All About BItcoin and Litecoin mining and other alternative crypto currencies
Looking at the numbers showing what the next difficulty adjustment will bring to the Litecoin network we are seeing yet another significant increase in the total network hashrate and thus the difficulty. The current prognosis is for over 7% increase in a few hours and looking at the previous difficulty adjustments we are seeing a steady increase with not so little steps lately. This trend shows that while some Scrypt ASIC manufacturers have stopped their production and cancelled future plans for new hardware others are still making and shipping hardware. It seems that MAT are finally shipping mining hardware, as well as Alcheminer most likely, KnC is still shipping Titans and probably Bitmain is already testing their first AntMiner L1 Scrypt ASICs as well.
Looking at what is happening with Bitcoin in terms of network hashrate we are seeing that unlike Litecoin there is a slight decrease in the hashrate and thus the next network difficulty might be lower by about 1.5% or even more. This is something that we are not used to seeing this when talking about Bitcoin, especially lately. If the trend continues and we see a drop in the network difficulty this would be a sign that old ASIC mining hardware is being taken offline and the new miners brought online at the moment are not able to fill that gap. This all is apparently coming from large scale mining operations that operate on a business model of mining and selling the mined coins immediately, regardless of the current exchange rate as these are not looking at Bitcoin in perspective and take into account the profitability at the moment and if it is really worth to continue using old mining hardware with the current conditions.
Some good news for the AMD miners that want to mine SpreadCoin (SPR), there is a new fork of sgminer by girino (source) that increases significantly the performance for AMD OpenCL miners. We have compiled a windows binary from the source and on our test AMD Radeon R9 280X we’ve managed to get about 1.9 MHS with the new miner without overclocking the GPU. Increasing the intensity f the miner further than 20 could also help you get some more hashrate out of the GPU, do note however that this is a development version and it may not be very stable or problem free. While not quite as fast as Nvidia GPUs for mining SpreadCoin this is a good improvement over the previously available OpenCL miner. Have in mind that SpreadCoin (SPR) needs to be solo mined as it does not support pools, so you need to setup your wallet for solo mining and need to connect the miner to the wallet. This means no shares and you will know only when you find a block and that may take a while, depending on your luck, as the SPR difficulty is already quite high. Still, as we’ve got a request for a windows binary of the above OpenCL miner for AMD, you can download it from the link below and try what hashrate you will get with this performance improved miner.
Back in September with the release of the new Maxwell-based NVidia GPUs, the GTX 970 and GTX 980 we did some performance testing of the GeForce GTX 980 hashrate using the available at that time ccMiner and CudaMiner miners. Today, a bit over two months later we’ve decided to check how hings have progressed in terms of performance improvements of the various crypto mining algorithms with the latest optimizations available in ccMiner. We’ve used the just posted Maxwell-optimized ccMiner 1.5-git ccMiner fork from SP to get the performance results from the same GTX 980 GPU running at stock frequencies (overclocking can further increase performance).
There is no surprise that there are some significant performance improvements in various crypto algorithms that have been achieved using various optimizations, but to our surprise there ware a few algorithms that did perform worse. The results we got from Groestl, HEFTY1 and JHA were a bit lower with the latest ccMiner than what we got in terms of performance back in September. Some other algorithms also don’t seem to have very big performance improvements such as Keccak, Luffa512 or NIST5, but the more popular and still profitable to mine algorithms do come with nice improvements. You can thank for the increase in performance to all of the developers that continue to work actively and optimize the performance out of which SP and tpruvot seem to be the most active lately, djm34, tsiv as well as others who have contributed code and also Christian Buchner and Christian H. – the creators of the ccMiner in the first place. Their code contributions and efforts in releasing their work publicly deserve some appreciation from the miners who are using Nvidia GPUs in order to keep them motivated. Below you can find the official donation addresses where you can send some coins for a beer or more to the each of the developers: