Udemy, wow. Finding this institution at this time could not have been more fortuitousness. Right about the time that my research into blockchain stared, Udemy started to advertise massive discounts some of their courses, some of them free! Needless to say I took the plunge. First up was The Complete Ethereum Course: Get .001 Ether In Your Wallet – yes, true to the title, I did get the Ether! Since then I have enrolled in a number of development sources, mostly related to my interest in blockchain and I have to say that for the most part, I have been most satisfied. My only disappointment was with the Java course that was too basic for me, only because I was too experience with Java to benefit – still I will push on because I know there is always a gem hidden somewhere that I might have forgotten or not known about.
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Ok, how on earth do I get Ethereum? It seems to be a difficult thing in my country, I can get BitCoin through luno but transfer it to an exchange and then trade for Ether seems to be stupid expensive for the amounts I want. Mining at home is not an option; not on my 2011 struggling iMac, so that leaves the great big cloud.
Fortunately there are a few tutorials out there with a step by step guide to mine Ether on AWS, the one that worked for me was Ethereum mining on AWS in 5mins.
The mining was ridiculously slow, and unless the Ether/USD rate shot through the roof and the Rand strengthened significantly, I was always going to be paying through my teeth.
Somethings I learned in this process:
1. When setting up the Security groups for access into the instance remember to set to your IP aaaaaaaand remember to make sure that if your IP address changes you do this again.
2. Use screen or a similar method when running the ethminer so that it continues to run even when the connection is lost to the ssh session or you close it down.
3. If you need to authorize anything on the pool like changing the payment threshold then you can get the ip address of your worker by performing a nslookup on the domain name you ssh’ed into.
Over the 3 days (the first 2 were a bit up and down) I mined ~ 0.006 ETH = ~ 1.8 USD = ~ 24.5 ZAR
The use of the AWS instance was 7.19 USD with a forecast of 219.53 USD if I ran it over the whole October
I would have be happy if I just broke even after paying the transfer fees, but alas.
[Image Credit: Ethereum]
It has happened, PnP is now accepting BitCoin as payment, albeit for a limited time and not at all stores. I wonder what fees will be involved and how long it will take a transaction to take place. This is a good thing because having such a big retail company backing a CryptoCurrency means that access into this model will be all the more easier for us South Africans. I do not know why I would have a reason to purchase BitCoin and use it at PnP other than as a novelty or if I had been donated or earned some CryptoCurrency, beside it is such a volatile market that I could stand to loose a couple hundred bucks because I chose the wrong queue to pay at – or score, who knows.
Personally I think that everyone should at least get their foot in the door, be it for 0.005 or even 1 BitCoin, or any other CryptoCurrency.
I signed up with luno for a small number of satoshi (unit of bitcoin currency) and used some to buy into electroneum as a form of mobile mining.
Up until now, South Africans would have to convert Rands to Dollars or some currency accepted by Crypto Exchanges like CoinBase, Kraken or Gemini, but there are limits, fee and difficulty in setting up accounts to make the transfer. There is a claim that converting to Dollars to buy BitCoin will giving you more Rand value of BitCoin in the end, but I think that one would have to make big transfers to make this significant and the timing would need to be accurate i.e. watching the USD/ZAR exchange rate and BitCoin price very closely.
Now South Africa has luno, which is good because or the easy entry. Bear in mind that it might take a few days to verify you identity and make your first deposit before you can convert to BitCoin, also ready the fine print – there are fees. Just when you thought that the idea of decentralization would take out the middle man luno is the middle man, but one could very well make transactions using the wallet address without luno, anyway that is something I have yet to figure out.
It is an interesting time that we live in. In some ways , not scratch that, in many ways I am way way behind.
But I am in.
Second with a kind of mobile mining solution called electroneum
Please feel free to click the link for electroneum and sign up; disclaimer is that I might get a referral fee, however small.
The next few posts will be about this avenue I have take.
It is going to be an awesome adventure.
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