September 2019 Newsletter

Greetings Miners!


We wanted to send out a comprehensive newsletter like we have done in the past, providing both company and industry updates. This is rather long, so we’ll put the important stuff at the top! First, from now until the end of the year, if you refer a friend who signs up for a year with more of the same amount of new or existing mining equipment, we’ll give you 2 free months of hosting for your rigs! This is a great way to get a bit more bang for your buck at our facility! Please have them email me at t@bitcap.co and drop your name, Furthermore, please drop us a line and let me know how we’re doing. Do you enjoy the webinars? Are these newsletters a better form of communication? We would appreciate any feedback!

BitCap Update

Some of you may have noticed that Nicehash has migrated to a newer version. All of your balance information has been updated in parallel. No action is needed, but if you would like to create a Nicehash account, you can do so via the link in your activation email, or by putting your BTC payout address into the top banner on Nicehash’s site. Please feel free to do so. You are able to change your payout token, and will enjoy lesser withdrawal fees through an account with them. BitCap will take no action and continuing mining to an external address with no input from you. Nicehash also now has free withdrawals to Coinbase via Bitcoin’s lightning network, if you are interested in setting that up as well.

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We’re sure some of you have noticed the lack of webinars recently. When Bitcoin climbed back into the the $10,000+ range a few months ago, the phone started ringing again. We’ve had to divert resources away from marketing and back into construction. We have pivoted into hosting existing equipment rather than building new equipment for clients in the past year. Our website has been tweaked to reflect this pivot. 


We are finding used mining equipment quite cheap right now, and we expect hardware prices to climb. Please reach out if you want to explore the used mining rig market. Please note however, we have a finite amount of space in the warehouse remaining. Due to the power moratorium in our county, we cannot expand in the near future, so once these spots are sold, that will be it for our datacenter and our growth capped. But once we are sold out, we will have more time to search for optimizing our profitability, even if that means looking outside the blockchain.

Crypto Update

When it comes to Bitcoin price, Bitcoin tends to follow 4 year market cycles that revolve around its “halvening” or reduction in the inflation rate. The next “halvening” is slated to occur in May of next year, and we expect this halvening to produce a similar hype cycle that we experienced in 2017.

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Many have shared a troubling trend we have seen over the last year is the bleeding of altcoins and the consolidation of money into Bitcoin. This measurement is known as “Bitcoin Dominance.” While this trend is certainly occurring and troubling, we personally don’t believe this trend will continue. We think similar to an economy in recession, money will flow to the safer assets  in the space such as Bitcoin during bear markets. Similarly, another reason is that mining farms like ourselves tend to sell altcoins for Bitcoin, especially in downturn markets in order to preserve the value of what was mined. We believe the altcoin to Bitcoin ratio, which is arguably the most important factor in our profitability, will climb in the coming months as the bull market continues and investors feel safer placing riskier bets on smaller chains. We have already seen some decent gains to the ETH/BTC ratio during the last week, with BTC dominance falling from above 70% to below 68% as of this writing. Disclaimer: This is pure speculation, and we cannot confidently predict price movement with any degree of significant accuracy.

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Outside of price movements, we’ve been talking about some changes for some specific protocols for a while. And while much of the changes have not occurred yet, they are closer and/or more likely to occur now. Outside of the altcoin to Bitcoin ratio, the other most important factor is difficulty, and as many know, there is a multi-year, multi-faceted, and multi-billion dollar cat-and-mouse game occurring on various blockchains. Many Proof-of-Work (mineable) chains (like Ethereum) are announced as “ASIC resistant” but as soon as a blockchain becomes profitable to mine, the incentive to design an ASIC, or chip, that is dramatically more efficient at that algorithm becomes a powerful adversary to decentralization of that project. Many projects have capitulated like Bitcoin, Zcash, Litecoin, and Dash. Others have an ongoing policy to kick ASIC’s off as soon as they are detected. By either slightly tweaking or trying out completely new mining methods to try to brick ASIC’s, we have seen this play out in a number of various projects throughout BitCap’s history. However, we have yet to see an approach this is 100% successful. Some of the ones that have acted in fighting ASIC chip manufacturers are Zcoin, Monero, Beam, Grin, and Bitcoin Gold. Many of these tweaks did not go far enough or were smaller projects that only impacted our profitability for a couple months. We have written about some of these before and their impacts were mild, but larger projects have now recognized the ASIC threat and are now taking more dramatic methods to make mining more fair.

  • Ethereum (Ethash): Ethereum is a $23 billion blockchain so it moves a bit slower than most. It finally has a rough implementation timetable for Programmatic Proof-of-Work (ProgPoW,) the tweak to ETHash that will kick off ASIC’s. While there are a few voices arguing against ProgPoW, the miners, developers, and shareholders have overwhelmingly indicated it will go live during the Berlin hard fork in early 2020. ProgPoW’s promise is that will brick existing ASIC’s and make it so new ASIC’s that come online are only 20% more efficient (instead of the 200% more efficient ASIC’s that exist currently), severely curtailing the incentive to design and build ASIC’s on Ethereum. We suspect that Ethereum’s hashrate is 30% or more ASIC driven, and it will be a very welcome change to have our largest mining algorithm become much more profitable overnight in February. In my opinion, ProgPoW is the best approach we have for fighting ASIC’s. It is an algorithm designed to utilize 100% of the GPU, so that an ASIC cannot strip parts of the GPU away for efficiency gain. Ethereum will not go full Proof-of-Stake for a few more years.

  • Monero (CryptonightR): XMR, the holy grail of privacy coins has a history of forking every 6 months just to stay ahead of ASIC’s. You may have noticed Cryptonight, Cryptonightv7, Cryptonightv8, and currently CryptonightR(v4) as an algorithm on your dashboard. This is Monero. However, much like Vertcoin, Monero’s incremental changes in their mining algorithm were not enough to shake ASIC’s for even 6 months, so the development team is radically changing their approach with a new algorithm called RandomX. RandomX is unique in that it is designed to run on CPU’s and is actually dramatically faster on CPU’s than GPU’s in its current state. However, this was the case with Cryptonight, and a whole host of other algorithms, and I expect GPU implementations of miners to compete with CPU’s in this algorithm in the coming months after its release. RandomX is currently being audited and is expected to ship before 2020.

That should do it. We wanted to keep it relevant to our mining niche. However, it is worth noting that the cryptosphere as a whole continues to grow with Ethereum gas limits being reached due to all the activity, hashrates continuing to go up or stay steady, and user adoption increasing globally. We appreciate any feedback you guys may have with this newsletter. We know this is all very dense, so if you want to unpack any topic a bit more, drop us an email or a line in Discord. Thanks for reading!

Crypto: Enter 2019

BitCap Updates

First of all, big “thank you” to everyone who renewed! It was pretty overwhelming to see the number of people who renewed contracts despite the market. It gives me confidence that everyone understands that mining is generally a multi-year deal. So, thank you again. Without you guys, BitCap could not exist.

For those who are unaware, or have contract renewals coming up in February or April, we have updated our pricing to the following:

Force 1.0:         $480/year + 12.5% Revenue Share ($40/month)
Force 2.0/Armada:    $600/year + 12.5% Revenue Share ($50/month)
Storm/Force 1.1:     $660/year + 12.5% Revenue Share ($55/month)

We have changed pricing to reflect the cost of electricity to run on a per rig basis, and reduced pricing by almost two thirds. We arrived at these numbers after a candid discussion with a few clients in our Discord channel. Thanks for your feedback, guys!

In addition to new hosting prices, we have spent the last couple months searching the globe for mining farms for sale. We have found hundreds of rigs for sale all over the world. Today, we are announcing that we have prices for brokering these used rigs. Let us take care of all logistics. All of the same hosting rules apply. If you want us to send you rigs, or host them here, the brokered rig prices are as follows:

6x 1060 6 GB Rig $1,800 + $480/year + 12.5% Revenue Share ($40/month)

6x 1070 Rig $2,800 + $600/year + 12.5% Revenue Share ($50/month)

6x 1070ti Rig $3,200 + $600/year + 12.5% Revenue Share ($50/month)

6x 1080 Rig $3,750 + $660/year + 12.5% Revenue Share ($55/month)

6x 1080ti Rig $4,250 + $660/year + 12.5% Revenue Share ($55/month)

6x 470/570 $1,700 + $600/year + 12.5% Revenue Share ($50/month)

We only have a few remaining spots available, so please act quickly if you would like to increase your hardware holdings.

Most of you know, we have been hosting public livestreams discussing BitCap and crypto more generally. Well, I am happy to announce that today, I have uploaded these videos to my Twitch channel. You can find them both here.

