Side gig economy
Fellow students, we’re the part of the demographic notorious for having to endure through a below average financial situation. We have been actively looking for alternatives to time deteriorating, non-personality development jobs that keep us on the edge of survival to be able to keep up with personal expenses and student loans of all sorts.
This is when side gigs like cryptocurrency mining shine, to give students a solid financial push without taking their extremely precious time while teaching them a thing or two about what can possibly be the successor to real-world currencies.
Cryptocurrencies are a not too new mostly decentralized digital asset designed to function as a medium of exchange, utilizing strong cryptography algorithms to secure financial transactions. They can be an alternative to regular currency, but we’re not there yet so people usually invest in them with the aim of converting them to real-world currency later on. One of their main perks is that no specific nation, organization or individual has control over their value.
Most of the cryptocurrency ‘coins’ are created by a process called mining, which in short means validating transactions by generating hashes on computer processors (CPU). This process has grown harder and more demanding as cryptocurrency miners have increased, and are all actively mining at the same time, to an extent that the outcome of mining cannot even exceed the power consumption of the hardware it’s running on. That’s why new mining technologies have evolved that utilize the parallel processing power of computer GPUs (graphics cards) and quantum computers to maximize mining efficiency.
Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, developed by Satoshi Nakamoto, who also created the Blockchain, which is a database of records for every transaction that happens with bitcoins.
By the end of 2017, Bitcoin prices have unexpectedly rocketed in value from an average of 3,800$ in September 2017, to nearing 20,000$ by the end of December 2017. Which has caused a massive disrupt in the world’s economy. The lucky early investors in bitcoins have had the worth of their investment doubled over the course of a month, which is insanely rare to happen with any of the real world assets. Bitcoins have then been in constant plummeting in value and are expected to stabilize in value.
Another cryptocurrency that has appeared recently is Ethereum, it’s similar to Bitcoin but in contrast, it is said to be Turing capable. Ethereum has gone up in value up to 13,000
In 2016, as a result of the exploitation of a flaw, and subsequent theft of $50 million worth of Ether, Ethereum was split into two separate blockchains. The new separate version became Ethereum (ETH) with the theft reversed, and the original continued as Ethereum Classic (ETC).
With the growing number of miners and the price of cryptocurrencies rocketing, mining on CPU has become nearly impossible to get solid earnings out of, as in most countries, power costs outprice the mined cryptocurrency, so as of recently, specific mining machines have been developed to solve the efficiency issue by being dedicated to just mining and eliminating redundant tasks while it is working.
Those devices, namely ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits), have been popularized by the growing demand of miners for more mining rates. Those devices range from US 500$ up to exorbitantly priced series’ of devices in the 6 figure realm.
Recently, it has been found that mining on GPUs is the best way to mine cryptocurrency, those overpriced things marketed for gamers mostly, are multiple times more efficient than mining on CPUs, and GPUs are common and general purpose enough to have their initial investment cost justified by their uses. In fact, most Computer science, Engineering, and Arts and design students already own or have access to pretty powerful GPUs that are more than enough to handle the mining task efficiently.
In some developing countries where ASICs are rare to find or even blocked by the government, GPUs are a perfectly fine alternative to get the job done efficiently, and unlike most cheap ASICs, they scale up pretty well, which is why many mining enthusiasts develop specific rack units specifically made for housing multiple powerful GPUs all running in parallel, and have solid plans on adding even more GPUs to double the mining rates, all self-funded.
There’s a fair chance that mining can be non-accessible to students due to the fact that with every mining approach there’s a restrictive first big investment needed that might be hard to manage for students, or other restrictions like physical space that various rack units or mining devices occupy, or even restrictions on power usage. For this reason, cryptocurrency can be treated as just any other exchangeable asset, they can be bought or sold or exchanged and in fact there’s plenty of platforms specifically for this sole reason, buying and selling them. Many investors buy amounts of bitcoins from miners when their prices are expected to go up, and then it’s all a matter of strategizing when to buy or sell more of them.
Cryptocurrencies are having a growing support among various internet based, and even real life based as of recently, sites that have transactions. Sites like Reddit, Steam, Shopify and various other places have already started supporting both Bitcoin and Ethereum as a valid payment method. Also, sites that sell physical items like Newegg have jumped on the non-stopping bandwagon. The more support those cryptocurrencies get, the more the demand on them increases, and the more they go up in value. It’s simply a case of supply and demand, but in modern technical terms where supply is merely processing power!
As of recently, financial experts were expecting Bitcoin to significantly go up in price, maybe reaching US 100,000$ by the end of 2018. Famous Venture Capitalist, Tim Draper was on Bloomberg sharing his thoughts on why Bitcoin will be worth a lot more than what it is today. For reference, he’s the person who predicted it hitting US 10,000$ in 3 years, which did in fact happen. His prediction this time might be too far-fetched this time even by Bitcoin’s insane price standards. Tim predicts that today’s currencies will flat out be majorly dominated by cryptocurrencies in the near future.
