Yearly Archives: 2021

Thoughts on Komodo Coin (KMD)

Komodo (KMD) is a cryptocurrency and blockchain platform that started in 2017. It is a proof-of-work coin that uses the Equihash algorithm and has a maximum supply of 200 million coins.

It trades around $1 USD and hasn’t moved very far from that in either direction in the past 3 months. Just over 120 million of the coins are in circulation, with a market cap of $128 million at time of writing.

Komodo has built-in staking at 5.1% interest and it requires at least 10 KMD to do so.

It also has some real-world use cases. The SmartFI DeFi platform is built on Komodo, for example.

The Reddit has a sizeable membership, and though post activity isn’t high, it isn’t dead either. It also has a fairly active Discord.

I became interested in KMD in October and purchased a few at Bittrex just before a required update was rolled out. Bittrex disabled KMD deposits and withdrawals, and didn’t re-enable them for about two weeks after the update, which was a bit unnerving. This spooked me a bit, and I sold the coins I had bought at a breakeven price.

Komodo is pretty difficult to mine directly (for me) since it uses the Equihash algorithm and I don’t have hardware that handles that very well. Instead, I mined some at an auto-exchange mining pool.

Prohashing, one of the auto-exchange mining pools I use, added KMD withdrawals around the time I became interested in it, but they had a warning saying that spreads were very high. I’m not sure what exchange it came from, but it must have been somewhere with low liquidity. I exchange-mined about 1 KMD worth before it was disabled as a broken coin.

Komodo Error on Prohashing

Komodo disabled on Prohashing

I also tried their wallet with built-in exchange, AtomicDEX. The interface is beautiful, but I couldn’t do much other than send and receive coins becuse trading features are blocked for US users. Being an American is very annoying in the cryptocurrency world.

AtomicDex DEX features not allowed in US

AtomicDEX exchange features are not available in US.

Overall I was impressed with how professional their website and applications look, but Komodo is not great if you’re an American. It’s also far more centralized than most cryptocurrency projects, but that isn’t always a bad thing. It’s certainly better than having nobody at the helm, like many of the zombie currencies I’ve been seeing lately. The Komodo team seems to be pretty talented and innovative.

Although KMD is probably a good long-term investment, I’m not personally interested in holding or trading any until AtomicDEX is available globally.

What Programming Is Like

A friend of mine posted this on their feed the other day.

My spouse (an artist, not in tech), working her way through a C++ class (part of a Digital Arts cirriculum). I: Let me know if you need help. She: Will do. Two hours later.. I: How's it going? She: Fine. I'm cheating. I: ??? She: I google for stuff I don't know. ... Do I tell her?

As a professional programmer with decades of experience, I can describe the full process:

Step 1: Google it. Find no applicable answers.

Step 2: Rephrase the question. Find search results that look relevant. Open them all in new tabs.

Step 3: Find that all of the results ask the exact question you’re trying to answer, but none have answers.

Step 4: Rephrase the question again using the extra keywords you found in other people’s questions. Get search results that are 80% the same. Click on the top new result.

Step 5: Find a solution that almost fits your problem and gets you 80% of the way there. It’s either missing a step or is outdated by a version of whatever you’re working on.

Step 6: Use that 80% solution to trial-and-error your way across the finish line.

Thoughts on UniformFiscalObject (UFO) Coin

UniformFiscalObject, or UFOcoin as it’s commonly known, is a project that has been around for quite a while, since at least 2014.

It’s easy to mine and I’ve hit a bunch of blocks myself, mainly via neoscrypt autoswitching at Prohashing, but also via “fake solo” mining on mecrypto.club. By “fake solo”, I mean that I was the only one mining on the pool at the time, and received 100% of the reward (minus fees). Fake solo mining is a nice way to get most of the benefits of solo mining, while still getting credit if you do a bunch of work and stop mining and someone else immediately hits a block after you stop.

Development and community activity for UFO appear to be slow and sparse.

The website looks rather nice and has updates from this year, and the wallet looks and works like those of most Bitcoin descendants with no extra frills.

The Reddit only has about 100 members with only 4 posts in the last 3 years. That’s OK, not every project is active on Reddit.

The Twitter, although not widely followed, seems to be alive, even though posts are infrequent.

Their Github is not very active, with only 5 commits since 2019.

I didn’t check the Discord, which might be far more active.

Graviex is the primary exchange for UFO and it has pretty good liquidity with a small buy/sell spread. It’s pretty strange that it’s not on more exchanges, especially since it’s been around for 7 years. Maybe it was on more, but it was dropped for lack of volume.

