Mining for Noobs - stealing electricity 101

Wally Walbertson

kiwifarms.net
I wouldn't buy an ASIC for a variety reasons, which all boil down to "you can't re-sell them easily".

Monero has changed to RandomX algo recently, which favors devices with RAM. Suddenly 4GB/8GB laptops are decent mining rigs.
Antminers/asics are nearly always used by the Bitmain company that makes them, first, for competitive advantage. Then they get sold. You can even see this on some hashrate charts where the hashrate spikes, and then six months later a "new" asic is announced, and when sold the hashrate stays the same. A lot of the antminers recently sold are failing soon after installation. I think 1 out of 3 miners are reporting component failures.

for randomx, the faster the RAM speed, the better the mining (higher hashrate). Plenty of fast ram is best.
 

Kosher Dill

Potato Chips
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Noob question: how much security do you need if you want to just play around with mining a bit of Ethereum or Monero using a desktop computer?
I've seen suggestions that you essentially need to treat any computer involved in mining as radioactive because it'll call down a plague of hackers - don't keep anything on the machine besides mining software (and that running in a VM), firewall it off and/or keep it on a physically separate network, never plug anything into the machine, make everything go through Tor as well as the customary 7 proxies, wear a condom over your head when working on the machine, etc.
So my question is: how much of that is really necessary? If I just download the stock versions of ethminer or Monero (verifying their signatures), set up a wallet, and start up some mining processes, am I asking for trouble?
 

Wally Walbertson

kiwifarms.net
Noob question: how much security do you need if you want to just play around with mining a bit of Ethereum or Monero using a desktop computer?
I've seen suggestions that you essentially need to treat any computer involved in mining as radioactive because it'll call down a plague of hackers - don't keep anything on the machine besides mining software (and that running in a VM), firewall it off and/or keep it on a physically separate network, never plug anything into the machine, make everything go through Tor as well as the customary 7 proxies, wear a condom over your head when working on the machine, etc.
So my question is: how much of that is really necessary?
Mining an established coin like ETH or XMR? Not so much, but of course more security is always great. Mining 1 month old project shittyshitcoin with an anonymous dev? Could be a virus in the mining software.
If I just download the stock versions of ethminer or Monero (verifying their signatures), set up a wallet, and start up some mining processes, am I asking for trouble?
Should be fine.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Kosher Dill

CrunkLord420

not a financial adviser
Local Moderator
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Noob question: how much security do you need if you want to just play around with mining a bit of Ethereum or Monero using a desktop computer?
I've seen suggestions that you essentially need to treat any computer involved in mining as radioactive because it'll call down a plague of hackers - don't keep anything on the machine besides mining software (and that running in a VM), firewall it off and/or keep it on a physically separate network, never plug anything into the machine, make everything go through Tor as well as the customary 7 proxies, wear a condom over your head when working on the machine, etc.
So my question is: how much of that is really necessary? If I just download the stock versions of ethminer or Monero (verifying their signatures), set up a wallet, and start up some mining processes, am I asking for trouble?
That's total bunk. Just random conflation with the fact people distribute miners in malware. The miner is a small program that makes low-bandwidth connections to a pool, the only thing it even tells the pool is your wallet ID. You don't even really authenticate, you just tell it what wallet to credit the rewards to. Hackers drop miners on servers all day and they don't care if sysadmins find them.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Kosher Dill

Kosher Dill

Potato Chips
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
That's total bunk. Just random conflation with the fact people distribute miners in malware.
What made me wonder is the skulduggery you have to go through with keys - "Don't even copy them to Clipboard in case some glow-in-the-dark's hooked into it, just engrave them on a crystal skull and bury it in the Mayan jungle." The typical setup guide makes getting hacked sound like a "when, not if" kind of thing. At any rate, I've successfully set myself up without calling down the hordes.

As long as you're in here:
Monero has changed to RandomX algo recently, which favors devices with RAM. Suddenly 4GB/8GB laptops are decent mining rigs.
I'm trying out Monero mining on a fairly good machine with considerably more than 8GB RAM, and I'm only getting a hash rate of like 2500 H/s. All the online calculators for RandomX say this is deep in the red for any reasonable electricity price. Am I missing something?
 

