FAQ

Welcome to our FAQ Guide, please use the side menu button above to view the full list of content.

The Basics:

If you already have a Rig or you have a relatively recent GPU, you use for gaming you are good to go! Check out our Getting Started page for instructions on how to get the right mining software for your hardware, and how to connect to MineZ.Zone, we have also added a batch file generator to assist with new setups and to make it easier to connect to the pool. If you have any questions or issues, please feel free to email us or reach out on discord.

(i.e. Best results NVidia 10 series cards or AMD 4xx/5xx and Vega cards. Note; earlier model cards may be able to mine also)



Getting Setup & Hardware Required:



For getting a basic setup running (in terms of relatively easy to build/plug and play hardware) - NVidia 1070 mining rigs are likely your best option at the moment. Be mindful NVidia 1070/1080 cards can be significantly more expensive to purchase than AMD cards.

NVidia cards perform extremely well mining equilhash coins. AMD cards are often a little cheaper than their NVidia counter-part cards. Another small advantage of AMD GPU’s it the ability to BIOS mod them. The 4xx/5xx series cards can be tuned to run at a lower power consumption and is offset by overclocking. This allows the cards to achieve decent hashing results with lower power costs. It’s important to consider AMD GPU’s can be a little more difficult to setup as they often require a particular driver version to function at their best performance. Not mention things get a little more complicated (driver/setup wise) when running rigs with more than 5 AMD GPU's.

Too run multiple GPU's you will need a decent motherboard that supports the amount of power you will be putting through its PCI lanes. I recommend at a minimum a 1151 intel socket chipset board. At the minimum I would suggest a Z270-P board however many motherboards can function in mining rigs; DYOR.

Your CPU is not too important for GPU mining, generally you can get away with whatever the cheapest Intel 1151 socket CPU you can you find. A single stick of DDR4 RAM/Memory (4gb or higher) will suffice for mining. Another big cost of setting up your miner is purchasing a decent and reliable PSU Depending on the number of GPU’s you will be running you may likely need an 1000w+ Platinum or Gold ratted PSU. as for a mining rig open air case you should look at designs online and build to what suits your location and needs.

The biggest thing to consider when new to mining is often the cost of power ($ per kw). Power can cost an exuberant amount of money depending on your country, and its costs can often eat into the profitability of mining. Once you factor hardware costs, and the current market price of the coin you choose to mine you will see that it may significantly impact your time to ROI (return on your investment).




Renting & Hiring Miners?

This is not a bad option and can help you boost your hash rate, or provide hashing power when you don't have a rig to mine. Before renting a rig you should work out the cost of hiring a miner for whatever period of time you are looking at. You should also take a look at our pool graph stats page to get a better understanding of how regularly we solve blocks for the coin you are looking at mining.

Please be mindful that minimum payments for all coins on MineZ.Zone are 0.1 coins. Also please read over how PPLNT shares work to ensure your rented hash doesn’t cease during a long round, and you don’t miss out on any potential earnings.

Next you should look at WhatToMine or Crypto Coinz to get a rough estimate of your suggested profit (use this calculator site for working out potential profit for any non-rented rigs too.)

Finally, before deciding to rent you should look to then compare the cost spent on renting a rig vs buying the coins outright on exchange. You may find its more profitable to buy coins on an open market as opposed to renting hash to mine them.




What Difficulty Should I Choose?

Often we are asked by our miners what difficulty setting should be used for mining. Traditionally mining difficulty has always been something set by mining software as opposed to hardware (GPU’s or ASICS) and is a tool to reduce bandwidth for larger miners (often mining farms).

Selecting and setting the difficulty low for your hardware has the imposed risk of causing bandwidth problems for both the miner and the pool operators. Setting a higher difficulty setting for your hardware causes no potential bandwidth or communication issues (stale/rejected shares) however the higher the difficulty is set, the more variance your payouts will see (i.e. your pay will fluctuate more) but it will average out to the same pay over time. Higher difficulties reduce the amount of bandwidth being sent between your miner and the pool and as such shares are found less frequently when initially starting your miner.

We take guessing out of difficulty settings for our miners; MineZ.Zone uses an automatic difficulty adjustment algorithm designed to quickly reduce or increased the required difficulty of any miners pointing their rigs at our servers. When starting to mine you may see a large influx of shares with our default difficulty setting (please read our FAQ on shares); this is your miner automatically adjusting to your appropriate difficulty; over a quick period of time your miner will automatically adjust to the appropriate difficulty based on your hash rate. These shares are not as valuable as full shares and manual difficulty adjustment is often used as a method of reducing the number of these “spam” or lower value shares your miner submits.

