Go Down

Topic: Bitcoin miner - Is it possible? (Read 47322 times) previous topic - next topic

hermannas2002

Hello. I need some help. Is it possible to make a bitcoin miner like butterfly labs jalapeno : https://products.butterflylabs.com/4-5gh-bitcoin-miner.html

I have never used arduino before so i'm wondering what i need and if it is possible.

CrossRoads

Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

CrossRoads

#2
Feb 12, 2014, 05:36 pm Last Edit: Feb 12, 2014, 05:39 pm by CrossRoads Reason: 1
Ok, after watching this:

http://www.bitcoinmining.com/

I'd say no.  5 GHz vs 0.016GHz.  Operating speed is like comparing a current computer vs a 1980s desktop with a floppy drive.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

wildbill

Mining needs processing power. Lots of it. For preference, many CPUs working at clockspeeds in Gigahertz. The Arduinos don't have that and there's a question of whether there's enough Flash to run the mining software.

People have done it with a RPi, but even then, they're really feeble mining rigs.

PeterH

I've seen an example that used an Arduino to control an FPGA to do bitcoin mining. The overall hash rate was pitifully slow - lower than would have been achieved by simply running a GPU miner on the PC. As an academic exercise it's certainly feasible (but a lot of work and also significant costs) but it is nowhere near sensible and would never recoup the cost of making and operating it let alone earn any money for you.

Houser636

What would you guys think about using this chip to do the actual SHA256 computing?

ATSHA204-MAH-DA-TTR-ND

http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en/integrated-circuits-ics/specialized-ics/2556114?k=atsha204

The PC would pull the data in from the network, and send it to the arduino.  Then the arduino could send that to a farm of these chips.  It looks like this is all the asic miners are doing.  Butterfly labs uses an atmel AT32UC3A1128. This chip runs at 66MHz An FTDI232 chip for communication.  I'm pretty sure it is possible, and if anyone is willing to write the firmware I would be willing to design some boards, and build the software on the PC side.

Robin2

I am intrigued. I haven't investigated bitcoin before. They seem to be disdainful of Governments willingness to print money. Yet there doesn't seem to be any better logic in their own system which, if I understand it from a quick read, just creates new bitcoins for validating existing bitcoins.

Sounds like getting a new $10 bill whenever you run the special validation pen across 1000 other $10 bills. Oh, wait, you have to swipe the pen across 100,000 :)

Like regular money ($, £, €) bitcoins will only work as long as people trust them. I will stick to the Government validated stuff. Bad as they may be, at least they are elected from time to time.

...R
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

PeterH

I haven't made a dedicated bitcoin miner but I've done some mining for the fun of it. Although those chips seem to be designed specifically for hashing, which is essentially what mining is, the hardware specs are dismally low compared to any sort of mining rig and I don't think they were designed with performance in mind - they seem to be intended more for one-off validation/authentication checks. A modern high performance graphics card has thousands of times better performance, memory and bandwidth available and even so will only earn cents per day. In other words, I think that if you're doing this in the hope of earning money, you're wasting your time. I can see two ways to make monet from bitcoins. The easiest way is to buy bitcoins and hope they appreciate significantly, and that you manage to unload them before the bubble bursts. I suspect you've missed the boat for that one. The second way is to sell mining equipment. Just like a gold rush - the most reliable way to get rich is by selling shovels.

(For what it's worth, I don't see Bitcoins ever being accepted for general use in their current form because they are completely unaccountable - it's the electronic equivalent of leaving banknotes under the park bench and hoping that the person who takes them decides to send you the goods you were promised. Unless/until the transfer can be bound into a contract you would be mad to trust that as a payment system. I believe it's technically possible using the same PPK mutual signing approaches proposed for secure exchange systems, but I don't see any sign of it happening yet.)

CrossRoads

Bitcoin realm seems rife for ripoffs too. So many cases of bitcoin thefts in the news recently.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

zoomkat

You put your real money in, then... Where did it go? How do I get it back?  8)
Google forum search: Use Google Search box in upper right side of this page.
Why I like my 2005 Rio Yellow Honda S2000  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWjMvrkUqX0

liuzengqiang

Serial LCD keypad panel,phi_prompt user interface library,SDI-12 USB Adapter

zoomkat

"Invest NOW in the WORLD WIDE MONEY SPINNER and get RICH!"!
Google forum search: Use Google Search box in upper right side of this page.
Why I like my 2005 Rio Yellow Honda S2000  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWjMvrkUqX0

keeper63


Yet there doesn't seem to be any better logic in their own system which, if I understand it from a quick read, just creates new bitcoins for validating existing bitcoins.


