Research Lead at Iterative Capital touches on why crypto miners are coming to Texas

Within the past few months, one company opened a bitcoin mining facility in Texas and another announced they were building one. People are confused because one of the biggest cost factors in mining is heat, which Texas has an excess of. Leo Zhang, Research Lead at Iterative Capital, an investment managing and cryptocurrency mining company shared some insight as to why mining is coming to Texas.

“There’s alot of cheap elecricty, the United States has alot of power,” Zhang told Frank Chaparro in The Scoop’s interview. “People are beginning to realize that we can use this otherwise wasted electricity for bitcoin mining.”

Zhang went on to say that finding dirt cheap electricity is becoming more important in the process of mining, especially in China. Texas is deep into the business of producing electricity and some companies likely have an abundance because of the competition which results in lower electric prices for mining facilities.

“Mining for North America is still relatively new, especially mining at scale. Most people who are building these facilities  are not miners themselves as opposed to people in China, they were miners first and then realized to fully capture this economy, I have to own my facility as well,” Zhang clarified.

While there isn’t a great reason to doubt the insight of someone who has been a profitable large scale miner for some time, Zhang only briefly touched on why he has negative opinions about the Texan miners in question. He said that he had phone calls with people who own remote locations in Texas and while they were confident about the power capabilities, they had yet to factor in other important costs. Zhang feels like facility owners in the US see miners as “suckers” who they can pawn off their excess electricity to.

Northern Bitcoin AG merges with Whinstone US, plans mining facility in Texas

Frankfurt, Germany-based Northern Bitcoin AG announced yesterday in a press release that it is partnering with its US-based competitor Whinstone US, Inc to build a a new Bitcoin mining facility in Texas. The companies say that this facility will be “by far the largest Bitcoin Mining Facility worldwide”…

Read moreNorthern Bitcoin AG merges with Whinstone US, plans mining facility in Texas

[Update: October 2019] Top 5 best GPUs for a Monero mining rig

If you’re just getting into Monero mining, you probably find yourself asking the age-old question every good cryptocurrency miner is confronted with: What graphics card should I choose? Choosing a graphics card is by far the most important decision a miner can make. A graphics card decides whether you turn a profit or hemorrage money. A graphics card will make or break your rig. It’s critical that you choose the very best graphics card for your budget.

Navigating the maze of manufacturers and their respective GPUs can be a massive headache. And finding out which of these GPUs will actually turn a profit is a nightmare. To add even more fuel to the fire, some GPUs may require heavy tweaking (such as flashing the bios of a RX 580 to that of a RX 480). Luckily, we’ve put together a list to help you find the very best GPU for your budget, to make sure you get the very most out of your mining rig.

Best graphics cards for mining Monero

Radeon RX 5700

Hash rate: 1100 H/s | TDP: 92W | Memory: 8GB

Although not too exciting in of itself, the Radeon RX 5700 performs surprisingly well for a budget-oriented GPU. A single card manages around 1100 H/s. Mining with six of these cards will show a hash rate of around 6600 H/s. Taking its price into consideration, the Radeon RX 570 may be the best card on this list in terms of price-per-performance. If you’re getting into mining primarily as a hobby, this is the perfect GPU for you. If you ever get bored of mining Monero or just want to switch to another currency for whatever reason, repurposing this card to mine something else is a very simple task, as this card performs well across the board for many different cryptocurrencies.

Where to buy: Amazon

AMD Radeon VII

Hash rate: 3000 H/s | TDP: 275W | Memory: 16GB

Some people are calling this the best mining card ever, and with tests averaging above 2800 H/s, we’re inclined to agree. The Radeon VII runs for about the same price as a GTX 1080ti but achieves almost three times the hash rate power for Monero. While it turned out to be a bit underwhelming for gaming, it is a testament to how much more efficient AMD cards are for mining. This is definitely a top tier GPU and the most expensive on our list, but with a a significant lead over the competition, you get what you pay for.

Where to buy: Amazon

Radeon Vega 64

Hash rate: 2200 H/s | TDP: 250W | Memory: 8GB

At a price point between the RX 5700 and Radeon VII, Vega 64 is a great mid their option. Although this card is much older than AMD’s recent RX series cards, it still manages to pull its weight better than most GPUs on the market, including many newer alternatives by AMD. With it, you’ll be managing a hash rate of around 1100 H/s, which is a noticeable improvement over the GTX 1080ti. Even during the recent unpredictability of the GPU market due to global shortages, the AMD HD 7990 manages to be much cheaper than other GPUs, including the GTX 1080ti, making it a perfect choice.

