Gunbot Crypto Trading 3: Your First Gunbot Setup

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Initial Setup

Click on Create my first setup. For Setup Name I use the name of the exchange, also select the exchange in the Exchange dropdown. The pair of coins to trade is nearly always Bitcoin and another coin, both specified by their common abbreviation. I’m starting with Bitcoin trading against Ether, so I enter BTC-ETH. The strategy I choose is bb (‘Bollinger Band‘) because it’s the one I’m most experienced with – though I plan to try out others very soon.

Setup with a new trading pair (Image: BIUK)
Setup with a new trading pair (Image: BIUK)

Click Add pair. The new pair will appear as a tab in the lower window, with settings on the left and a Trading View window on the right. Repeat the process if you want to add more trading pairs.

A new trading pair added (Image: BIUK)
A new trading pair added (Image: BIUK)

Click Create. You’ll get a message “Setup created! Go to the dashboard to preview and run your setup.” Click on Go to dashboard.

 

Preview and Run

You are now in the preview screen – here you can check all the settings for the setup by clicking on the triangle marker next to each set. I’ll accept the defaults, however you may want to review how much Gunbot will spend on each trade – for this go to the particular strategy you selected under strategies and review TRADING_LIMIT (this is the amount in Bitcoin). The default is 0.002 (currently about £13).

Preview screen (Image: BIUK)
Preview screen (Image: BIUK)

Click Run Gunbot. A gunthy.exe command window will open (allow it if asked by Windows Firewall). The trading pair tab will now contain a and a trading view window and a window showing real-time output from gunthy.exe (the actual Gunbot bot).

Gunbot running (Image: BIUK)
Gunbot running (Image: BIUK)

That’s it – Gunbot is up and running and ready to trade when the conditions are right. We’ll go over the details of the trading in future posts.

Next post: Gunbot Crypto Trading 4: Your First Gunbot Trade

Gunbot Crypto Trading 2: Installing Gunbot

I have previously described Gunbot and how it works, including how to prepare for using it. Here I cover installation and initial setup.

Installation

Download and unzip the most recent version of Gunbot from GitHub (obviously you will need to have paid for a license for it to work). I run the Windows version and have mine in a C:/Gunbot/Latest folder (and move older versions into other folders as they get replaced).

Gunbot folder and files (Image: BIUK)
Gunbot folder and files (Image: BIUK)

Double-click on gunthy-gui.exe to run the Gunbot user interface. If you get a message about needing to get something from the Windows store, cancel it. If you get a message from Windows Defender Firewall, Allow access.

You should have a Windows command window running that says “Gunthy GUI <version> running on http://localhost:5000″.

In a new brower tab (I recommend Chrome as the browser) type in the address “localhost:5000” and enter.

 

Gunbot User Interface

You should now see the Gunbot interface up and running – the first time it will take you to the Login screen.

Gunbot Login screen (Image: BIUK)
Gunbot Login screen (Image: BIUK)

If you don’t get that then you may need to open access to port 5000 through the Firewall – for more details see the official installation video.

Choose and enter a password, record it somewhere safe, then click on Create password. You are now in the main Gunbot dashboard.

Gunbot Dashboard after first login (Image: BIUK)
Gunbot Dashboard after first login (Image: BIUK)

Assuming you are a new user, and so don’t have an existing config file, select Start without import.

On the next screen, Settings/API Keys, enter the API Key and Secret for the exchange you want to use (I use Poloniex). I have previously covered the method to get an API key for the Bitfinex exchange, but it’s a very similar process on most exchanges.

Gunbot settings screen for API keys (Image: BIUK)
Gunbot settings screen for API keys (Image: BIUK)

With Master Key enabled, click Add. You should get the message “API Key sucessfully added!” and it should be shown in the table at the bottom of the screen.

Next post: Gunbot Crypto Trading 3: Your First Gunbot Setup

Gunbot Crypto Trading 1: Starting With Gunbot

What is Gunbot?

Gunbot is an automated bot (robotic software) for trading cryptocurrencies, primarily trading Bitcoin with other crypto coins (‘altcoins’). It was coded by Gunthar De Niro (‘Gunthy‘) with support from the Bitcointalk community.

The theory for trading with Gunbot is relatively straightforward:

  1. You deposit some Bitcoin on a trading exchange.
  2. You request remote access to your account via an API Key and give the Key details to the bot.
  3. You setup the bot, using particular settings to specify how you want it to trade (e.g. what level of risk/reward, etc.).
  4. You start the bot. It runs 24/7 and when the trading conditions are right it buys and sells coins on your behalf using the Bitcoin in your account.
  5. The intention is that it will buy an altcoin at a low price, determined by its trading history, and hold on to it until its price goes above a certain threshold (allowing for trading fees) when it will sell it.
  6. In most cases this works well and makes a profit, and the bot is then ready to make the next trade.
  7. In a small proportion of cases the altcoin price goes down steadily and cannot be sold (this is known as ‘holding a bag’). At that point you need to step in and, in some cases, sell the altcoin at a loss.
  8. With good settings, and regular monitoring, in my experience trading with Gunbot will make more money than it loses and can produce a significant income over time.

 

Preparing to Use Gunbot

Before you use Gunbot for the first time it is worthwhile to learn about how it operates and what its features and limitations are.

  1. Spend some time in the Gunbot Wiki to get familiar with the bot, how it runs, what strategies it uses, etc.
  2. Read at least the last dozen or so pages of the Gunbot thread on BitcoinTalk to learn about recent changes, and any issues or bugs found. Join BitcoinTalk if you aren’t already a member.
  3. Do the same for the Gunthy forum.
  4. When you feel ready to take the plunge buy a copy of Gunbot from an authorised reseller.
  5. Get an API key for your exchange(s) and have it linked to your Gunbot licence by your reseller.
  6. Join the Telegram group to get support (the link will be provided once you’ve bought the bot).

When you’re ready, see my next blog post and learn how to install and setup Gunbot.

 

Why Bitcoin is Different

If you’re new to the Bitcoin space, the last few months have been pretty crazy.

There have been some steep climbs and heart-stopping drops making for a roller coaster of emotion that’s not easily controlled. The price action is both thrilling and at times, painful, so it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re investing in. All the coins seem to be running together, so what’s the difference? How is one coin to be distinguished from another? And more importantly, how is an investor to know what the long term value of a coin will be?

Bitcoin (Image: MichaelWuensch/Pixabay)
Bitcoin (Image: MichaelWuensch/Pixabay)

In this article, I’m going to make the case for what makes Bitcoin different, how Bitcoin is a system that, despite all the cloning, has yet to be truly replicated.

Real Innovation

To really understand the value proposition of Bitcoin, it helps to look at a bit of history. It’s tempting to think that the newest ICO or altcoin is the one that will finally “improve” Bitcoin and fix all of its problems and that Bitcoin will be relegated to the dustbin of history due to its lack of some “feature”. Indeed, nearly every altcoin, ICO or hardfork thinks that they’re being innovative in some fundamental way. What’s missed is that the biggest innovation has already happened.

Decentralized digital scarcity is the real innovation and Bitcoin was the first, and, as this article will make clear, continues to be the only such coin. All the other so-called innovations such as faster confirmation times, changing to proof-of-whatever, Turing completeness, different signature algorithm, different transaction ordering method and even privacy, are really tiny variations on the giant innovation that is Bitcoin.

It’s important to remember here that alternatives to Bitcoin have been proposed since 2011 and none of them have even come close to displacing Bitcoin in terms of price, usage or security. IxCoin was a clone of Bitcoin created in 2011 with larger block rewards and a premine (large number of coins sent to the creator). Tenebrix was an altcoin created in 2011 that tried to add GPU resistance and again had a large premine. Solidcoin was another altcoin created in 2011 with faster block times and again, a premine. About the only ones that survived (and not living out a zombie existence) out of that early altcoin era are Namecoin and Litecoin, which distinguished themselves by NOT having a premine.

