Čvn 13

Review of the Baikal 150 mh/s X11 DASH ASIC Miner

Source: bitcoin

Baikal X11 150 mhs ASIC

Until the new X11 miners hit the market, ASICs have been mostly for Bitcoin/SHA-256 and Scrypt coins, other than a few test runs of other algorithms.  

Also Read:  KickAssTorrents Moves to the Darknet With Tor

The development and production of ASICs is not cheap and not as simple on many of the algorithms due to memory and other requirements. One of the first new ASICs to hit the market is the Baikal X11 miner which can mine DASH as well as other coins using this algorithm.

IBeLink and Pinidea also have X11 ASICs out as well which we will be reviewing in the near future.

The Baikal X11 miner produces on average 150 mh/s on 39 to 42 watts of power. Each miner is very small as well. Lets get to the specifications.

Baikal X11 Specifications

  • Hash Rate: 4x ASICs for 150MH/s(±10%)
  • Power: 40W (±5%) @ 0.27J/MH at the wall , with 25℃ ambient temp
  • Power supply: DC 12V 5A Power Adapter with @2.5 DC Plug
  • Interface: OrangePi Controller, Ethernet
  • Dimensions: 140mm (L) x 100mm (W) x 95mm (H)
  • Weight: 475g

The first thing you will notice is how small the Baikal is. With an OrganePi connected to the bottom of the board, a heat-sink fan on the top with standoffs holding them all together. There is really not much to it.

Plugging it in, you will need the proper DC plug to fit.  For this one we used a PCIe to 2.5 DC barrel plug. The miner’s interface is robust, even including terminal support within the app. Baikal offers the images and basic start guides as well.

One of the interesting and welcome aspects is the mining pool setup. On the left hand side is listed many of the popular mining pools for DASH and other X11 coins. Some of them pay in BTC even, which for those who like to mine and auto convert, you are all set. The left hand choices will auto-populate the pool info and you just input your worker info be it a DASH or BTC address based on which pool you are using or the worker name for those that require it.

 

There are not many X11 coins currently, and the most popular is DASH.  For the first part of the test we mined at a P2PoolMining’s DASH pool.

The Baikal has been working like a champ on the pool, running between 150 mh/s and 155 mh/s. It has at times for sustained periods ran as high as 160 mh/s with no overclocking or special cooling other than what it ships with.

One of the things that is not so clear in the documentation was what the password is to log in to the control panel. It is “baikal,” all lower case.

The OrangePi that runs it is setup on DHCP, so use something like AngryIP or other internal network scanner to find its IP.

As we stated earlier in the article, the pool setup screen is simple and powerful. The main page in the control panel gives a full slate of stats frequency, current hash rate, share time, if your pools are alive etc all in one place. There is an easy backup and restore of settings and configuration.

Mining results on LTCRabbit were just as good, with no downtime and few fluctuations. The variety of pools to mine on is welcome, unlike the Bitcoin mining industry, which has seen fewer and fewer pools to mine on. In the alt-coin scene, there are many pools with more being added all the time.  Several multipools keep the revenue streams for alt-coin mining wide as well.

Baikal makes available the OrangePi image and updates for the miner from their main page. The base software they built on is Ubuntu for Arm processors which helps for those wanting to navigate via the terminal.

Also of note: on the pool setup panel are several other options from restarting cgminer to adding custom sgminer commands right from the GUI. These handy features make the Baikal X11 miner a good one for novice miners.  The ability to go into the command line makes it an inviting option for the experts as well.

The Baikal X11 miner is a nice surprise for a new ASIC and and hardware company. The ease of use, feature rich control panel along with power sipping mh/s to watt ratio is excellent.

The miner itself is an elegant, yet simple, set up with the layered approach. It has the ability to chain several of them together and stack them.  That expansion ability is great and reminds of us of how BTCGarden Bitcoin miners were able to be strung together into quite large setups.

DASH Network Sees A Spike in Hashrate and Difficulty

The team at Baikal has been excellent as well. During the whole review process, they were available for calls on Skype or email. They are also active in the DASH forums for support and answering questions.

The DASH network, as well as other X11 coins like DigitalCoin and StartCoin, have been seeing their hash rates increase steadily over the last couple months as the new X11 ASICs have hit the market.

In DASH’s case, in a conversation with Evan Duffield at the 2016 Miami conference, he stated that they welcomed the arrival of ASICs as it would make the network more secure.  At the time X11 ASICs were a closely held secret by the devs of the ASICs, so there was some skepticism as to them being real or not.  We can say they are real and they are becoming more and more available outside of China.

