With the bear market reaching its exhaustion point, many cryptocurrency enthusiasts are looking to accumulate digital assets at the lowest prices they have been all year. This can be seen as a move to increase the overall value of their portfolios, maximizing gains when the market moves upwards.
However, there exist a group of enthusiasts who look to support the ecosystems of their favourite coins and profit off the process. This can be achieved by engaging in the mining process for mineable cryptocoins, which adds to the hashrate of the network while providing users with newly minted coins for trading or saving.
Many mining pools have recently had their reputations tarnished, which comes after a catastrophic drop in the hashrate, and hence mining difficulty, of top cryptocurrencies. This opens up the market for a player to offer easily accessible, simple to use and innovative solutions to engage in the mining process. Enter MinerGate.
MinerGate is a mining pool created by a group of cryptocoin enthusiasts and is the first pool that provides services for the merged mining of multiple cryptocurrencies. This effectively means that users can mine different coins at the same time without the decrease of hashrate on the primary coin. This ensures that users can mine the coin that they want, with added profit from the secondarily mined coin.
The service supports Zcash [ZEC], Ethereum [ETH], Bitcoin [BTC], Litecoin [LTC], Bytecoin [BCN], Monero [XMR], Monero Original [XMO], Bitcoin Gold [BTG], DigitalNote [XDN], QuazarCoin [QCN], Fantomcoin [FCN], MonetaVerde [MCN], AEON Coin [AEON], Dashcoin [DSH], Infinium-8 [INF8]. The service supports Nicehash, Silentarmy and Claymore miners for ZEC, EWBF-miner and Claymore miners for BTG, and the official Ethereum client Ethminer and Genoil miner for ETH.
The service has an application which offers a benchmark function that is designed to determine how suitable users’ computers are by measuring their mining potential. Utilizing calculations based on a revolutionary algorithm, the benchmark can predict the possible annual outcome based on several variables. Some of these variables include currencies’ fluctuations over the last year, their exchange ratio for the moment of benchmarking, and network difficulty.
The pool has also introduced the xFast miner with their recent upgrade, which has significantly increased the mining speed for each of the 10 cryptocoins supported by the service. This also comes chock full of usability and user interface improvements, with both CLI [Command Line Interface] and GUI [Graphical User Interface] version available for download. It has also has increased hardware support in order to keep up compatibility with the ever-changing GPU market.
MinerGate also offers users with the ability to secure their accounts with 2 Factor Authentication, which offers maximum security for enthusiasts wishing to use the service. The service offers payouts in two methods, namely PPLNS [Pay Per Last N Shares] and PPS [Pay Per Share] in order to allow users the freedom of choice between the two methods.
PPLNS calculates payouts while including a “luck” factor, which means that users can have a large range of payouts on the service. PPLNS earns more than PPS on a longer-term basis, which is defined as a month or more. PPS is more straightforward and allows users to get a standard payout rate for each share completed in mining. While this method does not include the “luck” factor that is present in the other method, it is 5% less profitable per share and a set number of coins for each share of work solved.
The pool has over 3.6 million users, with 400,000 of those being active users. They also boast of a 99.7% uptime and the best terms for mining, including withdrawals as low as 0.01 coin. Moreover, their automine capabilities make sure that users squeeze the most profit from their mined coins.
They also offer users with a mining profitability calculator for Ethereum. Cryptonote, Scrypt and Equihash algorithms. It also has fees as low as 1% for the pool confirm fee, along with the ability to merge mine multiple coins together for added profit.
While the service has now dropped support for XMR merge mining with XDN and FCN due to the recent ASIC-resistant changes made in the mining algorithm of the coin, it is now possible to mine XMO. This means that 2 currencies are being mined at the same time, without impacting hashrate on the main chain and hence bringing extra profit for the user.
They have also recently announced support for the #1 cryptocurrency with a newly opened mining pool for BTC. This utilizes a revolutionary feature known as dynamic difficulty change, which allows for the changing of computational complexity depending on the exact hardware possessed by the user.
This pool is also compatible with Nicehash and is based on highly secured pool servers located in Europe, China, and the United States with 99.99% uptime.
The pool gained prominence due to its CPU-mining adaptability, which allowed thousands of hundreds of cryptocurrency enthusiasts to effectively mine coins on decent home PCs. Effectively subverting the dominance of powerful mining farms, MinerGate decentralizes and gives back the power of mining to the people in a privacy-focused and groundbreaking manner.
AMBCrypto reached out to Claude Lecomte, CEO of MinerGate to clarify doubts about the service.
Q: What has been the most difficult aspect of the mining industry to come to grips with? How have you dealt with this?
I think we all are witnessing an amazing moment in the history of mining. We all learned that every industry had to live through this kind of moment when it evolved from being wild and spontaneous to becoming stable and professional.
With traditional markets, it’s a moment when the players started forming associations, setting internal rules and signing global agreements. We see examples in the blockchain industry as a whole (with institutional investors and governments becoming more and more involved). And mining, being a basement of the whole blockchain industry, has to go through this moment either. But we are decentralized – so what do we have to do? This is the main challenge.
To keep this industry as live and vibrant as it has been, to make it professional – and stay decentralized. I’ve been thinking pretty much about the forces that will transform the market and who will lead these forces – and I believe that Minergate will play a significant role.
Q: Given the current bearish conditions, and the across the board decline relative to where the cryptomarket was this time last year, are people still mining? And what costs are miners looking at today?
That crypto kind of gold rush we could observe a few years ago now goes much more stable. Mining reflects the bigger trends of the whole crypto market – you see that the absolute numbers of the newcomers to the market are getting lower. But at the same time we see quite a stable loyalty trend, that the number of participants constantly involved in mining stays relatively the same. Also we see a constant increase in the network hashrate which means more hardware involved. Shortly speaking, main coins network hashrate growth for about 30% for the last six month. Due to protocol design, the difficulty is adapting to total hashrate maintaining constant block rate. Which natively leads to lowering the income per hashrate. On average, the profitability of mining XMR fell by 38% over the past six months to 0.6 USD per 1 Khash/s, the profitability of mining BTC fell by 60% over the past six months to 0.22 USD per 1 Thash/s. For sure it depends on other conditions – electricity price, rent price, hardware design, other costs and could fluctuate a lot.
So yes, people are mining, and I am absolutely sure that people will be mining. And I think there is a lot more room for market growth at the moment.
Q: Who is leading the pack in terms of crypto mining companies?
There’s no surprise that companies who dominate this market are those who provide the best service and those who also lead the innovation. I see that the innovation is based on three key factors here – user experience, computation optimization and collaboration.
An excellent user experience is about simplifying the process of interaction with your product. Our customers make just three clicks to start mining – which is definitely less than with any other mining application.
Computation optimization is the second factor. We do a lot of research to find ways to utilize hardware more efficiently. We maintain our own test mining environment with more than 100 of different hardware devices to test all the corner cases. Last week we have released our brand-new xFast miner which provides the best hashrate on the market for Cryptonight-based coins like Monero or Bytecoin on all major hardware devices [both CPU and GPU].
The third key to success lays in collaboration. Those who will be able to straighten their users’ journey, the way the customers interact with cryptocurrencies, will win. Recently we’ve achieved a great agreement with Freewallet, the digital cryptocurrency wallet. This partnership allows our users to transfer coins to Freewallet ecosystem without any fees – in an offchain manner – which could save a lot for our customers, especially retail ones.
Q: Do you consider it necessary to reach out to lay people – those of us who don’t own ASICs, or have a basic knowledge of mining technique – and get them involved in mining? How do you go about doing that?
Mining is about decentralization, and for sure we need to engage retail customers into the mining industry. As I have already said, mining is profitable, and, as retail miners usually don’t have any costs on hardware, for them it’s only about the cost of electric power.
If you have hardware staying without load time to time – what’s the reason not to contribute to the global idea of financial freedom and independence getting some coins as a reward? I keep saying that mining is about people – from those who started it many years ago, to those who recently joined. From those who keep supporting and maintaining mining farms to those who work hard to develop the products, both hardware and software. What could we do for retail customers? The main idea is to lower the barriers, adapt to customer need – for example, allow the client to mine with a schedule, spent mined coins without network fees by offering off-chain solutions.
Q: On a whole, how would you describe MinerGate as a business? How many miners do you guys serve right now?
Minergate is one of the largest and oldest mining pools – we have more than 3,6 million users worldwide who use our software for mining cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Monero, Zcash, Ethereum or FantomCoin. We have been working on this market since its early days and have witnessed its development, as it was becoming mature and grow to its current state. As a service Minergate diversify user risks associated with the time needed to find a block with a relatively low hashing power. Aggregating hashing powers from multiple users allow the pool to find a block much faster. The reward for block found is then split between all miners participated. Pool receive a small fee for taking some risks on delivering the block solutions to the network in time.
Q: Tell the readers of AMBCrypto several words about yourself and your way to mining?
My way to mining started on a balcony of my apartment and in the basement of my friend’s house. We started in 2011 to follow that spirit of financial freedom and independence – and, of course, to make some money. As for the idea of a mining pool – well, I think it has always been there since we bought our own ASIC in 2013. That time it looked like a promising business and a lucky chance to make history. Almost then I got excited about the concept of security that got embodied by Monero, so Monero became my passion. So that’s how I founded Minergate in 2014.
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