Upcoming Forks

There are some upcoming changes to major blockchains in 2019 that will positively affect GPU mining. Some have hard dates planned, while others are still being discussed and/or are in development. We believe it is important that you know what these events are and how they affect you as a miner. It is also important to understand why we as miners care about ASIC’s and how their difficulty affects GPU-mineable coins - even if we do not mine it ourselves. I see the profit-switcher acting as sort of a “difficulty arbitrage.” Many miners are doing this, and what it does is efficiently deploy hashes among GPU-mineable coins into the most profitable areas, therefore generally equalizing difficulty among all GPU-mineable coins. Miners move slower than price in general, so there is opportunity for this kind of arbitrage in the mining market, with GPU’s having the biggest advantage for this type of approach. With that being said, some upcoming ASIC-bricking hard-forks are:

Zcash/ProgPoW: There have been a number of 51% attacks on coins that are ASIC driven due to the ability to rent enough hashing power to mount an attack. In response, Zcash has announced a grant to research the feasibility of adding a 2nd algorithm called “ProgPoW” to its network to keep GPU miners online and profitable, and create a 2nd vector to attack for those looking to attack their network. ProgPoW is designed to run a GPU, and to use all parts of the GPU, with the hope that any ASIC developed would have to mimic a GPU so much as to render it cost ineffective to produce. This would bring in a high market cap coin back to the profit switcher or be a new coin to mine direct.

Ethereum Constantinople/ProgPoW: Ethereum ASIC’s have been online for a while now (however relatively smaller gains compared to most other ASIC’s), and with the reduction in emission rate going live in the next update, many are calling for the developers to brick ASIC’s to counteract the drop in inflation. In addition to this concern, Ethereum Classic was successfully 51% attacked with these ASIC’s. ProgPoW did not make it into the Constantinople fork, but that fork was just recently delayed due to a vulnerability found days before the scheduled update.

Vertcoin/Lyra2rev3/Verthash: Vertcoin was also the victim of a 51% attack due to ASIC’s. This blockchain was active in the profit switcher early on, but ASIC’s rendered it unprofitable to mine. Vertcoin has historically always been ahead of the curve when it comes to kicking ASIC’s off, and this time is no different. They have announced they will kick of ASIC’s on February 22nd with its Lyra2rev3 algorithm while they develop a more permanent solution with their new algorithm Verthash.

New Coins to Mine Direct

The new year brings in some promising new tech that for various reasons, will not make into profitBOOST any time soon.

Aeternity: Aeternity is a brand new smart contract platform to compete with Ethereum. We announced the mining of this blockchain during our first webinar. We would need your Aeternity address to mine for you, and mining is only supported on FORCE owners. You can find a guide to get a wallet here. Also Aeternity is supported on the Ledger Nano S after their latest firmware update.

Grin: Grin is a brand new blockchain based on the new MimbleWimble technology that offers privacy and scalability. It also has a dual modified Cuckoo Cycle algorithm; one for ASIC’s and the other for GPU’s. The wallet is still only CLI on Linux/Mac, but we have the capability to mine it if you are able to set it up. There was no ICO, so there is no price discovery or liquidity as of this writing. Mining is the only way to accumulate.  The link to download the wallet is here

Beam: Beam is a new Blockchain similar to Grin in that it is also based on MimbleWimble, however the algorithm is a singular equihash variant (Equihash 144,5). We are able to mine this coin directly on all models. There was no ICO, but price discovery occurred just days ago on a couple exchanges. The wallet is here and please reach out to me to set up mining this coin direct.

And that should do it! Thanks again to those who have renewed, and to those whose renewal is coming up in February, expect an email from us in the coming weeks.

Cheers,

Jimmy



Introducing STORM & FORCE 2.1

Introducing STORM & FORCE 2.1

Welcome STORM (OpenCL) and FORCE 2.1 (CUDA), the latest additions to our family of miners.

Starting today, you can order both models!

At BitCap, we develop products we’d want to have supporting our own portfolios. Before anything else, we’re miners first! Since last year, our team has worked to ensure our flagship product lines, ARMADA and FORCE, were the best on the market. 

Why Should You Mine?

Why Should You Mine?

Why Should You Mine? 

Mining is the backbone of public blockchains. Without mining, we wouldn’t have Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and a whole host of other cryptocurrencies. A miner contributes to the very success of the network, and is rewarded to do so. Crypto-economics is the term for the space looking to create incentives for people to participate to help the network to grow and thrive. Mining is the original incentive for users to participate in blockchains, and is a large reason many people got into blockchain security so early. Miners keep track of who is paying who on the network and verify that these transactions are legitimate, all without having to trust any other actor on the network. It is a revolutionary way to run a payment network, and it allows a network to exist globally, 24/7/365, and without censorship.