Author: Wang Yanhua
Some firmly believe that the way forward for cryptocurrency is mobile mining, like newcomer to the cryptocurrency scene, Electroneum.
Cryptocurrency mining has largely been an elusive industry reserved for those with both the technological knowhow and the financial means to plug their mining supercomputers into the electricity grid 24/7.
Electroneum has set its sights on democratising the process, by letting millions of smartphone users mine coins in a simple manner. It is the first cryptocurrency that allows users to mine coins with a smartphone.
Theoretically, that sounds like a great idea. It greatly lowers the entry barrier to mining, which would encourage more to try their hands at it and truly make cryptocurrency accessible to the public.
Electroneum’s website enthusiastically states, “When a user downloads the Electroneum app they can experience mining their first Electroneum coins straight into their wallet in minutes.
“By allowing users to earn a handful of Electroneum coins per month for just being part of the Electroneum community, we can quickly grow Electroneum to be the largest used cryptocurrency in the world.”
But mobile mining has its own problems, and not everyone is satisfied with it. It is known to consume a lot of electricity and damage the device quickly. Furthermore, smartphone users are using their smartphones to compete with computers that have way high processing speeds.
Many mobile miners may have been misled into believing that they can make actual returns from their mobile mining activities. A disappointed miner from the US who had been mobile mining for seven months told Block Asia that he stopped two weeks ago, “I have only earned about USD3, not enough to keep doing it.”
A spokesperson from Electroneum acknowledged mobile mining’s shortcomings to Block Asia, “Mobile mining does damage the phone and doesn’t provide a good enough hash rate to justify. Others have tried and it doesn’t really work.”
He added that the focus of the Electroneum mobile app is to provide users with a mining experience, rather than a viable way to make money.
“It gives users an introduction to cryptocurrency, lets them get a feel of how mining works and earn some coins which they can then trade, send or use, but doesn’t damage their phones. The goal of the mobile mining simulation is to put a few coins into the hands of hundreds and millions of people. This creation of a market will encourage businesses to find ways to offer their goods and services for Electroneum.”
He also explained that Electroneum does not allow itself to be mined by ASICs (basically supercomputers), which lets smartphone users mine coins more easily.
“This leads to a more stable decentralised blockchain where the masses can mine via GPU/CPU. This is not only safer, but encourages involvement from the wider public which is healthy for growth.
“Right now ASICs encourage more centralisation of mining as only a few can afford to buy them and all stock gets bulk purchased. Until ASICs become more mainstream, cheaper and more accessible, the team will continue to stay ASIC resistant.”
To sum it up, mobile mining is still at a developing stage, whereby it serves more of an experiential function than a practical one to users. So if you are a prospective mobile miner, keep that in mind.