33 Vital Questions They Failed To Adequately Answer – Mining FAQs

33 Vital Questions They Failed To Adequately Answer - Mining FAQs

The process of issuing Bitcoins is called “mining” – the only way to get cryptocurrency, built on the computer solving of mathematical problems.

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How do miners work?

The essence of mining lies in the fact that computers located in different parts of the Earth solve mathematical problems, as a result of which Bitcoins are created. The process of their extraction is not controlled by a single issuing center, and distribution ensures safety.

All bitcoin transfers are recorded in a public transaction log. By chain, they are transferred to miners, whose job is to select from millions of combinations a single hash that matches all new transactions and a secret key, which will ensure that miner receives a reward of 25 bitcoins at a time. Many “miners” are simultaneously fighting for the reward, trying to guess the first hash. As soon as the hash is guessed, the block with all transactions is closed, the miners go to the next.

The hash that miners are looking for consists of the hash of the previous block, the amount of transaction hashes in the last 10 minutes, and a random number that the miners change to make the final hash satisfy the conditions of the system. It is the change of these conditions that determine the difficulty of finding the hash, they change once in 2016 closed blocks and are automatically selected so that the calculation of every 2016 blocks takes 2 weeks. Now that we have an understanding of mining and how it words no let’s take a look at some of the most popular question asked but failed to answer properly.

General issues – Mining FAQs

General issues bitcoins

What is mining?

Mining (. From the English m ining ) in the mining industry is mining, in this case, the extraction of a “virtual gold» – the Bitcoin. Miners ( miner , miners) – people who are engaged in mining, or specialized mining devices.

From a technical point of view, mining is the calculation of a hash of a block header, which includes, among other things, the hash of the previous block header, the hash of the transaction set, and a random number. If the hash value is less than the current target (which is inversely proportional to the complexity ), the new block is formed and the miner receives 25 newly created bitcoins. If the hash is greater than the target, the random number is changed and the new hash is calculated. This is done billions of times per second by each miner.

Mining can be cost-effective depending on various factors: the rate of BTC to other currencies, current complexity, the cost of electricity, the available hardware, etc. Mining requires very large computing power, and the more there will be on the network, the greater the complexity will increase and the less each “miner” will receive, but the more the network itself will be protected, because for entering false information and accepting it by the network will require such power that the attack will become economically unprofitable.

Even at a rather early stage of its development, the total computing power of the Bitcoin network exceeded the hash rate of the fastest supercomputer in the world.

This is the result of super-profits, which were obtained by the “miners”. For example, in June 2011 or the fall of 2013, buying a top-end video card for mining paid for itself in just a couple of weeks, if not faster.

Now the payback of even the most powerful ASIC miners with the usual electricity tariffs is about six months and even more.

What are the miner requirements for Internet access?

Traffic in mining depends on the number of devices, their performance, as well as the minimum complexity of the decisions that the pool takes. For one properly configured device, the traffic is no more than 10 Kb / s, that is, there is enough Dial-Up connection, the main thing is its stability.

Miners who do not have a stable wired connection often use 3G modems with the cheapest unlimited tariff. If you have dozens, or even hundreds of devices, you will need a thicker channel.

How much do miners earn?

The Bitcoin system is decentralized, it lays down the principles for changing the complexity of coin generation, depending on the total power of the system. The complexity changes every 2016 blocks so that an average of six blocks is solved in an hour. Thus, a change in complexity occurs approximately every 14 days. But if the network power increases, then the complexity changes earlier (increases), and if the network power drops, then the complexity changes later (decreases).

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The entire history of changes in complexity can be viewed as graphs by reference. See the forecast for the next change in complexity on the main page of our site.

You can calculate your earnings on the Bitcoin Mining Calculator. You just need to enter your speed in Mhash / s and click “Calculate”. If you do not know your speed, you can calculate it by the name and number of devices in this table.

Bitcoin course does not depend on the complexity, this complexity is indirectly dependent on the course. It is not important for BTC buyers how difficult it was to generate these BTC.

Familiarize themselves with the current rate you can on the link, where: 
Latest Price – the last completed transaction 
Bid – demand 
Ask – the proposal 
also possible to monitor in real time the course of other sites, the most comprehensive list of them can be found in the article Statistics and Monitoring .

How to remotely manage a farm?

In Windows operating systems, you cannot use remote desktop (RDP) to manage farms, because he works with his virtual video card. Stopping mining, you do not start it again, because video cards will not be correctly detected. Use third-party tools, such as TeamViewer, * VNC and others. Under linux (Ubuntu, XUbuntu, Debian) lightGDM does not allow receiving video card resources in a remote console. Everything works fine with GDM. Tested with cgminer, diablo.

How to start mining in solo mode?

Bitcoin mining in solo mode is now almost unreal if you do not have your own data center with several thousand modern ASIC miners. However, for some forks solo mining is still effective.

We describe the process using Bitcoin as an example:

To begin with, we go along the path “% appdata% \ Bitcoin” (for example, in Windows 7: “C: \ Users \ username \ AppData \ Roaming \ Bitcoin”). Create a text file. We write three lines in it: 
server = 1 
rpcuser = user 
rpcpassword = pass 
(without quotes, create the user and pass yourself). Then rename the file to “bitcoin.conf”

Cgminer configuration:

1. Go to the folder with cgminer

2. Create a txt file and enter into it:

cgminer -u http: // name: [email protected]: 8332 / -k phatk DEVICE = 0 VECTORS WORKSIZE = 128

(we take our settings, name and password from bitcoin.conf)

3. Rename the file to “runsolo.bat” and run.

For solo mining at ASIC, the above address, name and password must be entered in the miner’s settings. However, not all ASICs support the getwork protocol used by the wallet. You may need to install additional software.

How to set up mining on Linux?

A rather detailed article on setting up mining on Linux, in particular Ubuntu, can be found here – Bitcoin mining for Ubuntu.

Mining in pools

What is a Pool?

Currently, anyone who finds a block receives 25 BTC. Alone it is very difficult to do if you do not have very large computing power. To solve this problem, there are pools, in the network, there may be many. Poole combines miners for general search and solves blocks. More detailed information about co-generation pools, their operation modes and examples of miner settings can be found in the Pools article.

What happens if two miners go to the pool under one worker?

It all depends on the pool. Most pools allow multiple connections under one worker. A pool simply takes into account all solutions from multiple devices, just like for one.

Do not forget that the worker in the pool is tied to a specific account, and all the income is received by its owner. It doesn’t matter where the devices themselves are and to whom they belong.

I lane in the pool and find a block. Can I not give it to the pool and take all the BTC myself?

No, it will not work. Each miner in the pool is looking for a block according to the server’s tasks; from a technical point of view, this is equivalent to the fact that all devices sending the solutions belong to the pool. When any of the miners connected to the pool finds a block, the bonus transaction comes to the pool wallet. And only after this, the software that keeps records of the work of miners distributes the reward among them. But if the owner of the pool is a fraud, he can assign all the found bitcoins to himself, and you can’t do anything about it.

The owners of most of the large Bitcoin pools are known, but the small forks pools are often anonymous. Therefore, when choosing a pool, exercise caution and, as often as possible, withdraw your money to your wallet.

How can a miner check the integrity of the pool, that he gives all the transactions in the task and does not ignore objectionable ones?

The miner at the time of generation cannot verify what is included in the block and what is not, since only the task for generating the block header comes to generation. The miner can learn about the bad behavior of the pool only after the fact, after receiving the finished block.

What is pool hopping?

Poole hopping is a deliberate transition from pool to pool in order to catch a period of good luck (“short” blocks) and thus earn more coins than it would if you were constantly working on one pool.

In fact, this is cheating, with which pools struggle with the introduction of delayed statistics output, introduction of rating systems and other methods. As a rule, on pools with the PPLNS accrual system, such jumps do not justify themselves, since even the short absence of a miner in the pool reduces his income for a long period of time (4-12 hours).

Questions on ASIC miners (SHA256 and Scrypt)

What is an ASIC miner?

ASIC (abbreviation for English Application Specific Integrated Circuit, “special purpose integrated circuit”) is a chip specialized for solving a specific problem. Unlike general-purpose integrated circuits, specialized chips are used in a specific device and perform strictly limited functions characteristic only of this device. An example of an ASIC may be a chip designed exclusively for controlling a mobile phone, a chip for hardware encoding / decoding audio and video signals (signal processors).

