Note: This is a GrinGold miner guide, for Bminer refer to this guide.
Hello Everyone! At approximately 16:01 UTC 15/1/2018, the very much hyped MimbleWimble protocol enabled privacy coin Grin coin was launched. Since then, miners all around the world have been asking the same question: “How do I mine some Grins?” and today we’ll be covering some of the basics of mining Grin on Windows 10 with NVIDIA GPUs.
A step by step run down will be given and if you follow them, you should be able to mine just fine and leave with a Grin 😀 on your face.
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. Nvidia 1070/1080 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, 2080ti
AMD Cards: 570, 580, Vega56, Vega64
Note that it is not an exhaustive list, but if you have the cards above it should work.
1. Miner tools - See Step 1 below.
2. Overclocking tool - MSI Afterburner works fine to limit power and temperature (this is VERY important to protect your mining cards and optimize returns!)
3. Tested configuration - Power: 65% - 75%, Temp Limit: 70°C, Core: +100, Memory: +300; These are settings that has been stable for myself across 1070ti - 1080tis 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: Downloading a miner
In this guide, I will only be covering GrinGoldMiner (GGM), which has been used since the testnet times to mine, and has been stable for me with no crashes, however do experiment around yourself to see what works. Download here (Reminder: ONLY download from official Github Sources!).
Other miners to choose from (untested by myself at time of writing, but others have used them with varied success rates):
Bminer: Official Miner
MinerBabe: Official Miner
Step 2: Choose a pool!
Note: While it's always tempting to mine at the largest pools, it's a better idea to spread out Grin network's graphrate - 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:
Grinmint (0% fee) - Pool is smooth and work reported is consistent between client/pool side. Payouts received fine in the form of email payouts (payout guide).
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) but I'm pending coins maturity so it will be updated again shortly!
Other pools to consider, which have not been tried yet are pool.btc.com, Luxor Pool, and more over at Mining Pool Stats for Grin-c29.
Step 3: Get set up!
3.1 Virtual Memory in Windows
Before running GGM, you need to increase your Virtual Memory in Windows to at least 7GB x (Number of cards), such that a rig with 2 cards will need at least 14GB - Follow the guide here.
3.2: Stratum Addresses
Once you have downloaded GGM, extract the file and run GrinGoldMinerCLI.exe, which should load up the following window for you after a short period of waiting:
Depending on the mining pool you wish to join, select either  or any of the ones from [2 to 5]. Stratum addresses for Sparkpool and F2pool are:
Mainland China > grin.sparkpool.com:6666
Asia > grin-asia.sparkpool.com:6666
Europe > grin-eu.sparkpool.com:6666
US > grin-us.sparkpool.com:6666
No split between regions > grin29.f2pool.com:13654
For both Sparkpool and F2Pool, select "n" for TLS when prompted in GGM.
3.3: Config in CLI
After selecting your pools (skip to Section 3.4 for F2Pool), a series of instructions will appear and you can follow them. See below:
Enter your email (pool login) - Important to enter a working email as you will be using this to obtain payout on some pools (eg. Grinmint).
Enter your rig name - Any name will do. Just to differentiate your workers if you have multiple.
Enter your pool password - Enter a strong one. You will use it to request for withdrawal on some pools, and it is a good practice to only use strong passwords anyhow!
3.4: Config in CLI for F2Pool
For F2Pool, the configuration process is slightly different. Using your registered account, enter both your username.rigname under “Enter your pool login”, followed by password.
Once you’re done, press enter again and the window should close, and you’ll see a config.xml file appear in the same folder. You’re good to go!
Should you feel that you have entered something wrongly, simply delete the config.xml file and restart the process above.
Step 4: Mining!
Double click on GrinGoldMinerCLI.exe and you should see the following:
If you see the word “CONNECTED”, “ONLINE” and your card has a valid gps (hashrate), you’re mining fine! Log onto each site to check your stats:
GrinMint - Homepage, top left corner - enter your registered email address.
F2Pool - With the account you set up to mine, check under “worker” tab.
SparkPool - Homepage, middle - enter your registered email address.
If you’ve followed all the steps to this point, you’re done with 90% of the work. Just sit back and relax now! DO note that all mined Grins take approximately 24 hours (1440 blocks) to mature, so you’ll have wait a little for them sweet payouts!
The other 10% of the work? Withdrawing them! Each pool/exchange has a slightly different process so that’ll be a separate article - stay tuned!
What is the development like on ASICs for Grin?
Earlier today, David Vorick from Obelisk has just announced their support for Grin Obelisk ASIC miner - the GRN1. Check out the announcement here.
Where can I buy/sell Grin?
You can sell your mined Grin on one of the Grin exchanges. That being said, each pool has their own integration with exchanges to facilitate easy withdrawal. Pick the exchange that has the best volume and best reputation.
Useful links that are related to Grin coin & Grin mining
Grin Wallet Setup Guide: https://github.com/mimblewimble/docs/wiki/Wallet-User-Guide
Grin Wallet Downloads: https://github.com/mimblewimble/grin/releases
Grin Explorer: https://grinscan.net/
Grin Info & Price: https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/grin
Grin Official Website: https://grin-tech.org/
Grin Pool Comparison: https://miningpoolstats.stream/grin-c29
Grin Mining/Profit Calculator (Beta): https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/grin/mining_calculator
Jin is a Product Manager at CoinGecko. In his free time, Jin enjoys messing with crypto related stuffs on a slightly technical side and generally learns about crypto as he munches on snacks. Follow the author on Twitter @jin_8315