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This article focuses on how Monero cryptocurrency is mined and what sort of hardware and software is required to mine this cryptocurrency lucratively.

What is Monero?

Monero (XMR) is a privacy-oriented digital currency which was initially released in 2014. By market cap, it lies in the top 15 cryptocurrencies and amid the top 15 cryptos, it is the only privacy-focused cryptocurrency. Monero still uses a Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism which means it can still be mined by using regular CPU and GPU computational power.

monero mining

  • Monero — based on the CryptoNight hash algorithm.
  • CryptoNight — a Proof-of Work consensus mechanism depends on the CryptoNote protocol.
  • CryptoNote —an application layer protocol that aims to be an evolution of the ideas behind Bitcoin.
  • Monero blockchain mines blocks in two-minute intervals – quicker than Bitcoin.

Monero can be mined by using regular consumer hardware, which makes it quite easy for almost everyone to get involved in Monero mining. Casual miners benefit from it because it lessens the ‘payoff’ from using specific hardware, which makes GPUs less effective from a cost perspective. So, as it’s already mentioned above that Monero can be mined by both using both CPUs and GPUs, this makes mining rigs more lucrative.

Hardware for Monero Mining

Casual miners can mine Monero by using consumer grade CPU hardware like GPU’s, ARM, x86, and x86-64.  Compared to others, AMD graphic cards are best for Monero mining however, you will need some hardware components for setting up your own rig. Few of them are given below:

  • CPU with at least 8GB RAM.
  • Reliable internet connection and an open-air rig.
  • A reliable power supply — depends on the CPU and GPU you pick.
  • DDR3 or DDR4 SDRAM — depends on the CPU you choose.
  • Motherboard — compatible with the selected CPU, with enough PCIE
  • SSD or HDD.

Software for Monero Mining

Different software has been made for different hardware and software used for mining Monero is also quite important. Using the right mining software and enhancing your CPU/GPU is imperative to get the most profits. The procedure is usually the same.

  • You will have to download the software and extract the .zip file.
  • After extracting the folder, you can run the application.
  • After running the application, choose Monero mining. It prompts you to enter a pool address.
  • One of the best ways to mine is to be part of a pool. — solo mining can produce little to no results, as compared to pooled mining, which means it is essential for you to find a good mining pool.
  • Pools often have a small fee; however, the fee is acceptable – considering the reliability and consistency of rewards and less alteration.
  • Also, make sure that you have a Monero wallet setup so that you can receive your rewards.

monero cryptocurrency

Difficulty and Profitability Factor

Over the past few months, the over-all global hash rate for Monero has declined –so with the new Monero fork, however, it is still a lucrative crypto to mine, according to its price potential. The hashrate is linked to the price of the coin, and trouble thoroughly tracks the hashrate.

The level of difficulty automatically alters the computational difficulty of solving the subsequent block to sustain the two-minute block interval.

Many people are trying to mine Monero, which has made it even harder to mine. Here, difficulty means how hard the mining of Monero has become. Well, it depends on the miner as well and how powerful the miner is. To keep Monero’s supply in check, this information gets updated from time to time. For successful mining, the pool takes a certain fee from the profits.

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What Are Some Top Coins That Can Be Used as An Alternative to Bitcoin?

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An Alternative to Bitcoin

We all know that Bitcoin is the king of digital currencies, and there doesn’t seem to be any other coin that can dethrone it from the top.

Although not similar, many digital currencies can still be used as a perfect alternative to Bitcoin. Some even claim to be technically superior to Bitcoin. Whether it’s true or not is completely another debate. In this article, we have discussed the top five digital currencies that are closest to what Bitcoin offers and can be used as an alternative to the king of cryptocurrency.

Top Alternatives to Bitcoin – Ethereum:

Bitcoin vs Ethereum is the closest battle when it comes to currencies trying to overtake Bitcoin.

Ethereum is a public blockchain software which promises to offer much more than just digital currency. The developers can code the software and power it through the public blockchain.

