What is Ethereum and why should you mine it?

By now, you’ve probably heard of Ethereum mining. It’s definitely the new hotness – the number of folks joining the fold has exponentially spiked over the last couple of months. Are you interested in jumping in? Still wondering what it is and why people are so excited about it? Read on…

What is Ethereum, anyway?

From the Ethereum website:

Ethereum is a community-driven project aiming to decentralize the internet and return it to its democratic roots. It is a platform for building and deploying applications which do not need to rely on trust and cannot be controlled by any central authority.

Want to try mining? Here’s how to get started.

The first step is to set up a wallet. You will need a wallet address to store Ether or make transactions. A wallet is essentially a log which keeps track of transactions between people. You can use online or desktop wallets to store this data. The easiest is going to be an online wallet. Two suggestions for an online wallet are MyEtherWallet and Coinbase. Though Coinbase may be easier to set up, MyEtherWallet allows for exporting to other applications. Once you get your wallet set up, download your keystore file. You will need to ensure you keep this file, and the generated private key.

You will also want to research and choose a pool. A pool is a collection of miners that are jointly working to solve a block faster than one single miner. By joining a pool, you can gain ether for blocks you help solve, rather than blocks you only solve on your own. There are many different public pools with different payoffs and percentages. Research pools to find one you are comfortable with. We chose ethermine.org for our short term testing.

Ethereum BG Image

Once all that is set up, you will need a system that supports a modern linux distribution and a modern GPU. We used our Tempest M2 system as a base which consisted of a Core i7-6700k, 16GB of Ram and a GeForce GTX 1070 GPU. CPU selection is not critical, so there is no reason not to get a more affordable CPU such as an entry level Celeron or Pentium. For Linux running at the command line only, you can get away with 4GB-8GB of ram.

Setting up the software

We installed Ubuntu 16.04 with the latest updates as well as the latest NVIDIA Driver:

sudo dpkg -i cuda-repo-ubuntu1404_7.5-18_amd64.deb
sudo apt-get -y install software-properties-common
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install git cmake libcrypto++-dev libleveldb-dev libjsoncpp-dev 
libjsonrpccpp-dev libboost-all-dev libgmp-dev libreadline-dev libcurl4-gnutls-dev 
ocl-icd-libopencl1 opencl-headers mesa-common-dev libmicrohttpd-dev build-essential cuda -y

We then installed the Claymore application for mining:

cd ~/Downloads
wget https://github.com/nanopool/Claymore-Dual-Miner/releases/download/v9.5/
sudo mkdir /usr/local/claymore95
sudo tar -xvf Claymore.s.Dual.Ethereum.Decred_Siacoin_Lbry_Pascal.AMD.NVIDIA.GPU.Miner.
v9.5.-.LINUX.tar.gz -C /usr/local/claymore95

We then created a script to set up claymore for mining:

cd /usr/local/claymore95
sudo chmod u+s ethdcrminer64
sudo nano mine.sh

We then set up the following in the mine.sh file:

export GPU_FORCE_64BIT_PTR=0
export GPU_MAX_HEAP_SIZE=100
./ethdcrminer64 -epool <Mining_Pool_Address> -ewal <Your_Ethereum_Wallet_Address>.
<Friendly_Name_For_Computer> -epsw x -mode 1 -tt 68 -allpools 1
Replace <Mining_Pool_Address> with the address of your mining pool
Replace <Your_Ethereum_Wallet_Address> with your Ethereum wallet address
Replace <Friendly_Name_For_Computer> with a name for your rig (e.g.: PogoMiner)

Be sure to chmod the file to allow executable permissions: “sudo chmod +x mine.sh
After that, just run the script and start mining! It will take some time for things to get going, and it is recommended to script this into a screen as well as auto startup if you plan on mining long term. Finally, be sure to check out the EtherMining subreddit. There is a lot of useful information there.

Do you have questions about Ethereum and the hardware to start your own mine? Please let us know.

Tempest M2 from Pogo Linux

To learn about how Pogo can help you tackle the technological challenges your organization is facing, please call us at 888-828-POGO, or email sales@pogolinux.com.

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