What is mining?
How to start mining?
- Getting started guides here.
- Watch our video guides for beginners here.
- You can also read our basic beginners guide here.
I am having problems connecting to the pool
Double check your settings against pool’s getting started page.
The pool isn’t showing my correct hashrate!
The pool has no idea what hashrate your miner is reporting, and that number, as far as the pool is concerned, is fairly meaningless. The pool displays your hashrate from submitted, valid shares. There are also several other reasons it could be showing up incorrectly. The most common reason is that you are trying to mine scrypt but forgot to include the -scrypt flag in your cgminer command line.
The only hashrate that matters is your accepted hashrate from the shares you submit. If you’re connected and submitting shares, if you think your hashrate seems low, and there do not seem to be any other obvious issues with the pool/website, the problem is most likely your miner.
My worker is being banned by your stratum servers!
That will only happen when you have a misconfigured cgminer/bfgminer where your miner sends problematic shares. Make sure you include -scrypt setting in your cgminer configuration.
What is a Orphan block?
Coins generated by a block will not be available to you right away. They will take some time to be confirmed by the entire network before you are allowed to transfer them out of the pool. Usually coins have a confirmation set to 120. What that actually means: the network (not the pool) has to discover 120 additional blocks on top of the one found by the pool to confirm it.
What is a share?
Finding blocks is not an easy task. Since it would take a really long time on some coins, finding a block is broken down into shares. Depending on the server side setting, each share can be a certain difficulty. The more difficult each share is to find by miners, the fewer total shares are required to eventually find a block.
On the server side, each share is checked against the coin daemon (a server side wallet with more features) if it is indeed a valid block solution. Every share computed has the potential to be a block solution. I will not go into details why this is, but rest assured that share estimates for blocks can sometimes be exceeded. In the long run though, shorter round with less shares than required will make up for those taking very long.
Keep in mind: shares are not blocks! Shares are part of a block and will count towards the block payout!
At times, you will see shares being rejected by the pool. This can happen if you try to send an outdated share right after a block was found. Stratum, a protocol used by a miner to request work from a server, is used for share submission and getting new work. It is very solid when it comes to avoiding rejects but they can still happen once in a while.
If you are seeing reject all the time, then something isn’t working right on your end. You may also notice that your hashrate on the pool website is not increasing while your invalid share count keeps climbing up. In that case turn off your miner and check your settings!
What is pool variance?
This is the variance caused by the pool being too small. Using a method with high pool-variance does no harm to large pools.
What exactly is VARDIFF?
Many users have inquired about what VARDIFF means. VARDIFF stands for Variable Difficulty. Simply put the pool monitors the power of your mining rig and adjusts the difficulty of work sent to it to optimize the work done. This reduces the times your client needs to get new work from the server reducing load and reducing the time it takes to get more work. This is also good for the pool as it reduces the amount of requests being done to the pool, this allows the pool to scale.
My difficulty jumps around, is this normal?
Yes, it is completely normal. The mining server monitors the work you are sending to the pool and if it feels you are sending work too fast or too slow it will “Retarget” your difficulty to best server your client at that time. This process is continual.
My share count has gone way up or down! Will I get paid less/more?
No! Every single share submitted is recorded on our system with the difficulty of that share. That share is then weighted for the difficulty done. When a block is found and the system pays out for that block, your shares are paid based on the difficulty of each one.
What is estimated paypout?
It is your estimated payout if a block is found at that time. This is an estimate according to your amount of shares submitted for the round(s).
I’ve been mining for X hours, when will I get paid?
Our pools use PPNLS share system in which your account balance will update once a new block is found after you started mining. See PPLNS entry in our faq to get more insight about it.
I’ve setup my payment address to a Cryptsy or another exchange hosted wallet but my coins doesn’t arrive
First and foremost, you shouldn’t be using Crypsty or another exchange as your payment address set into the pool. You are advised to install a local windows-qt client on your computer and set your payment address to that local wallet. You can then send your coins to exchanges using your local wallet.
That’s caused by a number of factors;
- First, most exchanges not allowing mined coins to directly send them.
- Second exchanges are mostly slow to process transactions. Especially Cryptsy is popular for slowly processing transactions and requiring you to create a ticket even for some coins
- If the exchange undergoes a maintenance period or stop accepting a specific coin, your sent coins maybe lost. (Cryptsy is again known for shutting down exchanges for coins without proper prior notification).
