More of What Shibes Need to Know About Mining – Before Actually Mining

Boston, MA – 11/5/2021

As a follow up to our article “Mining for Dogecoing – Everything Baby Shibes Need to Know”, which didn’t actually get into any technical discussion about how one might set up a mining operation for dogecoin, DogeDealz now sets out to tackle some more details concerned with the actual process of mining for dogecoin, with help and guidance from advanced mining shibe @A_T_O_M_NFT and other contributors.

As described above, our first article on “mining” was really meant to share some fundamental knowledge about proof of work block chains, forking, and some history about dogecoin and how it originally came about as a #LTC fork. On our part, there was some gratuitous speculation concerning the dogecoin founders, and what we perceived may have been their individual contributions to the project.

To clear the air, and any juju (if there is any) we would like to say, that DogeDealz in fact probably knows nothing about anything; but, if either Billy or Jackson would like to provide a comment to set us straight, then DogeDealz would welcome having a professional sit down to ask some questions and get the actual facts (in as much as they’re still relevant). Until that day comes, and hopefully it will (could be fun), without any actual way of verifying our intuitive senses, we’re just going to run with the DogeDealz version of the truth. How’s that for “zero knowledge journalism”. . .

Okay, now that, that is out of the way. Mining! Yes! Yay!

Dang. Okay. Where to actually start? As the previous article ended with providing some understanding of the evolution of dogecoin as a proof of work, scrypt based alogrithm, we should touch a little on what a scrypt algorithm actually is, why it was developed, and how it is different from the cryptographic algorithm used by bitcoin ~ SHA 256. Following the chronological theme of “Everything Baby Shibes Need to Know” let’s start with relatively ancient history and take a look at SHA 256 first.

SHA 256 is a 256 (actually 512) bit encryption algorithm in the family of SHA-2 algorithms originally developed by the NSA. Yes, those guys and gals. They can be pretty clever when they want to be. It’s the same technology used by most major web platforms for storing your super secret passwords. Which is also why in addition to multi-factor authentication and machine learning heuristics, you only get a certain number of tries before you get locked out of your internet accounts, as one can easily imagine a bitcoin mining farm being repurposed to brute-force your super secrets, but I digress.

Bitcoin uses SHA 256 to “find” blocks, and this process is super resource intensive, such that to be competitive in actually finding bitcoin blocks (and to have mining be profitable), one would need a super powerful mining device called an ASIC that uses specialized chips to “find” blocks super fast. Even so, to actually be competitive today, you would need multiple ASIC devices working together in a “pool” in order to regularly find blocks in an industrial scale, institutional operation.

Okay, so the first lesson here is that mining bitcoin is out of reach for most people, it’s the oldest technology, it’s the most resource intensive out of all of the proof of work algorithms and is generally the worst for the environment. To use a simple used car analogy – “it’s a clunker”.

Now enter litecoin and #LTC Scrypt. Yay!

The innovation of the litecoin development team was to produce a cryptographic algorithm that accomplished the same decentralized ledger and basically the same functionality as bitcoin – cheaper, better, faster. To put things in technical terms, litecoin developers wanted to use their CPUs and GPUs in order to mine, and find blocks that they were competing for with ASIC miners on the bitcoin blockchain, so they decided to store what are called “block headers” in Random Access Memory or RAM, and to accomplish this, they downloaded more RAM to compete with the ASICs.

Just kidding, nobody actually downloaded any RAM (that’s moderately impossible) but what they did do was put a “fork” in bitcoin (as described previously) and use RAM to be a little less clunky, and a little more wow. Originally this innovation appears to have been purely a response to a hardware issue; but over time, ASIC miners evolved in order to support a requisite amount of RAM for scrypt mining, and as you can see from the refrain in the previous article, a version of “Moore’s Law” does appear to apply to the crypto mining space.

OK, so, you haven’t gotten to the part about what I have to do to set up a mining rig and get started with this crypto mining thing! Get on with it!

Well, one of the other things you’ll need to know about mining, is that mining requires patience. A lot of patience. If you’re reading this far, and you want to find some crypto blocks, then you’re likely going to be running an operation 24/7/365 – so you might as well understand the entire backstory before diving in to the hardware, software, and networking configurations required. So just hold on and indulge us in our description of the most recent piece of the puzzle in this evolution of decentralized money before we get into set ups, configurations and the like.

To do that, let’s revisit some facts that we might have glossed over in this talk of algorithms, clunky, and wow. First, you may already know that bitcoin is “deflationary” and that there will only ever be 21 million bitcoins. Without getting into the details of hashrates, block height, mempool, and halving, this is what bitcoin maxis talk about when they refer to having a limited supply, and their common refrain of bitcoin therefore being “digital gold”. . . well, what bitcoin maxis don’t want you to know is – that litecoin is also “deflationary” and that there will only ever be 84 million litecoins!

Wow! Bet you didn’t know that! Okay. Maybe now you’re starting to understand why DogeDealz keeps saying that litecoin is undervalued!

Okay cool. If you’ve been paying close attention, you may recall that dogecoin is a fork of litecoin. But, what did Billy and Jackson actually do? Why is dogecoin different from litecoin?

Well, to sum it up in a few words: it’s inflationary which is great, because it makes it possible to use dogecoin as a real currency because it gives users the incentive to transact while also providing some stability for miners who would no longer have to worry about how “halving” and associated price changes may impact profitability. So in essence dogecoin uses the same litecoin Scrypt algorithm, but applies a few different chain parameters. That’s it!

So, the moment the litecoin guys decide, if they decide, to rebrand their deflationary coin as “dogecoin classic” both coins will immediately deflate and inflate simultaneously TO THE MOON!

Again, I digress, but this is why you may have heard about dogecoin/litecoin merged mining, and typically these days that is done on special #LTC ASIC machines that, as previously mentioned, support enough RAM in order to efficiently compute the #LTC/#DOGE Scrypt algorithm.

Well, that’s all for now, only because that’s all we have time for to meet our publication deadline, but in any case we hope these last few articles have helped clear up some of the mining mysteries. We know that we have once again failed to get into any actual mining stuff, but we promise that we will in the next installment in the series of what “Shibes Need to Know About Mining”.

Once again, we would like to extend a special thanks to @A_T_O_M_NFT, @Rno and the entire #TipMyDoge #DogeNodePush crew for your support and shibe review feedback.

Here are some resources for a deeper dig:

Stay tuned for more updates on how to mine with Minera on a Raspberry Pi OS.

1 thought on “More of What Shibes Need to Know About Mining – Before Actually Mining”

  1. Pingback: Mining for Dogecoin – Everything Baby Shibes Need to Know – DogeDealz – Building Parallel Economies with #DOGE

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