Where to buy: Amazon

AMD RX Vega 56

Hash rate: 1800 H/s | TDP: 110W to 160W | Memory: 8GB

You may recall this card making headlines last year as AMD made a refreshing move to enter the high-end GPU market. Although things didn’t pan out for AMD in the gaming market as many consumers had hoped, it has certainly made its way into the hearts of hardcore cryptocurrency miners for it’s superior performance in relation to much of the competition.

With a hash rate of around 1800 H/s, it blows away the AMD HD 7990 and GTX 1080ti. That is not to say, however, that it doesn’t come with a burdensome price tag. If you’re planning on building a multi-GPU rig, this card performs surprisingly well as it combines it’s effort with a twin. Two RX Vega 56 GPUs will return a hash rate of around 3600H/s, which is incredibly impressive.

Where to buy: Amazon

Sapphire Radeon RX 580

Hash rate: 1000 H/s | TDP: 110W | Memory: 8GB

With prices starting under $200, it can make a lot of sense to get a few of these GPUs instead of one Radeon VII. The ultimate budget option for Radeon is still very close in comparison to the $800 GTX 1080ti. You won’t be booting up many triple-A  titles with this GPU but sticking more than one of these into a mining rig is will give respectable results. The only downside to buying many of these is it will never be as expandable as buying a Radeon VII now and saving up for more down the line.

Where to buy: Amazon

Have feedback or thoughts on how we can improve this guide? Leave a comment.

How to uninstall all GPU drivers on your PC w/ Display Driver Uninstaller

Sometimes when configuring your graphics cards for a GPU cryptocurrency mining rig, things can go awry. Maybe you installed a driver that’s making your mining software crash. Maybe you accidentally updated drivers to a newer version that — for one reason or another — gets a lower hashrate than you got before. Whatever the case may be, it’s almost certain that at some point in your cryptocurrency mining journey that you will want to do a clean uninstall of all graphics cards drivers so you can start over.

Display Driver Uninstaller

Thankfully, there’s a handy and free Windows application that can do a full and complete uninstall of any graphics card drivers you have installed on your PC. It’s called Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU for short), and you can download it from the Guru3D website. It works with both AMD and Nvidia GPUs.

Uninstall and restart, keep the same GPUs

When you launch the application, you’ll see a window that looks a lot like what you see below. The program detects which version of Windows you’re running, and lets you choose which graphics drivers you want to uninstall — either AMD or Nvidia.

From there, all you do is click the “Clean and restart” option. Obviously this is the most recommended option because it will prevent weirdness that might happen from the process of uninstalling your drivers. Giving it a full reboot will let Windows load up with the stock video drivers and allow you to install new ones.

Uninstall, and change GPUs

Alternatively, you can choose to “Clean and Shutdown,” which is ideal for installing a new graphics card. This way, the program will do a clean uninstall of all drivers and simply shut down your system, allowing you to swap out your GPU hardware. While this isn’t usually necessary when changing hardware, it can be helpful if you started having problems with your display or mining software.

Full list of mining pools for Monero: Minexmr, nanopool, supportxmr, and others

With the explosive popularity of Monero over the past year, a myriad of different mining pools have charged into the scene. Unfortunately, navigating this jungle of pools has become increasingly difficult. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered! All of these pools have received positive mentions and have been vouched for by many enthusiastic members of the mining community. That being said, we take no responsibility for any fraudulent activity by these pools. If they decide to run with your money, that’s on them.

In our Monero mining guide, we’ve used the pool. Monerohash takes relatively low fees, some of which is actually donated to the Monero Core development team. They’re also currently classified as a smaller mining pool (has less than 3% of the overall network hash rate), so by mining with them, you’ll be contributing to the decentralized nature of the network. Within the Monero community, they have a solid reputation.

Here’s the full list of pools:

Although there are definitely pools out there that we are not aware of, these are by far the most trusted and popular ones. If there’s a pool you’d like to be added to this list, leave a comment below.

Consider joining a small mining pool, as to not allow one mining pool to rule the network.  For if one pool were to gain over 51% of the hash rate, as has happened with multiple cryptocurrencies in the past, they have the ability to force the network to migrate over to a new chain while double-spending in the process.