Bitcoin mining hardware - what is a bitcoin miner

Updated FAQs for newcomers

TL:DR: Don't bother mining if you want to get rich yo. You're way too late to the party.
Welcome to the exciting and often stressful world of bitcoin! You are wondering what looks like a once in a lifetime opportunity to get rich quick. Of course you guys probably heard about this "mining" process but what is this?
Simply put, a bitcoin mining machine that performs complicated calculations and when deemed correct by the network, receives a block which contains 25 bitcoins (XBT). This is how bitcoins are generated. So your brain instantly thinks, "Holy shit, how can I get on this gold rush?"
Before you proceed further, I would like to explain the concept of mining further. Bitcoin is limited 21m in circulation. It is coded to release a certain number of blocks at a certain time frame, ie: this year the network will release close to 500,000 bitcoins. What this means is that the more people (or specifically the amount of mining power) mine, the less each person gets. The network tries to keep to this time frame through the process of difficulty adjustments which makes the calculations harder and this happens every 2 weeks. So every 2 weeks, you get less bitcoins with the same hash rate (mining power) based on what the difficulty changes are. Recently, the changes have been pretty staggering, jumping 226% in 2 months. You can see the difficulty changes here.
Now, why are these changes so large?
A bit of a simple history. Bitcoin's algorithm runs on SHA-256. This algorithm can be solved using many hardware, from CPU to GPU and dedicated hardware (Application Specific Integrated Circuits). When bitcoin first started, mining on CPU was a trivial process, you can pretty much earn 50 XBT (the block size then) every few hours between Q1 and Q2 of 2010.
In late 2010, due to the difficulty increase that is reducing the effectiveness of CPU mining, people started to harness GPU mining. Only AMD GPU's architecture design are better optimized for bitcoin mining so this is what the community used. Immediate improvements of more than 10x was not uncommon.
In time of course, GPUs reached their limit and people started to build dedicated. In the same vein as the CPU to GPU transition, similar performance increase was common. These ASICs can only perform SHA-256 calculation so they can be highly optimized. Their performance mainly depends on the die size of the chips exactly like CPU chips.
In general, think of bitcoin mining's technological advancement no different to mining gold. Gold panning (CPUs) vs pickaxes (GPUs) vs machinery (ASICs) and we are still in the ASIC mining race.
ASIC mining started with ASICMiner and Avalon being first to the market, both producing 130nm and 110nm chips. The technology are antiquated in comparison to CPUs and GPUs which are now 22nm with 14nm slated for Q1 next year by Intel but they are cheap to manufacture and with performance gains similar to the CPU to GPU transition, they were highly successful and popular for early adopters. At that point in time since there were less competing manufacturers and the low batch runs of their products, miners became really rich due to the slow increase in difficulty.
The good days came to an end mid August with an unprecedented 35% increase in difficulty. This is due to existing manufacturers selling more hardware and many other players coming onto the market with better hardware (smaller die). Since die shrinking knowledge and manufacturing process are well known along with a large technological gap (110nm vs 22nm), you get an arms race. Current ASIC makers are closing in on our technological limit and until everyone catches up, the difficulty jumps will be high because it is just too easy to get a performance increase. Most newer products run at 28nm and most chips are not well optimized, so it will be around another 6 to 9 months before we see hit a hard plateau with 22nm or 14nm chips. The estimated time frame is because manufacturing chips at 22nm or 14nm is a more difficult and expensive task. In the meantime most manufacturers will probably settle at 28nm and we will reach a soft plateau in about 3 months.
