cryptodailytrading.com

Best Cryptocurrency Mining Hardware in 2019

  • Alex Morris
    📚 WikiCoin

    While the cryptocurrency market remains in the doldrums, plenty of miners are quitting the business. The silver lining is that mining hardware prices are tanking, and that could be a perfect buying opportunity. In this article, U.Today has taken a closer at all mining hardware options — from old Samsung smartphones to expensive ASICs in the likes Obelisk SC1 that can be used for mining Siacoin.


Best Cryptocurrency Mining Hardware in 2019
You may also like:
Contents

With Nvidia, the world’s leading GPU producer, being hit by a class action lawsuit by a group of indignant miners, the future of cryptocurrency mining doesn’t seem that bright (to put it softly). Nevertheless, U.Today reviews the best mining hardware for those who decided to enter the yo-yo market.  

👉MUST READ Best Cryptocurrency to Mine: What Cryptocurrency to Mine in 2018?
Best Cryptocurrency to Mine: What Cryptocurrency to Mine in 2018?

A perfect buying opportunity?

Unless you have free electricity or plan to heat your apartment with GPUs whirring in the background, there is very little incentive to continue mining – Bitcoin price dramatically plunged by 80 percent in 2018. Along with BTC, the prices of mining hardware caught up with the trend. For example, you can now buy GIGABYTE’s Radeon RX 570 4 GB for only $183.98 (a world of difference from its hefty $600 price tag). As U.Today reported earlier, GPUs are currently being sold at embarrassingly low prices worldwide.

GPU

A quick look at types of mining hardware

  1. CPU. Fun fact: the first-ever block of Bitcoin (‘Genesis Block’) was mined by Satoshi himself on his own PC. Early Bitcoin adopters could mine the first cryptocurrency on their own computer! Pentium4 PC could mine up to 100 BTC in 2010.    


  2. GPU. As the mining space was getting more competitive, the code that allowed using graphics cards for mining was introduced on Sept. 18, 2010.   

  3. ASIC. The bloodbath began in 2013 when ASICs, specific chips for mining Bitcoin, were introduced. They started greatly outperforming GPUs and FGPAs (the latter never caught up with miners).            

Best Cryptocurrency Mining Hardware in 2019

Bitcoin mining – yay or nay?

Bitcoin, despite the sharp profitability drop, remains the king of crypto, and the global mining industry that generates billions of dollars is not going anywhere. If you want to purchase a perfect cryptocurrency miner, here a few suggestions that might come in handy:

  • Innosilicon T3. This is one of the most powerful miners on the market with a whopping 43 TH/s hashrate. The first batch is expected to be delivered to buyers as soon as in January 2019.   

  • GMO miner B3. B3, which was released in November 2018, is yet another juggernaut on the list with 33Th/s of hashing power. However, GMO recently called it quits with its mining business, and for a good reason – B3 is one of the worst miners by profitability (you would actually start losing $4.52 per day when running this miner).

  • Ebit E11+. By offering 37 TH/s of hashing power, this miner easily stands out among its competitors. Given that Bitcoin price currently stands at $3,818, it can offer miners a $2.65 payout (well, at least it’s profitable!).        

  • Antminer S9 (‘oldie-but-goodie’). Antminer S9 has acquired the legendary status in the ASIC space due to its immense popularity. Currently, 2016 fails to generate any profit, but Bitmain is not there to cede ground to a slew of competitors that easily – the Beijing-based behemoth presented its next-generation Bitmain S15/ T15 miners back in September.           

👉MUST READ 5 Best ASIC Miners For Bitcoin Mining in 2018
5 Best ASIC Miners For Bitcoin Mining in 2018

Ethereum mining hardware options

In November, technology firm Susquehanna revealed that the mining profitability of a GPU mining rig plunged to zero. Bitmain also brought new things to the table by introducing E3 ASIC, the first ASIC that is specifically designed for mining Ethereum). Subsequently, the fact that the Beijing-based behemoth set its eye on Ethereum became a matter of concern for many community members given Bitmain’s near-monopoly status.

Ethereum mining hardware options

When comparing GPUs to ASICs, it is worth mentioning that graphics cards have a sizeable advantage when it comes to depreciation. As mentioned above, ASICs are specifically designed for mining a given cryptocurrency, which means that a spike in mining difficulty could make the likes of E3 obsolete.

Mining ZenCash, Zcash, and other Equihash-based coins

Back in July, Zcash (ZEC) became the most profitable cryptocurrency to mine, showing 400 percent better results than Bitcoin and other PoW-based currencies. Miners could generate an $8,000 ROI with Antminer Z9 mini in two years.

ASICminer Zeon 180K is yet another beast on the market that could mine up to 10 ZCash per day with hashrate of about 180ksol/s. Moreover, this is the first water-cooled miner that went into the mainstream, which means that you can barely hear it working (just keep an eye on that tank reservoir!). At the time of writing this article, it remains the second most profitable miner on the market.

Mining ZenCash, Zcash, and other Equihash-based coinsYes, this unicorn comes at an insane price – $20,000. Hence, many speculate that it would be more efficient to simply fork out this money on several Bitmain Antminer Z9s. One of the reasons why anyone would want to buy ASICminer Zeon 180K, which will most likely stay with you forever, is to do their part in disrupting Bitmain’s monopoly.

Decred or SiaCoin? Meet the mining juggernauts  

MicroBT Whatsminer D1. This is one of the most powerful ASIC miners, which offers an eye-popping 48Th/s. It’s based on the Blake256R14 algorithm, which means that Decred (DCR) is the only currency you can mine with that hardware.    

MicroBT Whatsminer D1.

👉MUST READ SiaCoin Price Prediction- How Much Will SC Cost in 2018?
SiaCoin Price Prediction- How Much Will SC Cost in 2018?


Taking into account the average price of electricity ($0.12 KWh per hour), it’s one of the very few ASICs that remain profitable during the prolonging crypto winter. At the time of writing this article, it could make $10.31 per day.  

Obelisk SC1, a $4,000 miner that is specifically designed for mining Siacoin (SC), is the most profitable miner as of now: it could generate up to $20.69 on a daily basis!  

Obelisk SC1

Fire up your CPU to mine altcoins!

CPU Bitcoin mining stopped being relevant in 2010, but there are still plenty of coins you can simply mine on your laptop. That essentially explains why XMR is the most popular coin with cryptojackers who stealthily install mining software on other computers.   

Monero is the only major coin on the block that can be still mined with CPU in 2018 given its resistance to ASIC hardware. However, it is still a much better option to go with GPUs given that CPUs may not give you the desired payout for months.

NB! It’s not the best idea to mine Monero with your laptop (even if it has a top-notch Intel Core i7 9700K) given that they have a tendency to overheat.

AEON is one of the most CPU-friendly coins due to its CryptoNight-light PoW algorithm. Aeon usually mines 3x of XMR.

While Bitmain, the Beijing-based ASIC producer is struggling to hype up its IPO, CPUs are on the verge of making a comeback. The VerusHash 2.0 algorithm, which was introduced on Dec. 21, is supposed to be the fastest CPU mining algorithm in the world, according to the team’s blog post.

Here’s how you can mine crypto with your smartphone

There are many coins that can be simply mined with the help of your phone. Case in point: Electroneum.

Electroneum (ETN) is a cryptocurrency that was launched in September 2017. Electroneum also helps its users to escape the ASIC hegemony with the help of the above-mentioned Cryptonite-light algorithm. The modus operandi is extremely simple – you have to download an Android app to start mining crypto.

It’s worth mentioning that some of the reviews are not particularly flattering with users calling the project an outright scam. The plethora of fraudulent apps that allegedly let users mine cryptocurrencies even forced Google to ban all mining apps from its Play Store.    

Of course, it’s not the best option to use your smartphone for Bitcoin mining – it would take months to generate a tiny fraction of 1 BTC. However, back in 2017, C-Lab, an engineering team from Samsung, managed to come up with a creative way to utilize old Galaxy S5s by building a full-fledged mining rig.      

 

The construction reportedly outperformed a powerful desktop computer
The construction reportedly outperformed a powerful desktop computer

The bottom line

As you can see, the cryptocurrency mining market is saturated with all types of hardware – from your old smartphone to super-powerful ASIC miners that cost up to $20,000. It just goes to show you that everyone can dip their toes in that nascent industry even during the crypto rout.

U.Today wishes you safe and profitable mining!

Subscribe to U.Today on Twitter,and get involved in all top daily crypto news, stories and price predictions!
👓 Recommended articles

How to Learn Solidity and Start Blockchain Programming

  • Eric Croix
    📚 WikiCoin

    If making an Ethereum-based dApp or creating an ERC20 standard token sounds compelling to you, than you need to learn the language called Solidity. In our tutorial we provide you with the foundation of coding smart contracts


How to Learn Solidity and Start Blockchain Programming
You may also like:
Contents

Blockchain programming has become one of the best paying and challenging software spheres during the recent decade. Although blockchains are language-agnostic and many of the existing languages, like C++ and JavaScript (JS), are used by blockchain engineers, there are some tasks that couldn’t be conveniently realized by existing languages, which opened up the demand for new, crypto-specific options. One such language is Solidity.

Solidity was born as a core part of the Ethereum ecosystem. It absorbed C++, JavaScript, and Python. It has many contemporary features like libraries and inheritance. Solidity is designed to write programs that interact with Ethereum accounts, which are called smart contracts. Smart contracts are executed on Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), enabling users utilizing them perform tasks like crowdfunding, blind auctions, voting, and many others in a decentralized manner. The most famous killer-app of smart contracts was decentralized funding in ICOs, which started the bull rally on the crypto markets in 2017.

👉MUST READ No Dice: Ethereum Loses dApps Race to EOS and Tron
No Dice: Ethereum Loses dApps Race to EOS and Tron

Whether you are an experienced developer or just starting out in crypto, it’s a good idea to start learning Solidity because smart contracts have become a crucial part of the blockchain ecosystem. Aside from being actively implemented by dApps, they are being actively integrated into infrastructure-layer blockchains and even in Bitcoin via providers like RSK. By knowing how to build smart contracts you will make your blockchain career more sustainable and be able to produce better quality solutions. Let’s not pull it off any longer and get our hands dirty with coding!

Understanding the basics of a smart contract

A smart contract account consists of three sections: balance, storage, and code. The balance represents how much Ethereum a smart contract has. Storage holds data like strings and arrays that are specific to an application. The code section has the raw machine code that is compiled from what we write in Solidity.

Unlike user accounts, smart contract accounts are not external to the respective networks. In other words, you can use your wallet with various networks like Kovan and Ropsten, but you can’t do this with a smart contract. Smart contracts are internal.

Each smart contract has a source, which is stored on an author’s device and instances, which are stored on the blockchain. In order to create an instance (account) of a smart contract, we need to deploy it to the network. It very much resembles the relationship between classes and instances in traditional object-oriented programming (OOP) and languages representing it (JS, Ruby). To give you a more visual representation, let’s create a class ‘Bike’ and add an instance of it.

Bike class & instance

Bike class & instance

Source: Image by U.Today

What we will be writing is a contract definition, which will then run through a compiler that will produce two files: bytecode and application binary interface (ABI). Bytecode is what will be actually fed to the EVM and ABI is a layer between bytecode and regular JavaScript code that allows building a user interface (UI).

👉MUST READ Blockchain Programming: How Many Programming Languages Do You Need for Blockchain?
Blockchain Programming: How Many Programming Languages Do You Need for Blockchain?

Choosing an IDE & version of Solidity

Before we start, we need a proper integrated development environment (IDE). In other terms, we need a convenient terminal with the necessary tools to write our code in. For the purposes of this tutorial, we will pick Remix, an IDE created by the Ethereum foundation that allows writing, testing, debugging, launching smart contracts and many more. You can use it either straight in the browser or download it locally if you would like.

Once you launch Remix, you will be presented with the code editor in the center, the file manager on the left, and a compiler on the right.

