What is Cryptocentralized?
Cryptocentralized is a PPLNS (Pay Per Last N Shares) mining pool that hosts multiple individual cryptocurrency pools. Each pool is dedicated to a single cryptocurrency and may use a different algorithm for mining, such as Scrypt or SHA-256. With each share that your miner produces the corresponding amount is credited to your account, denoted by the miners address. This is also what is used to connect to the pool. The amount credited to your account will be determined by the miners hashing speed, the difficulty assigned to it by the pool and the time spent mining. A higher difficulty will be awarded to miners with a larger hashrate as this allows a constant stream of shares to be produced (the pool aims for 15 seconds per share). Once your account balance is greater than the pools payout threshold a payment will be made to the miners address, which is again the account number. Please make sure you use the correct address when connecting to the pool as payouts cannot be undone. The address must also be compatible with the pools coin. Eg, if you are mining Bitcoin make sure you enter a Bitcoin address rather than an Ethereum address or the payouts will fail.
What is Mining?
Mining is the process of upkeeping the network for a given cryptocurrency. All cryptocurrencies are based on a similar blockchain technology that uses:
- Block Rewards
- Network Difficulty
- Block Time
- Block Size
- Network Hashrate
- Confirmation Time
- User Transactions
You can think of a Block as an empty space that has the ability to be filled up to a certain limit which is constrained by the Block Size. User Transactions are what fill up each block and when the Block is full or the Block Time is reached a new Block will be created. There may be hundreds or thousands of Transactions in each Block which can total from a very small amount of the Coin to a very large amount. Each Transaction may have a different size and take up more of the Block. Once a Block is full it can then be mined by users and this is when Network Difficulty and hashrate come into play. Network Difficulty is how hard it is to find the Nonce in the Block. The Nonce is the correct solution of that particular Block and when it is found the Block will then be successfully mined and pass into an unconfirmed state. However, the higher the Network Difficulty the harder it is to find the Nonce of each Block and hence a larger Hashrate is needed. When a Block Nonce is found the Block Reward is released into the Network and paid to the miner/pool who found it. The Block Reward is a way of slowly releasing more coins into the network without saturating it too quickly. Hence the harder the Network Difficulty the less Block Rewards occur as less Block Nonces are found. The Block will remain in an unconfirmed state until more Blocks are mined and the Confirmation Time is reached. Only then does the Block pass to confirmed and the Transactions within the Block are confirmed. The process will then be repeated again. Fees will be charged each time you create a Transaction. When creating a Transaction you may elect to pay more in Fees as it gives a precidence to your Transaction and allows it to be processed more quickly. This is the basis of mining and how Blockchain Technology works, but can be applied to more than just a cryptocurrency.
Why Are There Different Algorithms?
There are many different Algorithms in the Cryptocurrency world and each is used for a particular reason as some are more suited for faster Transactions, more stable Blockchain, Smaller Blockchain Size or may be more resistant to Network Attacks. These are just some examples and it is wise to read through the properties of the Coin you plan on mining as it is a good idea to know why this particular coin is good or bad. Some Algorithms are also made for ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) which specialises in mining a particular Algorithm. This produces a much larger Miner Hashrate with a smaller power usage. Algorithms like this include SHA-256, Scrypt and X11. There are also some Algorithms that are ASIC resistant and must be mined with either a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) or a CPU (Central Processing Unit). The result of this is to give the standard user more of a chance at finding a Block as the playing field as been evened.
How Do I Start Mining?
If you are new to the mining process i recommend you stay away from Algorithms that support ASIC miners as this requires hardware which is not common and sometimes quite expensive. It would be more beneficial to mine an Algorithm that resists ASIC miners and supports GPU and CPU mining, as your hashrate will have more of an effect. Many desktops have a GPU installed and will allow you to grasp the concept of mining and explore what it has to offer. It will not have a large hashrate unless it is a gaming computer with a beefy GPU installed. Algorithms that support GPU mining include Lyra2Rev2, Groeslt and CryptoNight and many others. The first step is to decide which coin to mine. Cryptocentralized supports Strak, Groestlcoin, ZCash and Monero for GPU and CPU mining. Once you have selected a coin it is time to findout what hardware is inside your computer. The GPU will either be made by AMD(Radeon) or NVIDIA. Once you have worked this out it is time to select a mining software that supports you chosen coin. The most popular mining software include SGMiner and CGMiner, which support a range of Coins and Algorithms. After the mining software has been downloaded it is time to create a .bat file to store your settings. An example:
- sgminer.exe -k lyra2rev2 -o stratum+tcp://www.cryptocentralized.com:PORT -u Miner_Address -p x
This example will mine any coin based on the Lyra2Rev2 Algorithm and uses the mining software of SGMiner. Remember to replace the port with the corresponding Coin port found in the Connect Page. After that it is time to enter in the miners address. This is where the payments will be made to so make sure you own the wallet and the Private Key. The password can remain blank as Cryptocentralized does not need this parameter. Save the file in the folder that contains SGMiner and make sure it is a .bat file. Open the file and a Command Line window will appear and show some settings and connection information. After a while you will see that the miner is allocated a difficulty and this may take a while as the pool adjusts it appropriately. After a while you will see "Share Accepted". Now you are mining :). After some time you may see "Share Rejected", dont worry this is common as occurs when your miner submits a share which is stale or has been submitted already. This is not an issue unless it occurs frequently. After 10 minutes check the miners progress in the Dashboard Page by copying and pasting your miners address. Make sure there is no space after the address as it will not work. In some cases it may take longer than 10 minutes if your hashrate is too small. Once you become more comfortable with mining you can start to customise the script above to squeeze out any extra hashrate. Go to the miner's software site to see the potential combinations.
My Miner Won't Connect!
If your command line states "stratum connection lost", "Connection not available" or anything similar it is more than likely something is wrong with your script. Double check all ports and connection info and retry opening the .bat file. If the issue still persists then start to take out any additional parameters until the mining software starts succesfully. Make sure the software you are using also supports the Coin you are trying to mine. If all else fails email a Cryptocentralized Admin at firstname.lastname@example.org. An abundance of rejected shares may also be due to a incorrectly configured script.