Draper gives 3 reasons as to why his prediction might be valid; it’s borderless, it’s not subject to the whims of the government and it bypasses traditional banking systems. These alone are enough to bypass the deficiencies of existing currency and banking systems. Draper strongly believes that Bitcoin is the future and already invests a fair portion of his own personal money into it, with no clear intention of selling it even when Bitcoin prices go up.
Another financial analyst, Llew Claasen, who is also the executive director of Bitcoin Foundation, has recently stated his expectations on Bitcoin’s value to hit, you heard it right, US 40,000$, by the end of this year. Further adding that 90% of other cryptocurrencies will be facing a massive downfall, as according to him they’re a scam and not as credible as Bitcoin. Many of the management will not be able to face and control the risks involved in cryptocurrency based projects, which is why he expects most other cryptocurrencies to turn out to be a scam. His words are aided by him stating that in just 2018, there has been at least 5 detected cryptocurrency scams and thinks there’s more to be added to the list.
Claasen further adds that those incidents are actually a lesson for the cryptocurrency community. With the necessary safety precautions taken, cryptocurrency financial experts should learn how to avoid those mistakes to ensure the security and containment of the cryptocurrency community. He further adds that by the end of this year, Bitcoin will be facing volatility before it hits stable, US 40,000$ levels. Many financial experts, along with cryptocurrency experts and enthusiasts in the cryptocurrency community actually believe Claasen’s words and positively believe in the upcoming uprising in Bitcoin’s value despite the current constant downfall in its value as of 7th December 2018.
Another unnamed analyst has noticed a certain pattern that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple follow, despite being strongly unpredictable and almost solely luck related. He’s positive about those cryptocurrencies doubling in value, despite the current constant plummeting. But as we know, this field is very volatile, no one can make a solid foolproof estimation without providing an unknown degree of natural uncertainty due to the nature of these cryptocurrencies. Thomas Lee, managing partner at the financial research firm Fundstrat Global Advisors, expects a new record peak for bitcoin by July 2019, based on deep analysis of the currency’s behavior since 2010.
Other digital currencies also rose after posting steep losses over the past few weeks. Ethereum, the second-largest by market value, was up 2.5 percent over 24 hours as of the 5th of December, while the third-largest, Ripple, and gained 5.3 percent, according to cryptocurrency price tracker coinmarketcap.com. Bitcoin’s increase has coincided with the rally in global stock markets,’ said Miles Eakers, chief market analyst, at FX brokerage Centtrip.
These are exotic numbers, aren’t they? But for university students, these numbers are hard to achieve in the beginning as you can’t start CPU mining for Bitcoin anymore due to its increased complexity. In the early 2000s, it was easy to mine Bitcoin on low-end PCs that used processors like Intel Pentium 4, but now? It’s impossible to mine Bitcoin using your ordinary laptop or PC. That’s why you should consider going for cryptocurrencies that are easier to mine on your PC or laptop, mostly depending on the CPU as it’s way cheaper than GPUs nowadays.
The best cryptocurrency to mine with a CPU :
Is Monero, why?
Because Moreno’s cryptographic algorithm is currently resistant to ASIC’s mining; the devices we mentioned earlier. But what does that mean for you? It means that if you have a CPU and GPU on an ordinary PC, you can use them to mine Monero coin with ease, but how?
You need to get your PC suited at first by downloading the needed software for it, XMR Stak is great at this as it doesn’t care about your GPU or CPU model, it’s very easy to install and access; it’s results are pretty nice as well in regards to other mining software. Remember to always download it from the official site to avoid malware. Oh, your antivirus might also pick it as a malicious file, don’t worry! All mining applications are picked by antiviruses, nothing new.
After getting your PC ready software-wise, you need to join a mining pool to ensure constancy of profit, you must be asking what a mining pool is.
Imagine a large network of people with their devices connected to each other to do a lot of mathematical operations on their PCs to work together in the mining process to increase their hashing power; that doesn’t mean that you get as much as someone with a high-end PC, but you get what you really contributed with and more when it comes to mining in pools. However, you must pay a small percentage of your profit as an entry fee to join any pool around the world. But how do you pick the suitable one for you?
Pick the larger one, always. Why? Because you’ll get the same amount of coins you’re aiming to get out of a small pool in a shorter time interval with a higher payout frequency that gives you the ability to sell your coins in a quicker rate and time, but we can’t promise you a small entry fee in such pools. Stability is a key also, you must check it’s protection against attacks such as DDoS ones and its security in main; not all pools are secure. However, small to medium pools win when it comes to attack-protection.
Finally, after finishing all the previous processes, you’ll need to only create a new MorenoWallet in order to gain your profits. You’ll enter it through the application when asked to finally start mining your Morenos by using your PC.
And remember, this is only the first step in mining. You can trade these coins for another cryptocurrency of your desire in order to achieve higher prices!