Building Tomorrow explores how tech and innovation are transforming culture while creating a freer and more peaceful world.

May 29, 2019

How a Honey Bear Is Reinvigorating Cryptocurrency Mining

Satoshi Nakamoto hoped that crypto-mining would be decentralized, not the domain of large mining outfits. Honey Bear aims to realize that vision. 

Cryptocurrency and HoneyMiner
                                                                                                   Image Courtesy of HoneyMiner Twitter account.

Recently, an old friend sent me an Instagram message out of the blue. It was about cryptocurrency. She wanted a better understanding of the technical knowledge and financial risk associated with mining coins and tokens. My immediate reaction was to tell her what I tell almost everyone, “Just buy a little bit of each major cryptocurrency twice a month and leave the deep diving to the professionals.”

I didnʼt mean it in a patronizing way. Crypto mining is hard. It requires a certain type of person: typically one part engineer, one part accountant, and one part philosopher. It’s a dynamic industry which has a high barrier of entry and remains in constant technical flux. Todayʼs miners find themselves up against ruthless competition from large-scale companies and even nation states working outside of any regulatory framework.

I get why my friend wants to mine cryptocurrency. If you know what youʼre doing and you have the money to cover the electricity and computing costs involved, you might just hit the motherlode with holdings of a rapidly appreciating cryptocurrency. But, for the individual miner—the person who simply wants to hook their computer up to the internet and passively mine Bitcoin—the opportunity to do so and turn any kind of profit is becoming ever more scarce.

Cryptocurrency, like gold, is mineable. However, unlike gold, cryptocurrency is mined using raw computer processing power, which relies on large electrical energy inputs. Utilizing a decentralized network of nodes, users from all across the globe can link up to solve computationally difficult problems and verify transactions on various blockchains. When a block on the blockchain is processed, miners are awarded cryptocurrency for their participation. But as the blockchain grows, the amount of processing power (and thus electrical energy) necessary grows apace, making it increasingly harder to turn a profit.

When a government-backed FIAT currency collapses, it is the poorest people of a country who suffer the most. In the past few years, Venezuela has experienced the perfect fiscal storm of their currency going belly up while living expenses for the people of Venezuela have spiraled out of control because of inflation. In its’ little corner of the internet, HoneyMiner, and other applications of its nature, promote the development of a nationless global currency that can act as a hedge against economies saddled with oppressive centralized debt. In Venezeula, for example, some citizens have resorted to mining Bicoin in a last ditch response to hyperinflation of the Bolivar, Venezuala’s nominal currency. Because of electricity subsidization by the Venezuelan government, miners have access to some of the cheapest electricity available in the world.

But to fully understand the industry of cryptomining, we have to go back to the start. The early years of crypto mining share a striking resemblance to the American gold rush of the mid-1800s. The most successful miners were rangy individuals who carved out a new economy against the backdrop of a crippling financial landscape. When computer miners began their work in earnest on Bitcoinʼs blockchain in 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto included a clue in the genesis block. It read:

“The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”

This message has been debated since its incarnation but its intent seems crystal clear, that the days of quantitive easing and fractional reserve banking are numbered. The kind of chaos that has been wrought on the people of Venezuela is exactly what the author of this code hoped to prevent in the future.

In the early days, anyone with a laptop and an internet connection could mine Bitcoin. Mining was primarily achieved through an onboard CPU (Central Processing Unit). Only a few months into the nascent ecosystem, miners were eagerly looking for an edge to mine more than their CPU could handle. Soon, savvy speculators sought out dedicated GPUʼs (Graphic Processing Units) to boost their Bitcoin haul.

From there, crypto mining development rapidly accelerated to a point where, by 2010, individual miners could no longer compete with large scale operations running computers with stunningly fast GPU units. In essence, your average individual miner who simply wanted to hook their computerʼs CPU up to the blockchain and mine Bitcoin had become all but obsolete.

On the surface, a blockchain looks tranquil and serene. Transactions spiraling across a public (or private) ledger culminate in one supreme database of archived history. It it this trust-based ecosystem that remains the crowning achievement of blockchain technology, allowing for major advancements in currency transfers, supply chain management, and immutable data backup.

In recent years, smart contracts have been built on top of blockchains that verify contracts between two or more parties. Blockchains are created and maintained through intricate layers of mathematics that demand particular attention. Ultimately, miners are the lifeblood of any successful blockchain, since without them the entire blockchain structure would cease to operate. Making it easier for individuals to participate in the mining ecosystem is a pivotal step along the journey to mass adoption.

Enter HoneyMiner, a free crypto mining software which allows anyone with a computer and internet access to mine micro amounts of Bitcoin. Initially a Windows/Linux application, HoneyMiner has recently launched their iOS client for Mac to warm reception. Launched in June of 2018, it can be argued that HoneyMiner is a return to Satoshi Nakamotoʼs original vision of crypto mining. Rather than vast arrays of dedicated crypto-mining rigs, it is a vision of one computer = one miner.

Users with an entry-level computer can expect to make anywhere between .05 cents to 1 dollar a day in Bitcoin depending on the capability of their onboard CPU. Every new account comes preloaded with 1000 Satoshi (Bitcoinʼs smallest divisible unit) and there is also a referral system that rewards those who can drive interest and use towards the product. Today, 1000 Satoshi is worth around .02 cents USD, but for many people around the world, HoneyMiner is allowing participation in what very well could be the biggest financial revolution in history.

Although those numbers may seem small currently, HoneyMiner provides a calculator on their homepage that shows potentially massive returns for those who stick with the process. Today, Bitcoinʼs marketcap is a shade under 140 billion dollars. That makes it only worth 1/50th of gold bullionʼs overall marketcap. Simply put, there is still plenty of room for financial growth in Bitcoin for investors, speculators, and individual miners alike.

With users in over 187 countries, HoneyMiner provides a low-risk opportunity for people all over the world, regardless of their wealth or status, to hook into various cryptocurrency blockchains with a click of their mouse. Co-Founder Noah Jessop pointed out that thousands of users in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines have downloaded the software during the past year. Where there is internet, there is access to HoneyMiner.

If Satoshi Nakamotoʼs vision of Bitcoin really was to create a new financial system that incentivized the production of wealth by ordinary individuals rather than a system meant to help the already wealthy accrue more capital, then Honeyminer is one of the best onramp applications for those who do not have the money to participate in other mining schemes. HoneyMiner users report a seamless setup process which can have the mining client running on their computer in three simple clicks. Itʼs as easy as downloading the software, turning the client on, and sitting back while the miner works with a dynamic pool of other users to solve blockchain calculations and earn rewards.

In a recent piece for 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper visited one of the largest cloud mining companies in the world today - Genesis Mining. What Cooper saw there can only be described as looking like something out of a modern sci-fi film. Rows and rows of computer parts buzzing in metronomic harmony, all dialed into a litany of different blockchains.

In the modern age of cryptocurrency mining, the deck is overwhelmingly stacked against the individual from the start. However, that isnʼt keeping applications like HoneyMiner from attempting to level the playing field. While you might not get rich (today) from using HoneyMiner, the process of participating in the most organic financial reorganization of our time is one not worth missing out on.

And who knows? Maybe in 20 years when 1 satoshi = 1 dollar, you will be thanking a Honey Bear for all the cheap coins!