FPGA Mining: Field Programmable Gate Arrays Crypto Guide

[lets build] Sci fi megastructures

1-Dyson spheres
2-Ring worlds
3-Deathstar like bases.
4-Sun forge like from avengers; inifinity war
5-Artifical planets
6-Giant gateways that allow planets to transfer other galaxies
7-Science Nexus
8-Sentry Array
9-Mega artistic objects
10-Giant settelaties
11-Hallow planets
12-Artificial suns
13-Artificial black holes
14-Planet-sized giant ships
15-Space elevators
16-Planet spanning rings
17-Giant asteriod stations
18-Artifical star systems
19-Spacehulks (from warhammer 40k)
20-Giant mining stations
21-Hallows stars
22-Flattened worlds/Disk worlds
23-Machine worlds
24-Webway (From warhammer 40k)
25-Contructs inside of black holes
26-Artifical Dimensions
27-Dimension Nexus that connects with other dimensions
28-Artifical moons
29-Artifical habitable biological constructs
30-Planet/starsytem/galaxy sized giant super computers
Crossallthewires
31 - Space Elevators leading from a planet's surface to an orbital platform.
32 - A Sun- Starter, a gigantic orbital platform made up of rings that orbit a sun and blast it with energy to stave off it's inevitable death.
33 - An entire planet, equipped with a vast engine to allow it to travel around the universe.
34 - An interplanetary junk barge with gigantic crushing claws and arms, capable of turning any of these other structures into scrap-metal.
35 - A forcefield generator covering an entire planet (think Rogue One)
Zombehking
36 - a supercomputer atomized and scattered in a dust cloud around a solar system, still functional.
37 - star engine to move solar system(s) like space ships.
38-A Giant, planet sized robot
39-A giant, planet sized mech
40-A giant, sun sized robot/ship
41-A giant, sun sized mech/ship
42-A starsytem sized robot/mech/ship
43-A galaxy sized robot/mech/ship
44-A cybrog planet
45-Alive/bio organic contruct planets
Martinus_XIV
46-A giant machine that slowly travels from solar system to solar system, devouring planets as it goes. It is a weapon of mass destruction leftover from an ancient, devastating war.
47-A void in space where nothing exists; no matter, no energy, no dimensions, inhabited by an intelligence that likes to toy with spacefarers that wander into its domain.
48-A generation ship embedded within an asteriod. The inhabitants have long since forgotten its mission and don't even know that there is a world outside of their ship.
49-A Dyson Sphere-like structure built around a black hole, generating power by shooting particle beams through its ergosphere.
50-A stellaser; a Dyson Sphere-like structure harnessing the power of a star into a Death Star-like laser.
51-A Boltzmann-civilization; an entire civilization that has just popped into being as a result of a quantum fluctuation. It didn't exist a few seconds ago, yet believes it has a history going back millions of years.
52-A massive klein bottle that actually loops through the 4th dimension.
53-Planet core forges
54-Giant planet water cleaners
55-Giant trash disposers
56-Giant, hard light constructs
Zer05tar
57-Communications Array - Able to communicate with far distant outposts, both allies and enemies.
58-Power Refiling Station - Unmanned stations that is in orbit that collects solar power and converts it to usable energy for ships that are out of juice. Complete with wet bar and hour rates hotels.
FirstChAoS
59- A series of giant lenses that can be aligned to turn thesun into a giant laser
60- A mining machine designed to grind whole planets into ore.
ArchDeconstructor
• 61- Gravitational sling engine: a sun-sized array of concentric facilities that can manipulate gravity to send nearby celestial bodies on targeted parabolic arcs at nearly the speed of light, or to target faraway systems and very slowly adjust their location relative to other nearby systems.
• ⁠62- terraforming drone supercarrier, which drops into star systems it hasn't visited before and deploys millions of building-sized robotic platforms to terraform any suitable planetary masses. Or to create planets, by smashing lots of smaller junk together, and then terraforming those.
• ⁠63-galactic FTL inhibitor, which draws upon the ambient gravity of the galactic core to constantly, potentially fatally, disrupt any attempts to enter FTL while within the galaxy it was built in.
• ⁠64-planetary museum, composed of sextillions of metric tons of structured spacetime computation to store information, and matter-holography chambers to assemble or at least visualize exhibits.
• ⁠65-An Infinite Forest a la Mercury in Destiny/Destiny 2, a planet reshaped into forms of exotic programmable matter that simultaneously simulate multiple timelines branching past and forwards.
• ⁠66- A solar system-sized containment field acting as a zoo for spacefaring organisms.
67-Artificial white holes
68-Artifical nebulas
69-Stellar engine
70-A warp hole that allows time travel
71-A warm hole that transports suns to other systems
72-Jump gate, a gate that reduces travel time between systems
73-Bishop ring
74-Niven ring
75-Shkadov thruster
76-Kraskinow tube
77-Portal that allows instant travel
78-Stargate
79-Hyper gate
80-Space bridge
81-Halo
82-Banks orbital
83-Alderson disk
84-Stellar scale
85-Gas giant refinary
86-Cloud city
87-Aerostat
88-Bernal sphere
89-Rungworld
90-Space ladder
91-Skyhook
92-Launch assist tether
93-The crystal megabore
94-Psionic hypersiphon, allows psionic powers enhanced in a star sytem and allows telepatic comunication
95-Teleporter that allows instant teleportation in a starsytem both for vehicles and people
96-The lunar speculorefractor
97-The hyperstructural assembly yard
98-The birch world
99-Ecumenopolis
Doug mantis
• ⁠100- massive catamari. • ⁠101-Universe simulation computer. • ⁠102-Gravity rod launcher, shoots planet-sized rails at FTL speeds. • ⁠103-Terra-deconstructor, surrounds and melts/harvests planets. • ⁠104-A pack of supermassive cybernetic space-whales. • ⁠105-Quadrillionaire's private docking station. • ⁠106-Private megastructure construction facility, build all this shit. • ⁠107-Big-bang generator, turns matter into nothing, generates power. • ⁠108-Defeated grey goo blob, enormous mass of electronic goo, now non-functional. • ⁠109-Supermassive Bitcoin miner, mines bitcoin so efficiently that all other miners are rendered useless. • ⁠110-Sphere inversion machine, allows planets to exist in their own pocket dimension. • ⁠111-'Song of the Aairomng', a massive machine built to generate noise in the vacuum of space. Blasts strange music throughout it's galaxy.
112-City from vallerian and the city of thousand races or something
Slaaich
113-Culture Orbital
114-O'Neill colony
115-A massive spiderlike machine that captures habitable planets and drags them back to a central solar system where it collects them.
116-massive prison ship designed to hold a Leviathan capable of eating entire stars. Empty and showing signs of damage.
17-Satellite equipped with stealth technology that sits in orbit around pre interstellar planets and subtly manipulates the civilizations below into accepting alien invasions
Holy, moly that was fast. Since my computer skills are so poor i am just going to add all this to a comment on which you create D100(or you know, more) I want to thank each and every one of you for this. I couldn't do it without you.👏
PS;(If you want write more just do it. I will add the no mater what. More content are always welcome😀)
submitted by Alpbasket to d100 [link] [comments]

ASIC Resistance Timeline

Today, in about 30 minutes or less from now, RandomX will be activated on Monero as part of its network protocol upgrade, so this seems like a good moment to share this timeline. It’s like the raw material for writing the history of ASIC resistant proof-of-work algorithms. If you think it’s incomplete, let me know what you’d like to add. I didn’t include Monero ASICs or FPGAs that weren’t publicly released, since it would be difficult to pin down a date.
Original version written in Dutch for Monero Meetup Utrecht #2 on March 14, 2019 (next meetup is on Tuesday, December 3).
2010-10: Start of Bitcoin mining on GPUs 2011-06: First Bitcoin FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays) 2011-09-26: Launch of Tenebrix (with a premine) using Scrypt algo to avoid GPUs 2011-10-13: Fair launch of Litecoin, also using Scrypt 2013-01-19: Avalon releases the first Bitcoin ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) 2014-03: Secretly premined launch of Bytecoin, using CryptoNight version 0 2014-04: First Litecoin ASICs 2014-12-13: Vertcoin switches from Scrypt-N to Lyra2RE (multi-algo, currently 5) 2014-01: X11, a chain of 11 algos, for Xcoin => Darkcoin => Dash 2014-09: Digibyte switches to Myriadcoin's multi-algo with separate difficulty adjustment 2015-07-30: Ethash for Ethereum (memory-hard, i.e. using lots of RAM) 2018-04-06: CryptoNight version 2 by Monero (flipped a bit) 2018-05: Bitmain releases the Antminer X3 for CryptoNight, which doesn’t mine Monero 2018-07: Bitmain releases Antminer E3, the first Ethash ASIC 2018-10-01: Siacoin developers use a protocol change to disable ASICs other than their own Obelisk SC1 miner 2018-10-18: CryptoNight version 3 by Monero (changed a bit more than one bit) 2018-10/12: Successful 51% attack on Vertcoin (double spends by ASIC miners) 2019-01-15: Launch of Grin using two algorithms, one ASIC friendly and one ASIC resistant 2019-03-09: Monero’s CryptoNight version 4 or CryptoNightR, a self-programming algorithm, generating hashing instructions pseudo-randomly 2019-11-30: RandomX, a randomized and memory-hard algorithm, designed from scratch to use all elements of a general-purpose CPU 2020-??: Ethereum will probably switch to ProgPOW (programmatic proof of work) before switching to proof of stake
submitted by edbwtf to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Mining for Profitability - Horizen (formerly ZenCash) Thanks Early GPU Miners

Mining for Profitability - Horizen (formerly ZenCash) Thanks Early GPU Miners
Thank you for inviting Horizen to the GPU mining AMA!
ZEN had a great run of GPU mining that lasted well over a year, and brought lots of value to the early Zclassic miners. It is mined using Equihash protocol, and there have been ASIC miners available for the algorithm since about June of 2018. GPU mining is not really profitable for Horizen at this point in time.
We’ve got a lot of miners in the Horizen community, and many GPU miners also buy ASIC miners. Happy to talk about algorithm changes, security, and any other aspect of mining in the questions below. There are also links to the Horizen website, blog post, etc. below.
So, if I’m not here to ask you to mine, hold, and love ZEN, what can I offer? Notes on some of the lessons I’ve learned about maximizing mining profitability. An update on Horizen - there is life after moving on from GPU mining. As well as answering your questions during the next 7 days.
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Mining for Profitability - Horizen (formerly ZenCash) Thanks Early GPU Miners

Author: Rolf Versluis - co-founder of Horizen

In GPU mining, just like in many of the activities involved with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, there is both a cycle and a progression. The Bitcoin price cycle is fairly steady, and by creating a personal handbook of actions to take during the cycle, GPU miners can maximize their profitability.
Maximizing profitability isn't the only aspect of GPU mining that is important, of course, but it is helpful to be able to invest in new hardware, and be able to have enough time to spend on building and maintaining the GPU miners. If it was a constant process that also involved losing money, then it wouldn't be as much fun.

Technology Progression

For a given mining algorithm, there is definitely a technology progression. We can look back on the technology that was used to mine Bitcoin and see how it first started off as Central Processing Unit (CPU) mining, then it moved to Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) mining, then Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), and then Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC).
Throughout this evolution we have witnessed a variety of unsavory business practices that unfortunately still happen on occasion, like ASIC Miner manufacturers taking pre-orders 6 months in advance, GPU manufacturers creating commercial cards for large farms that are difficult for retail customers to secure and ASIC Miner manufacturers mining on gear for months before making it available for sale.
When a new crypto-currency is created, in many cases a new mining algorithm is created also. This is important, because if an existing algorithm was used, the coin would be open to a 51% attack from day one, and may not even be able to build a valid blockchain.
Because there's such a focus on profitable software, developers for GPU mining applications are usually able to write a mining application fairly rapidly, then iterate it to the limit of current GPU technology. If it looks like a promising new cryptocurrency, FPGA stream developers and ASIC Hardware Developers start working on their designs at the same time.
The people who create the hashing algorithms run by the miners are usually not very familiar with the design capabilities of Hardware manufacturers. Building application-specific semiconductors is an industry that's almost 60 years old now, and FPGA’s have been around for almost 35 years. This is an industry that has very experienced engineers using advanced design and modeling tools.
Promising cryptocurrencies are usually ones that are deploying new technology, or going after a big market, and who have at least a team of talented software developers. In the best case, the project has a full-stack business team involving development, project management, systems administration, marketing, sales, and leadership. This is the type of project that attracts early investment from the market, which will drive the price of the coin up significantly in the first year.
For any cryptocurrency that's a worthwhile investment of time, money, and electricity for the hashing, there will be a ASIC miners developed for it. Instead of fighting this technology progression, GPU miners may be better off recognizing it as inevitable, and taking advantage of the cryptocurrency cycle to maximize GPU mining profitability instead.

Cryptocurrency Price Cycle

For quality crypto projects, in addition to the one-way technology progression of CPU -> GPU -> FPGA -> ASIC, there is an upward price progression. More importantly, there is a cryptocurrency price cycle that oscillates around an overall upgrade price progression. Plotted against time, a cycle with an upward progressions looks like a sine wave with an ever increasing average value, which is what we see so far with the Bitcoin price.

Cryptocurrency price cycle and progression for miners
This means mining promising new cryptocurrencies with GPU miners, holding them as the price rises, and being ready to sell a significant portion in the first year. Just about every cryptocurrency is going to have a sharp price rise at some point, whether through institutional investor interest or by being the target of a pump-and-dump operation. It’s especially likely in the first year, while the supply is low and there is not much trading volume or liquidity on exchanges.
Miners need to operate in the world of government money, as well as cryptocurrency. The people who run mining businesses at some point have to start selling their mining proceeds to pay the bills, and to buy new equipment as the existing equipment becomes obsolete. Working to maximize profitability means more than just mining new cryptocurrencies, it also means learning when to sell and how to manage money.

