Can mobile mining provide a scalable solution for cryptocurrency?
By Hermes Brambrat, founding member of the Estonian Cryptocurrency Foundation
There are over 1,900 active cryptocurrencies according to Investing.com's list. Most of them mineable.
Cryptocurrencies allow users to make fast and secure payments, without having to go through a centralised service provider or bank. These cryptocurrencies are run on blockchain technology, an online ledger shared among all cryptocurrency holders, in which every single transaction is recorded on the blockchain. But in order for a mineable cryptocurrency to be successful, it needs miners.
Mining in a nutshell
Network hashing power from mining guarantees the most crucial component of viable currency — a fast and secure blockchain. Miners solve complex problems to secure and validate transactions (how fast they do this is based on their available hash rate), adding them to the online ledger. Special equipment (ASIC miners) or GPUs are used to process these transactions and for their effort miners get rewarded in the currency they mine, such as bitcoin. Simply put — blockchain would stop working/become inactive if there are no miners connected to network to update the online ledger.
Problems with mining
Mining crypto on industrial scale is complicated and expensive. Three main costs affecting profitability include:
- effective hash rate
- cost of energy
- cost of space
- effective hash rate
Hashing speed is the key driver of profitability for a crypto miner. To maximize hash rate and process transactions quickly you need to maintain proper and efficient functioning of your mining equipment. This is achieved by setting up uninterrupted power supply, right environment and good internet connection.
Cost of energy
Mining uses a lot of electricity. Depending on the geographical location you find prices of power to vary a lot. Right planning, location and energy transfer methods can add or cut costs significantly. Cooling optimization is also an important factor.
Cost of space
Setting up proper conditions for mining farms to operate smoothly has its expenses. This all comes in addition to electricity and hardware/software. Together with uncertainties around the future regulations of crypto space it leads us to the next problem - mobility. Are you willing to invest a large amount of capital to set up your infrastructure in the country with cheap electricity costs, but uncertain legal and financial environment, where regulations and tax policies tend to change quickly and unexpectedly?
To stay competitive and optimize your costs you need to take advantage of locations with better climate, lower energy prices and favorable regulations. For example, plug and play mining containers can be moved to whatever country with ease. This way you are not location dependent and can move most of your infrastructure together with mining equipment. When better-operating conditions appear, you are able to react effectively.
Going mobile means your investment in hardware and infrastructure is not restricted to one fixed location (most current mining initiatives have no mobility whatsoever). A single portable unit or container can carry everything you need for mining.
What does a mobile mining container/unit look like?
MMC is a tightly packed transportable data center built into refurbished and modified freight container. Modular racks house and supply crypto-mining equipment with power and various sensors gather humidity and temperature conditions for automated cooling. Remote control and monitoring possibility are set up via PC controller unit to ensure optimal mining performance in a wide variety of conditions.
The future of mining
So what’s the future for cryptocurrencies and their miners? As the mining difficulty of all popular cryptos is increasing fast, each block requires more and more time and energy to release the next one. To combat these rising costs efficiency is the key. Mobile mining containers could be the solution to maintain the profitability of your operation and participate in the future of cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology.
The future of crypto mining is mobile!
Image via Istock.com.
Hermes Brambrat is a founding member of the Estonian Cryptocurrency Foundation and he is responsible for organizing the building process of NordCoin Mining’s Mobile Mining Container.