Dennis Y.Thu, Sep 30, 2021 8:21 PM
Minefield: Everything You Should Know About ETC Mining
In the next article in this series on mining, we talk about Ethereum Classic mining: pools, PCs, GPUs, profitability, and calculators, and dig a bit into its tricky history. Is Ethereum Classic mining more solid than its "big brother" Ethereum (ETH)? Let's talk about that.
What is Ethereum Classic
The history of the Ethereum Classic (ticker is ETC) is closely related to Ethereum errors and forks. The history of ETC began with a hard-fork in 2016 as a non-conformity with the DAO Hard Fork in the main Ethereum network.
In August 2020, another high-profile hack happened on the Ethereum Classic network.
In early September, the ETC network experienced a technical split of the mainnet. This has followed a bug in the Ethereum system that occurred at the end of August 2020. The failure separated nodes that were running older versions of the Ethereum Geth v1.10.7 client and below from the main Ethereum network.
This issue was also reported to have reached the ETC. This was officially notified by the ETC project itself on September 04.
Nevertheless, the project is still successfully developing, ranking 21st by capitalization on CoinMarketCap. The token price is just above $69 at the time of writing. The ATH (a maximum price) was noted in May 2021 (together with Bitcoin) and exceeded $134.
ETC Solo Mining vs. Ethereum Mining in Pool: The Winner is…?
The PoW algorithm, the 5-year history, and quite a reasonable price make considering the profitability of ETC mining quite meaningful. In spite of the fact that ETC's price is 56.5 times lower than that of its "big brother" ETH. However, we will discuss the details and specifics below.
Ethereum Classic, like regular Ethereum, runs on the Dagger-Hashimoto (Ethash) algorithm. AMD and Nvidia graphic cards (GPUs) with 3-4 GB or higher are suitable for mining, as well as special ASICs. You can mine Ethereum Classic using the power of a PC without building large farm rigs and consuming a lot of energy.
Mining ETH with CPU or GPU on Desktop / Laptop
For those looking for details on how to mine on a PC, Ethereum Classic mining looks like a pretty viable option. Its algorithm allows you to work with a mid-range computer for mining.
The main system requirements will be:
- NVIDIA or AMD video card from with RAM from 3 GB;
- Windows or Linux operating system;
- Swap file from 5 GB for the video card.
ETC GPU Mining
The hard fork Thanos, implemented in November 2020 to protect against hacking, gave a nice chance for graphic cards with 3 GB and 4 GB of memory to join the lines of miners.
So, AMD Rx 570/580 4 GB cards are good enough, even good old NVIDIA 1060 3 GB will be fine.
Traditionally, you can also try ASICs (e.g., Antminer or Innosilicon), if the firmware for ETC will be supported. However, due to the low prices and factors mentioned above, at the moment it is hard to consider these high-priced devices only for ETC mining as a profitable investment.
Best ETC Mining Pools
There are enough pools for ETC, but by parameters such as optimal hash rate, stability, and convenience for pool participants, there are only a few leading pools. Ethereum Classic mining is interesting also because its hash rate is lower than that of Ethereum.
When choosing an ETC pool for mining, you need to pay attention to the amount of processing power in the Ethereum Classic network and the number of miners. The more people mining ETC in a pool, the faster the search for the required block, and the more effective the process is.
Here are the top 5 ETC mining pools (by "Block Distribution" criteria)
- ethermine.org — 41.7% of the total volume
- hiveon.net — 12.8%
- beepool.com — 10.6%
- 2miners.com — 10.2%
- f2pool.com — 6.9%
Top ETC pools by Block Distribution. Source: MiningPoolStats
Regarding ETC cloud mining, our position is the same as our previous articles say: we do not consider it profitable mining.
ETC Mining Calculator
For assessing Ethereum mining profitability, you can use the Ethereum mining calculator.
It gives you information about the estimated amount of coins you will earn during a day, week, and month.
The general principle of calculating the mining profitability can be summarized in 6 simple steps:
- On the website, choose a section dedicated to ETC or Ethash algorithm.
- Enter the hash rate of the video card or choose the appropriate model class
- Specify power consumption
- Fix the commission rate of the pool
- Include electricity costs
- Start calculation
Here are some of the frequently used services: CoinWarz and WhatToMine. For example, WhatToMine provides data on the hash rate of many GPUs. The calculator can show a list of the most profitable cryptocurrencies for a particular model. When mining on AMD, Ethereum Classic is traditionally at the top of the rankings.
The results of the calculations are approximate. They don't consider possible downtime and errors in configuring video cards. But they will help to determine some promising directions of crypto mining.
Ethereum Classic has an interesting history. Compared to many of the other coins described earlier in our mining guide, it looks relatively attractive for mining. The reason for that is its optimal ratio of mining difficulty, average pool hash rate, mining hardware requirements, and a reasonable price.