Comino Brings Plug-and-Play Simplicity to Cryptocurrency Mining [Interview]
As interest in cryptocurrencies continues to grow, so too does interest in cryptocurrency mining. Unfortunately, there can be a significant learning curve involved. Comino aims to change that with their line of completely pre-assembled devices that work with plug-and-play simplicity. Bitcoinist recently sat down with Comino co-founder and CEO Evgeny Vlasov to learn more about these game-changing devices.
Bitcoinist: First and foremost, what sets your miners apart from the competition?
EV: First of all, we assemble the complete product and offer it as a plug and play device. No one on this market does complete devices with GPU cards inside. A couple of our competitors try to produce such devices, but they are really noisy and dusty. They can’t realistically be placed in a room at home. But our miners are absolutely adapted for home use. For example, it can be placed near your bed and it will be working noiselessly and dust-free. In the winter, it can be used as a heater as well.
Our products are completely plug-and-play — you just push one button and everything works: it mines cryptocurrency to your account. Our company creates everything for your wallets and infrastructure. Even if you know next to nothing about cryptocurrencies, everything will be working.
Our main goal is to produce devices with high-quality components. So we produce and assemble the devices, we develop software for these devices, and, of course, we provide a one-year warranty. In this market of miners with GPU cards, no one else provides such a warranty.
Bitcoinist: Right now, your miners specialize in mining Ethereum and ZCash — and only Ethereum and ZCash. Why is that, and do you have plans to release miners for other cryptocurrencies in the future?
EV: We made the decision to implement Ethereum and ZCash because these cryptocurrencies are the easiest and most profitable coins to mine with GPU cards. If you would like to get another cryptocurrency, you can just mine Ethereum and then exchange it into another currency. Nowadays there are many other coins, but they are not profitable enough, so there is no reason to implement them.
In the future, however, if we decide to implement another coin, that won’t be a problem. Right now, for example, we are experimenting with other coins, but we don’t currently provide the ability to switch to other coins to our clients.
Bitcoinist: You manufacture many of your parts yourself. What benefits does this provide to the quality of the miner?
EV: Yes, we manufacture almost all of the parts ourselves — only the GPU cards and motherboards are provided by the vendors. But we plan to customize them as well and we have already started production of customized GPU cards and motherboards.
Why do we do this? Because we investigated the market found that most components — even something as simple as wires — aren’t produced to given standards. For example, in China, they are produced using low-quality components. They don’t meet the standards at all.
From the very beginning, we wanted to create a top-quality device that will keep working for a long time. Wires, connectors, capacitors, risers, power supplies, and everything else should be of top quality. Our components allow us to produce a device that will keep working for years without any problems. Other devices on the market that we investigated typically aren’t able to serve you for even a year.
Bitcoinist: Liquid cooling is very much Comino’s ‘thing.’ Why are liquid cooling solutions superior to other methods of cooling?
EV: Liquid cooling is extremely effective for keeping chips cool. It is no secret that the temperature is one of the main problems plaguing miners — and actually the whole IT-infrastructure. If you use chips all day long — even overclocked 20 percent on top — it loads hundreds of percents each second and produces a lot of heat, and it should effectively take this heating away from the chips to make them work for a long period of time. Only liquid can solve this problem.
Of course, air cooling is cheaper, but it is not effective. If you use components just for gaming, it requires loading 100 percent for a short period of time — that is why it is appropriate to use air cooling inside desktops and on the common GPU cards. We use liquid cooling because we need to create really effective cooling for chips to make them work for a long period of time.
Besides, it is noiseless, there is no dust on the cards, so the costs for the maintenance will be less than for air cooling as well.
Bitcoinist: Comino also offers cloud mining services. Tell us a little about that. What are the benefits?
EV: Yes, we know that our infrastructure will be working for a long time, that is why we created our own data-center with a partner in Sweden and we use our devices to provide cloud mining services as well.
We realize that not everyone wants to mine from home. Some people might prefer cloud mining or even colocation, where they buy the device and then just pay a fee for maintenance and electricity costs, but the device is kept at our facility. Colocation and cloud mining are particularly popular in areas where electricity costs are higher. In Europe, the price for electricity is about 20 Euro cents per one kilowatt.
Bitcoinist: Can Comino miners be used for other purposes besides mining?
EV: Sure! Right now, all produced miners can be used for many purposes. First of all, for developing other software, like for the development of neural networks, artificial intelligence, and databases. From what I understand, it is very popular to use databases inside GPUs, because GPUs can perform tasks like transferring data, data reduction, and quarrying to big data very quickly. So, that is why it is used now for big data analysis and in-memory databases.
