Mobile App Developer, Specialising ter iPhone Apps and Android Apps
Can my mobile phone mine bitcoins? The response is yes and no.
It might not verrassing you that, like the surplus of the world, I’ve caught a dose of Bitcoin fever. Bitcoins are a fabulously valuable digital currency which until a year or two ago almost everyone disregarded – it wasgoed the province of geeks playing a spel of imagining that a chunk of digital gegevens which only they understood had some zuigeling of real world value.
You could boast to fellow geeks about your hoard of Bitcoins, and your legendary Bitcoin mining equipment, but you couldn’t use them to buy a pizza.
This all switched, when Chinese entrepreneurs discovered they could use Bitcoins to circumvent China’s rigorous currency controls.
With hindsight of course, it is all so evident, at least to techies like mij – wij should have all bot mining for our own hoard of Bitcoins, back when it wasgoed effortless, waiting for that brighter future, when Bitcoins all of a sudden became valuable.
Because now it is too late – or is it?
The reaction to that question truly depends on whether Bitcoins become more valuable te the future – a question which could best be answered at some time te the future by exercising hindsight ,-).
So assuming you want to hop on the train, now that everyone wants a seat, what is the best way to mine Bitcoins?
Ter theory any pc can mine Bitcoins. But the difficulty of practical Bitcoin mining long ago surpassed normal hardware, and normal software programming mechanisms.
Why is it all so hard? The reason is that Bitcoin mining involves “proof of work”.
What is “proof of work”? Proof of work is proof that you have waterput ter a large amount of effort, to guess a number which, when used ter a calculation, produces a result within a preset range. The calculation is a “hash” function – it takes a block of gegevens (Bitcoin transactions to date), combines this block with your guessed number, and produces an output number. If the output number falls within a preset range of possible values, congratulations, you are now the proud proprietor of some fresh Bitcoins.
The catch is performing the calculation te a practical sense takes a lotsbestemming of computing power – the calculation is effortless, but unless you are amazingly fortunate, you will need to process billions, possibly trillions of guesses to find an output number within the preset range of permitted values. Worse, the difficulty of mining Bitcoins is adjusted with time, so that the combined computing power of everyone attempting to mine Bitcoins produces a fresh batch of Bitcoins every Ten minutes.
Think about it – gigantic university computers, large industrial equipments, boffins tinkering ter labs, the combined effort of all those machines can produce a fresh batch of coins every Ten minutes. Considering what percentage of this colossal global effort is represented by your mining equipment puts everything into perspective.
And winner takes all – only the computing equipment which wins the contest to solve the math problem gets the fresh coins (OK there are ways to share the risk and prize, but lets not get too complicated…,).
It wasn’t always so difficult. Back ter the old days, when hardly anyone cared about bitcoins, you could mine bitcoins with an ordinary pc – permitting the production of bitcoins every Ten minutes, when hardly anyone cared enough to bother mining, meant the target for minting fresh bitcoins wasgoed truly effortless – so anyone geeky enough to set up the software could klapper the target with minimal computing power. This is why you nowdays hear stories of people frantically searching for their old hard disk, with its multi million dollar stash of bitcoins.
So te principle I could develop an iPhone app or Android app which could produce some Bitcoins. The mobile phone Bitcoin mining app would be very slow compared to specialised Bitcoin mining systems, but you could get fortunate. Ter theory you run mining software say while the phone is plugged into the charger, and from time to time strike some Bitcoins.
Having said that, the odds of getting it right with a mobile phone are impractically petite – you could run the mobile phone continuously, for years, without everzwijn eyeing a Bitcoin. A bit like buying lottery tickets.
What do you do if you want to join the Bitcoin rush?
The limiting factors of Bitcoin mining are equipment cost and electro-stimulation cost. Leave behind microprocessors or anything you are likely to find inwards the case of an off the shelf pc – practical Bitcoin mining now requires specialised hardware accelerated Bitcoin mining cards.
But at the same time you need a normal laptop to manage the communication inbetween the specialised mining cards and the the Internet. The catch is, ordinary computers chew up a lotsbestemming of power – and the laptop has to be switched on, all the time you are mining for Bitcoins.
That is when this little beauty caught my eye – a low powered general purpose pc, with detailed instructions designed for non techies to go after, which works with a bunch of off the shelf hardware accelerated mining cards.
And here are the hardware cards mentioned ter the Bitcoin tutorial.
Is it worth doing? My fingers are convulsing. The analysis I have read says at current prices it isn’t worth doing, even with the super cheap equipment I described – you won’t make your money back. But who would have believed a year ago that Bitcoins would klapper a value of $700+ each? The cautious investor te mij says that what goes up voorwaarde come down – but if Bitcoins increase again, and reach a value of say $7000 each, or $70,000 each, I shall be kicking myself if I didn’t build or buy a mining equipment.
Maybe I shall begin puny – perhaps I shall develop that Bitcoin mining mobile phone app after all.