For mining, ASICs are used because, due to a strictly defined structure, the microcircuit production process is greatly reduced, as well as due to the narrow specialization of chips, mining performance and energy efficiency increase.

What is the difference between the Scrypt ASIC and the SHA256 ASIC?

The hashing algorithm Scrypt was designed specifically to counter faster devices — first, video cards, then FPGA and ASIC. Therefore, it is “harder” SHA256 (more numbers, more rounds of calculation) and much more RAM is needed to calculate it. This makes the production of such ASIC more costly.

What is Dual miner?

This is a miner that can perform calculations simultaneously using two hashing algorithms – Scrypt and SHA256. The developers have placed on the same chip the computational cores for the calculation of both algorithms, but each type of core can be counted only by its own algorithm. This makes such a device universal, but it greatly increases the cost of production and heat dissipation, which does not have the best effect on payback. Now only one company produces ASIC of this type – in the past Gridseed, and now SFARDS.

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What are ASIC miners?

Mining devices are available in several form factors, based on different categories of customers – compact, home and professional.

What are ASIC miners things to know

Compact miners are usually inserted into the USB connector and are powered through it. In comparison with the “older brothers” they are the smallest and weakest. This is how the first generation chips from ASICminer, one of the first manufacturers of mining ASIC, look like USB Block Erupter.

Its characteristics: 300 Mx / s, 1.05 V, 335 MHz, 6×6 mm. and 4.2 watts per gh / s.

Later, compact miners were produced on chips from Bitfury and Coincraft, and even the Antminer U-series *, however, were not in demand, as they brought purely nominal income and eventually turned into souvenirs.

Home and professional miners essentially differ only in size, body type and power consumption; all other characteristics are identical.

Home devices usually have cheaper cases and weaker fans, they are smaller and lighter, they have enough average power supply with a capacity of 600-700 watts. Typical members of this class are Antminer S1 / S3 / S5.

“Professional” miners are designed to be placed in datacenters and are usually mounted in 19 ”server racks. They have built-in power supply units (sometimes several) with a power higher than a kilowatt, a well-thought-out cooling system and powerful server fans that are very noisy, but efficient. Typical representatives are Antminer S2 / S4, Terraminer from Cointerra, Coincraft Rig from Bitmine.

ASIC miners are compared according to the following characteristics:

1) Chip process technology

2) Productivity in Gx / s (gigaheşa per second) or Tx / s (teraheshei per second), where 1 Tx / s = 1000 Gx / s)

3) Power consumption per 1 Gh / s – for example, 1 W / Gh / s

4) Cost of 1 Gh / s – for example, $ 0.5 per Gh / s

5) The average temperature of the chip – ° C (depending on the process, an average of 40-60 ° C)

Who produces ASIC for mining?

Own ASIC chips and ready-made devices are now produced (or produced) by several companies:

  • Bitmaintech
  • Bitfury
  • Avalon
  • Innosilicon (Scrypt)
  • SFARDS (Dual miner) – no longer produced
  • Spondoolies-Tech – no longer produced
  • KnCminer – no longer produced
  • ASICminer – no longer produced
  • Zeus (Scrypt) – no longer produced

Which miners are now the most reliable and popular?

Bitmaintech miners are rightly considered the most deserved for mining Bitcoin, since the company has never seriously failed its customers. Bitfury is also reliable, but does not retail.

Which miners are now the most reliable and popular

Current model:

ANTMINER S9 from Bitmain on BM1387 chips

Specifications:

  • Productivity: 13 Tx / s ± 5%
  • Power consumption: 1300 watts of power
  • Energy efficiency: 0.1 W / Gh / s from the outlet
  • Voltage: 12V
  • Operating temperature: 30 ° C – 90 ° C

Of the miners on the Scrypt algorithm, the Terminator devices from Innosilicon are the most popular.

Current model:

TERMINATOR A2 90 MX / s by Innosilicon

Specifications:

  • Productivity: 90 Mx / s ± 5%
  • Power Consumption: 1000 W or 1 kW
  • Energy efficiency: 1.1 W / Mx / s
  • Voltage: 12V
  • Temperature: 40 ° C – 90 ° C

How to set up an ASIC miner in solo mode?

