Welcome to ASIC crypto-mining! Where to begin?
1 – You need to find out what coins you want to mine. A good starting place is https://whattomine.com/calculators. Type the algorithm of your miner up top and it will filter out only the coins your miner will mine. Make a note of those. (NOTE: this site has many but not ALL coins you can mine.) This does change, new coins come into play, and some current ones will do a “hard fork” and change algorithms – meaning if you can only mine cryptonight, and a coin changes to cryptonight -heavy? You can’t mine it anymore and need to find a new coin.
2 – You need a wallet for each coin you are planning to mine. The whattomine site or your pool site should give you info on what exchange handles that coin – altex.exchange, stocks.exchange, crex24.com, cryptopia.com and many others are available – some exchanges have deposit fees – if so I’d suggest mining to your local wallet for that coin.
NOTE: many of the exchanges require both a wallet address and a payment address to receive funds – you will enter it as wallet+payment address, no spaces, into your miner.
a. Alternatively, you can download direct from the coin’s home page a local wallet (Eg Qwertycoin)– I find this preferable simply because I don’t have deposit fees etc and I can backup my wallet to a flashdrive etc and keep it safe… rather than sitting on some exchange or an online wallet somewhere, but for simplicity – I did start mining direct to my exchange wallets. If you chose to download a local wallet? You will need one for each coin – and NOTE: you will be downloading the entire blockchain for each wallet – so depending on your internet speed, and size of the chain overall, this can take a while to get wallet fully synced
b. You can also use an online wallet if one is available for your coin that is not at an exchange per say, just a standalone online GUI wallet.
3 – You need a pool to mine at! There are many different pools to choose from – some have 2% and higher fees, some have no fees (and often no support). I suggest you start with Party Vibe mining pools. They have Qwertycoin, PluraCoin, and Lines Coin to choose from. You can also get great support from their discord server…
4 – Log into your miner and connect your miner to the pool. You should have received paperwork with your miner telling you how to find your miner IP and how to log in (Antminer default is root/root for user and password).
a. URL: On Partyvibe pools, the connect information is on the top of the pool page. Since we’re using ASIC rigs for mining, we need to choose the highest port to connect to if there is more than one. For example, QWERTY – shows qwcpool.partyvibe.com:5000 and qwcpool.partyvibe.com:9998. For asic use the 9998 one. If you’re at another pool they often have a tab for START or CONNECT where you find the info for pool address for miner and correct port for your hardware. See pool 2 on the picture above for example.
b. WORKER: Here is where you put in your wallet address, payment id, worker name and or static difficulty. At the MINIMUM you need wallet address – so the pool knows where to send your earnings. It goes like this walletaddress(+PaymentID)(.workername)(.StaticDifficulty). There are NO SPACES between the wallet and +Payment id.. just all together EG: asdfio9823kljasdfi+alskdfj89w38r. Then, IF you want to do a worker name, you do .worker1 etc.. (make sure you use letters first, not numbers, or some pools get confused thinking you put in a difficulty and then it has letters and then you won’t connect, you’ll get “DEAD” in your pool status and it will move to secondary pool). Then you do the static difficulty. The standard is 6-12 million. I will discuss difficulty later.
c. PASSWORD: here you just enter x. You may have signed up at a pool that you need a password for – if that’s the case, you would enter it here, but the default for any pool that does not TELL you to sign up or use a specific password it is just x.
Click save and apply. Your miner will reset and spin up and then connect to the pool and start making you money!
5 – To keep track of your earnings, go to the pools home page for that coin (Qwertycoin, PluraCoin, and Lines Coin) and scroll down – you will see a long box under your stats and payments – put your wallet address there (or wallet+paymentid) and hit lookup. You will see your pending, paid and other stats. NOTE many pools you will mine for 1-4 hours before you see any pending or payout. This is because they require so many block completions before payout – some pools it’s 30 some it’s 60 blocks. Have patience and check the pools’ discord or telegram chat to see if there are any issues happening. Mostly you just connect, give it a couple hours, check and see yay! I’m making money! And then if and when you go to change to a new pool? You will still get payouts for a while until all the blocks you submitted hashes / work on are paid. It works out in the wash.
6 – What to do with your earnings? Personally? I suggest you hold onto them for a while. They will grow in value usually. The more ASICS mine and then sell immediately, the faster the value tends to drop. AND the more upset the cpu/gpu miners get with us because we really can affect the market – the point here is to make money right? So hold it a while – watch the market grow – then exchange it for your preferred currency and then swap to the fiat of your choice (USD/EUR etc). (Alternatively, you can get a debit card to use at the store – more on that later.)
