Mining BEAM cryptocurrency, and planning for profits
I started mining again recently, following a brief hiatus while I assessed my performance over the past two and a half years. I decided to take a look at BEAM, simply for the reason that it was listed at the top of the stats on WhatToMine and other calculators. So, I dove in and have been at it for a few weeks now.
One of the reasons that I stopped mining was that the rig management software that I had been using was discontinued. I’d given up Windows and Awesome Miner altogether some time ago and went with HashR8 OS, which was built on Linux. The software was cloud based, and free since I only have one rig, but it appears they were white labeling a product from RaveOS, with whom they decided to split. Rave was unfortunately able to support the influx of new users, as a lot of miners were unable to get support from them, myself included, so I decided to go with Simple Mining OS, (SMOS).
Previously, I’d held all my mining wallets on an old Windows 7 machine, but recently repurposed the hardware for Elder’s workstation upstairs. Having W7 is a security liability these days, and I don’t need the security risk. One thing I decided that I wanted to do differently is run nodes for the various cryptos I’m holding on my home server, so I set up a BEAM node on my Ubuntu 18 machine using Supervisor.
# /etc/supervisor/conf.d/beam.conf [program:beam] command=/home/me/beam/beam-node directory=/home/me/beam/ autostart=true restart=true stderr_logfile=/var/log/beam.log stdout_logfile=/var/log/beam.log stdout_logfile_maxbytes=5MB stderr_logfile_maxbytes=5MB stdout_logfile_backups=2 stderr_logfile_backups=2
BEAM is quite different from most cryptocurrencies that I’ve worked with in the past. Anonymity is a very important feature of it, and they way they’ve implemented it leads to a very different quirk. Usually, when transacting on a blockchain, the sender just broadcasts a transaction over the network. With BEAM though, the receiver actually has to be online in order to complete the transaction. It’s slightly weird, and causes some additional issues with wallet management. BEAM uses the term bulletin board to describe wallet addresses, and wallets have to be online in listen mode in order to receive a transaction. There are rules about running multiple wallets that have to do with the fact that transactions are only heard by one wallet node and are ethermeral, which can lead to divergences in the transaction databases. UXTOs and balances can be reclaimed if this wallet database is lost.
For a miner, this basically means that the wallet has to be online in order to receive mining payouts from a pool. In fact, after checking last night, I found that my wallet had not been running, and I had several weeks of mining proceeds on my pool. Thankfully, I restarted the wallet last night and it appears the payout was received. To rectify this, I am thinking about creating an additional supervisor service to keep the wallet running.
My entry into mining at the peak of the last bull run in December 2017 was obviously ill timed. While I have not sold any of my bags of RVN, XHV, ARW and others over the years, the value of my portfolio has remained at nearly a constant level, never actually surpassing the capital that we invested to get started. Granted, we bought our GPUs a the top of the market and practically FOMO’ed ourselves into getting some of them at outrageous prices, but I’ve still been dismayed at the performance. This was one of the reasons why I briefly considered shuttering operations last month. Indeed, when I calculate for the power consumption that I’ve used, roughly 800-1100W, (about $60/month) my costs up to this point are doubled.
All signs in the crypto markets point to the beginning of a new bull cycle, so I’m not going to stop quite yet. I have decided that I need a strategy to start taking profits instead of just holding onto coins forever, so I’m going to start taking some of the mining proceeds, and convert them to BTC. My plan is to convert enough to cover the month’s power consumption, and just tuck it in a wallet. This will of course only work for exchange-listed coins or ones with a healthy OTC market, but I’m far too busy to do the research necessary to keep up with spec mining at this point.
Last night I started working on a new Python program to manage this process for me. It involves getting the month’s payout from the mining pool API, calling the wallet command to send BEAM to my exchange, then uses the CCXT library to initiate a market sell order and send the proceeds to my hard wallet. I’ve got a lot of work to do to automate all this, but I think the time is close to take this mining operations from a speculative one to a profitable one.