Archive for the ‘Crypto Coins’ Category

There is just a bit over a week before the first halving of the block reward of Litecoin (LTC) happens. In less than 5000 blocks or sometime on Tuesday, August 25th the block reward for LTC will go down from the current amount of 50 to 25 coins. This is the first block reward halving for Litecoin as the coin in planned to halve the reward every 840000 blocks, so it will not be the last one. If you are a miner you might be worried about the price and profitability of Litecoin (LTC) after the block reward halving occurs, though the Litecoin Association feels “it is critical to mention that the price of Litecoin (while exciting) is not paramount to the goal of what we are trying to achieve as a cryptocurrency”. They have even produced an educational video on it, you can watch the clip embedded in this article. If you are a miner that has invested in hardware and still needs to pay back for the hardware before starting to make profit, then an event such as the halving of the block reward cannot be overlooked. If the price of LTC remains at its current level when the halving occurs it will mean that you will be making half of what you are currently earning mining for Litecoin. This could mean that continuing to mine may not be profitable anymore when you add in the price of the electricity you need to pay for example. As a result of this some miners may stop mining and thus the difficulty will start to go down, or the price could go up and thing may balance out again in a couple of days after the halving occurs.

There is no way to actually predict what will happen, but we know that things will balance and the mining and usage of Litecoin will continue after the halving just as it has happened with Bitcoin already. There is still a concern about the future of Litecoin however and it is related to the mining process, as things have moved past GPU mining for LTC and we’ve moved to the ASIC mining period last year things were still progressing well. But we have not seen new ASIC mining hardware and the first generation of miners are already getting obsolete, so fewer miners are still mining LTC and not much new miners are starting to mine LTC (there are other Scrypt coins also). So the block reward halving is actually not a problem for the future of LTC, it is something that should actually help in resolving the issue with mining in one way or another. However as mining becomes more and more unprofitable for normal people mining LTC and only large mining farms remain things may not end up well for the crypto currency in the future if the situation with the lack of new mining hardware remains the same. This is already happening with Bitcoin and if Litecoin follows in its footsteps things may not end up so well with other new alternatives popping up such as Ethereum that can be mined by a regular users with a GPU.


This is an interesting and quite useful tool for people willing to generate an Ethereum wallet without having to install an Ethereum client on their computer for the moment. Ether Wallet is a web-based service that is in the form of a client-side tool (no data is being sent to a server) for generating Ethereum wallets, Ethereum paper wallets and even to send transactions over the network. EtherWallet is an open source and written in JavaScript client-side tool, you can download the source code here and run it directly from your own computer if you have some privacy worries about the wallets generated on the website.

You can of course import your Ethereum wallet generated with Ether Wallet, even if you printed a paper wallet, into geth for example with your unencrypted private key that you need to save into a file. All you have to do is to run the geth client with the following command line where instead of keyfile you need to type the file name of the file you have saved your unencrypted private key in:

geth account import keyfile

You will be asked to enter a password in order to encrypt the key when your account is being imported in geth and the password you enter will be needed in order for you to unlock your account for executing transactions in the future. So make sure you remember your password and then do a backup of your Ethereum wallet in geth.

To try out the EtherWallet service and generate an Ethereum wallet including a paper one…


Just like with Bitcoin’s wallet.dat file that contains your wallet address and keys and that you need to backup for safety reasons, Ethereum also has a similar wallet file that you should have a spare copy of. With Ethereum the wallet file has a bit weird name and is not just called wallet.dat, but it has essentially the same purpose and the file works essentially the same way as the wallet.dat with Bitcoin and many other alternative crypto coins. Ethereum’s wallet file is stored in the data directory used by the client to store the blockchain and other files, the default locations for the datadir on different operating systems are listed below.

Default datadir locations:
– Mac: ~/Library/Ethereum
– Linux: ~/.ethereum
– Windows: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Ethereum

To get the full path of the data directory on your specific system you can run the geth console and type admin.datadir and you will see a result like on the screenshot above with the full path. Note that the wallet file is not stored in the main datadir folder, but is instead placed in a separate folder under it called keystore. Inside that folder you should see a file with a long name starting with UTC--2015..., this is the wallet file you need to backup. Do note that aside from the wallet file itself you will also need to remember the password (or also back it up along the wallet) that you set when creating your account, without the password needed to unlock it the wallet file won’t be of much use.

If you are moving your Ethereum installation over to a different computer or want to have a copy on another system for solo mining for example, aside from a copy of the wallet file you may also want to make a copy of the blockchain, so that the geth client will not need to download the whole thing again from the network. For the moment the Ethereum blockchain is not that big, but as it continues to grow it can become a very time consuming task to wait for the blockchain to download over the network like it already is with bitcoin for example. So here is how you can also export and then import the Ethereum blockchain should you need to do so.

Export and Import the Ethereum Blockchain:
– Run: geth export blockchain_backup
– Copy the blockchain_backup file to the new system (a bit over 60 MB for the moment)
– On the new system run: geth import blockchain_backup

You can also export and import the blockchain data from a geth console mode, however it seems that when ran inside the console it is doing it much slower than the above method. The commands for the Javascript console are admin.exportChain('blockchain_backup') and admin.importChain('blockchain_backup'), so you can try with them as well, but the first example should be faster.

Download geth and ethminer compiled for Windows and ready to be used…