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Beginner’s Guide to Litecoin Mining

You have heard of the extraction of Litecoin and you want to know more. This page is for you.

What is Litecoin?

Just like his older brother Bitcoin, Litecoin is an online network that people can use to send payments from one person to another. Litecoin is peer-to-peer and decentralized, which means it is not controlled by a single entity or government. The payment system does not manage physical currencies, such as the dollar or the euro; Instead, it uses its own unit of account, which is also called  litecoin (symbol: £ or  LTC ). This is why you will often see that Litecoin is classified as virtual  or  digital currency   . Litecoins can be bought and sold for traditional money to a variety of exchanges available online.

If you already know Bitcoin, Litecoin is very similar, the two main differences being that it has faster confirmation times and it uses a different hash algorithm.

What is mining?

Instead of having a central authority that ensures and controls the money supply (as most governments do for their national currencies), Litecoin disseminates this work through a network of “miners”. Miners assemble all new transactions appearing on the Litecoin network in large sets called  blocks  , which collectively constitute an authorized record of all transactions already carried out, the  chain of blocks .

The way Litecoin makes sure that there is only one block string is to create blocks that are really difficult to produce. So, instead of just being able to create blocks at will, miners must produce a cryptographic hash of the block that meets certain criteria, and the only way to find it is to try to compute several of them until that you are lucky and that you find the one that works. This process is called  hash  . The miner who successfully creates a block is rewarded with 25 freshly cooked litecoins.

Every few days, the difficulty of the criteria for the hash is adjusted according to the frequency of the blocks appearing, so that the competition between the miners amounts to more work necessary to find a block. This  network difficulty  , so called because it is the same for all minors, can be quantified by a number; At the moment, it is 977,949.

Should you Miss Litecoins?

Litecoin mining can be profitable, but only under certain conditions. At first, people could take advantage of mining with their CPUs and GPUs, but this is no longer the case today. The introduction of specialized mining equipment (commonly known as  ASIC  ), which can lead much faster and much more efficiently, has made search blocks much more difficult with general hardware.

If you compare the business cases of a CPU, a GPU and an ASIC, you will see that CPU and GPU costs far outweigh the rewards, and even with free electricity, the profits are so low that they are hardly worth the effort.

Unfortunately, the ASIC hardware is far from being a safe investment even. Potential buyers should be extremely cautious as different elements should be considered:

  • Power consumption:  You do not want to pay more for electricity than you earn in litecoins.
  • Difficulty of the network: the  difficulty will increase as more and more soon the miners will join the network, reducing your profitability. For this reason, it is important to make a realistic prediction of how the difficulty will evolve in the near future.
  • Low resale value:  ASIC hardware can bring litecoins extremely efficiently, but that’s all it can do. It can not be reinstalled for other purposes, so the resale value is very low.
  • Delays in delivery:  You do not want your equipment to be delivered months after you have bought it. In particular, there have been many horror stories about preordered mining equipment.

More importantly, always do your own research and never have confidence in a single source of information. The good starting points are LitecoinTalk.io and the / r / litecoin and / r / litecoinmining subbreddits.

You do not want to invest in expensive equipment? It is very good! Not everyone should be a minor. In fact, the easiest way to start with Litecoin is to buy some during an exchange.

What are the pools of mines?

As we saw above, finding a block is very difficult. Even with powerful hardware, it could take solo mining months, even years! This is why mining pools have been invented: by sharing their processing power, miners can find blocks much faster. Pool users win  actions  by submitting valid proofs of work and are then rewarded based on the amount of work they have contributed to solving a block.

The reward systems used by mining pools can be subdivided into proportional systems and pay-per-share systems.

  • Proportional systems are round: the pool waits until one of its users finds a block, and then distributes the reward among all its users, proportional to the number of shares submitted by each user. A purely proportional system can unfortunately be deceived (by  pool hopping  ), which is why more elaborate versions like PPLNS and DGM were invented.
  • In a pay-per-share (PPS) system, users are not rewarded based on the number of blocks detected by the pool, but rather on the amount of blocks that the pool should find given the work performed by its users. The pool pays a fixed amount of litecoins for each valid share that its users submit, depending on the mathematical laws of probability. The main advantage of this system is that users can benefit from regular payments and minimal variance, and must not wait for the blocks to be found and confirmed. The disadvantage is that the pool operator must take the risk of bad luck, so managing a PPS pool can be financially risky.

