Frequently Asked Questions

Mining Instructions

How do I start mining on this pool?
  1. Download and install a suitable miner.
  2. If your mining software supports the Stratum protocol, simply configure it to point to mvis.ca:8090. If it doesn't, (and at this point, most don't) you'll need to run a Stratum Proxy, which will act as an interface between your mining software and this mining pool. Please see the next FAQ entry, How do I run a Stratum Proxy for detailed instructions.
  3. Once your miner is running, visit http://mvis.ca/miners.html and verify that your miner has been recognized by the mining pool. Or use the Miner Account search box at the top-right to quickly access your mining profile page. Verify that the mining pool is receiving your submitted shares.
How do I run a Stratum Proxy?
  1. Download the Stratum Proxy .zip file and extract it to a folder of your choice. If you are running Linux, please see the Readme for alternate instructions.
  2. Double-click StratumProxy.exe to start the program.
  3. Enter an ETH address in the text box provided. This is the ETH address you will receive payouts to from the pool. This address needs to match the ETH address set in your mining software.
  4. Once you have done that the proxy should start automatically, and you should see some output in the log window at the bottom.
  5. Start your mining software and point it to http://localhost:8080.
Where can I get support?
You can ping me (@MVis) on Discord, or send me a PM at u/mining-visualizer, or post a question on the 0xBitcoin subreddit.

Stratum Protocol

What exactly is the Stratum protocol anyway? Why do I need it.

In order to understand the stratum protocol, it might be helpful to understand what came before it, which was the RPC protocol. RPC stands for Remote Procedure Call. It means the mining software continuously queries the mining pool to see if any of the mining parameters have changed, often multiple times per second. It does this by sending an HTTP request. This is very wasteful and inefficient, given that the mining parameters typically only change every 10 minutes on average.

The Stratum protocol, on the other hand, avoids continuously spamming the pool with requests by establishing a persistent TCP connection with the mining pool. (It's like phoning someone and keeping the line open.) Once the link has been opened the mining pool sends the current mining parameters to the miner. The TCP link is kept open, and whenever the mining parameters change, the mining pool simply sends them down to the miner.

How does the Stratum Proxy work?

The Stratum Proxy is like an interpreter that speaks two different languages. When it starts it establishs a link to the mining pool at mvis.ca:8090 using the stratum protocol to obtain the relevant mining parameters. At the same time, it also configures itself as an RPC Server and begins listening for RPC requests from your mining software. It provides the necessary mining parameters to your miner when asked, and receives share submissions from your miner and passes them up to the pool. Your mining software will think it is connected directly to the mining pool.

Where can I get technical specs on the stratum protocol as implemented by MVIS Token Pool?
Right here: Stratum Specification

Payout Scheme

What payout scheme does this mining pool use?

The basic idea is that you are awarded tokens on a regular basis, every 4 hours, regardless of whether the pool mines a block or not. This is in contrast to the Proportional payout scheme used by a lot of pools, where you only get tokens when the pool mines a block.

If the mining pool hits a run of bad luck and doesn't mine a block in a while, a portion of your rewards may be held back depending on the current pool balance, but it will be kept on your account and paid back later when the pool is having better luck.

What are some of the specific details of this payout scheme?
  • The pool starts with a balance of 150 tokens. You can always check the current pool balance on the Pool Info page
  • Tokens are awarded in rounds lasting 4 hours each.
  • At the end of each round the credits earned from your submitted shares are totaled and converted to a token reward using the formula: (totalCredits / networkDiff) * blockReward.
  • When your rewards meet the minimum threshold, you receive a payout, minus the pool fee.
  • In the event the pool runs into a bit of bad luck and doesn't mine a block in awhile, the pool token balance will start to drop since it is still doing regular payouts. If the pool balance drops below 100 tokens, a proportional amount of your payout will be held back and put in a special Holding account that you can see on your Miner Details page.
  • Later, when the pool has better luck and mines some blocks, the pool balance will start to rise again. When it gets back above 150, your regular payouts will have an extra payback amount added to them to gradually reduce the Holding balance to zero.
  • You can expect your earnings to be about 20% better than predicted by the well known 0xBTC Mining Calculator, since it uses a 0.8 fudge factor .
What is the Pool Token Balance?

The Pool Token Balance is where your payments come from and where mint rewards are deposited to. This is what makes it possible for the pool to payout on a regular time schedule, even when it has not mined a block. The idea is that hopefully the payments and the rewards will balance out. I initially seeded the pool account with 150 of my own tokens to kick things off.

What is a Holdback?

A holdback is when tokens that you are owed are transferred into a special holding account instead of being paid out to you. This happens when the pool balance runs low due to a spell of bad luck.

Remember that as a miner, your token rewards are calculated assuming that the mining pool will be able to mine blocks at a perfectly consistent rate, but of course it doesn't work that way in real life. The actual profit of the mining pool is subject to variance, or to put it more simply, luck. If the mining pool has a run of bad luck and doesn't mine as many blocks as expected, the pool token balance can run low. When this happens, a portion of your mining rewards will be held back and put in a special holding account. Later, when the pool has better luck, the tokens will be paid back to you.

Fees

What fees does this pool charge?
This pool charges a small, fixed percent fee to cover the basic operating costs of running a pool. There are also transaction fees that must be paid in order to mine 0xBitcoin. These costs can at times vary quite significantly in short periods of time, so instead of trying to recoup those costs via a fixed percentage fee, this pool requires miners to deposit ETH into the pool, which will be used directly to pay those transaction fees.
How does the pool decide how much ETH to deduct from each miner?

There are two situations where the pool incurs transaction fee costs: mints, and payouts. A mint is a transaction that the mining pool has to execute on the blockchain in order to obtain the mining reward. A payout is just a simple ERC20 token transfer.

When the pool finds a solution and mints a block reward, it divides the transaction fee proportionally amoung all the miners who contributed shares during that "block", according to their accumulated share credits.

When the pool initiates a payout to a specific miner, as expected, that miner pays 100% of the cost of that token transfer.

How do I deposit ETH?
Please see the Deposit ETH page for detailed instructions.
Do I need to deposit ETH before I start mining?
No. You can start mining immediately, and you will be awarded tokens as usual. Eventually, as the pool mints block rewards, your ETH account will start going negative, which will disable payouts, but you can continue mining. Once you have enough tokens and you want a payout, simply deposit enough ETH to bring your account up to at least zero.
How can I check my current ETH balance on the pool?
You current ETH balance is displayed on your miner profile page, in the Miner Stats section. There is a also a detailed ETH transaction history a little further down under "Account History - ETH".
What happens if my ETH balance goes negative?
Your payouts will be disabled. You can still mine, and you will be awarded tokens. To receive a payout, simply deposit enough ETH to bring your balance to zero or greater.

Other

Does MVIS Token Pool support merge mining?
No. MVIS Token Pool is a proud, intentional supporter of pure 0xBitcoin mining! Please see my Reddit post for a more complete explanation.