For any miners with multiple rigs or larger, or anyone interested in changing their difficulty we provide multiple ports for our more advanced users to connect too listed on our getting started page.

When mining started to grow back towards 2011, it became increasingly difficulty for miners to communicate over the internet using HTTP and a few solutions had come and gone already. Essentially 100’s to 1000’s of individual pings to a server requesting information every few seconds is in its own sense a DDoS attack. Stratum was introduced in late 2012 as a mining specific protocol. We offer multiple stratum ports for miners to connect too if they wish to pick a specific difficulty. Our pool also offers SSL ports for miners looking for further security. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.


What is the PPLNT payout system?

PPLNT (Pay Per Last and Time) Proportional Payouts, with a twist to protect you

As in previous FAQ answers we explain a round is the time from when the pool found the last block until when the pool finds the next block. If the length of a round is shorter this is usually a sign there is a higher the hash rate on the pool. As with all pool mining and mining in the real world there is a luck factor involved in the length of round. Over a longer period of time the average length of a round is predictable.

(This is shown in our “Luck stats" on our graph stats page)

Payments are calculated with your total contributed shares being made proportional based on the last 51% of the round. Shares that were earned before the last half the round are given less value. The older a share the less value they have. If you have mined the entire round or mined for the last 51% you will receive a full proportional award. The reason this system is in place for our miners is to reduce the potential for individuals to pool hop and to ensure miners who have mined for an entire round are awarded and paid fairly based on their contribution to the round vs. a miner that has joined in the last 10% of a round

If a miner chooses to join the pool at the beginning of a round and consistently leaves part way through a round to mine on another pool, then under an equal proportional payout system they would receive an unfairly high payout at the expense of the miners who have been loyal and mined the entire round with our pool. The PPNLT payout system is in place to reward loyal miners and penalise pool hoppers to prevent them from earning unfair payouts. If you are looking to join a pool that you can you can mine with long term, and not have to worry about pool hoppers unfairly stealing your rewards a PPLNT pool is your best option.


Why should I mine with a smaller pool?

With mega mining farms and pools such as nicehash or suprnova you will see constant lower payouts as described in the FAQ’s. Many miners choose to mine with these pools and take smaller shares of found blocks however these large pools/farms do solve blocks more frequently due to their sheer hashing power

Not to repeat ourselves but as mentioned above a small pool (such as us) will payout larger amounts to our miners, less frequently. This is due to less miners on a smaller pool. Thus less miners share a round together and earn bigger payments but the pool will solve fewer blocks.

There is variance at play, but unless the small pool becomes too small; or the large pool becomes too big and exceeds 51% of the network total hashing power (which is bad for any coin) the payouts over time should average and come to about a 1:1 ratio.

Large mining pools having majority of the hash rate for any coin can quickly become a much bigger issue, and 51% attacks is not commonly known or often goes unspoken, this is due to a lot of newer miners entering the scene before really understanding how mining works or why and what PoW contributes to a network other than the mining rewards.

The instant gratification of earning quick small payments is certainly a big pulling factor that encourages people to join larger pools. The issue with everyone joining the same pool revolves around the need for cryptocurrencies to be decentralized. If everyone is all in one place completing the work to solve the next block your coin is no longer decentralized purely due to the centralization of miners. You can probably see the catch 22 here.

We encourage you reading this, and all other miners to stick it out with us or your chosen smaller pool for a few weeks to get an accurate representation of payouts. Also consider the stability of the network you are mining during this time. With our pool sustaining relatively stable hash rate this should give enough time for any payments to average out to be more comparable with any larger pool earnings made over a similar period. When the overall network hash rate jumps 10’s of millions of sol/s in a day (e.g. ZCL during February 18) It can hurt us, ( you, our miners) and makes it quite difficult when we do not see the same correlating jumps as a pool. If we don’t not receive any of that network increased hash rate, unfortunately It impacts the pool luck and our round times further.

Some further information on why 51% or more of the network being on one pool is dangerous; If a single pool, or potentially a single miner, controls more than 51% of any networks hash rate, there is the potential that the network can become compromised. A pool or miner with 51% or greater can essentially validate or discard payments as they see fit. In extreme circumstances a pool or solo mining hacker could potentially rework most block chains to agree with their hashing power and their proposed series of transactional events; (think cooking the books in accounting) This immediately can defeats the entire point of and purpose of decentralised network and eliminates any advantage a block chain may have over a more regular transactional based accounting system.

Further information on 51% can be found here - https://learncryptography.com/cryptocurrency/51-attack



Shares:


What are shares? How are they calculated?

