All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
It seems that the currently most affordable in terms of price Bitcoin cloud mining services – PBMining and Bitcoin Cloud Services might have some new competition. By new we really mean new, as a new BTC cloud mining service was apparently very recently launched in Sweden called Lunamine. We normally do not review services that were just launched and usually give them some time to see if they are not just some sort of a new scam and to give them some time to fix bugs and improve the features they offer before reviewing them, however we were asked by readers to check this new service out and we have decided to do so.
What makes this new service interesting, and by new we really mean new as their domain name was registered on 30th June this year or a little over a week ago, is the fact that they claim to offer pretty much the best price per GHS for Bitcoin cloud mining. They even manage to beat some other services that were fighting to offer the best price to customers by a bit, like the two we already mentioned. The current rate stated on their website is 0.0025 BTC per GHs, but the real rate can be slightly higher due to the variance in BTC exchange rate. They accept payments in BTC only, though the contract prices are listed in USD prices and they apparently calculate how much BTC you need to pay with the current exchange rate for the contract you have chosen based on the USD price. Initially Lunamine has launched a free 7 day trial with 10 GHS for people to try their service, but apparently this was very quickly stopped due to people abusing it (according to the official information published). So at the moment you can purchase a contract of minimum 100 GHS for $160 USD or about 0.254 BTC, or go for a 1 THS contract for $1400 USD or about 2.2229 BTC (you can get multiple of these as well). We have chosen the 100 GHS contract for our testing and yesterday when we have purchased it e had to pay 0.25234804 BTC for it or about 0.00252 BTC per GHs.
You will probably notice that there is no term period cited for the contracts duration, something that is a bit confusing as it says “Lifetime validity” and “No operational fees” when you are about to purchase a contract. There is a catch though, as Lifetime validity actually means until the hashrate purchased by you actually brings some profit for you when you pay for the electricity cost. Yes, there may be “No operational fees”, however you need to pay fee for electricity used and the rate is $0.0032 per GHS per day, and so for a 100 GHS contract you have to pay $0.32 USD a day for electricity and the rest of the mined coins you get as profit. Doing a quick calculation shows that at the moment you can mine around 0.00299 BTC per day with 100 GHS hashrate or your daily profit will be around $1.85 USD minus the $0.32 USD fee for electricity or around $1.50 USD with the current network difficulty of Bitcoin. This would take around 106 days or about three months and a half for you to break even on your investment and actually start earning on to of what you have invested if the conditions remain the same as in the current moment… and they will not be as the network difficulty will continue to rise. So do have in mind that as in about three months and a half from now if the network difficulty continues to rise with 10% you will be making about half of what you can currently mine with the same hashrate and the fee for the used power will remain the same. If you remain with only 100 GHS the lifetime of this contract will be roughly about 230-240 days or about 8 months before the mined coins will not be able to cover the electricity fee, that is if the price of Bitcon remains the same and the network difficulty continues to increase by about 10% each time, so not that accurate calculation.
After we have purchased our contract it took about an hour for the payment to be processed and in about two hours the contract was activated, though this may take up to 12 hours according to the service description. Another thing to note is that while your mined coins get credited in your account, there is no automatic daily or weekly payout, you need to request the payout manually and in order to do so you need to already have accumulated at least 0.01 BTC. Furthermore since the payouts are apparently processed manually it can take up to 48 hours for your request to be fulfilled again according to the official information published about the service. We haven’t tried withdrawing yet as we’ve just started testing the service and have not yet generated enough BTC in order to be able to request a withdraw of the mined coins.
An important word of advice though, we have just started testing this service and since the service is really very new we do recommend serious caution! If you are interested in trying it out always start with a minimum investment and with something that you can afford to loose if things go bad. We are going to continue using the service and will be reporting how things progress with it as well as our own experience using the service.
Lately there is much talk about power efficiency of various mining algorithms and with the summer here people with GPU mining rigs are looking for algorithms that use less power and thus the video cards run cooler and quieter. We are starting a series of tests with GeForce GTX 750 Ti GPU first and then we are also going to move to other popular video cards for mining crypto currencies such as the Radeon R9 280X for example.
On the photo above you can see the power usage of the GTX 750 Ti video card in idle as well as the idle power usage of the whole system we are using for testing; below you can find the specifications of the hardware. Note that one of the power meters measures only the power usage of the video card (the power meter is attached to the power line going to the card directly and all power going to it passes through the meter, so it does not take into account the PSU power efficiency) and the other one is for the whole system measured at the wall (the actual full power consumption) taking into account the efficiency of the power supply (extra power wasted as heat during the conversion).