I heard that Alibaba recently bought one of the biggest GPU solutions for databases that is actually being used right now for data analysis. Besides, it can be used for smart contracts. So, yes, it can be used for many tasks.
Bitcoinist: Comino miners are definitely priced at a premium. What benefits does a potential customer get for splashing the cash?
EV: Firstly, this is plug and play device with top quality components inside that will be working for many years with a stable hash rate. As a result, it will mine more coins than common devices with the same hash rate. One can also use our device in the winter like a heater at home because it is really noiseless and there is no dust inside the cards. The components will be working longer than common components in common miners.
For example, you could buy a miner that costs half of what one of our miners costs, but you would need five such miners to produce the same income in coins and, most likely, they will not be working in five years’ time. Or you could buy just one of our devices, which will be working for many years with a stable hash rate. The pool will get more rewards because it will rate your working process higher.
It is also an impressive looking device, not an eyesore like other devices. It looks fantastic, works great, and is made with top quality components. We often compare it to Apple’s devices — they are more expensive, but you get the desired infrastructure as a result. The quality is worth the price.
Bitcoinist: What markets has Comino found the most success in so far?
EV: Right now we are focused on the B2B market, specifically big data-centers and larger enterprise clients. For these customers, we offer the Comino Grando, which we introduced this summer at the Taipei exhibition. It is our solution for the B2B marketplace and is ideal for big data-centers.
With the Comino Grando, we can recycle energy and recycle heating for other purposes, like warming liquid or warming houses. PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) for this solution is really low at just about 1.05. That means that just five percent of the unit’s power consumption will be spent on the cooling of your IT-infrastructure. It is really a fantastic solution for the B2B market.
We will also be producing the Comino N1 and Comino N4 versions for the retail market as well.
Bitcoinist: What are your opinions on the current cryptocurrency market?
EV: Right now, the cryptocurrency market is growing really fast. In terms of cryptocurrencies’ exchange rate into fiat, it can go down, it can go up, it doesn’t matter. To my mind, the infrastructure that supports cryptocurrencies is rapidly growing. New wallets appear, new exchange markets, other software, a lot of things are being done for cryptocurrencies. People are beginning to use it more and more for many purposes: for buying goods and services, for transferring money between parties, and so on.
So the cryptocurrency infrastructure is growing really fast. And some solution should support this infrastructure and, of course, it is miners, which can support it. For them, we are doing really effective solutions, because just energy effective solution should be working for sucha big market.
Bitcoinist: Where do you see the blockchain industry in 5 years?
EV: I see that blockchain is used very widely on the market and many industries have started already using blockchain. And also I can see that some industries are trying to use blockchain, but they don’t need it at all. Nevertheless, in many cases, the industries are using it for the right purposes. It is really important that blockchain is used a lot.
I see fantastic demand on blockchain developers and in 5 years it will be in school programs.
Bitcoin is like a big game where we need to find all the blocks. And the whole world is playing this game. I know some really useful projects are being done on the basis of the blockchain. They are supposed to start working this or the next year. It will let Bitcoin grow more.
New coins are being developed that solved many current troubles. In 5 years it will be a matter of 10 minutes to start your own coin. Many countries will be using blockchain to solve red-tape problems.
Actually, it is hard to make predictions for such a period of time. Just 2 years, ago Ethereum appeared (initial release was on 30 July 2015) and right now it is the second most valuable cryptocurrency in the world. In five years, of course, there will be other solutions as well. There will be more and more blockchains, which will be evaluated from current state into another and there will solve many troubles with transactions and so on.
There will be, of course, a time when the costs for small transactions will be really low, and for the big transactions it will be the same — like it is right now, just to filter spam transactions.
Another solution will be found to make it resistant to hacker attacks, and people will sign petitions for making cryptocurrencies work on the country level. So, blockchain and cryptocurrencies will be used a lot. For saving the story of us as well.
Bitcoinist: What excites you the most about making Comino miners?
EV: One thing that excites me the most is that we are producing a green solution — we are trying to save energy and save our planet from ineffective IT-solutions. Miners right now are just wasting energy, which is harmful to our planet. We are producing a new generation of IT-infrastructure which will be extremely effective as well as be more environmentally friendly.
I always wanted to produce something, some technology, that I can touch with my hands, so that is really impressive and important to me.
And, of course, I am really proud, that we have a big international company with offices in many countries, including Germany, Sweden, Latvia, China, Russia, and Cyprus.
Do you have additional questions for Evgeny Vlasov? Ask them in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Comino.