It has been a month since my last blog post on my crypto mining experience. Here are some of my most recent updates.
First, I switched my OS from Windows to Linux for better remote control. The OS really affected the choice of mining software, since some of the mining software just does not support Linux very well. Open-sourced miners generally work well, E.g., ethminer for Ethash and xmrig for CryptoNight, as you can always compile the source code yourself. works really well in Linux. However, for proprietary codes, it really depends on the binaries provided by the developer. E.g., Claymore Miner just does not work for RH based distros because the version of openssl library it compiled with (as on 3/21/2108). NiceHash’s proprietary CUDA miner (which supports multiple algorithms), excavator only provides deb package for Ubuntu. However, in other distros (at least for Fedora 27), you can still get the binaries by unpacking the deb file using command:
excavator seems slightly strange to me at first but turns out surprisingly easy to use after I get used to it. The TCP port binding allows smooth control of devices and algorithms.
Second, for mining pools, I currently use NiceHash+MiningPoolHub. As the pay rates of mining keep decreasing due to the bearish market recently, I have to squeeze any little profit by using an auto switcher to chase the most profitable platform and algorithm. On NiceHash, you are actually selling your hash power rather than mining for a specific coin, your pay rate really depends on the order prices on NiceHash, which seems to have a lot of oscillations. When the pay rate on NiceHash is low, the switcher will simply pick the most profitable coin based on real-time network difficulty and extrange rate. One important reason I chose these two platforms is that NiceHash pays directly in BTC, and MiningPoolHub provides auto exchange function, which saves you trouble if you ultimately want to exchange your altcoin mined to main stream cryptocurrency.
I know the profitability of mining has been really low recently especially for use without cheap electricity. It’s still fun experience as I am learning a lot of new things like block chains, crypto algorithms and even finance and investment. Let me know if you are also interested in cryptocurrency!
I first heard crypto mining back in 2013 when I was in college. At that time, Bitcoin just went into the public. However, Bitcoin mining quickly became non-profitable for average users due to the emergence of ASIC miners. Since then, I paid little attention to the crypto currency world, until the recent shortage of graphics cards on market.
After some research, I realized the development of crypto currency has gone beyond my knowledge. When Bitcoin price reached $1000 in 2013, everyone thought it was insane and the bubbles will quickly blow, while now the price is even more insane – the peak in 2017 was >$20000 and now the price is still >$10000. Beside the insane price boost of crypto currency market, many new crypto algorithms were developed, and many new crypto currencies emerge. Despite the huge business success, one main drawback of Bitcoin is that it is no longer decentralized as it was claimed due to the development of ASIC miners, which have huge efficiency boost over consumer hardware. The new crypto currencies learned the lesson from Bitcoin, and intentionally used algorithms that are “ASIC resistant”, which typically arae more memory intensive. That’s the main reason that GPU mining or even CPU mining comes back.
Since last week, I have tried to mine several different crypto currencies with my 2x GTX1080 GPUs. Here are some details.
Mining hardware: 2x GTX1080 GPUs. One installed in my desktop, the other installed in Alienware graphics amplifier driven by an Alienware laptop (probably most weird mining configuration).
Mining software: ethminer, an open source GPU miner with OpenCL and CUDA support.
Profit: The profit varies depending on hardwares. My i7-7820HQ@2.9GHz laptop runs at ~150 H/s, with profit ~$4.8/month.
NiceHash is more like a one stop solution for all. It will automatically pick the most profitable crypto currency to mine and pay you in Bitcoins. The mining software NiceHash Miner has a simple GUI but currently only Windows is supported. Now I mainly use NiceHash for my 2x GTX1080 GPUs. The most profitable crypto algrithms picked for my hardware are Equihash (used by Zcash) and Lyra2REv2 (Used by Vertcoin), which can generate profit of $2~$3/day with each GTX1080 GPU.
Fedora is always known as a cutting edge distribution with frequent updates. I love it so much expect when I have to reinstall my Nvidia driver everytime the kernel is updated. Recently I found a solution online using DKMS. DKMS, short for Dynamic Kernel Module Support, is used to automatically recompiles all DKMS modules when installing a kernel upgrade, thus allowing the drivers to continue working.
For the Nvidia driver on Fedora, simply install the DKMS package and install the Nvidia driver with “-dkms” option.