The users can then sell their processing power and get paid in “ether” – the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after Bitcoin.

Ethereum has a market cap of $1bn USD.

Ripple:

Emerged in 2012, Ripple has become one of the most popular digital currencies to make online transactions anonymously. The paramount aspect of ripple is that it offers instant conversion into several other currencies.

Ripple considers itself a companion of Bitcoin and converts Bitcoin to Ripple and vice versa.

The market cap of ripple is $220m USD, making it the third largest cryptocurrency in the world.

Litecoin:

Litecoin emerged in 2011 and is one of the oldest cryptocurrencies out there. Given below are some highlights of Litecoin:

  • Similar to Bitcoin, Litecoin is decentralized.
  • Litecoin is also generated through solving algorithms, which become more and more difficult over time.
  • A Litecoin block takes just 2.5 minutes, which is much quicker than Bitcoin – where it takes around 10 minutes to generate one block.
  • Due to quick generation, Litecoin supports far more transactions than Bitcoin.
  • The overall cap limit of Litecoin is set at 84 million, which is relatively higher than that of Bitcoin’s (21 million).

The current market cap of Litecoin is about $175 million – making it the 4th largest cryptocurrency in the digital world.

Steem:

With $170 USD market cap, Steem is the 5th largest digital currency. “Steemit” is the largest platform that offers the opportunity to earn Steem. The platform is filled with a huge range of stories.

Since there is no mining process, you can only earn Steem by contributing to “Steemit”, either by writing articles or rating/commenting on other’s articles.

Dash:

The last one on our list is Dash, which, in terms of features is pretty close to Bitcoin software. Here are some unique features of Dash:

  • Advanced privacy. Some even say its privacy features surpass the ones offered by Bitcoin.
  • Whereas Bitcoin transactions can take several minutes, Dash transactions are quick and instant.
  • Low transaction fees.
  • Similar to Bitcoin, Dash is P2P and decentralized

Conclusion:

Although the competition is tough, Bitcoin is leading the race by a fair margin and isn’t going away anytime soon. However, the other currencies are also there to stay and compete, which will surely play a significant role in the evolution of digital currency environment in near future.

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Yahoo Japan’s Subsidiary “Z-Corporation” Purchases Stake in Crypto-Exchange

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On Friday, Yahoo Japan confirmed that it has acquired a minority stake in a cryptocurrency exchange of Japan. According to Reuters, a subsidiary of Yahoo Japan, Z Corporation, has purchased a 40% stake in the Japanese crypto Exchange, “BitArg Exchange Tokyo,” which has the worth of almost $18.6 -$27 million. The exchange will be set to launch in the month of September, 2018.

yahoo crypto news

Rumours of Acquisition

The rumours of the acquisition first came out in March; however, at that time they showed that the investment will be made by Yahoo Japan through YJFX, which is its forex transaction platform, and not through Z Corporation.

In a statement, Yahoo Japan said:

“By utilizing the service operation and security expertise of the Yahoo group, we support the operation of exchanges operated by BitArgo Exchange Tokyo.” Yahoo Japan also added that the exchange intends to offer services for customers that are secure and easy to use.

Monex Group

Japan is considered as an industry hub as it has above three million domestic crypto-traders. The news of Yahoo Japan’s investment showed up just after days when the financial regulator of the country ordered crypto exchanges; FSHO and Eternal Link, to stop operations due to inadequate KYC procedures. Similarly, another prominent acquisition happened this month – Monex Group announced that it struck a deal to acquire Coincheck exchange, as it went through a major hack at the beginning of this year.

After the Yahoo crypto news, Monex, which is known as a major Japanese online brokerage has confirmed its acquisition of Coincheck and was undeterred even with Coincheck getting lots of criticism for negligent-security procedures the whole year that led it to the mugging of $530 million of NEM tokens from its wallet.

