So that happened, and I might just keep it…
Long story short. The WannaCry ransomware attack happened, and I got interested in how that might affect the price of BitCoin. I read up a bit on crypto currencies and got fascinated by blockchain stuff in general and Ethereum in particular. During that time the USD/ETH chart looked like this:
eth/usd chart may – june 2017
That volatility was enough for me to decide that I needed the ability to trade the currency and learn more. First step was to download Mist and create an Ethereum address to be able to hold any ETH. Then, signing up for an account at an exchange that trades fiat and crypto currencies, and I ended up with Kraken. At the time of this insane ETH price development, I was apparently not the only one with this idea. Trading using Kraken requires that they verify some basic personal information before you can trade, and people were rushing to the site to set up accounts. I took me two weeks to get tier 1 verification and I’m still waiting on tier 2 about three weeks after applying.
So I was stuck with a very disappointing empty Ethereum address with no way to fill it up with Ether, except for mining that is. I had some Azure credit laying around unused so I thought maybe I could set up a virtual machine in the cloud to do some mining for me, and I inevitable stumbled upon this excellent post by David Burela on how to do just that.
azure cpu mining on ubuntu in progress
There’s lots to write about setting up a wallet/address, protecting your keys, what smart contracts are and how they make Ethereum great, setting up a miner, using a mining pool, and so on. By now there are many good resources out there on these topics so I won’t be covering any of them in great detail.
It turns out that mining ETH with a CPU is not good for anything except maybe learning about the process. CPUs just aren’t good at it. GPUs are though. So I finally had the perfect excuse to build a gaming PC! More on that in the next post. Anyhow, my Ubuntu VM in Azure wasn’t really helping anymore so I repurposed it as a web server and installed WordPress. And here we are! My plan right now is to mine some ETH with my gaming PC, sell that ETH for fiat currency on Kraken and transfer that money to my regular bank account. Once the whole process has been tested out, I’ll start building a proper rig, and what ever I learn I’ll post here.
This post is so for pretty useless for anyone who reads it, but it’s my first post and I need to start somewhere. Here is some condensed information on what I’ve learned so far:
- CPU mining wont get you anywhere. You’ll get kH/s speeds when you need MH/s if you ever want to see a payout.
- Mining on your own wont get you anywhere. Join a pool. I’ve tried Minergate which has it’s own GUI miner for Windows and low payout thresholds, but later switch to Nanopool and the Claymore miner after ETH payouts stopped working on Minergate for a coupe of days.
- Syncing the blockchain with your own Mist-instance takes time. Lots and lots of time. Literally days for me. The syncing is done by geth which Mist runs in the background. For some reason the syncing just stopped for me when running it via Mist. I discovered that the latest version of Mist was using a old version of Geth. In order to sync with the chain for the first time I had to download the latest version of Geth and sync on my own. After that Mist has been able to keep the chain up to date. Hopefully this is no longer an issue for newer versions of Mist.
- You don’t need to sync the chain to see the balance of your Ethereum address. Just use Etherscan.
- You will want to read up on what happened with Ethereum Classic and the hard fork.
- ICOs are the new IPOs and they are all the rage in the Ethereum network, raising tens of millions of USD in hours.
- You will also want to know that there are ambitions of switching from the current Proof of Work protocol to a Proof of Stake protocol and that will affect mining in the future.
- Follow what Vitalik and Vlad are up to.
- What if the human race trusts cryptography with their most important communications and assets and someone successfully implements a quantum computer that essentially makes the algorithms in use obsolete? Mayhem. Also, people are already thinking about this and taking measures.