The systems we are using for the tests include:
– Palit GeForce GTX 750 Ti StormX OC 2GB video card
– Intel i3-4130 dual-core CPU at 3.4 GHz
– Asus H81M-A Motherboard
– 2x 4GB A-DATA DDR3 1600 MHz Memory
– 1TB Seagate 7200 RPM Hard drive
– 500W Cooler Master Power Supply
We have used ccMiner for our tests, the latest fork with Fresh algorithm support and we have measured the power usage of the GPU only as well as of the whole system with all of the supported algorithms by that particular version of ccMiner. Do note that if mining for Scrypt for example you will be getting higher power usage, but this is already pretty pointless to be done with GPUs with so many Scrypt ASIC miners already deployed. The results we’ve seen on the GTX 750 Ti are pretty interesting; it seems that the most power efficient algorithms are Fugue256 and HEFTY1 with the new Fresh algorithm following close by with the same power usage as Qubit. The worst performing crypto algorithms on GTX 750 Ti are the Groestl-based ones and the X-ones are pretty much in the middle. Do note however that these are the results measured on GTX 750 Ti, the situation with AMD with the same algorithms may differ significantly and we do plan to run some tests to check the situation there as well, so stay tuned for more very soon, probably tomorrow.
Since there were some questions and people doubting our measurements, we have repeated the tests with another power meter connected to measure the power going only to the video card and the results are pretty much the same as with the previous meter in terms of power usage as you can see on the photo above. Do note that the Palit GeForce GTX 750 Ti video card that we have used for testing does not have an external PCI-E power connector available, so all of the power going to the video card is from the PCI-E slot. So in order to measure the exact power used by the video card we have used a powered PCI Express x1-x16 USB 3.0 Extender. This extender does not use USB 3.0 interface, just a USB 3.0 data cable for the transmission of data between the PCI-E slot on the motherboard and the video card (no power is transmitted over that cable). Instead the power provided to the video card all goes through the 4-pin Molex power connector on the extender’s board. Also do note that the power measured is coming directly from the power supply, so this measurement for the power usage of the GPU does not take into account the power efficiency of the power supply (loses of power during the conversion from 110V/220V to 12V) and depending on the power supply there will be about 10-20% of extra power lost as heat during the conversion. This power is measured by the second power meter that does measure the full system’s power consumption at the power socket however.
We’ve been using the CoinKing multipool for over two weeks already, trying it out, and we are ready to share some feedback based on our own personal experience. When we have started with CoinKing it was one of the most profitable automatic profit based coin switching pool according to PoolPicker and currently it is still the most profitable one for few of the crypto algorithms supported by the service. CoinKing offers an nice looking and easy to use service, supports a lot of coins and most of the more popular algorithms and gives the users an option to automatically exchange the mined coins not only in the more traditional BTC and LTC, but in many other coins as well. The standard pool fee is 1% and if you decide to use the automatic exchange of the mined coins into some other crypto currency there will be another extra fee for the conversion process (the fees are the ones charged by the exchange used for the conversion), different based on the coin you select to get the payout in. Another very useful thing that we’ve liked a lot is the list of many notifications that you can activate manually, so you know when the pool does something like automatic payout or coin conversion etc.
The pool has Scrypt, Scrypt-N, SHA256, X11 and X13 multiports and you have the option to either mine in a multipool configuration with CoinKing choosing the most profitable coin at the moment based on the exchange price and network difficulty or to mine directly a specific coin you choose from the list of supported ones. We like that CoinKing is constantly adding new coins, so that the profitability for the miners can remain high and some coins do get removed as well for the same reason. It is no wonder that the poll is keeping top places in terms of profitability as many other pools kind of forget to add new coins and remove old ones thus mining no so profitable coins and offer a lower additional profit. In CoinKing you will see that the highest number of supported coins is in the Scrypt and X11 domains as with the other supported algorithms there are not so many coins available, or at least not so much that are more established and offer good profitability.
One of the best things we like the most with CoinKing is the fact that you can select not only to mine specific coin or the automatically the most profitable coin, but also can get what you have mined automatically converted to a coin of your choice. You can either individually set if the coin should be converted automatically or not or do it all in a single click for all coins. Furthermore you can select to convert one mined coin into another of the supported and you set that on per coin basis, so you can mine LTC and have them converted in BTC, but you can also set to mine DarkCoin and have the mined coins automatically converted to BlackCoin for example. Yes, there is support for automatic conversion into coins that have finished their POW phase and are now POS only. Currently there are 19 different coins that you can have your mined coins automatically converted into and in this list more coins are being added as well, including POS only coins. This way POS only coins can get buy support from users that want to mine the most profitable coin and get instead a coin of their liking that they want to support such as Minerals for example.
Now, if everything does look too good to be true, then there is some catch. Well actually we found one thing that we did not like that much using the service. According to the information on the website the automatic conversions should run 4 times a day, or every 6 hours, but we’ve seen these happening more like once a day. There are some minimum limits for a conversion to be executed, but in order for miner with smaller hashrate the mined coins should be combined and exchanged. This however does not seem to be running so well or the limits may be too high, as after two weeks of use we still have some coins that have not yet been converted. Another not so convenient thing is that when a new coin gets added in the pool you need to manually go and configure the automatic conversion for it, as by default the conversion is disabled, so you need to keep an eye on the news section of the pool. In general however we are satisfied with our experience using the CoinKing multipool, we haven’t had serious problems so far, and can recommend you to try it out yourself if you are looking for a new place to mine. Do note however that some people had various issues with the pool, so if you have experienced some yourself feel free to share them below.