Now, you might ask these questions and should have them answered and if you have not thought about them at all, then you probably should not touch bitcoin until you understand cause you are highly unprepared and probably lose lots of money.
No. If you have to ask, please do not touch bitcoin yet. You will spend more on electricity cost than mining any substantial bitcoin. Seriously. At all. A 7990 would produce a pitiful 0.02879 XBT (USD $14 @ $500/XBT exchange rate) for the next 30 days starting 23 Nov 2013 at 35% difficulty increase.
And if you think you can mine on your laptop either on a CPU or GPU, you are probably going to melt it before you even get 0.01 XBT.
Probably not because you probably forgot that GPUs and CPUs produce a ton of heat and noise. You can try but I see no point earning < $20 bucks per month.
No, because your machine will probably not mine as much as buying bitcoins. This situation is called the opportunity cost. While you can still make money if XBT rise in value, it is a fallacy.
IE: if you start mining on 1 Dec 2013, a KnC Jupiter running at 450Gh/sec (KnC lies as not all chips run at 550Gh/sec) will yield you a total revenue of 9.5189 XBT with a profit of 0.7859 XBT in profit by 30th Jan 2014 at a constant difficulty increase of 35%. The opportunity cost is: 8.5910 XBT @ USD $580/XBT with USD $5,000 which is the cost of a KnC Jupiter. This is the best you can earn and it's a bloody optimistic assumption because:
The only circumstances where you will earn money is when XBT exchange rates is so high that it makes the opportunity cost pales in comparison. Unfortunately this is not the case. If XBT stabilized at 900/XBT today (20 Nov 2013) then we might have a good case.
The risk is just generally not worth it. Unless you have at least a hundred thousand and can make a contract with a manufacturer for a lower cost, do not bother. Just wait until the arms race is over then you can start mining.
Okay, go buy an AsicMiner USB Block Erupter. They are cheap and pretty fun to have.
Sure, just read the answer below on who NOT to go for. You are doing bitcoin a service by securing the network and you have our (the users') gratitude.
You can check out the manufacturers and their products below along with a calculator here.
If you still insist on buying, do not to go for BFL. Their track record is horrid and borderline scammish. KnC fucked up a lot with defective boards and chips. Personally, I think CoinTerra is the best choice.
Alternatively, you can go on the secondary market to buy a delivered product. You can get a better deal there if you know how to do your "return on investment (ROI)" calculation. Personally, I will go for a 45%-50% difficulty increase for the next 3 months for my calculations and a 2% pool fee.
However, most products on ebay are sold at a cost much higher than it should. is a cheaper place because everyone knows what are the true value is so you will find less options. If you are unclear or need assistance, please post a question.
I actually do not use any of the pools recommended to the left because I think they lack features.
My favourite is Bitminter (Variable fees based on features used; max 2%). It has all advanced features for a pool, very responsive and helpful owner on IRC. Variable fees is good for those who do not need a large feature set, even with all features turned on, it is still cheap.
Eligius (0% fees) has high value for money but lacks features. It has anonymous mining which might be attractive to certain subset of people but not for others. Many other community member and I disagree highly with the opinions of the owner on the direction of bitcoin. I do use his pool for now but I do so only because I share my miners with a few partners and anonymous mining allows us to monitor the machines without using an account. Bitminter uses only OpenID which is problematic for me.
BTC Guild (3% fees) is another big pool and is fully featured and does charge a premium for their fees. That said, they are the most stable of the lot. I do use them but do so only because my hoster uses them for monitoring. I try not to use them because a pool with a very large hash rate (they are the largest) presents a large vulnerability to bitcoin's network if compromised.
All of them pay out transaction fees.
submitted by Coz131 to BitcoinMining [link] [comments]