That isn't quite how it works.

Cryptocurrencies (because that is what we are talking about - bitcoin was just the first) are "mined" by a "computer" (CPU, GPU, FPGA, ASIC, etc) solving an equation. When that equation is solved (generating the "hash") - the equation gets harder to solve for the next "round". It takes a lot of processing power to create the solution; it is also possible for multiple machines to solve a round at the same time. There are checks and balances to make sure each "winner" gets the number of "coins" they have mined based on the solution and when it was submitted.


Sounds like getting a new $10 bill whenever you run the special validation pen across 1000 other $10 bills. Oh, wait, you have to swipe the pen across 100,000 :)


No - that isn't it - mining takes resources, just like mining for a precious metal (which doesn't really have much intrinsic value either, when you think about it - most are just "pretty/shiny" things to oooh and ahhh over, though some have certain physical and chemical properties that make them valuable - but not to the level that they are valued at on the monetary market): you need equipment (the computing power), energy (to run those systems and to keep them cool), space (to house the systems), time, and maintenance.

Mining a cryptocurrency is much more akin to physical mining; at time goes on, it takes much, much more effort to get at the remaining "coins" than it did in the beginning of the mining - just like a physical mine "plays out" and takes more effort, time, and money to get at any remaining resources. This effort is purposefully built into the system being solved by the mining hardware.

In fact - the bitcoin cryptocurrency is already pretty much "played out" - at least to the point where an ordinary person can't hope to be able to mine anything on his or her own; they would easily end up spending more on their mining rigs than they would ever be able to hope to recover. It's even beginning to be doubtful that even large rigs (large liquid-cooled ASIC server systems) will be able to recover their costs. That of course doesn't stop people from trying at any level (just like people still pan for gold, or re-open supposedly "played out" mines).


Like regular money ($, £, €) bitcoins will only work as long as people trust them. I will stick to the Government validated stuff. Bad as they may be, at least they are elected from time to time.


What is your government's money backed by? Mine (USA) - is backed by a promise (oh - and lots of nuclear weapons, I suppose) - your's is probably not much different; that's why they are called "promissory notes". They are only so many pieces of sometimes pretty paper (or plastic for some currencies) that people have decided to collectively pretend have value (and let's be really honest - those pieces of paper mean nothing - I mean, if you have a bank account, use paypal, or a credit/debit card, etc - we're all just shuffling ephemeral bits in a computer system around, which makes all of this even more virtual, arbitrary, etc).

...to be continued...
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

keeper63

...continuing...

That's the thing about cryptocurrencies - they are just as ephemeral as what we already use, so why can't we all just agree to use such a thing? It's the same "gentleman's agreement" that we already operate under, but it does have some upsides...


A modern high performance graphics card has thousands of times better performance, memory and bandwidth available and even so will only earn cents per day.


For bitcoin - maybe (it seems like it is even less than that, honestly - which is why people have switched to ASIC miners); for other (newer) cryptocurrencies, you can actually make a fair amount per day from what I understand. I have a friend who has set up a small rig (30 or so GPUs) in his garage mining some of the alternate cryptocurrencies that are easier to mine; he's managed to make a few hundred dollars (if he is lucky, he may break even on his investment).


The second way is to sell mining equipment. Just like a gold rush - the most reliable way to get rich is by selling shovels.


You definitely have that right; my friend is mainly in it to understand how all of this works - with maybe a minor hope that he hits on the "next bitcoin" (that is, the next cryptocurrency to have a bubble) - by mining for many different alternatives. In other words, maybe gold is played out for most mines, but maybe copper is easier to get and will become worth more. Divestment of efforts, resources, etc - in the hopes that maybe one or more hits just as big. I don't really see him getting lucky like that, but in the meantime he'll probably learn a lot in the end.


