Category Archives: Bitcore (BTX)

Experiments in Crypto Mining 3: Mid-range Graphics Card

The graphics card in my home PC died recently, probably related to me leaving the PC overnight which I don’t usually do (I guess it overheated). I woke to find that Windows had seen an error on it and uninstalled the driver, running it as a basic VGA card. I couldn’t fix it.

Anyway, I took the opportunity to buy a new mid-range graphics card, an Nvidia GTX 1050, to do some more experimenting with crypto mining. I didn’t want to go for a high-end (i.e. expensive) card since I have no plans to leave my PC running most of the time, or even to be mining while I was working at the PC, so a high-end card would likely never make its cost back.

A mid-range card, though, seemed like a good compromise – I needed a new card anyway, I could do some crypto experimenting, and I would get a benefit whenever I played 3D games. I settled on an EVGA card from Scan Computers as it was the cheapest version of the 1050 available – just £120 for a pretty powerful card.

Most impressive was that it didn’t need any additional power connectors to run, just making do with the power available from the motherboard slot. That implied it would use very little power – whereas the old (and relatively speaking slow) card it replaced had been using two additional power connections.

As an initial experiment I have rerun the test I did back last November using the GPU to mine for Bitcore. The procedure was much as described before (particularly following the embedded video) but with a couple of changes. Firstly, the mining app is no longer available on the Bitcore website so I downloaded it directly from the CCMiner code site. Secondly the batch file format has changed – however the download included a new Bitcore batch file so I used that, edited to include my Suprnova details as per the original post.

When CCMiner ran up the results were encouraging, showing a hash rate (mining power) of  8600 kH/s (8.6 MH/s), compared to about 1500 for the previous card.

CCMIner starting up on a GTX 1050 GPU (Image: BIUK)
CCMIner starting up on a GTX 1050 GPU (Image: BIUK)

Running CCMiner for two hours produced 0.0018 BTX, according to my Suprnova dashboard, worth currently about 4p (the equivalent of about 50p per day). The PC was using about 150W with the card running and 85W without, so the card was drawing 65W – or 0.13kWh for the two hours. At my evening rate of 14p/kWh that means the mining cost me about 2p.

Suprnova Dashboard while running a GTX 1050 (Image: BIUK)
Suprnova Dashboard while running a GTX 1050 (Image: BIUK)

So – unlike last time – mining with this card is actually profitable, though only at the rate of about 1p per hour. What was more impressive, however, was how it did it.

Firstly, the energy use by the card was much less than the old card even though it was much more powerful, and it was very quiet. Secondly, it appeared to be truly mining ‘in the background’ with no apparent slowness caused to the PC while using it for other things. So it could make a profit, with little downside to having it running in the background virtually all the time. Taken together, it would seem that there’s plenty of scope to overclock the card to improve the performance.

Nonetheless, the bottom line is that this approach is not going to make a great deal of money, so I’m moving on to try other mining methods.

Experiments in Crypto Mining 4: Cryptocurrency Mining with an Upgraded Home PC

Experiments in Crypto Mining 1: Mining Bitcore

Like everyone involved in cryptocurrency I know that Bitcoin and other coins are produced through mining:

Bitcoin mining is the process by which transactions are verified and added to the public ledger, known as the block chain, and also the means through which new bitcoin are released. Anyone with access to the internet and suitable hardware can participate in mining. The mining process involves compiling recent transactions into blocks and trying to solve a computationally difficult puzzle. The participant who first solves the puzzle gets to place the next block on the block chain and claim the rewards. The rewards, which incentivize mining, are both the transaction fees associated with the transactions compiled in the block as well as newly released bitcoin.

Bitcoin Mining:

I also know that in most cases Bitcoin mining is done by big organisations, mostly in China and Eastern Europe, running large farms of mining computers. It’s tough to compete against that.

Cryptocurrency Mining Farm (Image: M. Krohn/Wikimedia)
Cryptocurrency Mining Farm (Image: M. Krohn/Wikimedia)

However, in learning about my current ‘favourite’ coin, Bitcore (BTX), I found out that it can be mined on a home PC with a half-decent graphics card. I decided to give it a go.

The basic process is straightforward:

  1. You run a dedicated mining app, typically CCMiner, which mines Bitcore by maxing out your graphics card.
  2. You connect the app to an online mining pool server so your mining power contributes to a pool of other miners’ hardware and you share the coins created. I use
  3. You connect your mining pool account to your Bitcore wallet so that payouts come to you.

The details are covered well in a YouTube video by Mod Rage, ‘How to Mine Bitcore (BTX) for Beginners (From Scratch)‘, included below. There’s another one that gives some additional useful information by IMineBlocks.

My Setup

When I initially tried running CCMiner I got the error “qubit_luffa512_cpu_init” each time. I worked out this indicated my graphics card was too old to run the latest version of CCMiner – no great surprise there – so I went back through older versions to find one that worked for me. That turned out to be the x64 version of build CCMiner v2.2.

When you start up the miner, initially not a lot happens – you just get a command window with a basic startup screen:

CC Miner Screen - startup (Image: BIUK)
CC Miner Screen – startup (Image: BIUK)

After a minute or two, however, you will likely become aware of a rising background noise as your graphics card starts to ‘take off’. You may also find your PC’s response becomes a bit ‘sluggish’. Here mine has started – the card temperature has increased from 68C to 88C, and the fan speed from 46% to 67%:

CC Miner Screen - startup 2 (Image: BIUK)
CC Miner Screen – startup 2 (Image: BIUK)

The key thing is the “yes!” message which tells us it has started to mine successfully (failure is indicated by “boo!”). Success seems to improve over time, so initially I only get occasional successes:

CC Miner Screen - early on (Image: BIUK)
CC Miner Screen – early on (Image: BIUK)

But half an hour or so after starting up each time I see screens like this – we’re up and running (the card settles at a temperature of about 95C and a fan speed of about 85%):

CC Miner Screen - up and running (Image: BIUK)
CC Miner Screen – up and running (Image: BIUK)

In parallel we can monitor the status on the Suprnova website – this shows us in approximate real-time how much solving power (‘hashrate’) we are contributing to the pool, for example:

Suprnova Status screen (Image: BIUK)
Suprnova Status screen (Image: BIUK)

To monitor the graphics card itself, which of course is now running hot, you can use various utilities. Probably the best known is MSI Afterburner – here it is (with its UI skin set to ‘Default MSI Afterburner v3 – big edition’) showing a real-time display of card temperature and Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) usage:

Afterburner Status screen (Image: BIUK)
Afterburner Status screen (Image: BIUK)

The GPU usage varies over time, but if I stop using the PC for other things it starts to settle near 100% as you would expect.

Mining Results

So is Bitcore mining profitable with my setup? I decided to work it out over the course of an evening, specifically a 5 hour period.

First I used a watt meter to work out how much energy the PC consumed. This turned out to be about 240W when mining and about 180W when not mining, so about 25% of the electricity used in that period was used for mining.

The watt meter told me I had used 1.25kWh over the period so about 0.3kWh was used for mining. My evening electricity rate is about 14p/kWh so the mining cost me about 4p.

So how much did I earn? Suprnova tells me I mined about 0.0006 BTX, which is worth somewhere around 2p. So no, my setup isn’t profitable as I ran it.

Can Bitcore Mining Be Profitable?

The result is interesting to me because, actually, it’s not as bad as I feared. After all, I am running an old PC with a graphics card that is old enough it can’t run the latest – and presumably most efficient – mining software.

(Tip: you can look up the power, ‘Compute Capability’, of your Nvidia card here. A good value is 6+, mine – a 1Gb NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti – is 2.1).

With the current setup I could:

  1. Run only at night, leaving the PC mining on Economy 7 electricity and unattended (which should get the efficiency up by 10%-15%). My overnight rate is about half the daytime rate so immediately I would be close to breaking even, and maybe even making a profit.
  2. Run only during the middle part of the day, with the PC mining just on electricity from my solar panels. It would immediately become profitable, even if only at the rate of a few pence per day. And that’s without even trying overclocking on the card.

Of course, if I really want to mine seriously I would be looking at buying new hardware – specifically a powerful graphics card, as it’s not necessarily an issue if the PC isn’t particularly fast.

Initial research implies that a current top-end graphics card may have enough power (hashrate) to mine at perhaps 30 times the rate of my current card. Suddenly Bitcore mining starts to become a realistic proposition – a profit of £1-2 per day seems achievable – so I’m going to investigate further.

Experiments in Crypto Mining 2: Cryptocurrency Mining with a Home PC

How £100 Became £1000 in a Month

November has been a lively month in cryptocurrency, but particularly for the Bitcore coin (symbol BTX). I’ve written a number of blog posts about it, but I think a summary would be worthwhile:

1. One month ago, on 22 October, I had just 2.8 Bitcore, courtesy of a free airdrop from last April. Each Bitcore was worth about $6 so the total value was about £13.