Managing Cash for Miners

The worst thing that can happen to a business is to run out of cash. When that happens, the business usually shuts down and goes into bankruptcy. Sometimes an investor comes in and picks up the pieces, but at the point the former owners become employees.
There are two sides to managing cash - one is earning it, the other is spending it, and the cryptocurrency price cycle can tell the GPU miner when it is the best time to do certain things. A market top and bottom is easy to recognize in hindsight, and harder to see when in the middle of it. Even if a miner is able to recognize the tops and bottoms, it is difficult to act when there is so much hype and positivity at the top of the cycle, and so much gloom and doom at the bottom.
A decent rule of thumb for the last few cycles appears to be that at the top and bottom of the cycle BTC is 10x as expensive compared to USD as the last cycle. Newer crypto projects tend to have bigger price swings than Bitcoin, and during the rising of the pricing cycle there is the possibility that an altcoin will have a rise to 100x its starting price.
Taking profits from selling altcoins during the rise is important, but so is maintaining a reserve. In order to catch a 100x move, it may be worth the risk to put some of the altcoin on an exchange and set a very high limit order. For the larger cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin it is important to set trailing sell stops on the way up, and to not buy back in for at least a month if a sell stop gets triggered. Being able to read price charts, see support and resistance areas for price, and knowing how to set sell orders are an important part of mining profitability.

Actions to Take During the Cycle

As the cycle starts to rise from the bottom, this is a good time to buy mining hardware - it will be inexpensive. Also to mine and buy altcoins, which are usually the first to see a price rise, and will have larger price increases than Bitcoin.
On the rise of the cycle, this is a good time to see which altcoins are doing well from a project fundamentals standpoint, and which ones look like they are undergoing accumulation from investors.
Halfway through the rise of the cycle is the time to start selling altcoins for the larger project cryptos like Bitcoin. Miners will miss some of the profit at the top of the cycle, but will not run out of cash by doing this. This is also the time to stop buying mining hardware. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to pick up that same hardware used for a fraction of the price at the next bottom.
As the price nears the top of the cycle, sell enough Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to meet the following projected costs:
  • Mining electricity costs for the next 12 months
  • Planned investment into new miners for the next cycle
  • Additional funds needed for things like supporting a family or buying a Lambo
  • Taxes on all the capital gains from the sale of cryptocurrencies
It may be worth selling 70-90% of crypto holdings, maintaining a reserve in case there is second upward move caused by government bankruptcies. But selling a large part of the crypto is helpful to maintaining profitability and having enough cash reserves to make it through the bottom part of the next cycle.
As the cycle has peaked and starts to decline, this is a good time to start investing in mining facilities and other infrastructure, brush up on trading skills, count your winnings, and take some vacation.
At the bottom of the cycle, it is time to start buying both used and new mining equipment. The bottom can be hard to recognize.
If you can continue to mine all the way through bottom part of the cryptocurrency pricing cycle, paying with the funds sold near the top, you will have a profitable and enjoyable cryptocurrency mining business. Any cryptocurrency you are able to hold onto will benefit from the price progression in the next higher cycle phase.

An Update on Horizen - formerly ZenCash

The team at Horizen recognizes the important part that GPU miners played in the early success of Zclassic and ZenCash, and there is always a welcoming attitude to any of ZEN miners, past and present. About 1 year after ZenCash launched, ASIC miners became available for the Equihash algorithm. Looking at a chart of mining difficulty over time shows when it was time for GPU miners to move to mining other cryptocurrencies.

Horizen Historical Block Difficulty Graph
Looking at the hashrate chart, it is straightforward to see that ASIC miners were deployed starting June 2018. It appears that there was a jump in mining hashrate in October of 2017. This may have been larger GPU farms switching over to mine Horizen, FPGA’s on the network, or early version of Equihash ASIC miners that were kept private.
The team understands the importance of the cryptocurrency price cycle as it affects the funds from the Horizen treasury and the investments that can be made. 20% of each block mined is sent to the Horizen non-profit foundation for use to improve the project. Just like miners have to manage money, the team has to decide whether to spend funds when the price is high or convert it to another form in preparation for the bottom part of the cycle.
During the rise and upper part of the last price cycle Horizen was working hard to maximize the value of the project through many different ways, including spending on research and development, project management, marketing, business development with exchanges and merchants, and working to create adoption in all the countries of the world.
During the lower half of the cycle Horizen has reduced the team to the essentials, and worked to build a base of users, relationships with investors, exchanges, and merchants, and continue to develop the higher priority software projects. Lower priority software development, going to trade shows, and paying for business partnerships like exchanges and applications have all been completely stopped.
Miners are still a very important part of the Horizen ecosystem, earning 60% of the block reward. 20% goes to node operators, with 20% to the foundation. In the summer of 2018 the consensus algorithm was modified slightly to make it much more difficult for any group of miners to perform a 51% attack on Horizen. This has so far proven effective.
The team is strong, we provide monthly updates on a YouTube live stream on the first Wednesday of each month where all questions asked during the stream are addressed, and our marketing team works to develop awareness of Horizen worldwide. New wallet software was released recently, and it is the foundation application for people to use and manage their ZEN going forward.
Horizen is a Proof of Work cryptocurrency, and there is no plan to change that by the current development team. If there is a security or centralization concern, there may be change to the algorithm, but that appears unlikely at this time, as the hidden chain mining penalty looks like it is effective in stopping 51% attacks.
During 2019 and 2020 the Horizen team plans to release many new software updates:
  • Sidechains modification to main software
  • Sidechain Software Development Kit
  • Governance and Treasury application running on a sidechain
  • Node tracking and payments running on a sidechain
  • Conversion from blockchain to a Proof of Work BlockDAG using Equihash mining algorithm
After these updates are working well, the team will work to transition Horizen over to a governance model where major decisions and the allocation of treasury funds are done through a form of democratic voting. At this point all the software developed by Horizen is expected to be open source.
When the governance is transitioned, the project should be as decentralized as possible. The goal of decentralization is to enable resilience and preventing the capture of the project by regulators, government, criminal organizations, large corporations, or a small group of individuals.
Everyone involved with Horizen can be proud of what we have accomplished together so far. Miners who were there for the early mining and growth of the project played a large part in securing the network, evangelizing to new community members, and helping to create liquidity on new exchanges. Miners are still a very important part of the project and community. Together we can look forward to achieving many new goals in the future.

Here are some links to find out more about Horizen.
Horizen Website – https://horizen.global
Horizen Blog – https://blog.horizen.global
Horizen Reddit - https://www.reddit.com/Horizen/
Horizen Discord – https://discord.gg/SuaMBTb
Horizen Github – https://github.com/ZencashOfficial
Horizen Forum – https://forum.horizen.global/
Horizen Twitter – https://twitter.com/horizenglobal
Horizen Telegram – https://t.me/horizencommunity
Horizen on Bitcointalk – https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2047435.0
Horizen YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/c/Horizen/
Buy or Sell Horizen
Horizen on CoinMarketCap – https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/zencash/

About the Author:

Rolf Versluis is Co-Founder and Executive Advisor of the privacy oriented cryptocurrency Horizen. He also operates multiple private cryptocurrency mining facilities with hundreds of operational systems, and has a blog and YouTube channel on crypto mining called Block Operations.
Rolf applies his engineering background as well as management and leadership experience from running a 60 person IT company in Atlanta and as a US Navy nuclear submarine officer operating out of Hawaii to help grow and improve the businesses in which he is involved.
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Thank you again for the Ask Me Anything - please do. I'll be checking the post and answering questions actively from 28 Feb to 6 Mar 2019 - Rolf
submitted by Blockops to gpumining [link] [comments]

Best $100-$300 FPGA development board in 2018?

Hello, I’ve been trying to decide on a FPGA development board, and have only been able to find posts and Reddit threads from 4-5 years ago. So I wanted to start a new thread and ask about the best “mid-range” FGPA development board in 2018. (Price range $100-$300.)
I started with this Quora answer about FPGA boards, from 2013. The Altera DE1 sounded good. Then I looked through the Terasic DE boards.
Then I found this Reddit thread from 2014, asking about the DE1-SoC vs the Cyclone V GX Starter Kit: https://www.reddit.com/FPGA/comments/1xsk6w/cyclone_v_gx_starter_kit_vs_de1soc_board/‬ (I was also leaning towards the DE1-SoC.)
Anyway, I thought I better ask here, because there are probably some new things to be aware of in 2018.
I’m completely new to FPGAs and VHDL, but I have experience with electronics/microcontrollers/programming. My goal is to start with some basic soft-core processors. I want to get some C / Rust programs compiling and running on my own CPU designs. I also want to play around with different instruction sets, and maybe start experimenting with asynchronous circuits (e.g. clock-less CPUs)
Also I don’t know if this is possible, but I’d like to experiment with ternary computing, or work with analog signals instead of purely digital logic. EDIT: I just realized that you would call those FPAAs, i.e. “analog” instead of “gate”. Would be cool if there was a dev board that also had an FPAA, but no problem if not.
EDIT 2: I also realized why "analog signals on an FPGA" doesn't make any sense, because of how LUTs work. They emulate boolean logic with a lookup table, and the table can only store 0s and 1s. So there's no way to emulate a transistor in an intermediate state. I'll just have play around with some transistors on a breadboard.
UPDATE: I've put together a table with some of the best options:
Board Maker Chip LUTs Price SoC? Features
icoBoard Lattice iCE40-HX8K 7,680 $100 Sort of A very simple FPGA development board that plugs into a Raspberry Pi, so you have a "backup" hard-core CPU that can control networking, etc. Supports a huge range of pmod accessories. You can write a program/circuit so that the Raspberry Pi CPU and the FPGA work together, similar to a SoC. Proprietary bitstream is fully reverse engineered and supported by Project IceStorm, and there is an open-source toolchain that can compile your hardware design to bitstream. Has everything you need to start experimenting with FPGAs.
iCE40-HX8K Breakout Board Lattice iCE40-HX8K-CT256 7,680 $49 No 8 LEDs, 8 switches. Very similar to icoBoard, but no Raspberry Pi or pmod accessories.
iCE40 UltraPlus Lattice iCE40 UltraPlus FPGA 5280 $99 No Chip specs. 4 switchable FPGAs, and a rechargeable battery. Bluetooth module, LCD Display (240 x 240 RGB), RGB LED, microphones, audio output, compass, pressure, gyro, accelerometer.
Go Board Lattice ICE40 HX1K FPGA 1280 $65 No 4 LEDs, 4 buttons, Dual 7-Segment LED Display, VGA, 25 MHz on-board clock, 1 Mb Flash.
snickerdoodle Xilinx Zynq 7010 28K $95 Yes Xilinx Zynq 7-Series SoC - ARM Cortex-A9 processor, and Artix-7 FPGA. 125 IO pins. 1GB DDR2 RAM. Texas Instruments WiLink 8 wireless module for 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1. No LEDs or buttons, but easy to wire up your own on a breadboard. If you want to use a baseboard, you'll need a snickerdoodle black ($195) with the pins in the "down" orientation. (E.g. The "breakyBreaky breakout board" ($49) or piSmasher SBC ($195)). The snickerdoodle one only comes with pins in the "up" orientation and doesn't support any baseboards. But you can still plug the jumpers into the pins and wire up things on a breadboard.
numato Mimas A7 Xilinx Artix 7 52K $149 No 2Gb DDR3 RAM. Gigabit Ethernet. HDMI IN/OUT. 100MHz LVDS oscillator. 80 IOs. 7-segment display, LEDs, buttons. (Found in this Reddit thread.)
Ultra96 Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ ZU3EG 154K $249 Yes Has one of the latest Xilinx SoCs. 2 GB (512M x32) LPDDR4 Memory. Wi-Fi / Bluetooth. Mini DisplayPort. 1x USB 3.0 type Micro-B, 2x USB 3.0 Type A. Audio I/O. Four user-controllable LEDs. No buttons and limited LEDs, but easy to wire up your own on a breadboard
Nexys A7-100T Xilinx Artix 7 15,850 $265 No . 128MiB DDR2 RAM. Ethernet port, PWM audio output, accelerometer, PDM microphone, microphone, etc. 16 switches, 16 LEDs. 7 segment displays. USB HID Host for mice, keyboards and memory sticks.
Zybo Z7-10 Xilinx Zynq 7010 17,600 $199 Yes Xilinx Zynq 7000 SoC (ARM Cortex-A9, 7-series FPGA.) 1 GB DDR3 RAM. A few switches, push buttons, and LEDs. USB and Ethernet. Audio in/out ports. HDMI source + sink with CEC. 8 Total Processor I/O, 40 Total FPGA I/O. Also a faster version for $299 (Zybo Z7-20).
Arty A7 Xilinx Artix 7 15K $119 No 256MB DDR3L. 10/100 Mbps Ethernet. A few switches, buttons, LEDs.
DE10-Standard (specs) Altera Cyclone V 110K $350 Yes Dual-core Cortex-A9 processor. Lots of buttons, LEDs, and other peripherals.
DE10-Nano Altera Cyclone V 110K $130 Yes Same as DE10-Standard, but not as many peripherals, buttons, LEDs, etc.

Winner:

icoBoard ($100). (Buy it here.)
The icoBoard plugs into a Raspberry Pi, so it's similar to having a SoC. The iCE40-HX8K chip comes with 7,680 LUTs (logic elements.) This means that after you learn the basics and create some simple circuits, you'll also have enough logic elements to run the VexRiscv soft-core CPU (the lightweight Murax SoC.)
The icoBoard also supports a huge range of pluggable pmod accessories:
You can pick whatever peripherals you're interested in, and buy some more in the future.
Every FPGA vendor keeps their bitstream format secret. (Here's a Hacker News discussion about it.) The iCE40-HX8K bitstream has been fully reverse engineered by Project IceStorm, and there is an open-source set of tools that can compile Verilog to iCE40 bitstream.
This means that you have the freedom to do some crazy experiments, like:
You don't really have the same freedom to explore these things with Xilinx or Altera FPGAs. (Especially asynchronous circuits.)

Links:

Second Place:

iCE40-HX8K Breakout Board ($49)

Third Place:

numato Mimas A7 ($149).
An excellent development board with a Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA, so you can play with a bigger / faster FPGA and run a full RISC-V soft-core with all the options enabled, and a much higher clock speed. (The iCE40 FPGAs are a bit slow and small.)
Note: I've changed my mind several times as I learned new things. Here's some of my previous thoughts.

What did I buy?

I ordered a iCE40-HX8K Breakout Board to try out the IceStorm open source tooling. (I would have ordered an icoBoard if I had found it earlier.) I also bought a numato Mimas A7 so that I could experiment with the Artix 7 FPGA and Xilinx software (Vivado Design Suite.)