DIFFICULTY and should I use it/set it?
I said I would discuss static difficulty. You can choose to add it or not. The pools will generally assign difficulty per share assigned to your miner to work. Many times, this works well. However, I have had experience where some pools I don’t use a difficulty and after 15 min of being connected, the pool says my hashrate is only 40 or 50 and it stays there, despite the fact my miner status page (on the miner itself, not pool status page) says my average hashrate is 315 kh/s. What went wrong? Well, it’s the difficulty. Add a difficulty value to the end of your wallet address in the miner – hit save and apply and wait a couple minutes. You should see your hashrate come to match near what your miner says it should be. ALSO setting a static difficulty will “normalize” your hashrate – instead of one hash at 100 and the next at 300 and the next at 125 and so on – it will stay in a smaller window of ups and downs – hence giving you a more even payout amount also. So my money is on setting the difficulty. The standard difficulty is pretty much anywhere for 6-24 million. I start with 6. That’s adding “.6000000” to the end of your address… I use this for smaller pools or pools with a posted lower difficulty. If it is a super busy pool or has a high difficulty – I usually use 12million or “.12000000” and go up from there depending on my pool hashrate stats.
I suggest you also make a list or spreadsheet with all the above information – coin, where traded, pool access addy, pool mining addy with port, wallet addy (with payment id and worker name and static difficulty). Why? Because unless you plan to mine one coin and one coin only from here to eternity, you’re going to want to change pools at some point. It is so much easier to have a list with all the information you need at your fingertips than to go um, there was a pool for X coin somewhere… I had a wallet for this coin, didn’t I? Where do I trade this coin again? It will make your life much easier, trust me. You’ll notice in the picture below (or linked here) that I have the + on the altex.trading wallet info – that wallet requires the payment id along with wallet id.
This depends totally on your conditions… You can play with the settings to see what works for you.
My set up is a room that is pretty much always 68F / 20C, the miner is in a cooler with an air intake duct taking that nice cool air from room directly to fan over the chips… and then exhausts through another duct out the cooler and out the window. No additional heat in room, no additional heat in the cooler with the miner, and the cooler? It keeps the sound down to a very dull hum making living with the miner much easier! You can find youtube videos describing how to set this up (the cooler). With that being said, you can play with the advanced settings under the configuration tab on Antminers (many of the Baikals’ will not let you change the frequency / hashrate, sorry). https://gyazo.com/ef6ae50b57b7cb9529e6f4254b28202f the default is 350 hz. Change it to 400, 450, 500 and so on til you find you are getting hardware errors within the first hour, or until you see the heat is going up on your chips to unacceptable levels. The hardware errors is key though… you want to keep those to a minimum – if you get them within the first hour – it’s doing incorrect hashes and you’re just wasting your time. Back it down a bit. I have found that 550hz and setting fan to 85% static with my room temps and exhaust to be ideal for my rig. I get a steady hashrate of 316kh/s and only about 1 hw error every few hours which is about normal even on default. The static fan can be found on the miner configuration general settings where the addresses for pools are.
DO NOT SET above 85% – you WILL burn out your fan.
I’m tired of having to enter the pool and wallet etc every time I want to change pools… there’s got to be a better way!
Actually? There is! I use a one click proxy server on my pc. I set up the config.jason with every pool, every coin I mine, along with the pool address, port, and wallet address / paymentid / workerid / static difficulty. Making the json file is tricky – you can reach out to me for help if you like (zeilercd in discord or Crystal Zeiler in telegram). Basically you follow this walkthrough – it’s super easy for the most part – https://github.com/sebseb7/cryptonote-proxy/wiki/Installation-guide-for-cryptonote-proxy. When you get to the part where you copy the config.jason_example to config.json file… and then start editing… when you go to insert new sections? Be sure to copy one full section from edge of page to bottom of the section – because TABS COUNT as 4 spaces in a json file… so if you just start typing and tab things to make it line up right? It will fail fail fail – trust me – I spent 3 days setting up my json file the hard way! lol oh – and one extra , can cause a fail too lol. Found that out the hard way also! Lol Anyway – it’s super easy to do – once you know about copy from margins to do inserts to add more than the 4-6 coins it gives you to replace info with and note – you do not have to have the last section about api for each coin – if you don’t have that info – then you just remove from the comma at the end of the url line to the end of the api line in the example and delete. (remember to get that comma!)
