All posts by MancCoin

Does size matter?

After long service I decided a couple of months ago to upgrade from my 2009 HP desktop (originally running Windows 7) to something more up to date. Namely something that can run Windows 10. Although an avid Linux fan occasionally there is no other option but to use Windows.

Due to a limited budget I decided to scour the internet for refurbished desktops. The only criteria being the ability to run Windows 10.

For 55 quid I got the following


Hard Drive 250GB HDD

Memory 4GB

Operating System Windows 10 Home

Warranty 90 Day RTB Warranty

The biggest surprise on delivery was its size…….I knew it would be smaller but

Its hard to make out in this picture but its about half the size of an A4 magazine. The company supplying the desktop (Encore PC) was slightly disingenuous in that the Thinkcentre boots up into Windows 7 with the option to upgrade (for free) to Windows 10…….. which for non-technical customer could prove to be a little tricky as the package did not include any instructions.

As a desktop PC for standard use it has proved to be more than adequate. After road testing windows for a day or so I installed my current favourite Linux distro which is Ubuntu Studio 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) . This presented no problems although I have yet to try the more resource intense applications available with this distro.

To any standard desktop configuration I use the following software packages can be added

Veracrypt a free open source disk encryption software for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux

Keepass a free open source light-weight and easy-to-use password manager which includes a portable edition that can be used in both a Windows and Linux environment when installed on a USB stick

Due to painful experience I no longer store any information on internal harddrives, all my data is always stored on separate external disks or USB sticks…….in this way my data is always portable and backed up in various locations……sometimes even in the cloud.

For 55 quid I have a great dual boot desktop system.

Tweakin the Pi…OKCash

It’s strange how a minor irritation can transform into a major bugbear – and so it goes.
Rokos version 8 on my raspberry pi(2 model B 1Gb) does not keep time and I find myself manually adjusting the settings…irritating…..sometimes I wonder if I am ever so slightly autistic.

From settings select Time and Date

Unlock and select Keep synchronized with Internet servers which will result in a request to install NTP


and then select the time zone

and lock

on reboot the Pi will magically reproduce the correct time.


select Settings and go to Options, tick ‘detach databases at shutdown’ and Apply

select Settings and go to change passphrase

Unless you have an exceptional memory that can remember a random 10 character password or a random selection of seed words then a good option in which to store your passphrase and other passwords is Keepass. I know it doesn’t get crazier than this…..a master password to unlock all your other passwords!

(It works for me 🙂

In order to install KeePassX first of all update the Pi

Type sudo apt-get update in Terminal and press Enter

and install keepassx

Type sudo apt-get install keepassx in Terminal and press Enter.

From the main menu Keepass will be installed under accessories



Moving OKcash wallet from Windows to a Raspberry Pi

First things first: build OKcash on the Raspberry Pi using the Rokos installation

Download latest rokos version – in this case version 8 – download the checksum text file to verify the download. Check the hash using an online hash calculator such as the site listed below

Compare the results with results contained in the text file

Extract the image file. The .rar file expands from 2.3Gb to a 5.9Gb .img file

If you have problems extracting the rar file with Xarchiver and get this cryptic error :-

An error occurred! Please check the ‘Store Archiver Output’ option to see it.

Try installing unrar

# apt-get install unrar

and extract the file using the following command

# unrar e <filename>

Burn image file to the SDcard. For Linux users there is an excellent product from called Etcher which can be downloaded from

It also has versions for Windows and MacOs

The only part of the SDcard useable at the moment is the size of the image file, the rest of the SDcard will have several Gb of unallocated space depending on the size of your SDcard. Resize the active partition to take full advantage of the whole SDcard space. For Linux users Gparted is the easiest utility.

Next insert the SD card into your Raspberry Pi device and switch on the power. (password is ‘rokos’)At this stage it is prudent (though not essential) to update your system and change the password, this can be done on the Raspberry Pi by using ‘Software updater’ from the system menu option. If you are unsure how to change your password here is a useful guide:-

Quite often software updater will fail with the following error message

Software Updater does not have enough disk space on the /boot drive. 

If this occurs the easiest solution, (although not the quickest) is to use Gparted ‘move’ the ext partition and ‘resize’ the boot partition

After successfully booting the Raspberry Pi navigate to the following directory


The following script will bootstrap the latest OKcash blockchain to your SDcard and create an empty wallet


USB stick

There are good reasons to keep the blockchain and wallet on a USB stick. If you only have a 8Gb SDcard there is not much room for the blockchain to grow. Even if you have a larger SDcard to future proof your node and keep the system on ‘auto-pilot’ it is better to keep system and application files separate from data files. Additionally the separation makes housekeeping procedures easier to implement.

Automount will place your USB stick in the location below


The following configuration statement needs to be added to okcash.conf (use Mouspad or something similar)


And the files from the “/home/pi/.okcash” directory need to be copied to your USB stick

so that when OKcash is launched it will use your USB as the default directory for the wallet and blockchain.

Syncing the blockchain

The bootstrap will contain 90%+ of the total blockchain, at this stage the OKcash wallet still needs to sync up to the network. This will probably take about 3 to 4 hours.

Once the blockchain is in sync your Windows OKcash wallet can be copied onto your USB stick.

“wallet.dat” can be found in the following directory on Windows systems:-


by default this looks something like C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\OKCash

Note that “AppData” is an hidden folder

Before relying exclusively on your Raspberry Pi installation take your time to test a few transactions, ‘soak’ test the installation for at least a few days and make a backup of your USB stick.

Note your Raspberry Pi will locate your USB stick on reboot but will NOT mount the USB until you manually access it. Failure to mount the USB stick before loading OKCash can result in a corrupt blockchain.

Note also that on my Raspberry Pi Firefox would not load; if this is the case the Midori browser can be installed using the following in Terminal

sudo apt-get install midori

OKCash donations accepted here:-







FOMO : Monero XMR

After a brief dip Monero is on the rise again, according to Cryptocurrency Market ( $142.92 on Monday 28-08-2017 (04.03 GMT). Most observers agree the listing of Monero on the South Korean exchange bithumb will have a positive effect on the Monero price. Newcomers entering this market should note that Monero may have peaked too soon with the possibility of a price fall. My own personal belief is that given the incentives provided by bithumb  Monero’s price is likely jump significantly over the next week or so with the inevitable correction shortly afterwards.


For people buying into the Monero market now this presents a FOMO moment.

bithumb deposit address is now open and the listing day is August 30th, 2017 Midnight – although some details may have been lost in translation as the website infers that the 30th is Sunday?!

It is sobering to reflect on the fact that for the first 3 months of 2017 the price of Monero hovered around $12. FOMO strikes again

Fear Of Missing Out

FOMO : Bitcoin Cash

If like me you sold at 500$ or less FOMO is beginning to take hold. At 300$ you thought ‘OK’ long term Bitcoin Cash has nowhere to go so it’s time to sell, after all it’s free money….but now the doubts are setting in. (740$ !!)

Maybe short term to medium term there will be a concerted effort to usurp Bitcoin’s position as the top cryptocurrency with the likes of Goldman Sachs who have been very vocal recently about Bitcoin as a rising asset class. My conspiracy head has just revealed that this is a double bluff and that the establishment finance will be investing heavily in Bitcoin Cash for a ‘pump n dump’. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

If you still own Bitcoin Cash sell half now and the rest when it gets to 2000$

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh FOMO !!

Is Manchester behind the curve?

Entrepreneur Pavel Bains argues in a recent article that the time is ripe for cities to create their own digital currencies by observing that national currencies do not work for the for all of a country’s urban areas.

Why Cities Will Soon Choose Digital Currency Over Fiat Money

The benefits of a local currency are well understood and their viability is proven by the success even before the cryptocurrency revolution by the likes of the Bristol pound and the Brixton pound. Internationally city states such as Hong Kong and Singapore can respond rapidly to changing economic conditions and can plan and implement policies accordingly.

In the UK as already stated there is the success of the Bristol pound and the Brixton pound established years before digital currency was a practical solution. Recently the Liverpool pound has been successfully launched and is likely to be followed by the cities of Glasgow and Birmingham.

Love local 

The list of cities and towns in the UK experimenting with local currencies is growing rapidly and can be viewed as a reaction to the failing economic policies of central government and growing inequalities within regions. Coupled to this is the rise in secure digital currency systems such as Bitcoin and the UK’s 80% penetration of smart phones as a means of payment indicates that this is not a fashionable trend but long term change in how ‘money’ is utilised within society.

The question is….why is Manchester missing from the list below

Liverpool                         @LiverpoolPound

Glasgow                          @glasgowpound

Hull                                    @HullCoin

Sheffield                         @SheffieldPound

Birmingham                 @brumpound

Bristol                             @BristolPound


Resources : Guild of Independent Currencies

Bitcoin wansui

Bitcoin wansui

                Bitcoin for 10,000 years !

