Experiments and experiences with cryptocurrencies

Well, since everyone’s been going crazy with cryptos I decided to see what’s all the hype really about.

Few weeks ago I had an interesting conversation with a guy that lost money on bad Bitcoin trade on some stock exchange. He made some poor trade choices, but his strategy was sound. He planned to buy Bitcoins while it was value was still around 5.600$. He knew lots of crypto stuff I did not know at the time, and I got hooked in no time. I read all I could about mining, exchanges, Bitcoin ATM’s etc.

After some Google-ing I decided CPU mining is not worth it, but that I just had to try to mine a little, just to see how things are done. And its been a fun trip. Learned a lot.

You can easily find out a lot about many Cryptocurrencies, blockchains, sustainability and their fungibility 🙂 I’ll point you in another way, the way that I was interested in – Jenny from the blockchain article on Scott Logic that has more then enough tech stuff and funny headings you’ll ever need on this subject.

Small funds I’ve mined I got to transfer to and fro different wallets (phone, web or desktop), crypto exchanges (sold some, bought others in attempt to earn a little and even misplaced some 700 BCN that are still unaccounted for).

Lessons learned:

MINING

  • CPU mining is not worth it, do it just to learn the ropes and test miners and their settings.
  • For CPU mining start with Minergate (PC and Android (I used android for x64 to test it on older PC that has Windows XP installed)), MoneroSpellunker, CPUminer (Minerd), XMRIG, Multiminer…  Most of the GPU related miners I couldn’t test.
  • For most miners steps needed are: join a pool, check pool info about stratum servers (address you provide to your miner), port, username (either your pool username or wallet address) and password (usually blank, x or a pool user password). Creating a .bat file with these command line is trivial and most pools have examples.
  • Mining rigs (stuff I Googled next) are available premade, but before you go all out test online calculator that takes its power supply in account and mining power and gives you a nice estimate of earning. Plenty of homemade mining rigs tutorials are available on the net or even Youtube (basics: make custom frame, put up to 6 graphic cards on a single motherboard using pcie extenders and big power supply).
  • Heard that even GPU is not worth it for most currencies, yet could not test it, because ATI GPU mining required specific card and catalyst driver and so did Nvidia. Guess my card wasn’t supported although Multiminer reported that it is.
  • Minergate works and it’s real easy. A lot of people are against it, but its easy to understand even easier to use. Fees are varied and some currencies are not worth mining because you’d just waste time and electricity while getting to the minimum amount to withdraw. Check thier online calculator to see how long will it take you to get to minimum amount. Even Minergate withdrawal fee will cut into your freshly mined coins and if its to little, the exchange will not trade it (minimum amount of BCN to trade is 100, for DOGE its 1000). So, don’t get stuck with some small change on crypto exchange account that you cant withdraw or sell.
  • Mining Bytecoin (also, lots of negative comments) worked for me. Amount mined with my Intel i5 was around 54 per day, withdrawal possible after you reach 100 and fee was 0.01 BCN. Its value is low now, but you could test trading (rounded on a 100 BCNs). I’ve successfully used it to mine up to 100 BCN several times and transferred them to HitBTC exchange where I sold some, bought little BTC and DOGE.
  • Most pools ballance is set after the block is mined/confirmed. Until then its listed as unconfirmed or similar.

WALLETS

  • Bytecoin web wallet is slow, buggy and whenever I was looking – offline, avoid.
  • Freewallet is great wallet, works on your smart device or over the web.

EXCHANGES

  • HitBTC exchange was the one I started using first, and stayed with. It has its quirks but worked for me rather well. Don’t buy or sell using market price, its smarter to see the price then set your price using limit option. If the demand for that particular coin is big enough you’ll get it on your price, if not, you will see how high your bid is and alter it.
  • Cryptonator exchange was my next step. Awesome, fast and user friendly. lets you easily exchange your currencies, trade them and send them to your wallet. Only issue was their request for 2 step verification (they blocked my withdrawals for 24 hrs – for my safety) took me by surprise but I’ve ignored it and waited 24 hours 🙂

PURCHASE

  • Theese days everyone (and their grandma) recommends you get into the easy way – buy em, don’t mine em. I have. I’have invested a little in cheap coins (BCN and DOGE). It will be hard to lose money that way but the potential income IMO is possible.
  • I’ve successfully used Payeer to deposit some (10) euros, then sent it to Cryptonator to buy coins. Payeer will request you to take a photo of your card and passport next to each other for verification (you may block some info if don’t feel trusting). Next depostis are instant.

There you have it. My 2 satoshis… 🙂

Try it, don’t miss out the craze. Also don’t go crazy with buying rigs right away 😀

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