Grin Gets a Boost with Cudo Mining Software for the Masses

Grin, the community-led implementation of the Mimblewimble blockchain, was launched earlier this year on the 15th January. Unusually, it came free of ICO, pre-mine or founder’s reward – in fact its developers are volunteers and it has a 100% community-driven funding model.

It has gained some high-profile backers within the crypto community already.

The administrator of BitcoinTalk, Theymos, said in a forum post:

I'm super excited about grin …  it's clearly built in the same cypherpunk spirit that Bitcoin was: increased freedom/sovereignty through technology.

As a result, Grin has become only the second cryptocurrency after Bitcoin to be accepted as payment for services on BitcoinTalk.

However, it’s difficult to mine – and confusing too. Unlike most cryptocurrencies, Grin has two proof of work (PoW) algorithms which are designed to be memory latency-bound and not compute-bound like the SHA256 hash function used to mine Bitcoin. Grin states that they’ve designed the PoW systems with the aim of using less power and being less susceptible to “Bitcoin style hardware arms-races”.

There are two initial “Cuckoo Cycle” PoW algorithms used by Grin. One has been designated “AR” or ASIC-Resistant, the other “AF” or ASIC-Friendly. The confusion in Grin mining lies in the fact that both can be mined on GPUs right now – and only GPUs, the ASICs haven’t been manufactured yet.

The AR PoW algorithm is called Cuckaroo29. It requires less RAM to execute and is expected to fork every few months to keep one step ahead of the ASICs. However, it has a limited life. It is expected to be phased out in two years.

Cuckatoo31 on the other hand is meant to be ASIC-friendly in the long term, but right now it can only be mined on high-specification graphics cards because of its high memory requirements.

It’s these memory requirements that are making ASICs for Cuckatoo31 difficult to manufacture. To be profitable, the ASICs require huge amounts of expensive low-latency SRAM on the chips – which leads to expensive miners. Grin ASICs won’t be cheap - one, Obelisk, expects its Grin miners to cost $6,000. Plus, if GPUs continue evolving, it’s possible the ASICs won’t be worth their cost, especially as new PoW algorithms are already planned.

Cuckatoo32, the next Grin PoW mining algorithm that’s penned for some time in 2020, will require GPUs with even more RAM – perhaps beyond the limit of consumer GPUs. This could change the dynamic back towards ASICs.

With these complexities and nuances, it’s not surprising that Grin mining has been limited to specialist miners – until now.

Cudo releases the first Grin GUI miner

Cudo Miner, which we reviewed last month, has just launched its GUI mining software for Grin, which it says will bring Grin mining “too the masses.”

With Cudo Miner‘s latest news announcement, you don’t need to spend the time at the command line figuring it out either. As Matt Hawkins, the Cudo Miner CEO, said: “Our goal is to make it as simple and reliable as possible to mine Mimblewimble crypto currencies, so GPU miners can run their rigs and farms without sleepless nights, worrying about lost revenue and configuration.”

Bitmain Launches Large Cryptocurrency Mining Farm in Texas

Leading cryptocurrency mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain has announced the launched of a 50 MW (megawatt) cryptocurrency mining farm in Rockdale, Texas.

The mining farm was launched alongside the Rockdale Municipal Development District (MDD) and Canadian tech firm DMG Blockchain Solutions. The initial plan, for the construction of a 25 MW cryptocurrency mining farm, started in 2018 on a 33,000 acre site owned by Aluminum Company of America.

Earlier this year, the cryptocurrency giant’s plans for the Texas farm were put on hold, as the company reportedly struggled with the significant drop cryptocurrency prices suffered throughout 2018.

Now the mining farm is up and running, and according to Bitmain’s press release can be expanded to a capacity of over 300 MW, which would make it the largest cryptocurrency mining farm in the world.

Clinton Brown, Bitmain’s lead project manager for Rockdale, was quoted as saying:

We are excited to launch this facility, which is significant to Bitmain’s global expansion plans. The stable and efficient energy resources in Texas are fundamental to the inevitable scale of growth for the cryptocurrency mining industry.

The Rockdale mining farm is notably the third crypto mining project in the US Bitmain has invested in, a move that battles China’s dominance when it comes to cryptocurrency mining. Bitmain and BMG are set to work together to expand the farm’s capacity and ensure the hardware is working efficiently.

To power the mining farm, Bitmain will purchase energy from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates Rockdale’s electric grid. Bitmain is also reportedly looking to work with the local school district to provide training and education on blockchain technology and mining data center operations.

Featured image via Pixabay.