Friday, February 14, 2014

Taking the DOGE for a Walk

A couple of things have happened in the past few days. First, in anticipation of the block reward halving, the price of DOGE shot up quite a bit -- from around 0.0000016 BTC/Doge to a current 0.0000025 BTC/DOGE (and a high of as much as 0.0000029 or so). If you were mining and holding DOGE for the past month or two, right now you're sitting on a pretty healthy balance and you could trade it all in for some good BTC gains. But now that the block reward has been cut in half and the price didn't double, the result is that mining DOGE is no longer looking so attractive -- especially when you look at other scrypt-based coins.

Right now the difficulty and exchange rate of LTC (2674, 0.0252) means mining LTC will net you about 0.0095 BTC per day, whereas mining DOGE will net you around 0.0105 BC per day. So yes, DOGE is still beating LTC, but only barely. Looking at scrypt coins in general, the top contenders right now for your hashing power are (depending on the time of day) Noblecoin, Lottocoin, Smartcoin, Anoncoin, and Klondikecoin. Others occasionally show up as well at the top of the profitability charts, but looking at the 14-day averages at Coinwarz, I'd recommend sticking with coins that are clearly above LTC during that time span (so 110% or more). Of course, if you're looking to trade for BTC, you shouldn't be mining any of those scrypt coins!

I keep mentioning alternative Proof of Work coins simply because right now, they make the most sense for GPU mining. There's really no other way to put it. The best scrypt-based coins are still profitable, but coins using something other than SHA-256 or vanilla scrypt seem to be the better option. It's not that these coins are inherently better, mind you, but that they're at least different enough to create some buzz, which in turn creates value. And if the buzz fades, so does the value, perhaps with some large coin holders sticking around to prop up the value of their millions of coins. If I were holding millions of DOGE right now, I'd probably be singing a different tune, but I've never viewed DOGE as more than a one-trick-pony and so I've moved on to greener pastures. Maybe I'll be back, but not just yet.

The other interesting thing to happen is that BTC has continued its rollercoaster performance since the start of the downward trend that apparently was sparked buy Russia declaring Bitcoins illegal (or something like that). What's truly awesome is that Russia declared Bitcoins illegal apparently because "it could finance terrorism." Maybe the US and all of the Middle East should do the same? "Ain't nobody gonna finance these here terrorists unless they do it with hard currency, dadgummit!" Anyway, if you're trying to day-trade BTC, the past few days were likely either great or terrible -- depending on whether you managed to properly "buy low, sell high" or if you ended up playing the fool and using the "buy high, sell low" strategy.

I'm bad at predicting where BTC values will go -- or any stock or cryptocurrency for that matter -- so I'm sticking with mining as best as I can! Good luck to you all. I've got a separate post to put together as well as to "what to mine", but before that I want to get into a separate topic. Stay tuned....

20 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I've stuck with DOGE for now because i didn't see many good alternative options (looking forward to your suggestions posts). I prefer a coin where i can mine it, get the pool to send it to the exchange a few times a day, and then keep it there ready to be traded. I've been using Cryptsy and just moved half my stuff to Bter.com (because Cryptsy is so slow so often), but the coin choice on the former is something that will keep me around i think. I might try Coinmarket as they seem to have a lot of the newer, more volatile-valued coins on there.

    As for DOGE and options, I was going to wait until the end of the weekend and was considering LEAF to be a potential new target, but that's also yo-yo'ing. Probably because it's been hitting the top 3 on CoinWarz and is being hit by multipools... not sure.

    By the way Jared, what boards do your rigs use? I've tried 3 different boards and all of which have failed to run stable with more than 4 cards no matter what version of OS i've used (Win 7/8.1, BAMT, Ubuntu 13, etc). I was considering replacing one or both of my boards (i have 2 rigs) but want to be sure i'm buying a board that WILL work with 5-6 cards in each. Since you're a Windows guy (my preferred solution) i thought i'd see if you had any luck, or do you stick to 3 card rigs? (Thought i saw you mention that once before)

    Keep the posts coming dude, i check your blog once or twice each day for updates! Always an interesting read.

    PS - Any chance of an 'edit' option in here? :)

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    1. Also, since i can't edit my post... have you tried the USB PCI-e risers? Wondering if they're any better/worse/different than regular ribbon-types.

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    2. Vertcoin is also quite a good option these days: http://www.verters.com/vertcoin-mining-calculator

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    3. Don't forget though, you need to (about) half your hash rate compared to other Scrypt coins.

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    4. Yeah, VTC and other coins with non-scrypt PoW are what I'm getting at -- basically, they're more profitable than any of the scrypt coins right now as far as I can tell.

      As far as the USB PCI-e risers, the main draw appears to be getting a longer cable, and no bulky ribbon. And you can use them with a PCIe x1 slot. How well do they work? I'm not sure, but it might be interesting to buy a couple and try adding some GPUs to one of my rigs. I have a lot of spare x1 slots, but finding a place to put the GPU is more tricky. With a longer cable, it shouldn't be so hard -- all I need is more power! :-D

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    5. People are always quick to blame the multipools, but the number of users in the 'currently most profitable coin" indicate that there are a lot of individuals pool hopping, as well. People watch the charts like coinwarz and scramble around trying to increase their profit.

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  3. and what about multipools? I found out a new one on bitcointalk with inteligent hash distribute system: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=428955.0

    Will u take a look at it?

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    1. Multicoin pools are okay, but that particular pool only seems to mine about 5-10 different coins; the current list is:
      litecoin
      dogecoin
      earthcoin
      digitalcoin
      novacoin
      worldcoin
      anoncoin

      None of those are bad, per se, but none of them are at the top of the profitability list right now.

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  4. @cryptotetra
    I thought that multipools were bad for the coin, jumping from one currency to the next every 15 minutes. All it does is cause massive spikes in the charts and makes the coin more unstable. If you're mining say DOGE through a multipool then it's like hurting your own stock. Am I right or what?
    @Jarred
    On a different note though, I've been following your blog for a while and I found this thread about a new coin. What's your take on this?
    https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=465278

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    1. I can't say I like this "egalitarian movement" rhetoric much. That's like saying we should have an egalitarian school system where everyone gets the same grade, or an egalitarian employment system where we all earn the same amount of money. Feh! Sorry to betray my non-socialist, non-communist, non-Obama roots, but there's no such thing as true equality, and anyone hawking such an idea is usually after power and control.

      Could you make money on NEM? Possibly. Some people made a lot of money on NXT as well. 21 BTC was invested and NXT is now worth roughly 90000 at the current exchange rate. But if you didn't get in early, I'm not sure there's any money to be made with NXT, so I haven't bothered. I got 3 NXT from a faucet, I ran the NXT client for a while, and then I just quit -- because with only 3 out of 1 billion NXT, I can't "forge" any reasonable number of NXT. Oh, and forging is a stupid name -- as in "forging a signature" stupid. Hahaha.

      Anyway, the problem with things like NEM is that they're not actually available, so you have to invest in something that's not yet real. It's part of what I hate about ASICs -- all the good ones that people want are on pre-order, and not all of those will actually ship. But NEM is only 0.08 BTC or something to join, so that's only $50. How much will that be worth in a year? I have no idea -- maybe $100, maybe $1000, maybe nothing.

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  5. "Of course, if you're looking to trade for BTC, you shouldn't be mining any of those scrypt coins!"

    Not seeing the logic train here?! Why not? The whole premise of the profitability of a coin verses (say) LTC is that you can trade it for BTC ultimately and (if you want to pay the electricity bill) back to USD/EUR. Sure, if the coin in question isn't traded on Crypsty or one of the bigger exchanges that would put me off, but most of those coins you mention are fairly big now.

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    1. My point isn't that you should never mine scrypt, but that right now the top profitability for mining tends to come from some other coin. Pandacoin 2.0 (PANDA), Vertcoin (VTC), Microcoin (MRC), Maxcoin (MAX), and probably others will pay better than DOGE right now.

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    2. Or what I'm really getting at is that Coinwarz isn't listing anything that's non-scrypt, non-SHA256. So look at the alternative options I mentioned above.

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    3. From what i'm reading here, it looks like i'll need to up my rigs (3 x 290 each) from 4GB to 8GB to even stand a chance of mining the scrypt-n type coins. I might try taking the RAM from one for testing purposes this week, though i wish i'd known about this a day or two ago... the weekend tinkering time is now over! :(

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    4. I was laying in bed, and well, it was bugging me. Call me an addict, but i got up to check, cause who needs sleep anyway...

      Just in case anyone else has the problem with getting ~50% hardware errors, I can confirm, VERT is super RAM intensive. People make the mistake of looking at Task Manager and the miner process and noting that only ~50mb is being used, but that doesn't paint the whole picture. I just tried 4 different RAM configs with 2 sets of RAM, the only time VERT would mine on my 3 x 290 rig was when i had 8Gb+ installed. Without 8Gb, it just gave HW errors like crazy or just failed to run at all.

      My settings, for anyone with a similar setup:
      --expiry 2 --queue 0 --scan-time 1 --gpu-threads 1 --intensity 19 --vectors 1 --worksize 256 --thread-concurrency 24550 --gpu-engine 1000 --gpu-memclock 1500 --gpu-powertune 20

      I never normally need to add in the first 3 of those parameters, but without them i had all kinds of problems.

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    5. I think you are right. If a try to mine vert with 3 cards (2x7970 and 1x280x), gpu-threads=2 and 4GB of RAM (works ok with normal scrypts coin), one card ALWAYS get OFF, i need to change gpu--threads to 1, but this way they mine over 10% less. I am getting more RAM now :-p

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  6. Shh, don't tell everyone about the other coins or they'll all be at it :-)

    Gary: Certainly the N-Script coins will use more RAM, but it's RAM *on the GPU card*, not system memory that it uses, so buying more system memory won't help - this is one of the things which makes it ASIC resistant. That said I saw another thread where someone bumped their memory and they saw an increase in hash rate. I don't know why....I think it's a fluke, or perhaps the "new" memory they put in had a higher clock speed. I had a look and all my systems (5x of them) have no memory bottlenecks, either actively used or cached, so increasing RAM shouldn't matter a bit.

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  7. It's also worth remembering that cgminer is a 32 bit executable. What this means is that the most (the ABSOLUTE most!!) that cgminer can actually address is 4gb. This is further split between 2gb for the kernel and 2gb for application space, so you can have gazillions of GB of ram if you want but anything more than 4gb on windows using 32 bit cgminer would be pointless.

    I see a lot of people posting that you should get more memory, but it's a waste of money. Only time memory comes into play is GPU memory where having more if it will allow you to have a higher thread concurrency.

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    1. Then explain why with 4GB of RAM so many people (read forums), i too, got an error (i dont remember now what said) launching vertminer (0.5.3) with 3 or more graphics cards, and one of them got disabled, and with 8GB, error just disappears and all cards works...

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