The all-time high price of UFO was around 0.6 cents USD in 2018 and the market cap peaked at about $18 million at the same time. Now it trades around 0.1 cents and a market cap around $5 million. Charts show this is neither a pump-and-dump coin, nor was it a coin that peaked shortly after release and went into steady decline. With a max supply of 4 billion UFO, it’s no surprise that it’s trading for a fraction of a cent given its relative obscurity.

IsThisCoinAScam ranks it pretty low, mainly due to incomplete information.

Either UFOcoin is pretty active for a dead coin, or it’s pretty dead for an active coin. Either way it is a good lubricant. It’s in solid rotation at some auto-exchange pools, including Prohashing and Zpool, and I first heard about it by hitting a block via Prohashing. The 90 second block time is a nice balance between fast and slow, and block times faster than 60 seconds are overkill.

The main problem with its popularity is that it doesn’t have a dedicated use on its own, which is also true of the vast majority of cryptocurrency. This means that it’s pretty unlikely that UFO’s price will fluctuate much and it may always be a sub-cent coin because it’s “just another crypto”.

Overall UniformFiscalObject has some good parameters, but it doesn’t have enough going on to ever become a “big deal”. Even so, I’m sure I’ll mine a little now and then, either by choice or by autoswitching pool decision. I just won’t be holding a huge supply of it.

Hive Mining with Litecoin Cash (LCC)

Litecoin Cash is an innovative cryptocurrency that has three different ways of generating new coins. It first started with SHA-256 mining. A successful 51% attack in 2018 caused them to diversify by adding Hive mining and MinotaurX CPU mining was added later as a non-ASIC option.

I recently tried hive mining, and here’s what the experience was like for me.

With hive mining, you spend coins to create “bees”, which are in a pending queue for 24 hours and then active for two weeks. It essentially functions as a raffle with each bee equivalent to one raffle ticket. The person with the more tickets is more likely to win, but it functions like a random drawing, so you can find a block with just a single bee if you’re luck.

The amount of competition on the network is shown as the Global Index, and if you check the “show bee population graph” box on The Hive tab, you can see how many bees are queued up to join the network and what the expiration schedule of existing bees is. This should give you some idea how the difficulty will change initially, but there’s no way to tell how many competing bees will be created beyond 24 hours.

Bee Population and Global Index Graph

Bee Population and Global Index Graph

While hive mining, your wallet needs to be open and active, so it’s only a good idea to hive mine on a computer that’s always on.

Creating the bees is simple, just enter the total and click “Create Bees”. I created 10,000 bees at a cost of 250 LCC, or about $5.50 USD at the time I started. The cost changes with each halving to keep pace with changes in block rewards. It doesn’t cost anything extra to contribute a percentage of the bee cost to the community fund, so I did that.

Bee Creation Transactions

Bee creation shows up as two separate transactions.

The Global Index was fairly low when I started, but quickly creeped up toward 100 as more bees were created by other people.

Low Global Index

Starting with a low Global Index.

New Bees and Rising Global Index

New Bees and a Rising Global Index.

The first 10 days were discouraging, with no blocks found and no indication that I would ever find a block. Then I found two blocks worth 93.75 LCC each in the same day, day 11.

First Block Found

First hive mined block. A victory!

After the process finished, those bees had generated 187.5 LCC, for a loss of 62.5 LCC (about $1.20 USD).

The hive mining guide on the Litecoin Cash website says that hive mining is very fast. Even so, I wonder whether hardware has any impact. Would a faster CPU, faster RAM, better network connection, or faster process creation make you more likely to find a block? My system was under moderate load since I was also using it for work during the day and play in the evening. I do not know whether proof-of-work mining on the same computer that you’re hive mining on has a negative impact on your ability to hive mine a block.

The wallet also crashed once during this process, and was offline for about 15 minutes, so that was also a factor.

After the bees expired, information about the bees disappeared. I didn’t see the “include expired bees” so I thought it was just gone, but a team member was kind enough to point that out on the Litecoin Cash Reddit.

I’ve never had any luck in contests, especially raffles, so I’m unlikely to try hive mining again unless I notice the difficulty being extremely low. Even so, it’s neat that it exists and my slightly-negative-income experience should not dissuade you from trying it. I wish more cryptocurrency projects would try new things like Litecoin Cash has been. Unfortunately, LCC’s experimentation was necessitated by a 51% attack, but in the long run they are stronger for it.

If you like this post, feel free to send me a little LCC at M8ubC3t6hKpV1BvB1HqnKaSeeC75WnuZBD

Setting up a 01coin (ZOC) Node

01coin is something I discovered browsing masternodes.online.

It’s pretty inexpensive to set up a masternode, and I haven’t set one up before, so I figured I’d try it with 01. I actually tried GoByte (GBX) first, but they’re in a transition period where you can’t set up a masternode right now.

The first task was getting enough 01coin to set up the node.

