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compSciTchr
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February 03, 2021, 03:58:55 AM
Merited by ETFbitcoin (1)
 #1

Hello,
I am a teacher at a high school in Dubai and my students are doing IB Computer Science. Their case study is surrounding the underlying tech of bitcoin but masked in a hypothetical case study. We cobbled together some small mining rigs so they can learn about mining but they are all sitting on very old mobos. My goal is to get the rigs to make a few bucks so that I can get each of the 35 students a wallet with a nominal amount that they can use to send/receive. I can just imagine the coolest photo op...30 students (less because of covid remote learners) but all holding their paper wallets standing proudly like lotto winners Smiley)

I have been lurking on this board for a couple years now off and on learning from so many of you. I would like to know what you think I can do to make this even more tangible:
1) I have reached out to ASIC companies to see if they have any REALLY OLD stock of SHA-256 miners (I would even be happy with those gridseed USB miners Smiley I would rather they mine BTC directly instead of using GPUs and nicehash
2) They will create their own paper wallets
3) I'm debating wether to get them to install Bitcoin Core on their devices and actually mine (although they wont make anything they can at least see it working)

We plan on making a series of videos on Youtube to document their learning and I figured what better way than to pass it on than by having students share their exploits with others trying to learn.

If someone out there has any ideas of how we can make this more "tangible" that would be awesome, wether that be in:
a) Activities that you think would be very beneficial
b) Some sort of sponsorship of old ASICs or whatever may be available that is not necessarily profitable anymore.

PS - I can provide credentials and the school phone number. We are an accredited NEASC and an IB school.
Looking forward to hearing from you here or via PM
All the best
compSciTchr
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February 03, 2021, 07:31:37 AM
 #2

This seems like a cool thing to do. I don't have the technical knowledge but the members who regularly posts on Development & Technical discussion can help you. Move your topic to https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?board=6.0

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February 03, 2021, 07:51:18 AM
 #3

So you guys will join a mining pool or something like that? What's the hash then? If it's too small I think you'd need a very long time just to find some sats. Doing faucet might be faster if your goal is to get a few satoshis imo. But if it's just for learning and seeing how to work things out, I guess it is worth a try.


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February 03, 2021, 08:12:47 AM
 #4

So you guys will join a mining pool or something like that? What's the hash then? If it's too small I think you'd need a very long time just to find some sats. Doing faucet might be faster if your goal is to get a few satoshis imo. But if it's just for learning and seeing how to work things out, I guess it is worth a try.
I think that they wouldn't learn a lot with just faucets, I am still skeptical but this could be a good idea on introducing children to bitcoin and bitcoin mining. I think OP needs to provide some credentials and a lot of proof because if you have been lurking in this forum for a long time then you should know by now that the people of this forum have their guards up against people that are asking for money for a heart tugging reason.



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February 03, 2021, 08:13:36 AM
 #5

Imho it's not a good plan. The problem is that Bitcoin mining difficulty is very high and rising. That means that an old "unprofitable" ASIC will probably not get you almost any coins, or you'll need quite a number of generations of students to get to withdraw that dust.

If you want to teach students about mining, show them how mining works with any coin. You'll have to pick with every new generation a new worthless coin with low difficulty in order to show them everything, including hitting a block or at least receiving payout from the pool.

If you want to teach students about transferring Bitcoin, then imho your best bet is Bitcoin's testnet. This way they'll see the exact wallets they can use. And since Bitcoin Core needs very long initial sync and you'll probably want to have each student trying this on his computer, I think that a SPV wallet like Electrum would be more suitable, since it syncs fast and it can also work with testnet.

Paper wallets... they are kinda outdated if you want to show them in the "classic" way. Paper wallet is a nicely printed pair of private key + address. But nowadays it's easier and cleaner to introduced them to HD wallets and seed, which they can store instead of paper wallet, and with seed they'll have virtually infinite number of addresses, of which they can bookmark one or two and check on block explorers (there are also a few block explorers that can work with testnet too).

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February 03, 2021, 09:13:39 AM
 #6

I dont know anything about mining so I cannot answer your questions directly.

As NeuroticFish explains the Bitcoin difficulty level is too high at the moment.

I was going to direct you to two other boards on the forum:

Mining Pools

and Computer Hardware Marketplace

where you might find some less efficient hardware, as above they propably
wont be beneficial.

This is a great initiative and nice to see Bitcoin and Crypto related learning
with the younger generations.

Back in the 80's when I was high school we got 1 hour per week on NEW
Computers, obviously things have changed massively since then.

Best of luck with your endeavour

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February 04, 2021, 06:36:58 AM
 #7

Imho it's not a good plan. The problem is that Bitcoin mining difficulty is very high and rising. That means that an old "unprofitable" ASIC will probably not get you almost any coins, or you'll need quite a number of generations of students to get to withdraw that dust.

If you want to teach students about mining, show them how mining works with any coin. You'll have to pick with every new generation a new worthless coin with low difficulty in order to show them everything, including hitting a block or at least receiving payout from the pool.

