decision. They are indeed the most efficient, but profitability will drop due to high equipment cost. It will take several years for your investment to pay off.
Production efficiency is affected by:
- the amount of video memory (more is better);
- bus width (not less than 256 bits);
- type of memory (GDRR5 or HDR preferred);
- cooling system;
- power source;
- possibility of overclocking.
Experts call the Radeon RX 570, 580 and Fury X, as well as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050, 1060 and 1080 optimal for BCH mining. An integrated video card is not worth it – it’s not resilient enough.
Mining Bitcoin cash on ASIC
ASIC (application-specific integrated) miners are integrated circuits designed specifically for mining by Bitmain. The currently relevant models are Antminer S7, Antminer D3 and Antminer S9. Unlike video cards or computers, they do not solve any other problems, except for cryptocurrency mining. This increases the productivity and profitability of BCH mining.
The software is included with the device, so the miner won’t have to search for it separately. You need to turn on the ASIC and follow the step-by-step instructions. Sometimes a personal wallet is also attached to the ASIC, but it’s always possible to change both the wallet and the mining program used in the settings.
Creating a BCH mining farm
A farm comprises processors, video cards or ASICs in one system that functions as a single device. This allows to increase the power in proportion to the number of connected devices.
You can mine Bitcoin Cash on a single video card. The constant adjustment of the mining complexity allows this opportunity. But one video card will not be enough for truly productive BCH mining – the equipment will run idle too often, and the commission will be taken up by another miner. But if you get together at least a 4-GPU farm, its efficiency will allow you to earn.
Working in a pool vs individual mining
Block development complexity won’t allow you to get significant profits when you work alone. In order to increase profits, small mining capacities are combined into pools – groups where commissions don’t go to the first one who calculated the desired block, but are divided among all the pool participants. Basically, it’s a platform that allows users to connect via special programs and provide their computing power for the joint search for data blocks.
When setting up the operating system, you need to remove or disable unnecessary programs, and roll back the video card resource consumption to a minimum. The final stage is the choice of the pool and the miner program setup. Effective platforms for BCH are ViaBTC, Antpool and BTC.com. After registration, you’ll need to download cgminer (for Radeon) or cudaminer (Nvidia).
A text document in the folder with the program and data is required for configuration:
- launch file name (cgminer or cudaminer, respectively);
- pool address (-о and its IP);
- user and worker name separated by a dot (for example, miner.worker).
The file is saved in bat format, and mining begins.
The pool clearly defines the contribution of each participant to joint mining. This is calculated by the so-called share. As soon as the share hits the ‘target’, the pool distributes the reward between the miners. The block is declared ready. The Bitcoin Cash pool must be selected depending on the equipment – a video card or an ASIC.
When launching a mining farm, it should be understood that it will take several months to just recoup the investments. It is, however, possible and a huge number of people are taking advantage of this opportunity.