CrunkLord420

not a financial adviser
Local Moderator
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I'm trying out Monero mining on a fairly good machine with considerably more than 8GB RAM, and I'm only getting a hash rate of like 2500 H/s. All the online calculators for RandomX say this is deep in the red for any reasonable electricity price. Am I missing something?
Residential power rates are not reasonable for mining. Industrial mining happens via stranded power which is far below market rate. The rest is subsidized power through other means.
 

Wally Walbertson

kiwifarms.net
What made me wonder is the skulduggery you have to go through with keys - "Don't even copy them to Clipboard in case some glow-in-the-dark's hooked into it, just engrave them on a crystal skull and bury it in the Mayan jungle." The typical setup guide makes getting hacked sound like a "when, not if" kind of thing. At any rate, I've successfully set myself up without calling down the hordes.
Well, the more secure the better. It's true you should be careful with your private keys and seed words. If anyone sees them, the wallet is compromised. For example, if you accidentally copy-paste and google search your private key or seed words, your wallet is compromised and you should immediately make a new wallet.
 

Kosher Dill

Potato Chips
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
For example, if you accidentally copy-paste and google search your private key or seed words, your wallet is compromised
Right, sensible precautions will apply to any sort of key or password protecting valuable data. I was just struck by the assumption in a lot of these "My First Wallet" guides that the enemy is already within the gates and your own machine is potentially compromised.
The only other thing I've used that outright assumes you're going to get robbed is Steam.
 
  • Like
Reactions: twozero

Wally Walbertson

kiwifarms.net
Right, sensible precautions will apply to any sort of key or password protecting valuable data. I was just struck by the assumption in a lot of these "My First Wallet" guides that the enemy is already within the gates and your own machine is potentially compromised.
The only other thing I've used that outright assumes you're going to get robbed is Steam.
To explain, those first wallet guides are mostly correct. It's not really the wallet or mining software, but the fact that the computer may already be compromised or easily compromised. This is based on most people's computer knowledge. It is a very bad idea to keep any kind of investment amount of cryptocurrency on a computer that is insecure, used normally, used for games, web browsing etc. For wallets with small, everyday use amounts, it's not as much of a problem. Wallets that are generated for saving and investing should ideally be created on offline and fresh computers. This is why people that hold cryptocurrency need to get a hardware wallet like a Ledger Nano, or use an offline computer to generate the wallet. (Write down your private key and seed words on paper, and keep backups of your wallet files, this saved my ass) As use of cryptocurrency grows, there will be more people searching for stuff matching keys when they hack a computer.

if you accidentally copy-paste and google search your private key or seed words, your wallet is compromised and you should immediately make a new wallet.
This also counts if you pasted the text in your browser url bar, since most people have instant search turned on, and all the text gets sent even if you don't search.
 
  • Like
Reactions: twozero

twozero

kiwifarms.net
Right, sensible precautions will apply to any sort of key or password protecting valuable data. I was just struck by the assumption in a lot of these "My First Wallet" guides that the enemy is already within the gates and your own machine is potentially compromised.
The only other thing I've used that outright assumes you're going to get robbed is Steam.
Right, it's one of those areas that it's best to be incredibly cautious. It could well be that your machine is compromised when you generate your private key, yet your coins not drained until after you've added a decent amount into it. Better not to run the risk and generate everything offline.

Essentially just avoid typing in (or generating) your seed phrase on any machine that will touch the Internet. Hardware wallets are a really convenient way to help safeguard your holdings, as your priv keys never need to touch your desktop to sign a transaction. Ledger Nano S is $75 USD approx, and well worth it if you plan to store over time.

I would suggest moving from paper seed storage to something like a stamped metal seed backup on the off-chance that your house burns/floods and takes the paper seed with it. If you're concerned about someone obtaining your seed phrase and draining your coins, you can add an extra word to the phrase on many hardware wallets which will give you an entirely different private/pub pair. Good practice would be to get crypto stuff shipped somewhere other than your home, just to be on the safe side.

Re: mining,
At least the BTC hash-rate looks like it's recovering a bit post-halving. Do you guys think inefficient miners have capitulated and sold-off for good yet? I figure the block reward dropping will kill a lot of operations running on older ASICs. Probably moving to other SHA256 chains?

1591393241115.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wally Walbertson
Tags
None