Choosing a mining pool can be a very personal decision, and several factors must be considered, including features, reliability, reliability and user support.

What software to use?

ASIC devices usually come with operating software preinstalled on an integrated controller and require little or no configuration. All the information you need to log in to the pool is available on our help page.

If you have decided to extract the CPU (just for fun, because, as we saw above, you will not make any profit), you must download the cpuminer from Pooler. GPU extraction is considerably more difficult to implement, and not much more efficient than extracting the CPU from ASICs. Therefore, unless you are a historian doing research on the early days of Litecoin, extracting GPUs is almost certainly a bad idea.

Litecoin Mining Tutorial

While it is now considered too late for fans without expensive ASIC processors to start extracting bitcoins, many of the alternative digital currencies are still well suited for retrieval on your home PC.

In this guide we will take into account all you need to know to start digging a few litecoins, feathercoins or dogecoins without costly additional equipment.

For the most part, cryptocurrents use SHA-256 or scrypt as their working proof hashing algorithm, but many of the more recent currencies have opted for scrypt.

Scrypt tends to be more intensive memory of both – however, personal computers with pretty powerful graphics cards can still MINE these cryptocurrencies in a very efficient way, as there are no dedicated ASICs to compete with – yet.

Perhaps surprisingly, it is still possible to use only the processor of your computer to extract some of the digital currencies. This is true, even if you only have a laptop with built-in graphics; Although this does not turn out to be terribly effective and is not a configuration we recommend.

Portfolios are ready

Before starting extraction, you will need a wallet to keep your hard earned coins (see our guide to stocking Bitcoin). A good option is to point you to the home page of the currency you wish to exploit and search the download link for the default portfolio application. If you want to do more research on litecoin specifically, we have a guide on how to get started.

If you need help and advice, most altcoins have community forums, as well as their own sub-program. The majority of portfolios are based on the original Bitcoin-Qt client. Be warned, however, that before these portfolios are really usable, you can face a long wait while the whole block string of the coin downloads.

The need for speed

Unless you have specific mining equipment, there are two ways to control cryptocurrences: with your CPU or with your graphics processing unit (GPU), which is located on your graphics card.

Of the two, a GPU offers much better performance for the required cryptographic calculations. However, if you make your first foray into mining and you do not have an animated soup computer – a laptop with built-in Intel graphics, maybe – it will still be possible to move these altcoins, but at a much slower pace.

Capturing with GPU exploration is that it requires a dedicated graphics processor, as you may have installed it in your desktop PC – the Intel integrated graphics found in most laptops just are not suitable to the job. To accelerate the respectable level, most altcoin miners build dedicated machines using motherboards that can accommodate multiple graphics cards, usually via riser cables.

Be aware that digital mining parts are very system intensive and can shorten the life of your electronic components. It is a good idea to ensure you have adequate cooling, monitor these temperatures and retain all warranties – just in case.

Solo, or with the crowd?

Mining can be a lonely business or you can join a mining “pool”, where a number of people combine their processing resources and all take a share of the rewards.

It may be useful to think that mining pools join a lottery syndicate – the pros and cons are exactly the same. Going alone means that you get the full benefit of your efforts, but by accepting reduced chances to succeed. Conversely, joining a pool means that the members as a whole will have a much greater chance of solving a block, but the reward will be distributed among all pool members, depending on the number of “winnings” earned.

If you are considering going alone, it is worth noting that configuring your software for solo mining can be more complicated than with a pool, and beginners would probably be better off taking the last route. This option also creates a more stable income stream, although each payment is modest compared to the full reward of the block.

Deciding that altcoin at the mine will be something else to keep in mind, however, some pools, like Multipool, handle this for you and change coins depending on profitability.

Installing Your Minor CPU

A handy software called cpuminer is the easiest way to start extraction, but requires the ability to use the command line on your computer. The program can be downloaded from SourceForge and is available for Windows (32 and 64 bit), OS X and Linux. However, for the purposes of this guide, we assume that you are using the Windows operating system.

First, download the appropriate file for your operating system. The zip file can be extracted anywhere on your hard drive, as long as you remember where it went. A good idea would be to create a “cpuminer” folder on your desktop.