I have a beagleboard that came as part of a bitcoin mining appliance and I broke linux. Offering a reward for the solution.

I received a brand new KnC Saturn bitcoin miner TODAY. I promptly logged into ssh to configure the miner and made a mistake that has caused the appliance not to boot.
I am willing to offer $200 in reward, by paypal or bitcoin to the person or persons who helps me get this miner working. If it starts working, I will award the entire sum to those who helped in a sum divisible at my discretion.
This is the KncMiner Saturn, the miner I received today.
Here is a picture of the the controller board
This is the front of the beaglebone attched to the controller
Here is a picture of the back of the beaglebone
I have no experience with beagle boards, though I am comfortable with Raspberry Pi's, and pretty comfortable with linux (though I'm questioning that considering my current predicament).
Here's a synopsis:
The beagleboard runs a custom linux firmware developed by KnCminer with a bitcoin mining program called cgminer. The interface is accessible primarily from a web interface, secondarily by ssh.
I am nearly certain that the only problem is that I removed a file that the board is searching for on boot. There is a directory called /config/ that directory contains mining configuration files.
I issued
mv /config/cgminer.conf.factory /config/cgminer.conf 
which effectively deleted /config/cgminer.conf.factory. This has rendered they system only partially bootable. The system lights up and it responds to ping, but I cannot access the system by ssh or by the web interface.
I believe that all I need to do is to get into the beaglebone and cp the cgminer.conf file back to cgminer.conf.factory in order to enable regular boot.
In addition, I may have exacerbated the problem by attempting a hardware reset described on page 5 of this manual.
The company, KncMiner, does offer a support page with clean firmwares, but I don't know how to apply any of these to a non-working system.
I am more than willing to answer any questions. As I stated, I will award $200 in bitcoin or paypal to the person or persons who helps me get this miner working. The payout will only occur if this thread results in a solution. I will award the entire prize at my discretion to those who help at a ratio of my determination.
UPDATE 6:30am 10/22/2013: I glad to see bonez656 post that this is happening to someone else. I am currently trying to acquire a complete dd image of the saturn/jupiter so I can reflash my beaglebone. If this works, I plan to offer 1/2 of the reward to bonez656 and the other half to whoever provides the dd image.
UPDATE 7am 10/22/2013: I received support from Emilia at KnC that may make a flash unncessary. The miner has an Emergency State that may allow me to access SSH and restore the bad file. I will attempt this first and follow up around 5pm EST with details.
UPDATE 4pm 10/23/2013: The miner is up and running! I'll be providing 0.25 BTC to bonez656 for providing comments that got me closest to the solution.
The solution actually came from KnC miner support:
  1. Shut down the power;
  2. Disconnect 12V power cables from all the ASIC boards;
  3. Turn the power on.
  4. The miner will start, and red LED will light up eventually - it is in errored state "No ASIC board found"
  5. SSH into the miner, restore factory configuration files (sample network.conf.factory and cgminer.conf.factory attached)
  6. sync (issue sync command in the command line interface)
  7. Turn the power off.
  8. Plug in back all the 12V cables to the ASIC boards.
  9. Turn the power on.
  10. Happy mining!
submitted by knc_shipping_problem to BeagleBone [link] [comments]

Reflections on Scrypt/Gpu mining

So i've been doing this mining thing for a few months now. I have 3 full rigs total running at about 13mh/s. And today I started looking into using some of my earnings to purchase a Bitcoin ASIC, Jupiter, or something similar.
I've done the math, trying to look at things conservatively (safe).
I really think that one thing that us GPU miners have going for us is the hardware we use. I think that having a piece of hardware like a GPU with intrinsic value outside of mining will always, and undoubtably make GPU mining more 'accessible' as I can turn around tomorrow and sell off the gpus to a gamer for half of what I bought them for, and still make a profit.
Anyone else have an opinion on this?
submitted by flashpunk to scryptmining [link] [comments]

Bit.Asic - finally received our first Bitcoin Asic Mining Rig from Butterfly Labs
We are happy to announce that we have finally received our first Bitcoin Asic Mining Rig from Butterfly Labs.
Butterfly Labs Orders: check out the images tab for screen shots and pictures of hardware we have received that are currently in production.
Order # 100049260, pay-dated 4/2/2013, for 1 Butterfly Labs (30 GH/s Bitcoin Miner) (Purchased and Confirmed)
Order # 100031677, pay-dated 4/2/2013, for 1 Butterfly Labs (30 GH/s Bitcoin Miner) (Purchased and Confirmed)
Order # 100067004, pay-dated 6/16/2013, for 1 Butterfly Labs (50 GH/s Bitcoin Miner with 10 GH/s upgrade totaling 60 GH/s) (Purchased and Confirmed)
Order # 100069703, pay-dated 7/1/2013, for 1 Butterfly Labs (50 GH/s Bitcoin Miner with 10 GH/s upgrade totaling 60 GH/s) (Purchased and Confirmed)
KnCMiner Orders:
Order #3246, pay-dated 7/3/2013, for 1 KnCMiner (100 GH/s Mercury Bitcoin Miner) (Purchased and Confirmed)
NEWEST Order #4345, pay-dated 7/23/2013, for 1 KnCMiner (400 GH/s Jupiter Bitcoin Miner) (Purchased and Confirmed)
** Total Hashing Power: 5.5GH/s - Actively Mining
*** Dividends: will be paid every Sunday
About the Issuer:
We are a team of IT professionals & business owners with expertise in the fields of server hardware / infrastructure and web engineering.
Alongside our ongoing mining activities, we recently launched which offers the crypto-currency community a free address shortener. This is a launch pad for many ideas we have for the developing community.
We are actively involved in the forums.
Bitcoin Talk user profile: coinminers
Butterfly Labs user profile:
Feel free to contact us at:
Email: [email protected]
submitted by nimanator to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