Initial Remix window

Initial Remix window

Source: Image by U.Today

There will be some pre-written code – we won’t need that. To create out first-ever smart contract let’s press on the little plus icon in the top-left corner of the terminal and give it a name.

Creating a new project in Remix

Creating a new project in Remix

Source: Image by U.Today

As we have the blank .sol document now, we should specify the version of Solidity that the compiler will run. At the time of this tutorial, the latest version is 0.5.7. If you are not sure which version to use, you can specify a range of versions.

2 types of specifying the version of Solidity

2 types of specifying the version of Solidity

Source: Image by U.Today

Lastly, let’s give our smart contract a name, followed by a parenthesis.

Smart contract naming

Smart contract naming

Source: Image by U.Today

Writing your first smart contract

Once we have our canvas ready, it’s time to define the basic building blocks – variables. While experienced software engineers will have no issues understanding this concept, we will briefly introduce it to beginners. Variables are placeholders for chunks of information that are later referenced by a program that runs them.

👉MUST READ Blockchain Developer Salaries. Top Job Offers of Blockchain Companies
Blockchain Developer Salaries. Top Job Offers of Blockchain Companies

Let’s create a couple of variables: a string (a sequence of symbols) and an integer (a number). In Ethereum’s case, variables are stored in the blockchain along with the rest of parts of contracts and can, therefore, be accessed and updated from anywhere. Another key characteristic of Solidity variables is that you can make them private by writing ‘private’ next to the variables. Finally, for the integers, Solidity has two types: signed (can be positive & negative) and unsigned (can only be positive). To specify an unsigned variable, we should just put ‘u’ before it.

A private string and an integer

A private string and an integer

Source: Image by U.Today

Once we have the ‘name’ variable, we need to write out the methods of setting and getting it. This looks like a JS function. Remember that Solidity is statically typed, so we have to define variable types. Now any value we put in the ‘setName’ will define the ‘name’ string. For the getter, we will use ‘getName’ and specify what variable we expect to see. Now, it’s time to do the same for the ‘age’ variable. The method is constructed similarly to the ‘getName’.

Name/age setters and getters

Name/age setters and getters

Source: Image by U.Today

Let’s test our little chunk of code. Go to the ‘Run’ tab of the compiler and press ‘Deploy’ under your contract’s name. At the very bottom of the compiler, you will now see the ‘Deployed Contracts’ section that has our methods available. In order to pass a name to the ‘newName’ value, we need to make sure that our string is written in JSON, otherwise, the ‘getName’ will return nothing. For the ‘setAge’ just put your age without quotes. As you see, we can now set and receive the ‘name’ and the ‘age’ variables through our smart contract.

Compiler, with a name and an age

Compiler, with a name and an age

Source: Image by U.Today

Defining Wei and Gas

One of the most remarkable features of smart contrasts is that to deploy them to the Ethereum network you will need to initiate a transaction, which costs some amount of money that is paid in Ether. It’s crucial to understand how the fees are utilized in the system, as they will be deducted each time you interact with EVM.

What’s Wei?

Let us assume that reading this far into our tutorial you have used Bitcoin at least once. You probably made a small transaction that was way less than 1 BTC. In that case, you used Satoshis, which are something like pennies for a dollar. Wei is like a Satoshi – it’s the smallest part of 1 Ether. If we think of it in programming terms, it’s the lowest unsigned integer in the network. While interacting with the network, you will mostly encounter Gwei, which refers to Gigawei and equals 1 billion Wei.

👉MUST READ Vitalik Buterin Suggests Wallet Users Should Pay Higher Fees to Fund Devs
Vitalik Buterin Suggests Wallet Users Should Pay Higher Fees to Fund Devs

What’s Gas?

Gas is an essential part of the mechanism of smart contract execution. It has two values for each transaction: Gas consumed and its price. It’s worth mentioning that a user initiating a transaction defines these values. However, if the set value of Gas won’t be enough to process a specific operation, then the Gas will be consumed, but the transaction will fail. Moreover, if the price for Gas will be set too low for the network at a given time, the transaction will not be processed by the nodes, eventually making it unsuccessful. There are several services to check optimal values for your transactions, one of them being ethgasstation.info. To get a better understanding of Gas and why it costs any money, let’s code some of it by ourselves.