When mining any workers/rigs you have running will advise you of their total sol/s (solutions per second). Sol/s and Hash are essentially the same thing. The higher your sol/s the more contributions you are making to the total network hash and shares you are submitting to the pool. When a miner connects to our pool they may see a large number of shares appear to be accepted at a rapid/fast rate, be aware that these are not fully weighted shares and you will not make bigger earnings turning your mining software on and off every few minutes, if anything this will likely cost you more in power (due to starting and stopping your GPU’s) and effort, you may earn less total shares in a round if doing this as you are not connected to the pool the whole time. The method we use for rewarding our miners based on shares is a payment/share system called PPLNT; please be sure to read our FAQ section on PPLNT for a better understanding of how to most efficiently mine on our pool. When a block is solved a round is over and your shares will reset to 0 and begin to accumulate again. Payments are divided proportionality by your miners contribution of shares vs. the total number of shares submitted by other miners during that round. A rough calculation of your earnings can be estimated from looking at the total shares of the pool and your own shares with a little maths;

Example; Coin X pays 12.5 coins per block after the pool has taken its 1% fee that means there is total of 12.375 coins to be shared with miners. In this hypothetical round there are 500,000 shares submitted to the pool currently for the round; Let’s assume you contributed 26,870 of those shares so far. That would mean out of 500,000 shares you have submitted approximately 5.374%; which is approximately 0.6650325 x coins out of the 12.375 to be paid when the round ends. The pool and total network hash rate can change a lot during a single round at times so this technique is an estimation at best, similar to mining calculators.



Why is my miner and the pools shares a different number?

Typically, your mining software will show the total number of submitted shares you started your mining software. The pool will only show the valid shares for the current round as they are what will count towards the next found block. As such the two numbers are not comparable as they count using completely different accounting methods. Please read the above FAQ on shares for a better understanding and an example of how to calculate your potential payout based on your current pool shares.



What happened to my shares? They are gone?

If shares reset to 0 that means we have found a block, and your share count is now that of the new round. After the pool finds a block all share counts go back to zero. The shares that show on your miner page are only those for this round. The fact that your share count has reset is usually a sign that a payment is not far away.





Payments:


Minimum Payouts:

A Minimum Payout is the minimum you will need to earn as a worker before we can pay your earnings. The minimum payout on MineZ.Zone is 0.1 for all of our coins. Please be aware that equilhash coins (ZEN, ZCL, BTCZ, Hush and BTC Private) require 130 confirmations before they can be paid to miners. Please read our FAQ on worker stats and balances to ensure your balance is not immature or pending.




What is “Immature, Balance & Paid”?

Following a block being found and whilst still waiting for confirmation you will see your earning for any pending blocks as you “Immature balance”. Once any pending blocks have been confirmed you may see your immature balance now show as just “Balance”; as the minimum payout for the pool 0.1 for all coins if you have not earned more than 0.1 coins in the previous block your balance will remain, as you continue to mine and more blocks are found you balance will continue to build until it reaches 0.1. Once a miner/workers balance is confirmed at 0.1 you will be automatically paid your full balance.


What is a Pending Block and Confirmations; Why so many?

When a block is found you should immediately see a change in your worker stats. Any amount of coins you have earnt from that round will immediately show in your immature balance. The amount shown here will be your earnings for any pending blocks that have been found. By default, equilhash coins (ZEN, ZCL, BTCZ, Hush and BTC Private) require 130 block confirmations prior to being payable. Coins will always take a minimum of 100 confirmations however with equilhash coins there is an additional step; First the coins must be sent to a Z-shielded address before they can be sent to you. This takes an additional 20-30 block confirmations. This is a requirement of the Zencash protocol and similar protocols exist for alternative equilhash coins, all Zencash pools will need 130 confirmations prior to being able to pay.




When will I get paid?

Payments occur for our miners when a block has been found (a completed round). Until a block is found we are unable to make any payments as we do not receive any coins to pay until such time as said block is found.

Quite a few things can impact the timeliness of payments; it’s important to consider the number of miners on the pool, the number of total miners on the network and total network hash rate of the coin you are mining vs. your total hash rate and contributions to the network total. When comparing our pool size to a larger pool you should consider how mining and luck operates on a block chain network full of variables (miners and price).

