There is an interesting new Chinese company called Octominer that is apparently focusing on the GPU mining market by offering a specialized mining motherboard for 8 GPU mining rigs. The Octominer B8PLUS motherboard has 8x full size PCI-E slots spaced decently enough to eliminate the need to use PCI-E riser boards. The manufacturer suggests that the motherboard is suitable for any Nvidia or AMD GPU that is 4.5 cm or thinner, so all 2 slot thickness cards should fit, 2.5 slot cards might also fit, but very tightly and there could be some trouble with cooling them. Furthermore the motherboard comes with integrated Intel mobile CPU with built-in graphics. The motherboards uses SO-DIMM DDR4 memory and comes with M-SATA slot for an SSD memory and a sATA interface for an external HDD or SSD drive that you need to buy separately of course.

Octominer B8PLUS Specifications:
– Motherboard: support 8x PCI-E 16x slots for GPUs
– GPU: Embedded 6th gen Intel Celeron Processor 3855U
– CPU cooler integrated on the board
– Supported GPUs: 8pcs AMD470/480/570/580 or Nvidia P106/P104/1060/1070/1070TI/1080/1080TI
– Memory: Support SO-DIMM DDR4 up to 8GB RAM (Laptop memory)
– Ports: 2x USB, 1x VGA, 1x RJ45 Network
– Power: Support server style power supply and ATX PSU
– Board dimensions: 46 X 18 cm

The price of the integrated 8x GPU mining motherboard from Octominer is currently USD $199 with shipping from China (shipping and import taxes and VAT not included). Shipping is with DHL Express and should take about 5-7 days according to the website and cost you $25 USD for most locations, though the price may vary for some regions. Octominer is currently accepting pre-orders for the motherboards with deliveries expected to start shipping by the end of January or the beginning of February, so not much wait, though shipping may not be immediately after you order.

For more information about the Octominer B8PLUS 8 PCIe Slot Mining Motherboards…

Bminer is a relatively new miner for Nvidia GPUs for mining cryptocurrencies using the Equihash algorithm such as Zcash (ZEC). It is a closed source miner, available for both Windows and Linux operating systems and comes with a 2% dev fee included (optional, though disabling it apparently removes some optimizations). Bminer comes as an alternative to the popular EWBF miner, the development of which has been stalled for a while already, as well as the more recent dstm ZCash CUDA Miner that looks promising and is actively being developed, but still lacks some features such as failover pool support for example. So any new alternatives such as Bminer that are being actively improved and developed are more than welcome for the users and the crypto community as well.

According to its developers and most users that have tried the Bminer already it is the fastest publicly available Equihash miner for Nvidia GPUs and we can confirm that our initial impressions are showing a better local hashrate compared to the alternatives mentioned. So if you have a Compute Capability 5.0 or newer Nvidia GPU used for mining you might want to give Bminer a go and see if it will work better for you. The miner does come with SSL support as well as Nicehash support, has some interesting extra features, though it is still very easy to use. There is also an API and a web-based interface available for monitoring of your mining rigs that can be quite useful, so go and give it a try and report your results.

For more information and to download the Bminer Equihash miner for Nvidia GPUs…

It seems that WaveCrest is also terminating their prepaid MasterCard cards powered by crypto currencies, but unlike the sudden surprise at the beginning of this year with their Visa issued cards, now at least it is not entirely “effective immediately”. There is 1 month grace period for users to either use the funds or withdraw them, though loading up money to the card has been stopped effective immediately. Below is a quote of the official email that WaveCrest has been sending to its customers regarding the situation…

Dear Cardholder,

We regret to inform you that from the 27 February 2018, we will no longer be able to service your MyChoice Prepaid Debit Card.

You should, therefore, use up or remove any balance on your card before that date. We will block the loading of new funds to your card effective immediately to help avoid any balance remaining on your card. You will be able to request that any remaining balance on your card after 27 February 2018 be refunded to you in line with the Cardholder Agreement.

Unverified cards must be verified in order to be eligible for a refund. Please note that any funds that remain on your account after this date will continue to be subject to the terms of the Cardholder Agreement (other than as set out in this email). You can find the Cardholder Terms here.

Please also note that we have taken the decision to set new daily ATM limits to EUR 1000/USD 1000/GBP 800 for transaction inside the SEPA region; transaction outside of SEPA will be limited to EUR 500/USD 500/GBP 400.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused. If you have any questions, please contact us at support15@xxx.com.

Kind regards,
WaveCrest

It seems that the crypto services offering prepaid MasterCard bank cards powered by Bitcoin and/or other crypto currencies will need to find an alternative issuer for their customers, just like the ones affected by the WaveCrest VISA ban form earlier that month. It is a fact that the main issuer for most of these services, at least in Europe, was WaveCrest using Visa along with some using MasterCard. The services that were surprised at the start of the year are reporting that they are already working with new card issuers to restore their functionality, though it could still take up a few more months. Meanwhile other innovative financial services that are not originally crypto oriented may use the opportunity to gain a lot of new users by providing attractive and useful services and maybe even slowly introducing cryptocurrency support.

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