01coin is traded on two exchanges right now – Crex24 and Graviex. Since Crex24 isn’t available to US customers, Graviex was the only option.

Since Graviex touts being able to buy cryptocurrency with a credit card, I decided to try that. It was a mistake. It started out simple enough – I set up the order and went on to the next screen. There they were asking for far too much information – including date of birth and driver’s license or passport number. I don’t know or trust Banxa, so I’m not too keen on telling them everything about me just to spend about as much as I’d spend at a food cart (where, in contrast, they wouldn’t even bother asking for a signature on a credit card purchase).

Banxa and Stex Purchase Form

Asking far too much info for a credit card purchase.

Since that was more than I wanted to deal with, I sent in some Ravencoin (RVN), sold that, and used it to buy a few thousand ZOC. Liquidity isn’t great for that coin, so I moved the market a bit with my purchase.

Now that I had enough coins to set up a masternode, I followed this tutorial and used method 3 (manual installation).

Thanks to that guide, setting up a masternode was not difficult at all.

01coin Masternode Running (Screenshot in Spanish because my other computer is set to use that)

After two days, I noticed that the node’s state said that it needed to be restarted, so I did. I don’t know whether this is something that will be a recurring problem, but it’s something I’ll watch for.

I haven’t yet received any masternode rewards, but the node hasn’t been running long enough to have earned any yet. The guide says it can take a while to receive your first reward.

Buying GoByte (GBX) on STEX from the United States

There’s an altcoin I want to get more of. It’s called GoByte (GBX), and is used primarily in Asia. It was created in Malaysia back in 2017 and seems to have fairly active development.

The “major” exchanges available to US citizens — BinanceUS, Bittrex, Coinbase, and Kraken — don’t trade GBX. Of the exchanges that do, HitBTC is not available to US citizens.

However, I did find an exchange that trades in more obscure crypto and is available in the US. It’s STEX. Although they don’t allow funding via ACH, they do allow funding via credit card.

Signing up was easy enough, and no more trouble than any other exchange.

For more trading freedom and lower commissions, you need to verify your identity with them. Their preferred identity verification partner is Cryptonomica, so I started that process after signing up.

Before signing up with Cryptonomica, I did a search for the company. They seemed legitimate and above board.

Cryptonomica is a bit more thorough than other places, in that they wanted both a passport and driver’s license, phone validation, encryption keys with at least 2048 bits, and even a video recording of me stating my identity.

However, when I made it to the phone validation portion, the website threw a Twilio login error. I forwarded this to support, but so far I’ve been unable to finish their verification process.

While this might be an honest glitch caused by someone doing a careless Friday code deploy, it’s worrisome. The feel of the site itself seems a little sketchy, and it was founded by two Ukranians (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing per se). If someone can make a mistake like breaking their 2FA account, who’s to say that they won’t have made other security mistakes that would leak my identity documents to the world?

Cryptonomica didn’t respond to my support email after 24 hours, and attempting to verify the next day failed in the same way. I also noticed that the last post on their Facebook account was in March 2020, so I’m not even sure it’s a going concern. Rather than go through the hassle, I used STEX’s own verification, which was pretty simple and painless, even if it does come with a lesser commission reduction (0.15% vs 0.1%).

While waiting for verification, I tried to create a receiving address for some Tron (TRX) that I wanted to exchange. It wouldn’t let me create a receiving address, saying that verification was required. Since it says that verification takes 36 hours when you start the process, I decided to wait until that finished to try again.

The next day, I got impatient and tried to use one of their other verification partners – Fractal.id. That failed pretty quick when they redirected me to Fractal’s site and their registration page was broken with content security policy script load errors on the developer console. Their other verification partner is only for people in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, so that wasn’t an option.

I go through so much verification nonsense for tax purposes even though I have never failed to report a cent of income and have never lied on my taxes. I really wish the United States would just chip its citizens at birth and any time a financial transaction happens, it’s transmitted to the IRS. That opportunities should be denied to me as a US citizen (such as crypto exchanges in Asia) just because the IRS can’t watch what I’m doing with my money every second is ridiculous. I’m not a fan of being punished because someone else misbehaved.

STEX ended up taking a week to verify my account. This makes sense, since two of their verification partners are broken and their verification team probably has a higher workload. What is odd, though, is that the verification will expire in 6 months, 2022-04-10.

After verification, I was able to transfer in some Tron (TRX), sell it for Bitcoin, and buy some GoByte. The spreads weren’t great, but they also weren’t terrible considering what a low-volume coin GBX is.

I was also able to transfer the coins out of STEX with no difficulty, and now I have a good source for buying GoByte. I’m sure I’ll use STEX again, since I want more GBX.