A smaller pool may take a longer period of time to find a block (complete a round) than a larger pool with more hash rate; (this is due to the number of miners on a smaller pool being substantially less than a larger a pool)

This does not mean you will earn any more or any less mining with a bigger or smaller over a longer period of time (i.e. a few weeks or months) payments made to miners are based on their total contribution to the network hash rate, (however much that may vary over the time of mining.) When mining with a smaller pool such as us you will receive a bigger payment over a longer period of time, as it can take longer to find a block. With a bigger a pool you will receive payments more frequently than a smaller pool however they amount you are paid will be less (as the pool is bigger more miners are mining together to earn the same coins, thus smaller payments; however, more miners mean you may solve a block faster). Over a longer period of time you will find that payments from any pool, big or small will average out. Please see further information on Minimum Payouts.



Why have I not been paid as much as my calculations?

Please be mindful that, although What to Mine, and similar mining calculator tools are a great way to get an idea of profitability, these calculations are rough estimates at most usually. When using a calculator, it will provide your guesstimate based on the current conditions of your chosen coin. (i.e. Network hash, your rigs hash, the payout amount per block and the current value of the coin)


*** Mining calculations can change in a second ***


The total network hash and difficulty of coins frequently change; especially in a volatile circumstance where a coin is gaining or losing significant BTC value; example – Prior to ZCL fork on 28/02/18 the coins total network had bounced back and forth between 80-150 million sol/ s, the coins value also was a yo-yo moving from $2-3USD to over $200USD in the period of a week or so, even still now there is volatility in the current market for many coins, and as such any mining calculations are should be taken with a grain of salt.

One final thing to consider when mining is the future. What will this coin I am mining be worth in 1 year or more? For a lot of people who jumped on ZEN a few months ago, these coins were only worth a few dollars each, when mining you have the choice of either holding your coins until they are worth more or selling them as you mine them to cover expenses/costs. If you are in a position where expenses are tight, and you are needing to use your mined coins to pay for overhead costs (power, hardware, etc), you may not have as many coins to sell when/if the price of that coin increases. Often miners may run at a loss (costing more to mine coins in power/hardware/rent than profit being generated daily), Miners may do this if they expect the coin to be worth significantly more in the future. We hope this gives some insight.

Example. You mine for a round and earn 0.056 for a block. Your balance will remain 0.056; In the next hypothetical round you mine a further 0.0578 coins. Once your immature balance is confirmed you would immediately be paid your full balance of 0.1138 coins as the balance is over 0.1

The “Paid” stat will update following any payments made to your address and will show your total payments over however long you have been mining with us to that address. You can also find further specific details on your payments and shares for any multiple workers you may run.

Requesting Manual Payments/Payouts for balances below 0.1:

We cannot process manual payouts or payments for workers with a balance below 0.1 coins as doing so requires us to shut the entire pool down to manually move and funds and for us to reallocate data in our database, there is far too much room for error and when manually processing payments and would likely cause significant down time for our other miners.

At this stage the minimum payment/payout of 0.1 will not be adjusted. Reducing the minimum payment/payout amount to a smaller threshold will increase the number of transactions the pool needs to send and in turn will increase the amount of TX fee’s required to pay our miners and would impact the earnings of all miners on the pool. We do not adjust or take any balance below 0.1 coins; nor do these amounts or balances for these workers expire.



Pool Mining and General Miner questions:



Show me the stats?

Information regarding the overall and individual stats for our operated coin pools can be found on our Pool Stats pages; Graph Stats will show information regarding current pool and network hash rates as well as the number of miners connected on our pool, you can also check our real time graphs showing up to date details on hashing contributions to the pool. Further down on this page you will find information relating to previous blocks found and their status; be it pending or paid. You can check how many confirmations are pending on this page as well as see a pie graph representation of miners who have solved previous blocks. Total shares for any current rounds are also shared on this page.

Tab Stats is our table stats page and shows information in relation to current and previous rounds. Details on total confirmed blocks, orphans, valid and invalid shares as well as basic algorithm and hash rate details can be found on this page.

Lastly, our Payments page shows stats for previous solved, pending and paid blocks for our coins. This page shows the date and time of solving, total miners, shares and amount of coins paid for each block found by the pool. You can also find block specific block numbers and TX ID’s (transaction ID’s) for payments which can be checked further or the related coins block chain explorer.

Further statistical information and details from the pool can be gathered using our API tool.

Where can I check my Miners/Workers?

To check the status of your miners you will need to visit out Worker Stats page. On this page you can either use our Miner Lookup or just use CTRL+F (find) to search for your wallet address. You will find yourself listed under the coin you are mining. Clicking on your worker’s address will load your stats and will show your current mining hash and contribution, as well as your shares for the current round/block. You can also see your payment information for any immature, paid and pending balances this screen. Clicking your worker address from this page will take you to the relevant block explorer and wallet for the coin you are mining and your nominated address.