Unfortunately, due to the different types of firmware for ASIC miners, each model should have its own configuration method applied. Some miners do not work at all in solo mode.

Is it possible to configure ASIC miner to work in p2pool?

Configuring ASIC to work with P2Pool is possible, as with any other pool, but you will have to configure the P2Pool node yourself.

The reward is distributed in the same way as on the PPLNS bullet, but with some difference – the reward does not linger on the bullet for some time, but goes straight to your wallet. P2pool works on the principle of “his own master.”

By the way, p2pool provides real decentralization – the most important reason for the success of Bitcoin.

What software is used in ASIC miners?

As it is known, the firmware for the miner is different for each manufacturer, but almost all include CGMiner or BFGminer due to the flexibility of settings and support for all methods of connecting to the pool.

The firmware of most modern ASIC miners are based on Linux and have a convenient web interface that allows you to manage network settings, connect to pools, adjust frequency and voltage, view detailed statistics on the miner, monitor faults, update firmware and much more.

Interface Bitmain Antminer S5:

Interface Bitmain Antminer S5

There are numerous custom firmware versions, each with its own features, for example with support for extranonse.subscribe or a large number of settings.

How to overclock ASIC miners?

In most miners there is an opportunity for overclocking, the potential of which depends on the manufacturer and chip technology. Antminer from the factory frequencies usually accelerates by 10-30%, while KnC chips can sometimes be almost doubled. But be extremely careful with the acceleration of miners, as the frequency increases, power consumption dramatically increases. Chips or power circuits may not be able to withstand acceleration, as a result you may lose both the miner itself and other equipment.

On some ASIC miners, the operating frequency is deliberately lowered to increase stability (for example, Bitmain Antminer S2 and S4). As a result of overclocking, you can get a much more productive, but less stable miner.

What power supply to use for miners ASIC?

In modern mining devices, the 6-pin power connectors, similar to the connectors for connecting additional power to a PCI-E video card, have become the unwritten standard. They were chosen for their small size and maximum compatibility with mass PSUs.

In choosing the ideal power supply, the opinions of miners (people) differ. Some prefer second-hand server power supplies due to stability, good efficiency and low prices, others prefer ATX power supplies for home PCs due to the fact that depreciation (gradual depreciation and wear) hardly affects them. When choosing a power supply for the miner, you need to look not at the total power of the PSU, but exactly through the + 12V channel. Here the choice is up to you.

To run an ATX power supply without a motherboard, you need to close the 2 pins as shown in the image:

ATX power supply without a motherboard

Mining on GPU and archive

Which video cards are suitable for mining?

The best models in mining appear in the older models of Radeon HD video cards of the 5xxx, 7xxx and R9 xxx series.

Older NVIDIA graphics cards, due to the peculiarities of the architecture, show a low level of performance in this type of computing. But starting with the GTX 7xx series on the Maxwell architecture, with the latest drivers, Nvidia cards are not inferior to the Radeons and even often exceed them in energy efficiency.

For GPU mining, the computer must have AMD APP SDK / Nvidia CUDA installed , either with the driver or separately.

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What cryptocurrencies can mine on video cards?

Since Bitcoin, Litecoin and their direct forks using the same hashing algorithms (SHA256 and Scrypt) are already mined on specialized devices (ASIC), only those cryptocurrency remained for video cards, where the development of ASIC is still impossible or unprofitable.

On the GPU, you can still mine altcoins with the following algorithms:

X11, X13, X15, Scrypt-N, Scrypt-jane, SHA-3 (Keccak), Quark and all the others for which there is already software for mining on graphics processors.

How many video cards can I use on one computer?

Driver limitation – maximum 8 cores, i.e. 8 video cards or 4 dual-processor video cards. It is worth noting that the more cores are used, the more unstable the system behaves. Running and managing from 6 video cards on 1 computer can be quite problematic, and it will not work on any motherboard, OS, or driver version. Requirements for power supplies also increase, risers are most often required, preferably with additional power, to reduce consumption from the PCI-E bus of the motherboard. Also, with an increase in the number of GPUs, you need to install more RAM.

What should I do if one or several of the installed video cards are not displayed in the miner?

