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In the case of Bitcoin whenever a transactions occurs, they go through a security verification and are grouped into a block to be mined. Bitcoin has a fixed maximum supply of 21 million coins, but, after that, miners will continue receiving transaction fees for their service.
The proof-of-work algorithm used by Bitcoin aims to add a new block every 10 minutes. To hit that time, depending on how quickly miners are adding blocks, the difficulty of the generation changes. Does the mining happen too quickly, the hash computations get harder and easier if they are coming in too slow. This variable difficulty changes the computation speed necessary for the consensus mechanism to work.
The higher need for computation also raises the energy consumed by nodes used to mine, which in the case of Bitcoin lead over the years through raising mining competition to the case that it uses annually more energy to secure its network than the midsized countries of Argentina and the Ukraine. In proof-of-stake validators are responsible for the same thing as miners in proof-of-work: ordering transactions and creating new blocks so that all nodes can agree on the state of the network…but other than with proof-of-work, the entity who gets to in the end add a block to the blockchain is selected randomly rather than using a competition based rat race of computational power.
This validation is known as attesting, which is what is recorded in the beacon chain rather than the transaction itself. You effectively lease your PC's hashing power to other users, who get to choose what to mine, and you get paid in Bitcoin. NiceHash takes a small cut of the potential profits, and your PC can be up and mining in minutes. Note: There are some alternatives to NiceHash, but generally speaking they function on similar principles.
Some just mine the "most profitable" coin at any given time, and you keep those coins or fractions of a coin. If a coin ends up becoming popular and shoots up in value, you could score big, but it can also go the other way and you end up with a bunch of worthless crypto. We're not going to walk through every step of the process, as NiceHash already has multiple tutorials. The short summary is that you need to register with the service, and you should have your own Bitcoin wallet somewhere e.
Your BTC will accumulate on NiceHash, and you can transfer it out whenever you like — which is a good idea since you never know if or when another successful hack might occur. Image credit: Tom's Hardware NiceHash has several options, ranging in degree of complexity. The easiest is to use the new QuickMiner , which is a web interface to a basic mining solution. You download the QuickMiner software, run that, and the webpage allows you to start and stop mining — you don't even need to put in your BTC address.
It's dead simple, though the numbers can fluctuate quite a bit. Except, after letting both versions run for a bit, QuickMiner seemed to stabilize at the same performance level as NiceHashMiner. Next up is NiceHash Miner , which is what most people will want to use. It's more complex in some ways than QuickMiner, but it has more options that can improve overall profitability. By default, it will ask you to log in using your NiceHash account details. Image 1 of 3 Image credit: Tom's Hardware Image credit: Tom's Hardware Once launched, the first time it runs, NiceHash Miner will benchmark your hardware using various common mining hashing algorithms.
Which algorithms and software get tested varies a bit by your GPU, and you can customize things quite a bit. Right now, DaggerHashimoto aka, Ethash, what Ethereum uses — a modified variant of DaggerHashimoto tends to be the most profitable, though sometimes Octopus, Kawpow, or some other algorithm might climb to the top. The idea is that NiceHash Miner will choose whatever is currently the most profitable coin to mine, based on what people are willing to pay to rent your hardware.
Sometimes a new coin will launch, or someone will want to dedicate a lot of mining power at a specific coin, and they'll pay more to do so. The initial benchmarks on NiceHash Miner can be a bit prone to error, unfortunately. That's because the tests are only run for a minute each, and as your GPU heats up it may also slow down. That means the first algorithm benchmarked often ends up with an inflated result.
You can get a better estimate of performance by using the Precise mode on the benchmark tab , which takes twice as long to benchmark. You can also schedule an algorithm for retesting if you think the result is off, and by default it can be turned off NiceHashMiner will periodically download new versions of the miners and automatically retest.
This is a custom Linux installation that would run in place of Windows, and it's recommended for larger scale mining farms that use NiceHash. As with all things Linux, getting it up and running may require a bit more knowledge and patience, but because it's an OS tuned specifically for mining, hash rates can be higher. We didn't do any of our testing with NiceHash OS, due to time constraints. There are two big downsides to mining via NiceHash. One is that you're not actually getting Ethereum — not directly, at least.
You'll get paid in Bitcoin, which you can then trade for Ethereum if you want. That's not necessarily a bad thing, considering BTC is the largest of cryptocoins, but if you want ETH you'll need to take some extra steps. The other downside is that NiceHash takes a cut of the amount paid, and the net result is generally lower payouts than mining Ethereum yourself. How big is the difference? That's a pretty big mining fee, though again the ease of use with NiceHash is hard to overstate.
How to Mine with a Mining Pool Image credit: Tom's Hardware Transitioning over to a mining pool instead of NiceHash opens up more opportunities, to both software and method of payment. The first choice is what mining pool to use. Generally speaking, you'll get more stable income by going with the largest pool, but there are various reasons for not doing that. Most of those reasons are altruistic, like not wanting any one pool to control too much of the total network hash rate, so our advice is to go with a larger pool.
Google is your friend. After choosing a pool, you'll need to set up your account, choose which mining software you want to run, and then configure your launch settings. That's simplifying several steps, all of which can vary quite a bit depending on which pool you use.
Free pools tend to be less reliable, since it costs money to run the servers and infrastructure for a pool, so it's often better to pay a small fee rather than deal with the potential downtimes. Also pay attention to the payout scheme and payout requirements for the pool. Most pay out your Ethereum daily, provided you've hit minimum quotas, but some of those quotas are pretty high. For example, Ethermine. It also pays out weekly if you hit at least 0.
The payout schemes meanwhile are designed to discourage pool hopping i. One big difference between NiceHash and your typical mining pool is that you need a separate Ethereum wallet to store your coins — you really don't want to just leave the coins with the pool indefinitely. While it's technically possible to have your coins transferred to somewhere like Coinbase, it's generally best not to have mining pool payouts go directly to a trading platform.
We recommend setting up an online wallet, through a service like MyEtherWallet , and use that address for your pool payouts. PSA: Don't use the same password on any sites related to cryptocurrency mining. Create a unique password on each one consider using LastPass or a similar product , and if you're planning to hold onto the coins for the long haul, get them into your own wallet. Once everything is in place, you can finally launch your miner.
A lot of the miners have sample configurations for popular pools that you can edit, and the pool itself will have configuration details on how to connect. So as an example, launching T-rex mining with Ethermine looks like this: t-rex. Most modern miners accept a similar syntax, so tweaking the mining command isn't too complicated. Here's the catch: NiceHashMiner has a bunch of extra features to allow remote monitoring, notifications if a miner goes offline, ability to run a script if something appears wrong, etc.
Doing all of that with pool mining requires more time and effort, which is why a lot of people are willing to take a bit less in the way of coins. No, seriously, it's not worth the hassle and you almost certainly won't actually get any coins — at least not with Ethereum or Bitcoin. Statistically, your chances of solving a block are equal to your percentage of the total hash rate of the network.
The proof of stake transition makes any such talk completely irrelevant. In practice, the mining pools have a much higher chance of solving and getting credited with a block. How much is a single block worth? There's a static block reward of 2 ETH right now, plus transaction fees that currently average around 2 ETH, plus some 'uncle' rewards that are relatively small by comparison.
Basically, 3. For all but the most dedicated of mining operations, the steady payouts that come from joining a mining pool are a far safer approach. But let's say you still want to try solo mining. What do you need to do? First, you have to set up an Ethereum wallet and download the Ethereum blockchain. Even after pruning a bunch of extra data that you don't need, it's still typically around GB in size, and downloading can take quite a while.
Once your wallet is synced up, you can point your own mining rigs at your local node, which is mostly the same as configuring miners for a mining pool except now you're using your own pool. You're now flying solo. Even with a lot of high-end GPUs, you likely won't mine any Ethereum before proof of work mining ends.
The theoretical benefit to solo mining is that you get the whole block reward plus fees, with no percentage going to the pool. The downside is that without a massive farm, you'll very likely end up getting nothing. There are however mining pools that operate on a 'solo' mining approach. Basically, the whole pool works together to find a block solution, which means it's more likely to get incorporated as the 'winning' block, but only the participant mining address with the highest contributions to date since the last credited block gets the reward.
This is much easier to use than pure solo mining, but without a decent amount of hashing power it will take quite some time to reach the point where you get the rewards from mining a block. Historical Ethereum Pricing, Difficulty, and Profits Image credit: Shutterstock That covers how to get started, but we're far from done. With the above information, you can now fire up your PC and begin mining.
That's the good news. The bad news is that actual long-term profitability is far less clear cut. The real difficulty is predicting where cryptocurrency will go next. Both Bitcoin and Ethereum are down significantly from their highest ever valuations, but there's still a lot of up and down movement. Maybe it will bounce back, maybe it was a bubble.
Who's right? Depending on when you look, you'll find ample data-driven support for just about any opinion. The most important thing to keep in mind is that cryptocurrencies are volatile. It doesn't matter if you're treating them like a commodity and day trading, or mining, or running a mining pool. Things are in a constant state of flux. Just look at the price of Ethereum since it launched back in Note: The following charts were last updated in March, but the patterns outlined here have continued.
Image 1 of 2 Image credit: Tom's Hardware Image credit: Tom's Hardware We've got the linear chart, which includes an amazing spike at the right edge early That spike looks very similar to the one that occurred in , naturally, and we should maybe just ignore the equally dramatic crash in — or that's what the optimistic miners seem to think. The logarithmic chart doesn't look nearly as impressive, and it's clear the real winners with Ethereum are the people who got in back in , or even Incidentally, about two thirds of all Ethereum was actually part of a 'pre-mine' that went to 'investors' before mining was even possible.
Everyone joining the bandwagon now clearly missed the best part of the ride. Alternatively, there's plenty of room left for future growth and spikes, but that's just speculation. We've passed peak profitability for mining Ethereum, at least for the time being. That's where the HODL hold mentality comes into play. There's another way to look at Ethereum mining. In , you would have accrued an additional Ether — twice the time mined, a bit more than half the rewards.
From up until today, mining has been far less compelling, and it's becoming increasingly so. The point is that you either got in early and made big gains, or you're hoping that things will continue to go up. And if that's your belief, why not just invest in Ethereum directly rather than trying to build a mining farm?
Image credit: Shutterstock Do a quick search for the optimal mining settings on a particular GPU and you're sure to find a bunch of diverging opinions. Some will throw caution to the wind and look to maximize hash rates in pursuit of short-term gains.
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Jan 14, · Solo mining is an attempt to confirm blocks of transactions on the blockchain alone, as an individual miner. In other words, solo mining is a way of mining cryptocurrencies . Feb 02, · With Ethereum, the current network hash rate is now over 1 PH/s, or 1 billion MH/s. Even if you had a farm of RTX GPUs each doing 95MH/s, that's only % . Solo Mining ETH - Hash Requirement? So Eth's net hash is , GH/s, or ,,,, H/s (based on Etherscan last 12 hours). I found some old-ish info that .