So as explained above, it’s quite problematic to you exchanges as your payout address and even more after our pools commit a transaction, technically there is no way for us to revert a transaction.
Remember, that if you still insist on using exchanges as payout addresses, basically it’s your responsibility to track your coins as stated in our Terms of Service.
What is PPLNS (in details)?
First of all if talking about PPLNS it is important to understand how it works. PPLNS is short for “Pay Per Last N Shares”. The current proportional reward system is round based. One round is the time between the first share after the last found block and the share which solves a block. PPLNS however means that we no longer consider valid shares of one round but we consider a number N of shares. No matter if they are part of the round or not. The number N is currently for each blockchain twice the difficulty (actually rounded down to an easy to calculate integer value).
Let me illustrate PPLNS using the image below. One round has an arbitrary number of shares which is solely based on sheer luck. On proportional reward system only shares of one round are considered for calculating rewards. However with PPLNS a quite constant number N of shares is considered for calculating rewards. This number N changes only with the difficulty. Please have a look at the image below:
As you know the number of shares needed to solve a block within a round is different. Round one and three needed (difficulty * 2) shares to be solved. Round two and four are quite short rounds. There were less than (difficulty * 2) shares nessecary to solve them. Round five however is a very long round which means the pool needed more than (difficulty * 2) shares to solve the block. From this follows that:
Rounds one and three are like proportional rounds. All of your shares from the given round are considered for reward calculations.
For rounds two and four shares from the previous rounds are considered for calculations as well (marked green). In other words: regardless of round boundaries we always consider the last (difficulty * 2) shares. Your portion of the amount of shares is used to calculate your reward.
Round five however is very long. In this round your lowermost shares (within the marked red part) are silently dropped if they are not within the last (difficulty * 2) shares.
Why do we need to switch the reward system at all?
PPLNS favors constant and/or occasional loyal pool members over pool hoppers. As you might have seen each time we find a LTC block the pools hashrate peaks instantly. This is due to pool hoppers starting to mine. They are betting for a “quick win” (like round two above) with low shares per round. If the round exceeds a certain amount of shares they “hop” to another proportional pool which started a new round more recently trying their luck on the other pool. This assures better rewards for pool hoppers over occasional or constant miners which are loyal to their pool. Pool hopping however implies that pool hoppers need to know when a round is started and how much shares are considered for reward. This is very easy with propotional reward system. Using PPLNS this is no longer true. On long rounds (like round five above) the pool hoppers shares won’t be considered for reward calculations in favor of loyal miners. This is due to the fact that pool hoppers only mine on the beginning of rounds. On short and normal rounds pool hoppers won’t loose their shares. But due to the fact that shares from previous rounds from loyal miners are considered twice (or even more often on extremely short rounds) the pool hopper won’t get the same reward as from proportional reward system.
I’m only an occasional miner. Will I loose shares if playing/being offline?
It depends. Even if you are a constant miner you’ll loose shares on very long rounds. On the other hand if you for example stop mining shortly before the end of round three from the image above you’ll be rewarded for round three. If you then start mining on the mid of round five you’ll be rewarded a bit for round four (despite the fact you haven’t submitted any shares as some of your shares from round three are considered for round four as well) and you’ll be fully rewarded for round five (you won’t loose any shares as you “skipped” the “red part” of shares which have been cut off due to the length of the round). The point however is no one (and thus the pool hopper as well) knows when a round ends in advance. Thus you deliberately can’t avoid cut offs. Sometimes you are lucky sometimes your are not. This however levels out over the time for non-hoppers. The important point is, that you as loyal pool member have an advantage over pool hoppers. Even if you are mining only occasionally in order to enjoy the silence within your mining room.
Isn’t it that you as pool operator earn more from PPLNS?
Short answer: No. As a pool operator I’ In fact for a pool operator it doesn’t matter at all which reward system is used. I expect rounds to become a bit longer after PPLNS is activated as the pool hoppers will start to avoid the Pool. Thus revenues for me will be lower. But there were some loyal pool members who clearly stated that they want to get rid of the pool hoppers and I respect their wish. Furthermore I’m too an occasional miner on the Pool as I don’t want the miners to be running at night and from time to time I need them to test new Pool versions on development systems. Thus being a miner like you I like PPLNS better than proportional. But speaking as pool operator there is no difference between the reward systems.
You can read more insights about payment systems here:
My account is locked. How can I unlock it?
Basically if your account get’s locked our pools will be sending your registered email address a message with instructions to unlock your account. So before creating a request for so, check your email!