Unless you’ve fully managed to shield yourself from the news in the past year, chances are Bitcoin has popped up on your radar at least once. As Bitcoin is becoming more and more accepted, it is likely to pave the way for other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is hardly the only one. There are numerous other currencies that are similar in nature. If you’re like me, you’ve already started to look for the next big thing.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) is the concept of mining. In simple terms, you can put your computer to work and make money. Depending on the particular cryptocoin, the exact task your computer(s) will be executing will vary.
The problem with mining Bitcoin these days however is that it isn’t cost effective to do on commodity hardware anymore. Just a year or two ago, you could actually mine Bitcoin on your home computer and make a decent chunk of Bitcoin (in particular given today’s exchange rate). These days, you will need some kind of custom hardware like this, this or this.
If we assume that you are not willing to invest in custom hardware to mine cryptocurrencies, there is still hope with other up and coming cryptocurrencies. One of these upcoming cryptocurrencies is Primecoin (also known as XPM). What makes Primecoin in particular interesting is that you cannot (currently) use GPUs for the mining. This makes Primecoin extra attractive from a scalability perspective, as you can easily set up a large scale mining farm in the cloud and avoid having a lot of servers running in your house.
To make things easier for you to get started mining, we’ve gone ahead and created a turn-key Primecoin mining server (running ‘primecoin-0.1.2-hp11′) and made this available in the drives library. You can find it in all data centers under the name “Primecoin Miner”. All you need to do is to clone this disk image and create a server.
We recommend at the very least least 8Ghz CPU and 4GB RAM. However, please keep in mind that CPU is the bottleneck for Primecoin mining, so the more CPU you allocate, the better. This means that within a few minutes, you can set up an entire farm of Primecoin miners (or even automate the task with pycloudsigma and fabric).
Once you start up the virtual server, the Primecoin mining process will automatically start (after it has downloaded the blockchain, which might take approximately 30-60 min, but remember all incoming data is free at CloudSigma). If you provide an SSH-key when you created the server, this will automatically be installed. If not, use the VNC password from the WebbApp. The default username is ‘cloudsigma’.
You can then monitor your mining using the following command:
$ primecoind getmininginfo
To get the balance, use the following command:
$ primecoind getbalance
For more information about how to use Primecoin, as well as how to transfer the balance you’ve generated on your server to a different account, please see this page.
It really blows the mind to think that wide acceptance of such currencies is turning the financial world on it’s head. Individuals, not central banks, are the ones printing money and influencing the money supply.
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