You can always GBX me at GNyGaHXBUvvUQ8Uv2u5j1o8j3MkkDVGWVx

Galactrum (ORE) is Dead

I’ve been researching altcoins a lot lately. For a brief moment I was intrigued by Galactrum, mainly due to their accessible masternode proof-of-stake model, which only requires $0.41 worth of ORE to participate in at current prices.

The basically-nonexistent market cap of $5,603 (down from nearly $4 million) was a huge red flag that should have made me stop looking, but I decided to dig deeper.

I found that it was entirely dead.

I downloaded the wallet and after about 6 hours never managed to sync anything.

I looked for a place to buy some Galactrum. It’s trading at STEX with miniscule volume, but I don’t have a verified account there (that’s a whole different ordeal).

I looked for a place to mine, but my favorite mining pool directory didn’t have the coin listed.

The last Twitter post mentions switching to proof of stake.

The subreddit is almost nonexistant, with 28 members and the newest post more than two years ago.

The website is up and looks reasonable, and would certainly inspire more confidence than Cheesecoin did if the SSL certificate hadn’t expired back in July of this year. They should probably take it down at this point.

I don’t know how or why it died, but I’d guess that something went terribly wrong with the switch to proof of stake. Perhaps the only interest that the coin had was by miners, or even at its peak there may not have been enough exchanges/liquidity for people to get a stake.

Buying Raptoreum (RTM) and Litecoin Cash (LCC) on SouthXchange

A couple days ago I bought Raptoreum via Graviex and had a hard time due to the low liquidity. This time I wanted to try an exchange with much better liquidity. For a buyer from the United States, that makes SouthXchange the best option.

I signed up for an account, and it was the easiest and most straightforward process of any exchange I’ve signed up for. In fact, there was so little KYC that I’d imagine that regulators will be giving them a hard time soon. Enabling 2FA was easy, since like most exchanges they use Authenticator.

When I finally got set up with a trading window, I noticed something odd. Their pinned currency at the top included Trumpcoin (TRUMP), which was down 15%. So, like its namesake, it was a worthless loser.

Funding my account was very easy because they accept Tron (TRX). Tron is one of my favorite currencies to send to an exchange because it’s fairly stable (I believe the large initial investor allocation may be a factor there), has pretty good liquidity, and has almost no transfer fees. But as I write this, it looks like TRX got a little unstable. Ah, crypto.

Exchanging the Tron for Bitcoin (BTC) was easy, and they have a very easy-to-use trading interface that isn’t very intuitive at first, but after clicking around a bit it becomes very clear and smooth.

Like my Graviex experiment, I bought about $20 worth of Raptoreum. This time I got 1997 RTM for around $19.50, which I’m pretty happy with.

I also bought 2729 Litecoin Cash (LCC) for about $40 because that also has good liquidity and a small spread.

Transferring those purchases out of SouthXchange was also easy, and hassle-free. Coins in, traded, and out in only a few minutes.

I would definitely trade on SouthXchange again, especially since I’d like to acquire more of the two coins I just bought. I did not explore their dice system, or faucets, or chat. I was just looking to trade, and the exchange does very well at that. I can almost forgive them for trying to make me think about American politics, which is only slightly more gross than watching sausage be made.

Buying Raptoreum (RTM) with Graviex

I wanted to do a simple thing — buy $20 USD worth of Raptoreum (RTM). None of the cryptocurrency exchanges I had an account with were trading it, which is no surprise since it is a fairly obscure altcoin.

Opening an account with Graviex was fairly simple and straightforward and there was nothing weird about it. I completed the Know Your Customer (KYC) steps without hassle. You can fund your account with a credit card, but I wanted to fund with crypto instead.

I had some cash (USD) in Bittrex, and since there’s not a lot of low-fee overlap between coins that trade on both exchanges, I bought some Ravencoin (RVN) to send over. Some of Bittrex’s withdrawal fees are exorbitant, but withdrawing Ravencoin is only 1 RVN, or just under 11 cents USD as I write this. There may have been another coin that I could have used that had lower fees, but I doubt its liquidity would be as good as RVN.

I sent the Ravencoin in, and it took 60 minutes to confirm — Graviex requires 60 confirmations, which is a bit on the long side, but not unreasonable.

Since I couldn’t trade Ravencoin for Raptoreum directly, I had to convert it to Bitcoin (BTC). Selling the RVN for BTC was fairly straightforward, although their trading interface takes a little getting used to.

Now that I had a little BTC, I created an order for Raptoreum. That altcoin has very low liquidity and even less liquidity on Graviex, with only 2941.6 RTM traded in the last 24 hours. It had a large spread with buy orders at 18.8 Satoshis and sell orders at 24.7 Satoshis, so my order just sat there for a while. I eventually gave up and put in a buy order at a higher price.

