Visit the How to Mine Ethereum page for details on mining ETC. This article discusses mining Ethereum Classic.
The foundation of proof-of-work cryptocurrencies like Ethereum Classic is mining. By processing blocks of transactions and adding them to the blockchain, mining allows a cryptocurrency network to maintain network security.
The best way to mine some coins is through a mining pool, while others can only be mined standalone (solo). It is crucial to comprehend variables like hashrate and mining difficulty before you begin for this reason. We give you a thorough rundown of these in this tutorial, demonstrating how to mine Ethereum Classic.
Breaking Down Ethereum Classic Mining
As soon as the primary Ethereum blockchain switches to its new Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, mining Ethereum Classic is expected to take off significantly. It’s possible that many Ethereum miners using PoW setups will have to switch to the ETC blockchain. In-depth explanations of Ethereum Classic mining, including an explanation of its Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism, are provided in the sections below. We also draw attention to some restrictions on mining this coin.
What is Ethereum Classic Mining?
Similar to other Proof-of-Work (PoW) coins like Bitcoin and Litecoin, Ethereum Classic also depends on mining.
Being a decentralized open-source platform, its ledger is not under the control of a single centralized organization. In this instance, anyone is welcome to take part in the production of new coins, which is accomplished through a network of computers that concur on the accuracy of transactions and the subsequent production of new coins.
A miner needs to be the first to identify a particular value in a so-called “nonce” hash (code) in order to create a new block. To generate a block in the allotted 15 seconds, miners must perform a number of calculations while attempting to guess the nonce.
The next step is for the miner who finds this value to inform the other miners of the existence of the new block. The blockchain’s main chain then receives a new block, concluding the verification process. A block reward in the form of fresh ETC coins is unlocked by the miner who successfully solves the challenging computational problem. Transaction fees associated with the freshly mined block are another source of income for them.
Why Are Ethereum Classic Miners Important?
The network needs miners in order to be secure, and mining is the trustless, decentralized mechanism that Ethereum Classic uses to do so. To process transactions and defend the network against 51% (double spend) attacks, miners use their computing power.
A malicious actor must attempt to spend the same digital currency unit more than once in order for a double-spend attack to succeed. Attacks take place when a malicious miner rearranges the blockchain and steals money or spends what has already been spent.
Double-spends or 51% attacks are typically a problem for smaller blockchains with low hashrates or computing power. It is simpler for malicious actors to carry out a 51% attack when it is simple to amass more than half of the networks’ total computing power.
Blockchain networks depend on a decentralized network of miners to protect them from such disruptive attacks. Together, the miners are encouraged to identify legitimate transactions, with all erroneous ones being ignored. Giving miners a reward, such as new coin issuance, aids in compensating them and encourages them to keep exerting effort to secure the blockchain.
Ethereum Classic Mining Limitations
The maximum supply of Ethereum Classic was set by a vote in December 2017 to 210,700,000 ETC. As a result, the cryptocurrency adopted a monetary policy that stipulates that there will only ever be that specific number of ETC coins in circulation. There isn’t a single thing that can alter that or print more money to ease economic crises, as governments have recently done with fiat money.
With regard to ETC, brand-new coins enter the market every 15 seconds, and miner rewards for each block also gradually decline over time.
The Ethereum Classic protocol permits a 20% reduction in block rewards every 5,000,000 blocks, as opposed to Bitcoin, which experiences a 50% reduction in block rewards every 210,000 blocks. The reward was decreased by this amount once before, from 4 ETC to 3.2 ETC. The following block reduction, from 3.2 ETC to 2.56 ETC, is scheduled for block height 15,000,000. This is anticipated to happen in April 2022.
Tokenomics helps Ethereum Classic manage inflation, and it’s important to note that this mechanism operates within the confines of network difficulty protocol rules. It is possible to modify how challenging it is to discover a new block and add it to the blockchain using this feature of the mining process, which is also known as mining difficulty.
The difficulty adjusts up or down with the number of miners, going up if the number increases and down if it decreases. All of these things take place to keep the block generation time under the 15-second cap.
Technical Aspects of Mining Ethereum Classic Explained
It may be a little confusing to understand the technical aspects of cryptocurrency mining. It should be noted that one can still mine coins without getting too hung up on the technical details of mining. Hashrate and processing power, two essential components of mining, will be clarified in this section. The quantity of the latter required to mine Ethereum Classic is revealed below.
