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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Úno 25

BitLox: ‘Indestructible’ Hardware Bitcoin Wallet

Source: bitcoin

BitLox

BitLox is a hardware Bitcoin wallet manufacturer, and its first two products have hit the market. The company says that its titanium encased “BitLox Ultimate,” and the aerospace-grade alloy-encased “BitLox Advanced” are indestructbile, and are “the most advanced and secure hardware Bitcoin wallets ever developed.

Disclaimer: This article was provided by Bitcoin PR Buzz. Bitcoinist is not affiliated with the firms represented by Bitcoin PR Buzz and is not responsible for their products and/or services.

BitLox: The ‘Most Advanced’ Bitcoin Wallet

The wallets are shockproof, weatherproof, and small. They are the size of a credit card, 4 millimeters thick and weighing in at 25 grams, but BitLox says they still “pack a punch.” Both versions of the company’s wallet feature a 2-inch “full matrix advanced e-paper display,” multi-layer PIN security, and Bluetooth LE that allows users to access wallets from their smartphones via an Android or iOS app. The hardware devices also allow for multiple wallets, each one with its own encrypted seed.

BitLox wallets are compatible with the most popular anonymity tools, allowing users to spend from their wallets with the maximum amount of privacy. The company provides TOR-based access to their hardware devices, as well as compatibility with the I2P network. Additionally, the wallets can also be used on TailsOS, an anonymity-centric operating system that treats every computer boot-up as a clean install — avoiding the digital trail left by OS data tracking, such as personal information, preference settings, and bug reports.

When it comes to local security, the BitLox wallets offer many features. Four-layer PIN protection requires an entry for device recognition, powering on the device, accessing the wallet, and for each transaction. These layers are configurable, so users can enable or disable them based on their preferences for convenience versus security.

The “Anti Evil Maid” feature provides wallet users with a recognition phrase that allows to verify that the wallet is actually their device, and not another. This feature acts as a Two-Factor Authentication protection, preventing would-be thieves from accessing a wallet through another device with compromised PINs.

BitLox wallets even have a nuclear option. The “Duress” PIN initiates a self-destruct process where device memory is “instantly and irrevocably,” which will “return the BitLox to the factory fresh state.” This self-destruct option can be useful if a user wants to get rid of their BitLox for any reason, or if they believe that their PINs have been compromised.

The company also provides “hidden Bitcoin wallets,” which makes the stored funds “indistinguishable from random data.” Each device supports up to fifty hidden wallets, providing “perfect plausible deniability” to anyone who may need it.

The BitLox hardware bitcoin wallets are entering a market with some stiff competition. This company will face established hardware wallet providers such as Trezor and Ledger, which provide a variety of bitcoin storage products well-liked by the community.

Prices for the BitLox wallets start at $199 USD, and each device comes with a five-year warranty.

About BitLox Limited:

BitLox Limited is a dynamic start-up company, incorporated in Hong Kong, primarily offering to its customers products and services in the field of emerging financial technologies and digital currencies. BitLox Limited is poised to establish lasting strategic partnerships and expand with reliable partners and well-established investors across the globe.

BitLox brings state-of-the-art technology to both consumer and enterprise customers alike. BitLox is developing several more products to be announced soon, with groundbreaking cutting edge Bitcoin security solutions in advanced stages of research and development.

Affiliates & partnerships are welcome!

Dana L. Coe, BitLox CEO is currently available for interviews with interested media outlets worldwide. He can be reached at dana.coe@bitlox.com

For more information, or to purchase a BitLox, please visit:

View the BitLox press kit at:

About Bitcoin PR Buzz:

Bitcoin PR Buzz has been proudly serving the PR and marketing needs of Bitcoin and digital currency tech start-ups for over 2 years. Get your own professional Bitcoin and digital currency Press Release. Click here for more information.

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BitLox: ‘Indestructible’ Hardware Bitcoin Wallet

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Úno 08

Avalon 6 Review: 3.5 TH/s ASIC Bitcoin Miner Is Stable and Powerful

Source: bitcoin

Avalon 6

The Avalon 6 ASIC Bitcoin miner is the latest in Bitcoin hardware from Canaan-Creative/Avalon. Much like the Avalon 4, the new housing makes for a streamlined cooling and setup method. Canaan-Creative, who resurrected the damaged Avalon brand, has worked hard on these next gen ASICs as well as their customer service. This effort has led to the partnership with BlockC.co for distribution. BlockC sent an Avalon 6 for review using their new distribution center in Silicon Valley. Having a US-based distributor allowed for fast shipping and the Avalon 6 (A6) arrived quickly and safely. The specs on the Avalon 6 are very good while keeping a small and quiet form factor. The Avalon 3218 ASIC is a big step over the previous gen. The new efficiency is very welcome with fluctuating bitcoin value and a wide range of power costs around the world.

