If you made it through the basics of getting your wallet setup, you are probably already hunting for a way to make some Monero. In the early days, it was possible for someone to solo mine and get some rewards. However, with today’s difficulty, it is nearly impossible to get something from solo mining unless you have dropped some serious $$ on hardware and can generate a couple of Megahashes or so. The only option for many of us is to join a pool.
Pools work as a collective, a bunch of people “pool” their resources together to help the collective group find a block faster. They are then rewarded on the block based on their contribution. The more you contribute, the bigger your cut.
Now, joining a pool is easy, very easy. All you have to do is point your mining application towards their address and you are in. However, the tricky part is getting a mining application, configuring it, and making sure it is working correctly.
I couldn’t even begin to tell you the number of mining apps out there for you to choose from, there are a ton. Here are some of the more popular ones.
Just as a note: Creating these applications is not easy work, it takes skill and time. With that said, most of these will utilize a developer fee. This means, that if the developer takes a fee of 1% your mining application will mine for 36 seconds each hour for that developer.
This is my current “miner” of choice. It operates efficiently and provides both CPU and GPU mining from a single source, while providing a collective total of your hashing. XMR-Stak is a universal Stratum pool miner. This miner supports CPUs, AMD and NVIDIA GPUs and can be used to mine the cryptocurrency Monero and Aeon.
DEV FEE: 2%
- support all common backends (CPU/x86, AMD-GPU and NVIDIA-GPU)
- support all common OS (Linux, Windows and MacOS)
- supports algorithm cryptonight for Monero (XMR) and cryptonight-light (AEON)
- easy to use
- guided start (no need to edit a config file for the first start)
- auto-configuration for each backend
- open source software (GPLv3)
- TLS support
- HTML statistics
- JSON API for monitoring
- XMR STAK: https://github.com/fireice-uk/xmr-stak
- Download from our Forums: http://forums.computingondemand.com/files/file/50-xmr-stak/
Claymore’s CPU and GPU Miner
While Claymore currently (at least at the time of writing this) doesn’t offer an integrated miner that mines on both your GPU and your CPU their apps are easy to use and require far less tinkering to get the most out of your hardware than the likes of XMR-STAK. Getting them going requires only some modifications to a simple batch file and you are off and running.
DEV FEE: 1% on TLS, 1.5% Unsecured
- GPU Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=638915.0
- CPU Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=647251.0
sgminer is another one of those very easy to use applications. Configure everything within a batch file and the miner will go to work. This is a multi-threaded multi-pool GPU miner with ATI GPU monitoring, (over)clocking and fanspeed support for scrypt-based cryptocurrency. It is based on cgminer by Con Kolivas (ckolivas), which is in turn based on cpuminer by Jeff Garzik (jgarzik).
DEV FEE: 2%
XMRig is a high performance Monero (XMR) CPU miner, with official support for Windows. Originally based on cpuminer-multi with heavy optimizations/rewrites and removing a lot of legacy code, since version 1.0.0 completely rewritten from scratch on C++.
- CPU: https://github.com/xmrig/xmrig
- NVIDIA: https://github.com/xmrig/xmrig-nvidia
- AMD: https://github.com/xmrig/xmrig-amd
- High performance.
- Official Windows support.
- Small Windows executable, without dependencies.
- x86/x64 support.
- Support for backup (failover) mining server.
- keepalived support.
- Command line options compatible with cpuminer.
- CryptoNight-Lite support for AEON.
- Smart automatic CPU configuration.
- Nicehash support
- It’s open source software.
DEV FEE: 5% or down to 1% through command line switch (–donate-level)
Finding a Pool
Once you pick the application you want to mine with, you have to decide what pool you want to join. Pools are plenty, but there are some things that set them apart. Some of the considerations to be aware of are the pool fee, the number of miners on the pool and the pool’s overall hashrate.
A pool with a high hashrate means that it will most likely be finding blocks pretty quickly. Although this is great for the pool, the individual with a low hashrate will get a very small piece of that pie. If you join a smaller pool, you may find blocks at a slower pace, but your share may be bigger. Overall, it is generally the same, but joining a smaller pool does benefit the community. Smaller pools help to support the community by sustaining “nodes.”
Nodes participate in the Monero network and secure transactions by enforcing the rules of the network. Nodes download the entire blockchain to know what transactions have taken place. Nodes assist the network by relaying transactions to other nodes on the network. Nodes may also choose to contribute to the Monero network by participating in crafting blocks (this is called mining).
Personally, I have been mining at two different Monero pools and I can recommend both of them highly. Monerohash.com and SupportXMR.com. I have had no issues with payouts and the pools haven’t had any downtime.
Some of the more notable and recommended pools: