Hand tools and fabrication machines
I spent the last few weeks researching into different mesh networks after making my most recent project In-Plants. During my research I came across something both nerdy and aspiring, Skycoin. Skycoin is the vision of creating a new internet. Skywire aspires to be modern version of the internet that would be faster, private, and decentralized from typical Internet Service Providers. This instantly reminded me of a Richard Hendricks' idea for a new Internet mentioned in Silicon Valley. However, Skywire isn't a Hollywood production. For this real idea to exist thousands of talented engineers across the world put their minds together to innovate. I'm excited to learn through this community and want to include a brief summary of what I've learned in the past few weeks researching and creating my Skyminer.
For a decentralized global internet to exist there has to be thousands of hardware nodes across the world that can communicate with each other. Skyminers are these hardware nodes. Skyminers run custom code on a 64-bit architecture OS which allow Skyminers to act as an ISP, server, and file storage all at once.
From Skycoin's Medium
Skyminers provide computing power, networking capability, and storage capacity necessary for the Skywire network to function properly. Skyminers act as specialized VPNs and nodes on the mesh network that allows users to essentially become their own ISP, granting user freedom to engage with the encrypted network, Skywire.
A Skyminer setup is made of a few key components: an ethernet switch, ethernet cables, multiple compute modules, and a power source. Because there are no firm hardware requirements Skyminers can come in all shapes, sizes, and performance ability.
In order to provide some incentive for individuals to build Skyminers, the innovators behind Skywire invented Skycoin, a new cryptocurrency.
Skycoin is a Bitcoin-based cyptocurrency. But unlike many other cryptocurrencies Skycoin doesn't have to be mined. The secret sauce behind this is because of Coin Hours.
From Skycoin's Medium
Coin Hours are the fuel of the entire ecosystem.
In order to access the Skywire network with features like Skywire's highly secure VPN service, you need to pay in Coin Hours. Coin Hours are generated by investing in Skycoin over time. You can also generate Coin Hours by operating a Skyminer setup.
After learning these facts about Skycoin I was excited to build my first Skyminer setup. I looked into Skycoin's list of requirements for their test-net and decided to re-purpose a bunch of my Raspberry Pi 3B+ that I had laying around.
Since this is a Project Showcase and not a tutorial I won't go into all the detail on how I made my specific setup. Instead I'll redirect you to DIYSKYMINER's guide who helped me create my current setup.
There isn't just one correct way to build a Skyminer either. There are tons of guides in the wild using different hardware platforms, so if this concept interests you at all feel free to look into it and build your own Skyminer. Skycoin also sells the official Skyminer if you just want to buy a setup without the hassle of gathering all the parts yourself.
I've enjoyed the fun adventure that I've had building my own Skyminer to this point and I'd invite you to do the same.
Also check out the Reddit community: