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How to Mine Monero Using Your Home Computer: A Beginner’s Guide

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Mine Monero
Image by Monero

Monero is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency that resonates with a large number of users who are disillusioned with the level of financial privacy that public blockchain-based cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and litecoin offer. Apart from offering users anonymity, Monero mining can be a profitable venture due to its CryptoNote protocol which is resistant to ASICs mining and enables anyone to mine Monero using a CPU.

Introducing Monero

Monero miningLaunched in 2014, Monero (XMR) has a number of features that set it apart from cryptocurrencies. Users are able to enjoy a higher degree of privacy since their balances are not broadcasted on the blockchain as is the case with bitcoin. This is made possible by the use of ring signatures, which operate by mixing a user’s account keys with public keys from the Monero blockchain to create a ring of “signers” and thus shielding users balances on the network.

Furthermore, privacy is also reinforced through stealth addresses to obscure the details of transacting parties. Stealth addresses are one-time addresses, generated randomly on behalf of the buyer on each transaction. This makes transactions on the network untraceable.

Monero Mining

In proof-of-work cryptocurrency networks, mining refers to the process of miners contributing computational power to validate transactions and maintain the network. For instance, bitcoin miners generate hashes to solve complex algorithms to create blocks of validated transactions and include them in the Bitcoin blockchain. For their effort, successful miners are rewarded with new bitcoin. This reward works to incentivise miners to contribute to the processing power of the network.

The algorithms are solved by means of a hash function that produces a result within a certain range. In other words, a hash function takes a measured input and gives out an output of a specified length. In regards to bitcoin, the SHA256 is the hash function used. The hash rate is the computing speed necessary to solve a puzzle in the bitcoin code. The higher the hash rate the more likely a miner can succeed in finding the next block and receiving the reward.

Digmine Monero MinerHaving said that, because of the level of difficulty of finding the correct output, mining can be an expensive and power intensive affair. In the early days of bitcoin mining, you could use a CPU or high-speed video processor cards. Nowadays that is no longer possible. The processing capabilities and high energy requirement needed can only be achieved through specialized ASICs hardware for bitcoin.

The high cost of specialised hardware coupled with the power needed prevents many people from mining bitcoin.

Monero, on the other hand, offers opportunities when it comes to mining. To begin with, since its based on the CryptoNote protocol, you can mine monero on a CPU or using a GPU. The hashing algorithm used in CryptoNote systems is known as ‘CryptoNight’ and was designed to build a more level and decentralised cryptocurrency.

Digital currencies that incorporate the CryptoNight hashing algorithm are AISC resistant, which means they cannot be mined using ASIC hardware. CryptoNight is built to take advantage of AES-Ni instruction, which allows for CPU mining with some of the work done by CryptoNight already being performed by hardware on modern consumer machines.

How to Mine Monero (XMR) on your PC

Monero is one of the few cryptocurrencies where you can still make money mining as an individual. A decent i5 or i7 should still make you a decent return and get you started.

Here is a step by step guide to CPU mining XMR on Windows:

  1. Set up a Monero Wallet: You can use MyMonero.com to create an account and ultimately set up your wallet. Ensure you save the string of words it gives you since that will be your password. Once you obtain this do not forget to copy your Monero address.
  2. Download the Miner and extract xmr-stak-cpu: Use this download link and choose xmr-stak-cpu-win64-zip.
  3. Determine the number of threads you should use: You must first examine how much cache and cores your CPU possesses. For instance, your CPU has 4MB cache and 4 cores. To decide how many threads you require to divide your cache by 2MB. This way you only need 2 threads, which is the result you get after 4MB/2MB. In a different scenario, your CPU has 16MB and 8 cores. The assumption would be you require 8 threads, which is not the case. If the number of threads you need to use is equal to the number of cores you subtract one. You can still work with 7 threads since it is not necessary to use all the cores and that is why we subtract one.
  4. Edit the config file: Here is an example of a config file. The threads you plan to use will be placed in the section under ‘cpu_threads_conf’ The file limit is seven threads so feel free to remove any you deem necessary. Also, remember to switch the wallet address at the bottom, to your wallet’s address.
  5. Load Huge Pages: In the config file you will notice a section showing how to allow huge pages on Windows.
  6. Execute XMR-STAK-CPU: Browse your xmr-stak-cpu folder and start up the ‘xmr-stak-cpu’ executable file. You are now mining XMR on your CPU.

As you can see from this guide, It is relatively to get started with mining Monero as you do not requite expensive mining hardware as is the case of bitcoin. Moreover, Monero has established itself as the leading privacy coin and has cemented its spot in the top 20 largest cryptocurrencies. That means it has a lot of upside price potential which could boost your Monero mining profits.

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Nairobi Securities Exchange May List Africa’s First Cryptocurrency ETF

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Africa's First Cryptocurrency ETF

Kenya-based Badoer Group ADK ETF is gearing up to launch a crypto-based exchange traded fund (ETF) on the Nairobi Securities Exchange in the first quarter of 2019. If their application is successful, it would become Africa’s first cryptocurrency-backed ETF.

Africa’s First Cryptocurrency ETF

Badoer GroupBadoer Group ADK ETF, a private company incorporated in October, is reportedly finalising an ETF listing arrangement on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), according to a report by Business Today.

If approved, the NSE would regulate Badoer Group ADK ETF, giving ordinary investors regulatory protection to invest in the asset. About 50 percent of the total ADK in supply, which is 12.5 million ADK, would be available for the ETF.

The founder of ADK, Ricardo Badoer, has reportedly met with the NSE’s commercial director, Ms. Bahati Morara, and the head of Innovation and Project Management, Mr. Irungu Wagema to finalise the ETF listing arrangement.

The NSE is one of the leading securities exchange in East Africa with 66 listed companies and over $20 billion (KES 2.10 trillion) in market capitalisation.

Road to the First ETF

In 2018, there have been debates about whether or when a Bitcoin ETF will get launched. Many believe it will allow investors to diversify their investments without actually owning the assets tracked by an ETF. While others think it is just a distraction to the development of the technology.

Last month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had stopped accepting public feedback on their Bitcoin ETFs policy review. The market regulator postponed decisions or denied applications to list various ETFs. The SEC cited issues like the volatility of bitcoin and rumoured manipulation of prices as obstacles.

However, in Sweden, XBT Providers already provide bitcoin and ether as exchange-traded products (ETP) on Nasdaq Stockholm, a major Swedish exchange. ETFs are one of the investment vehicles under ETPs.

Having crypto-based fund will make sense to many investors who were cautious of putting their money in an unregulated cryptocurrency market. ADK’s anticipated move with an African-based ETF could open the market to a lot more African investors and institutions.

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Egypt’s Central Bank is Considering Issuing a Digital Currency

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Egypt central bank digital currency

Egypt has reportedly joined the list of countries that have started studying the issuance of digital currency as an option or alternative for their fiat currencies. That makes Egypt one of the few sovereign countries in Africa to consider a national digital currency option, which is somewhat surprising given the country’s negative stance towards cryptocurrencies.

The “Egypt Coin”

egypt bitcoin exchangeThe Cairo-based news outlet, Amwal Al Ghad, reported that the sub-governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), Ayman Hussein, confirmed the prospect of government-issued virtual currency in a conference in Abu Dhabi. He said the bank is conducting a study in collaboration with some international financial institutions.

However, he did not disclose details about the proposed currency and did not address whether it would be traded between banks only or issued to the general public.

Amwal Al Ghad says the bank believes the digital currency could “lower the cost of banknote issuance and use of cash.”

State-Issued Digital Currencies

Many central banks all over the world have considered issuing their own digital fiat money, rather than support cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

In July 2016, the Bank of England became one of the first institutions to analyse the possibility of state-issued virtual currency. Followed by central banks in Canada, Russia, China and Sweden among others, as well as the European Central Bank.

However, Tunisia was the first country in the world to put their national currency on a blockchain in a trial in 2015. The eDinar initiative did not receive enough backing to go beyond proof of concept but highlighted the interest of central banks in testing a blockchain-based currency system.

The following year, various news media wrongly reported that the Senegalese government issued a digital currency on the blockchain. It had issued an e-currency, the eCFA, but it was not created on a blockchain.

Making State-Issued Digital Currencies Work

The use of this progressive financial technology is a positive step forward to help unbanked people in Africa. Also, it could aid electronic payments and support a cashless society.

Still, some people have questioned the approach of these countries. Centralised blockchains with power concentrated with the central banks could impose limitations on general adoption. The allure of the blockchain technology in the first place is decentralisation, giving people freedom from the traditional centralised banking system.

The impact of a central bank issuing its own cryptocurrency is potentially disruptive, even on the business model of commercial banks. The most practical approach for most central banks, it seems, is to restrict the use of cryptocurrency within an inter-bank context.

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Cashaa Announces Launch of Global Crypto Accounts for Businesses and Individuals

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Cashaa
Images by Cashaa

Cashaa, a London-based blockchain startup, has announced the launch of its global multi-currency crypto-friendly accounts for businesses and individuals, which will take place on November 28, 2018.

What is Cashaa?

CashaaCashaa was launched in 2016 to ease the challenges that were being faced by bitcoin remittance companies such as country-specific regulations, KYC/AML requirements, illiquidity of exchanges among others, will be able to bank all kinds of individuals and businesses from startups based in garages to large businesses or exchanges with revenues in the millions.

Unlike most bitcoin remittance businesses in operation today, Cashaa uses a peer-to-peer model that lets local traders manage fiat currency exchanges with the cryptocurrency feature of the whole transaction occurring in the background.

Talking about the planned launch of its gobal accounts, Cashaa stated in a press release: “The Crypto community has continuously been denied support from high street banks who like to talk and sponsor blockchain events but in reality do not want the blockchain revolution to happen. To speed up our mission to “Bank the Unbanked”, starting from the Crypto community, we have merged our wallet release with the account plans – this first version of Cashaa will be launched on November 28, 2018.”

Cashaa’s Business Products and Fund Security

Cashaa has five business products with different tiers for both businesses and individuals. The five different products are Blue, Basic, Smart Value, Premier and Advance. Each product membership is different for both individuals and businesses in terms of monthly limit.

Cashaa

All the accounts will require CAS tokens to function apart from the free account. CAS is also listed on several exchanges such as Idex and HitBTC, among others. The first release will see Cashaa users get:

  1. Multisig crypto wallet for Bitcoin, Ether and CAS tokens
  2. Accounting and auditing features
  3. Banking product details with different membership plans
  4. Pre-registration for the membership plans
  5. Onboarding business users for the banking services
  6. Deposit CAS token holding period to activate the accounts

Since Cashaa will have business and individual accounts that will potentially have millions of dollars in them, the startup has opted to go with a 100 percent fund protection scheme with European Central Institutions. This means that all deposits made through Cashaa will be kept in a segregated account with the Bank of England to ensure that Cashaa does not risk or invest their users’ money in any way.

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