Questions

What can I do with an FPGA? / How many LUTs do I need?

submitted by ndbroadbent to FPGA [link] [comments]

Cryptocurrency Mining History : Journey to PoC

Cryptocurrency just like any other technological development has given birth to many side industries and trends like ICO, white paper writing, and mining etc… just the cryptocurrency itself rises, falls and changes to adapt real life conditions, so does its side industries and trends. Today we are going to be focusing on mining. How it has risen, fell and adapted through the journey of cryptocurrency till date.
Without going into details crypto mining is the process by which new blocks are validated and added to the blockchain. It first took to main stream in January 2009 when the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto launched the bitcoin white paper within which he/she/they proposed the first mining consensus mechanism called proof of work (Pow).
The PoW consensus mechanism required that one should spend a certain amount of computational power to solve a cryptographic problem (nounce) in other to have the have the right to pack/verify the next block on the blockchain. In this mechanism, the more computational power one possesses the more rights they have over the packing of the next block. The quest for faster hardware has seen significant changes in the types of hard ware dominating the PoW mining community.
Back in 2009 when bitcoin first started a normal pc and its processing power worked just fine. In fact a pc with an i7 Intel processor could mine up to 50btc per day but back then it almost nothing since btc was only some few cents. When the difficulty of the network became significantly high, simple computer processing units could not match the competitiveness and so miners settled for something more powerful, the high end graphic processors (GPU). This is when the era of rigs began It was in 2010. People would combine GPUs together in mining rigs on a mother board usually in order of 6 per rig some miners operated farms containing many of these rigs. Of course with greater power came greater network difficulty and so the search for faster hard ware let to implementation of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) in June 2012. A further search for faster, less consuming and cheaper hard ware let us to where we are today. In the year 2013, Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) miners were introduced. One ASIC miner processes 1500H/s which is 100 times processing power of CPU and GPU. But all this speed and efficiency achievements brought about another problem one which touches the core of cryptocurrency itself. The idea of decentralization was gradually fading away as wealthy and big companies are the once who could afford and build the miners therefore centralizing mining around the rich, there was a called for ASIC resistant consensus mechanism.
A movement for ASIC resistant PoW algorithms began the idea is to make ASIC mining impossible or at least make it such that using ASIC doesn’t give a miner any additional advantage as to using CPU . In 2013 the MONERO the famous privacy coin proposed CryptoNight an ASIC resistant PoW consensus at least that is how they intended it to be. But things have proven much more difficult in practice than they had anticipated as ASIC producers keep matching up to every barrier put in place the PoW designers at a rate faster than it takes to build these barriers. MONERO for example has to fork every now and then in other to keep the CryptoNight ASIC resistant a trick which is still not working as reported by their CEO “We [also] saw that this was very unsustainable. … It takes a lot to keep [hard forking] again and again for one. For two, it may decentralize mining but it centralizes in another area. It centralizes on the developers because now there’s a lot of trust in developers to keep hard forking.” Another PoW ASIC resistance algorithm is the RamdonX and there are many others but could quickly imagine that the barriers to ASIC mining in these ASIC resistance algorithm would eventually be broken by the ASIC miners and so a total shift from PoW mining to other consensus mechanisms which are ASIC resistance from core were proposed some of which are in use today.
Entered the Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. PoS was first introduced in 2013 by the PeerCoin team. Here, a validator’s right to mine is proportionate to his/heit economic value in the network simple put the more amounts of coins you have the more mining rights you get. Apart from PeerCoin, NEO and LISK also use POS and soon to follow is EThereum. There are different variations to PoS including but not limited to delegated proof of stake DPoS, masternode proof of stake MPoS each of which seek to improve on something in the POS. This is a very good ASIC resistance consensus mechanism but it still doesn’t solves the centralization problem as the rich always have the power to more coins and have more mining rights plus it is also expensive to start. And then we have gotten many other proposals to combat this among which are Proof of Weight (PoW) and Proof of Capacity (PoC). We take more interest in PoC it is the latest and gives the best solution to all our mining challenges consensus as of now.
Proof of Capacity was first was described 2013 in the Proofs of Space paper by Dziembowski, Faust, Kolmogorov and Pietrzak and it is now being used in Burst. The main factor that separates all the mining mechanisms is the resource used. These resources which miners spend in other to have mining rights is a measure of ensuring that one has expense a none-trivial amount of effort in making a statement. The resource being spent in PoC is disk space. This is less expensive since many people already have some unused space lying around and space is a cheap resource in the field of tech. it has no discrimination over topography… it really solves lots of centralized problems present in all most other consensus. If the future is now then one could say the future of crypto mining is PoC.
submitted by seekchain to u/seekchain [link] [comments]

The Problem with PoW

The Problem with PoW
Miners have always had it rough..
"Frustrated Miners"

The Problem with PoW
(and what is being done to solve it)

Proof of Work (PoW) is one of the most commonly used consensus mechanisms entrusted to secure and validate many of today’s most successful cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin being one. Battle-hardened and having weathered the test of time, Bitcoin has demonstrated the undeniable strength and reliability of the PoW consensus model through sheer market saturation, and of course, its persistency.
In addition to the cost of powerful computing hardware, miners prove that they are benefiting the network by expending energy in the form of electricity, by solving and hashing away complex math problems on their computers, utilizing any suitable tools that they have at their disposal. The mathematics involved in securing proof of work revolve around unique algorithms, each with their own benefits and vulnerabilities, and can require different software/hardware to mine depending on the coin.
Because each block has a unique and entirely random hash, or “puzzle” to solve, the “work” has to be performed for each block individually and the difficulty of the problem can be increased as the speed at which blocks are solved increases.

Hashrates and Hardware Types

While proof of work is an effective means of securing a blockchain, it inherently promotes competition amongst miners seeking higher and higher hashrates due to the rewards earned by the node who wins the right to add the next block. In turn, these higher hash rates benefit the blockchain, providing better security when it’s a result of a well distributed/decentralized network of miners.
When Bitcoin first launched its genesis block, it was mined exclusively by CPUs. Over the years, various programmers and developers have devised newer, faster, and more energy efficient ways to generate higher hashrates; some by perfecting the software end of things, and others, when the incentives are great enough, create expensive specialized hardware such as ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit). With the express purpose of extracting every last bit of hashing power, efficiency being paramount, ASICs are stripped down, bare minimum, hardware representations of a specific coin’s algorithm.
This gives ASICS a massive advantage in terms of raw hashing power and also in terms of energy consumption against CPUs/GPUs, but with significant drawbacks of being very expensive to design/manufacture, translating to a high economic barrier for the casual miner. Due to the fact that they are virtual hardware representations of a single targeted algorithm, this means that if a project decides to fork and change algorithms suddenly, your powerful brand-new ASIC becomes a very expensive paperweight. The high costs in developing and manufacturing ASICs and the associated risks involved, make them unfit for mass adoption at this time.
Somewhere on the high end, in the vast hashrate expanse created between GPU and ASIC, sits the FPGA (field programmable gate array). FPGAs are basically ASICs that make some compromises with efficiency in order to have more flexibility, namely they are reprogrammable and often used in the “field” to test an algorithm before implementing it in an ASIC. As a precursor to the ASIC, FPGAs are somewhat similar to GPUs in their flexibility, but require advanced programming skills and, like ASICs, are expensive and still fairly uncommon.

2 Guys 1 ASIC

One of the issues with proof of work incentivizing the pursuit of higher hashrates is in how the network calculates block reward coinbase payouts and rewards miners based on the work that they have submitted. If a coin generated, say a block a minute, and this is a constant, then what happens if more miners jump on a network and do more work? The network cannot pay out more than 1 block reward per 1 minute, and so a difficulty mechanism is used to maintain balance. The difficulty will scale up and down in response to the overall nethash, so if many miners join the network, or extremely high hashing devices such as ASICs or FPGAs jump on, the network will respond accordingly, using the difficulty mechanism to make the problems harder, effectively giving an edge to hardware that can solve them faster, balancing the network. This not only maintains the block a minute reward but it has the added side-effect of energy requirements that scale up with network adoption.
Imagine, for example, if one miner gets on a network all alone with a CPU doing 50 MH/s and is getting all 100 coins that can possibly be paid out in a day. Then, if another miner jumps on the network with the same CPU, each miner would receive 50 coins in a day instead of 100 since they are splitting the required work evenly, despite the fact that the net electrical output has doubled along with the work. Electricity costs miner’s money and is a factor in driving up coin price along with adoption, and since more people are now mining, the coin is less centralized. Now let’s say a large corporation has found it profitable to manufacture an ASIC for this coin, knowing they will make their money back mining it or selling the units to professionals. They join the network doing 900 MH/s and will be pulling in 90 coins a day, while the two guys with their CPUs each get 5 now. Those two guys aren’t very happy, but the corporation is. Not only does this negatively affect the miners, it compromises the security of the entire network by centralizing the coin supply and hashrate, opening the doors to double spends and 51% attacks from potential malicious actors. Uncertainty of motives and questionable validity in a distributed ledger do not mix.
When technology advances in a field, it is usually applauded and welcomed with open arms, but in the world of crypto things can work quite differently. One of the glaring flaws in the current model and the advent of specialized hardware is that it’s never ending. Suppose the two men from the rather extreme example above took out a loan to get themselves that ASIC they heard about that can get them 90 coins a day? When they join the other ASIC on the network, the difficulty adjusts to keep daily payouts consistent at 100, and they will each receive only 33 coins instead of 90 since the reward is now being split three ways. Now what happens if a better ASIC is released by that corporation? Hopefully, those two guys were able to pay off their loans and sell their old ASICs before they became obsolete.
This system, as it stands now, only perpetuates a never ending hashrate arms race in which the weapons of choice are usually a combination of efficiency, economics, profitability and in some cases control.

Implications of Centralization

This brings us to another big concern with expensive specialized hardware: the risk of centralization. Because they are so expensive and inaccessible to the casual miner, ASICs and FPGAs predominantly remain limited to a select few. Centralization occurs when one small group or a single entity controls the vast majority hash power and, as a result, coin supply and is able to exert its influence to manipulate the market or in some cases, the network itself (usually the case of dishonest nodes or bad actors).
This is entirely antithetical of what cryptocurrency was born of, and since its inception many concerted efforts have been made to avoid centralization at all costs. An entity in control of a centralized coin would have the power to manipulate the price, and having a centralized hashrate would enable them to affect network usability, reliability, and even perform double spends leading to the demise of a coin, among other things.
The world of crypto is a strange new place, with rapidly growing advancements across many fields, economies, and boarders, leaving plenty of room for improvement; while it may feel like a never-ending game of catch up, there are many talented developers and programmers working around the clock to bring us all more sustainable solutions.

The Rise of FPGAs

With the recent implementation of the commonly used coding language C++, and due to their overall flexibility, FPGAs are becoming somewhat more common, especially in larger farms and in industrial setting; but they still remain primarily out of the hands of most mining enthusiasts and almost unheard of to the average hobby miner. Things appear to be changing though, one example of which I’ll discuss below, and it is thought by some, that soon we will see a day when mining with a CPU or GPU just won’t cut it any longer, and the market will be dominated by FPGAs and specialized ASICs, bringing with them efficiency gains for proof of work, while also carelessly leading us all towards the next round of spending.
A perfect real-world example of the effect specialized hardware has had on the crypto-community was recently discovered involving a fairly new project called VerusCoin and a fairly new, relatively more economically accessible FPGA. The FPGA is designed to target specific alt-coins whose algo’s do not require RAM overhead. It was discovered the company had released a new algorithm, kept secret from the public, which could effectively mine Verus at 20x the speed of GPUs, which were the next fastest hardware types mining on the Verus network.
Unfortunately this was done with a deliberately secret approach, calling the Verus algorithm “Algo1” and encouraging owners of the FPGA to never speak of the algorithm in public channels, admonishing a user when they did let the cat out of the bag. The problem with this business model is that it is parasitic in nature. In an ecosystem where advancements can benefit the entire crypto community, this sort of secret mining approach also does not support the philosophies set forth by the Bitcoin or subsequent open source and decentralization movements.
Although this was not done in the spirit of open source, it does hint to an important step in hardware innovation where we could see more efficient specialized systems within reach of the casual miner. The FPGA requires unique sets of data called a bitstream in order to be able to recognize each individual coin’s algorithm and mine them. Because it’s reprogrammable, with the support of a strong development team creating such bitstreams, the miner doesn’t end up with a brick if an algorithm changes.

All is not lost thanks to.. um.. Technology?

Shortly after discovering FPGAs on the network, the Verus developers quickly designed, tested, and implemented a new, much more complex and improved algorithm via a fork that enabled Verus to transition smoothly from VerusHash 1.0 to VerusHash 2.0 at block 310,000. Since the fork, VerusHash 2.0 has demonstrated doing exactly what it was designed for- equalizing hardware performance relative to the device being used while enabling CPUs (the most widely available “ASICs”) to mine side by side with GPUs, at a profit and it appears this will also apply to other specialized hardware. This is something no other project has been able to do until now. Rather than pursue the folly of so many other projects before it- attempting to be “ASIC proof”, Verus effectively achieved and presents to the world an entirely new model of “hardware homogeny”. As the late, great, Bruce Lee once said- “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.”
In the design of VerusHash 2.0, Verus has shown it doesn’t resist progress like so many other new algorithms try to do, it embraces change and adapts to it in the way that water becomes whatever vessel it inhabits. This new approach- an industry first- could very well become an industry standard and in doing so, would usher in a new age for proof of work based coins. VerusHash 2.0 has the potential to correct the single largest design flaw in the proof of work consensus mechanism- the ever expanding monetary and energy requirements that have plagued PoW based projects since the inception of the consensus mechanism. Verus also solves another major issue of coin and net hash centralization by enabling legitimate CPU mining, offering greater coin and hashrate distribution.
Digging a bit deeper it turns out the Verus development team are no rookies. The lead developer Michael F Toutonghi has spent decades in the field programming and is a former Vice President and Technical Fellow at Microsoft, recognized founder and architect of Microsoft's .Net platform, ex-Technical Fellow of Microsoft's advertising platform, ex-CTO, Parallels Corporation, and an experienced distributed computing and machine learning architect. The project he helped create employs and makes use of a diverse myriad of technologies and security features to form one of the most advanced and secure cryptocurrency to date. A brief description of what makes VerusCoin special quoted from a community member-
"Verus has a unique and new consensus algorithm called Proof of Power which is a 50% PoW/50% PoS algorithm that solves theoretical weaknesses in other PoS systems (Nothing at Stake problem for example) and is provably immune to 51% hash attacks. With this, Verus uses the new hash algorithm, VerusHash 2.0. VerusHash 2.0 is designed to better equalize mining across all hardware platforms, while favoring the latest CPUs over older types, which is also one defense against the centralizing potential of botnets. Unlike past efforts to equalize hardware hash-rates across different hardware types, VerusHash 2.0 explicitly enables CPUs to gain even more power relative to GPUs and FPGAs, enabling the most decentralizing hardware, CPUs (due to their virtually complete market penetration), to stay relevant as miners for the indefinite future. As for anonymity, Verus is not a "forced private", allowing for both transparent and shielded (private) transactions...and private messages as well"

If other projects can learn from this and adopt a similar approach or continue to innovate with new ideas, it could mean an end to all the doom and gloom predictions that CPU and GPU mining are dead, offering a much needed reprieve and an alternative to miners who have been faced with the difficult decision of either pulling the plug and shutting down shop or breaking down their rigs to sell off parts and buy new, more expensive hardware…and in so doing present an overall unprecedented level of decentralization not yet seen in cryptocurrency.
Technological advancements led us to the world of secure digital currencies and the progress being made with hardware efficiencies is indisputably beneficial to us all. ASICs and FPGAs aren’t inherently bad, and there are ways in which they could be made more affordable and available for mass distribution. More than anything, it is important that we work together as communities to find solutions that can benefit us all for the long term.