Hashrate Simplified for Ethereum Classic
How does hashrate work?
Simple computing power used by a network of miners to secure a blockchain is referred to as hashrate. The metric also gauges the processing power of a mining device and the speed at which a miner can determine and broadcast the right block.
How is hashrate calculated?
The number of calculations that can be performed in a second using the available computational power is taken into account when calculating hashrate, which is measured in hashes per second.
Common prefixes like K (kilo), M (mega), G (giga), or T (tera) are frequently used with hashrate.
- 1Kh/s means 1,000h/s
- 1 Mh/s means 1,000 Kh/s
- 1 Gh/s means 1 000 Mh/s
- 1 Th/s means 1 000 Gh/s, 1000,000,000,000 h/s
Terahashes per second (Th/s), 1 trillion hashes, and 1 quadrillion hashes are represented by gigahashes per second (Gh/s), Th/s, and Ph/s, respectively.
Why is a higher hashrate crucial?
High hash power makes it possible for miners to mine for new coins more efficiently. This also holds true for Ethereum Classic, whose mining has gotten harder and less productive for equipment with lower hashrates.
The Ethereum Classic network needs a high hashrate because more miners can contribute to network security when the hashrate is high.
Because of its overall hashrate being significantly lower than average, Ethereum Classic experienced two 51% attacks in 2019 and 2020, which allowed malicious actors to seize control and carry them out. Since then, the main Ethereum blockchain has stopped using PoW mining protocols, which has increased the hashrate and attracted more miners to the network. The network hashrate for Ethereum Classic is 8.18 T/s at the moment.
Processing Power: CPU & GPU
Processing power in mining refers to how quickly the processor of your computer works to acquire new coins. Your processor will likely provide you with more hashrate if it is more powerful.
Early cryptocurrency miners worked with the processing power of their consumer-grade computers. Therefore, starting to mine only required having a good central processing unit (CPU).
Processing power did rise as cryptocurrency drew more users and miners, though. Miners started using the graphics processing unit (GPU) as the CPU was no longer as efficient. These video cards had faster processing rates and are still effective for mining Ethereum Classic and other cryptocurrencies.
Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) were welcomed by the industry because some coins required hashrates that were significantly higher. These gadgets had mining speeds that were faster and used less power than GPUs. However, as the hashrate of the Bitcoin network increased exponentially, even that became insufficient, prompting the creation of even more potent mining equipment known as application-specific integrated circuit miners (ASICs).
ASICs are significantly more powerful than GPUs and can provide speeds of more than 100 Th/s. Following an explosion in mining difficulty for the majority of coins, CPU mining is now largely obsolete.
You should be aware that whether GPU or ASIC mining is something you’re thinking about, the equipment produces a lot of heat. You should examine your cooling system because it can mean the difference between mining that is profitable and equipment loss from overheating.
Hashrate Needed to Mine Ethereum Classic Profitably
An estimated 440 MH/s of processing power is required from a GPU mining rig to mine 1 ETC. The network hashrate for Ethereum Classic is 8.18 TH/s right now, which is quite low when compared to where it was in January 2020. However, with the introduction of Eth 2.0, Ethereum miners are expected to switch to ETC, which could result in a significant increase in hashrate.
DIY Ethereum Classic Mining – How to Get Started
The biggest challenge is figuring out how to start mining. Here, we examine how simple it is to set up a DIY Ethereum Classic mining operation, including information on the ideal hardware and software. Cost is a crucial issue, and we outline what you should consider before beginning.
Best Mining Hardware for Ethereum Classic
The GPU is currently the most widely used piece of equipment for mining Ethereum Classic. Since CPU mining has become obsolete, as was already mentioned, miners are looking for the best graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD. Let’s explain how Ethereum Classic’s upgrade, which altered its mining algorithm, explains why GPU mining of ETC is best.
Since its hashing algorithm depends on miners to secure the network, Ethereum Classic is a proof-of-work coin. The cryptocurrency’s initial mining algorithm, Ethash, saw the emergence of ASIC miners over time. Because of this, it was simple to rent hash power from NiceHash and use it to mine ETC; some bad actors used this to carry out double-spend attacks.
But in 2020, ETC developers modified the algorithm and added the Etchash consensus mechanism to prevent the use of specialized equipment in chain mining.
The modifications were made through the Thanos hard fork, which went into effect in November 2020. Ethereum Classic now makes it challenging to mine ETC with ASICs made for Ethash. It also meant that miners would not be able to purchase hashing power from NiceHash or other Ethash service providers to create ETC coins.
The DAG file for the network was noticeably smaller after the upgrade. The DAG’s reduced size allowed GPUs with 3 or 4 GB of RAM to create new blocks, and this process will continue until the file size forces users to upgrade.
High-end graphics cards with sufficient processing power for mining are the best GPUs in terms of hardware. The RTX 3090, GeForce GTX 1080, and GTX 1080 Ti from Nvidia are excellent options. AMD cards, such as the Radeon VII with up to 105 MH/s per GPU, can also be used for mining.
To put together a decent mining rig that will enable you to mine Ethereum Classic, you will need about 6 of these GPUs. Therefore, the price will depend on the graphics card, with prices ranging from $500 to over $3,500.
Other Costs to Be Considered
RAM is another requirement for the hardware, with the minimum amount being 3GB as mentioned above. You should add the cost of a power supply unit as another financial requirement. For instance, the cost of a basic 850 watt supply unit, like the Corsair HX, is $198; the price may go up if you require more than one. A motherboard and a cooling system are required in addition to that. Once the rig is installed, electricity costs will be incurred; to maximize profitability, it is recommended that you mine in an area with inexpensive electricity.
Once the hardware is configured, you are prepared to begin mining. Downloading and installing mining software is the next step. The two best software programs for ETC miners are GMiner and NBMiner. Ethminer, MinerGate, and Claymore Dual Ethereum are additional choices. Make sure the software is compatible with your GPUs and runs on the OS of your choice.
As soon as you have the mining software, sign up for a mining pool, after which you should configure it to include both your wallet address and the pool address. Top mining pools to take into account for ETC mining include Ethermine.org, f2pool, MiningPoolHub, Nanopool, and 2Miners.
Being the first to crack the mathematical conundrum and obtain the block reward is what makes mining a competitive activity. However, if you choose to go it alone, this can be very difficult and therefore unprofitable.
Why is it likely that this is the case? Your hashrate determines how successfully you mine, and the higher it is, the better your chances are of receiving the block reward. Therefore, a person looking to mine ETC with a basic GPU can still do so, but they would likely struggle to outcompete a large mining farm or pool vying for the same block of transactions. To mine Ethereum Classic as part of a mining pool is therefore the best option for you as a miner.
Mining pools are services that enable miners to pool their computing resources and mine ETC together. It differs from solo mining, in which you work by yourself. Consider it this way: your reward will be zero if you start mining and obtain no blocks.
In a mining pool, you receive a portion of the block rewards based on the amount of computing power you put into the mining operation. Your payout will be equal to 5% of the 3.2 ETC block rewards won if you contribute 5% of the hash power (plus transaction fees if the mining pool also distributes fee revenue).
Keep in mind that various mining pools offer various payout schedules. Many people use the pay per share (PPS) plan, which ensures that you will receive regular income whether or not the pool is successful in mining ETC. A full pay per share (FPPS) program is comparable to PPS, with the exception that miners also receive a portion of the transaction fees.
When selecting a mining pool, take into account the pool’s entry costs, overall hashrate, server locations, and active miners. A better choice is frequently provided by more decentralized mining pools, so keep an eye out for reviews from other miners as well.
If you’d like, you can also try Ethereum Classic cloud mining, which is useful for people who don’t want to buy hardware or find inexpensive electricity to reduce mining costs.
With the help of cloud mining services, you can purchase mining contracts that will have a third party handle the actual mining and maintenance of the mining equipment. This third party is a miner who operates sizable data centers and leases out their hashing capacity to mine ETC. Simply pay the contract fee to begin mining.
However, be aware of potential risks associated with unprofitable contracts and the fact that your contract is time-locked. Therefore, you are unable to withdraw from the agreement and are therefore likely to lose your money if prices fall significantly and your contract generates no profits.
Eobot is one of the top providers of ETC cloud services. Eobot has distinguished itself as a reliable cloud mining service for Ethereum Classic, despite the fact that there are other services that support a variety of coins.
It is simple to use, provides mining contracts at affordable prices, and consistently pays out. For a year, five years, or even ten years, if you like, you can purchase a contract to mine Ethereum Classic.