Writing your script

So, how do you configure cpuminer with the settings needed for your crawl pool? Well, it’s usually simpler to write an online script (called “batch file” in Windows) to start the minor with the correct instructions.

To do this, you will need the following:

  • The full directory path in which the extraction program (“minerd.exe”) is stored (eg “C: \ cpu-minor-pooler”).
  • The “Stratum” URL of your mining pool server (eg “Stratum + tcp: // pool.d2.cc”).
  • The port number of your operating server (eg “3333”).
  • The user name of your mining pool (ex: “username”).
  • Name or number of your work (eg “1”).
  • Your worker password (eg “x”).

Now open Notepad or your favorite text editor. However, do not use a word processor such as MS Word. Then, enter the script using the following formula (note that this method assumes you are using a currency that uses the scrypt algorithm):

start “path” minerd.exe – URL-URL: PORT -a scrypt – – userpass USERNAME.WORKER: PASSWORD

So, using the above examples, you would have produced the following text:

start “C: \ cpu-minor-pooler” minerd.exe -url stratum + tcp: // pool.d2.cc:3333 -a scrypt -userpass username.1: x

Save this file with a “.bat” extension; for example: “my-mining-profile.bat”.

Once the batch file is saved, double-click it to activate the minor program. Your mining group will likely have a web interface and in a few minutes the website should show that your mining worker is active.

Now that you know how to extract with the processor, let’s look at the use of your GPU.

Configuring Your Minor GPU

For those who intend to operate with GPUs or USB scanning devices, cgminer is the program to use and can be downloaded from the developer’s website – unless you are a Mac user, in which case you will find unofficial binary files here.

The versions of cgminer following version 3.72 do not support scrypt extraction and GPU support has been removed in version 3.82. Therefore, the latest version is not necessarily the one to download. Instead, look for the version suited to your needs.

Again, in this example, we assume that you are using the Windows operating system. However, if you are using Linux or OS X, the command line arguments (that is, the parameters) are the same. In addition, the instructions below again ensure that you will extract a currency from scrypt.

Extract the software to an easily accessible folder, for example: “c: \ cgminer \”.

Before going any further, make sure your graphics drivers are up to date.

Then, press the Windows key with the “R” key, type “cmd” and press “enter”. This will open the control terminal. Use the “cd” command to change the directory to the zip file of cgminer.

Then type “cgminer.exe -n”. This lists all known peripherals on your PC. If your graphics card is detected, you should be ready to go. If this is not the case, you will have to search for the steps necessary to properly configure your specific graphics card.

You will now need details of your operating pool, just as in the CPU extraction section above:

  • The full directory path in which the extraction program (“minerd.exe”) is stored (eg “C: \ cpu-minor-pooler”).
  • The “Stratum” URL of your mining pool server (eg “Stratum + tcp: // pool.d2.cc”).
  • The port number of your operating server (eg “3333”).
  • The user name of your mining pool (ex: “username”).
  • Name or number of your work (eg “1”).
  • Your worker password (eg “x”).

Now, let’s do a batch file again, so start Cgminer with the correct parameters. In this case, the control structure is:

Start “path” cgminer – scrypt -o URL: PORT -u USERNAME.WORKER -p PASSWORD

For example,

Start “C: \ cgminer \” – scrypt -o stratum + tcp: // pool.d2.cc:3333 -userpass username.1: x

Watch your minor

Now, the extraction software of choice is configured, you will see different statistics moving on your command line terminal. If you use cgminer, you will see more information than you would with cpuminer. In the case of the first, you will see information about the currency and the mining group, as well as about your mining equipment. If you use cpuminer, you will only see the references to the blocks that your PC has solved; although, at least, shows your hash speed.

Maximize your power

Good news for miners who own PCs with dedicated graphics cards: it is possible to run both cpuminer and cgminer at the same time. To make this possible, add an “- threads n” argument to the minerd command. Here, “n” represents the number of CPU cores you want to use for mining.

Do not forget to leave one or two cores free to control your GPUs. Setting the minerd to use all CPU cores means that the CPU will be too busy to send data to the GPU for processing. For example, if you have a quad core CPU, try setting the “-threads” argument to “2” or “3”.

Mining with GPU and CPU simultaneously reveals how many better GPUs are operating on the CPU. Compare the hash rates shown in the terminal windows for each of your mining programs and you should see at least five times the hash speed difference.