What Is A Skycoin Skyminer?
The Bridge to Internet Freedom
What does a Skyminer do?
Skyminers are the hardware backbone for Skywire.
Skyminers provide computing power, networking capability, and storage capacity necessary for the Skywire network to function properly. Skyminers act as specialized VPNs and nodes on the mesh network that allows users to essentially become their own ISP, granting user freedom to engage with the encrypted network, Skywire.
Why is it called a Skyminer when it doesn’t actually “mine” coins?
Skywire, the decentralized mesh-internet, uses this hardware as an access point while acting as a “miner” for processes involving Coin Hours, thus giving birth to the name: Skyminer. Users will pay Coin Hours for bandwidth, and Skyminer operators will receive those Coin Hours as payment. A Skyminer can have multiple hardware nodes in it, the v.1 Skyminers have 8 hardware nodes. But 2, 4, 16, 32, and even more nodes are possible in a single Skyminer.
Skycoin is cryptocurrency 3.0 and therefore has no old-school PoW mining.
Cryptocurrency 1.0 and 2.0 coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum use PoW and one day PoS consensus algorithms to mine coins. These methods are flawed, which is why we have the Obelisk consensus mechanism.
Though no coins are actually “mined” in the traditional blockchain 1.0 sense, when the user of a Skyminer forwards traffic or provides network resources, they receive Coin Hours. Skyminers will be the bridge between the user and the new internet that pays you in the process of participating. Welcome to Cryptocurrency 3.0.
What are the technical specifications of the first generation Skyminers?
The first generation Skyminer hardware configuration consists of:
- 8 hardware nodes made up of 8 Orange Pi Prime PCB boards
- 8+1 100Mbps router (custom 16-port OpenWRT in production)
- 16GB RAM (8 x 2GB DDR3)
- ARM Cortex-A53 CPU
- Hexa-core Mali450 GPU
- LAN Bandwidth: 8 x 1000Mbps
- 64-bit Linux (Alpine Linux)
Why operate a Skyminer if I can just run Virtual Machines on a cloud server?
This is certainly an option, however you will not achieve the performance or the security that dedicated hardware can provide. The encryption, encoding/decoding and packet forwarding processes are CPU intensive so each Skyminer comes packed with 8 ARM boards giving access to 32 available CPU cores. Each board runs a specific node whose sole purpose is security and isolation, allowing for localized optimization. Any Skyminer operator will have full flexibility to customize it any way they see fit by having the ability to choose which software nodes and Skywire services to deploy across the hardware nodes in their Skyminer. Automatic node assignment will be available in the future as well.
A Skyminer isn’t just a box of Orange Pis, it is an all-in-one solution built around hardware and software to manage everything from service orchestration to machine communication by public keys. The sophisticated software and dedicated hardware is what puts our Skyminers ahead of the game in terms of functionality and usability
How do I get a Skyminer?
The first wave of official Skyminers have already been purchased and shipped to early supporters as of March, 2018. These v.1 Skyminers will be used during the testnet phase which is deploying shortly. The next generation of Skyminers are already being manufactured and will be made available to the community soon. Initially, Skycoin will be manufacturing 1,000 units per week with plans to ramp production up to 10,000 units per week by 2019. These 2nd and 3rd generation Skyminers will be available in varying sizes with different node configurations to match all needs and capabilities. Be sure to visit Skycoin.net and join the mailing list so you don’t miss out.
How hard is it to build a Skyminer?
In terms of difficulty to use, rest assured that even beginners of mining hardware can indulge in what Skycoin has to offer. That being said, the official Skyminer is ranked as a moderate to advanced machine to build and operate. Fortunately, there are a number of build tutorials growing by the day as more and more people get their hands on their v.1 Skyminers (see below for links to our most helpful build guides).
Skyminers are low cost, silent, and use energy efficient hardware that truly makes them affordable to purchase and run.
For those who still want to dabble in mining hardware but are still growing their technical knowledge, Skycoin is developing a “plug and play” model to enable newcomers in the space the ability to easily participate soon. The hands-on and rewarding first build experience is encouraged for anyone interested in the Skycoin project. As we iterate on more sophisticated hardware models you can expect other feature-rich hardware devices to support the Skycoin platform alongside our groundbreaking Skyminers.
For more information about the Skycoin project and Skyminer, please visit:
Skyminer Build tutorials:
- Assembly Manual
- Skycoin Skyminer Build Vlog
- Official Skycoin/Skywire Miner — Assembly Guide & Timelapse
Installing Skywire on Skyminer’s Orange Pis:
More info will be coming soon…