If you want to teach students about transferring Bitcoin, then imho your best bet is Bitcoin's testnet. This way they'll see the exact wallets they can use. And since Bitcoin Core needs very long initial sync and you'll probably want to have each student trying this on his computer, I think that a SPV wallet like Electrum would be more suitable, since it syncs fast and it can also work with testnet.

Paper wallets... they are kinda outdated if you want to show them in the "classic" way. Paper wallet is a nicely printed pair of private key + address. But nowadays it's easier and cleaner to introduced them to HD wallets and seed, which they can store instead of paper wallet, and with seed they'll have virtually infinite number of addresses, of which they can bookmark one or two and check on block explorers (there are also a few block explorers that can work with testnet too).
Thanks!
1) I understand the difficulty is high but running an old asic and maybe using Nicehash will accomplish the goal of making some sats while mining...it would be cool to for them to see some old ASICs running
2) I like the Testnet idea but I would love for them to walk away having actual sats. Imagine they are in college 2-3 years from now and they can say they got their first wallet in CS class and even had it funded Smiley
3) Software wallets are cool but hardware wallets cost money so that would be out
4) Paper wallets are outdated but are tangible and a great way to help them make the connection between pub/priv key...I actually plan to share with them a private key of a wallet that I will fund my self with $20 or so and have them race to see who can get it first Smiley
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February 04, 2021, 06:45:13 AM
 #8

So you guys will join a mining pool or something like that? What's the hash then? If it's too small I think you'd need a very long time just to find some sats. Doing faucet might be faster if your goal is to get a few satoshis imo. But if it's just for learning and seeing how to work things out, I guess it is worth a try.
Our gpu rig is running on nicehash and earning like a $1/day (but I have been using my phone data plan...even with IT help they could not get the miners to connect probably due to the 2rd party proxy/filter they use).

As for faucets I didnt think there would be any out there any more Smiley) I thought those were circa 2014
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February 04, 2021, 06:46:56 AM
 #9

First of all, Kudos... We need teachers teaching these basics...

As for mining, not even the testnet will do... The last time i looked, the testnet had a difficulty of allmost 226M, wich tells us the hashrate would be somewhere around 1600 Th. An old ASIC won't be good enought to actually solve a block with that difficulty....

As for pool mining: what are they actually learning? They get work from the pool, solve some shares at a very low diff and get some sats in an online account... I'm not sure if they're learning all they can learn from that...

My advice, go for the DOGE or Litecoin testnet, setup a DOGE or Litecoin testnet node, solo mine, actually show them the debug.log and the stdout of their cpu miner, let them chose the address that'll be funded with the coinbase reward, let them move funds around from a core wallet to an SPV wallet to an airgapped setup, to a paper wallet, let them see their transactions in the mempool, then show them how they ended up in a block...

As for giving them some sats: sure, why not... But you could setup the mining rigs to mine after hours, and stick to mining testnet DOGE/LTC during class hours.

By the way: it might not be a good idear to take pictures of your students holding paper wallets... If somebody is able to read the private key, or restore the qr code, they can rob your students, unless you used encryption and a strong passphrase...

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February 04, 2021, 07:09:36 AM
 #10

My advice, go for the DOGE or Litecoin testnet, setup a DOGE or Litecoin testnet node, solo mine, actually show them the debug.log and the stdout of their cpu miner, let them chose the address that'll be funded with the coinbase reward, let them move funds around from a core wallet to an SPV wallet to an airgapped setup, to a paper wallet, let them see their transactions in the mempool, then show them how they ended up in a block...

As for giving them some sats: sure, why not... But you could setup the mining rigs to mine after hours, and stick to mining testnet DOGE/LTC during class hours.

By the way: it might not be a good idear to take pictures of your students holding paper wallets... If somebody is able to read the private key, or restore the qr code, they can rob your students, unless you used encryption and a strong passphrase...

Awesome, that sounds great. I may need to PM you to get some more details if you are willing to guide me. Doge is a great suggestion especially now that its in the news.

As for the photo of course the private keys would not be printed Smiley
I'm just siked to be able to have them walk away with the basics and maybe a few sats and they can recall when they are 40 that their high school teacher got them their first wallet Smiley))
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February 04, 2021, 07:12:27 AM
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Quote
By the way: it might not be a good idear to take pictures of your students holding paper wallets... If somebody is able to read the private key, or restore the qr code, they can rob your students, unless you used encryption and a strong passphrase...

I really doubt that some scammer/criminal will be patiently waiting for those people to post a picture holding their private keys,in order to rob the satoshis,that are sitting in their wallets.What's the point of robbing a few satoshis?It doesn't make sense. Grin
Anyway,I think that OP has access to free electricity,provided by his school,so there won't be a  problem to mine a few satoshis,by using old mining equipment,even though the mining won't be profitable.
We desperately need more Bitcoin teachers around the world.
Good luck with this project.


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_Miracle
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February 04, 2021, 07:15:36 AM
 #12

It's really cool that you want to teach them hands on this way.

Some of the (should be safe for kids :-)) sites...

