8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 19, 2019 9:30 AM by zamaliphe

    Are You Doing Blockchain Development? Tell Us About It

    rscasny

      I have been to three developer conferences/forums over the past year, and I'd say the blockchain sessions for all of them were standing room only. Given the amount of questions posed by the attendees it's a hot topic. I'd say blockchain is still a work in progress for as far as a broad scale adoption.

       

      I haven't seen that many articles yet on blockchain in the element14 community, although some of my Ultra96-V2  Avnet Ultra96 Dev Board applicants mentioned blockchain development in their applications. I am quite intrigued by the promise blockchain has for the security of IoT solutions or general business application development .I've read some interesting articles on FPGA mining (versus ASIC). Specifically, FPGA efficiency and lower power consumption.

       

      So, have you been playing around with blockchain?

       

      What are you developing (e.g., open ledger, mining, etc.) Are you doing it on an ASIC, GPU, FPGA? Have you used a zedboard for your experimentation?

       

      Drop a comment here and tell the community about your developments.

        • Re: Are You Doing Blockchain Development? Tell Us About It
          gam3t3ch

          Hey rscasny  great post and great questions.

           

          As a miner I certainly try to find new and better ways about increasing my profits.  That's just a given so tinkering with all manners of making extra coin is one of those things we

          are certainly willing to toss a few dollars into researching new ideas and possibly get the upper hand if its not.  With power consumption and costs I have seen tons of solar powered mining stations that are pretty sweet but once you calculate the cost of setup of some of the rigs they have to have it running for more then 5 years to see a substantial profit and by then the machines  most likely asic miners for scrypt or other low powered devices vs the sha256 of the bitcoin and others.

           

          I have a few asic miners that will do both Scrypt and Sha256 and let me tell you the heat and power draw when it comes to Sha256 mining is huge.

           

          I have used everything from servers to graphics cards asic miners and even my router is a miner if I can incorporate it at a low power consumption into my setup then its great.  In the winter time tho that is when I start up my bigger rigs tho they stay pretty dormant in the dead of summer just because cooling costs for both the units and my house.

           

          I still have not done with FPGA but have done tons of research on it.  The zedboard would be a great starting point before heading into the higher end alternatives in my opinion allows one to collect overall profitability with FPGA  designs. 

           

          So when it does come to mining yes one hundred percent your going to have to be in it for the long haul.  If you want instant gratification then rent a few miners and there you go but in the end its best to just slowly up your coin. 

           

          From my research tho your mb/s on scrypt mining on a raspberry pi would be 1/3 of that of zedboard from the comparisons that I have seen but with some tweaking I am sure the results could very on that.

           

          When it comes to FPGA Mining tho I have always waited instead of just jumping in on it the cost is one and well I don't have any boards that would do the trick to get me started with seeing how the power consumption and  how the profit scale would be after that.

           

          If anyone on the board does or has a FPGA Miner running tho please post some stats that you might have I would certainly be interest in what your using and the results your getting with it as well.  Also if solo or pool mining.

           

          As far as a ledger goes I just have a offline pi I toss online here and there to keep my coin a ledger is a great idea tho but everything has their flaws and to me its not quite there for me to be all in on the ledger aspect of it.  using a ledger for not so important data would be alright tho but something like that I need something tried tested and true to being reliable and for me that's been my pi setup.

           

          I run pi's on most of my asic miners and have a great gui for monitoring my setup I know some miner rely on beaglebone as their heart and soul but still have not tried them out.

           

          Maybe I should grab a Zedboard at some point and take it for a rip.

           

          oh the utlra 96 is probably one of the most sought after to getting started in FPGA Mining but there is tons of alternatives.

          3 of 3 people found this helpful
          • Re: Are You Doing Blockchain Development? Tell Us About It
            ntewinkel

            I'm curious about building dApps (distributed or decentralized apps), as a next step to my mobile app development career, but with time availability (or lack thereof) I think it will be a while before I get to that.

             

            The idea of server-less shared data is very intriguing though.

             

            -Nico

            • Re: Are You Doing Blockchain Development? Tell Us About It
              balearicdynamics

              I have followed this approach when the blockchain topis was not so popular, I am a few years ago. The biggest issue was the demonstration that is you sum the cost of the hardware you need to pass the break-even point where you start earning is always in a loss position. But three years ago there were not so many technologies focused on low-power and efficiency. I have the intention to restart this study with a reasonable different approach: energy harvesting based. Probably only if you have a distributed system of low power devices able to collect the needed energy for mining from something different than the bare solar-powered devices as well as you wall power plug (you pay or someone pays anyway) it is possible to lower the break-even point of the costs and start a probably small but meaningful earning. This is just an idea but I am almost convinced that this approach can work.

              In your opinion, is it needed for sure a specific FPGA board or it can be done - for example - with different microcontroller FPGA boards like the PSoC cheap and ultra-low-power devices like the Cypress CY8K, aka PSoC 4 ?

               

              Enrico

              • Re: Are You Doing Blockchain Development? Tell Us About It
                ntewinkel

                Hi Randall,

                 

                I noticed this on element14's partner community Hackster.io (all Avnet, so I think it's ok to mention here?)...

                https://elk.cc/

                "Elk is a development board for building blockchain hardware applications."

                 

                Sounds interesting. I still don't quite understand how the distributed data network works.

                I might have to take the bootcamp they mention.

                 

                Maybe it'll make more sense to you

                 

                -N

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                  • Re: Are You Doing Blockchain Development? Tell Us About It
                    fmilburn

                    I am curious but don’t understand the use case at all.  Why use blockchain if if it is not secure?  Privacy?  This quote comes from down near the bottom of the link:

                     

                    How secure is the board?

                    Elk doesn't have any form of hardware security and shouldn't at any point in time be used to hold significant amounts of (real) crypto assets.

                    3 of 3 people found this helpful
                      • Re: Are You Doing Blockchain Development? Tell Us About It
                        ntewinkel

                        fmilburn  wrote:

                         

                        I am curious but don’t understand the use case at all.  Why use blockchain if if it is not secure?  Privacy?  This quote comes from down near the bottom of the link...

                         

                        That's a really good question. I thought that was the point of it all. I suppose one other advantage is the server-less setup.

                        Maybe it's for prototyping / proof of concept purposes only?

                         

                        -N

                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                          • Re: Are You Doing Blockchain Development? Tell Us About It
                            Jan Cumps

                            ntewinkel  wrote:

                             

                            fmilburn   wrote:

                             

                            I am curious but don’t understand the use case at all.  Why use blockchain if if it is not secure?  Privacy?  This quote comes from down near the bottom of the link...

                             

                            That's a really good question. I thought that was the point of it all. I suppose one other advantage is the server-less setup.

                            Maybe it's for prototyping / proof of concept purposes only?

                             

                            -N

                            I think they want to say that you shouldn’t use it as a bitcoin purse. That you have to offload any mined asset to a dedicated wallet.

                            1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • Re: Are You Doing Blockchain Development? Tell Us About It
                        zamaliphe

                        i'm working on alt coin miner

                        it took me a while to learn what need to be done and to get the required boards i need

                        i have an Ultra96 my self but its not about the board

                        the Ultra96 contain a faster AND larger FPGA which allow you to do much more

                        before having it i used to play with OLD spartan 3E500 board which is what i have started with

                        its very limited but get me in the way

                        anyway after all its not just the Ultra96 board which support  blockchain

                        you can do it with almost any other FPGA board if you know what your are doing

                        but for speed and FPGA logic space Ultra96 is very good choice an expensive one as well

                         

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