After a month-long foray into power intensive GPU cryptomining I had a minor crisis of conscious and embarked on a quest for a more environmentally ethical cryptocurrency.
My journey actually began with Chia Network, a blockchain network created by BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen. However I soon realized after researching more, that I had far too little HDD storage space to allow for any reasonable return.
Enter Burstcoin, which like Chia is based on Proof of Capacity, a greener alternative to Proof of Work currently dominating the cryptomining landscape.
BTDEX was recommended as the all-in-one solution for beginner miners, and that’s where I started. There’s versions for Windows, Linux and Mac.
I chose a spare Toshiba laptop running Windows 8 (don’t ask) with 0.49 TiB or roughly 538 GB of HDD space. Not a lot in the modern world of storage but enough to dabble and that’s all I need.
Installation was a breeze, although the software requires Java which I’m not thrilled about.
The process begins with plotting or allocating space on your HD for use by the network. I chose the pre-calculated amount (which I confirmed was appropriate) however I found the interface to be confusing, and still find myself stumbling around, helped only by my experience with other mining software.
Plotting takes significant time, based on several factors but mostly the overall performance capability of your computing device. With my Intel i5-3337U 1.8 GHz CPU and 8 GB of RAM, plotting 0.49 TiB took almost 20 hours, which was actually impressive because my first attempt used the “low priority” setting and the time estimate was 10x as long.
Once my plotting was complete, and I joined a Mining Pool (which requires a small BURST fee), I was able to start mining.
Built into BTDEX is a handy calculator which informed me I would earn approximately 0.13 BURST per day with my single plot. Certainly not enough to be considered “profitable”, but that’s not my goal here and this is my first (smallish) plot so I wasn’t expecting much.
Once I can stake, or “commit” some BURST, my mining returns will increase.
I have to say I’m rather impressed by the Burstcoin community. Shortly after I published this blog post and promoted it on Twitter, I started receiving a small flood of likes and retweets from other Burstcoin enthusiasts.
When I replied to one asking for some help with my initial plot, they directed me to Discord where I found even more community members willing and able to help me quickly!
Super helpful was jjos both on Discord, and with this helpful article he wrote on how to mine Burstcoin with BTDEX.
Burstcoin Mining Documentation
As I make progress (or not) with Burstcoin mining I will post updates here and may possibly publish a follow-up article on how to run a node, which is another way to earn Burstcoin. Stay tuned!