Simple on the fly perspective on how much hashing power you would need
https://alloscomp.com/bitcoin/calculator

Really easy look at crypto values
https://coinmarketcap.com/


This site had me hooked for almost 3 years
https://bitcoinwisdom.io/



Do NOT post private keys anywhere * if they are learning about crypto that's the 1st lesson

There 'used' to be more truth in forums than anywhere else.  Twitter:  @cryptobitchicks  Spock: "I am expressing multiple attitudes simultaneously. To which are you referring?"  INTJ-A
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February 04, 2021, 07:16:16 AM
 #13

--snip--

Awesome, that sounds great. I may need to PM you to get some more details if you are willing to guide me. Doge is a great suggestion especially now that its in the news.

--snip--

Sure... I'd be happy to help Smiley
It's been a couple of years since i last solo mined, but i'm pretty sure i'd still be able to get everything setup.


Quote
By the way: it might not be a good idear to take pictures of your students holding paper wallets... If somebody is able to read the private key, or restore the qr code, they can rob your students, unless you used encryption and a strong passphrase...

I really doubt that some scammer/criminal will be patiently waiting for those people to post a picture holding their private keys,in order to rob the satoshis,that are sitting in their wallets.What's the point of robbing a few satoshis?It doesn't make sense. Grin
Anyway,I think that OP has access to free electricity,provided by his school,so there won't be a  problem to mine a few satoshis,by using old mining equipment,even though the mining won't be profitable.
We desperately need more Bitcoin teachers around the world.
Good luck with this project.


I've seen people scam for cents... I wouldn't be supprised if somebody analysed a picture to rob a student out of a couple bucks...
What if the price skyrockets? What's only worth a couple bucks now might be worth a couple hundred in a couple of years... What if this picture still floats around by then?
Never share your private keys, never put yourself in a position where you might have shared your private keys... They're private, keep them that way, even if it's only for a couple sats.


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February 04, 2021, 07:18:30 AM
 #14

I have a suggestion that instead of using expensive asic miners and all that why not install Bitcoin and start from the beginning? It will not be Bitcoin but at least you can show them how it started. You can even still do that now (mine on actual Bitcoin) just not to earn anything from any computer:)

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February 04, 2021, 10:16:18 AM
 #15

I like the Testnet idea but I would love for them to walk away having actual sats. Imagine they are in college 2-3 years from now and they can say they got their first wallet in CS class and even had it funded Smiley

Testnet is great to learn to use the actual tools related to Bitcoin transactions, and for free (you can get easily enough coins for tests from testnet faucets). It may still be useful for you, but I can understand the idea of "earning" actual money too.
Just mining pools have certain (big) minimum amounts for withdrawal and you (and the students) may get disappointed big time...
Well, do some tests and you'll see for yourself. Maybe you'll have somewhat bigger chance with Dogecoin. I really hope you will...

3) Software wallets are cool but hardware wallets cost money so that would be out

SPV wallets are not hardware wallets. SPV wallets are "simple payment verification" wallets that don't require the download of the whole blockchain.
Hardware wallets are by far unnecessary for the scope of your experiment and indeed you can rule them out.

4) Paper wallets are outdated but are tangible and a great way to help them make the connection between pub/priv key...I actually plan to share with them a private key of a wallet that I will fund my self with $20 or so and have them race to see who can get it first Smiley

OK, point taken. But please consider teaching them also about HD wallets, seeds and change addresses Wink

I really doubt that some scammer/criminal will be patiently waiting for those people to post a picture holding their private keys,in order to rob the satoshis,that are sitting in their wallets.What's the point of robbing a few satoshis?It doesn't make sense. Grin

You'd be surprised. However, maybe you can find/print the paper wallets in a way they can be folded in 2 or 3 sides and the private key goes inside, hence the photo will only reveal addresses.

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February 07, 2021, 04:57:28 AM
 #16

Hi guys,
Thank you to all who have answered and pitched in. It's greatly appreciated.
As new account I cant reply to each of you as it would take forever but again, thanks!

1) I understand the importance of private keys being absolutely private (showed them bitaddress and how they can download the code and run while wifi is off) and students would only show the public key if photographed...I mean if they dont learn in our school to refrain from displaying their private keys in public then we have failed them  Grin
2) Doge for the win...will set that up and see how that goes along with running Electrum. I think I will send them $1 each out of my own pocket but would love any links to safe faucets...some of the faucets I saw back in the day seemed a little sketchy
3) The janky gpu miner will get them some sats as well and they are seeing, on the screen terminology like epochs, shares, rejections, difficulty, stratum, etc
They also get to experience the heat/power needs for a discussion on the environmental impact
4) We are also discussing briefly the economics of BTC...although its not part of the case study as its focused on the tech side of things, I felt its important for them to know

Again, thanks for the input



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February 07, 2021, 10:43:37 PM
 #17

I just visited the Marketplace board on the forum and there is this thread were the OP buys and
sells GPU's, just a heads up, The OP might be able to help with what direction to take

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5312040.0

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February 11, 2021, 06:16:03 AM
 #18

I just visited the Marketplace board on the forum and there is this thread were the OP buys and
sells GPU's, just a heads up, The OP might be able to help with what direction to take

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5312040.0
Awesome thanks
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