Crypto Currency Mining on 22 Pi computers

I had a pile of 20 older banana pi laying on my desk for well over six months, as I was not sure what to utilize them for.  The project they had been used for in Micronesia, Solar Powered Digital Libraries, was upgraded to Raspberry Pi3’s. By chance, I came across this article by NovaSpirit Tech using Raspberry Pi3s for CPU Crypto Mining.  I thought perfect, I will set up each of the Banana Pis for mining.  The NovaSpirit site:

This CPU based mining is for MagiCoin and looked quite interesting.

I had a stack of 4gb SD cards from a past project, so I reformated them with ApplePi Baker and burned the latest image:

Raspbian-lite-bpi-m1-m1p-r1.img 2016-07-12

Once the updates and upgrades were performed, I follow the NovaSpirit instructions.  It was not hard, with the only change in the compiler setting for the ARM cortex 7a processor vs the Raspberry Pi3’s cortex-a53.  So I used mcpu=cortex-a7 for the Banana Pis.

In my set up, I also used mining pool.    Once the bullmining account was set up, I added 20 workers.  The settings were straightforward for each of the Banana Pis.

./minerd -a m7mhash -o stratum+tcp:// -u Weblogin.WorkerName -p WorkerPassword

I also had two Orange Pi zeros and a Pine64 laying around and set the compiler for their ARM cpus and added two more workers to bullmining.

Now I am CPU mining away with 22 Pi computers!

Raspberry Pi 3’s in the Republic of Nauru

As a technologist promoting practical ICT in developing regions, I am still surprised that Raspberry Pi computers have failed to reach these regions of the world.  As an affordable, small, low power-usage computer that can help teach basic computer and programing skills, it seems a perfect fit to aid in STEM-related advancement in developing states.  In the West we know that over 8 million of these tiny computers have been sold and now there are +65 clone versions.  Including the clones, Banana Pi, Orange Pi, Beagle Bone, Pine64, Odroid, etc., the number must exceed 15 million devices to date.

Six Reasons Why Raspberry Pis are Perfect for Developing Regions:

  • Cost effective: all of the required hardware costs about $65 total.
  • Power efficient: Even with the WiFi running, total system power usage currently sits around 500mA: about the same as today’s smart phone, and it uses the same micro-usb charger as the phone.
  • Open source: Raspberry Pi runs a version of the Linux OS, it can use the free and extremely useful code already out there for LAMP stacks.
  • Robust Community Support: Raspberry Pi already has a large and amazing user and programing community supporting this hardware. They are always thinking of new ways to improve the hardware and software to better suit the needs of developing regions.
  • Improved Security: very low cost way to set up department and personal firewalls.
  • No Moving Parts: Fewer Parts and no spinning pieces means reduced chance of failure due to factors such as extreme weather and intermittent power.



Raspberry Pi 3 with clones and their different form factors. (SBC – Small Board Computer) These are SBC’s that I own and have tested.



Back to Nauru, I had the opportunity to hold a small Raspberry Pi introduction class to the government ICT office in April 2016.  The introduction included a short slide show and then hands-on setup of four RPi 3’s.  The hands-on portion focused on connecting and setting up the RPi first as a desktop then as a server.  The ICT office in Nauru often gets request for a small server to support the internal needs of another department.  The process creates a ton of paper work, from assessing user needs, to evaluating software skills/needs, and then making a formal request for quotes on a “data center class” server.  Many times the requesting department would just like to see an example of how a web server could be used to support their department, not go through a 6 month-long process and then wait 6 more months to get a server on island, set up, etc.

We were able to set up the Raspberry Pi 3 as a server with Apache in a LAMP stack, and add a sample web page, in 15 minutes. So, in a quarter of an hour it was possible to have a server set up, connected to the internal network, and show how a web site would look and work for a government department.  The two ICT department interns were amazed and were very excited to get a Raspberry Pi for their own use and experimentations.

The slides I used: An-introduction-to-the-Raspberry-Pi-1

Background Photos



Where is Nauru? Just about a five hour flight from Brisbane, AU






Photo from the plane, the small remote island of Nauru, you can walk around the island in about 4 hours on the ring road.




Calm ocean waters around Nauru.






The trifecta for micro-servers

Power, cost and space are the three main factors driving the design and operations from the smallest of server rooms to the giant football field sized data centers. Today’s modern server-centers continually hit power, space, and cost limitations and their ICT staff actively seek disruptive solutions at both the hardware and software levels to maximize computing throughput of systems within a given energy, monetary and/or volumetric budget. The explosive growth around the world of Raspberry Pi sized computers is starting to morph into the micro-server market. This has been in its embryonic stages the past 18 months, but with the recent 64-bit version of the Raspberry Pi coming to market at $35 USD, we are on the cusp of the micro-server revolution truly taking off. With the focus on optimized energy-to-solution, low cost, and space parameters, micro-servers will have a very rapid growth in the low end, entry level server marketplace. With a new generation of computer science students using Raspberry Pi for every type of computing project in and out of school, this will quickly bleed over into the commercial market when they hit the traditional IT job market. We are witnessing this now in a new hosting industry segment, which is based on Raspberry Pi’s. out of Arizona is a recent entry and shows how a few enterprising computer science students can really be on the leading edge of this minimum power, cost, and space revolution, by hosting only Raspberry Pi-type boards in a computer data center environment. When it comes to minimal power, space, and cost, these micro-servers are on the horizon and the 64-bit ARM processor based boards are leading the way.



The Broadcom 1.2GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU on the Raspberry Pi 3 board