Read more: Medium

Handing your Happiness to Mr. (Crypto) Market

Recently, in personal communications and small Telegram groups, I’ve noticed signs of quiet desperation growing as dreams of a quick reversal to new all-time-highs fade.

Meanwhile, Twitter is noisy with technicians, and egos attached to price predictions. Predictions are made with seeming conviction, because if right, egos will claim clairvoyance.

Here’s the truth: no one knows how far we’ll fall.

Bitcoin price chart (Image: geralt/Pixabay)
Bitcoin price chart (Image: geralt/Pixabay)

Certainly, we can make educated guesses based on technical indicators, and even predict points of support based on our early explorations of crypto fundamentals, but these are all educated guesses. Our techniques will mature over time, but reflecting on my career in the equity markets, everything will remain an educated guess. We’re predicting the behavior of humans, after all.

Some concrete numbers. If 2018 truly echoes 2014, then we could very well be in for another ~50% drop from here.

Upset that I said that? Already typing FUD!!!! in the comments? Wait until the end; discussing that reaction is the entire point of this post.

Read more: Medium

Why America Can’t Regulate Bitcoin

Hearings on Bitcoin and its derivatives are being held in the USA on a regular basis, and invariably the expert witnesses fail to properly describe the actual processes going on.

If they used the correct language and excluded all analogies, the only possible conclusion would be that America cannot regulate Bitcoin under its current legal system. The Constitution guarantees the inalienable rights of American citizens, and therefore Bitcoin is a protected form of publishing. The only way Bitcoin can be made regulable is if the Constitution is changed; and that does not mean adding a new Amendment, it means removing the First Amendment entirely. Inevitably the anti-Bitcoin protagonists will face a robust and ultimately successful legal challenge that will remove the possibility of any sort of “BitLicense” or interference from the CTFC, FinCEN or any other agency. It will also remove any possibility of interference at the State level. The consequence of adhering to the basic law of the United States will cause America to become the centre of all Bitcoin business for the entire world.

Let me explain why this is the case.

Bitcoin Network (Image: MaxPixel)
Bitcoin Network (Image: MaxPixel)

Some say that Bitcoin is money. Others say that it is not money. It doesn’t matter. What does matter are three things; that Bitcoin is, that the Bitcoin network does what it is meant to do completely reliably, and what the true nature of the Bitcoin network and the messages in it are.

Bitcoin is a distributed ledger system, maintained by a network of peers that monitors and regulates which entries are allocated to what Bitcoin addresses. This is done entirely by transmitting messages that are text, between the computers in the network (known as “nodes”), where cryptographic procedures are executed on these messages in text to verify their authenticity and the identity of the sender and recipient of the message and their position in the public ledger. The messages sent between nodes in the Bitcoin network are human readable, and printable. There is no point in any Bitcoin transaction that Bitcoin ceases to be text. It is all text, all the time.

Bitcoin can be printed out onto sheets of paper. This output can take different forms, like machine readable QR Codes, or it can be printed out in the letters A to Z, a to z and 0 to 9. This means they can be read by a human being, just like “Huckleberry Finn”.

At the time of the creation of the United States of America, the Founding Fathers of that new country in their deep wisdom and distaste for tyranny, haunted by the memory of the absence of a free press in the countries from which they escaped, wrote into the basic law of that then young federation of free states, an explicit and unambiguous freedom, the “Freedom of the Press”. This amendment was first because of its central importance to a free society. The First Amendment guarantees that all Americans have the power to exercise their right to publish and distribute anything they like, without restriction or prior restraint.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This single line, forever precludes any law that restricts Bitcoin in any way.