After the purchase, withdrawing my RTM was easy. The fee was only 0.002 RTM, much more reasonable than Bittrex.

The end result is that I ended up with only 1595 RTM. In other words, I spent $20 to get $15 worth of Raptoreum. That reminds me of trading pink sheet stocks 20 years ago. In terms of Graviex, today I am a market-moving whale.

It looks like SouthXchange also supports RTM and has a much higher volume, so I think I’ll try that exchange next. I probably should have started there, but $5 is a low price to pay for a learning experience in the world of fairly obscure altcoins.

I would trade on Graviex again, but I will definitely check the volume first next time.

Cheesecoin (CHEESE) Is Dead.

Everyone who knows me knows that I love cheese, so it should be no surprise that I was excited when I learned there was a cryptocurrency called Cheesecoin.

It is an interesting project in that it combines mining and proof of stake, allowing income generation via running a masternode, which is fairly inexpensive to set up, requiring about $128 USD in Cheesecoin to set up.

After looking into it, I can comfortably say that the coin and the project are dead.

I downloaded the wallet, a standard Qt wallet for Windows. It installed easily enough, but after 12 hours, its stalled at “synchronizing with network” and “3 years and 38 weeks behind”. It looks like there’s no (or nearly no) network.

Right after installing the wallet and starting the sync, I found a pool and mined a little. Some crypto wallets won’t let you get receiving keys until they’ve synced the first time, but this one does. I used the Lidonia mining pool, which is one of many pools based on the yiimp open source project. It uses the scrypt algorithm, and I was able to mine a little using my GPU. However, I may never see the payout because the wallet will probably never sync.

Coinmarketcap says that the coin has a market capitalization of about $215,000 and ranks 2,211th with 1,888 watchers. It peaked in April 2021, with a market cap of $1,020,000 and trading at 4.7x its current price.

The website is not great, and the embedded currency converter doesn’t even support the coin.

The Subreddit has 6 members and no posts in the last 5 months.

The last Facebook post was on December 2019.

The Twitter has one post in the last six months, and it’s to mention that the coin was dropped by a mining pool.

The Github has not had any activity in 2 years.

I wanted to like this coin, but there’s nothing to it. There are no practical use cases, no community, and no real market or ecosystem. RIP cheesecoin.

An Apology to a Cat

I’m sorry that I ignored you earlier when you wanted pets.

You see, I was working, and I could not give you pets.

You know that nice canned food you get excited about? And that comfortable bed and cat tree you like to sleep on indoors? I have to work so that you can have those.

You hunt by going outside and eating bugs with your claws and teeth.

I hunt by “working”, which is sitting indoors and staring at a screen. I spend all my time and mental energy pushing buttons so that what’s on the screen changes. I stress out, I get overwhelmed, and I have all sorts of reactions that don’t make sense for someone who is just staring at a plastic box all day. But I must focus my attention completely so that my hunt will be successful.

So when you bring a live grasshopper home and meow at me to tell me you brought me something that I could kill and eat and then get annoyed that I don’t eat it, that’s the same feeling I get when I point at the screen and tell you to fix a font alignment bug and you don’t even start up the source code editor.

All this just to say that I’m sorry that I ignored you earlier when you wanted pets. But it will happen again.

Building Kawpowminer From Source on Ubuntu 20.04 Linux

I wanted to build kawpowminer from source so I could mine some Ravencoin. I ran into some issues getting it to build, so I’m documenting them here in case anyone else runs into the same problems.

Let’s assume you’ve gotten past the part where you install all of the dev libraries you need (cuda, etc) and are trying to get the kawpowminer source to build (if you miss a library, it’s generally pretty obvious from googling the build error which one you need to add and then try again).

git clone https://github.com/RavenCommunity/kawpowminer
cd kawpowminer
git submodule update --init --recursive
cmake .

It’s at this point that you’re likely to see an error.

CMake Error: The following variables are used in this project, but they are set to NOTFOUND.
Please set them or make sure they are set and tested correctly in the CMake files:
CUDA_cuda_LIBRARY
linked by target "ethash-cuda" in directory /home/xangis/code/kawpowminer/libethash-cuda
CUDA_nvrtc_LIBRARY
linked by target "ethash-cuda" in directory /home/xangis/code/kawpowminer/libethash-cuda

-- Configuring incomplete, errors occurred!

