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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.

Altcoins

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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Popular African Peer-to-Peer Exchange CoinDirect Will Support Bitcoin Cash Fork

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Support Bitcoin Cash Fork

Coindirect has released a statement saying that it plans on following Bitcoin ABC during the bitcoin cash hard fork. The exchange expects the new forked chain will be the dominant network, which Coindirect will be supporting.

How It Will Work

Coindirect, one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in Africa, explains the process to both current and future users. Before the upgrade on November 15, all deposits and withdrawals for BCH will be suspended for two hours. All current users need to make sure they have completed their bitcoin cash transactions before the appointed date. The exchange also recommends that those who would prefer to have access to both chains immediately should withdraw their BCH.

Coindirect

In terms of trading volume, bitcoin cash stands as bitcoin’s biggest hard fork and its current market cap is $231.57 million. bitcoin cash (BCH) is a hard forked version of the original Bitcoin. It a peer-to-peer electronic cash system developed as a solution to Bitcoin’s scaling issues.

Primarily, BCH achieves scalability by enabling the increase of the block size. This enables the currency to be able to deal with higher volumes of traffic without having skyrocketing fees. 

By supporting the upcoming BCH fork, Coindirect is making good on its promise to play a role in the acceleration of cryptocurrency adoption in the African market. 

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Altcoins

“We Are the Most Promising Cryptocurrency in Africa” – An Interview with Kenya’s Digital Shilling Project

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African man smartphone

BitcoinAfrica.io reached out to the team of the Digital Shilling, a Kenya-based altcoin that aims to create a currency by Africans for Africans, for an interview to find out more about the project.

Via Telegram, we spoke to founder and lead developer, Kelvin Yavwa, about the current state of the Digital Shilling and what the project has planned for the future.

Why did you start the Digital Shilling project and what has happened since its launch in 2016?

Digital ShillingThere has been a massive rise in financial inclusion in Africa largely accelerated by mobile phones and the Internet. The unbanked in Africa use mobile money more to transact on their daily activities, making physical cash less used. The biggest challenge with mobile money has been cross-border payments due to excessive regulations across different borders and bureaucracy.

As per World Bank reports, remittance claims a significant share of most African countries’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but the market is flooded with insecure, unreliable and poor remittance service providers. This is what got me thinking of introducing the Digital Shilling into the African market as a cryptocurrency that with time will provide remittance services at its best. Solving cross-border hindrance, centralization, control and asset class all in one project.

Having shown some massive stability and consistency, I believe we are the most promising cryptocurrency in Africa.

Currently, I have linked up with Miu Andrea, a developer from Vienna, Austria. He is bringing great proposals to the shilling protocol. It’s still at early stages so nothing to show.

Digital Shilling Kenya

The shilling (SH) can currently be traded on Nova Exchange, Bigbitex, Yobit, and Open Trade.

How can Shilling be mined and what are the mining rewards like today?

Join a mining pool! I would recommend http://gcpool.eu/p3350/public/. You can follow the instructions on how to start mining the shilling here: http://gcpool.eu/p3350/public/index.php?page=gettingstarted.

Currently, every SH 50 are mined as a reward for payment processing. The first halving will be on January 19, 2020, at its 300000th block.

CPU mining no longer works for the Digital Shilling. The shilling is currently being mined at approximately 650mh/s meaning a normal CPU can’t outmatch shilling’s current CPU computing power.

We are best placed into GPU mining at the difficulty the network is handling.

What have been your key takeaways that other blockchain developers can learn from who are interesting in launching or working for a cryptocurrency project?

A common John Doe or Jane Doe in Africa doesn’t care about the fascinating feature of a cryptocurrency. They only look at how secure their money is, how privately placed can it be, how cheap is it from the usual fiat currency and how simple is it to use and or access.

Simplification of any developing cryptocurrency into this basis is what will make more use of cryptocurrency in Africa. My biggest challenge is to make the shilling simpler yet as secure as any other remittance platform.

The shilling has not managed to establish itself as an altcoin despite being around for longer than many of the top 20 tokens. Why do you think that is?

Due to a massive disconnect with its point of contact – the African market – as I have said. What the common guy in Africa wants is a simplified secure coin. For that shilling is dormant.

Simplifying the usability is our biggest objective at this point and time.

There are several Africa-focused coins in existence and in the pipeline, such as Kobocoin, Dala, and Akoin. How do you plan to outcompete these projects to become the go-to currency for Africans?

The beauty of being longer in the game has taught us the do’s and don’ts as well as what’s workable and what’s doable.

Being in the industry for two years we’ve collected supportive team members, investors and sponsors, who have been drawn by our stability, consistency and continuous involvement into the project.

What are the future plans for the Digital Shilling project?

Digital Shilling

An advanced secure, easily user-friendly Android wallet and Shilling ATMs are some of the features in Shilling’s second phase. We will be having our second phase launched in the first quarter of 2019.

If you want to learn more about Kenya’s Digital Shilling, visit https://digitalshilling.org/.

Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the company, product or service. BitcoinAfrica.io is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, product or service mentioned in this interview.

 

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