Bitcoin wansui,wansui,wansui

               Bitcoin forever !

According to Mike Hearn the Bitcoin project has failed, in a lengthy post ( he examines leadership failure in the Bitcoin community and the looming technical problem of the limiting 1mg block size. IMHO Hearn’s diatribe has been concocted in the light of his new employers at R3 rather than real concerns about the future of Bitcoin. Hearn has always emphasised Bitcoin as a payment vehicle to compete against the likes of Visa and PayPal rather than championing Bitcoin as a forerunner of financial freedom for the individual and a release from corporate /government hegemony of all things financial. Hearn as an employee of R3 CEV, which is a global consortium of 30 banks with a mission to exploit technologies within the distributed ledger space, has publicly demonstrated that he is willing to forego the wider democratisation of finance (transparency, security, autonomy ) in favour of corporate oligarchy. As exhibited by the leading global banks, ownership of private ledgers rather than public distributed ledgers will lead to more corruption and ultimately greater inequality.

If your information on Bitcoin is gleaned from mainstream media you could be forgiven in thinking that the recent dip in the Bitcoin price is wholly to do with Hearn leaving the Bitcoin environment, the departure of Hearn has had coverage in NYT, FT, Guardian, Fortune & other outlets.


Financial Times

New York Times



Not forgetting the rants on Reddit and other Bitcoin forums. To me it does not make any sense at all that Hearn’s departure from the Bitcoin community has had anything but a marginal effect. As roughly 50% of Bitcoin trading takes place in China, and China represents the majority of Bitcoin miners; it seems more than likely that the economic downturn in China and its global effect on the major economies of the world is the real reason for the drop in the Bitcoin price.

Some commentators have interpreted Hearns post as a reaction to the failure of Bitcoin XT also known as BIP-101


The positive outcome of Hearns position is that the new contenders for Bitcoin development have been revealed; and it is no longer disputed that the block size needs to be increased from 1mg if the Bitcoin project is to progress.

The three contenders are as follows

Bitcoin Unlimited

             Bitcoin Classic

                                     BitPay Core

Bitcoin magazine discusses each in detail….

From my own personal point of view Bitcoin Classic has the edge over the other two contenders. BitPay Core is open to the criticism of (almost!) being propriety. Bitcoin Unlimited is trying to be all things to all cryptographers by NOT insisting on a fixed block size. Variable block size(s) surely means variable attack vectors!

Bitcoin Classic is a Bitcoin Core fork & intends to increase the block-size limit to 2 megabytes later this year. So far it has garnered an impressive collection of Developers supported by a good collection of Miners & commercial Bitcoin companies.

Fools Gold, Minergate, Darkcoin and why Only fools and horses work.

Its Friday just after 12 noon and I’m working local, which means I can nip home for dinner. An hour or so of idleness, email, Twitter, Facebook the usual – and then check out Bitcoin – a nice gentle rise in price and a welcome relief from the recent steady state. Finally I check out Minergate, I had been meaning to compile a list of ‘up & coming’ Alt coins but had never really gotten round to it – installing Minergate (on Windows especially) is an easy option and mines a number of coins I have an interest in, such as Monero and ByteCoin.

Another coin that has taken my interest is Darkcoin although the last time I’d looked at Darkcoin was probably more than 12 months ago. Other coins of interest are those which are unlikely to give way to ASIC mining. That is coins that can only be CPU / GPU mined. Even GPU mining seems to be an ever increasing arms race that requires an upgrade of specialised rigs every 6 months or so.

I have been running Minergate (CPU mining only – no GPU) in the background on a Windows 7 desktop for a number of days; whilst surfing or using general office software, Minergate has no noticeable effect on software responsiveness but I can hear that the processor is working hard judging by the increased noise of the fan. So it must be drawing down much more power than usual.

I know that this is not profitable and that I am probably just wasting electricity but in most cases I’m using the computer anyway, although sometimes I have left the computer running with the monitor switched off and the power option in Control panel set to continuous. As I live with a teenager and a 27 year old who acts like a teenager conserving electricity in my household is not a high priority and I can’t be wasting anymore electricity than my 2 teenagers ( lights,television left on – towels stuffed into the dryer straight from the washing machine…….its a long list)

Some interesting stuff about Darkcoin – Darkcoin started life as Xcoin and has recently changed its name to Dash. This most recent name change March 25, 2015 was to disassociate itself from the ‘Dark’ web and create a brand as far away as possible from the likes of the now defunct Silk road and the recent rise of Silk road copies. Unlike Bitcoin and other earlier cryptocurrencies Darkcoin Dash uses a chained hashing algorithm of eleven rounds known as X11 for proof-of-work.

‘This is so that the processing distribution is fair and coins will be distributed in much the same way Bitcoin’s were originally. ASICs will be much more difficult to make for these algorithms and should take years.

With chained hashing, high end CPUs give an average return similar to that of GPUs. An added benefit of the algorithm is that GPUs require approximately 30% less wattage and run 30-50% cooler than they do with Scrypt.’

taken from

To add privacy to transactions Darkcoin Dash uses a system known as Darksend which is basically a coin mixing system based on CoinJoin. Blah, blah, blah, blah. The details and technicalities of this coin are travelling way above my understanding – I check out the price – 1 Darkcoin Dash is equal to 2 dollars 38 cents, not bad for a ‘new’ coin.

Suddenly I realise my dinner hour has stretched to 90 minutes and I should have been back a work a while ago. I take a quick glance back at Minergate

AEON zilch nada

BCN 6529

DSH 1302

I glance down to Monero – XMR 0.028158189060

and then back to DSH

DSH – surely DSH is DASH – I have no time to check and flick the screen off leaving Minergate to mine DASH !!

All afternoon my mind keeps wandering back to the impossible possibility that DSH is DASH. The time now is 13:45 I have 1302 of DSH – that’s $2000 at least. By the time I finish work I’ll have about 10 grand.

‘This time next week – we’ll be millionaires !!’ -Only fools & horses

Deep down I knew DSH was not Dash but it was nice to dream for an afternoon. DSH is the short code for Dashcoin – currently trading against the dollar

1 DSH = 0.0011810252 USD

Technically Dash (short code DASH) is a great example of an Alt coin that fits a need; the equivalent privacy of fiat ‘cash’. Dash is truly Digital cash in which it is extremely hard trace a transaction trail. In this niche(?) market lies its success as reflected by it current price. The only downside at present is its confusion with its brand name. Xcoin to Darkcoin to simply DASH and not Dashcoin; additionally putting Dash into a search engine does bring up some interesting sites totally unrelated to DASH. Other than that I believe DASH is an Alt coin to watch, mine and buy.

Disclaimer – Dash is DASH and should not be confused with Daesh. This is only mentioned for the benefit of the NSA , GCHQ and the rest of the five eyes. Plus it might increase website hits.

Bitcoin-Qt core installation version 0.9.3 on Linux Mint 16 “Petra”

open a terminal window


command ~ $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bitcoin/bitcoin



command ~ $ sudo apt-get update



command ~ $ sudo apt-get install bitcoin-qt



In order to speed up the synchronization of the blockchain a file named bootstrap.dat is available for download. At around 18Gb (November 2014) it can take a long time to download (24hrs). When downloaded if you need to transfer the file by copying the file to another computer, it will be necessary split to file into sections of (files) less than 2Gb each using the following command.

~ $ split -n10 bootstrap.dat

(splits the file into 10 files)

~ $ ls

~ $ bootstrap.dat

xaa xab xac xad xae xaf xag xah xai xaj

Copying ‘split’ files to a temporary directory ‘bitcoin-boot’


command ~ $ cd Downloads/bitcoin-boot


command ~ $ ls


To re-create the bootstrap.dat file concatenate the spit files using the following command

command ~ $ cat x* > bootstrap.dat


Copy bootstrap.dat to the (hidden) directory .bitcoin :- Note – the .bitcoin directory is ONLY created once Bitcoin-Qt has been loaded (run) at least once. (run Bitcoin-Qt now, from the menu for a few seconds!) This is where the data for the BTC wallet is kept – wallet.dat


command ~ $ cd .bitcoin

command ~ $ ls

(confirmation bootstrap.dat resides in the correct directory)


When Bitcoin-Qt is launched it will import the bloackchain from bootstrap.dat – as shown

‘importing blocks from disk’

This can take approximately 24 hrs depending on the specification of your computer


When Bitcoin-Qt has finished importing blocks from bootstrap.dat it will read

‘Synchronizing with network’

This can take and additional 24 hours again depending on the specification of your computer


When synchronization is complete the Bitcoin-Qt wallet is ready to use