To get past this, you’ll need to find where your libcuda.so and libnvrtc.so files are. I install mlocate on my machines so I can do “locate libcuda.so” to find the file location. Once you’ve found (or installed) them, add the file locations to the cmake command line like so:

cmake . -DETHASHCUDA=ON -DETHASHCL=ON -DCUDA_cuda_LIBRARY=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libcuda.so -DCUDA_nvrtc_LIBRARY=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libnvrtc.so

CMake should run for a while and do a bunch of things. Eventually you’ll be ready to run “make” to create the final build of the app. Except, it doesn’t like the default Ubuntu gcc v9 install. It’s too new:

[ 64%] Building NVCC (Device) object libethash-cuda/CMakeFiles/ethash-cuda.dir/ethash-cuda_generated_CUDAMiner_cuda.cu.o
In file included from /usr/include/cuda_runtime.h:83,
from :
/usr/include/crt/host_config.h:138:2: error: #error -- unsupported GNU version! gcc versions later than 8 are not supported!
138 | #error -- unsupported GNU version! gcc versions later than 8 are not supported!
| ^~~~~
CMake Error at ethash-cuda_generated_CUDAMiner_cuda.cu.o.Release.cmake:220 (message):
Error generating
/home/xangis/code/kawpowminer/libethash-cuda/CMakeFiles/ethash-cuda.dir//./ethash-cuda_generated_CUDAMiner_cuda.cu.o

make[2]: *** [libethash-cuda/CMakeFiles/ethash-cuda.dir/build.make:65: libethash-cuda/CMakeFiles/ethash-cuda.dir/ethash-cuda_generated_CUDAMiner_cuda.cu.o] Error 1
make[1]: *** [CMakeFiles/Makefile2:513: libethash-cuda/CMakeFiles/ethash-cuda.dir/all] Error 2
make[1]: *** Waiting for unfinished jobs....
[ 66%] Linking CXX static library libpoolprotocols.a
[ 66%] Built target poolprotocols
make: *** [Makefile:152: all] Error 2
xangis@spica:~/code/kawpowminer$ gcc --version
gcc (Ubuntu 9.3.0-17ubuntu1~20.04) 9.3.0
Copyright (C) 2019 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO
warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

To get around this, you’ll need to install an older version of gcc. I went back to version 7 because I didn’t want to worry about installing v8.1 for example, and then being told that it won’t work because it’s a version later than 8.

sudo apt-get install gcc-7 g++-7

Now you have two versions of GCC installed, and your system won’t use the older one. There are a few ways to switch them (including update-alternatives), but the quickest way is to remove the /usr/bin/gcc link to gcc-9 and replace it with one to gcc-7.

sudo rm /usr/bin/gcc
sudo ln -s /usr/bin/gcc-7 /usr/bin/gcc

Now if you run “make”, you won’t get the error message about your gcc being too new. You’ll probably want to reverse this change after you’re done building, unless you want to keep using the older version of GCC, which you might want to do if you’ll be working on the kawpowminer code.

sudo rm /usr/bin/gcc
sudo ln -s /usr/bin/gcc-9 /usr/bin/gcc

If you found this helpful, you can always RVN me at RRWHrajdjJV7kKdZoeRFbKHkEeuh9jBKR4

I Set Up a Ravencoin Node

I have a handful of mostly-idle Ubuntu servers, so I decided to set up a Ravencoin node on one of them.

I used this tutorial by Tron Black for the setup. (Warning: Medium is now a paywall site)

At the risk of repeating, this is how I set up a node on my Ubuntu 20.04 server (from my user home directory):

wget https://github.com/RavenProject/Ravencoin/releases/download/v4.3.2.1/raven-4.3.2.1-x86_64-linux-gnu.zip
unzip raven-4.3.2.1-x86_64-linux-gnu.zip
cd linux
gunzip raven-4.3.2.1-x86_64-linux-gnu.tar.gz
tar xf raven-4.3.2.1-x86_64-linux-gnu.tar

Yes, we have a gzipped file inside of a zip file. That’s a little odd, but not a big deal.

cd raven-4.3.2.1/
sudo ln -s ~/raven-4.3.2.1/bin/raven-cli /usr/bin/raven-cli
sudo ln -s ~/raven-4.3.2.1/bin/ravend /usr/bin/ravend
ravend -daemon -maxconnections=10000

Wait a few seconds.

ps aux|grep ravend

The process should show up if the daemon started successfully. Running it manually like that means it’ll have to be restarted if the machine restarts, but this one has an uptime of 181 days, so that’s not a frequent occurrence.

Now to check status:

raven-cli getnetworkinfo

Outputs:

{
"version": 4030201,
"subversion": "/Ravencoin:4.3.2.1/",
"protocolversion": 70028,
...
"connections": 25,
...
"localaddresses": [
{
"address": "216.151.2.51",
"port": 8767,
"score": 1472
}
],
}

I trimmed out a bunch of extra stuff for the sake of space (thus “…”), but the important things to see are that it’s using the right IP address and that there’s a positive number of connections (25). It’s working! I’m very curious what the “score” is for, though. It’s not always the same.

I waited a day or so to see whether it shows up on the raven nodes site, and it does.

