Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Farms on Wheels, a Hotel, and Even a Simulator for Miners
With 80 percent of all bitcoins already mined, and the hashrate of the network reaching all-time highs, in today’s Bitcoin in Brief we are covering some news from the world of crypto mining. An Italian company is developing mobile mining farms, while in Russia a mining hotel offers an opportunity to legally earn cryptocurrency. And, if you can’t afford to buy or rent a rig, you can always experience the life of a miner thanks to one of the simulators that are hitting the market.
Farms on Wheels to Criss-Cross Europe
Entrepreneurs Gabriele Angeli and Gabriele Stampa, founders of the Bitminer Factory in Florence, are working on a rig that could become the main component of a new business model for miners in Europe. The Italians, who run their country’s largest mining hosting facility, have developed their own mining rig – Bitminer 8. Their operation on the outskirts of the historical city, famous for minting coins through the Middle Ages, has attracted 140 participating miners.
The Bitminer 8 machine, around which the whole enterprise is built, started as a prototype assembled in a dishwasher drawer from off-the-shelf computer parts, Reuters reports. It is designed to mine altcoins, as bitcoin itself needs enormous computing power offered only by applications specific circuits (ASICs). These cryptos give companies like Bitminer and small scale crypto miners a chance to make a living and ultimately help expand the horizons of the crypto ecosphere.
The two Fiorentinos have a business idea that would push these boundaries even further. They now plan to literally hit the road by installing their Bitminer 8s in shipping containers loaded on trucks. The project will enable miners to move the mobile farms across the Old Continent to destinations with cheap electricity and favorable regulations – factors that are always subject to change. Besides, free mobility of people and capital is a basic principle of the Common Market, and small and medium-sized enterprises are its backbone. Supporting initiatives like this should be a “no-brainer” in Brussels!
Bitmain Develops Zcash ASIC Miner
Chinese mining giant and equipment producer Bitmain has announced on Twitter it is developing a new product targeting Zcash miners. The ASIC miner is capable of processing the proof-of-work algorithm of Equihash, used by Zcash and other cryptos. The Antminer Z9 Mini offers a hashrate of 10k Sol/s. It is expected to hit the market in June.
Zcash is mined primarily with graphics processing units (GPUs) that can be acquired by individual miners. Equihash was actually introduced to prevent the use of ASIC miners. Bitmain, however, has a history of overcoming ASIC-resistant algorithms. The company has already developed powerful miners for many cryptocurrencies whose developers have tried to stop the centralization of the hashing power. These include miners for Ethash, used by the Ethereum network, and Cryptonight, used by Monero.
Why Buy It, When You Can Mine It?
Mining accommodation is a niche which is rapidly expanding in Europe’s eastern neighbor Russia. A new mining hotel has recently opened doors in Moscow. The team behind the project offers ASIC-rentals with round-the-clock tech maintenance, IT support, and a reliable power supply. Clients will be able to remotely control their mining rigs through unlimited and backed-up internet connection. The datacenter is also equipped with professional cooling and humidity control systems.
The most important benefit of using a mining hotel, however, is that it offers Russians an opportunity to legally acquire bitcoins while the country’s crypto sector still struggles in a semi-regulated environment. Many aspects of regulation have yet to be clarified by Russian authorities, with two pieces of legislation pending in the State Duma. The bill “On digital financial assets” is expected to legalize crypto-related activities like mining, and another text should amend the country’s civil code to allow crypto payments.
Mining, which is favored by authorities in energy-rich Russia, is considered a legal way to acquire cryptocurrencies. Even now miners are allowed to register as individual entrepreneurs and enjoy preferential tax of only 6% on their turnover. Technically speaking, with the exception of mining, most other crypto operations are illegal at the moment. According to the website of the mining hotel in Moscow, renting an Antminer S9 (14 TH/s) for minting bitcoin costs 9,600 rubles a month (~$150), and Antminer L3+ (504 MH/s), the most powerful litecoin miner, is offered for 5,500 rubles (<$90).
True Mining Simulator
A team of Belarusian developers is working on a project to create a “True Mining Simulator” – a computer game dedicated to replicating the life experiences of a cryptocurrency miner, Forklog reports. Players will be able to build their own mining farm, maintain its equipment, follow cryptocurrency markets, and exchange digital coins to fiat money. The creators of the simulation also say it will allow gamers to spend the cryptocurrency they have mined. They will be able to go to a restaurant or purchase a car in the virtual reality.
Last year, Russian developers created a mining simulator called Cryptocity for those who want to know what crypto mining looks like but don’t have the money to purchase expensive mining equipment. The mobile application uses real rates from cryptocurrency exchanges to calculate the mining income. Players can buy buildings and build mining farms. The game also simulates incidents like fires in the mining facility.
Do you think crypto mining will be profitable for individual miners in the long run? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Forklog.
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