Many of you have asked me for updates on the progress of one product or another. I am involved in literally every phase of the product development lifecycle. (I even sit in on dev meetings with our Pakistan-based team at 5 a.m. my time.) Since neither Chris or Asim were available today, I will give you my assessment of where we are on key initiatives.
Welcome to the Eighth Expanse Newsletter of 2019. This publication is a bi-monthly newsletter issued on the 1st and 15th of each month to share happenings within our community. Here are a few highlights in this edition:
This product haunts me. I literally want to scream on an almost daily basis that it is not yet ready for market. This week I stopped dead in my tracks the second time I was asked for a copy of my passport, etc., to send in with exchange applications. My identity is literally floating aimlessly around China and Singapore for all I know. Who are these people that I am sending my most sensitive information to? Chris and I agreed this stops now. (I know he agreed since he tweeted it out.) UKYC takes care of this issue with encryption. Chris is the developer on the project. He had to put it on the backburner to address some tasks more pressing, like the Bittrex issue and new algorithm. Back to UKYC next week, I hope.
Honestly, for the first time in the life of Luna Wallet, I am using it and love it. When it was first introduced, the Windows version didn’t work for me, and I needed the Windows version due to lack of knowing how to use anything else. I’m pretty sure there hasn’t been any development since v2 was released three weeks ago. For you Windows guys who commiserated with me, come back. To download the new Luna wallet and take advantage of the great new features, go to https://github.com/expanse-org/luna-wallet/releases/tag/2.0.0.
Well, although I lobbied hard for a different name (Marciamoto) for this amazing new algorithm, Chris’s name selection won out since he dreamed it up. This completely new, never-before-used mining algorithm will be completely unique to Expanse. Planning for packaging and promotion are underway. You can read detailed specifications here: https://github.com/expanse-org/XIPs/issues/4
The best laid plans. A whole slew of enhancements and new features comprise Gander v3. However, there was some urgency expressed to get it back online, so we did. The portion yet to come includes:
- An API that (enables us to submit transaction to the node via the website.
- Web sockets developers can connect to.
- Ability to submit raw transactions.
- Ability to track complete blocks and transactions.
This project was one of two primary focuses for the developers last week. Everyone helped, including some design work by Omar and content from me.
This is where most of the development time was spent last week. Having made the decision to require only LAB as payment to mint coins, we have reworked the entire payment process and design. The next iteration of Tokenlab should be ready before the next newsletter. We are planning a bigger marketing push, given that our product is now very competitive and has more to offer than anything else out there. Watch for it.
Here’s an article submitted by Jitendra Rathod, newsletter contributing editor.
Cryptocurrency transactions on the blockchain are similar to an intricately woven web. Since millions of transactions occur regularly around the world, the blockchain becomes a jumbled-up platform of inputted and outputted info. The first question which probably arises in the mind of a newbie to crypto is who manages this haphazard pool of extensive information regarding all the transactions? Who indeed.
Crypto Mining and Miners
Before unmasking the unnamed guardians of this particular task, one should first divulge in the actual process of transactions and their completions. The term coined for this process is ‘Mining.’ The procedure of mining comprises of verification and addition of various cryptocurrency transactions to the blockchain ledger.
It is conducted by professionals known as ‘Miners’ who are responsible for the authentication of information regarding a transaction and then uploading it to the blockchain platform. The process isn’t as easy as it sounds though since it involves solving complex mathematical algorithms and equations in order to get the transaction data. The task is, even more, trying due to the fact that crypto miners compete with each other, and the first one to achieve a solution is the one to collect the data regarding that particular transaction.
Since solving complex mathematical problems while competing with professionals isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, surely there must be some benefits that the miners receive for all this brainstorming. In fact, miners get paid simultaneously with their service. When miners break through a complex equation and then update the transaction data on the blockchain, they receive a set amount of crypto coins for the same. Through this, the miners earn digital currency with every transaction they process.