Get back to your Remix window and initiate a new file. In our example, we will call it ‘Gas’ and create a contract with the same name. Bear in mind that the more data we will require to store on the blockchain, the more Gas we will need. That being said, for the purpose of this tutorial we will create a cheap contract; the more you will add to it, the higher the fee will be.

There will be a function that returns an integer that is a sum of two inputs. To make it as lightweight as possible, we will specify that our contract will store nothing on the blockchain, and for that we will put ‘pure’ next to the function.

Cheap contract

Cheap contract

Source: Image by U.Today

Now you can deploy it in the compiler and input any two numbers to get the integer ‘c’. To check the price of our transaction we should take a look at the terminal located beneath the code section. There is a transaction cost and an execution cost. The first one refers to how much data a transaction has. The second one refers to how much of EVM’s power was required by the transaction.

Cheap contract’s cost

Cheap contract’s cost

Source: Image by U.Today

This is an extremely basic transaction that costs almost nothing for the network. In writing meaningful smart contracts you will add more details, which will increase their weight and therefore transaction fees.  

Creating & deploying your own ERC20 token

Let’s face it, the majority of the blockchain developers that are just starting out are eager to play big and create their own blockchains and tokens. While this is an extremely difficult topic that attracted some of the best software engineers from other spheres, building a basic ERC20 token isn’t rocket science.

First, we need to create another file in Remix and uploading the ERC20 interface, which is the following:

ERC20 standard

ERC20 standard

Source: Image by U.Today

The ‘totalSupply’ function lets us see how many tokens we have in total. The ‘balanceOf’ function is used to get amounts of tokens on specific addresses. The ‘transfer’ function allows users performing transactions between each other. The ‘transferFrom’, ‘allowance’ and ‘approve’ functions are there to allow people to let some other users initiate transactions on their behalf. Events are the logging tools for the ledger.

In addition to the interface itself, we will need a separate .sol file for our new token. Here we will import the ERC20 interface and specify our token’s symbol, name, and decimals.

uToday token

uToday token

Source: Image by U.Today

Before we compile it, we need to specify constraints.

  • Let’s start with the total supply – it’s a constant integer variable that we will make private. The total supply of our tokens will be 1 million, we also write a function to return this value.

  • Second, we need to store our token somewhere. For this, we will need to outline the mapping that will return a balance for any address specified.

  • Third, there should be a function for token transfers, which will essentially have an address of a receiver and an amount of token transferred. This function should also be able to check whether or not a sender has enough tokens on their balance, which can be realized through a simple if/then statement. In addition, we will set conditionals for ‘_value’ in a way that blocks users from sending transactions with 0 tokens as this would only flood the network with junk.

  • Fourth, we should create the mapping for the remainder functions, which is a mapping of mapping to an integer.

  • Then we will specify a few checkers in the ‘approve’ and ‘allowance’ functions and put conditions for the ‘transferFrom’.

  • Finally, not all the tokens will be available on the market. Some of the tokens are usually left out for teams, foundations, advisors and other purposes. Hence, it’s essential that we make it clear how many tokens will be circulating. As we created the tokens, the circulating supply equals our balance.

uToday token constraints

uToday token constraints

Source: Image by U.Today

The code is ready, so let’s test it. Proceed to the ‘Run’ tab of the compiler and deploy our token contract. You will see that we have our token data along with the total supply, balances, and allowances. Congratulations, you deserve a pat on the back!

To make our token actually function on the network, we need to deploy the smart contract (note that this is different from deploying it for testing in Remix). For the sake of this tutorial, we will use Remix and Metamask, but there other ways of doing so. Metamask is a simple but efficient Ethereum wallet program with a nice UI that integrates as an extension to some of the most popular browsers. In our case, we will use Opera. Firstly, go to metamask.io and download the extension. Once it’s done, you will see a fox icon in the top right of your browser.