Even with interruptions, SB, which is a Japanese banking giant is set to launch its own cryptocurrency exchange after firming up the security measures when the FSA is considering to ramp up its scrutiny of exchanges after the theft of Coincheck. Also, Messaging giant Line, that has a market cap of more than $9 billion and has almost 600 million registered users as well as 200 million monthly active users, has also filed an application with FSA in order to launch its own cryptocurrency exchange in Japan.

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What Are Some Top-Notch Bitcoin Debit Cards?

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Some Top-Notch Bitcoin Debit Cards

Bitcoin debit card is a handy way to bridge the gap between the world of bitcoin and traditional financing. The users can buy bitcoin with debit card or load it with bitcoins; which they can later spend at places/stores that accept credit card.

A downside of bitcoin debit card is that the users can’t spend bitcoins directly. However, it does allow them to store balance in bitcoin.

For those asking what are some top-notch Bitcoin cards and how to make Bitcoin transactions through a debit card, this post is the perfect place to be at. Here we have discussed some top-notch debit cards that you can use to make bitcoin transactions. So, let’s get started with knowing how bitcoin debit cards work.

SpectroCoin Visa Debit Card:

A prepaid Bitcoin debit card. SpectroCoin can be used at any ATM across the world. The card is funded instantly so the users don’t have to worry about exchanging bitcoins in advance.

Some highlights of SpectorCoin are:

  • All the franchises that accept Visa/Master card as a form of payment also accept SpectroCoin. This includes physical shops, ATMs, PayPal, online sites, etc.
  • Available in both virtual and physical form. Virtual cards take only a few seconds to create and can be used to spend bitcoins anywhere around the globe. On the other hand, physical ones take up to 1-4 weeks. These cards can also be used to pay with bitcoins throughout the world.
  • SpectroCoin cards can be instantly loaded from SpectroCoin wallets.

Xapo Debit Card:

Xapo was one of the first debit cards introduced to the market. However, it has yet to make an appearance in the US markets and is currently available only in European countries.

The card takes up to 1-4 weeks to be delivered with the initial cost of $20 and an annual fee of $12.

Coinbase / Shift Card:

Shift is the first bitcoin debit card available to the residents of the US. Using shift card costs no money. However, the purchase price of Shift card is $10.

BitPay Visa Debit Card:

The only Bitcoin debit card that is available in all 50 US states. BitPay costs $9.95 to purchase and takes around 10 days to arrive.

BitPay can be used in person, online and ATMs that accept Visa card.

Cryptopay Debit Card:

The most established bitcoin debit card with 23000 cards already issued. The card is pretty simple to use and allows users to spend bitcoins anywhere around the globe.

The card can be purchased both online and offline and is issued in two forms – virtual and physical.

One of the paramount benefits of Cryptopay is that it doesn’t require the users to provide personal information – giving them complete anonymity to make transactions. Bitcoin users dig this!

Costs range between £15.00, €15.00, $15.00 and £2.50, €2.50, $2.50 depending on user’s location.

Conclusion:

These are some most reliable and widely used bitcoin debit cards to make bitcoin transaction(s). All the cards are pretty easy to purchase, cost extremely low and make bitcoin transactions easier than ever. You can also find more information on their official websites.

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How Is China Stifling Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies? Let’s find out!

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World’s biggest community of Bitcoin miners, China, is cracking down on cryptocurrency. A proactive step has been taken by regulators for shaping the stratospheric increase of Bitcoin. According to President Xi Jinping, there’s been booms and busts in the economy for a decade. As a result, the role of China in the cryptocurrency’s world is going down.

Is it allowed to trade Bitcoin in China?

Bitcoin can be traded only in over-the-counter markets. According to some analysts, it is a slower process that increases the credit risk.

Is China anti-cryptocurrency?

Not really. A bank named “The People’s Bank of China” has run trials of its own prototype cryptocurrency, as it is a prime step to being the very first central bank, that is going to issue digital money.

What is China doing exactly?

