Altcoin Wallet

If you’re interested in the exploding cryptocurrency scene at the moment and have taken the step to purchasing something other than bitcoin, you’ll be interested to know what your options are in terms of finding an altcoin wallet to keep your currency safe.

In this article we’ll explore just that.

Altcoin Wallet: Why you need one

When you invest and trade in cryptocurrencies it is vital that you have a digital wallet to store and keep your money safe. Quite simply, a digital wallet is a software program that stores your coins for you by holding the keys to the blockchains that enable you to trade.

By owning the keys, you have control over the funds linked to those keys. Should someone else access your keys, which are similar to banking PIN numbers, they can gain control over your funds.

Safeguarding these keys is the main function of a wallet. For guidance on how to download Altcoin wallets, please watch the following online video:

What is Altcoin?

Altcoin is quite simply a shortening of “Alternative Coin”. Post the launch of Bitcoin, a flood of new cryptocurrencies became available on the market and these are referred to as Altcoin’s. Some Altcoin wallets can manage one or two cryptocurrencies in addition to Bitcoin and some wallets can manage multiple currencies such as Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin and Ripple.

Best Altcoin wallets

According to Steemit.com  the following are the best Alton wallets currently available:

  • Cryptonator: this is a multi-currency wallet that supports 19 different Cryptocurrencies and has more than 500 000 active accounts. More than 16 million transactions have been processed though Cryptonator. Registering and downloading a wallet is free but there is a rate charged on transactions which have been reviewed as being very high The keys are not kept by you on your device but by Cryptonator themselves which means they have ultimate control over your funds.
  • Agama or Komodo (https://supernet.org/en/downloads) supports 12 different currencies and is available for MAC and Windows. The keys are held by you on your computer and are not encrypted, which means you have to be careful.
  • Exodus: also supports multiple currencies and as an additional feature has Shapeshift built into the wallet, which enables easy exchange of currencies. The wallet also has charts and graphs that enable real time tracking of your portfolio. The wallet only supports 8 currencies, which the developers are not planning to increase. Suitable for MAC and Windows the keys are kept on your device and are encrypted.
  • Jaxx – is voted the second best Altcoin wallet available at the moment. It stores keys for 12 different currencies and has a friendly, easy to use interface. Jaxx is suitable for all platforms, MAC, Linux and Windows as well as mobile devices. Jaxx developers are constantly adding new coins and want to be known as the wallet that supports all coins. Keys are stored on your device and are encrypted.
  • Coinomi – The best Alton wallet based on the Steemit poll is Coinomi. This wallet stores keys for an incredible 64 cryptocurrencies and has Shapeshift built in. As an added feature it combines the value of your different currencies to give you an overall portfolio value. The keys are stored on your device and are encrypted and secure. The only downside to the wallet is that it is only available on Android and not IOS or Linux, although the developers are working on addressing this.

Regardless of the type of Cryptocurrency you are investing and trading in, ensuring you have a wallet that meets your requirements and keeps your currency keys safe is critical. When choosing your wallet ensure the security suits your environment and research the costs associated with the wallet.

Hardware Wallet

All the wallets mentioned above are online software wallets. Another option that you may want to consider for additional security is a hardware wallet, such as the Trezor or Ledger Nano S, which enables you to safely store keys offline.

Dogecoin Mining

Cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular over the past few weeks, but most people would admit to knowing very little beyond bitcoin and Ether.

This article will introduce dogecoin, one of the many alternatives, before focusing on dogecoin mining.

What is Dogecoin?

Dogecoin is a P2P (peer to peer) cryptocurrency that was launched in December 2013.

Originally launched as a joke coin with the image of the dog from the meme with the same name, Dogecoin unexpectedly gained popularity and reached a market capitalisation of $308 million by December 2017.

Dogecoin has about 100 billion coins in circulation and while it not used in commercial application to the degree that Bitcoin is, it has popularity as a cryptocurrency used for tipping people on the Internet.

Currently a crowdfunding effort is in place to create a gold coin with the Doge image on, which will be sent to the moon, resulting in the phrase “To the Moon” being used to express the unexpected growth of the currency.