The community response to ASICs finally coming out for DASH have been mixed. Many people cannot wait to get some X11 ASICs, yet others are upset as they feel the rising hash rate and difficulty will drive the value of DASH to pennies or lower.  The current DASH value is hovering around the $7.60 USD range.  It will remain to be seen as to if the value goes up or down over time. One of the many things that determines a coins value is its usefulness and use cases. DASH has been steadily working on being accepted in more places and even debuted a DASH soda machine at the Miami 2016 conference.

Overall, the Baikal miner is an excellent buy, and having the lowest power consumption of the three available X11 ASICs gives it a boost over the other offerings. Large and small installations should be no problem with its chaining ability.

The chip has reportedly been made on the 40nm base, so expect some excellent leaps in power as they go through successive generations of chips. Deployment and management is simple. We have been very happy with the Baikal X11 DASH ASIC miner.

Stay tuned as we are going to have a very busy next few weeks reviewing new ASICs for Bitcoin and other algorithms, as interviews with many people in the manufacturing industry.

What are your thoughts on X11 ASICs hitting the market?


Images courtesy of Baikal and Bitcoinist.net.

The post Review of the Baikal 150 mh/s X11 DASH ASIC Miner appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Review of the Baikal 150 mh/s X11 DASH ASIC Miner

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Kvě 11

Proposed Hard-Fork to Nullify ASICBoost Patent

Source: bitcoin

Proposed Hard-Fork to Nullify ASICBoost Patent

Bitcoin Core contributor, Peter Todd, announced that a hard-fork had been proposed to negate attempts to patent the ASICBoost method.

Also read: Kraken Launches ETH Dark Pool Trading

According to a message sent out by Peter, this proposed idea sprang from an agreement made at a Bitcoin-oriented round-table in February. The round-table was attended by a slew of representatives from the Bitcoin development and industry, and focused on a variety of different subjects.

The intent of this fork is to make ASIC boost optimisation useless, and ideally the change would be SPV compatible. However, according to Peter, if a change to SPV clients were needed, then that would also be acceptable. In addition, the change would also be compatible with existing mining hardware.

The Hard-Fork Resistance Against Patents

ASICBoost is a patent-pending method that will lower the total cost per bitcoin mined to approximately 20%. The patent has been a point of controversy because many in the Bitcoin community do not generally agree with patents. It is held that patents simply act to restrict competition on advancing a certain good by giving a legal monopoly on the provision of that good.

Patents thus slow down innovative processes, and would be especially detrimental to hardware and software industries. Software and hardware are always in state of change and the current life cycle of patents are simply unable to accommodate this change.

Additionally, some other points of agreement at the roundtable were the progression of SegWit as soft-fork and possible ways of improving it, running only Bitcoin Core-compatible consensus systems eventually containing both SegWit and the hard-fork, and committing to scaling technologies which use block space more efficiently.

The Hong Kong agreement was also signed by many leading figures in the Bitcoin community, including: Peter Todd, Valery Vavilov, Cory Fields, Johnson Lau, Luke Dashjr, and Matt Corallo among others.

What do you think of the proposed hard-fork, do you feel it will stifle innovation in Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments Below!


Source: Linuxfoundation.org

Images Courtesy of Elaineou.com and Prafises.com

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Proposed Hard-Fork to Nullify ASICBoost Patent

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Úno 23

21 Inc. Details Payment Capabilities for its Hardware

Source: bitcoin

21

In an announcement posted to the company’s blog on Medium, 21 Inc. revealed details about the 21 Bitcoin Computer’s unique ability to facilitate micropayments between users. Updates to the group’s main consumer facing product, released in November 2015 and available for $400, now open unchartered possibilities for integration and usage of micropayments for Bitcoin fanatics, entrepreneurs and developers alike.

Also read: What’s Causing Bitcoin’s Current Bullish Run?

21 Inc. and Micropayments

The post reads:

“Today we’re announcing the release of software and libraries to allow high frequency Bitcoin-based microtransactions between any pair of 21 Bitcoin Computers, without any change to the Bitcoin block size. And soon, you’ll be able to download a free client that makes this work between any pair of devices.”

Through providing a simple command line plugin, developers will now be able to enable micropayments more naturally and easily in applications. These will not rely on any third party, either. Instead, they will trust the open source and decentralized network that is the Bitcoin blockchain. 21 Inc. is angling their hardware to provide infrastructure for micropayments that will enable the next wave of Internet commerce, interaction, tipping, and financing for business and consumers alike.

