Will a bitcoin miner work for other currencies?

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Many and the Largest (who create new bitcoins and support the blockchain), including AntPool, BitClub, Bixin, BTC.com and BitFury, have been showing their support for bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) 91, by adding a piece of code to each new block of bitcoins they generate.

It was not expected for the miners to start coding their support for BIP 91 until July 21. But 66 percent of the last 144 blocks created signal support for it. The proposal needs 80 percent support to be “locked in” to the blockchain permanently. This will bring ease to the community as it prevents the blockchain splitting into two separate chains, which would effectively create two different coins.

“Barring any unexpected twists in the bitcoin scaling drama, a contentious fork will be avoided in the coming days,” Garrick Hileman, economic historian at the London School of Economics. “The prospect of a contentious August fork has been hanging over bitcoin’s price like a sword of Damocles, and so...

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Find answers to recurring questions and myths about Bitcoin.

Table of contents


What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a consensus network that enables a new payment system and a completely digital money. It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen. From a user perspective, Bitcoin is pretty much like cash for the Internet. Bitcoin can also be seen as the most prominent triple entry bookkeeping system in existence.

Bitcoin is the first implementation of a concept called "cryptocurrency", which was first described in 1998 by Wei Dai on the cypherpunks mailing list, suggesting the idea of a new form of money that uses cryptography to control its creation and transactions, rather than a central authority. The first Bitcoin specification and proof of concept was published in 2009 in a cryptography mailing list by Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi left the project in late 2010...

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80.5% of bitcoin’s mining hashrate is currently voting for segwit as the currency nears its last leg of upgrading the protocol after more than two years of scalability debate.

As good as all miners will likely upgrade, with all major pools, including F2Pool and Slush, which are not yet voting for segwit, saying they will do so as bitcoin makes a monumental decision that may affect its direction for decades to come.

As such, in the next two-three days, if the current miners continue to back segwit, the upgrade will be locked in. It will then soon after activate and go live in the next two-three weeks.

At that point, provided the rest of the infrastructure has upgraded, bitcoin’s capacity should increase, nearly doubling from its current 300,000 transactions a day to 600,000.

Developers then have plans to increase it further by compressing transaction data, while also awaiting the launch of the Lightning Network (LN) which will allow bitcoiners to transact...

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How to Get Started as a USB Bitcoin Miner

Getting into the world of bitcoin is exciting, but can also be a little confusing. Read on to learn about bitcoin and how to get started as a USB bitcoin miner.

Keyword(s): usb bitcoin miner

Do you think you have what it takes to become a bitcoin miner? Are you looking at buying a USB Bitcoin Miner?

Maybe you’re drawn to some of the things you’ve heard about Bitcoin-- how it may be the currency of the future. Maybe you’ve heard of how versatile and simple it is to use and exchange.

We live in an age where you can take out your smartphone and send 10 different amounts of Bitcoin to 10 different people, in 10 different countries, in less than 10 minutes.

And you can do it from your smartphone, in your pajamas with a cup of tea.

If you wanted to do the same thing with traditional currency, it would take you a day just to work with all the banks involved to confirm and transfer the...

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It seems July 17 has initiated the beginning steps towards Segwit2x activation as the code has been released and miners who supported the “New York Agreement” (NYA) have started running the new BTC1 software.

Also read: A Brief Glimpse Into the Lives of Chinese Bitcoin Miners

Miners Begin Running the New Segwit2x Software

As the price of bitcoin dropped to new lows this weekend, some bitcoin proponents were patiently waiting for the promised BTC1 software. Now it seems in a short period of time the bitcoin ‘community’ may see the protocol Segregated Witness (Segwit) activated as the mining community has begun to signal BIP91. The proposal BIP91 is a combination of Segwit2x and BIP148. The version 1.14.4 code has been pushed to the repository by the Segwit2x working group, and a few mining pools have already started running the protocol. The China-based Bitmain technologies announced their support via Twitter by stating;

All of our bitcoin mining pools...

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Bitcoin mining gets it’s name from the fact that when transactions are added to the public ledger (block chain) new coins are created (mined).

Bitcoin mining is an integral part of how bitcoin works. The bitcoin network relies on miners to verify and update the public ledge of bitcoin transactions, to verify that bitcoin users aren’t trying to cheat the system, and to add newly-discovered bitcoins to the money pool.

On this page, we’ll present the basics of what bitcoin mining is, what miners actually do, and why people choose to mine bitcoin. In order to get the most out of this page, we highly recommend reading our page on How Bitcoin Works (if you haven’t done so already).