Once you have your json file setup – you open the localhost and it loads a page YAY! You have a long white box, and 2 long buttons for load and reload… whatever you put in for “userA” you put in that top box (I just put x3 there… instead of usera – so on the local host page I put x3 up top – whatever you put for that user? Is what is passed to the pool as a password btw. After you have the user in top box hit the LOAD button – your page will show up now with all your coin buttons and links to the pools to check your stats.
You’ll see I also have more than one button for BSM (actually more than one pool for multiple coins) so I try to name them so I know which pool is which. Now on your miner – you point it to your script and it will connect, press a button on the page and it starts sending the miner to the pool and you start sending hashes and making money.
WORD OF CAUTION HERE: As I mentioned before POOL HOPPING IS NOT ALLOWED… Sure, now you have this snazzy one click interface and you COULD if you wanted to go click… nope not making money click nope don’t like this pool click … DON’T DO IT! You will get yourself banned from the pools… Personally, I check each pool each morning first thing – check it’s profitability (IE put in my hashrate see what I should earn – if it only gives me coin earnings and not usd equivalent, then I load up coingecko.com and find the coin and put the amount the pools said I should earn in a day and see what I get – whatever seems most profitable that morning, I will mine til the next morning – if something is only slightly better than what I’m already on? I stay put as market values do go up and down – what I am on was best yesterday… it’s likely to be best again today. Sometimes I leave myself in a pool for many days if it is paying out well. NOT ONLY WILL POOL HOPPING get your IP banned, but you also give the rest of us ASIC miners a bad name… the general mining community dislikes asics not only because “Antminer has a monopoly” and other factors, but also because we come in – mine til it’s not profitable and take off in a couple hours and leave the pool with orphans and long blocks to fix on their own without our hashpower to fix the mess we made. That is not good practice guys n gals. STICK TO A POOL for 24 hours or longer (unless it goes down obviously) and then move on … the longer the better – we’re all in this to make the money, right? So it’s a LONG TERM GAME PLAN to be mining… go the distance, you can do it! Lol.
Now if you really don’t want to even click a button – and want an interface you can “set it and forget it” there’s also Awsomeminer out there… the paid version has many cool features. I don’t plan to get to that til I’m making less than 7 a day though.
SPENDING MY HARD EARNED MINING MONEY… how do I do that again?
So, by now you’ve earned coin – you have it at an exchange, and you may have flipped it to something like btc or eth or ltc. But now what? How to get it in your hot little hands to pay that electric bill? Well, you could send that btc to coinbase, or another like exchange that has ties to your bank account. You sell your BTC to USD or whatever currency you’re using and then send it to your bank account… and wait… OR there are two other options depending on which is best for you!
a. Set up a Shift card account with coinbase. It costs $20 to get the card. It is tied to your coinbase account. If you have funds there in BTC or ETH or LTC or BCH and you are at the store, you can pull out your handy dandy shift debit card and it will spend as local currency! No fees (other than the standard exchange fee from one coin to fiat on coinbase). You can use it to also withdraw cash during a purchase or at an atm. This is good for when you want to spend COIN BALANCE and have not had a chance to watch market and make a timely withdrawal to bank or to the next card (or if you like to just always leave your coin there and someday years from now withdraw it hoping it will be over 20k by then lol). This is my preferred method.
b. Set up a Bitpay card. This is a bit more problematic in that they only take payments from “payment protocol wallets” the cost for the card is only $10 but must be funded from a payment protocol wallet – https://support.bitpay.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005701523-Which-Wallets-Work-Best-for-a-BitPay-Payment- however, if you have your funds in coinbase… there is a trick to send coins FREE to any other wallet – open your coinbase, now open a gdax window. Deposit funds IN GDAX using the coinbase tab. Now you have it in gdax – hit send or withdrawal funds and put in a wallet address for one of the protocols above (eg bitcoin.com wallet) and send it – your transaction will show up in coinbase – and the transaction was FREE… now send from the bitcoin.com wallet to the bitpay card. BITPAY is a “prepaid debitcard”. By this – you send X amount of bitcoin – it converts it to USD and it stays static at that usd value. This is handy if the market spikes, you want to pull out SOME of your coin – at that higher value – send it to the card – it’s now usd at that value. Then btc goes down and up and down and up again and you send some more… but again – it only takes payments to fund it from the above linked payment protocol compatible wallets.
Hope this helped you get setup and making money – and helped you learn a bit along the way. HAPPY MINING!