Business applications could range from supply chain and inventory tracking to international or local trade.  On the consumer side, 21 Inc. is positioning itself to be at the center of micropayments use within applications as well as in the real world, with possibilities ranging from the Internet of Things to social networking plugins to directly rewarding users for sharing content or producing valuable content.

By leveraging two features of the Bitcoin source code known as nSequence and Locktime, both of which were initially imagined by Satoshi Nakamoto, 21 Inc. will enable secure and sustainable forms of micropayments through the smart phones of individuals. An analogy outlining this in their Medium post states:

“How does this technology work? A good analogy is the idea of a bar tab. When you go to a bar, you typically put down a credit card to open a tab, enjoy your food and drinks, and then close out the tab at the end of the night. This means just two “transactions” (opening and closing the tab) even if there were many rounds of food and drink for your party. Reducing the transaction overhead is more convenient for both you and the busy bartender, as you don’t need to pull out your card and they don’t need to pay credit card fees for every pour of every drink.”

This will even be self-fueling through using the local 21 Bitcoin Computer client to mine bitcoin and provide support on the back-end. In a nod towards the lightning network, 21 Inc. is using their own “deposit transaction” channels which are economically feasible through the mining technology the 21 Bitcoin Computer provides.

Applications such as Zapchain (a rewards based social network) and ChangeTip (a integrated set of tools for social media centered micropayments tipping) are the early leaders in the micropayments consumer space. The tools 21 Inc. is providing, however, will be profoundly impactful for the next generation of developers.   Gaming is another impactful area for micropayments, and Minecraft’s Bitcoin plugins and initiatives such as FreeMyVunk will likely benefit from this news.

Overall, this is a surprising yet hopeful move for 21 Inc. The organization lead the single largest round of Bitcoin or Blockchain related investment, with reports claiming the group had raised over $116 million in funding in March 2015. Recent changes and advancements for firms such as Digital Asset Holdings and the Hyperledger Project also signal that investments from 2015 are coming into fruition in 2016.

What do you think about the future of both 21 Inc. and micropayments?   What technical challenges are there towards seeing this into a reality? Will consumers or developer want to utilize these quickly? Share your thoughts below!

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21 Inc. Details Payment Capabilities for its Hardware

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Led 24

Bitcoin Core Launches Social Media Presence

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoin Core Twitter

January 23, 2016 – Bitcoin Core launches Social media accounts as well as a public Slack in an attempt to interface more directly with the community. This follows a controversial hashing algorithm change proposal that could have made bitcoin less accessible, altering the utility of the entire specification.

Also read: DASH Block Size Increase Reaches Consensus in Less Than 24 hours

 

Negative Response to DOA Hard Fork

 

Dashjr, an influential Bitcoin Core developer, proposed a hard fork that would change bitcoin to another PoW algorithm on the 17th, as an alternative to block size increase. The need for these changes stems from the perception that mining hash power is becoming increasingly centralized – in China. The change proposal was internally shot down, but the idea was taken onto Reddit and consider.it by Dashjr after his rejection. The bitcoin community responded in kind, expressing outrage and confusion at the proposal.  The original hard fork description reads:

“This solves mining centralisation by enabling GPU miners to be the leading-edge again. (Hopefully, the next generation of ASIC miners will have learned their lesson, so we don’t need to do this again.)”

Critics of the hard fork lambast Dashjr for targeting the solution specifically towards Chinese miners at the cost of value and functionality. Whether or not the proposal was sincere or serving his personal interest, the massively negative response among developers and the general Bitcoin community alike make changing the proof-of-work algorithm change even less likely; this fact may limit possibilities for real safeguards in the future.

 

Bitcoin Core Needs More Public Interface

 

In the fallout of these events and subsequent media coverage, the takeaway for Bitcoin Core was to fix their public outreach. They launched a Slack a few days ago and Twitter feed today as part of this initiative. This may help prevent controversy from being stirred up over trivial matters like this in the future —  lag between the public and development side of things will be lessened.

The impact of these steps has yet to be seen, but in the recent rash of scandal and negative mainstream coverage surrounding bitcoin, it’s good to know the people responsible for maintaining and improving it are working towards greater transparency.

 

How do you feel about Dashjr’s proposal and handling of it’s rejection? Thoughts on the effect of Bitcoin Core’s Social media presence? Let us know in the comments.


 

Images courtesy of Twitter, Slack

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Bitcoin Core Launches Social Media Presence

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