Mining on GPUs or ASICs
Mining is the process of creating new blocks in the blockchain to provide functioning of cryptocurrency platforms. Remuneration is provided at the expense of new issued units of cryptocurrency and/or fees for the creation of the next structural unit. Usually, mining is a series of calculations with a search of parameters to find a hash with the given properties. Various cryptocurrencies use different models of calculations. However, they are enough to find an acceptable option and check the found solution. Such calculations are used by cryptocurrency algorithms to provide safety against the re-use of the same units. The reward encourages people to spend their calculation power and maintain networks.
One of the first was the concept of proof of work done which is called as PoW (Proof of Work). This concept is a classic and the most common now. It means that new coins appear within the chosen blockchain due to the work of the computing power of customers (miners). Thus, they are combined into a network.
Initially, the PoW protocol was designed to withstand DDoS attacks which caused hanging of the systems. Thus, the system was not able to process user requests because of overload. The aim was to cancel useless requests that had the purpose to “drop” the network and cut down the efficiency of the server. It was offered to perform simple tasks by their own for the users. This approach helped to reduce the number of malicious requests as DDos-attacks required serious capabilities to solve such tasks. That’s why such attack was impractical.
In the crypto-currency world, the PoW protocol maintains a decentralized network as well as protects your coins.
Nowadays, various kinds of devices are used for cryptocurrency mining, for example, the specialized equipment such as ASIC’s and rigs based on the graphics cards (GPU). Use of ASIC’s is allowed for a limited number of algorithms including PoW. It can cause a major increase of the complexity and centralization of networks in one hand (a person, a company or a group of companies). The increased complexity means a short life of the device because the return decreases every day.
An alternative to mining based on ASIC’s is mining on graphics cards GPU. Nowadays mining on GPU is accompanied by a large heat release and a low density of cards per unit of space occupied. Thus, the classic rig of 8- 13 cards occupies 70x50x50 cm. In addition, it produces approximately 1.5–2 kW of heat. It amounts to the release of heat from one apartment heating battery for 8 sections. For example, under the construction standards, such batteries are installed in rooms of 20 square meters.
An alternative to air cooling cards is water or immersion ones. Due to its use, it is possible to increase repeatedly the density of the card installation as well as reduce the cost of electricity at least 4 times.
The «ComBox» solution is the world’s first mining ecosystem based on GPU with high-density cards due to the use of immersion cooling. We can manage to install 960 RX470 cards in one 20-foot container. Therefore, it allows us to produce at least 55 ETH/month (at the current level of complexity). Due to the achievement of industrial scale in the mining of alternative coins, we provide the market with a toke. Its purchase is more profitable in the long term than the purchasing, configuration and support of its own capacity. It corresponds to the market trends where it is planned to gradually “die” home mining and transformation of the market on a commercial scale.
It should be noted that there are other concepts instead of PoW. For example, PoS (Proof of Stake) is the proof of share ownership. The concept does not required miners and the enormous computing power because the system chooses automatically the creator based on the proportion of its balance in the total number of a particular cryptocoins.
The more the balance, the better chance it generates a new block. In fact, each coin holder of this concept will receive interest for its storage. The disadvantage of the concept is the motivation of investors to concentrate more and more cryptocurrencies in one hand, if it is; the monopolist is entitled to dictate its own terms to all participants in the network. There are options for a combination of concepts when PoW is used to create cryptocurrencies with a further transition to PoS or combined methods, for example, which are used in Ethereum Casper (PoW+PoS). Based on these assumptions, it can be concluded that the use of capacity will be in demand in various segments of the crypto economy even during the alterations of the basis models. Due to the main advantage of GPU consisting in the ability to switch between different algorithms and currencies, the risk of loss of capability and a sharp decline in production volumes is almost leveled up.