In an ever changing world where it may be easy to lose sight of the real accomplishments that brought us to this point one thing is certain, cryptocurrency is here to stay and the projects that are doing something to solve the current problems in the proof of work consensus mechanism will be the ones that lead us toward our collective vision of a better world- not just for the world of crypto but for each and every one of us.
submitted by Godballz to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Why I see Virtcoin as a $200 coin when really considering ASIC resistance

First of all, Vertcoin does indeed have a tremendous community, and this is not to be understated. However, this is only a fraction of the value position of this coin. I just want to expand on the ASIC resistance thing a bit. As an electrical engineer who has actually designed ASIC's, I do have some background on this. What I can tell you is that this term "ASIC Resistant" is that it is a little bit misleading. In theory, any algorithm can be turned into an ASIC. An ASIC or Application Specific Integrated Circuit is a digital or analog or mixed analog digital circuit that has been cast into Sea of Gates, Semi-Custom, or Full Custom ASIC technology. The cheapest route is Sea of Gates. If one didn't want to do a Sea of Gates ASIC, they could implement an algorithm in a FPGA, or Field Programmable Gate Array. Altera and Xilinx are the dominant players here. In the early days of Bitcoin, there were many FPGA miners, this was a very common way to mine Bitcoin.
Overall, It takes somewhere between USD $50,000 to $1,000,000 to make an ASIC. It's an expensive process. There is a tremendous amount of engineering, where the circuit is designed in System Verilog, Verilog or VHDL, and very extensive testbenches to make sure that the when the chip is made it works the first time. Engineers prototype ASICs in FPGA's, and the development boards for ASIC emulation can cost $20k or more just in themselves. Then the design goes to a foundry where the chip is made, and that will be expensive, $50k to $500k. So there has to be motivation to make an ASIC, such as high volume chip sales. For Sea of Gates technology, a rule of thumb is that there is typically a break even point when a company sells 1,000 to 2,000 chips a year that has been made into an ASIC. That is because Sea of Gates is about a $100k process.
The ASIC Resistance of Vertcoin is not technology related, i.e. the algorithm that is currently being used could be made into an ASIC. What makes Vertcoin ASIC resistance is the commitment of the team to change the algorithm if someone does make an ASIC to mine Vertcoin. This is what gives Vertcoin it's value position. I really appreciate that! This is a de-facto way to limit the power of miners, in one simple swipe.
How wants to deal with this Bitcoin forking situation anymore? At this point, with the upcoming fork, it seems more and more unnecessary. I see Bitcoin as a storage of value layer, and other coins such as VTC and LTC as transaction layer coins.
To me what gives VTC value is the intention of the community AND the consequent action of it.
submitted by TeslaCrytpo to vertcoin [link] [comments]

The Problem with PoW


Miners have always had it rough..
"Frustrated Miners"


The Problem with PoW
(and what is being done to solve it)

Proof of Work (PoW) is one of the most commonly used consensus mechanisms entrusted to secure and validate many of today’s most successful cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin being one. Battle-hardened and having weathered the test of time, Bitcoin has demonstrated the undeniable strength and reliability of the PoW consensus model through sheer market saturation, and of course, its persistency.
In addition to the cost of powerful computing hardware, miners prove that they are benefiting the network by expending energy in the form of electricity, by solving and hashing away complex math problems on their computers, utilizing any suitable tools that they have at their disposal. The mathematics involved in securing proof of work revolve around unique algorithms, each with their own benefits and vulnerabilities, and can require different software/hardware to mine depending on the coin.
Because each block has a unique and entirely random hash, or “puzzle” to solve, the “work” has to be performed for each block individually and the difficulty of the problem can be increased as the speed at which blocks are solved increases.
Hashrates and Hardware Types
While proof of work is an effective means of securing a blockchain, it inherently promotes competition amongst miners seeking higher and higher hashrates due to the rewards earned by the node who wins the right to add the next block. In turn, these higher hash rates benefit the blockchain, providing better security when it’s a result of a well distributed/decentralized network of miners.
When Bitcoin first launched its genesis block, it was mined exclusively by CPUs. Over the years, various programmers and developers have devised newer, faster, and more energy efficient ways to generate higher hashrates; some by perfecting the software end of things, and others, when the incentives are great enough, create expensive specialized hardware such as ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit). With the express purpose of extracting every last bit of hashing power, efficiency being paramount, ASICs are stripped down, bare minimum, hardware representations of a specific coin’s algorithm.
This gives ASICS a massive advantage in terms of raw hashing power and also in terms of energy consumption against CPUs/GPUs, but with significant drawbacks of being very expensive to design/manufacture, translating to a high economic barrier for the casual miner. Due to the fact that they are virtual hardware representations of a single targeted algorithm, this means that if a project decides to fork and change algorithms suddenly, your powerful brand-new ASIC becomes a very expensive paperweight. The high costs in developing and manufacturing ASICs and the associated risks involved, make them unfit for mass adoption at this time.
Somewhere on the high end, in the vast hashrate expanse created between GPU and ASIC, sits the FPGA (field programmable gate array). FPGAs are basically ASICs that make some compromises with efficiency in order to have more flexibility, namely they are reprogrammable and often used in the “field” to test an algorithm before implementing it in an ASIC. As a precursor to the ASIC, FPGAs are somewhat similar to GPUs in their flexibility, but require advanced programming skills and, like ASICs, are expensive and still fairly uncommon.
2 Guys 1 ASIC
One of the issues with proof of work incentivizing the pursuit of higher hashrates is in how the network calculates block reward coinbase payouts and rewards miners based on the work that they have submitted. If a coin generated, say a block a minute, and this is a constant, then what happens if more miners jump on a network and do more work? The network cannot pay out more than 1 block reward per 1 minute, and so a difficulty mechanism is used to maintain balance. The difficulty will scale up and down in response to the overall nethash, so if many miners join the network, or extremely high hashing devices such as ASICs or FPGAs jump on, the network will respond accordingly, using the difficulty mechanism to make the problems harder, effectively giving an edge to hardware that can solve them faster, balancing the network. This not only maintains the block a minute reward but it has the added side-effect of energy requirements that scale up with network adoption.
Imagine, for example, if one miner gets on a network all alone with a CPU doing 50 MH/s and is getting all 100 coins that can possibly be paid out in a day. Then, if another miner jumps on the network with the same CPU, each miner would receive 50 coins in a day instead of 100 since they are splitting the required work evenly, despite the fact that the net electrical output has doubled along with the work. Electricity costs miner’s money and is a factor in driving up coin price along with adoption, and since more people are now mining, the coin is less centralized. Now let’s say a large corporation has found it profitable to manufacture an ASIC for this coin, knowing they will make their money back mining it or selling the units to professionals. They join the network doing 900 MH/s and will be pulling in 90 coins a day, while the two guys with their CPUs each get 5 now. Those two guys aren’t very happy, but the corporation is. Not only does this negatively affect the miners, it compromises the security of the entire network by centralizing the coin supply and hashrate, opening the doors to double spends and 51% attacks from potential malicious actors. Uncertainty of motives and questionable validity in a distributed ledger do not mix.
When technology advances in a field, it is usually applauded and welcomed with open arms, but in the world of crypto things can work quite differently. One of the glaring flaws in the current model and the advent of specialized hardware is that it’s never ending. Suppose the two men from the rather extreme example above took out a loan to get themselves that ASIC they heard about that can get them 90 coins a day? When they join the other ASIC on the network, the difficulty adjusts to keep daily payouts consistent at 100, and they will each receive only 33 coins instead of 90 since the reward is now being split three ways. Now what happens if a better ASIC is released by that corporation? Hopefully, those two guys were able to pay off their loans and sell their old ASICs before they became obsolete.
This system, as it stands now, only perpetuates a never ending hashrate arms race in which the weapons of choice are usually a combination of efficiency, economics, profitability and in some cases control.
Implications of Centralization
This brings us to another big concern with expensive specialized hardware: the risk of centralization. Because they are so expensive and inaccessible to the casual miner, ASICs and FPGAs predominantly remain limited to a select few. Centralization occurs when one small group or a single entity controls the vast majority hash power and, as a result, coin supply and is able to exert its influence to manipulate the market or in some cases, the network itself (usually the case of dishonest nodes or bad actors).
This is entirely antithetical of what cryptocurrency was born of, and since its inception many concerted efforts have been made to avoid centralization at all costs. An entity in control of a centralized coin would have the power to manipulate the price, and having a centralized hashrate would enable them to affect network usability, reliability, and even perform double spends leading to the demise of a coin, among other things.
The world of crypto is a strange new place, with rapidly growing advancements across many fields, economies, and boarders, leaving plenty of room for improvement; while it may feel like a never-ending game of catch up, there are many talented developers and programmers working around the clock to bring us all more sustainable solutions.
The Rise of FPGAs
With the recent implementation of the commonly used coding language C++, and due to their overall flexibility, FPGAs are becoming somewhat more common, especially in larger farms and in industrial setting; but they still remain primarily out of the hands of most mining enthusiasts and almost unheard of to the average hobby miner. Things appear to be changing though, one example of which I’ll discuss below, and it is thought by some, that soon we will see a day when mining with a CPU or GPU just won’t cut it any longer, and the market will be dominated by FPGAs and specialized ASICs, bringing with them efficiency gains for proof of work, while also carelessly leading us all towards the next round of spending.
A perfect real-world example of the effect specialized hardware has had on the crypto-community was recently discovered involving a fairly new project called VerusCoin and a fairly new, relatively more economically accessible FPGA. The FPGA is designed to target specific alt-coins whose algo’s do not require RAM overhead. It was discovered the company had released a new algorithm, kept secret from the public, which could effectively mine Verus at 20x the speed of GPUs, which were the next fastest hardware types mining on the Verus network.
Unfortunately this was done with a deliberately secret approach, calling the Verus algorithm “Algo1” and encouraging owners of the FPGA to never speak of the algorithm in public channels, admonishing a user when they did let the cat out of the bag. The problem with this business model is that it is parasitic in nature. In an ecosystem where advancements can benefit the entire crypto community, this sort of secret mining approach also does not support the philosophies set forth by the Bitcoin or subsequent open source and decentralization movements.
Although this was not done in the spirit of open source, it does hint to an important step in hardware innovation where we could see more efficient specialized systems within reach of the casual miner. The FPGA requires unique sets of data called a bitstream in order to be able to recognize each individual coin’s algorithm and mine them. Because it’s reprogrammable, with the support of a strong development team creating such bitstreams, the miner doesn’t end up with a brick if an algorithm changes.
All is not lost thanks to.. um.. Technology?
Shortly after discovering FPGAs on the network, the Verus developers quickly designed, tested, and implemented a new, much more complex and improved algorithm via a fork that enabled Verus to transition smoothly from VerusHash 1.0 to VerusHash 2.0 at block 310,000. Since the fork, VerusHash 2.0 has demonstrated doing exactly what it was designed for- equalizing hardware performance relative to the device being used while enabling CPUs (the most widely available “ASICs”) to mine side by side with GPUs, at a profit and it appears this will also apply to other specialized hardware. This is something no other project has been able to do until now. Rather than pursue the folly of so many other projects before it- attempting to be “ASIC proof”, Verus effectively achieved and presents to the world an entirely new model of “hardware homogeny”. As the late, great, Bruce Lee once said- “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.”
In the design of VerusHash 2.0, Verus has shown it doesn’t resist progress like so many other new algorithms try to do, it embraces change and adapts to it in the way that water becomes whatever vessel it inhabits. This new approach- an industry first- could very well become an industry standard and in doing so, would usher in a new age for proof of work based coins. VerusHash 2.0 has the potential to correct the single largest design flaw in the proof of work consensus mechanism- the ever expanding monetary and energy requirements that have plagued PoW based projects since the inception of the consensus mechanism. Verus also solves another major issue of coin and net hash centralization by enabling legitimate CPU mining, offering greater coin and hashrate distribution.
Digging a bit deeper it turns out the Verus development team are no rookies. The lead developer Michael F Toutonghi has spent decades in the field programming and is a former Vice President and Technical Fellow at Microsoft, recognized founder and architect of Microsoft's .Net platform, ex-Technical Fellow of Microsoft's advertising platform, ex-CTO, Parallels Corporation, and an experienced distributed computing and machine learning architect. The project he helped create employs and makes use of a diverse myriad of technologies and security features to form one of the most advanced and secure cryptocurrency to date. A brief description of what makes VerusCoin special quoted from a community member-
"Verus has a unique and new consensus algorithm called Proof of Power which is a 50% PoW/50% PoS algorithm that solves theoretical weaknesses in other PoS systems (Nothing at Stake problem for example) and is provably immune to 51% hash attacks. With this, Verus uses the new hash algorithm, VerusHash 2.0. VerusHash 2.0 is designed to better equalize mining across all hardware platforms, while favoring the latest CPUs over older types, which is also one defense against the centralizing potential of botnets. Unlike past efforts to equalize hardware hash-rates across different hardware types, VerusHash 2.0 explicitly enables CPUs to gain even more power relative to GPUs and FPGAs, enabling the most decentralizing hardware, CPUs (due to their virtually complete market penetration), to stay relevant as miners for the indefinite future. As for anonymity, Verus is not a "forced private", allowing for both transparent and shielded (private) transactions...and private messages as well"
If other projects can learn from this and adopt a similar approach or continue to innovate with new ideas, it could mean an end to all the doom and gloom predictions that CPU and GPU mining are dead, offering a much needed reprieve and an alternative to miners who have been faced with the difficult decision of either pulling the plug and shutting down shop or breaking down their rigs to sell off parts and buy new, more expensive hardware…and in so doing present an overall unprecedented level of decentralization not yet seen in cryptocurrency.
Technological advancements led us to the world of secure digital currencies and the progress being made with hardware efficiencies is indisputably beneficial to us all. ASICs and FPGAs aren’t inherently bad, and there are ways in which they could be made more affordable and available for mass distribution. More than anything, it is important that we work together as communities to find solutions that can benefit us all for the long term.
In an ever changing world where it may be easy to lose sight of the real accomplishments that brought us to this point one thing is certain, cryptocurrency is here to stay and the projects that are doing something to solve the current problems in the proof of work consensus mechanism will be the ones that lead us toward our collective vision of a better world- not just for the world of crypto but for each and every one of us.
submitted by Godballz to EtherMining [link] [comments]

A cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a digital asset

Blockchain

Main article: Blockchain
The validity of each cryptocurrency's coins is provided by a blockchain. A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records), called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography.[23][26] Each block typically contains a hash pointer as a link to a previous block,[26] a timestamp and transaction data.[27] By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. It is "an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way".[28] For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires collusion of the network majority.
Blockchains are secure by design and are an example of a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault tolerance. Decentralized consensus has therefore been achieved with a blockchain.[29] Blockchains solve the double-spendingproblem without the need of a trusted authority or central server), assuming no 51% attack (that has worked against several cryptocurrencies).