Equipment and Tactics
Crypto miners are not just all brains; there are some tools and tactics required for mining. There are particular hardware available, such as ASICs (Bitcoin Mining Hardware) which are high-specialization computers for the mining of that particular digital currency. Apart from unique equipment, miners also have the option to join a ‘Mining Pool.’
A mining pool can be considered as a local or native group of miners. By joining a pool, miners can pool in their resources, thereby increasing their chances of receiving blocks for disintegration and thus, can earn more money.
The kind of CPU or GPU utilized by the miners is also a crucial factor in mining. Apart from that, the most basic aspect that mining involves is the amount of electricity the task consumes. Hence most hardware utilized for mining are located at a place with low electricity cost.
This Coin, or That?
The process aside, how do the miners actually decide which coin to mine? There is a high probability of suffering losses while dealing in crypto, and the field of mining isn’t any different. Hence, the miners have to go through a basic checklist to decide whether a coin is advantageous for mining or not:
- 1. Reliability of the Coin – Whether the coin is authentic or not is the first and foremost thing that a miner should confirm.
- 2. The Price of the Coin – Does the coin which the miner has selected have a decent price and is it going to pay an amount worth the mining?
- 3. Transactions Availability – The miner must choose a coin whose transactions are readily available.
- 4. Competition in Mining – The miner should make sure that the assistance pay received for the transactions of the chosen currency is considerable as compared to the competition for the same.
Mining for Beginners
If one is planning to delve into crypto mining, then the best option is to first let someone else mine the coins. This type of mining is referred to as cloud mining and can be done on a contractual basis. Firms offering mining services for a year or more are in abundance, and the only requirement is to sign up an account on the party’s website. It is also an excellent way to earn a side income in the form of crypto coins.
If one wishes to indulge further, then they would need to set up an Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC or mining rig) hardware device which is exclusively developed for the process of mining cryptocurrencies. The next step is to download software for advanced mining and join a mining pool in order to receive not only rewards but support as well from fellow group members.
This brings us to the question of how profitable is it to mine EXP. Mining Expanse (EXP) has a high probability of receiving considerable benefits due to high transaction percentage of this coin. EXP has already seen an ATH of close to $10, and with a great community of developers and enthusiasts as well as many exciting projects in the pipeline, EXP may soon see its glory days. Those interested in mining EXP can join a mining pool.
The Digipool Expanse pool, for example, offers many benefits to members, such as:
- 1. 0.5% fee
- 2. PPLNS 3000
- 3. 30 minutes payouts
- 4. Nicehash support
- 5. Support via Discord
- 6. Dedicated and reliable hardware
Conclusion: Is there a Future in Mining?
Although there are inevitable ups and downs in crypto mining, it is still an evergreen process. All the currencies, be it Bitcoin or other altcoins are required to be mined for the completion of a transaction. There is a burgeoning concept of pre-mined currencies, but even if such options appear in the market, the traditional aspect of mining will remain since it prevents any frauds from occurring. Mining is getting a bit expensive due to hiking electricity rates at mining farms, such as in rural China, but it isn’t a business which would be off the market anytime soon.
Here are a couple of compelling quotes posted over the last two weeks in our various Discord channels:
Open Source Software – Two Sides of the Coin
Why must work be shown on GitHub??? Y’all might believe that everything should be open source, but if you REALLY feel that way, never ever complain about price again. If the Expanse team puts everything they are working on out to the public before it’s complete, they risk larger/more funded groups running ahead with the work. I watch people in here ask for improvements, and when the team goes to work on it, I see impatient chatter.
Oh, I’m just trying to say, I don’t know why it’s giving that error. When I tried to find out, it seems everyone is keeping stuff like that to themselves. I’ve searched for a whole day just to figure out how to add eth stratum 1.0.0 and its literally nowhere to be found. Some people are doing it but won’t share how. I’ve asked pools that have it how they did it, but they just ignore the request.”
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