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Author Topic: [Answered]Can you use Bitcoin ASIC hardware to mine SHA256 alt-coins?  (Read 9927 times)
mufa23
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July 26, 2013, 08:27:32 PM
 #1

Title says it all.

Namecoin, Terracoin, PPcoin, and a few others use SHA-256. Couldn ASIC devices (Avalon, BFL, etc) that are used to mine Bitcoins be used to mine other SHA256 based coins? Could you just use a BFL Single and have Cgminer point at a PPcoin pool to start mining away?

Like wise, could FPGAs used to mine Litecoin be used for other Scrypt coins?

Jan 24th 2014 EDIT:
Thanks guys!

But this sort of a necro thread everyone's been posting in. If you check the timestamp, I originally asked the question back in July 2013. This was when BFL started shipping their units and people started to receive some of the very first (SHA-256) ASIC miners. There was lots of questions and speculation back then, but it has mostly since become common knowledge.

Again, thanks for your answers and help. But this thread is getting kind of old...

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Gerald Davis


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July 26, 2013, 08:31:28 PM
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Yes.  Technically there is no such thing as a "Bitcoin" ASIC.  The ASIC has no idea what it is hashing.  You give it a blob of data, it adds a nonce to it, hashes it and checks to see if it meets a target.  It then increments the nonce and tries again.  When it gets to the last nonce is starts over.  

Anything that uses the same hashing algorithm can be mined with a "Bitcoin ASIC.  If the coin is merge mine capable (i.e. namecoin) you can mine both Bitcoin AND that alt-coin simultaneously.

As for FPGA & Scrypt based coins.  Not at this time.  In theory you could however someone would need to develop an efficient firmware and nobody has yet.  It also probably would require a larger FPGA chip than the SpartanIV because the version of scrypt used in altcoins requries 128KB of cache as a scratchpad.
mufa23
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July 26, 2013, 08:36:09 PM
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If I had a BFL Single right now, could I mine at a PPcoin pool using cgminer? It sounds like GPUs are useless for mining SHA256 coins now.

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Gerald Davis


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July 26, 2013, 08:37:15 PM
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If I had a BFL Single right now, could I mine at a PPcoin pool using cgminer?

Yes. 
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August 07, 2013, 05:51:55 PM
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Yes. On those days when mining PPC is more profitable than mining BTC I switch over my ASIC USB. I'm hoping for a time when we can mine scrypt coins with ASIC.

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August 07, 2013, 05:57:15 PM
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Yes. On those days when mining PPC is more profitable than mining BTC I switch over my ASIC USB. I'm hoping for a time when we can mine scrypt coins with ASIC.

Regardless of what else happens, you will never be able to mine scrypt coins with your current SHA-256 ASIC.

Scrypt ASICs may be developed, but they will do scrypt and nothing else, just like your USB thing does SHA-256 and nothing else.
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August 26, 2013, 03:55:59 PM
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Sorry to bump a slightly old thread, but on this topic when we see all the ASICs coming online and some people (n00bs) only mining BTC rather than some of the other altcoins the OP mentioned.  Will the SHA256 based altcoins profitability rise compared to BTC as the BTC difficulty increases?
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August 26, 2013, 04:24:38 PM
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Sorry to bump a slightly old thread, but on this topic when we see all the ASICs coming online and some people (n00bs) only mining BTC rather than some of the other altcoins the OP mentioned.  Will the SHA256 based altcoins profitability rise compared to BTC as the BTC difficulty increases?
The BTC diff just recently rose, and it's still the most profitable SHA-256 coin out there. The difficulty is high, the price is also magnitudes higher than any alt-coin.

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August 26, 2013, 08:21:44 PM
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I've been mining PPC with my little erupters, I don't know if it's a good move or not but I just wanted to see if it would work. Plus it's sort of cool actually getting some coins per day.
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August 26, 2013, 08:23:47 PM
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Sorry to bump a slightly old thread, but on this topic when we see all the ASICs coming online and some people (n00bs) only mining BTC rather than some of the other altcoins the OP mentioned.  Will the SHA256 based altcoins profitability rise compared to BTC as the BTC difficulty increases?
The BTC diff just recently rose, and it's still the most profitable SHA-256 coin out there. The difficulty is high, the price is also magnitudes higher than any alt-coin.

Yes but for the sake of argument lets say BTC diff goes too 200,000,000, a KNC Juipiter (400GH/s) would never make a profit.  PPCoin for example has a much lower cost and diff and higher reward.  So mining with 400GH/s would return a profit if you switch from BTC to PPC.  Or am I missing something obvious?
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Gerald Davis


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August 26, 2013, 08:25:36 PM
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Sorry to bump a slightly old thread, but on this topic when we see all the ASICs coming online and some people (n00bs) only mining BTC rather than some of the other altcoins the OP mentioned.  Will the SHA256 based altcoins profitability rise compared to BTC as the BTC difficulty increases?
The BTC diff just recently rose, and it's still the most profitable SHA-256 coin out there. The difficulty is high, the price is also magnitudes higher than any alt-coin.

Yes but for the sake of argument lets say BTC diff goes too 200,000,000, a KNC Juipiter (400GH/s) would never make a profit.  PPCoin for example has a much lower cost and diff and higher reward.  So mining with 400GH/s would return a profit if you switch from BTC to PPC.  Or am I missing something obvious?

You aren't missing anything he said "it STILL is the most profitable".   You are talking about the future, he is talking about right now.


Of course if one miner can switch so can all of the miners.  If PPC shows significantly higher ROI% then enough miners WILL take a risk and switch and that will raise the PPC difficulty and lower the BTC difficulty such that any significant gain is arbitraged out.  PPC only had 2.5TH.  It doesn't take that many large rigs to significantly raise that hashrate.
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August 27, 2013, 05:03:47 PM
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yeah of course I think most people believe that PPcoin has a much higher chance of dieing off than bitcoin.
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Gerald Davis


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August 27, 2013, 05:18:32 PM
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yeah of course I think most people believe that PPcoin has a much higher chance of dieing off than bitcoin.

You could still mine it and sell it for BTC. 
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January 05, 2014, 07:25:14 AM
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This thread intrigues me. Once I get my Neptune, maybe it will be more profitable to mine altcoins, sell or exchange to bitcoin?
mufa23
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January 05, 2014, 09:26:03 AM
 #15

This thread intrigues me. Once I get my Neptune, maybe it will be more profitable to mine altcoins, sell or exchange to bitcoin?
Yup!

I'm still getting BTC with my GPUs. I mine LTC, and trade them away for BTC.

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January 05, 2014, 09:45:57 AM
 #16

YES. You can mine all sha-256 coins. A good pool to start is coinex.pw. You just need to change the port number to switch to other altcoin.

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January 09, 2014, 03:02:43 PM
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HOW EXACTLY does one mine SHA 256 alts with a BFL Asic and cgminer???
I got sucked into buying one by this LIE and now am stuck with a $500 paperweight!

It is just as useless to mine BTC since at today's diff it can mine .01 BTC/ YEAR!!!  WOW $80/year only 6.2 years to return $500 IF diff stays as now...

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January 09, 2014, 03:12:28 PM
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You should check out www.multipool.us.
mufa23
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January 09, 2014, 04:47:29 PM
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HOW EXACTLY does one mine SHA 256 alts with a BFL Asic and cgminer???
Just point your miner to a pool that mines an alt coin using the SHA256 algorithm.

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January 09, 2014, 05:00:11 PM
 #20

You can mine sha-256 altcoins at coinex.pw and coinotron.com

And here's something interesting for old ASICs: a hybrid sha-256 & scrypt coin:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=397831.0

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