Read more: HackerNoon

Experiments in Crypto Mining 9: Paying Attention to Cooling

Although my mining PC, The Beast, is capable of mining cryptocurrency profitably I was concerned about the amount of heat it produced, and consequently how noisy it was (because of the graphics card fans running hard). My conclusion was that it was not set up well for running the graphics cards continuously because most of the cooling airflow bypassed the cards.

That can be seen in this photo where I have tried to illustrate the airflow route – it comes in the front of the case via the fan in the middle, then gets pulled through the CPU heatsink via the CPU fan then exits out the far corner through the outlet fan. This makes sense for a PC where the CPU is running hard. It’s pretty useless for crypto mining where the graphics cards – whose positions are ringed in red – are doing all the work and generating all the heat.

The current airflow largely bypasses the hot graphics cards (Image: BIUK)
The current airflow largely bypasses the hot graphics cards (Image: BIUK)

The main change I have implemented therefore is to install a second inlet fan, nearly opposite the graphics cards, powered from the same connector as the current fan (so they match speeds). I have also removed two expansion card blanking plates between the graphics cards so there is more space for the hot air to exit after it has passed the graphics cards.

This is the ‘after’ picture:

After the addition of a second front fan (Image: BIUK)
After the addition of a second front fan (Image: BIUK)

The result is that the graphics cards are running cooler most of the time, and significantly cooler if I manually increase the speed of the inlet fans. The main issue now is that they are set to automatically react to the CPU temperature, which of course stays relatively low, rather than directly to the GPU temperature. My next step in cooling will therefore be to look into slaving the fan speed to the GPU temp.

That is not a standard feature on almost any motherboard or fan utility, but is apparently something that can be done by a third party utility called SpeedFan. But that’s for another day – for now I’m happy to keep mining with the system as it is with the extra fan.

Two magical ways to turn your spare time into crypto

When most people think about earning money in crypto, they think of two common activities: investing and mining. Both can be costly and time consuming endeavours. But growing your cryptocurrency stash doesn’t have to be either of these things.

There are several less explored pathways to crypto-gains. In this article we’ll cover:

1. How your coins can work for you with Proof of Stake
2. How applications in this ecosystem can help you earn money

Let’s get started.

Getting started with Proof-of-Stake

Proof of stake is an alternative to cryptocurrency mining that doesn’t require hardware or crazy amounts of electricity. Instead investors who hold coins are gradually rewarded with more coins.

Cryptocurrency Art Gallery: Litecoin, Ether, Ripple, Bitcoin and Namecoin (Image: Namecoin/Flickr)
Cryptocurrency Art Gallery: Litecoin, Ether, Ripple, Bitcoin and Namecoin (Image: Namecoin/Flickr)

Think of it like interest in a bank account, but with cryptocurrency. All you need to get started is a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency and a computer

Major coins like NEO, LISK, and Stellar Lumens are built on proof of stake models. And other major coins like Ethereum have announced their intention to adopt it.

How can I use PoS to start making money?

You can use PoS today with nothing more than your laptop and a stable internet connection. Although, you’re going to have to let it run 24/7 so you might want to use an old laptop.

Read more: HackerNoon

The Bullish Case for Bitcoin

With the price of a bitcoin surging to new highs in 2017, the bullish case for investors might seem so obvious it does not need stating. Alternatively it may seem foolish to invest in a digital asset that isn’t backed by any commodity or government and whose price rise has prompted some to compare it to the tulip mania or the dot-com bubble. Neither is true; the bullish case for Bitcoin is compelling but far from obvious. There are significant risks to investing in Bitcoin, but, as I will argue, there is still an immense opportunity.

Genesis

Never in the history of the world had it been possible to transfer value between distant peoples without relying on a trusted intermediary, such as a bank or government. In 2008 Satoshi Nakamoto, whose identity is still unknown, published a 9 page solution to a long-standing problem of computer science known as the Byzantine General’s Problem. Nakamoto’s solution and the system he built from it — Bitcoin — allowed, for the first time ever, value to be quickly transferred, at great distance, in a completely trustless way. The ramifications of the creation of Bitcoin are so profound for both economics and computer science that Nakamoto should rightly be the first person to qualify for both a Nobel prize in Economics and the Turing award.

Bitcoin Cryptocurrency (Image: MaxPixel)
Bitcoin Cryptocurrency (Image: MaxPixel)

For an investor the salient fact of the invention of Bitcoin is the creation of a new scarce digital good — bitcoins. Bitcoins are transferable digital tokens that are created on the Bitcoin network in a process known as “mining”. Bitcoin mining is roughly analogous to gold mining except that production follows a designed, predictable schedule. By design, only 21 million bitcoins will ever be mined and most of these already have been — approximately 16.8 million bitcoins have been mined at the time of writing. Every four years the number of bitcoins produced by mining halves and the production of new bitcoins will end completely by the year 2140.

Read more: Medium

Experiments in Crypto Mining 8: Initial Performance

Following my initial attempts at mining I had decided to stick with NiceHash on my old PC as a good compromise between mining performance and convenience. Therefore it was natural to move straight to mining with NiceHash on The Beast.

Earnings

Initial results have been largely encouraging – as might be expected given its impressive performance. Certainly it can mine profitably: as I write this it has Daily Estimated Earnings of about 0.0004 BTC, currently worth about £2 per day.

Nicehash Mining with The Beast April 2018 (Image: BIUK)
Nicehash Mining with The Beast April 2018 (Image: BIUK)

I have a screenshot from back in February showing a slightly greater Bitcoin earning rate of 0.00048 BTC:

Nicehash Mining with The Beast February 2018 (Image: BIUK)
Nicehash Mining with The Beast February 2018 (Image: BIUK)

But because of the volatile nature of Bitcoin value we can see that only two months ago that was worth nearly £3.50 per day. Because of this volatility I try not to focus too much on the fiat earnings but instead on the Bitcoin earnings, since I think long term that’s what matters.

I use a Kill-a-watt style meter to see how much electricity the PC is using – and currently it’s 400W. Though that’s not all spent on mining, since the PC gets used for other things (like this blog) it’s a good enough approximation. So in the worst case, over 24 hours this PC will use 24 x 0.4 = 9.6 kWh. At about 15p per kWh that would cost £1.44 – so definitely I’m into profit.

In fact it’s much better than that:

  • During the daylight hours our roof generates a lot of solar, so in that period the electricity is effectively free.
  • For seven hours during the night we run on Economy 7 electricity at approximately half price.
  • I recently had a home battery installed to power the house from our solar once the sun has gone down (one of these: PowerBanx).

So in practice I’m definitely paying less than half the maximum, and probably less than 50p per day.

Downsides

That’s the good news. The bad news is that there are downsides beyond just the cost of electricity. Specifically The Beast runs hot – I’m monitoring it with MSI Afterburner and in less than an hour after starting mining the graphics cards hit their default maximum temperature of 83° C.

MSI Afterburner showing high graphics card temperatures during mining (Image: BIUK)
MSI Afterburner showing high graphics card temperatures during mining (Image: BIUK)

The results of this are:

  • The PC generates a lot of heat, much like having a fan heater running in the room.
  • The graphics cards are temperature limited and could probably generate more money if they weren’t so hot.
  • The PC gets noisy as all its fans are running flat out.

The upshot of this is that I’ve bought an extra fan to go into the PC case low down where the graphics cards are. Currently the case has most of its air flow going along the top where the CPU is, but that’s hardly used during mining. I think this is a case where Scan made a mistake in the system design, despite me making it clear the PC was intended for cryptocurrency mining.

I’ll install the new fan as soon as I can and then report back on the results.