Timestamping

Cryptocurrencies use various timestamping schemes to "prove" the validity of transactions added to the blockchain ledger without the need for a trusted third party.
The first timestamping scheme invented was the proof-of-work scheme. The most widely used proof-of-work schemes are based on SHA-256 and scrypt.[16]
Some other hashing algorithms that are used for proof-of-work include CryptoNight, Blake), SHA-3, and X11#X11).
The proof-of-stake is a method of securing a cryptocurrency network and achieving distributed consensus through requesting users to show ownership of a certain amount of currency. It is different from proof-of-work systems that run difficult hashing algorithms to validate electronic transactions. The scheme is largely dependent on the coin, and there's currently no standard form of it. Some cryptocurrencies use a combined proof-of-work/proof-of-stake scheme.[16]

Mining

📷Hashcoin mine
In cryptocurrency networks, mining is a validation of transactions. For this effort, successful miners obtain new cryptocurrency as a reward. The reward decreases transaction fees by creating a complementary incentive to contribute to the processing power of the network. The rate of generating hashes, which validate any transaction, has been increased by the use of specialized machines such as FPGAs and ASICs running complex hashing algorithms like SHA-256 and Scrypt.[30] This arms race for cheaper-yet-efficient machines has been on since the day the first cryptocurrency, bitcoin, was introduced in 2009.[30] With more people venturing into the world of virtual currency, generating hashes for this validation has become far more complex over the years, with miners having to invest large sums of money on employing multiple high performance ASICs. Thus the value of the currency obtained for finding a hash often does not justify the amount of money spent on setting up the machines, the cooling facilities to overcome the enormous amount of heat they produce, and the electricity required to run them.[30][31]
Some miners pool resources, sharing their processing power over a network to split the reward equally, according to the amount of work they contributed to the probability of finding a block). A "share" is awarded to members of the mining pool who present a valid partial proof-of-work.
As of February 2018, the Chinese Government halted trading of virtual currency, banned initial coin offerings and shut down mining. Some Chinese miners have since relocated to Canada.[32] One company is operating data centers for mining operations at Canadian oil and gas field sites, due to low gas prices.[33] In June 2018, Hydro Quebec proposed to the provincial government to allocate 500 MW to crypto companies for mining.[34] According to a February 2018 report from Fortune,[35] Iceland has become a haven for cryptocurrency miners in part because of its cheap electricity. Prices are contained because nearly all of the country's energy comes from renewable sources, prompting more mining companies to consider opening operations in Iceland.[citation needed]
In March 2018, a town in Upstate New York put an 18-month moratorium on all cryptocurrency mining in an effort to preserve natural resources and the "character and direction" of the city.[36]

GPU price rise

An increase in cryptocurrency mining increased the demand of graphics cards (GPU) in 2017.[37] Popular favorites of cryptocurrency miners such as Nvidia's GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 graphics cards, as well as AMD's RX 570 and RX 580 GPUs, doubled or tripled in price – or were out of stock.[38] A GTX 1070 Ti which was released at a price of $450 sold for as much as $1100. Another popular card GTX 1060's 6 GB model was released at an MSRP of $250, sold for almost $500. RX 570 and RX 580 cards from AMD were out of stock for almost a year. Miners regularly buy up the entire stock of new GPU's as soon as they are available.[39]
Nvidia has asked retailers to do what they can when it comes to selling GPUs to gamers instead of miners. "Gamers come first for Nvidia," said Boris Böhles, PR manager for Nvidia in the German region.[40]

Wallets

📷An example paper printable bitcoin wallet consisting of one bitcoin address for receiving and the corresponding private key for spendingMain article: Cryptocurrency wallet
A cryptocurrency wallet stores the public and private "keys" or "addresses" which can be used to receive or spend the cryptocurrency. With the private key, it is possible to write in the public ledger, effectively spending the associated cryptocurrency. With the public key, it is possible for others to send currency to the wallet.

Anonymity

Bitcoin is pseudonymous rather than anonymous in that the cryptocurrency within a wallet is not tied to people, but rather to one or more specific keys (or "addresses").[41] Thereby, bitcoin owners are not identifiable, but all transactions are publicly available in the blockchain. Still, cryptocurrency exchanges are often required by law to collect the personal information of their users.
Additions such as Zerocoin, Zerocash and CryptoNote have been suggested, which would allow for additional anonymity and fungibility.[42][43]
submitted by TheResearcher012 to GreatLifePostsGoTeam [link] [comments]

The Problem with PoW

The Problem with PoW

Miners have always had it rough..
"Frustrated Miners"


The Problem with PoW
(and what is being done to solve it)

Proof of Work (PoW) is one of the most commonly used consensus mechanisms entrusted to secure and validate many of today’s most successful cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin being one. Battle-hardened and having weathered the test of time, Bitcoin has demonstrated the undeniable strength and reliability of the PoW consensus model through sheer market saturation, and of course, its persistency.
In addition to the cost of powerful computing hardware, miners prove that they are benefiting the network by expending energy in the form of electricity, by solving and hashing away complex math problems on their computers, utilizing any suitable tools that they have at their disposal. The mathematics involved in securing proof of work revolve around unique algorithms, each with their own benefits and vulnerabilities, and can require different software/hardware to mine depending on the coin.
Because each block has a unique and entirely random hash, or “puzzle” to solve, the “work” has to be performed for each block individually and the difficulty of the problem can be increased as the speed at which blocks are solved increases.
Hashrates and Hardware Types
While proof of work is an effective means of securing a blockchain, it inherently promotes competition amongst miners seeking higher and higher hashrates due to the rewards earned by the node who wins the right to add the next block. In turn, these higher hash rates benefit the blockchain, providing better security when it’s a result of a well distributed/decentralized network of miners.
When Bitcoin first launched its genesis block, it was mined exclusively by CPUs. Over the years, various programmers and developers have devised newer, faster, and more energy efficient ways to generate higher hashrates; some by perfecting the software end of things, and others, when the incentives are great enough, create expensive specialized hardware such as ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit). With the express purpose of extracting every last bit of hashing power, efficiency being paramount, ASICs are stripped down, bare minimum, hardware representations of a specific coin’s algorithm.
This gives ASICS a massive advantage in terms of raw hashing power and also in terms of energy consumption against CPUs/GPUs, but with significant drawbacks of being very expensive to design/manufacture, translating to a high economic barrier for the casual miner. Due to the fact that they are virtual hardware representations of a single targeted algorithm, this means that if a project decides to fork and change algorithms suddenly, your powerful brand-new ASIC becomes a very expensive paperweight. The high costs in developing and manufacturing ASICs and the associated risks involved, make them unfit for mass adoption at this time.
Somewhere on the high end, in the vast hashrate expanse created between GPU and ASIC, sits the FPGA (field programmable gate array). FPGAs are basically ASICs that make some compromises with efficiency in order to have more flexibility, namely they are reprogrammable and often used in the “field” to test an algorithm before implementing it in an ASIC. As a precursor to the ASIC, FPGAs are somewhat similar to GPUs in their flexibility, but require advanced programming skills and, like ASICs, are expensive and still fairly uncommon.
2 Guys 1 ASIC
One of the issues with proof of work incentivizing the pursuit of higher hashrates is in how the network calculates block reward coinbase payouts and rewards miners based on the work that they have submitted. If a coin generated, say a block a minute, and this is a constant, then what happens if more miners jump on a network and do more work? The network cannot pay out more than 1 block reward per 1 minute, and so a difficulty mechanism is used to maintain balance. The difficulty will scale up and down in response to the overall nethash, so if many miners join the network, or extremely high hashing devices such as ASICs or FPGAs jump on, the network will respond accordingly, using the difficulty mechanism to make the problems harder, effectively giving an edge to hardware that can solve them faster, balancing the network. This not only maintains the block a minute reward but it has the added side-effect of energy requirements that scale up with network adoption.
Imagine, for example, if one miner gets on a network all alone with a CPU doing 50 MH/s and is getting all 100 coins that can possibly be paid out in a day. Then, if another miner jumps on the network with the same CPU, each miner would receive 50 coins in a day instead of 100 since they are splitting the required work evenly, despite the fact that the net electrical output has doubled along with the work. Electricity costs miner’s money and is a factor in driving up coin price along with adoption, and since more people are now mining, the coin is less centralized. Now let’s say a large corporation has found it profitable to manufacture an ASIC for this coin, knowing they will make their money back mining it or selling the units to professionals. They join the network doing 900 MH/s and will be pulling in 90 coins a day, while the two guys with their CPUs each get 5 now. Those two guys aren’t very happy, but the corporation is. Not only does this negatively affect the miners, it compromises the security of the entire network by centralizing the coin supply and hashrate, opening the doors to double spends and 51% attacks from potential malicious actors. Uncertainty of motives and questionable validity in a distributed ledger do not mix.
When technology advances in a field, it is usually applauded and welcomed with open arms, but in the world of crypto things can work quite differently. One of the glaring flaws in the current model and the advent of specialized hardware is that it’s never ending. Suppose the two men from the rather extreme example above took out a loan to get themselves that ASIC they heard about that can get them 90 coins a day? When they join the other ASIC on the network, the difficulty adjusts to keep daily payouts consistent at 100, and they will each receive only 33 coins instead of 90 since the reward is now being split three ways. Now what happens if a better ASIC is released by that corporation? Hopefully, those two guys were able to pay off their loans and sell their old ASICs before they became obsolete.
This system, as it stands now, only perpetuates a never ending hashrate arms race in which the weapons of choice are usually a combination of efficiency, economics, profitability and in some cases control.
Implications of Centralization
This brings us to another big concern with expensive specialized hardware: the risk of centralization. Because they are so expensive and inaccessible to the casual miner, ASICs and FPGAs predominantly remain limited to a select few. Centralization occurs when one small group or a single entity controls the vast majority hash power and, as a result, coin supply and is able to exert its influence to manipulate the market or in some cases, the network itself (usually the case of dishonest nodes or bad actors).
This is entirely antithetical of what cryptocurrency was born of, and since its inception many concerted efforts have been made to avoid centralization at all costs. An entity in control of a centralized coin would have the power to manipulate the price, and having a centralized hashrate would enable them to affect network usability, reliability, and even perform double spends leading to the demise of a coin, among other things.
The world of crypto is a strange new place, with rapidly growing advancements across many fields, economies, and boarders, leaving plenty of room for improvement; while it may feel like a never-ending game of catch up, there are many talented developers and programmers working around the clock to bring us all more sustainable solutions.
The Rise of FPGAs
With the recent implementation of the commonly used coding language C++, and due to their overall flexibility, FPGAs are becoming somewhat more common, especially in larger farms and in industrial setting; but they still remain primarily out of the hands of most mining enthusiasts and almost unheard of to the average hobby miner. Things appear to be changing though, one example of which I’ll discuss below, and it is thought by some, that soon we will see a day when mining with a CPU or GPU just won’t cut it any longer, and the market will be dominated by FPGAs and specialized ASICs, bringing with them efficiency gains for proof of work, while also carelessly leading us all towards the next round of spending.
A perfect real-world example of the effect specialized hardware has had on the crypto-community was recently discovered involving a fairly new project called VerusCoin and a fairly new, relatively more economically accessible FPGA. The FPGA is designed to target specific alt-coins whose algo’s do not require RAM overhead. It was discovered the company had released a new algorithm, kept secret from the public, which could effectively mine Verus at 20x the speed of GPUs, which were the next fastest hardware types mining on the Verus network.
Unfortunately this was done with a deliberately secret approach, calling the Verus algorithm “Algo1” and encouraging owners of the FPGA to never speak of the algorithm in public channels, admonishing a user when they did let the cat out of the bag. The problem with this business model is that it is parasitic in nature. In an ecosystem where advancements can benefit the entire crypto community, this sort of secret mining approach also does not support the philosophies set forth by the Bitcoin or subsequent open source and decentralization movements.
Although this was not done in the spirit of open source, it does hint to an important step in hardware innovation where we could see more efficient specialized systems within reach of the casual miner. The FPGA requires unique sets of data called a bitstream in order to be able to recognize each individual coin’s algorithm and mine them. Because it’s reprogrammable, with the support of a strong development team creating such bitstreams, the miner doesn’t end up with a brick if an algorithm changes.
All is not lost thanks to.. um.. Technology?
Shortly after discovering FPGAs on the network, the Verus developers quickly designed, tested, and implemented a new, much more complex and improved algorithm via a fork that enabled Verus to transition smoothly from VerusHash 1.0 to VerusHash 2.0 at block 310,000. Since the fork, VerusHash 2.0 has demonstrated doing exactly what it was designed for- equalizing hardware performance relative to the device being used while enabling CPUs (the most widely available “ASICs”) to mine side by side with GPUs, at a profit and it appears this will also apply to other specialized hardware. This is something no other project has been able to do until now. Rather than pursue the folly of so many other projects before it- attempting to be “ASIC proof”, Verus effectively achieved and presents to the world an entirely new model of “hardware homogeny”. As the late, great, Bruce Lee once said- “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.”
In the design of VerusHash 2.0, Verus has shown it doesn’t resist progress like so many other new algorithms try to do, it embraces change and adapts to it in the way that water becomes whatever vessel it inhabits. This new approach- an industry first- could very well become an industry standard and in doing so, would usher in a new age for proof of work based coins. VerusHash 2.0 has the potential to correct the single largest design flaw in the proof of work consensus mechanism- the ever expanding monetary and energy requirements that have plagued PoW based projects since the inception of the consensus mechanism. Verus also solves another major issue of coin and net hash centralization by enabling legitimate CPU mining, offering greater coin and hashrate distribution.
Digging a bit deeper it turns out the Verus development team are no rookies. The lead developer Michael F Toutonghi has spent decades in the field programming and is a former Vice President and Technical Fellow at Microsoft, recognized founder and architect of Microsoft's .Net platform, ex-Technical Fellow of Microsoft's advertising platform, ex-CTO, Parallels Corporation, and an experienced distributed computing and machine learning architect. The project he helped create employs and makes use of a diverse myriad of technologies and security features to form one of the most advanced and secure cryptocurrency to date. A brief description of what makes VerusCoin special quoted from a community member-
"Verus has a unique and new consensus algorithm called Proof of Power which is a 50% PoW/50% PoS algorithm that solves theoretical weaknesses in other PoS systems (Nothing at Stake problem for example) and is provably immune to 51% hash attacks. With this, Verus uses the new hash algorithm, VerusHash 2.0. VerusHash 2.0 is designed to better equalize mining across all hardware platforms, while favoring the latest CPUs over older types, which is also one defense against the centralizing potential of botnets. Unlike past efforts to equalize hardware hash-rates across different hardware types, VerusHash 2.0 explicitly enables CPUs to gain even more power relative to GPUs and FPGAs, enabling the most decentralizing hardware, CPUs (due to their virtually complete market penetration), to stay relevant as miners for the indefinite future. As for anonymity, Verus is not a "forced private", allowing for both transparent and shielded (private) transactions...and private messages as well"
If other projects can learn from this and adopt a similar approach or continue to innovate with new ideas, it could mean an end to all the doom and gloom predictions that CPU and GPU mining are dead, offering a much needed reprieve and an alternative to miners who have been faced with the difficult decision of either pulling the plug and shutting down shop or breaking down their rigs to sell off parts and buy new, more expensive hardware…and in so doing present an overall unprecedented level of decentralization not yet seen in cryptocurrency.
Technological advancements led us to the world of secure digital currencies and the progress being made with hardware efficiencies is indisputably beneficial to us all. ASICs and FPGAs aren’t inherently bad, and there are ways in which they could be made more affordable and available for mass distribution. More than anything, it is important that we work together as communities to find solutions that can benefit us all for the long term.
In an ever changing world where it may be easy to lose sight of the real accomplishments that brought us to this point one thing is certain, cryptocurrency is here to stay and the projects that are doing something to solve the current problems in the proof of work consensus mechanism will be the ones that lead us toward our collective vision of a better world- not just for the world of crypto but for each and every one of us.
submitted by Godballz to gpumining [link] [comments]

The Problem with PoW

"Frustrated Miners"

The Problem with PoW
(and what is being done to solve it)

Proof of Work (PoW) is one of the most commonly used consensus mechanisms entrusted to secure and validate many of today’s most successful cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin being one. Battle-hardened and having weathered the test of time, Bitcoin has demonstrated the undeniable strength and reliability of the PoW consensus model through sheer market saturation, and of course, its persistency.
In addition to the cost of powerful computing hardware, miners prove that they are benefiting the network by expending energy in the form of electricity, by solving and hashing away complex math problems on their computers, utilizing any suitable tools that they have at their disposal. The mathematics involved in securing proof of work revolve around unique algorithms, each with their own benefits and vulnerabilities, and can require different software/hardware to mine depending on the coin.
Because each block has a unique and entirely random hash, or “puzzle” to solve, the “work” has to be performed for each block individually and the difficulty of the problem can be increased as the speed at which blocks are solved increases.

Hashrates and Hardware Types

While proof of work is an effective means of securing a blockchain, it inherently promotes competition amongst miners seeking higher and higher hashrates due to the rewards earned by the node who wins the right to add the next block. In turn, these higher hash rates benefit the blockchain, providing better security when it’s a result of a well distributed/decentralized network of miners.
When Bitcoin first launched its genesis block, it was mined exclusively by CPUs. Over the years, various programmers and developers have devised newer, faster, and more energy efficient ways to generate higher hashrates; some by perfecting the software end of things, and others, when the incentives are great enough, create expensive specialized hardware such as ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit). With the express purpose of extracting every last bit of hashing power, efficiency being paramount, ASICs are stripped down, bare minimum, hardware representations of a specific coin’s algorithm.
This gives ASICS a massive advantage in terms of raw hashing power and also in terms of energy consumption against CPUs/GPUs, but with significant drawbacks of being very expensive to design/manufacture, translating to a high economic barrier for the casual miner. Due to the fact that they are virtual hardware representations of a single targeted algorithm, this means that if a project decides to fork and change algorithms suddenly, your powerful brand-new ASIC becomes a very expensive paperweight. The high costs in developing and manufacturing ASICs and the associated risks involved, make them unfit for mass adoption at this time.
Somewhere on the high end, in the vast hashrate expanse created between GPU and ASIC, sits the FPGA (field programmable gate array). FPGAs are basically ASICs that make some compromises with efficiency in order to have more flexibility, namely they are reprogrammable and often used in the “field” to test an algorithm before implementing it in an ASIC. As a precursor to the ASIC, FPGAs are somewhat similar to GPUs in their flexibility, but require advanced programming skills and, like ASICs, are expensive and still fairly uncommon.

2 Guys 1 ASIC

One of the issues with proof of work incentivizing the pursuit of higher hashrates is in how the network calculates block reward coinbase payouts and rewards miners based on the work that they have submitted. If a coin generated, say a block a minute, and this is a constant, then what happens if more miners jump on a network and do more work? The network cannot pay out more than 1 block reward per 1 minute, and so a difficulty mechanism is used to maintain balance. The difficulty will scale up and down in response to the overall nethash, so if many miners join the network, or extremely high hashing devices such as ASICs or FPGAs jump on, the network will respond accordingly, using the difficulty mechanism to make the problems harder, effectively giving an edge to hardware that can solve them faster, balancing the network. This not only maintains the block a minute reward but it has the added side-effect of energy requirements that scale up with network adoption.
Imagine, for example, if one miner gets on a network all alone with a CPU doing 50 MH/s and is getting all 100 coins that can possibly be paid out in a day. Then, if another miner jumps on the network with the same CPU, each miner would receive 50 coins in a day instead of 100 since they are splitting the required work evenly, despite the fact that the net electrical output has doubled along with the work. Electricity costs miner’s money and is a factor in driving up coin price along with adoption, and since more people are now mining, the coin is less centralized. Now let’s say a large corporation has found it profitable to manufacture an ASIC for this coin, knowing they will make their money back mining it or selling the units to professionals. They join the network doing 900 MH/s and will be pulling in 90 coins a day, while the two guys with their CPUs each get 5 now. Those two guys aren’t very happy, but the corporation is. Not only does this negatively affect the miners, it compromises the security of the entire network by centralizing the coin supply and hashrate, opening the doors to double spends and 51% attacks from potential malicious actors. Uncertainty of motives and questionable validity in a distributed ledger do not mix.
When technology advances in a field, it is usually applauded and welcomed with open arms, but in the world of crypto things can work quite differently. One of the glaring flaws in the current model and the advent of specialized hardware is that it’s never ending. Suppose the two men from the rather extreme example above took out a loan to get themselves that ASIC they heard about that can get them 90 coins a day? When they join the other ASIC on the network, the difficulty adjusts to keep daily payouts consistent at 100, and they will each receive only 33 coins instead of 90 since the reward is now being split three ways. Now what happens if a better ASIC is released by that corporation? Hopefully, those two guys were able to pay off their loans and sell their old ASICs before they became obsolete.
This system, as it stands now, only perpetuates a never ending hashrate arms race in which the weapons of choice are usually a combination of efficiency, economics, profitability and in some cases control.

Implications of Centralization

This brings us to another big concern with expensive specialized hardware: the risk of centralization. Because they are so expensive and inaccessible to the casual miner, ASICs and FPGAs predominantly remain limited to a select few. Centralization occurs when one small group or a single entity controls the vast majority hash power and, as a result, coin supply and is able to exert its influence to manipulate the market or in some cases, the network itself (usually the case of dishonest nodes or bad actors).
This is entirely antithetical of what cryptocurrency was born of, and since its inception many concerted efforts have been made to avoid centralization at all costs. An entity in control of a centralized coin would have the power to manipulate the price, and having a centralized hashrate would enable them to affect network usability, reliability, and even perform double spends leading to the demise of a coin, among other things.
The world of crypto is a strange new place, with rapidly growing advancements across many fields, economies, and boarders, leaving plenty of room for improvement; while it may feel like a never-ending game of catch up, there are many talented developers and programmers working around the clock to bring us all more sustainable solutions.

The Rise of FPGAs

With the recent implementation of the commonly used coding language C++, and due to their overall flexibility, FPGAs are becoming somewhat more common, especially in larger farms and in industrial setting; but they still remain primarily out of the hands of most mining enthusiasts and almost unheard of to the average hobby miner. Things appear to be changing though, one example of which I’ll discuss below, and it is thought by some, that soon we will see a day when mining with a CPU or GPU just won’t cut it any longer, and the market will be dominated by FPGAs and specialized ASICs, bringing with them efficiency gains for proof of work, while also carelessly leading us all towards the next round of spending.
A perfect real-world example of the effect specialized hardware has had on the crypto-community was recently discovered involving a fairly new project called Verus Coin (https://veruscoin.io/) and a fairly new, relatively more economically accessible FPGA. The FPGA is designed to target specific alt-coins whose algo’s do not require RAM overhead. It was discovered the company had released a new algorithm, kept secret from the public, which could effectively mine Verus at 20x the speed of GPUs, which were the next fastest hardware types mining on the Verus network.
Unfortunately this was done with a deliberately secret approach, calling the Verus algorithm “Algo1” and encouraging owners of the FPGA to never speak of the algorithm in public channels, admonishing a user when they did let the cat out of the bag. The problem with this business model is that it is parasitic in nature. In an ecosystem where advancements can benefit the entire crypto community, this sort of secret mining approach also does not support the philosophies set forth by the Bitcoin or subsequent open source and decentralization movements.
Although this was not done in the spirit of open source, it does hint to an important step in hardware innovation where we could see more efficient specialized systems within reach of the casual miner. The FPGA requires unique sets of data called a bitstream in order to be able to recognize each individual coin’s algorithm and mine them. Because it’s reprogrammable, with the support of a strong development team creating such bitstreams, the miner doesn’t end up with a brick if an algorithm changes.

All is not lost thanks to.. um.. Technology?

Shortly after discovering FPGAs on the network, the Verus developers quickly designed, tested, and implemented a new, much more complex and improved algorithm via a fork that enabled Verus to transition smoothly from VerusHash 1.0 to VerusHash 2.0 at block 310,000. Since the fork, VerusHash 2.0 has demonstrated doing exactly what it was designed for- equalizing hardware performance relative to the device being used while enabling CPUs (the most widely available “ASICs”) to mine side by side with GPUs, at a profit and it appears this will also apply to other specialized hardware. This is something no other project has been able to do until now. Rather than pursue the folly of so many other projects before it- attempting to be “ASIC proof”, Verus effectively achieved and presents to the world an entirely new model of “hardware homogeny”. As the late, great, Bruce Lee once said- “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.”
In the design of VerusHash 2.0, Verus has shown it doesn’t resist progress like so many other new algorithms try to do, it embraces change and adapts to it in the way that water becomes whatever vessel it inhabits. This new approach- an industry first- could very well become an industry standard and in doing so, would usher in a new age for proof of work based coins. VerusHash 2.0 has the potential to correct the single largest design flaw in the proof of work consensus mechanism- the ever expanding monetary and energy requirements that have plagued PoW based projects since the inception of the consensus mechanism. Verus also solves another major issue of coin and net hash centralization by enabling legitimate CPU mining, offering greater coin and hashrate distribution.
Digging a bit deeper it turns out the Verus development team are no rookies. The lead developer Michael F Toutonghi has spent decades in the field programming and is a former Vice President and Technical Fellow at Microsoft, recognized founder and architect of Microsoft's .Net platform, ex-Technical Fellow of Microsoft's advertising platform, ex-CTO, Parallels Corporation, and an experienced distributed computing and machine learning architect. The project he helped create employs and makes use of a diverse myriad of technologies and security features to form one of the most advanced and secure cryptocurrency to date. A brief description of what makes VerusCoin special quoted from a community member-
"Verus has a unique and new consensus algorithm called Proof of Power which is a 50% PoW/50% PoS algorithm that solves theoretical weaknesses in other PoS systems (Nothing at Stake problem for example) and is provably immune to 51% hash attacks. With this, Verus uses the new hash algorithm, VerusHash 2.0. VerusHash 2.0 is designed to better equalize mining across all hardware platforms, while favoring the latest CPUs over older types, which is also one defense against the centralizing potential of botnets. Unlike past efforts to equalize hardware hash-rates across different hardware types, VerusHash 2.0 explicitly enables CPUs to gain even more power relative to GPUs and FPGAs, enabling the most decentralizing hardware, CPUs (due to their virtually complete market penetration), to stay relevant as miners for the indefinite future. As for anonymity, Verus is not a "forced private", allowing for both transparent and shielded (private) transactions...and private messages as well"

If other projects can learn from this and adopt a similar approach or continue to innovate with new ideas, it could mean an end to all the doom and gloom predictions that CPU and GPU mining are dead, offering a much needed reprieve and an alternative to miners who have been faced with the difficult decision of either pulling the plug and shutting down shop or breaking down their rigs to sell off parts and buy new, more expensive hardware…and in so doing present an overall unprecedented level of decentralization not yet seen in cryptocurrency.
Technological advancements led us to the world of secure digital currencies and the progress being made with hardware efficiencies is indisputably beneficial to us all. ASICs and FPGAs aren’t inherently bad, and there are ways in which they could be made more affordable and available for mass distribution. More than anything, it is important that we work together as communities to find solutions that can benefit us all for the long term.