What is Bitcoin Mining?

Mining is the process by which special bitcoin users (called miners) compete with each other to “discover” new bitcoins and add recent bitcoin transactions to bitcoin’s public ledger (the transaction block chain).

Recall that, in order to spend or...

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For all the attention that Bitcoin receives in the news, the most interesting peculiarity of this crypto-currency has largely been ignored. Sure, we’d all like to know whether the currency will ultimately succeed without any ties to a real-world economy. And Bitcoin’s rapid fluctuation in value over the past six months has certainly turned some heads.

But how Bitcoins are actually created is all too often overlooked. The currency isn’t minted at will in a factory setting. Bitcoins don’t just magically appear out of thin air. Instead, they’re the products of complex software algorithms that run day and night on incredibly powerful computers. So who, exactly, has the pioneering spirit to “mine” the virtual currency, converting CPU and GPU cycles into something of real-world value?

It takes time, dedication, and an extraordinary amount of water-cooled PC hardware. Meet Eric. He's one of the converted. (Eric's name has been changed by request to protect his identity: "I'd...

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How Bitcoin Mining Works

Where do bitcoins come from? With paper money, a government decides when to print and distribute money. Bitcoin doesn't have a central government.

With Bitcoin, miners use special software to solve math problems and are issued a certain number of bitcoins in exchange. This provides a smart way to issue the currency and also creates an incentive for more people to mine.

Bitcoin is Secure

Bitcoin miners help keep the Bitcoin network secure by approving transactions. Mining is an important and integral part of Bitcoin that ensures fairness while keeping the Bitcoin network stable, safe and secure.


Bitcoin Mining Hardware Comparison

Currently, based on (1) price per hash and (2) electrical efficiency the best Bitcoin miner options are:

AntMiner S7

4.73 Th/s 0.25 W/Gh 8.8 pounds Yes $479.95 0.1645

AntMiner S9

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In the early days of Bitcoin, mining used to be done using the CPU on your computer. Nowadays though as the amount of people mining has increased the difficulty of Bitcoin mining has also increased too. This high difficulty and hash rate has mostly been fueled by the introduction of ASIC mining chips. Bitcoin uses SHA-256 cryptographic hash function to secure the blocks and create the hash for each block. This encryption is what protects the transactions in the block from being altered.

Application-Specific Integrated Circuit

ASICs allow miners to use hardware made specifically for Bitcoin or other SHA-256 algo coins. An ASIC has benefits over CPU, GPU and FPGAs due to being designed for one specific task. They are able to mine Bitcoin at a higher hash rate (speed of processing transactions) than CPUs, GPUs and FPGAs. Several manufacturers produce their own ASIC chips and miners. For this part of the Bitcoin mining guide we will use the current top miner on the...

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That the block chain cannot be easily forked represents one of the central security mechanisms of Bitcoin. Given the choice between two block chains, a Bitcoin miner always chooses the longer one - that is to say, the one with the more complex hash. Thusly, it ensures that each user can only spend their bitcoins once, and that no user gets ripped off.

As a consequence of the block chain structure, there may at any time be many different sub-branches, and the possibility always exists of a transaction being over-written by the longest branch, if it has been recorded in a shorter one. The older a transaction is though, the lower its chances of being over-written, and the higher of becoming permanent. Although the block chain prevents one from spending more Bitcoins than one has, it means that transactions can be accidentally nullified.

A new block chain would leave the network...

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New chips from Butterfly Labs, a leading Bitcoin equipment manufacturer, promise speeds of 4.5 gigahashes per second to 1,500 gigahashes per second.

Jim O’Shea, a web programmer, gadget lover, and family man living in Pennsylvania, became a digital gold miner in June of 2011.

The resource he mines is not World of Warcraft currency, personal data, or fancy new domain names. It’s Bitcoin, the internet-native currency that many believe has the potential to become a revolutionary new universal currency independent of governments, banks, and PayPal.

O’Shea has 24 computers running constantly in a shed behind his house, making Bitcoins. "My setup is kind of... ghetto. I have bugs crawling around on my rigs and there’s dust and pollen and cigar smoke," he told The Verge recently by phone. "I'm out here now, I don’t know if you can hear them in the background. Can you hear the hum?"

The race to mine Bitcoins has drawn a rush of digital '49ers

Bitcoin has...

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Bitcoin is a global form of digital currency. Unlike traditional currencies, which were frequently backed by gold and silver, bitcoin is based on distributed computing. While traditional currencies are printed by central banks, bitcoins are created or “mined” by distributed computer networks.

Another way bitcoin differs from traditional currencies is that it is decentralised, meaning that it is not controlled by any single institution. As a result, miners around the world create new units of the currency and confirm its transactions.

FXCM does not endorse bitcoin and does not offer bitcoin trading at the present time.

Bitcoin / USD Chart

How does Bitcoin work?

The bitcoin network comprises thousands of computers linked together through a ledger of all bitcoin transactions known as the “block chain” and governed by a uniform bitcoin protocol. Every bitcoin transaction produces a series of letters and numbers, known as a hash, which miners then...

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One of the biggest problems I ran into when I was looking to start mining Bitcoin for investment and profit was most of the sites were written for the advanced user. I am not a professional coder, I have no experience with Ubuntu, Linux and minimal experience with Mac. So, this is for the individual or group that wants to get started the easy way.

1. Get a Bitcoin mining rig

Bitcoin mining is a very competitive niche to get into. As more and more miners come on board with the latest mining hardware the difficulty to mine increases each day. Before even starting out with Bitcoin mining you need to do your due diligence. This means you need to find out if Bitcoin mining is even profitable for you.

The best way to do this is through the use of a Bitcoin mining calculator. Just enter the data of the Bitcoin miner you are planning on buying and see how long it will take you to break even or make a profit. However, I can tell you from the get go that if you don’t...

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What is Bitcoin mining? Bitcoin mining is how Bitcoin transactions are validated and confirmed by the Bitcoin network. Bitcoin miners create a new block by solving a proof of work problem that is chained through cryptographic proof to the previous block.

Each block builds upon the previous one creating a blockchain. Every transaction in the blockchain can be proven. In this way, the Bitcoin network can come to distributed consensus as to how many Bitcoins (100,000,000 satoshis) are allocated to each public key address.

What is a Bitcoin miner? A Bitcoin miner is a computer specifically designed to solve problems according to the proof of work algorithm. Currently, highly specialized chips called ASICs, Application Specific Integrated Circuits, are used as Bitcoin miners. There are many places where you can buy a Bitcoin miner.

What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is an internet protocol that enables the transfer of value over a communications channel like the Internet or...

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Bitcoin mining can be a very profitable activity. It's good that it is beause Bitcoin, as a system, only works because of the mining activity; it's the mining that ensures the transactions actually take place. Just how much money does it generate though and does this help us make any predictions for the future?

Like mining any other finite resource, Bitcoin mining gets harder over time and requires more investment to mine profitably. Mining requires a capital outlay to buy mining equipment, incurs operating costs to keep it running and is ultimately only successful if, over the useful life of the mining equipment, the value of what's mined is higher than the total costs to mine it.

For Bitcoin the mining rewards seem pretty simple to estimate: The current (2014-04-03) fixed block reward is 25 BTC and there are a nominal 144 blocks per day. This yields a nominal 3600 BTC per day. 1 BTC is currently worth about $450 (USD) so that's $1.62M being mined per day. In...

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Bitcoin – the virtual banking currency of the internet – has existed for several years now and many people have questions about them. Where do they come from? Are they legal? Where can you get them? We've got the answers to those questions and more.

What Are Bitcoins?

Bitcoins are electronic currency, otherwise known as 'cryptocurrency'. Bitcoins are a form of digital public money that is created by painstaking mathematical computations and policed by millions of computer users called 'miners'.

Bitcoins are, in essence, electricity converted into long strings of code that have money value.

Why Bitcoins Are So Controversial

Various reasons have converged to make Bitcoin currency a real media sensation.

From 2011-2013, criminal traders made bitcoins famous by buying them in batches of millions of dollars so they could move money outside of the eyes of law enforcement. Subsequently, the value of bitcoins skyrocketed.


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Perhaps no element of the bitcoin universe is both more critical and more confusing than the process known as "bitcoin mining". This overview will give a broad summary of what bitcoin mining is, and illustrate just why it's so important.

How can we trust bitcoin payments?

Today, when you send a friend $20, there is a step in the middle of that transaction where your bank and their bank talk to each other to make sure that your account actually has the $20 you're sending.

Bitcoin payments are a little different, in that there is no bank; there are just the two people sending and receiving money from one another.

As explained in our bitcoin introduction, bitcoin payments are "peer-to-peer", meaning that that they do not require a bank or credit card company to be processed. This is a great feature for enabling free, real-time money transfers, and would work well "as-is" if you only ever needed to receive bitcoins from people you know and trust. However,...

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If “mining” sounds like a process which extracts value from Bitcoin, nothing could be further from the truth!

