Friday

Honeyminer - How Sweet? *updated*

It may seem like a less than ideal time to launch a new crypto mining product; ASIC miners seem to be coming in waves, coin prices are all over the place (but mostly just down) and the general atmosphere is one of maybe not "quiet desperation", but a sort of "confused funk" for many crypto enthusiasts.

That being said, Honeyminer (that is NOT a referral link) is available for download from Stax Digital LLC and it initially appears to be an interesting alternative for those who have heard about this "crypto" stuff and want to at least try it to see what all the fuss is about.

Honeyminer presents itself as a very simple, low effort entry point into the crypto mining environment. Currently available as a free download for Windows, it works in a similar manner to existing products such as NiceHash, or WinMiner, although requiring even less "tech" know-how than those products. Both Mac and Linux versions are supposedly forthcoming too.

If you have a Windows PC (it appears to require 64-bit Windows 7 and above) and preferably a newer gaming-ready video card, you should be able to earn a bit of money in the form of Bitcoin by running the software (either all the time, or the mining software can do so only when the computer is otherwise not in use).

As with most other similar products, you are not directly mining Bitcoin (that requires a LOT of horsepower), but rather one or more of several "Alt coins", such as Ethereum and Monero, which are then converted and stored as Bitcoin - or more correctly fractions of a Bitcoin, since a single Bitcoin is currently trading for around $7,000 US.

The Honeyminer site quite often uses the "Satoshi" as a unit of measurement (which it cannily refers to as "Bitcoin pennies"). A Satoshi (sah TOE she) is a fraction of a Bitcoin - 1,000 Satoshi is currently worth around 7 cents US. The actual Honeyminer software displays your earnings in both Satoshi and USD equivalent.

Also like some other mining software, this product also will switch what coins are mined as the market changes (it may do so multiple times per day), in an effort to mine only the most profitable coins for your particular hardware at that time. This is done automatically by the software as it chugs along. Everything is still converted to Bitcoin to be stored or cashed out later.

While the Honeyminer can also use the CPU (the computer processor) in the mining process, even a high-end CPU such as an Intel I7 or an AMD Ryzen will only cough up a few pennies worth of Bitcoin per day. Even with a mid- to high-end video card, you will like only be making beer money - don't expect it to take over your house payment or anything like that.

Even so, it IS kinda cool to experience your computer making some spending money out of electricity and time. The Honeyminer site also provides a not particularly useful "calculator", so you can get a "guesstimate" of what untold fortunes await.

Honeyminer should work with both AMD and Nvidia GPUs (video cards), and be aware if you are going to use your home PC for this (and I would stick to desktop computers here, not laptops because of possible heat issues), your PC will likely be sluggish while mining - so plan accordingly.

This is a newer product and will likely evolve and change over the next weeks and months, but there are plenty of reviews available already (see "Honeyminer Reviews" below), and I will be trying this myself in the coming weeks (see *update* below).

The only other comments I would make is that if you have a single video card in your PC (which many of you likely will), the company's "take" is a rather high 8% of your earnings. If you have more than one video card, that goes down to 2.5%.

If memory serves, Nicehash has a 2% fee built in, and many command-line type miners (like Claymore) take 1%, and mining pools themselves generally take 1% or so (both of which would add up to maybe 2%).

That's how they pay for the service, and it's probably a realistic percentage for Honeyminer, as far as a business model is concerned. In return, you are offered a straightforward point-and-click way to start mining on a "regular" home PC.

The other thing is that they do have a referral program, which personally always brings a whiff of scammy-ness, but the jury is out on that for now. I suspect we will have a better sense of this offering in a couple of months.

*update* - I did install Honeyminer on a couple of older PCs I have at home, one with Windows 7 and one with Windows 10. Very straightforward process, and interestingly neither triggered a virus warning (virus alerts usually occur when installing mining software, since I guess they are ALL assumed to be malicious). 

Over a few hours (admittedly a short period), the earnings appear to be roughly on par with Nicehash. No crashes or lockups so far. Once I get my next Nicehash payout, I will likely put my remaining two systems on Honeyminer and get a better sense of how it works (and also try to get a payout).

It's unclear to me how many different mining algorithms/coins Honeyminer can select between; on my two Nvidia-powered systems above, it appears to be using only CryptoNight/Monero for the CPU and GPU. I am guessing it will download and use other miners as needed.

Honeyminer Reviews:

https://www.coindesk.com/honeyminer-crypto-miner-app-bitcoin/

https://www.reddit.com/r/gpumining/comments/8t989k/so_i_finally_gave_honeyminer_a_try_my_personal/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GP4xjbW4Trw

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