Like other more mainstream cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin is anonymous, decentralised and a secure form of making Internet payments. Dogecoin sees its community of users as fun and friendly and is linked to the Dogecoin foundation (http://foundation.dogecoin.com), which raises funds for charities and supports non-profit organisations. The Shibu Inu dog, the Dogecoin logo, is a small Japanese dog which became famous for memes on Tumblr in 2005 after a teacher posted pictures of his adopted dog with logo’s.

To start using Dogecoin as a currency, users will need to download a wallet, buy some Dogecoins and then they are set to start trading. Dogecoin is currently one of the most popular cryptocurrencies alongside Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ether, but unlike Bitcoin, Dogecoin continuously adds coins to the market instead of having a limited supply.

This means the value of Dogecoin is far lower than that of Bitcoin and the value will continue to drop as more coins come into circulation.

Check out the full article on how to mine dogecoin

Dogecoin Mining Software

Dogecoin is simple to mine and all that is needed to get started is a PC, access to electricity and the Internet and one or more graphics cards. The more CPU you have the more successful your mining will be and even though it is possible to mine without a graphics card, the results will be slower.

As Dogecoin is based on Litecoin, the same hardware requirements as used when mining Litecoin is ideal. A CPU with a minimum of 200 KH/Sec is recommended if you want to see good mining results. For details on the changes made to Dogecoin that affect miners and the most effective way to accommodate these changes, visit http://investaltcoins.com/how-to-mine-dogecoin-2017/

Dogecoin Mining Pool

There are many pools that miners can join to mine Dogecoins.  The benefits of using a dogecoin mining pool versus solo mining is the combined processing power of the miners in the pool results in more completed transactions and a faster generation of revenue.

There are pools that focus only on Dogecoin and those that mine for multiple cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dogecoin.  In a recent poll on bitcointalk.org the most popular pool for mining Dogecoins is doge.poolerino.com with almost 30% of the votes.

Cryptomining-blog.com (http://cryptomining-blog.com/tag/dogecoin-pools/) has a detailed list of all the mining pools that mine for Dogecoin.

For tips on mining Dogecoin, watch the following videos:

Or

Dogecoin Mining 2018

There is much speculation about the value of Dogecoin into 2018 and beyond. With the release of additional coins into the market the price is expected to drop, but there is allot of positive commentary about the future of the coin. For some additional reading on the predictions of Dogecoin, the following sites have some interesting debates on the subject.

PPLNS Payment Method

Mining for cryptocurrency is popular way for to generate revenue using the computing power and specialist mining hardware. There are many ways to do this, and this article will focus on the PPLNS payment method that is offered by some mining pools.

PPLNS Payment Method

Although there are many solo miners that work on their own, there is growing trend to join pools, where miners combine their resources and computing power to increase the number of transactions that can be completed in a given period, resulting in more income.

As the pools gain more popularity, the amount of resources needed by solo miners to compete increases and this becomes expensive and the ability to compete for transactions more difficult. When miner’s work alone, the calculation of the split of the coins earned for a transaction completed is simple, they get 100%.

However when a pool of miners (more than one) has contributed to the calculation, the income generated needs to be split amongst all those involved.  The two most popular forms of revenue division are PPS and PPLNS.

What does PPLNS stand for?

PPLNS is an acronym for “Pay Per Last N Shares” which calculates your average contribution over a period of time. This ensures that miners loyal to specific pool will earn on average more than miners that hop from pool to pool.

There is an element of luck involved with the PPLNS payment method as the amount of contributors in a pool can fluctuate over a period of time, but in general PPLNS payments will be about 5% higher than PPS payments for the same amount of transactions completed.


PPLNS vs. RBPPS

PPS stands for “Pay-per-Share” which simply calculates the percentage due to each miner based on his or her share of contributed resources to the completed transaction. This is a simple calculation that can be easily forecasted and measured and pays for every share submitted. RBPPS stands for “Round Based Pay per Share” which is very similar to the PPS payment method, but will not pay for orphaned blocks (blocks that are valid but do not belong to the main chain).

PPLNS Mining Pools

When joining a mining pool it is important that miners know what payment method the pool is using and that it meets their execrations and matches their mining activity.