2. To get the next big Airdrop I needed to own at least 10 Bitcore, so I decided to simply buy £100 worth on 25 October. That got me 19.77 BTX, for a total of 22.6 BTX. With Bitcore at about $7 that was worth about £120.

3. Having met the threshold I received a one-off airdrop of 25% on 30 October bringing the total to 28.2 BTX, at about $8 each, so a total of £170.

4. While the one-off airdrop was nice I was actually after the weekly 3% airdrops and the first one came in on 8 November. At this point I reached 29 BTX at about $10 each so worth £227.

5. The next weekly airdrop on 13 November took me to 30 BTX at $13, so £290. This was starting to look serious!

6. On 18 November I received my Bitcoin Gold airdrop. Since Bitcore was doing so well I used the money to buy some more. Bitcore had another airdrop of their own so my end result was 51 BTX, now at an impressive $30, so worth £1100!

7. The next day I sold a small Ethereum Dark airdrop for 1.25 more BTX.

8. This Monday the next weekly airdrop came in giving me another 0.9 BT

The end result for the month – not counting at least another weekly airdrop to come in before the end of this month – is that I now have 53.3 BTX. Today their value has dropped back a little to $27 each, so their total value still hovers around £1100.

Bitcore November transactions (Image: BIUK)
Bitcore November transactions (Image: BIUK)

So, through a whole series of free airdrops, plus a big rise in the market, my outlay of £100 is now worth £1100. Just one reason why I love cryptocurrency!

To an extent it feels like I’ve earned the money, by ‘jumping through hoops’ to claim the free airdrops. Therefore the outcome is the most satisfying, despite the fact that over the same month, by doing nothing, each of my Bitcoins (BTC) has gone up in value from £4100 to £6200, so my 12.5 BTC have gone up by an astonishing £26,000 in a month. Somehow that seems less real than the BTX gains.

How to Claim the Bitcore / Bitcoin ‘2nd Snapshot’ Airdrop

I’m a bit of a fan of Bitcore (BTX) as is clear from my BTX blogging history – largely, I confess, because it has so many airdrops! Who doesn’t like free coins?!

Airdrop (Image: NMUSAF/Wikimedia)
Airdrop (Image: NMUSAF/Wikimedia)

Less than a week after the last 25% airdrop on 30 October (based on how many BTX you own), there was another airdrop on 2 November (based on how many Bitcoin/BTC you own) – both taking place in parallel with the weekly 3% airdrops. It’s raining free Bitcore coins!

Naturally I claimed it. The process is covered fairly well in the official 2nd Snapshot description on Steemit. It is effectively a second version of the airdrop back in April that gave me my first BTX.

However, getting the private key to your BTC account as required by that description can be tricky, so here I’ll explain how to do it if you’re holding your Bitcoin in Electrum as per my previous posts.

To be eligible you need to have held Bitcoin on 2nd November in a wallet you control, i.e. one to which you have the private keys, and you will get 1 BTX for each 2 BTC. Log into your Electrum Wallet go to Wallet -> Private Keys -> Export, then enter your password and wait a few moments. Look for the address containing your Bitcoin in the left column and copy the private key from that right column:

Electrum Export Private Keys screen (Image: BIUK)
Electrum Export Private Keys screen (Image: BIUK)

It’s this key that you paste into the Bitcore Wallet console as described in the Steemit description linked above. Note, as ever, as soon as you have exposed a private key you may have compromised your wallet security (you can see in the screenshot to be safe I had already moved out my Bitcoin from the wallet before making the claim). At this point, if you want to be completely safe, you should wipe the wallet before using it again.

Anyway, that’s it done – the new BTX should appear in your Bitcore Wallet straight away if it works, otherwise check that you used the correct location address for your BTC on 2nd November.

It worked for me – my 5.8 BTC gave me 2.7 more BTX, so in total currently worth about $50/£40 – not a bad freebie!

Bitcore 2nd Snapshot (Image: BIUK)
Bitcore 2nd Snapshot (Image: BIUK)

First Weekly Bitcore Airdrop Received

As I pointed out before, the Bitcore coin (BTX) has a great ‘unique selling point (USP)’ that if you hold it you get 3% extra – effectively ‘interest’ – added weekly.

This week is the first time I’ve held enough BTX in my wallet (10 is the minimum quantity) to qualify for the airdrop. However, just like last week’s 25% one-off airdrop, it arrived on time and with no fuss.

Bitcore Weekly Airdrop received (Image: Bitcoin Investors UK)
Bitcore Weekly Airdrop received (Image: Bitcoin Investors UK)

An added bonus is that in that week the value of Bitcore has gone up from $6 to $10 – so my £100 stake is now worth £227. Now maybe you can see why I’m a BTX fan!

Bitcore Airdrop arrived this week

I have been following Bitcore (symbol: BTX) for some months. It seems to be one of the more interesting new altcoins as it seems to have momentum. It has regular airdrops and community discussions which is more than most here-today-gone-tomorrow altcoins.

I first heard about it because it had an airdrop that allowed you to claim free Bitcore if you had Bitcoin in a private wallet on a specific date (26 April 2017). On that day I had 2.8 Bitcoin in my Ledger so I decided to claim. I assume this airdrop is still open so if you had some Bitcoin then you can still claim yourself.

The process is pretty straightforward – download and install a Bitcore Wallet from the Bitcore website as per the usual process (much like I detailed in How to Make a Bitcoin Wallet). You then need to sign a message using your Bitcoin Wallet to prove you own the Bitcoins, and then you register for the airdrop by providing the Receive address for your Bitcore Wallet, plus the message, on the Bitcore Airdrop page.

For me an additional complication was that my old Ledger Nano can’t sign messages so I had to import the account into Electrum and sign it there. I therefore didn’t make the claim until August.

From that original airdrop I received 2.8 BTX. They have held their value fairly constant at about $6 so that was worth $17 or about £13. Not as great as some airdrops (e.g. eBTC) but not bad.

I missed a trick, though, as Bitcore provides free airdrops weekly worth 3% of your current balance. That certainly beats the 1% per year you might get with a conventional fiat savings account! However, you only get the airdrop with a minimum balance of 10 BTX which, of course, I didn’t have.

Anyway, when I heard of proposed changes in BTX airdrops from 30 October I decided to do something about it. The airdrops would only be available to those who registered, but would start with a free 25% airdrop which seemed rather attractive. Therefore last week I bought £100 worth of BTX (so 19.77 BTX) – that brought my total to 22.6 which was more than enough.

I have covered the process of buying and transferring the BTX previously.

My reasoning was that £100 was enough to be worth doing – since I would get about £25 free for the effort of registering – and that I didn’t have the nerve to do what I maybe should have done. Which was buy £10000 worth of BTX and make £2500 overnight. Of course, the latter would have left me open to big losses if BTX devalued quickly.

Bitcore Wallet - recent transactions (Image: Bitcoin Investors UK)
Bitcore Wallet – recent transactions (Image: Bitcoin Investors UK)

Anyway, I’m pleased to report the free 25% BTX (5.64 BTX so worth about £30) has arrived in my wallet. And the price has remained relatively stable so I should really have bought much more…

I plan to keep hold of my BTX for some time (whereas I usually sell airdrops fast) because of the weekly airdrops I should now get. Of course, Bitcore know that’s what people will do and I credit them with coming up with a very clever way of keeping their currency stable and with significant value.

Upcoming Bitcore (BTX Airdrop)

There’s an airdrop coming up on 30 October for the Bitcore cryptocurrency (symbol BTX). This airdrop promises 25% on top of your BTX holding, followed by 3% per week. That’s pretty generous!

I have a small amount of BTX from a previous airdrop (which depended only on you holding some Bitcoin on 26 April this year – more details here). This time I’ve decided to go in bigger and buy some BTX ahead of the airdrop date.

Bitcore Homepage (Image: Bitcoin Investors UK)
Bitcore Homepage (Image: Bitcoin Investors UK)

BTX is primarily traded on Cryptopia so I registered there and transferred some BTC from my Ledger to my new Cryptopia account. I decided to go for £100 (0.0238 BTC) so the 3% would be worth something.

Cryptopia Homepage (Image: Bitcoin Investors UK)
Cryptopia Homepage (Image: Bitcoin Investors UK)

Although it was the first time I used Cryptopia the deposit was easy to do:

Depositing Bitcoin to Cryptopia (Image: Bitcoin Investors UK)
Depositing Bitcoin to Cryptopia (Image: Bitcoin Investors UK)

It went through smoothly, though it took nearly an hour.

I bought the Bitcore and transferred to it to my wallet (which only took about 10 minutes), to join the 2.8BTX already there from the previous airdrop:

Bitcore Wallet (BItcoin Investors UK)
Bitcore Wallet (BItcoin Investors UK)

I registered my wallet address following the excellent detailed instructions put out by Hashers. They also cover downloading and installing the Bitcore wallet if you don’t already have one.

My Bitcore is now ready sitting in my wallet, with the address registered with the Bitcore site for the airdrop. Now I just need to wait for the free Bitcore!