Archive for the ‘General Info’ Category

With the recent craze with the price of Bitcoin as well as many altcoins rising up there is a huge wave of new GPU mining rigs as well as new crypto miners getting into the game. We already know that there are shortages of the very popular AsRock H81 Pro BTC motherboard for 6x GPUs for a couple of months now, but even more recent and more expensive motherboards with 150 and 250 series of Intel chipsets that support up to six video cards are also disappearing from the market. Next are probably the high-end gaming motherboards with 6x PCI-E slots that will work with six video cards if the trend continues. The Pro BTC motherboard from AsRock is hugely popular as it was designed for GPU mining and works out of the box, for other motherboards you need to usually do some tweaking of the settings and not all models have the right settings available in the BIOS or may have some specific issues. Another serious advantage of the Pro BTC series is the price, no extras not needed for mining means lower price point, though at the moment the demand and speculation has risen the price of these boards as well (if you manage to find one).

It is quite interesting why when there are shortages of H81 Pro BTC motherboards AsRock still hasn’t found a solution such as releasing a version of their mining motherboard with more up to date Intel chipset such as B150 or B250 for example. It seems that the competition is also trying to take advantage of the situation and grab some of the market that was up until recently dominated by AsRock. Such an example is the recent release of the Biostar TB250-BTC motherboard. The problem with Biostar however is that the brand has a much limited distribution when compared to AsRock and thus is harder to find, not to mention impossible for many markets around the world, so this is actually not a solution to the problem.

AMD’s new Ryzen motherboards are showing some potential for possible use for GPU mining rigs, however there is one serious issues with that platform using the new AM4 CPU socket and that is the lack of cheap low-end processors. That is precisely why Intel is the preferred platform for GPU mining – cheap Celeron processors that do the job well and not so expensive motherboards, though with the lack of AsRock H81 Pro BTC boards the expenses for a motherboard have risen as well. Maybe when AMD introduces lower-end Ryzen APUs things might get more interesting for the miners as well, especially if things with the availability of cheaper Intel motherboards that work for six video cards do not improve meanwhile. Even the cheapest AMD Ryzen 5 CPU at the moment, namely the 4-core/8-threads AMD Ryzen 5 1400 is too expensive for miners when compared with Intel Celeron G1820/G1840 for Socket 1150 or Intel Celeron G3920 for 1151 for example.

With the switch from Radeon RX 400 series of GPUs to the new (rebranded) RX 500 series AMD has also gotten into a bit of trouble with the increased demand from miners. The older RX 400 series of video cards are quickly disappearing and there may not be enough RX 500 series on some markets to cover the demand until the company manages to deliver steady supply everywhere. As a result we have seen some markets that end up with higher priced RX 500 series of GPUs when compared to their RX 400 counterparts when there is actually not much of a difference. Smaller markets are also experiencing serious shortage of video cards due to the increase in demand. Nvidia on the other hand has plenty of GPUs available, however miners are not that much into mining with Nvidia-based video cards due to the higher price, even though they generally are more powerful and use less power in most algorithms. The higher price of Nvidia GPUs combined with the not so great Ethereum (Ethash) mining performance however is driving the demand for AMD GPUs and the recent spike in ETH price has made things even worse in terms of Radeon GPUs availability. Guess we’ll have to wait and see how things will go, but if the price of crypto currencies continues to rise like it has been recently things may get even worse.

We have already purchased games using Bitcoin (BTC) as a payment method from Steam as the popular service has been accepting purchases made with the crypto currency for more than a year already. Steam however is not the only place where you can pay for games with Bitcoin, there are others also accepting crypto currency payments and you can even get a better deal. One such example is the G2A Game Store where you can purchase game keys for a better price, including games from Steam, but not limited (they added BTC support even before Steam). The idea here is that the website does not directly sell you games, but connects you to users selling them online and only acts as an intermediary processing the payments and helping resolve any issues if there are such.

There are many different payments methods supported by the G2A Store and Bitcoin (BTC) is only one of them. You can also pay directly with a Credit Card, PayPal as well as many others. We are however most interested in Bitcoin and the payments using the crypto currency are being processed by BitPay as a payment processor (the same one as on Steam). The checkout process is quick and easy, though you might still need to wait a bit for the confirmation of the transaction (especially wit lower fee) on the Bitcoin blockchain. Regular confirmation should just take a couple of minutes, but it can take more if the blocks are currently full and recently the number of transactions has increased and the waiting queue for transactions is bigger.

If you like the game deals available on G2A we do recommend that you activate the G2A Shield service as it can help you get even better deals and if there are some trouble with your purchases it helps you resolve them faster and easier. We are especially fond the deals like 1 Random Steam Premium CD-Key deals starting at a little over $1 USD or the 10 Random Steam CD-KEY deals for a bit over $2 USD, though there are many other interesting deals and offers available. Do note that these random game deals depend on your luck and while you may geat a very sweet deal, you may also get not so great selection of games as well… then again you can also give away the keys for games that you don’t want or need.

For more information and to get some sweet game deals on G2A paying with Bitcoin…

It seems that the mysterious 21 company is continuing to try to figure out what and how they should capitalize on their huge investments and Bitcoin. Their latest incarnation is a combination between an email and social media service with integrated Bitcoin payments. They compare it to LinkedIn’s InMail service where you pay to get in contact with a member of the service that is not your contact and you don’t know personally. With a 21 profile the idea is similar, however here a member of the service can contact you by paying you in Bitcoin and you get the money, not the service. It is not an actual email service, nor it is a fully fledged LinkedIn alternative or a Facebook-like social media… it is a kind of a hybrid between multiple things with Bitcoin added in the mix.

Registration for 21 profiles are apparently open to the public now, so you can reserve your name by creating a profile now. Once you do you will need to get it confirmed in order to Earn your first $0.50 USD in Bitcoin and then you will be available to be contacted with survey type questions, though apparently not only limited to that, from other members and get paid for responding to them. You are also able to get in touch the same way with other members of the community, there are already a number of lists that group different people like a list of CEOs or VCs, programmers, students, crypto currency traders and other specialists in their areas.

It seems that 21 is currently in need of attaining a large user base in a relatively short period of time and they have figured out a way to make things work for both themselves and the users of their service. The 21 profile can be a useful tool in the hands of a professionals in many different fields, but it does not seems that much attractive to the regular Joe at this point. Sure you may be able to get some extra money from it, but at this point if you are not a professional is some field you will hardly be somebody that will be paid for his/hers opinion. Still you might be interested in checking out the service and if you already have a LinkedIn profile, then you might also want to get a 21 Profile as well… even if you are not into Bitcoin or crypto currencies (yet).

For more information and to check out the service and maybe make a 21 profile…


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