Most mining pools use the PPS method to calculate payment but Ethereum mining pools that use the PPLNS method include:

  • Ethermine, the largest PPLNS Ethereum mining pool with over seventy-four thousand active miners.
  • Ethfans, the largest Chinese speaking Ethereum mining pool, based in Asia
  • Antpool, which pays on the PPNLS, PPS and Solo method and allows miners to mines for Etheruem, Bitcon and other cryptocurrencies
  • Nanopool also mines for multiple cryptocurrencies with servers based across Europe and Asia and just over 50 000 active miners. See our recent article on Nanopool vs Ethpool.

Payout schemes are one of the main considerations when weighting up different pools like Ethpool vs. EtherMine.

For miners that wish to stay with a specific mining pool and are looking for bigger payouts over a long term period, pools that offer PPLNS are a better choice than those that pay on the PPS or RBPPS method. The risk with PPLNS is that your payments could fluctuate by more that 30% over the short period (up or down), but in the long run you will do better.

Ethereum Explained

Ethereum is a recently launched cryptocurrency platform (only two years old) that is quite literally giving Bitcoin a run for it’s money. 

If you’re looking to find ethereum explained in simple terms, you’re in the right place.

What is Ethereum ?

Built on Ethereum Blockchain Technology, it enables a decentralised network of computers to exchange cryptocoins while recording and maintaining the entire history of the transaction. This ensures a cost effective, highly reliable environment that has no single point of failure.

The founder of Ethereum ,Vitalik Buterin, developed the blockchain technology to enable functionality that Bitcoin does not offer such as crowdfunding and smart-contracts, taking the possibilities of cryptocurrency into new realms in the commercial world.

There are many online videos that can assist in understanding the fundamentals of the Ethereum such as:

 

And:

Although the core function of Ethereum is the exchange of cryptocoins, known as Ether, the bigger potential value lies in the smart-contract technology and its possible application across a variety of industries.  Smart contacts allow for the same transactions that happen in the real world to take place in an online cloud environment using a decentralised public blockchain, where the terms and conditions of the contract are measured and on execution, the smart contract pays out.

The contacts are stored, tracked and executed cryptographically. The attached infographic outlines in a simple format the potential uses of Ethereum. http://decentral.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/infographic.jpg.

The range of smart contract applications that people are investigating today is varied and exciting.

Ethereum Explained – How does it work?

The fundamental principle behind Ethereum is a system that is completely decentralised, creating what has been referred to as a World computer. Instead of a single server holding information, it resides with thousands of volunteers computers or nodes.

When the Ethereum program is used, thousand of nodes process the transaction and validate the new state of the contract. This process of validating the  transaction is known as mining. The state of the contract is then updated and the terms of the contract executed upon as written by the original developer or creator of the smart contract.

More information on how Ethereum works can be found on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVcgl8t9LIQ and https://www.genesis-mining.com/what-is-ethereum.

Ethereum mining explained

So we know the process of validating the transaction is know as mining, but how does mining work and why would it be viable for people to volunteer?

In order for the transaction to be validated, computer resources are required that will calculate the transaction.  Miners offer or volunteer their resources to create a block of valid transactions. Miners across the world compete to calculate and validate blocks first and submit their proof that the block is valid, known as proof of work.  When a miner is first to validate a new block he earns Ether which holds value as a cryptocurrency.  The more resources a miner has, the better chance he has of validating and creating a block and earning the coins. This has led to the creation of ethereum mining pools where miners combine their resources to validate blocks faster.

Two of the leading pools are Ethpool and Ethermine, through there are several others that are considered among the best ethereum mining pools.

Mining requires dedicated hardware, or rigs, which can be very expensive to purchase and run.

An online calculator for miners can be accessed at https://www.cryptocompare.com/mining/calculator/eth?HashingPower=20&HashingUnit=MH%2Fs&PowerConsumption=140&CostPerkWh=0.12.

The potential application  for Ethereum smart contracts going forward is almost limitless with significant possibilities in particular in the banking and properly markets when management of contracts is labour intensive, slow and vulnerable to human error.

Ethpool Payout Scheme

Many people have been asking for more information about the payout schemes for various Ethereum mining pools.

For example, what are the pros and cons of pps+ vs PPLNS.

In this article we’ll look specifically at the Ethpool Payout Scheme and point you in the direction of other resources where you can get more info.

EthPool Payout Scheme

EthPool.org is slightly different to other mining pools in that it is more like solo mining and therefore doesn’t use the PPS / PPLNS / PROP methodology that some others do.

The Terms of Payment for the site states that:

“http://ethpool.org is a predictable Ethereum solo mining pool and implements a solo mining payout scheme. Each submitted share will increase the credits of the Miner who submitted the share by the fixed share difficulty of the pool. The Miner who accumulated the most credits will receive the reward of the next block that has been mined by the pool and his credits will be reset to his current credits minus the credits of the runner up Miner. “Uncles” are distributed in a similar way only that the credits of the Miner receiving the uncle reward will not be reset.”

This also clearly sets out the pool fees, which for EthPool is 1%.

EthPool also offers a support portal that covers many other specific questions relating to payment methods, frequency of payments etc.

This page explains further that the pool operates with a solo mining payment scheme.

“This means the miner who contributed the most work to the pool will receive the full reward of the next found block (or uncle) and his work account (credits) will be reset to his current credits minus the credits of the runner up miner.”

The site has a couple of useful features that will allow you to work out when you’ll be paid, including “time to next block”, on the balance page.

Top Ethereum mining pools

We’ve looked previously at ethermine vs ethpool.

And there is some debate around which pools offers the greater payout. Many suspect that Ethermine is better for smaller miners, while ethpool benefits much larger mining operations.

Large outfits are making it more difficult for smaller miners to compete on the pool, increasing the time it takes to get paid. As a result, several miners have switched to other pools like Nanopool.

See our other article on top ethereum pools in 2017 here.

Final thought

Here is a useful run through of the payment methods for most of the top pools, including the ethpool payout scheme.

Finding the right pool is really important, and it is definitely worth taking some time to investigate your options. Have a play around with the mining calculators as well.

The differences in picking the right pool can be substantial, beyond just the processing fees. You also have to consider things like opportunity cost, if you’re tied into a pool that is taking a long time, but you can’t leave as you are awaiting payment, that is time lost that could have been much better spent in another pool.

The Big Opportunity: Smart Contracts Banking

Smart Contracts are the transaction tools of the future. Through creating safe, trackable contracts of law that are automatically enforced, smart contracts will change the way many industries interact with their clients and manage their agreements and by using Ethereum blockchain technology, smart contracts are self executing contracts when all the criteria are met.

Smart contracts benefits include better security for the safety and confidentiality of the contract, transaction costs are reduced and the redundancy is increased as multiple copies are held across the Internet.

Smart contracts are most effective in area’s where the terms of the contract are absolute and measurable, for example in the shipping and freight industry and in the financial industry, where the terms are not subjective but can be calculated and tracked.

As a result of this, one of the greatest opportunities for smart contact applications is in the banking industry, where commercial contracts are an inherent part of the nature of the business and the terms of the contract are not subjective. In addition, because Ethereum is decentralized and open source, any developer can use it to create and write smart contracts.

Smart Contracts: Banking uses cases

In October 2016, Capgemini Consulting released a paper named “Smart Contracts in Financial Services: Getting from Hype to Reality ” which highlighted how Ethereum contracts reduce risk, inefficiency, error and fraud for the banking industry in comparison to the traditional paper based contracts. The report foresees most first world banks moving to smart contracts in totality as early as 2020.

Some of the area’s within the banking industry that have been identified as ideal for smart contracts include:

Mortgages:

these require huge amounts of data to be collected, documented and monitored, including property values and large amounts of personal data of all the parties involved. Through access to online information such as title deeds and Land registries, the process can be automated and the turn around time greatly reduced. In addition the monitoring of the activity in terms of the contract can be done automatically reducing the delay of manual interactions and eliminating the chance of error. Capgemini estimated savings of up to $960 per mortgage.

Smart Bonds:

due to the ability of Ethereum smart contracts to calculate and manage huge amounts of data and execute complex calculations, the development of smart bonds,where the legal requirements of the bond are coded into the contract, is a given.

Knowing your customer: before any interaction with a bank a large amount of information about the customer needs to be collected. With the introduction of smart contracts and blockchain the information of all current clients will be easy to access and update new applications, reducing the frustration of the customer and the costs and time delay for the financial institution.

Clearing and Settlements:

This is another huge processing area for a bank where smart contracts can make a big difference. Currently a consortium of banks is testing the possibility of smart contracts in this arena to understand the possible impact. By using smart contracts the calculations of the trade settlements can be done automatically and show significant savings.

Not all the possibilities mentioned here are immediately available for the banks. In most cases, careful thought and planning still needs to be applied before the move to smart contracts in total, but the opportunity for the banks to improve their service, accuracy and bottom line makes involvement in this area inevitable.

http://blockchainapac.fintecnet.com/uploads/2/4/3/8/24384857/smart_contracts.pdf

https://btcmanager.com/a-cost-benefit-analysis-of-using-smart-contracts-in-banking/

https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/technology/2017/09/business-advantages-of-blockchain-smart-contracts.html

Smart Contract Applications

Smart contracts are digital contracts that can be used in place of all the standard legal contacts such as leases, shares, property sales or anything else required by contracting parties.

A smart contract is a self executing contract that behaves exactly according to the manner in which it has been written. They are less expensive that traditional contracts as there is no need to hire a middleman to write the contract and they cannot be lost or ignored as they have been duplicated across the network.

Ethereum contracts are secure and un-hackable. Ethereum was designed specifically for smart contracts and is the most popular platform due to its flexibility. For more information on what smart contracts are and how smart contract blockchains are explained, visit https://www.coindesk.com/information/ethereum-smart-contracts-work/.

Smart Contract Applications

The application of smart contracts in the ever growing digital world is limitless. Here are a couple of smart contract examples to demonstrate why they are growing in popularity in all industries:

Smart Contracts:  Insurance

A challenge with traditional insurance policies is the amount of time needed to process the claim and the intense administration requirements. By converting the insurance policy into a smart contract, once an incident occurs that should begin the claim process, such as a car accident, the contract can be triggered. The pre-agreed limitations and circumstances surrounding the claim would have been written into the contract and the claim can be processed or denied based on the information. Administrative costs are reduced, subjectivity taken out of the decision making process and settlement happens faster.

Smart Contracts:  Entertainment

One of the contracts that could be simplified by writing them in Ethereum instead of managing on paper, would be the payment of royalties to artists. With the multitude of songs available, tracking and managing who is the valid artist due a royalty payment is complex and  susceptible to error. Should all these contracts be recorded digitally and available for view to multiple parties, tracking the rightful owner and initialising the royalty payment would faster and more efficient and as changes cannot be made to the contact without the permission of all the parties involved, the artists are assured of receiving their due.

Smart Contracts:  Banking

The banking world is surrounded in paperwork and contracts and the administration and management of these contracts, combined with the huge amount of documents that accompany these contracts, cost the banks millions in salaries and storage space. Many of the contracts could be moved into the smart contract space and large mounts of money saved.  An example of this could be the mortgage contracts over properties. The smart contract would specifically state the terms of repayment, the actions when a client defaults and once the mortgage has been settled, the transfer of the property from the banks name to the new owners. Other applications that are being investigated in the banking environment are those of bonds, interbank clearings and settlements, coupon payments, and overdrafts and loans.

If you’re looking for applicable areas for smart contracts banking is certainly an attractive option.

Government

Smart contracts are also being considered in area’s of government as well to see how they can be used to streamline voting, identify management and simple contracts between state and citizen such as rates and taxes. The list above is just a small indication of the possibilities and we have not even looked at the opportunities in Technology and Energy.

Further Reading:

For some more ethereum contact examples and more smart contract use cases, please visit the following sites:

Ethereum Contracts Explained

This article explores the idea of smart contracts, looking specifically at Ethereum contracts and some of the many potential use cases.

Ethereum contracts: what are they?

A smart contract is quite simply a legal contract that is created in a digital environment using blockchain technology. Smart contracts can be used in place of all the standard legal contacts such as leases, shares, property sales or anything else required by contracting parties.

The relationships and the requirements of the contract are enforced using crypto-code and the contracts self-execute in the exact manner that they have been set up to do by their creators.

The advantage of using a self executing contract versus the traditional legal contract is the elimination of a middleman and the associated costs and delays. The decentralised nature of the Blockchain technology used for the creation of smart contracts also ensures higher security of the contract, which accounts for its rising popularity among banks and governments.

Smart contracts are generally associated with the cryptocurrencies and although they started in the Bitcoin environment, Ethereum has fast become the platform of choice because of it’s unlimited processing capacity. The duplication of the smart contracts across the network also ensures that the contract cannot be lost or misplaced.

Ethereum smart contacts explained

In the traditional world, when you need a contract drawn up you would contact an attorney and discuss the terms and requirements with them and after a period of time, arrange with the other party to sign.

The executions of the clauses are also dependent on the attention of the parties or attorneys to enforce. In the case of a digital contract, the process has been likened often to that of a vending machine, you put your cryptocurrency in, determine the terms and out comes your contract.

The contract is created and becomes a part of the public ledger, while the parties remain anonymous. Once the triggering event takes place, which could be a date or a action by one of the parties, the contract becomes self-executing and the terms are enforced and the funds transferred.

Smart Contract Use Cases

Looking at the cast array of smart contract applications gives you an idea of the kind of impact this technology could have.

Smart contracts can be set up across multiple parties and the execution of the contract can be triggered when a certain percentage of the participants, or the majority, have approved the transaction.

Due to the flexibility and security, the application of smart contracts is limitless with it being considered for use in many industries including:

  • Banking
  • Health
  • Insurance
  • Government

When it comes to ethereum smart contracts, banking looks set to be one of the most heavily impacted industries, with the potential to completely transform the way money is moved around the world.

In 2015, Blockchain smart contracts were used by the depository Trust and Clearing company to process more than 345 million transactions worth more than $1.5 quadrillion. Suggestions have even been made for using Smart contracts to replace the current voting system, as it will be faster, safer and more efficient, possibly increasing voter numbers.

The US Postal services has also been looking at using smart contracts for money transfers.

Smart contracts are gaining popularity across many industries and are replacing the use of traditional contracts in many instances.

Ethereum Contract Example

Below is one of many simple smart contract examples:

A smart contract could be used for the delivery of a news article by a freelancer. The parties will agree on the cost of the article and the date on which it should be submitted.

Once the editor has received the piece and is happy, the payment is triggered and the funds transferred via cryptocurrency to the freelancer. If the writer does not deliver, then the newspaper is refunded.

Trezor vs Ledger Nano S

Hardware wallets are physical devices for storing cryptocurrencies and tokens in a safer and more secure environment than the traditional software wallets.  Where software wallets are often developed in open-source and generally more susceptible to hacking and theft, a hardware wallet is isolated from the Internet and has to be attached to your computer for the codes to be accessed, rendering your tokens more secure.

To date there have been no reported thefts of tokens or coins from a hardware wallet, however even hardware wallets do have their vulnerabilities.

The cost of a hardware wallet is higher than that of a software wallet and with the small returns many miners are seeing, the cost of the hardware wallet might not be easy to justify.

If you’ve invested in an ethereum rig, or cloud mining service, you definitely need a safe place to store your ether and an Ethereum hardware wallet is definitely a good bet.

Trezor vs Ledger Nano S

Trezor

Trezor was first to market with a hardware wallet for cryptocurrencies in August 2014. Each Trezor wallet has a unique passcode that prevents anyone from accessing your transactions should your wallet be stolen and in cases where you Trezor is lost or stolen; you can recover your tokens by accessing the wallet with this passcode. Trezor works with a long list of client wallets such as ArcBit, Chrome Extension, Electrum, Sentinel and Etherwall. Trezor is fully supported on Windows 7 and higher, OSX and Linux platforms as well as being compatible with most Android devices which have a USB on-the –go.

Trezor safely stores tokens for Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, Zcash, Ethereum, Namecoin and Dogecoin.

Trezor is a small device, about the size of a key, with a screen, which connects to your computer via a USB cable.

Trezor is slightly more expensive than some of the other hardware wallets available.