Also Read: Review: Avalon 4.1, 1 th/s Bitcoin ASIC Miner, Quiet Power

Avalon 6 Bitcoin Miner Specifications

Avalon 6 Main Control Panel

HASHRATE:
3.5TH/s ±5%
POWER EFFICIENCY:
0.29 Watts/GH at the wall averaged 1080 watts total during testing
PSU REQUIREMENTS:
12V DC ±0.2V, 1100 Watts Minimum PSU output (use high-quality cables)
* 1200+ Watts recommended. The system draws approximately 1000 Watts.

Avalon 6 Pool and Worker Setup

PSU INTERFACE:
PCIE-6PIN X 4
ASIC PROCESSOR MODEL:
Avalon A3218 (quantity = 80 chips per miner)
CONTROLLER
Raspberry Pi, Version B or B+ RPi 2
Each RPi can control 50+ miners
COMMUNICATION INTERFACE:
IIC/I2C
WORKING ENVIRONMENT:
0C to 35C, 10% to 80% relative humidity, non-condensing
DIMENSIONS:
354mm x 130mm x 150mm
WEIGHT:
4.3kg

Disclosure: Avalon 6 provided by BlockC.co to review.


The Avalon 6 arrived very fast and secure. The shipping gods were kind this time. BlockC.co shipped the single unit double boxed which made for a nice and secure miner. Being shipped from the US also had the effect of a faster ship time and lower shipping costs. The Avalon 6 like the Avalon 4 uses an RPi (Raspberry Pi) for the controller software. They have a custom control panel, or you can use the most familiar CGminer panel as well.

Avalon A3218 Bitcoin ASIC

Setting up pool and worker info is simply going to the configuration panel. Same for network settings and reaching the advanced settings. The menu layout is easy to use and yet still gives the options more experienced miners need. In the advanced interface, you can get very granular, and access clock speeds settings as well. The Avalon 6 overclocks nicely. The dual panel closed tunnel design leaves some room, so the cooling is robust despite only a single fan.

Frequency settings in the main panel allow for an underclock from 100 to a max of 500 which is the default setting. More advanced users can SSH into the control software and modify the base CGMiner with 3rd party firmware to accept higher freq. (Bitcoinist does not suggest using 3rd party firmware or overclocking do so at your risk). Due to the less dense two board design when the Avalon 6 overclocking it stays cooler allowing for more overhead.

Avalon 6 Large Scale Deployment Made Easy

Deployment with the Avalon 6 is a breeze due to the RPi controller and software. The other big benefit of the RPi control software is that is it can control 40 to 50 miners at once. This ability makes for easier large data center management. Instead of 50 network cables, one for each miner you only need one. This ability cuts down on deployment costs. You connect each miner to the next in this chain even eliminating the need for USB hubs to manage them. Furthering data center management ease is the data center software that Avalon has to manage all the RPi controllers. The software helps you monitor uptime, change settings across the entire data center. Bitcoinist will be reviewing this software and its process shortly.

Avalon 6 Excellent PCB Design

The Avalon 6 power consumption is solid as well. At an advertised 0.29 Watts/GH the Avalon 6 beats many of the current miners on the market available for purchase. The Avalon 6 we tested was only pulling at the wall an average of 1049 watts while performing at 3.56 th/s solidly. The single fan operates in a pull system within the housing. This airflow method allows for a smooth airflow over the heatsinks and boards. The fan control software allows for you to set manually your temp to fan speed threshold and is very effective. On default settings, the fan runs at an average of 2100 rpm at a data center temp of 55 F while putting out 55 dB at 4ft.

Avalon 6 Advanced Status

Updating the Avalon firmware is simple as well. The main Avalon control panel has direct links to the DL site. Customer service is excellent as well with BlockC.co handling much of it with worldwide distribution downtime is minimized in case of failure. Build quality is top notch, and extra attention paid to the board design allow for a robust unit.

The Avalon 6 is a solid step forward from the Avalon 4. With Avalon/Canaan-Creative’s deal with BlockC.co for distribution, they are easier to obtain that the Avalon 4s were. The excellent cooling and power to hash rate ratio while allowing for easy deployment and management makes it a good buy. BitFury and Bitmain will be releasing new miners with next gen chips to the public soon but what you can buy now it is hard to beat the Avalon is shipping now.  Their next gen chip should also be a cut above if they keep going like this. Avalon has come a long way forward since Canaan-Creative has taken over the IP.  That is a good thing for the whole mining industry.

Avalon 6 RPi and EVGA PSU
Avalon 6 Control Panel Selector
Avalon 6 Firmware Update Page
Avalon 6 55 dB at 4 ft
Avalon PCB ASIC Layout
Avalon 6 1049 watts for 3.56 ths
Avalon 6 USB Adapter
Avalon 6 Firmware Update
Avalon 6

What do you think about the Avalon 6?  Let us know in the comments below.


Image Source: Bitcoinist.net

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Avalon 6 Review: 3.5 TH/s ASIC Bitcoin Miner Is Stable and Powerful

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Led 21

New California Bill Aims To Weaken Smartphone Encryption

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Legislation

Smartphone encryption has been a topic of heavy debate over the past few months, and the opinions are divided to say the least. Both users and manufacturers want to preserve encryption or even add additional layers to protect user data. But on the other hand, various government officials are proposing bills to have encryption on smartphones weakened by default.

Also read: Satoshi Labs Upgrades The Trezor Interface

Weakening Smartphone Encryption To Fight Human Trafficking

A little while ago, one US state lawmaker proposed a new bill to weaken smartphone encryption by default, to avoid its use cases for terrorism and other illegal use cases. At that time, the reason for this bill was how weakened smartphone encryption would help government officials fight terrorism, such as during the recent Paris attacks.

It looks like that person is not the only government official pushing for less strong encryption measures on mobile devices. California Assemblymember Jim Cooper proposed a very similar bill, but rather than proposing this concept to fight terrorism, he wants to bring an end to human trafficking on a global scale.

In the end, both bills are looking to achieve the same goal: weaken smartphone encryption on a large scale to decrypt and unlock stored information by the manufacturer or operating system provider. Needless to say, if either of these bills would come to pass, user data would no longer be safe from prying eyes, and give government officials even more insights as to how consumers use their devices.

While it is certainly true government officials and law enforcement can obtain a warrant for bank accounts, house, or just about anything, mobile devices are not on that list. By proposing a weaker smartphone encryption bill, Cooper hopes to bring an end to criminals relying on mobile devices to conduct their business and communication.

At the same time, there are some issues with both proposals. Not only is weaker encryption not the best way to solve human trafficking, but it will also harm the overall security of the Internet. Including backdoors is fundamentally insecure and it would create vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers and other criminals.

Furthermore, there is the question whether or not these ideas are even technically feasible. Distinguishing between legal and illegal decryption of information stored on mobile devices is all but impossible. Security of the population is of the utmost importance, but it should not be at the cost of freedom by any means.

Lack of Technology Understanding Leads To Strange Proposals

Both of these bills go to show how little government officials understand about encryption and the technology keeping customer data safe. Trying to unravel technology people do not understand lead to proposals that will do more harm than good in the long run. Weakening encryption is never the answer to solving a crime, especially not where mobile devices are concerned.

In fact, the number of cases investigated for illegal activity due to smartphone encryption is nearly non-existent. This begs the question as to what policymakers hope to achieve by pushing these bills through, as the premise of fighting crime does not seem to hold up. It remains unclear as to what type of information government officials hope to gather from weakening encryption, but it does not look like they have the consumer’s best interests at heart.

What are your thoughts on weakening smartphone encryption? What are governments trying to achieve? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Ars Technica

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Computerworld

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New California Bill Aims To Weaken Smartphone Encryption

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Led 06

Cheero Power Plus 3 External USB Battery Review

Source: bitcoin

Cheero Power Plus 3 External USB Battery Review

The Cheero Power Plus 3 (PP3) is a standard lithium ion battery external power bank. It comes in a classic white that hasn’t managed to attract any scuffs despite regular use. Cheero is a Japanese company that is avidly penetrating many niche areas of the technology hardware industry. Bitcoinist.net will make sure to stop by Cheero’s stand at CES 2016 in our continued effort to expand our coverage. While we are traditionally a fintech, Bitcoinist.net is now bringing our world-renowned review skills to all hardware.

Cheero Power Plus 3 Power Bank Hardware Specifications

– 13400 mAh

– DC 5v/2A Micro USB Input

– DC 5V/1A  and DC 5V/2.4A

– ~500 usage times

Cheero PP3 Power Bank Review

As a frequent traveler, I often find myself needing to recharge my phone when I am attending Bitcoin meetups and Bitcoin conferences around the country. Having all the different Bitcoin wallet apps open to show new users the width and breadth of Bitcoin wallet functionality is very taxing on my battery. Given that my phone is a few generations old, even an extended battery case doesn’t keep it truly competitive. Without this power bank (and the other one I use to keep this one topped off), I’d be just a nomad instead of a digital nomad. The 3.8×3.1×0.9 inch body bulges slightly wider than other ~10000mAh external power banks. Importantly, the Cheero doesn’t charge your gear if you don’t push the power button. This is a feature not a bug.

Pros: Two USB output ports

Cons: Only comes in white
The product is available on Amazon, but of course you should consider using Purse.io (Bitcoinist referral link) to save a few bits/bucks on Amazon instead and be able to pay in Bitcoin. It has 5 stars on Amazon and it gets 5 stars from us!

Images from Juwan Li.

Test unit provided by Cheero USA.

The post Cheero Power Plus 3 External USB Battery Review appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Cheero Power Plus 3 External USB Battery Review

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