All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
Ethpool was the first mining pool for mining Ethereum’s Ether coins, however it had some issues, was down for a while and then returned with a new concept – predictable solo mining pool. A predictable solo mining pool allows you to do pooled mining with a solo mining payment scheme, meaning that the miner who contributed the most work to the pool for each round will receive the full reward of the found block (or uncle) and his work account (credits) will be reset to his current credits minus the credits of the runner up miner. This simply means that depending on your available hashrate it may take more time to get your reward, but once you get it it will be a full block reward. Apparently the downtime and the new concept along with the low exchange rate for Ethereum’s Ether coins lately are not doing Ethpool much good, but they have not stopped working on new things.
The latest addition is stratum support instead of the getwork that is typically used by the regular ethminer software. The introduction of stratum support requires users to use a special fork of ethminer that is called qtminer (source) that has been developed by Ethpool and is ONLY supported by their mining pool for the moment. A while ago another pool – Dwarfpool, has introduced a Stratum proxy as we’ve mentioned earlier on the blog, but their proxy implementation is not as good as actually having a dedicated stratum protocol supported by the miner itself.
The command line of qtminer is very similar to that of Ethminer, you can check the HELP.txt file included in the Windows binary available for download below for the supported commands. As with ethminer, qtminer supports OpenCL mining on both AMD and Nvidia GPUs, there is no CUDA support available for Nvidia for the moment, and you should not be getting much different performance in terms of hashrate between ethminer and qtminer (AMD video cards still perform better than Nvidia ones). The actual difference is in the protocol used to get shares and submit them which should result in improved performance when you are using stratum instead of getwork due to better efficiency of the stratum communication protocol. Do note that you can still use Ethpool with ethminer and the getwork protocol if you are not satisfied with the results you get from the new qtminer with stratum support.
The new qtminer stratum pool supports vardiff, so the difficulty will be automatically adjusted by the pool itself based on the hashrate you submit thus taking the guesswork and the need to find the optimal difficulty yourself. The result should be more efficient getting of new work and submitting of solved shares using constant stratum connection to the server and thus more mined coins for the same period of time as compared to using ethminer with getwork polling the server all the time. Looking at the logs of the qtminer and testing briefly the new stratum miner is showing that it works better than ethminer, make sure you allow a bit of time to get a good estimate on the current hashrate reported by the pool and estimated earning before drawing any conclusions. You should definitely give qtminer a try if you are currently mining for Ethereum’s (ETH) Ether coins on a pool with the traditional etminer, you might be pleasantly surprised by the improvement.
It seems that there is new wave of Ethereum Ether (ETH) mining pools, but the good news is that the next new pool is not operated by some unknown entity, but is instead launched by Suprnova. This means a familiar interface for miners that requires registration, but if you already have one for any of the other Supernova pools you can also use it for their Ethereum pool as well. And while the new Ethereum Supernova pool is still in live beta as it is still being worked on, you can expect good quality of service and reliability, as well as response to possible issues. So definitely a place you might want to check for your Ethereum mining pool needs. The Suprnova Ethereum mining pool allows for automatic and manual request of payouts at any time provided that you have a balance of minimum 0.01 ETH and there is a 0.001 ETH transaction fee applied to payouts, the pool fee is 1%.
Getting started with Suprnova:
ethminer -G -F http://eth.suprnova.cc:3000/yourworker.1/20
The above command line is an example you can use to get started mining with ethminer at Supernova, you just need to replace the example yourworker.1 with your own worker and the default hashrate value of 20 (suitable for a single high-end GPU such as Radeon 280X) to the respective hashrate of your mining rig and you are ready to go (registration is required for the pool and you need to create workers if you don’t already have). The above example is for mining using the OpenCL version of ethminer, for using the CUDA fork you need to replace the parameter
-U and you should be ready to go. If you are new to Ethereum you might want to first check out our Quick Guide on How to Mine Ethereum on Windows as a good starting point.
AlphaPool is a new mining pool for mining Ethereum’s Ether (ETH) coins that has just been launched today, bringing the total number of active pools to 5. While it is never a bad thing to have a choice between multiple mining pools, a few days ago there was just one – Ethpool and when it stopped accepting new miners people had to go solo until new pools started appearing. We are still yet to see someone release open source code for a mining pool for Ethereum however. But back to AlphaPool, it promises some nice things to miners, that is why competition is good, no transaction fee and 0% pool fee for the first week then just 1%, there is also no mention of a minimum amount of Ether to be mined before a payout. One drawback however, there is no option for users to set their miner’s hashrate (difficulty) through the miner which can make it pointless for low hashrate miners to try mining at the pool as they may not be able to get much shares solved and submitted. Since this is a brand new pool there are not much miners on it yet, so it may take a bit more time before enough people gather for blocks to start getting solved.
Getting started with AlphaPool:
ethminer -F http://alphaminer.xyz:8080?miner=0x683feddafc2a8542744a4587de0c45626d7b8e68 -G
The above command line is an example you can use to get started mining with ethminer at AlphaPool, you just need to replace the wallet address with your own Ethereum wallet and you are ready to go. Do note that the URL of the pool and the mining address for it are slightly different. The above line is for mining using the OpenCL version of ethminer, for using the CUDA fork you need to replace the parameter
-U and you should be ready to go. As already mentioned there is no user set variable to allow for setting up the miner hashrate (difficulty) through the ethminer command line. If you are new to Ethereum you might want to first check out our Quick Guide on How to Mine Ethereum on Windows as a good starting point.