New Blockchain - Mining (2/2)

As you probably know from our PART 1 article, cryptocurrency mining, or cryptomining, is a process in which transactions for various forms of cryptocurrency are verified and added to the blockchain digital ledger.  Mining has increased both as a topic and activity as cryptocurrency usage itself has grown exponentially in the last few years.

Hardware

The simplest and most general hardware available for mining is the general purpose CPU present in every computer. A CPU is designed to be versatile but offers less efficiency than a GPU, which is designed to rapidly calculate millions of vectors in parallel. While specific CPU instruction enhancements related to cryptography such as AES or AVX can provide a decent boost, GPUs offer a significant performance increase due to their multiple pipelines capable of processing the predictably repetitive calculations associated with cryptocurrency mining. Finally, ASICs are relatively inflexible and can only process the specific function(s) for which they were designed, but at an even faster rate than the more general purpose GPUs and CPUs. A number of X11 ASICs are now available on the market, which have quickly made CPU and GPU mining uneconomic due to the increased difficulty of hashing arising from the rapidly increasing hash rate. The result is a currency which is more secure against brute force attacks on the Help blockchain.

Masternodes vs. Mining

HELP, like Bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies, is based on a decentralized ledger of all transactions, known as a blockchain. This blockchain is secured through a consensus mechanism; in the case of both HELP and Bitcoin, the consensus mechanism is Proof of Work (PoW).

HELP works a little differently from Bitcoin, however, because it has a multi-tier network. The second tier is powered by masternodes and entity masternodes, which enable financial privacy (PrivateSend), instant transactions (InstantSend), and the decentralized governance and budget system. Because this second tier is so important, masternodes are also rewarded when miners discover new blocks. The breakdown is as follows: 45% of the block reward goes to the miner, 45% goes to masternodes, and 10% is reserved for the budget system (created by superblocks every month).

The masternode system is referred to as Proof of Service (PoSe), since the masternodes provide crucial services to the network. In fact, the entire network is overseen by the masternodes, which have the power to reject improperly formed blocks from miners. If a miner tried to take the entire block reward for themselves or tried to run an old version of the HELP software, the masternode network would orphan that block, and it would not be added to the blockchain.

In short, miners power the first tier, which is the basic sending and receiving of funds and prevention of doublespending. Masternodes power the second tier, which provide the added features that make HELP different from other cryptocurrencies. Masternodes do not mine, and mining computers cannot serve as masternodes. Additionally, a masternode is “secured” by 2,500 HELP and an entity masternode by 25,000 HELP. Those HELP coins remain under the sole control of their owner at all times, and can still be freely spent. The funds are not locked in any way. However, if the funds are moved or spent, the associated masternode will go offline and stop receiving rewards.

Mining pools will be available soon, but until then, we will analyze the different ways of mining: CPU mining, GPU mining and ASIC Mining.

1. CPU Mining

This documentation describes how to mine HELP under the Windows operating system using just the CPU in your computer.

This is a fairly simple procedure and examples will be given in order to achieve the fastest possible hash rate for your CPU, but remember that more optimized miners do exist, so we advise you to keep an eye out on mining sites such as these in order to keep up with the latest information and releases.

Relevant links:

Mining software

The first step is to download appropriate mining software. A good basic miner for modern CPUs can be found here:

This software depends on your CPU supporting the AES-NI and AVX instruction sets. You can use CPU-Z to check if this is the case for your CPU:

If your CPU does not support AES-NI and AVX, then you can try more generalized software which does not require specific instruction sets, such as these:

The objective is to choose mining software that supports the maximum possible instruction sets available on your CPU, and then try to increase the hash speed. Once you have made your choice, click Releases and download and extract the zip file. The different *.exe files indicate which specific processor optimizations they support.

Keep an eye on your CPU usage in Task Manager and be careful that the CPU temperature does not exceed your maximum rating (around 64°C). If you have temperature or desktop stability problems, reduce t to ~2 threads and try that first. If t is left out, the machine will default to the maximum number of threads.

2. GPU Mining

This guide presents how to use your GPU (the processor on your graphics card) to mine HELP using the X11 algorithm on Windows.

We will present the process of downloading and configuring the mining software, followed by some suggestions for optimizations. This technology can change rapidly, so we advise you to keep an eye out on mining sites, like Crypto Mining Blog or  Bitcoin Talk Altcoin Mining Discussions in order to keep up with the latest information and releases.

There are many options to choose for GPU mining, most of them being based on sgminer compiled with different optimizations specific to different hardware.

The best way is to identify your graphics hardware, then choose the right build of sgminer. You can use GPU-Z to identify your GPU hardware:

The sgminer file is the executable file, while the various files with .cl extensions define the various algorithms supported by sgminer. In our case, we are interested in the darkcoin.cl and darkcoin-mod.cl implementations of X11. Note that the name of the executable file may be different for miners with different optimizations, for example ccminer for NVIDIA cards.

3. ASIC Mining

ASIC stands for Application-Specific Integrated Circuit and describes a type of processor that is designed for one purpose only. ASICs are a popular choice for mining cryptocurrency because they can offer a higher efficiency than CPU or GPU miners, resulting in higher profit.

Please note that the information on this page may become obsolete very quickly due to the rapidly changing market and difficulty of mining HELP. You are responsible for carrying out your own research and any listing on this page should not be considered an endorsement of any particular product.

Name Hash rate Power Weight Dimensions Price
Bitmain Antminer D5 119 GH/s ±5% 1566 W 7.5 kg 486 x 265 x 388 $1,180
iBelink DM56G 56 GH/s ±5% 2100 W 17 kg 490 x 390 x 180 $1,800
Innosilicon A5 32 GH/s ±8% 750 W 3.1 kg 400 x 135 x 158 $990
Spondoolies SPx36 540 GH/s ±10% 4400 W 19.5 kg 640 X 525 X 185 $7,000

Details regarding mining pools and solo mining will be provided in a separate article.

New Blockchain - Mining (2/2)
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