Downloading Metamask & location of the icon

Downloading Metamask & location of the icon

Source: Image by U.Today

Press on the icon and proceed through the offered instructions to create a wallet. Do not forget to store the secret phrase! When you have your wallet, press on the Metamask icon and change the network to ‘Ropsten’ because we don’t want to mess with Ethereum’s mainnet.

Changing Metamask to Ropsten

Changing Metamask to Ropsten

Source: Image by U.Today

The last step is to generate some Ether (unfortunately, you won’t be able to use these for any real purchases, but they are necessary for testing). Head over to faucet.metamask.io and request 1 Ether.

Now you are all set. Return to your Remix window and change the environment to ‘Injected Web3’ in the compiler. Take a look at the account tab too – your address should be the same as that of what you generated with Metamask. Select the smart contract you want to deploy, which is your token contract and not the ERC20 interface and press on the respective button. A Metamask window will pop up with a transaction, its details, and options to interact with it. Submit the transaction, and our token will come into life.

Metamask popup

Metamask popup

Source: Image by U.Today

You can now play around with all the functions we specified earlier. Let’s look at our contract from another side to verify that it works properly. Like any other blockchain, Ethereum has multiple block explorers which serve the essential purpose of monitoring what’s happening on the network. In our case, we will stick to etherscan, though there is a handful of other great alternatives. Note that if you just go to etherscan, you will see the Main network. As we need to see the Ropsten network, you will need to put ‘ropsten.’ before the website’s address. Search for your address and you will see two transactions – one is for free Ether you received, and another is for deploying the contract.

User’s address in Etherscan

User’s address in Etherscan

Source: Image by U.Today

To find the address of your contract, press on the TxHash and navigate to the ‘To’ field. Here you can check your smart contract’s transactions, code, and events. At this point, we need to verify and publish our contract. Go to the ‘Code’ section and click on the ‘Verify and Publish’ link. Here you will need to again specify the name of your token, the version of the compiler (in our case the latest version of Solidity we used was 0.5.7, so we will stick to the related compiler version). Now you should copy the token’s smart contract code along with the ERC20 interface code from your Remix window to etherscan and press ‘Verify and Publish’ at the bottom of the screen.

Verifying the smart contract

Verifying the smart contract

Source: Image by U.Today

It’s time to go back to your contract’s address. The code in the ‘Code’ tab will now be verified. In addition, you will now have two more tabs: ‘Read contract’ & ‘Write contract’. In the reading section, we can check the functionality of our token. Input your (not the contract’s) address into ‘balanceOf’ field to see how many tokens you have; it should show 1 million that we hard coded as the total supply and gave it circulating to our wallet. That means that our token is now correctly working on the testnet.

Receiving the balance

Receiving the balance

Source: Image by U.Today

Summary

If you are looking to start a career in the crypto industry, you need to understand that despite its relative simplicity in basics, blockchain has incredible deepness to it. Since 2017 blockchains have evolved significantly and their use cases went beyond just financial transactions. With the advent of Ethereum, a whole new layer of networks appeared that hosts various dApps and blockchain-based solutions. The tool behind this evolution was a smart contract, and if you want to make your experience more valuable and future-proof, you should know how one works.

👉MUST READ Top 16 Ethereum Wallets 2019
Top 16 Ethereum Wallets 2019

While you can code smart contracts using other languages, Solidity is a better fit for such a purpose. Moreover, if you want to become an Ethereum developer, or create an ICO/ERC20 token for your project, this is your go-to choice. If you had some experience with C++ or JavaScript, coding on Solidity should be relatively easy. You will have to understand some differences between the client-server and decentralized models of launching software, though. Thanks to Ethereum Foundation and some third-party organizations, developers are presented with a set of convenient tools like Remix and Etherscan to code and deploy smart contracts.

We hope that our tutorial helped you with getting around the majority of Solidity’s concepts to be able to start your blockchain journey. Remember that you can always check with the latest documentation on Solidity. We wish you good luck and will be happy to use some of your dApps someday!

https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/working-from-bed_789592.htm
Only the most important posts per day. Infographics, analytics, reviews & summaries. Follow us on Facebook!
👓 Recommended articles