There are many options. why this can happen. You can remove the video card from the devices and allow it to be found again. If it does not help, then check whether there are residues of deleted or rearranged cards in the system that contribute to failures.
There are cases that the video card goes into “hidden devices”, then before deleting it is necessary to configure their display as follows: right-click on the “My Computer” icon, select “Properties” (or Win + Break). In the properties of the system go to the tab “Advanced” (for Vista, 7, 2008, etc. in the properties of the computer, you must first click the “Advanced system settings”) and at the very bottom click “Environment Variables”. In the system variables, create the variable DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES and assign it the value 1. Then open the device manager, in the View menu, turn on the display of hidden devices and delete the hidden video cards.

After updating the driver, the speed dropped, what should I do?

Starting with driver version 11.12, the problem of 100% CPU core load has been fixed, but the mining speed has dropped slightly compared to version 11.11 and the previous ones. To restore the previous speed, unzip the contents of the OCL Library archive onto a disk in the Windows folder with replacement. If the system informs you that the file is busy by the process, then close the miner. The archive has two folders for each of the bit OS.

On one of the video cards performance is significantly lower

Such a problem may occur on the “first” video card, which displays the image on the active monitor, but the monitor is not connected to it.

In this case, you need to connect to this card a monitor or “stub”. First, insert the DVI> VGA adapter, then insert 75 Ohm resistors as in the diagram:

 DVI VGA adapter

This problem occurs quite rarely on a variety of systems and its origin may be due, for example, to outdated drivers, BIOS, or simply an unsuccessful combination of hardware. If you are unlucky, use the method described above.

The Guiminer window is not displayed, only the tray icon. How to fix?

This glitch is due to the fact that the miner window is displayed outside the visible limits of the screen. It can be overcome in two ways:

1. Select the tab Guiminer in the taskbar to make it active. Press the key combination Win + left arrow. The miner window appears at the left edge of the screen.

2. Close the Guiminer program. Open the configuration file poclbm.ini, it is located in% appdata% \ poclbm (for example, for Win7 this is C: \ Users \ user \ AppData \ Roaming \ poclbm) and correct the values ​​in the “window_position” block to:

“window_position”: [ 
546, 
353, 
579, 
318 
]

After that, run Guiminer again, the problem should disappear.

Radeon HD 7 *** is not defined in the miners on Windows XP, what to do?

Radeon HD 7 *** is not displayed in miners, because in Windows XP, OpenCL is not supported for series 7 *** and higher. This limitation in AMD drivers applies to all versions of Windows XP. We can recommend using more modern OS, for example, Windows 7 or 8.

What to do if the video card is not seen through the 1x riser?

Different motherboards and video cards have different attitudes if, instead of PCI-E 16x, the connection goes through PCI-E 1x. For mining, the PCI-E 1x bandwidth is enough, and the PCI-E standard itself supports such a trick, but the signal to connect a video card can go through unused contacts, and the video card will not be able to work correctly. In this case, the easiest way is to close the hotplug signal on the connector with a wire, for this you need to make a revision by connecting the contacts in the connector in the following way:

What to do if the video card is not seen through the 1x riser
 signal to connect a video card

Blue screen of death and error 0x000000ea ati2dvag, what to do?

You need to remove the drivers and reinstall them. The caveat is that after deleting, there are 2 ATI libraries left in the Windows / system32 folder, which are not automatically deleted even by special utilities such as Driver Cleaner. They need to be removed manually, and then install new drivers.

There are problems with a decrease in the frequency of memory on a video card in AfterBurner, what should I do?

If daunklocking of RAM does not work, try to register in the configuration file

UnofficialOverclockingMode = 2

If this does not help either, then you can try the following trick: 
Go to the Profiles folder, it is located at the MSI AB installation site, go to each of the video card profiles, look for the Defaults section in each profile, do this:

[Defaults] 
Format = 2 
PowerLimit = 0 
CoreClk = 750000 
MemClk = 600000 
FanMode = 1 
FanSpeed ​​= 25

Then in the same place we put:

[Profile5] 
Format = 2 
PowerLimit = 10 
CoreClk = 820000 
MemClk = 300000 
FanMode = 1 
FanSpeed ​​= 44

Voila, if there are 4 or more identical cards in the system, simply run AB, set in the settings “synchronize settings of the same GPU”, the default memory frequency will be maximal (default), not the one that is registered in the profile, but press the hot button Profile and all put 300mhz.


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