Ledger Nano S

The Ledger Nano is a slightly less expensive hardware wallet option comparative to the Trezor but offers a similar level of advanced security versus a software wallet, however it does not offer passpharse support.

A passphrase is an additional text the user creates when setting up the account, which is required when the wallet needs to be recovered, thereby adding another layer of verification.  The Nano S requires the user to set up a PIN code that keeps device secure and after three failed attempts to enter the correct PIN code, the device will not be accessible.

The Ledger Nano S is very easy to setup can be done without needing to connect the device to a computer. The Open Bitcoin Privacy project voted Ledger wallets as the most private wallets available in their report in 2016.

The Ledger Nano S works with Bitcoin, Ethereum as well as Altcoins and is compatible with a variety of Cryptocurrency wallets.

You can find the ledger nano s for sale on sites such as Amazon.com or direct from the manufacturer.

Final Thoughts

Both the Trezor and Ledger Nano S have built in screens, which is advisable largely due to the increased security offered. Hardware wallets with a screen will display the generated password on the screen of the device, while wallets that do not have a screen will send the passcode to your phone.

As your phone is accessible via the Internet it does put the security of the passcode at risk. The screen also adds an additional level of verification when you are making payments.

If you’re interested in a hardware wallet you should also consider the ledger nano s vs keepkey.

For more info check out this useful video:

 

 

Ethpool vs Ethermine

The costs of mining Ether can be very high, with electricity costs and the cost of setting up a mining rig that can process at the speed required.

As the rewards of mining can be slow and intermittent, many miners choose to combine their hardware resources and create an ethereum mining pool, increasing the speed at which blocks are processed and the profits paid out.

This post will focus on the two main pools, Ethpool vs Ethermine. For information on other pools, see our post on the top ethereum mining pools.

Miners then share the rewards of the payout on proof of work. Ethereum is the fastest growing cryptocurrency, more than 2000% since its launch, in the market and Ethereum miner’s work for tokens called “Ether”.

Payments to the miners can work on different principles and calculations, depending on the type of pool they have joined.

Ethpool vs Ethermine

Two of the biggest Ethereum mining pools are Ethpool and Ethermine, which run on the same platform and have combined process of more than 25% of the total network hashpower. However the manner in which the pools run, and the risks and rewards are quite different. Both pools run on a global network with servers based the United States, Europe and Singapore, which are fully redundant and run 24/7.

Ethpool

Ethpool is a predictable solo mining pool and 100% of the proceeds are paid to the miner that contributed the most work. By using Ethpool you get the advantages of pooled mining with a solo mining payment scheme.

Ethpool offer miners the ability to mine anonymously and supports all types of Ethereum miners. Full support is offered to miners, including those using Stratum protocol. There is a big reduction in variance so miners earn their payment as soon as their work is equal to the difficulty of the block. The site includes online mining statistics and can help you estimate your earnings, when used with a calculator. The pool fee is currently 1%. Ethpool offers e-mail monitoring of your work in progress and e-mail notification of found blocks.  Ethpool has about 12,500 active workers and processes about 5 blocks an hour. Uncles (blocks that are almost correct) are paid on top of full block rewards.

Ethermine

Ethermine works on the PPLNS (Pay Per Last N Shares) payout scheme, which includes a luck factor in the calculation of the payment and favours loyal pool clients versus those that jump from pool to pool.

As with Ethpool, full Stratum support is available and payments are made instantly with the minimum payout being a single Ether. The pool fee for participation is also 1%. Ethermine promises all miners accurate hashtag reporting and low costs due to the efficiency of the mining rigs.

E-mail reporting and tracking is available on Ethermine as well as notifications of invalid shares and detailed per-worker and global statistics. Ethermine has more than 200,000 active workers and process about 35 blocks an hour.

Cloud Mining

As an alternative to Ethereum pool mining, a miner can use Ethereum Cloud mining, where instead of providing a Ethereum rig and combining resources, an organisation that specializes in cloud mining will do the mining on the miners behalf for a fee and then pays a percentage of the profit made.

Other Mining Pools

Although these are regarded as the two main ETH mining pools, there are other pools available, particularly a few multi currency pools. Check out our article on Nanopool vs. Ethpool to see how these two stack up.