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All You Need to Know About Filecoin Mining and 6Block Mining Solutions

6Block Core Developer Lee White on Filecoin Mining Optimization

Lee White, 6Block core developer joins Kevin Branigan on today’s episode of 6Block Podcast.

Lee and Kevin discuss the basics of Filecoin mining, what 6Block can offer, and the mining landscape after the launch of Filecoin test net Phase II on May 14th, 2020.

6Block is a mining pool focusing on unicorn tokens. Launched in February 2020, 6Block initially supported Handshake mining and has been a top 10 mining pool for Handshake since inception. Filecoin is the second token that 6Block supports and it has been a top 10 miner since the launch of Filecoin test net Phase II. 6Block provides both handshake GPU and ASIC miners and hosted mining solutions, and will soon roll out a one-stop Filecoin mining solution.

Check out more about 6Block: https://6block.com/en

Follow 6Block twitter: https://twitter.com/6block2

Join 6Block Telegram group: https://t.me/sixblock

Interview date: May 18th, 10:45 PM EST

Hear the full podcast on YouTube.

  1. Can you briefly introduce yourself?

Hi, I am Lee, I am a core software developer at 6Block. I am focusing on zk-SNARKs and Bitcoin mining algorithms. I am very glad to be here today to share about 6Block mining.

2. What is 6Block?

6Block is a mining service provider, focusing on what we call ‘unicorn’ projects. By Unicorn, we mean projects with innovative technologies. For example, we provide mining services for Handshake and Grin. Handshake focuses on decentralized DNS and Grin focuses on blockchain privacy. Both have proprietary innovation in their own field.

3. What’s IPFS and Filecoin?

Yeah, many people are confused about them. IPFS is a decentralized file system, every node in the network is connected peer to peer. Filecoin is a crypto incentivizing layer built on top of IPFS.

4. Why are you and so many miners so interested in Filecoin mining?

Because this project is very interesting. It has many differences from many existing blockchain projects. Many existing projects are based on consensus algorithms such as POW, POS, or DPOS. Filecoin has a different consensus called proof of replication and proof of space-time. It rewards miners who provide storage power, not computation power. People use hard disks to mine Filecoin. For POW mining, miners need more electricity, GPU, FPGA, ASICs to be competitive, but for Filecoin the resources miners provide are mainly storage, such as hard disks, e.g., SSD and HDD. It created a brand new crypto mining market. It will change the rules for the crypto mining industry. Many Chinese miners are interested in Filecoin mining and have invested in hardware deployment.

5. What’s the difference between Bitcoin mining and Filecoin mining?

In Bitcoin mining, miners are competing with computation power. But for Filecoin, miners are competing with storage power.

6. What does 6Block offer for Filecoin mining?

We provide a one-stop Filecoin mining solution, covering both hardware and software. If you are interested, please go to 6block.com to check our solution in detail. Retail miners can rent miners from 6Block, and 6Block will operate the miners in the mining pool. As for big miners, they can buy hardware from 6Block, and 6Block will only ship the hardware together with matching mining software for the client to check hardware status.

7. Who are the major competitors and what’s 6Block’s competitive edge?

There are many Chinese mining service providers, as we know, most of them don’t have a working solution. We do have working hardware and software solutions and you can see us in the top miners in the Filecoin test net II. We have announced about a month ago and predicted that we could get into the top 10 miner list, and we did it. We have confidence because we have advanced mining algorithms. We take pride in our strong tech team.

8. Filecoin mining seems complicated and you need some serious hardware. Is this really for the “little guy” and how can 6Block help people get started with Filecoin mining?

The most complicated part of Filecoin mining is zk-SNARK. zk-SNARK is a privacy solution mostly implemented in Zcash, enabling it to hide transaction addresses and volumes. zk-SNARK technology is complicated. But we need to use zk-SNARK to mine a new Filecoin block, that’s why it is challenging. For small miners, it is recommended to use mining software provided by hardware providers such as 6Block than to use the miners provided by the Filecoin official team. The reason is that the official team does not know what hardware you use, so their software might not be compatible with your hardware. For mining software provided by the hardware providers, it is guaranteed to be compatible.

9. How does the 6Block Filecoin mining solution benefit users?

It is faster and more stable.

10. Is there an estimate in regards to pricing for the Filecoin mining solution?

The hardware will be transparent. We will share the specs for hardware and you can put the mining rigs yourself. But we offer mining software, and when you run our mining software, then we will take a percentage of the mining reward. It’s similar to the traditional mining pool structure.

11. Do you think Chinese miners will still be a dominant force for Filecoin mining?

Yes. Most of the crypto mining industry is still concentrated in China, the reason being, China has comparatively cheap electricity and they have easy access to the hardware. The Chinese miner will also be dominant for Filecoin.

12. Are you guys in the Test Phase II and what kind of results are you seeing?

You can find a few big miners on the top miner list on the Filecoin explorer: https://filfox.io/. You can see that the top 3 miners have invested heavily in hardware and hence have high storage power. But they are taking the risk that if the official team changes the specs, they will lose the investment. Rumor has it that some of them even went out to rent hardware just to be on the top miner list. We are around the top 10, we use the best hardware but only in a small amount to test it out, so less risk there.

13. Efficient zk-SNARKs algorithms are needed for fast sealing operations. How do you approach this and do you guys have some zk-SNARKs experts on the team?

Yes, we do have zk-SNARK experts on our team. We are optimizing the algorithm to accelerate the sealing process. The overall mining period is 5–6 hours, and zk-SNARK takes about 1–2 hours. If possible, we shall be able to provide a zk-SNARK mining pool in the future, which means in the future people can tap into our pool to have a faster sealing.

14. Filecoin looks like the next big thing. When GPU mining was hot in 2018 the GPU cards sold out. Are you seeing a run on hard disk now for Filecoin mining farms, and how can 6Block help?

GPU is more widely used in crypto mining. Hard disks are only used for Filecoin mining, so it will be unlikely to see a shortage.

15. My motherboards are RAM size-impaired. Do I really need 128 GB of RAM for mining on the test net, couldn’t I just use a swap file?

Filecoin mining demands a lot of RAM and should have at least 128 GB of RAM. If you use a swap file instead, it will make the mining process slower. More RAM is better for Filecoin mining.

16. Where can people find out more about 6Block and your Filecoin miner?

You can find out more about 6Block at 6block.com and you can also follow us on our twitter @6block2 and our telegram group https://t.me/sixblock.

Thanks

Check out more about 6Block: https://6block.com/en

Follow 6Block twitter: https://twitter.com/6block2

Join 6Block Telegram group: https://t.me/sixblock

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