Hello everyone! Today we’re back again with a new episode of How to Mine Grin (we previously covered GrinGold Miner) - this time featuring Bminer which has a better hashrate for me when mining on Windows 10. With a single Nvidia 1080, I seen an increase of approximately 30% from 3.7 - 3.8 g/s on GrinGoldMiner 2.8b to about 4.8 - 4.9 g/s on Bminer v14.0.0. It was definitely worth it to move from GGM to Bminer.
However, note that when mining, it is still very important to see what you are getting on pool side vs miner side (eg. Bminer says 10 g/s, Pool on shows 8 g/s) which can mean that Bminer may be submitting solutions that are not valid to the pool. That would mean you are actually working at 8g/s instead of 10 g/s but as long as it is an increment over other miners, that should be fine.
Personally, Bminer has worked well for me despite some small discrepancies between miner/pool side. Alright now - enough talking and let’s get started!
This guide will show you how to get set up with Bminer, along with some tips and tricks to get your mining up quickly and smoothly!
What is Grin?
In short - Grin is a privacy coin that uses the MimbleWimble protocol and runs on the Cuckoo Proof of Work (PoW) cycle and is designed to be hard on memory, requiring miners to have cards with high memory capacity (eg. 1080 with 8gb vram). Also, Cuckoo PoW has 2 modes - c29 which favors GPUs, and c31 which favors ASICs. In this guide we will be focusing on c29 for GPUs as the ASICs have yet to be released.
What do I need to mine Grin?
Nvidia Cards: 1070, 1070ti, 1080, 1080ti, 2070, 2080
Note that it is reported that AMD cards do not work at the moment (gathered from many users over Discord), but stay tuned for updates!
Miner tools - See Step 1 below.
Overclocking tool - MSI Afterburner works fine to limit power and temperature (this is VERY important to protect your mining cards and optimize returns!)
Tested configuration - Power: 65% - 75%, Temp Limit: 70°C, Core: +100, Memory: +300; These are settings that has been stable for myself across 1070ti, 1080, 1080ti and where I am, ambient temperature is around 28°C so do adjust your settings lower/higher as needed.
Alright, let’s get started!
Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Grin Mining
Step 1: Download Bminer
Go to Bminer’s official release page and download the Miner. For our purpose, the third option bminer-lite (v14.0.0 at time of writing) will work just fine. Download the miner and extract it to any folder of your choice. It should be a folder with lots of .bat files.
Step 2: Pick a Pool!
Note (28/1/2019): F2pool (32%), Grinmint (16%), Sparkpool (32%) and Pool.BTC.com (17%) combined have about 97% of Grin network's graphrate - it is highly recommended that you try out different pools to distribute the graphrates more evenly. There also appears to be ongoing effort in Grin's official Discord calling for better graphrate distribution.
Check out the list of pools available along with its hashrate distribution here. For the purpose of this guide, I will be sharing my experience with pools I have personally tried:
F2pool (3% fee) - Pool is smooth and work reported is consistent between client/pool side. I have received payouts just fine directly to exchanges.
Sparkpool (1% fee) - Pool is smooth and work reported is consistent between client/pool side. I have received my payouts just fine directly to exchanges as well.
Grin-Pool.org (0% fee) - Pool is smooth, easy signup and work reported is consistent between client/pool side. Currently pays only via HTTP/HTTPS to grin-wallet (Here's how to set up a Grin wallet on Windows).
Step 3: Get set up!
3.1 Virtual Memory in Windows
Before mining Grin, you need to increase your Virtual Memory in Windows to at least 7GB x (# of cards), such that a rig with 2 cards will need at least 14GB - Follow the guide here.
3.2 Setting up Bminer config file (With Grinmint as example)
To better illustrate to process of setting up a config file, I will use an “actual” account to show the config:
Username/Email = firstname.lastname@example.org
Password = abc123$
Worker Name (optional) = Jin
Stratum Server = us-east-stratum.grinmint.com:4416
From there, setting up the Bminer config file is straightforward - just open up the mine_grin.bat file and edit the information as needed. For ours it’ll look like that:
START “Bminer Grin” bminer.exe -uri cuckaroo29+ssl://email@example.com/Jin:firstname.lastname@example.org:4416
However, the one catch with Bminer is that certain symbols/characters will have to be escaped using HTML URL Encoding. For your convenience i have included the HTML Encoding reference here so you can quickly lookup all the characters you need to escape. The characters to escape are all the symbols and in this example of ours, the “@”, “.”, “$” and “/” characters need to be escaped.
Final config file after escaping:
START “Bminer Grin” bminer.exe -uri cuckaroo29+ssl://cg%%40coingecko%%2Ecom%%2FJin:email@example.com:4416
If you do not need to set any worker, just omit the %%2FJin part such that:
START “Bminer Grin” bminer.exe -uri cuckaroo29+ssl://cg%%40coingecko%%2Ecom:firstname.lastname@example.org:4416
After that, save your file and you’re good to go!
Step 4: Start Bminer
If you’ve set it up correctly, once you double click you would be greeted with the following screen after a short wait:
If you don’t, move to Section 5. If you do, congratulations! You’re now mining successfully using Bminer. At the time of writing, Grin is traded at around $10 across more than 10 exchanges as tracked on Coingecko.
Step 5: Troubleshooting
If you run into errors such that Bminer instantly closes on start, you need to recheck a few things:
Have you tried restarting your computer? (I know I know, generic advice but sometimes it works. Computers are kinda magical!)
Did you set a large enough Virtual Memory Pool for the # of cards you have? See Section 3.1.
You may have missed certain characters and did not escape them correctly in your config file. Do check again!
Once again, we hope it’s a job well done from our part sharing this guide out with you. If it’s helpful, share it with your buddies who are also looking to get into mining Grin! Also, come chat with us on our Discord or Telegram (more social links below!).