Interview with Christian Vogl (CTO) of HydroMiner

Since my last story on Medium — the announcement of HydroMiner got over 160 claps, I decided to do a follow-up interview with the Chief-Technical-Officer of HydroMiner.org. It will be mainly focused on mining and how his startup is maintaining the ~1 mega watt mining operation.

Philip: Hi Christian, thanks for having me ask you some tech questions. So can you introduce yourself?

Christian: No problem Philip! My name is Christian, the CTO of HydroMiner. I’ve been helping Nadine and Nicole, our CEO and CFO, since we rented the hydro powered stations in Murau and Schönberg. My main tasks are currently to help with the rig assembling and further push the limits of the hardware.

Philip: So how does one actually push the limits of the hardware?

Christian: Well, there are four main components that I am re-configuring:

1) The GPU — by changing the clock-rate to safe energy & reduce the temperature.

2) Memory clock rate — Boost to get better hash results.

3) The GPU BIOS — by setting up the timings (strips).

4) PSU — Amount of power fed to the system.

So you can see, I am re-configuring the software to achieve the most hashing per card, while leaving the rig stable. We are currently achieving around 24 MH/s for the P106 GPU in dualmining, and I think it would be possible to boost it by further 5%, but like I said, it is important that the mining rigs are running without disruptions.

Philip: Can you tell me what HydroMiner is going to mine?

Christian: The answer to this question would be simply said the most profitable cryptocurrency. But what does this exactly mean? Well, maybe you already know this tool called https://whattomine.com/ — it shows you which crypto to mine for the most earnings, depending on the setup you are running.

But why does this value keep on changing? The price and difficulty rates are fluctuating the whole time. The higher the difficulty rate is, the more hashing power one needs to keep on mining the same amount of crypto. You can imagine that we need to adapt as fast as possible, because price movements of 20% in one day are nothing uncommon.

Keep in mind, that the achieved MH/s depend on the hashing algorithm used by the specific blockchain. So, switching from one coin to another may result in a different MH/s for the same setup.

But that is not all. There are two main strategies in deciding what to mine. The one I already covered by briefly describing how the mining profitability calculator works. But one could also decide to mine coins that are undervalued — or to put it differently, coins that you think will increase in value. So this second strategy doesn’t focus on coins yielding the highest profit in the moment, but in future.

Philip: Wow, thanks for the technical overview of your job! So since you didn’t directly answer my question, can you at least hint on some coins you are going to be mining?

Christian: If you really want to have at least some kind of answer, then here it goes: We have already configured the rigs for Ethereum and Siacoin mining. It will be my duty to keep on working to improve this list and get more cryptocurrencies in our portfolio — depending on both strategies. And maybe one day we can make a DAO, so the community can choose what should be mined for a specific period of time.

This concludes the interview. If you want to learn more, then visit hydrominer.org.