In an ever changing world where it may be easy to lose sight of the real accomplishments that brought us to this point one thing is certain, cryptocurrency is here to stay and the projects that are doing something to solve the current problems in the proof of work consensus mechanism will be the ones that lead us toward our collective vision of a better world- not just for the world of crypto but for each and every one of us.
submitted by Godballz to CryptoTechnology [link] [comments]

The rise of specialized hardware (particularly FPGAs) and its impact on the mining community

The rise of specialized hardware (particularly FPGAs) and its impact on the mining community

Proof of Work (PoW) is one of the most commonly used consensus mechanisms entrusted to secure and validate many of today’s most successful cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin being one. Battle-hardened and having weathered the test of time, Bitcoin has demonstrated the undeniable strength and reliability of the PoW consensus model through sheer market saturation, and of course, its persistency.

In addition to the cost of powerful computing hardware, miners prove that they are benefiting the network by expending energy in the form of electricity, by solving and hashing away complex math problems on their computers, utilizing any suitable tools that they have at their disposal. The mathematics involved in securing proof of work revolve around unique algorithms, each with their own benefits and vulnerabilities, and can require different software/hardware to mine depending on the coin.

Because each block has a unique and entirely random hash, or “puzzle” to solve, the “work” has to be performed for each block individually and the difficulty of the problem can be increased as the speed at which blocks are solved increases.

Hashrates and Hardware Types
While proof of work is an effective means of securing a blockchain, it inherently promotes competition amongst miners seeking higher and higher hashrates due to the rewards earned by the node who wins the right to add the next block. In turn, these higher hash rates benefit the blockchain, providing better security when it’s a result of a well distributed/decentralized network of miners.

When Bitcoin first launched its genesis block, it was mined exclusively by CPUs. Over the years, various programmers and developers have devised newer, faster, and more energy efficient ways to generate higher hashrates; some by perfecting the software end of things, and others, when the incentives are great enough, create expensive specialized hardware such as ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit). With the express purpose of extracting every last bit of hashing power, efficiency being paramount, ASICs are stripped down, bare minimum, hardware representations of a specific coin’s algorithm.

This gives ASICS a massive advantage in terms of raw hashing power and also in terms of energy consumption against CPUs/GPUs, but with significant drawbacks of being very expensive to design/manufacture, translating to a high economic barrier for the casual miner. Due to the fact that they are virtual hardware representations of a single targeted algorithm, this means that if a project decides to fork and change algorithms suddenly, your powerful brand-new ASIC becomes a very expensive paperweight. The high costs in developing and manufacturing ASICs and the associated risks involved, make them unfit for mass adoption at this time.

Somewhere on the high end, in the vast hashrate expanse created between GPU and ASIC, sits the FPGA (field programmable gate array). FPGAs are basically ASICs that make some compromises with efficiency in order to have more flexibility, namely they are reprogrammable and often used in the “field” to test an algorithm before implementing it in an ASIC. As a precursor to the ASIC, FPGAs are somewhat similar to GPUs in their flexibility, but require advanced programming skills and, like ASICs, are expensive and still fairly uncommon.

The Arms Race of the Geek
One of the issues with proof of work incentivizing the pursuit of higher hashrates is in how the network calculates block reward coinbase payouts and rewards miners based on the work that they have submitted. If a coin generated, say a block a minute, and this is a constant, then what happens if more miners jump on a network and do more work? The network cannot pay out more than 1 block reward per 1 minute, and so a difficulty mechanism is used to maintain balance. The difficulty will scale up and down in response to the overall nethash, so if many miners join the network, or extremely high hashing devices such as ASICs or FPGAs jump on, the network will respond accordingly, using the difficulty mechanism to make the problems harder, effectively giving an edge to hardware that can solve them faster, balancing the network. This not only maintains the block a minute reward but it has the added side-effect of energy requirements that scale up with network adoption.

Imagine, for example, if one miner gets on a network all alone with a CPU doing 50 MH/s and is getting all 100 coins that can possibly be paid out in a day. Then, if another miner jumps on the network with the same CPU, each miner would receive 50 coins in a day instead of 100 since they are splitting the required work evenly, despite the fact that the net electrical output has doubled along with the work. Electricity costs miner’s money and is a factor in driving up coin price along with adoption, and since more people are now mining, the coin is less centralized. Now let’s say a large corporation has found it profitable to manufacture an ASIC for this coin, knowing they will make their money back mining it or selling the units to professionals. They join the network doing 900 MH/s and will be pulling in 90 coins a day, while the two guys with their CPUs each get 5 now. Those two guys aren’t very happy, but the corporation is. Not only does this negatively affect the miners, it compromises the security of the entire network by centralizing the coin supply and hashrate, opening the doors to double spends and 51% attacks from potential malicious actors. Uncertainty of motives and questionable validity in a distributed ledger do not mix.

When technology advances in a field, it is usually applauded and welcomed with open arms, but in the world of crypto things can work quite differently. One of the glaring flaws in the current model and the advent of specialized hardware is that it’s never ending. Suppose the two men from the rather extreme example above took out a loan to get themselves that ASIC they heard about that can get them 90 coins a day? When they join the other ASIC on the network, the difficulty adjusts to keep daily payouts consistent at 100, and they will each receive only 33 coins instead of 90 since the reward is now being split three ways. Now what happens if a better ASIC is released by that corporation? Hopefully, those two guys were able to pay off their loans and sell their old ASICs before they became obsolete.

This system, as it stands now, only perpetuates a never ending hashrate arms race in which the weapons of choice are usually a combination of efficiency, economics, profitability and in some cases control.

Implications of Centralization
This brings us to another big concern with expensive specialized hardware: the risk of centralization. Because they are so expensive and inaccessible to the casual miner, ASICs and FPGAs predominantly remain limited to a select few. Centralization occurs when one small group or a single entity controls the vast majority hash power and, as a result, coin supply and is able to exert its influence to manipulate the market or in some cases, the network itself (usually the case of dishonest nodes or bad actors).

This is entirely antithetical of what cryptocurrency was born of, and since its inception many concerted efforts have been made to avoid centralization at all costs. An entity in control of a centralized coin would have the power to manipulate the price, and having a centralized hashrate would enable them to affect network usability, reliability, and even perform double spends leading to the demise of a coin, among other things.

The world of crypto is a strange new place, with rapidly growing advancements across many fields, economies, and boarders, leaving plenty of room for improvement; while it may feel like a never-ending game of catch up, there are many talented developers and programmers working around the clock to bring us all more sustainable solutions.

The Rise of FPGAs
With the recent implementation of the commonly used coding language C++, and due to their overall flexibility, FPGAs are becoming somewhat more common, especially in larger farms and in industrial setting; but they still remain primarily out of the hands of most mining enthusiasts and almost unheard of to the average hobby miner. Things appear to be changing though, one example of which I’ll discuss below, and it is thought by some, that soon we will see a day when mining with a CPU or GPU just won’t cut it any longer, and the market will be dominated by FPGAs and specialized ASICs, bringing with them efficiency gains for proof of work, while also carelessly leading us all towards the next round of spending.

A real-world example of the effect specialized hardware has had on the crypto-community was recently discovered involving a fairly new project called Verus Coin (https://veruscoin.io/) and a fairly new, relatively more economically accessible FPGA. The FPGA is designed to target specific alt-coins whose algo’s do not require RAM overhead. It was discovered the company had released a new algorithm, kept secret from the public, which could effectively mine Verus at 20x the speed of GPUs, which were the next fastest hardware types mining on the Verus network.

Unfortunately this was done with a deliberately secret approach, calling the Verus algorithm “Algo1” and encouraging owners of the FPGA to never speak of the algorithm in public channels, admonishing a user when they did let the cat out of the bag. The problem with this business model is that it is parasitic in nature. In an ecosystem where advancements can benefit the entire crypto community, this sort of secret mining approach also does not support the philosophies set forth by the Bitcoin or subsequent open source and decentralization movements.

Although this was not done in the spirit of open source, it does hint to an important step in hardware innovation where we could see more efficient specialized systems within reach of the casual miner. The FPGA requires unique sets of data called a bitstream in order to be able to recognize each individual coin’s algorithm and mine them. Because it’s reprogrammable, with the support of a strong development team creating such bitstreams, the miner doesn’t end up with a brick if an algorithm changes.

Inclusive Hardware Equalization, Security, Decentralization
Shortly after discovering FPGAs on the network, the Verus developers quickly designed, tested, and implemented a new, much more complex and improved algorithm via a fork that enabled Verus to transition smoothly from VerusHash 1.0 to VerusHash 2.0 at block 310,000. Since the fork, VerusHash 2.0 has demonstrated doing exactly what it was designed for- equalizing hardware performance relative to the device being used while enabling CPUs (the most widely available “ASICs”) to mine side by side with GPUs, at a profit and it appears this will also apply to other specialized hardware. This is something no other project has been able to do until now. Rather than pursue the folly of so many other projects before it- attempting to be “ASIC proof”, Verus effectively achieved and presents to the world an entirely new model of “hardware homogeny”. As the late, great, Bruce Lee once said- “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.”

In the design of VerusHash 2.0, Verus has shown it doesn’t resist progress like so many other new algorithms try to do, it embraces change and adapts to it in the way that water becomes whatever vessel it inhabits. This new approach- an industry first- could very well become an industry standard and in doing so, would usher in a new age for proof of work based coins. VerusHash 2.0 has the potential to correct the single largest design flaw in the proof of work consensus mechanism- the ever expanding monetary and energy requirements that have plagued PoW based projects since the inception of the consensus mechanism. Verus also solves another major issue of coin and net hash centralization by enabling legitimate CPU mining, offering greater coin and hashrate distribution.

If other projects adopt Verus’ new algorithm- VerusHash 2.0, it could mean an end to all the doom and gloom predictions that CPU and GPU mining are dead, offering a much needed reprieve and an alternative to miners who have been faced with the difficult decision of either pulling the plug and shutting down shop or breaking down their rigs to sell off parts and buy new, more expensive hardware…and in so doing presents an overall unprecedented level of decentralization not seen in cryptocurrency.

Technological advancements led us to the world of secure digital currencies and the progress being made with hardware efficiencies is indisputably beneficial to us all. ASICs and FPGAs aren’t inherently bad, and there are ways in which they could be made more affordable and available for mass distribution. More than anything, it is important that we work together as communities to find solutions that can benefit us all for the long term.

In an ever changing world where it may be easy to lose sight of the real accomplishments that brought us to this point one thing is certain, VerusHash 2.0 is a shining beacon of hope and a lasting testament to the project’s unwavering dedication to it’s vision of a better world- not just for the world of crypto but for each and every one of us.
submitted by Godballz to CryptoTechnology [link] [comments]

Anyone bullish on XLNX?

There's a pretty interesting debate in the AI space right now on whether FPGAs or ASICs are the way to go for hardware-accelerated AI in production. To summarize, it's more about how to operationalize AI - how to use already trained models with millions of parameters to get real-time predictions, like in video analysis or complex time series models based on deep neural networks. Training those AI models still seems to favor GPUs for now.
Google seem to be betting big on ASICs with their TPU. On the other hand, Microsoft and Amazon seem to favor FPGAs. In fact Microsoft have recently partnered with Xilinx to add FPGA co-processors on half of their servers (they were previously only using Intel's Altera).
The FPGA is the more flexible piece of hardware but it is less efficient than an ASIC, and have been notoriously hard to program against (though things are improving). There's also a nice article out there summarizing the classical FPGA conundrum: they're great for designing and prototyping but as soon as your architecture stabilizes and you're looking to ramp up production, taking the time to do an ASIC will more often be the better investment.
So the question (for me) is where AI inference will be in that regard. I'm sure Google's projects are large scale enough that an ASIC makes sense, but not everyone is Google. And there is so much research being done in the AI space right now and everyone's putting out so many promising new ideas that being more flexible might carry an advantage. Google have already put out three versions of their TPUs in the space of two years
Which brings me back to Xilinx. They have a promising platform for AI acceleration both in the datacenter and embedded devices which was launched two months ago. If it catches on it's gonna give them a nice boost for the next couple of years. If it doesn't, they still have traditional Industrial, Aerospace & Defense workloads to fall back on...
Another wrinkle is their SoCs are being used in crypto mining ASICs like Antminer, so you never know how that demand is gonna go. As the value of BTC continues to sink there is constant demand for more efficient mining hardware, and I do think cryptocurrencies are here to stay. While NVDA has fallen off a cliff recently due to excess GPU inventory, XLNX has kept steady.

XLNX TTM P/E is 28.98
Semiconductors - Programmable Logic industry's TTM P/E is 26.48

Thoughts?
submitted by neaorin to StockMarket [link] [comments]

QuarkChain Testnet 2.0 Mining.