For what it's worth, I don't see Bitcoins ever being accepted for general use in their current form because they are completely unaccountable - it's the electronic equivalent of leaving banknotes under the park bench and hoping that the person who takes them decides to send you the goods you were promised.


Well - then it's no different than any other payment system, then, is it? I mean, if you buy something from someone, then send cash in the mail, nothing says they'll send you your item. Or even if you pay with paypal, or a credit card, or a check.

That's what an escrow system is for (arguably, that's what Silk Road - and I think Mt Gox also provided - an escrow system, along with ratings - so that both buyer and seller were protected and that the exchange actually happened).

But yeah, if you transfer cryptomoney from your wallet to some other guy's wallet, there's nothing that says he'll send you what you were buying.


Unless/until the transfer can be bound into a contract you would be mad to trust that as a payment system.


Again, what "contract" really exists with current electronic payment systems? People get ripped off all the time in the same kinds of manner - and sometimes there isn't even any way to show accountability. Arguably with cryptocurrency, you can at least show who made what payments when (there is a ledger for all wallet transfers), which isn't easily the case with other systems (certainly not cash - and even with credit/debit, individuals can't see all transactions that have occurred to/from accounts - not without court orders and such - so in effect, cryptocurrencies are more open - which would be a lot nicer if they were in broad use, because then we could easily see who is donating to whom in political campaigns and such).


I believe it's technically possible using the same PPK mutual signing approaches proposed for secure exchange systems, but I don't see any sign of it happening yet.)


As I said - Silk Road was doing some kind of escrow-based system (where you had a wallet on the system, and transfers happened between wallets on the system itself once parties agreed - rather than the more direct personal-wallet-to-personal-wallet); I don't know if there were any PPK signings or whatnot happening, but I could see that being done.


Bitcoin realm seems rife for ripoffs too. So many cases of bitcoin thefts in the news recently.


Much of this has happened because of insecure wallets - it would be like leaving your physical wallet out on a park bench or something; also, people have had their wallets stolen, but not their keys (so it would be like leaving a very secure safe out in the open public - someone could steal it, but they may never be able to open it). This is what happened mainly on the Silk Road takedown by the Feds - they got a ton of wallets (stored as files on the servers) that had a ton of money (in Bitcoin) in them, but that money is essentially lost to the market because no one (not even Feds - not yet, at least) can open them and use them (and if they did manage to crack them in some manner - the Bitcoin community would likely see it).

At least, that is how I am understanding things. I am sure that some people left behind wallet files and also the keys to them (like taping the combination to a safe) - people can be very stupid about things like this.

Lastly - if it isn't apparent from any of the above - I am no expert on this whole cryptocurrency thing, but a lot of people don't seem to understand it at all. Which isn't surprising - most people have no real concept of how baseless our entire monetary system (worldwide) as a whole is. For some reason, people think these bits and bytes flying through banking computer systems have some kind of intrinsic value, when in reality, the only value they have is the value we humans assign to it, for whatever arbitrary reason. Indeed, it has always been this way (even with barter, of course). So if everything is being done with a computer - why not an alternative system? If enough people give it value - then it has value. What governments don't like about cryptocurrencies, I believe, isn't that issue - it's more the fact that such currencies are more open (you can see all of the transactions - nothing is hidden from anyone), plus they don't require any middle-men (just like cash) - but are just as easy to use and transfer (because the internet and computers) as credit or debit systems, and they don't require banks, and of course - because of all of this - in theory taxes and/or other fees can be easily avoided.
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

PeterH


Well - then it's no different than any other payment system, then, is it? I mean, if you buy something from someone, then send cash in the mail, nothing says they'll send you your item. Or even if you pay with paypal, or a credit card, or a check.


I agree that sending cash in the mail is equally daft, but who on earth would be so naive as to do that? However, buying online or using phone ordering is 100% different. I give directions to my payment provider to give my money to a supplier, and the accepted order plus my payment then forms a contract with the supplier. If they fail to meet the contract then my payment provider knows who they are and gives me a mechanism to recover my money. It's reasonably safe because the person receiving the money can be held accountable. With bitcoins on the other hand, nobody has any idea who they are let alone any way to relate the payment to a contract or get any money back from them.

Go Up