Ravencoin Node in Portland Area

As far as I know, you don’t actually get any direct benefit from running a raven node (transaction fees, etc), it just keeps things running smoothly on the Raven network.

Essentially, you’ve left water out for the birds, but they’re not going to bring you shiny things. But, it never hurts to have some goodwill from the ravens.

You can always RVN me at RRWHrajdjJV7kKdZoeRFbKHkEeuh9jBKR4

First Steps Mining Ravencoin

I don’t have a gaming rig. I don’t even have a desktop computer. So, how am I going to be able to mine any kind of cryptocurrency? Fat chance.

Well, it turns out that if you have a fairly powerful laptop video card, you can mine Ravencoin. I have a GeForce 1650 Max-Q, which gets about 5.6 MH/s with the KAWPoW algorithm used for Ravencoin. I used kawpowminer on Windows, but there are plenty of other options for both Windows and Linux.

How did I decide what mining pool to use?

Well, I checked MiningPoolStats to find the most popular ones. 2Miners and Flypool were at the top of the list, but I checked out their websites and I didn’t care for the look and feel of them. After checking a few more, I settled on miningpoolhub. Their website has a clean look, it’s easy to set up payouts, and they have a nice view of your stats with the important info up front.

I’ve been running for a few days and so far I’ve been getting about 5 RVN per day. It’s not a lot — only 60 cents worth — but it’s enough to make it feel like I’m making progress. The computer was going to be on anyway, so I might as well get some use out of it.

Don’t be afraid to try a few different mining pools. The interfaces, fees, payout frequency, coin conversion, and other features vary considerably.

You can always RVN me at RRWHrajdjJV7kKdZoeRFbKHkEeuh9jBKR4

Finding Good Cryptocurrency

It’s been about seven years since I’ve paid any attention to the world of cryptocurrency. A lot has changed since then. There are now THOUSANDS of coins in the world. How do you figure out which ones to pay attention to?

I started by checking the coin ratings at isthiscoinascam.com. I only gave serious attention to coins rated at least 6.0 (Good), which at the time of this writing is 67 coins. I also looked at some of the coins rated between 5.0 and 6.0 (Above Average), but only if they had names that sounded interesting. For the most part there wasn’t much worth looking at below 6.0.

For each of those coins, I took a look at the profile and statistics at coinmarketcap.com. I eliminated anything that had a focus that didn’t seem very interesting to me, anything that looked like it had peaked and was on the decline, or anything that had numbers that didn’t look right to me.

That left a handful of coins that seemed like they were worth holding as investments (to me). I’m not looking for insane 10x+ returns, but rather some solid growth over the next few years. In other words, I’m looking for assets rather than lottery tickets.

The ones I decided that I wanted to hold some of are:

Algorand (ALGO)
Bitcoin (BTC)
Cardano (ADA)
Cosmos (ATOM)
Dash (DASH)
Ethereum (ETH)
Litecoin (LTC)
Monero (XMR)
Polkadot (DOT)
Ravencoin (RVN)
Stellar (XLM)
Tezos (XTZ)
ZCash (ZEC)

Honorable mentions (things I’ll consider getting) are:

Aave (AAVE)
Chainlink (LINK)
Polygon (MATIC)
Solana (SOL)

Of the good choices, the one that seems to have the most potential is Ravencoin. I’ll have to look into that in more detail.

With 13 coins in the list of things I want to hold on to, it should be pretty easy to build a diversified portfolio. Some things will do well, and some won’t, but I think cryptocurrency is still on the rise and chances are good that there will be a significant positive return.

How I Feel About Bitcoin

I am generally pretty indifferent to Bitcoin. Unlike many who think it’s either “the wave of the future” or going to bring about the end times through a global warming apocalypse, I don’t think it’s really all that important other than as a research project.

Bitcoin is Cryptocurrency 1.0. It was an interesting idea that doesn’t have much long-term potential due to its flaws (slow transaction confirmation, high transfer fees, massive energy consumption). That said, you may very well make a profit investing in Bitcoin (BTC). Markets are weird and have many factors, and while Bitcoin itself is not great for small retail transactions, it could still be a valid store of value akin to buying a gold bar. You can’t buy a cup of coffee with a gold bar either. Bitcoin doesn’t seem to be all that interested in further innovation to improve, either, which is why forks like Bitcoin Cash exist.

Ethereum is in a similar situation — as cryptocurrency 2.0, it solved some problems that Bitcoin didn’t, but still has its own issues. Another useful research project, and one that is still innovating and doing new things, but one that will probably not survive as new cryptos evolve.