QuarkChain Testnet 1.0 was built based on standardized blockchain system requirements, which included network, wallet, browser, and virtual machine functionalities. Other than the fact that the token was a test currency, the environment was completely compatible with the main network. By enhancing the communication efficiency and security of the network, Testnet 2.0 further improves the openness of the network. In addition, Testnet 2.0 will allow community members (other than citizens or residents of the United States) to contribute directly to the network, i.e. running a full node and mining, and receive testnet tokens as rewards.
QuarkChain Testnet 2.0 will support multiple mining algorithms, including two typical algorithms: Ethash and Double SHA256, as well as QuarkChain’s unique algorithm called Qkchash – a customized ASIC-resistant, CPU mining algorithm, exclusively developed by QuarkChain. Mining is available both on the root chain and on shards due to QuarkChain’s two-layered blockchain structure. Miners can flexibly choose to mine on the root chain with higher computing power requirements or on shards based on their own computing power levels. Our Goal By allowing community members to participate in mining on Testnet 2.0, our goal is to enhance QuarkChain’s community consensus, encourage community members to participate in testing and building the QuarkChain network, and gain first-hand experience of QuarkChain’s high flexibility and usability. During this time, we hope that the community can develop a better understanding about our mining algorithms, sharding technologies, and governance structures, etc. Furthermore, this will be a more thorough challenge to QuarkChain’s design before the launch of mainnet! Thus, we sincerely invite you to join the Testnet 2.0 mining event and build QuarkChain’s infrastructure together!
Today, we’re pleased to announce that we are officially providing the CPU mining demo to the public (other than citizens and residents of the United States)! Everyone can participate in our mining event, and earn tQKC, which can be exchanged to real rewards by non-U.S. persons after the launch of our mainnet. Also, we expect to upgrade our testnet over time, and expect to allow GPU mining for Ethash, and ASIC mining for Double SHA256 in the future. In addition, in the near future, a mining pool that is compatible with all mining algorithms of QuarkChain is also expected to be supported.
We hope all the community members can join in with us, and work together to complete this milestone! 2 Introduction to Mining Algorithms 2.1 What is mining? Mining is the process of generating the new blocks, in which the records of current transactions are added to the record of past transactions. Miners use software that contribute their mining power to participate in the maintenance of a blockchain. In return, they obtain a certain amount of QKC per block, which is called coinbase reward. Like many other blockchain technologies, QuarkChain adopts the most widely used Proof of Work (PoW) consensus algorithm to secure the network.
A cryptographically-secure PoW is a costly and time-consuming process which is difficult to solve due to computation-intensity or memory intensity but easy for others to verify. For a block to be valid it must satisfy certain requirements and hash to a value less than the current target threshold. Reverting a block requires recreating all successor blocks and redoing the work they contain, which is costly.
By running a cluster, everyone can become a miner and participate in the mining process. The mining rewards are proportional to the number of blocks mined by each individual.
2.2 Introduction to QuarkChain Algorithms and Mining setup According to QuarkChain’s two-layered blockchain structure and Boson consensus, different shards can apply different consensus and mining algorithms. As part of the Boson consensus, each shard can adjust the difficulty dynamically to increase or decrease the hash power of each shard chain.
In order to fully test QuarkChain testnet 2.0, we adopt three different types of mining algorithms” Ethash, Double SHA256, and Qkchash, which is ASIC resistant and exclusively developed by QuarkChain founder Qi Zhou. These first two hash algorithms correspond to the mining algorithms dominantly conducted on the graphics processing unit (GPU) and application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC), respectively.
I. Ethash Ethash is the PoW mining algorithm for Ethereum. It is the latest version of earlier Dagger-Hashimoto. Ethash is memory intensive, which makes it require large amounts of memory space in the process of mining. The efficiency of mining is basically independent of the CPU, but directly related to memory size and bandwidth. Therefore, by design, building Ethash ASIC is relatively difficult. Currently, the Ethash mining is dominantly conducted on the GPU machines. Read more about Ethash: https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/Ethash
II. Double SHA256 Double SHA256 is the PoW mining algorithms for Bitcoin. It is computational intensive hash algorithm, which uses two SHA256 iterations for the block header. If the hash result is less than the specific target, the mining is successful. ASIC machine has been developed by Bitmain to find more hashes with less electrical power usage. Read more about Double SHA256: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Block_hashing_algorithm
III. Qkchash Originally, Bitcoin mining was conducted on the CPU of individual computers, with more cores and greater speed resulting in more profitability. After that, the mining process became dominated by GPU machines, then field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) and finally ASIC, in a race to achieve more hash rates with less electrical power usage. Due to this arms race, it has become increasingly harder for prospective new miners to join. This raises centralization concerns because the manufacturers of the high-performance ASIC are concentrated in a small few.
To solve this, after extensive research and development, QuarkChain founder Dr. Qi Zhou has developed mining algorithm — Qkchash, that is expected to be ASIC-resistant. The idea is motivated by the famous date structure orders-statistic tree. Based on this data structure, Qkchash requires to perform multiple search, insert, and delete operations in the tree, which tries to break the ASIC pipeline and makes the code execution path to be data-dependent and unpredictable besides random memory-access patterns. Thus, the mining efficiency is closely related to the CPU, which ensures the security of Boston consensus and encourges the mining decentralization.
Please refer to Dr. Qi’s paper for more details: https://medium.com/quarkchain-official/order-statistics-based-hash-algorithm-e40f108563c4
2.3 Testnet 2.0 mining configuration Numbers of Shards: 8 Cluster: According to the real-time online mining node The corresponding mining algorithm is Read more about Ethash with Guardian: https://github.com/QuarkChain/pyquarkchain/wiki/Ethash-with-Guardian)
We will provide cluster software and the demo implementation of CPU mining to the public. Miners are able to arbitrarily select one shard or multiple shards to mine according to the mining difficulty and rewards of different shards. GPU / ASIC mining is allowed if the public manages to get it working with the current testnet. With the upgrade of our testnet, we will further provide the corresponding GPU / ASIC software.
QuarkChain’s two-layered blockchain structure, new P2P mode, and Boson consensus algorithm are expected tobe fully tested and verified in the QuarkChain testnet 2.0. 3 Mining Guidance In order to encourage all community members to participate in QuarkChain Testnet 2.0 mining event, we have prepared three mining guidances for community members of different backgrounds.
Today we are releasing the Docker Mining Tutorial first. This tutorial provides a command line configuration guide for developers and a docker image for multiple platforms, including a concise introduction of nodes and mining settings. Follow the instructions here: Quick Start with QuarkChain Mining.
Next we will continue to release: A tutorial for community members who don’t have programming background. In this tutorial, we will teach how to create private QuarkChain nodes using AWS, and how to mine QKC step by step. This tutorial is expected to be released in the next few days. Programs and APIs integrated with GPU / ASIC mining. This is expected to allow existing miners to switch to QKC mining more seamlessly. Frequently Asked Questions: 1. Can I use my laptop or personal computer to mine? Yes, we will provide cluster software and the demo implementation of CPU mining to the public. Miners will be able to arbitrarily select one shard or multiple shards to mine according to the work difficulty and rewards of different shards. 2. What is the minimum requirements for my laptop or personal computer to mine? Please prepare a Linux or MacOs machine with public IP address or port forwarding set up. 3. Can I mine with my GPU or an ASIC machine? For now, we will only be providing the demo implementation of CPU mining as our first step. Interested miners/developers can rewrite the corresponding GPU / ASIC mining program, according to the JSON RPC API we provided. With the upgrade of our testnet, we expect to provide the corresponding GPU / ASIC interface at a later date. 4. What is the difference among the different mining algorithms? Which one should I choose? Double SHA256 is a computational intensive algorithm, but Ethash and Qkchash are memory intensive algorithms, which have certain requirements on the computer’s memory. Since currently we only support CPU mining, the mining efficiency entirely depends on the cores and speed of CPU. 5. For testnet mining, what else should I know? First, the mining process will occupy a computer’s memory. Thus, it is recommended to use an idle computer for mining. In Testnet 2.0 settings, the target block time of root chain is 60 seconds, and the target block time of shard chain is 10 seconds. The mining is a completely random process, which will take some time and consume a certain amount of electricity. 6. What are the risks of testnet mining? Currently our testnet is still under the development stage and may not be 100% stable. Thus, there would be some risks for QuarkChain main chain forks in testnet, software upgrades and system reboots. These may cause your tQKC or block record to be lost despite our best efforts to ensure the stability and security of the testnet.
For more technical questions, welcome to join our developer community on Discard: https://discord.me/quarkchain. 4 Reward Mechanism Testnet 2.0 and all rewards described herein, including mining, are not being offered and will not be available to any citizens or residents of the United States and certain other jurisdictions. All rewards will only be payable following the mainnet launch of QuarkChain. In order to claim or receive any of the following rewards after mainnet launch, you will be required to provide certain identifying documentation and information about yourself. Failure to provide such information or demonstrate compliance with the restrictions herein may result in forfeiture of all rewards, prohibition from participating in future QuarkChain programs, and other sanctions.
NO U.S. PERSONS MAY PARTICIPATE IN TESTNET 2.0 AND QUARKCHAIN WILL STRICTLY ENFORCE THIS VIA OUR KYC PROCEDURES. IF YOU ARE A CITIZEN OR RESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN TESTNET 2.0. YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE ANY REWARDS FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION.
4.1 Mining Rewards
  1. Prize Pool A total of 5 million QKC prize pool have been reserved to motivate all miners to participate in the testnet 2.0 mining event. According to the different mining algorithms, the prize pool is allocated as follows:
Total Prize Pool: 5,000,000 QKC Prize Pool for Ethash Algorithm: 2,000,000 QKC Prize Pool for Double SHA256 Algorithm: 1,000,000 QKC Prize Pool for Qkchash Algorithm: 2,000,000 QKC
The number of QKC each miner is eligible to receive upon mainnet launch will be calculated on a pro rata basis for each mining algorithm set forth above, based on the ratio of sharded block mined by each miner to the total number of sharded block mined by all miners employing such mining algorithm in Testnet 2.0.
  1. Early-bird Rewards To encourage more people to participate early, we will provide early bird rewards. Miners who participate in the first month (December 2018, PST) will enjoy double points. This additional point reward will be ended on December 31, 2018, 11:59pm (PST).
4.2 Bonus for Bug Submission: If you find any bugs for QuarkChain testnet, please feel free to create an issue on our Github page: https://github.com/QuarkChain/pyquarkchain/issues, or send us an email to [email protected]. We may provide related rewards based on the importance and difficulty of the bugs.
4.3 Reward Rules: QuarkChain reserves the right to review the qualifications of the participants in this event. If any cheating behaviors were to be found, the participant will be immediately disqualified from any rewards. QuarkChain further reserves the right to update the rules of the event, to stop the event/network, or to restart the event/network in its sole discretion, including the right to interpret any rules, terms or conditions. For the latest information, please visit our official website or follow us on Telegram/Twitter. About QuarkChain QuarkChain is a flexible, scalable, and user-oriented blockchain infrastructure by applying blockchain sharding technology. It is one of the first public chains that successfully implemented state sharding technology for blockchain in the world. QuarkChain aims to deliver 100,000+ on-chain TPS. Currently, 14,000+ peak TPS has already been achieved by an early stage testnet. QuarkChain already has over 50 partners in its ecosystem. With flexibility, scalability, and usability, QuarkChain is enabling EVERYONE to enjoy blockchain technology at ANYTIME and ANYWHERE.
Testnet 2.0 and all rewards described herein are not being and will not be offered in the United States or to any U.S. persons (as defined in Regulation S promulgated under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended) or any citizens or residents of countries subject to sanctions including the Balkans, Belarus, Burma, Cote D’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, Crimea, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, South Suda, Venezuela and Yemen. QuarkChain reserves the right to terminate, suspend or prohibit participation of any user in Testnet 2.0 at any time.
In order to claim or receive any rewards, including mining rewards, you will be required to provide certain identifying documentation and information. Failure to provide such information or demonstrate compliance with the restrictions herein may result in termination of your participation, forfeiture of all rewards, prohibition from participating in future QuarkChain programs, and other actions.
This announcement is provided for informational purposes only and does not guarantee anyone a right to participate in or receive any rewards in connection with Testnet 2.0.
Note: The use of Testnet 2.0 is subject to our terms and conditions available at: https://quarkchain.io/testnet-2-0-terms-and-conditions/
more about qurakchain: Website: https://quarkchain.io/cn/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/quarkchainofficial/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Quark_Chain Telegram: https://t.me/quarkchainio
submitted by Rahadsr to u/Rahadsr [link] [comments]

Low-Power FPGA Design Using Memoization-Based Approximate Computing Ben Heck's FPGA Dev Board Tutorial Bitcoin Earning Methods and ASIC MIning Farm (URDU PAKISTAN) Small Cheap FPGA Miner - Hashaltcoin Blackminer F1 Mini Review  Odocrypt FPGA Mining  Blake2b Getting Started With FPGA's Part 1

Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) ist ein integrierter Schaltkreis, der vom Kunden oder Konstrukteur nach der Herstellung konfiguriert und somit "feldprogrammierbar" ist. FPGAs sind integrierte Schaltkreise, die nach ihrer Herstellung für eine bestimmte Aufgabe, wie zum Beispiel für den Mining von Bitcoins, angepasst werden können, wodurch ASIC entsteht. During the last years, the bitcoin mining ecosystem has been experiencing important changes. At the beginning, it was possible to mine bitcoin with a CPU processor, but later, it was possible to do it with GPUs. After it, GPU mining was replaced by FPGA and ASIC miners. What Is FPGA? FPGA stands for Field-Programmable Gate Array. Bitcoin Farm from FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) Such designs are a programmable matrix aimed at processing data at hyper speeds. Components do not take up much space, therefore, the second generation of bitcoin farms is characterized by more compact sizes. FPGAs are much more efficient than mining on GPUs and far superior to mining on A field-programmable gate array (FPGA) is an integrated circuit designed to be configured by the customer or designer after manufacturing—hence "field-programmable". The FPGA configuration is generally specified using a hardware description language (HDL), similar to that used for an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) (circuit diagrams were previously used to specify the FPGA, or a Field Programmable Gate Array, is a unique integrated type of a blank digital circuit used in various types of technology and produces higher hash rate with lower amounts of power and electricity when comparing to graphic processing unit (GPU) hardware. You can find FPGAs in image and video processing systems, for example.

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Low-Power FPGA Design Using Memoization-Based Approximate Computing

Field programmable gate array or FPGA mining has always been the most complex AND the most guarded sector of crypto mining. ... Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Mining W/ Hydro & Solar POWER! - Duration ... In this episode of the Ben Heck Show we will learn more about FPGA's or Field Programmable Gate Arrays with Verilog. When is it appropriate to use an FPGA? What types of FPGA's are out there? How ... 12:55 Tax implications of mining cryptocurrency as a business 16:05 Types of business structures in Australia 19:00 Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) mining 20:00 Profitable Altcoins to mine ... Field-programmable gate arrays are increasingly used as the computing platform for fast and energy efficient execution of recognition, mining, and search applications. Approximate computing is one ... What is an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array)? FPGA Concepts - Duration: 3:58. Simply Embedded 25,079 views. ... HARD DRIVE Mining? This is getting ridiculous... - Duration: 11:43.

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