Miners are the backbone of the Bitcoin network:

Without miners, the network would collapse and lose all value.

The role of miners is to secure the network and to process every Bitcoin transaction.

Miners achieve this by solving a computational problem which allows them to chain together blocks of transactions (hence Bitcoin’s famous “blockchain”).

For this service, miners are rewarded with newly-created Bitcoins and transaction fees.

The Blockchain

To understand mining, it’s first necessary to understand the Bitcoin blockchain.

It works like this:

All Bitcoin transactions are recorded in the blockchain, in a linear, time-stamped series of bundled transactions known as blocks.

The blockchain is essentially a public ledger, which is freely shared, continually updated and under no central control.

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There are people who prefer not to earn Bitcoins through mining. One such reason is because in order for Bitcoin miners to be profitable with recent technology, a lot of electricity is required to power the systems. As such, it is not profitable for everyone to earn using this way of earning. How do you earn Bitcoin then without mining? Here is a list of some websites that you can visit:

Paid-To-Click Websites

Websites such as BTCClicks payout for every advertisement that you visit on their sponsor websites. You will be required to view the ads for a certain amount of time, and you will be dispensed Bitcoins as a reward. This is one of the most common ways to earn without having to mine them yourself.

Bitcoins as Accepting a Means of Payments

Another easy method is to charge a service and decide that you will accept Bitcoins as a payment system. Any product online or offline can be legally traded , so this alternative will allow you to save on...

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Bitcoin created a lot of buzz on the Internet. It was ridiculed, it was attacked, and eventually it was accepted and became a part of our lives. However, Bitcoin is not alone. At this moment, there are over 700 AltCoin implementations, which use similar principles of CryptoCurrency.

So, what do you need to create something like Bitcoin?

Without trying to understand your personal motivation for creating a decentralized, anonymous system for exchanging money/information (but still hoping that it is in scope of moral and legal activities), let’s first break down the basic requirements for our new payment system:

All transactions should be made over the Internet We do not want to have a central authority that will process transactions Users should be anonymous and identified only by their virtual identity A single user can have as many virtual identities as he or she likes Value supply (new virtual bills) must be added in a controlled way

Fulfilling the...

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Last updated: 26th November 2013

There are three main categories of bitcoin mining hardware, each more expensive and more powerful than the last. This guide to setting up a bitcoin miner explains each of them, and talks about how to make them work.

By this stage, you will understand how bitcoin works, and what mining means. But we need to get from theory to practice. How can you set up a bitcoin mining hardware and start generating some digital cash? The first thing you're going to need to do is decide on your hardware, and there are two main things to think about when choosing it:

Hash rate

This is the number of calculations that your hardware can perform every second as it tries to crack the mathematical problem we described in our mining section. Hash rates are measured in megahashes, gigahashes, and terahashes per second (MH/sec, GH/sec, and TH/sec. The higher your hash rate (compared to the current average hash rate), the more likely you...

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Last updated: 20th March 2015

Bitcoin transactions are sent from and to electronic bitcoin wallets, and are digitally signed for security. Everyone on the network knows about a transaction, and the history of a transaction can be traced back to the point where the bitcoins were produced.

Holding onto bitcoins is great if you’re a speculator waiting for the price to go up, but the whole point of this currency is to spend it, right? So, when spending bitcoins, how do transactions work?

There are no bitcoins, only records of bitcoin transactions

Here’s the funny thing about bitcoins: they don’t exist anywhere, even on a hard drive. We talk about someone having bitcoins, but when you look at a particular bitcoin address, there are no digital bitcoins held in it, in the same way that you might hold pounds or dollars in a bank account. You cannot point to a physical object, or even a digital file, and say “this is a bitcoin”.

Instead, there are only...

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What is 'Bitcoin'

Bitcoin is a digital currency created in 2009. It follows the ideas set out in a white paper by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, whose true identity has yet to be verified. Bitcoin offers the promise of lower transaction fees than traditional online payment mechanisms and is operated by a decentralized authority, unlike government-issued currencies. Today's market cap for all bitcoin (abbreviated BTC or, less frequently, XBT) in circulation exceeds $7 billion.

There are no physical bitcoins, only balances kept on a public ledger in the cloud, that – along with all Bitcoin transactions – is verified by a massive amount of computing power. Bitcoins are not issued or backed by any banks or governments, nor are individual bitcoins valuable as a commodity. Despite its not being legal tender, Bitcoin charts high on popularity, and has triggered the launch of other virtual currencies collectively referred to as Altcoins.


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