All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
This weeks did not start well for the worldwide financial markets, and things were especially not good in USA and China as a result the exchange rates of Bitcoin and Litecoin as well as other crypto currencies are also down. The crypto currency price volatility is not something new, but the exchange rates dropping at this particular moment, especially for Litecoin, are not that good. Today LTC is expected to have its first block reward halving and the price going down to as low as $2.5 USD means that the mining profitability after the halving will be awfully low if any at all. Though later today we are probably going to see some recovery for both Bitcoin and Litecoin that will also most likely rise the fiat exchange rates for other alternative crypto currencies as well.
Back on to mining LTC, we had high hopes for SFARDS to have their new generation dual-mining ASIC capable of mining simultaneously SHA-256 and Scrypt-based crypto coins such as Bitcoin and Litecoin. The more interesting parts with the SFARDS SF100 miners is their high hashrate for mining LTC only with very low power consumption, roughly 1/3 of the closest competitor in the form of Innosilicon and their A2 Terminator chips. Unfortunately SFARDS is late, they are apparently going to miss the opportunity to release the hardware before the block reward halving, so their pricing will either have to go even lower in order to get user interest if/when they have wider availability. In fact some people have apparently received first batch units from SFARDS earlier this month, very limited early availability, and the feedback was not only positive. It seems that aside from the high initial price of the miners, there is more to be desired from the build quality and in terms of reliability as well. Meanwhile it seems that Innosilicon is selling well their A2 miners as they are currently the best you can get on the market and with good price policy and availability people that want to mine for Scrypt coins such as LTC have no other choice for ASIC miners.
We are going to see how things will work on for Litecoin, but meanwhile it is already experiencing a strong competition by Ethereum (ETH) in terms of market capitalization. Ethereum has been in development for quite a while, but mining has been officially launched at the end of last month along with the network starting to support transactions a few days later. The current high market capitalization of Ethereum is due to the availability of 72 million coins prior to the mining even starting, 60 million of which were sold to early investors and another 12 million to be distributed to early supporters. AS for the mining part, we have not even reached 1 million coins mined by users as we are getting close to the first month of mining. The expected rate of mining for Ethereum is about 30000 ETH a day or less than a million a month, but this does not mean that there are actually very few coins available. At the moment the daily trading volume of Ethereum is between half a million and a million coins, lately a bit lower because of the general drop in price. On the other hand Augur (upcoming application using the Ethereum network) is currently running their crowdsale and have already collected over 1 million Ether coins from users and close to 10000 BTC. So we are going to be keeping a close eye on the Ethereum development as well.
The Bitcoin cloud mining company Genesis Mining has launched an interesting project called Life Inside a Bitcoin Mine that shows live video feeds from one of the company’s mining farms located in Iceland. The website currently has 3 different streaming webcams that you can check from inside the Iceland Bitcoin mining farm as well as some additional information and other interesting videos. Watching at the live streams from the Bitcoin farm you may quickly get that it is not very fun being inside a mining farm as nothing much is actually happening most of the time when everything is working just fine.
WHY A LIVESTREAM?
As many people don’t know how a mining farm looks and operates, we wanted to give everybody a clear idea about it and provide livestreams of a mining farm from Genesis Mining. Coupled with new, ongoing promotional events, we hope to make this a nice entertainment channel.
We’ve already covered a few games for both Android and iOS mobile devices that award players with BTC in some way and we have just discovered another such game. Oh Crop! by Loud Panda Interactive is a free game for Android-based devices (not available for iOS) with a simple concept where you fly around and try to avoid enemy plants trying to kill you, you can collect in-game coins and power ups that can help you survive longer and even kill enemies. The goal of the game is to survive as long as possible and score as higher as possible. Oh Crop! comes with a simple and intuitive gameplay relying on the smartphone or tablet’s accelerometer or a virtual joystick for the movement of your in-game character. It is one of those simple, yet fun and addictive games and the fact that you can get some Bitcoins as a reward makes it even more addictive.
In order to be able to get BTC rewards you need to make it into the Top 15 best scoring players into the Leaderboard, the game apparently has cycles lasting a few days each with new Leaderboard for each. There is a reward that is split among the Top 15 players in each cycle and the higher you score, the bigger your reward will be. AS a reference, the last place in the Leaderboard can have something like 2000 score and gets a reward of about 3.5 mBTC and the top player scored over 12000 points for a reward of about 57 mBTC (1 mBTC is equal to 100000 satoshi or 0.001 BTC). Have in mind that as a novice in the game you will have hard time scoring even a thousand points, so you will need to get into the game in order to get in the Top 15 players in the leaderboard and be able to with some BTC as a reward.
In order to be able to get your Bitcoin reward, if you manage to get one, you will have to setup an account in the game. This is as easy as entering a username and an e-mail address, though the mail address is not required. You also need to type the BTC wallet address to which the rewards need to be sent, the easiest way is to copy and paste it in the respective field in the game otherwise you can easily do a mistake and type it incorrectly if you try to enter it manually. Unfortunately there is no support for a web-based wallet where you can use your email address as an ID for sending you coins or an integrated 2D barcode scanner to easily set your BTC address in the game.