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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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The Origin of Dash and the Future of Money

Source: bitcoin

dash

The introduction of Bitcoin to the world sparked a revolution of finance and economics. Bitcoin set money’s value free from government constraint; now the value could be determined solely by the market. Instead of depending on centralized third parties for every financial transaction, people could exchange value around the world cheaply and in a completely decentralized manner. Bitcoin ushered in the age of truly digital cash. But Bitcoin isn’t the whole story. By creating an open-source money, Satoshi Nakomoto, the inventor of Bitcoin, unlocked vast vistas for others to explore. Over the years many developers have taken up the challenge and built upon the foundation that is Bitcoin to solve many real-world problems. One such person is Evan Duffield, and his project: Dash.

This article was provided by the Vanbex Group on behalf of the author, Eric Sammons.

 

The Importance of Anonymity

With a background in both software development and finance, Duffield was captivated by Bitcoin from its earliest days. Most particularly, he was intrigued by the idea of digital cash: a technology that could replicate the features of physical cash but without the drawbacks inherent in conventional currency. According to Duffield, “I started tinkering with Bitcoin in 2011, really early in it’s development. I decided I wanted to dive into cryptographic currency and like all things, the best way to learn something new is to sink or swim.” As he studied Bitcoin more deeply, however, he discovered a weakness in its design: a lack of true anonymity.

Why is anonymity important? Some might argue anonymity is only essential for those who wish to engage in illegal activities. But this is not the case. Anonymity is necessary for cash for two reasons. First, it gives each transaction privacy, so that no one can pry into the financial transactions of others. Imagine giving public access to everyone’s credit card transactions. Such information, aside from just violating individuals’ privacy, could be used to manipulate people in many ways. Second, anonymity makes the currency “fungible,” meaning every unit of the currency is worth the same as any other unit. Why is this true? If people could track coins to specific people and transactions, efforts could be made to “taint” coins, for example, if they were involved in illegal activities previously, making them worth less than others.

Unfortunately, Bitcoin does not supply true anonymity; each transaction is broadcast on a public blockchain for anyone to study. True, those transactions are not publicly linked to specific individuals, but with enough forensic research one can draw connections between transactions and individuals.

Duffield at first wanted to improve anonymity in Bitcoin itself, but he found that his suggestions were not accepted by the core Bitcoin developers. So, in the grand tradition of open source technology, he decided to fork the project and create his own digital coin. He called it “Darkcoin,” reflecting the anonymity of the currency, and released it on January 18, 2014. Calling Darkcoin a “more private blockchain,” Duffield marketed it as a “privacy-centric” currency.

Thus was a new coin born.

The initial reception was nothing short of remarkable. People quickly realized that Darkcoin solved a real-world digital currency problem, and the price reflected that realization. Users flocked to the coin, and soon its market capitalization was one of the highest of any digital currency. In its first year Darkcoin overcame a number of technical hurdles – inventing a whole new way of doing money isn’t for the faint of heart – and became one of the top digital currencies on the market.

From Darkcoin to Dash

That’s only the beginning of the story, however. From these humble origins something greater was introduced to the world, perhaps even greater than Duffield himself realized. For the technical solution to implementing an anonymous currency held the seeds to much more. Duffield created an incentivized 2nd-tier of nodes (called “Masternodes”), more powerful than regular Bitcoin nodes, which would be the foundation for a whole host of future features, many of which weren’t even considered when Darkcoin was first created.

Anyone who has worked in software development knows how important the initial foundation of a project is. Without a robust infrastructure, there are limitations to what can be accomplished as the project matures. By creating a Masternode network, Duffield gave his coin a leg-up in building future features into the coin. Unlike Bitcoin nodes, Masternodes receive payments for their service to the network. Because they are incentivized, more can be demanded of them: more powerful hardware, required software upgrades, etc. This Masternode network became the robust foundation to which more and more features could be added – features which are not possible for Bitcoin or other coins without a 2nd-tier network of nodes. As Duffield notes, “I first discovered a way to make a decentralized anonymity engine, something that had never been done before, then I continued to find other new concepts such as decentralized funding, decentralized governance and a decentralized storage engine.”

As the project began to include more features, however, the Darkcoin name became a liability instead of a strength. It emphasized only the one aspect of the project – anonymity – and not everything it had the potential to become. Further, public perception was that the Darkcoin name referred to its use in illegal activities, which was never the intention of the project. As Duffield noted, “It became apparent that the Darkcoin branding was getting in our way, so in order to accomplish our greater mission, we decided rebranding was necessary.” So the name was changed from Darkcoin to “Dash.” A shortened form of “digital cash,” the revised name is a reflection of Duffield’s original vision for the project.

Looking to the Future

Since its creation, the Dash Masternode network has shown itself capable of handling new features. Over the past two years, new Dash features have continued to be added. For example:

InstantX: To solve the problem of lag time in transactions, Masternodes are able to instantly lock transactions.

Self-Budgeting: To solve the problem of lack of funding for development, Masternodes can direct funds right from the blockchain to support development.

Self-Governance: To solve the problem of making governance decisions on the future of the currency, Masternodes can vote on what development occurs.

This is just the beginning. Dash’s powerful Masternode network allows for features in the protocol level that other digital currencies must push off to centralized third parties. With Dash, almost any feature can be decentralized and included at the protocol level. For example, the next phase of the Dash project, called Evolution, will introduce a new level of user-friendliness to a space which is not known for it. Duffield’s excitement for the future of Dash is apparent: “[Dash Evolution] is a next-generation platform for purely decentralized e-commerce. This system when deployed will allow low-risk reputation-based e-commerce and a completely decentralized arbitration system that can replaced centralized escrow services.” And with Dash’s strong foundation, who knows what else is possible in the future?

From its origins as an anonymous Bitcoin clone, Dash has evolved over the past two years into “digital cash.” With its powerful infrastructure and self-governance/self-budgeting system, Dash is poised to break into the mainstream and become the future of money.


Images courtesy of Dash, Pixabay.

The post The Origin of Dash and the Future of Money appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

The Origin of Dash and the Future of Money

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