Newer cryptocurrencies build on the good ideas that Bitcoin and other early-generation cryptocurrency brought to the world, but also solve some other important problems. For example, proof-of-stake-based coins don’t use ASIC mining (which consumes a lot of electricity and contributes to global warming). Many others have a low energy footprint or base themselves on things other than mass computational power. As more environmentally friendly coins come around, the energy-hogging ones will gradually fade.

I don’t see either of them having much long-term usefulness, probably not greater than 20 years, but that doesn’t mean they won’t continue to have value in much the way that antiques do. Ancient Greek and Roman coins can be worth a ton of money, but you can’t and won’t spend them anywhere, at least not directly.

Note: I have about $15 worth of Bitcoin (mainly from loyalty programs), and have both mined and traded Bitcoin years ago.

What Was downloadwindowsprograms.com?

DownloadWindowsPrograms.com was a software download site that I ran (with some interruptions) from 2013-2021.

It offered software downloads for Windows and had a few hundred listings. Listings could be added by submitting a Portable Application Description (PAD) file.

PAD files were an interesting idea that made it much easier for shareware and freeware authors to distribute software, but over time they were co-opted by spammers (especially affiliate link spam) and people who wanted to distribute viruses, so filtering out the bad/useless things was an ever-increasing chore.

My site was an interesting experiment and it got a bit of traffic, but ultimately there’s no real demand for Windows software download sites now that Windows has a proper app store. Even once-massive sites like download.com are struggling. That’s why I shut it down in August 2021.

Now that you’re here, feel free to explore the blog a bit. I have a bunch of websites and music projects I’ve created, and you might find some of them interesting (under the “My Stuff” section of the sidebar).

What Was stampscoinsnotes.com?

StampsCoinsNotes.com was a visual catalog of postage stamps, bank notes, and coins from around the world.

It started as i-collect-it.com back in 2009 when I started scanning stamps from my personal collection. In 2013 I renamed it to stampscoinsnotes.com to get rid of the hyphens and have a more accurate name.

Over the years I added more than 13000 images, with more than 9000 stamps, 2400 coins, and 1200 bank notes.

Honduras 20 Lempira Bank Note from 2014

A 20 lempira bank note from Honduras in 2014.

Here’s a screenshot from archive.org.

It was an interesting project (for me) with viewership that peaked around 2015 and gradually declined, regardless of how many items were added, until it wasn’t worth the effort of maintaining anymore. I shut the site down yesterday.

Now that you’re here, feel free to explore the blog a bit. I have a bunch of websites and music projects I’ve created, and you might find some of them interesting (under the “My Stuff” section of the sidebar).

Thoughts on Bidvertiser

Bidvertiser stands alone in that it is the only Adsense alternative that never made me angry.

It just worked. Setup was easy. There was no shady business, malicious javascript, browser hijacking, popover or popunder ads, push notification nonsense, or other user-alienating tomfoolery.

It’s the only ad network that I experimented with that didn’t make me want to turn on adblock on my own site, which had pretty minimal ads in the first place.

Earnings were terrible, as shown below. My site was a general-purpose non-niche site with global traffic based mostly in India, Pakistan, Turkey, and other non-high-revenue countries for advertising. In addition, the traffic volume was not high enough to attract anyone seeking to buy ads specifically on the site. Given that, take these earnings with a grain (or a bowl) of salt. Earnings would be much higher if your traffic was entirely from the U.S. Even so, the same traffic with Adsense would likely have earned around $8 or so.

If I had another site to monetize that was not compatible with Adsense, I’d use them again. I just wouldn’t expect to buy a fancy yacht from the earnings.

Outrage Is Useless

Before the algorithms took over the internet entirely, the news was obsessed with fear. Making people afraid was their goal, and it was what kept eyeballs glued to the screen.

As the internet evolved, fear was still in heavy circulation, and it benefited those who knew how to wield it. It was not just the news, but politicians and products meant to make you feel “safe”. But it started to change.

Over the past few years, thanks to “the algorithms”, I’ve noticed a shift more toward outrage than fear. When I visit a site, something is invariably presented that is meant to outrage me. Twitter does its best to make most of its trends political or “what celebrity did which outrageous thing you should get mad about”. Facebook shows me memes and news stories meant to make me mad, get my hackles up, and bring forth the fires of righteous indignation. So do all the other news and social media outlets.

When you’re presented with something, it’s worth taking a step back and looking at what sort of outrage it’s intended to provoke. Do you really want to waste your time yelling at some celebrity or making some 15-year-old kid cry for saying something ignorant on camera?

And when someone wants to direct their outrage your way, it’s best to just ignore it and let it blow over. It’s only temporary and in 10 minutes they’ll be outraged at someone or something else. Someone will always be offended by what you do or who you are. Don’t walk on eggshells for fear that someone might say something mean to you. Their opinions don’t matter, and that’s no way to live.

Outrage is useless. Don’t let it control you.