Archive for the ‘General Info’ Category

With the switch from the RX 400 to the new RX 500 series (even if there is not much difference in hardware), AMD started having issues with availability. Older GPUs have been pretty much sold out where there were some left and the newer 570/580 models are pretty much out of stock everywhere. If there are some units left they are with an inflated price tag, because the people selling them want to make some extra bucks from the lack of availability and high demand. It is not known how long this lack of video cards will continue, but things were slowly progressing towards this negative outcome the whole month.

We are pretty sure that one of the reasons is mining and the recent peak of the price and profitability of Ethereum that inevitably leads to more and more new miners and mining rigs getting built. It seems however that AMD was really not ready for an increased demand after the release of the RX 500 series, even though RX 400 GPUs were already selling a lot. It may take a couple of weeks for things to get back to normal, unless the craze continues and unless AMD is actually having trouble making enough GPUs at the moment to cover the demand. Maybe the fact that the company is preparing for the release of their newer higher-end Vega solutions has something to do with the problem as well.

Miners are already looking at the alternatives of using Nvidia GPUs that are available plenty on the market, because they are not as good deal for Ethereum mining like the AMD cards in terms of price/performance. If you however take out the Ethash algorithm (Dagger-Hashimoto) out of the equation Nvidia’s Pascal GPUs are actually pretty good in terms of performance/power usage ratio… just not as good in memory intensive algorithms where GPU power is not required as much. Mining aside, gamers already have no other choice but to go for Nvidia if they are currently in the market for a new video card with AMD GPUs being out of stock.

The people that were mining a couple of years back during the Litecoin craze will most likely remember a similar situation where things got out of control for a while with the exchange rate of LTC exploding. This was only temporary as everyone was rushing to get into mining the top altcoin back then and then the price went down and things started to get back to normal. There are no guarantees that the same situation will happen again though, but don’t forget that we may be heading for a POW to POS switch for Ethereum by the end of the year…

NиceHash is preparing an update for their NiceHash Miner software to a new major version 2 and they are working on completely redesigning the interface of the tool for monitoring and choosing the highest profit for users on their hashrate renting/buying service. The software benchmarks all your CPU and GPU hardware to get an idea on what hashrate in various algorithms it is capable of delivering and based on that information switches between different algorithms to maximize your mining profit.

The NiceHash Miner software is essentially a GUI making mining easier for people that are not so into crypto currency, but still want to make some profit from it without having to get into too much details. The software uses popular mining software for the various supported algorithms and is often updated in order to provide the best possible performance for its users.

The new version 2 of NiceHash Miner is still in Alpha and available for people to try it out and report bugs and issues they discover, but soon it will most likely be also available to the general public as well.

With the new version things should become even easier for regular users such as gamers that already have a decent video card and a higher-end processor that can be utilized to mine when not used for gaming. The software might also be a good choice for regular users that haven’t yet started building multi-GPU mining rigs, provided that they do have a decent CPU and/or GPU available or even a few of them lying around and not doing much.

Do you remember the time when Bitcoin was advertised as a fast and easy way to transfer money all over the world with a minimal transaction fee. Well, these times are long gone now that we are seeing the 1MB blocks full with transactions, a backlog of almost 200000 unconfirmed transactions and over 100 BTC in fees alone with almost 100MB backlog (100 blocks behind with 1MB block size). As a result there are high transaction fees that start at more than a dollar and can go as high as a couple of dollars just to have your transaction included in a block in a reasonable time. Things are not looking good, unless a consensus for a solution (even temporary) to the small block size is found as with the increase of the price of Bitcoin. Services such as online Bitcoin wallets and such have started to increase the transaction fees already so, that there will be no extra delay for their customers, the problem is that these extra costs are usually covered by the users.

For example the online Bitcoin wallet and a Bitcoin-powered debit card issuer Xapo has recently informed its customers about their plans to actually have the transaction fees for withdraws paid by the users. Prior to that the service did not have users paying the fees for outgoing transactions, but the high fees associated with transfers on the Bitcoin blockchain have forced this change. With low transaction fees covering the extra cost is not a problem for some services, but with the constantly growing transaction fees you can even end up paying more for the actual transaction to be included in the blockchain than the amount you are transferring if it is just a couple of dollars.

Do you remember those promo images comparing Bitcoin to Western Union, PayPal and other popular payment services and talking about how BTC is better with the very low transaction fees cited as one of the key advantages. Well, if this trend continues and a solution is not found soon, then things might end up with Bitcoin transaction fees actually making transfers more expensive than to use a more established alternative payment method like the ones mentioned…


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