Friday, March 28, 2014

The Largest Bitcoin Miner on the Planet Uses Rasberry Pi

From Ars Technica:

Meet the manic miner who wants to mint 10% of all new bitcoins
1.4 million chips and 5,000 Raspberry Pis power absurdly large mining operation.

As Bitcoin mining chips crunch numbers, a Raspberry Pi directs traffic.
In a couple of large buildings near the Columbia River in Eastern Washington, where hydroelectricity is cheap and plentiful, Dave Carlson oversees what he says is one of the largest Bitcoin mining operations on the planet.

At any given time, Carlson's goal is to account for seven to 10 percent of the entire world's Bitcoin mining as measured by processing or hashing power, he said. At the moment, he's slightly below that target but doesn't expect to remain below it for very long. The operations are fueled by thousands of mining rigs containing more than 1.4 million BitFury mining chips, while Raspberry Pis loaded with custom software direct traffic on each rig.

"We were looking for the lowest cost, highest volume production, tiny computer controller that had the ability to integrate with another electronic board design. There are many out there, but the Raspberry Pi is something like 40 bucks," Carlson told Ars.

Carlson's company, MegaBigPower, does the biggest portion of its mining on behalf of its primary investor, the BioInfoBank Institute in Poland. Carlson takes a cut in bitcoins and rents capacity to other people who want to mine without running their own hardware and software.

"We surface about half of our US mining power as something you can purchase as a leased hash product," he said.
"GH" is one billion hashes per second, and "TH" is one trillion hashes per second.
If you really want to get into Bitcoin mining, it may well be better to run your own hardware than lease hashing power from someone else. Not having any desire to handle the specifics of mining could be a good reason to pay someone else to do all the work. But if Carlson can make money by leasing out mining capabilities and taking a percentage of mined bitcoins, someone who's willing to research the appropriate hardware and configurations themselves should probably just go it alone and reap all the Bitcoin profits....MORE
 Previously on the Rasberry Pi channel:
UPDATED--"Build your own supercomputer out of Raspberry Pi boards"
"What Are People Doing With the Raspberry Pi Computer? Wired UK on Sale May 30"