For Sale: KnCMiner Jupiter (November batch) on cryptothrift

For Sale: KnCMiner Jupiter (November batch) on cryptothrift for cryptocoins
Tags: jupiter, kncminer, Miner
cryptothrift is a Bitcoin, Litecoin and altcoin marketplace and auction site with automated escrow.
submitted by cryptothrift to cryptothrift [link] [comments]

For Sale: KNCMiner Jupiter 800 + GH/s ASIC KNC Bitcoin Miner NOVEMBER IN HAND + 1050W PSU on cryptothrift

For Sale: KNCMiner Jupiter 800 + GH/s ASIC KNC Bitcoin Miner NOVEMBER IN HAND + 1050W PSU on cryptothrift for cryptocoins
Tags: #asic, BITCOIN, coin, Crypto, hardware, LiteCoin, mine, Miner, mining, money
cryptothrift is a Bitcoin, Litecoin and altcoin marketplace and auction site with automated escrow.
submitted by cryptothrift to cryptothrift [link] [comments]

For Sale: KNCMiner Jupiter 800 + GH/s ASIC KNC Bitcoin Miner NOVEMBER IN HAND + 1050W PSU on cryptothrift

For Sale: KNCMiner Jupiter 800 + GH/s ASIC KNC Bitcoin Miner NOVEMBER IN HAND + 1050W PSU on cryptothrift for cryptocoins
Tags: BITCOIN, Buy, Crypto, currencie, hardware, LiteCoin, Miner, mining, money
cryptothrift is a Bitcoin, Litecoin and altcoin marketplace and auction site with automated escrow.
submitted by cryptothrift to cryptothrift [link] [comments]

BEST BITCOIN MINING SOFTWARE 2020 EDITION - EARN 0.5 BTC ABOVE - 100% WORKING ASIC miner for sale 2019 BITCOIN mining hardware Teenage Bitcoin Miner Demos His Hardware  Forbes [TUTORIAL] HEX16A ASIC Bitcoin Miner W7 Butterfly Labs Bitcoin Mining Hardware Production Video 2013

For a comprehensive comparison of bitcoin mining hardware. Best Bitcoin Mining Hardware. Two major factors go into determining the best bitcoin mining hardware: (1) cost and (2) electricity efficiency. Bitcoin mining is difficult to do profitably but if you try then this Bitcoin miner is probably a good shot. ASIC Bitcoin Mining Hardware In comparison, in 2013, the then most powerful Bitcoin cryptocurrency miner - KNC Jupiter type, cost about $14000. miners' power is not the only indicator of their price. After 2013, the price of the mentioned Jupiter miner and other cryptocurrency miners dropped sharply. KnCMiner is a Stockholm-based hardware company that has single-handedly changed the face of Bitcoin mining. Their products sell out almost instantly - the $5,000 Jupiter is already gone - and Users will be able to KnCMiner Bitcoin Miner the KnCMiner website and download software to reprogram FPGA chips to mine any new coin that emerges as a contender, he promises. The company is concentrating on getting Saturn and Jupiter out of the door first. Bitcoin Miner KnCMiner Declares Bankruptcy. And customers are eager to get them. ButterFly Labs Miner. The organization is famous the best bitcoin miner hardware manufacturer. It produces desktop equipment. The first model has got a capacity of 10 GH / s while the other offers 25 GH / s. Consumers are looking forward to release of Monarch.

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