Earn crypto the fun way: FoldingAtHome (F@H)
Not everyone has thousands of dollars lying around to buy into Bitcoin and other crypto currencies and if you’re like me, you wanted to join the party…or “Hype Train”, you might call it.
You’ve probably heard of crypto mining and have rolled over at the upfront cost and volatility of mining crypto. Let me introduce another concept.
What is protein folding?
Protein folding is the physical process by which a protein chain is translated to its native three-dimensional structure, typically a “folded” conformation by which the protein becomes biologically functional.
What happens if proteins don’t fold correctly?
“Diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, cystic fibrosis, BSE (Mad Cow disease), an inherited form of emphysema, and even many cancers are believed to result from protein misfolding. When proteins misfold, they can clump together (“aggregate”). These clumps can often gather in the brain, where they are believed to cause the symptoms of Mad Cow or Alzheimer’s disease.” — Folding@Home
How does this help science?
By studying protein folding, scientists can work to understand more about diseases and work to create and improve medicines that can help fight against them.
Hold up, you mentioned crypto currency, how does that come in?
Well, Folding@Home, a distributed computing project for simulating protein dynamics, has come up with a way to reward anyone who wants to help contribute to protein folding, by allowing them to utilize your hardware to run simulations. Remember that old mac book or laptop sitting in your closet collecting dust? Now might be the time to upcycle it for a better purpose.
Banano is a 4th generation fungible & edible cryptocurrency with a cool yellow logo and particles.js background. Our team is top-notch and the project advisors are by a moonshot best in the business. — banano.cc
Basically, you can earn Banano by run a Folding@Home Client program on your pc or mac. This will crunch away simulations using the CPU, GPU, or both. As it completes simulations, called Work Units, you will be rewarded with points. These points are calculated based on the turnaround time and processing power your hardware provides to the simulation. The faster it can crunch a simulation, the more points you will earn.
Now these points aren’t crypto currency, just yet. They eventually are evaluated and you are rewarded with Banano (BAN) crypto sent directly to your crypto wallet. Boom, you’ve got some crypto currency.
Below, I will take you through all the steps on how to get this setup and earning you some nice potassium currency.
Step 1. Get a wallet
There are a couple different wallets that currently support Banano (BAN).
I would recommend using Kalium as your wallet since i’ve had issues with BananoVault since I started folding.
- Download the Kalium App on your mobile device.
- Launch the app and select “New Wallet”
- Follow the security messages and then copy and store your Secret Phase. This is a backup to get into your wallet if you forget your login.
- Select “I’ve Backed it Up.”
- Create a 6-digit pin.
- You now have a wallet ready to receive Banano.
- Press the Receive button on the bottom to see your Banano wallet address. This is prefixed with “ban_XXXXX”
Step 2. Get a BananoMiner User ID, Team, and Passcode
Next, we are going to need to get a user id to setup with the Folding@Home Client. This is used to tied your folding performance to your wallet to get paid. Alternatively, if you just want to folding anonymously for science, you can bypass this step and proceed to install the Folding@Home client and start folding.
- Go to bananominer.com
- Enter you banano wallet addresss on the home screen. This will come from your Kalium app or banano vault.
- Once entered, you will be provided with your User ID and your Team ID. Write these down.
Step 2b: Setup a passcode (Optional).
For added security, you can create a passcode to go with your User ID. This helps from others pretending to be you. You can also earn bonus points along the way by securing your account with a passcode, so I would recommend taking 2 seconds to set this up.
- Go to https://apps.foldingathome.org/getpasskey
- Enter you User ID for Name and your Email
- You will be emailed a passcode. Write this passcode down.
You can always retrieve your passcode by returning to this page and entering in your User ID and email. The passcode will be sent to you via email.
Step 3. Download the Folding@Home Client
Now, to setup our folding client.
- Go to https://foldingathome.org/#downloads
- Select the operating system you are using on your folding machine.
- Run the setup and install the Folding@Home Client.
Step 4. Configure the Folding@Home Client
Next, we will want to make sure we setup the Folding@Home Client with our User ID, Team ID, and Passcode ( if applicable ). You can skip this if you would like to fold anonymously.
- Launch the Folding@Home Client. By default, this should open a web browser to client.foldingathome.org to display your web control.
- Select Change Identity, or enter if prompted:
- Name — User ID you created with bananominer.com
- Team Number — Team Number provided by bananominer.com
- Passkey — Passcode sent via email
- You should now see your details in the web control to confirm you are folding under your account.
Step 5. Fold and wait…
Now’s the easy part. Hit that Start Folding button and your computer is underway. I should mention some things on the Web Control.
You can change which research you would like to support in the header.
Your total points earned are shown in the top right.
You can change how much of the resources to use and when you would like to fold in the bottom left.
Full will ramp up your CPU/GPU up to 100%, but the client will not take over your entire PC. I run Full power while I work and have not been impacted by any performance issues while I do my thing.
You can also set to run only when the computer is Idle. Play with these settings as you like. Obviously, giving the process Full Power is going to give you the best performance for simulations and get your Banano faster.
You can see your estimated completion time and earnings here.
Work Unit (PRCG) is the current simulation you are on.
Work Unit (ETA) is the estimated time to complete the work unit.
Estimated Points is how much you are intended to receive when you complete the Work Unit. Note, this is not equivalent to Banano. Your Banano earnings will differ depending on how fast your simulations complete.
Step 6. Collect your Banano
Login to your Banano wallet and check for any pending transactions. You’ll probably need to authenticate to receive the transactions.
Once you authenticate to the wallet, any pending transactions will complete and you should see an updated balance. :)
Look at all those beautiful Bananos!
Step 7. Key things to know
- If you are folding, you are using electricity. More than you usually use day-to-day. So expect that your electricity bill will come up. You may get lower rates to use electricity during non-peak hours so check with your provider to determine if you should folding overnight instead of during the day.
- Payments aren’t immediate. From my experience they send out payments twice a day for completed Work Units. So don’t expect to see your wallet with pending transfers immediately after you finish a work unit. Give it half a day and you should see the transfers in the morning.
- Better CPU/GPU means better performance which means more Banano. For reference, I’m running these folds on a AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core processor and a NVIDIA RTX 260 Super GPU. Work Units generally take my computer 4–8 hours to complete. Out of curiosity, I setup a Raspberry Pi 4 to run the ARM build of Folding@Home Client. The Raspberry Pi took roughly 2–3 days to complete a work until and paid out about 3000 points, vs the 35000 points my gaming rig can output. I’ll try and write-up a tutorial for using a Raspberry Pi next!
- You can pause folding and resume your folding later. This is the only way to properly shutdown your computers and continue the work later. Don’t force quit your Folding@Home Client. You’ll need to complete the full Work Unit to earn any points.
- Your PC will get hot. Your computer is basically running full throttle to use as much resources as possible to run these simulations. So you’ll probably hear some fans turning on and feel some heat off your tower or case. Make sure you put your tower or case in a well ventilated area so that it doesn’t over-heat. If you are concerned about it getting too hot or using too much resources, I’d recommend turning down the power option or running the client on your GPU or CPU only instead of both.
After a few weeks of folding, i’ve learned about some sites that were a little hidden from the search engines that are pretty neat!
With this site, you can lookup your account id and see a bunch of stats about your folding and banano earnings. It will show you all your payments, how many WU you completed and Points you received and what your current pending work is. Very helpful to determine how much your next payout might be.
This area is just to track some milestones as I hit them so you can get an idea of what you can be accumulating. I’ll also be checking back in a month to report my electricity usage increases and thoughts on if it is worth it to keep folding day-to-day or to adjust my schedule :)
2021–04–20 — First day of folding on my PC.
2021–04–26 — Hit 1K Banano from folding! This was just under 5 million points in Folding@Home Client. Roughly 5 days of folding.
2021–05–05 — Hit 2K Banano from folding! Roughly 2 weeks after folding. If I keep this pace I average about 1K every week. :) Next milestone will be 5K Banano.
If you would like to tip or send some NANO over (no obligation, i’m folding like crazy, remember), here is my wallet address:
Please use the folding references below for more information about banano, foldingathome, and more.
Shoutout to the r/Banano community for being super welcoming and helpful. Join us!
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