Well, China banned initial coin offerings (ICOs), that are equal to initial public offerings for new virtual currencies. Later, it stopped local exchanges from trading cryptocurrencies and also delineated proposals to dampen bitcoin mining. Then it moved to Chinese companies that were listed in abroad skirting to stop its domestic ban on ICOs. Now it’s intended by the officials to block the domestic access to mobile apps and other online platforms that offer such services for cryptocurrencies.

Companies that promote themselves as blockchains, to boost their shares are also being targeted by domestic stock exchanges. It’s a part of an effort by agencies like China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, central bank and the cyberspace administration.

 Bitcoin Value in China

 

What is the reason behind the crackdown in China?

Cleaning risks from financial markets have been government’s statement for almost two years, but there’s been no clear explanation yet. The thriving shadow banking sector is also among the main concerns of the government, although digital currencies also provide a way to move money out of China.

 

Where else are officials clamping down?

South Korean is known as the home of most of the frantic cryptocurrency trading. Some banks are being inspected because of the allegation of money laundering and the country is considering to close such cryptocurrency exchanges. Also, in the past year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission started to work fast on digital token sales.

What’s the effect of China’s actions?

Because of inexpensive power and cheap labour, miners gathered to China, but now they may have to look somewhere else. Bitmain is running China’s two major Bitcoin-mining collectives and is setting up district HQs in Singapore. The #3 mining pool, also known as “BTC. Top” is also opening a facility in Canada. Wallet services and bitcoin exchanges in the country are also leaving. Also, they’re setting up over-the-counter shops in Hong Kong and in other areas of Singapore/South Korea.

What about cryptocurrency prices?

The prices appeared to shrug off the news of increased regulations in China. However, according to analysts, the growing tide of regulation has a hefty impact on digital currencies and it’s also helping in explaining the hefty losses since the starting of 2018.

Story credit: fortune.com

Image Credit: BitNews

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Bitcoin Criminals Are Using Bitcoin & Other Cryptocurrencies for Ransomware Payments

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As we already know that Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency, complaints about Bitcoin are also growing rapidly. It’s been reported by many people that bitcoin’s transaction takes too long to get processed and it’s also very much expensive. Bitcoin Criminal use new hacking resources.

There are many indications that the currency is not going so well in favour of the underworld and the stories about culprits looking for bitcoin alternatives are not so new. The latest report by the forensic firm Chainalysis shows that the amount of bitcoin transactions that are related to the dark websites, where people frequently participate in criminal activities, has reduced by 30%.

The reason behind this huge drop is that many people are using bitcoin, and they’re only choosing to keep it, rather than spending it. However, Chainalysis counts multiple law enforcement agencies among its clients and also mentions the growing use of other cryptocurrencies like Zcash, Monero, and Dash.

bitcoin criminal

Fast and cheap transactions are not the only things that are offered by the new currencies, but they also include additional layers of anonymity that make them hard to track than bitcoin. Rob Wainwright (Executive Director of Europol), has also warned that this trend is already in progress. He also added that we’ll definitely see a progressive change in 2018 towards the criminal use of cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin, making it even more challenging for the law enforcement to counter.

A report by tech site ZDNet also shows that many researchers have claimed that slow transactions and high fees are causing culprits to move to Monero. ZDNet writes that it’s expected that soon, culprits will be also providing instructions to their ransomware victims on how to buy and exchange Monero. It’s been also reported that many companies have started to buy amounts of bitcoins so they’d be ready to pay up if they’re hit with ransomware.

While criminals are trying to turn away from the bitcoin for regular transactions, there’d be still very less chance of finding out if they’ve actually lost their interest in it or not. According to a report by Chainalysis, culprits might not want to use bitcoin, but they’d definitely want to steal it.

According to Chainalysis, theft of bitcoin has increased from at least $3 million to $95 million from 2013 to 2016, adding almost $172 million worth of bitcoin between the 2013-2017.

Image Credit: thehackteam

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