Not too long ago, Howtotoken started the 10KQA Challenge (details about it here) and the core idea was simple: build a moderated list of 10,000 questions for anyone who wants to learn more about the blockchain and cryptocurrency in general, and this challenge is already running into its fourth week:
One of the most interesting questions asked this week was in a discussion about Bitmain starting to sell its Antminer E3, and how this will affect the profits when mining Ethereum. Thanks to the experts, we have received an interesting answer that we will now share with the community in this weekly report. But before we dive into that, let’s go over some of the other interesting questions and answers that were talked about this week.
As we all know, last week Islamic countries were allowed to use crypto by Muhammad Abu Bakar, but the most interesting question here is why cryptocurrency could be considered Halal and here are some of the reasons:
However, Abu Bakar notes that while cryptocurrencies are halal in most cases, they are not halal in all. For instance, they are not halal in jurisdictions were they are banned. He also stated that it is not advisable to use cryptocurrencies for investment purposes.
Regarding the current situation with the high volatility of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, there was an interesting question asked about stable coins.
The main reason for it is the legal framework developed by the issuer to protect token holders. It does this by creating a strong link between tokens and underlying dollars. The product is being developed in partnership with banks, two Washington D.C. law firms, a crypto hedge fund, and a New York investment firm. This platform is called TrustToken, where all operations with this token are stored.
The next questions are in regards to mining, as more and more news about this field is currently the hot-topic of conversation. Security and hidden miners still plague users, but there are some basic recommendations that you can follow to avoid that.
He says that most websites are using Coin Hive for mining. Here are the instruments to block it:
1. Use the No Coin Chrome extension
“As soon as you visit a website, No Coin will detect and show you if any such activity is going on. You’ll see a red symbol as shown in the screenshot below. While this extension blocks any such activity, it also allows you to whitelist a website for a period of time.”
2. Use the minerBlock Chrome extension
The principle of this extension is the same. However, currently this service has less miner domains on their list.
3. Block coin mining domains in hosts file
“This is the manual way of blocking particular domains that you find harmful or irritating. Due to this method of blocking, your browser won’t be able to connect to these domains. We can edit the hosts file and redirect it to 0.0.0.0.
For Windows, navigate to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc and edit the hosts document to add 0.0.0.0 coin-hive.com at the end.
Please note that this change blocks the mining scripts which are hosted by coin-hive.com. In case you come across other mining script domains, you can add them further down the line.”
4. Block domains in AdBlocker
Go to the “Customize” section, then direct yourself to “Block an Ad by its URL” and insert the following link: https://coin-hive.com/lib/coinhive.min.js
5. Use NoScripts in Firefox
NoScripts might be an option if you use Firefox. However, it is pretty aggressive and usually blocks too many websites.
6. The Opera browser
“With the release of the Opera 50 web browser, the company brought in-built functionality to block CoinHive scripts and cryptocurrency mining techniques. This will allow users to make sure that their computers doesn’t go crazy whenever any website that is using the digital coin mining technique is encountered. The users can find this option in Settings (Preferences on macOS) > Basic > Block ads, and under the Recommended lists of ad filters click NoCoin.”
One of the most prominent symptoms of “cryptojacking” is an immediate and abrupt change in the overall performance of your computer. It will usually slow down your machine significantly.
“If you notice either of these conditions and get suspicious, just pull up your Task Manager on Windows (Ctrl+Alt+Delete) or Activity Monitor on a Mac (Command + Space and search for “Activity Monitor”). If your web browser is pulling a particularly high percentage of CPU power (close to all of it), there might be a cryptojacker at play.
If you suspect a certain website is to blame, you can test your theory by closing the tab and monitoring the results or, in Google Chrome, go to the Menu, then More Tools, then Task Manager to check CPU usage by tab.”
The first bulk of miners are already sold out and will be delivered to its users in the second half of July 2018, but now we should take the time to calculate and analyze the characteristics and risks that need to be taken into consideration.
The Antminer E3 is the first Ethereum-based ASIC miner. Prior to this, GPUs like the RX570 were the most cost-effective method to mining Ethereum, offering 1MH/s at a cost of around $12. The E3 in comparison offers 1MH/s at $4.40, so it’s around 2.27x more cost effective. Interestingly enough, it isn’t more efficient in power usage; the RX570 and 1080 Ti GPUs are more efficient in that regard.
It’s great to see what the ROI is for this miner:
Full-size table here: https://www.anythingcrypto.com/bitcoin-mining-calculators
The main risks for miners is that the plan for changing to the hybrid proof-of-work/proof-of-stake algorithm called Casper (which could potentially lead to Ethereum becoming fully proof-of-stake based) could make it so that you are no longer able to mine it.
The real question that needs to be asked is when this will be implemented, as ASICs are going to become a problem in several months. However, Casper may not be implemented until months or even years after that — so a short-term solution may be needed (although, because the E3 isn’t drastically more efficient than existing GPUs, this may not even be necessary).
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Kirill Shilov — Founder of Geekforge.io and Howtotoken.com. Interviewing the top 10,000 worldwide experts who reveal the biggest issues on the way to technological singularity. Join my #10kqachallenge: GeekForge Formula.