Frequently Asked Questions

Mining Instructions

How do I start mining on this pool?
  1. If you are mining with a GPU, download and install a suitable miner. If you are using an FPGA, it will generally have its own mining software.
  2. Configure your mining software to point to mvis.ca:8080. Port 8080 is set up for the RPC protocol, which is compatible with most 0xBTC mining software.

    If you would prefer to use the Stratum protocol, use mvis.ca:8090. You may need to run a Stratum Proxy if your mining software does not support the Stratum protocol. See The FAQ entries below on running a Stratum Proxy.

  3. Start your miner, wait a few minutes until it has sent in a few shares, and then 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.
  4. If gas prices happen to be very high when you start mining, or at any other time, you will see an error messages saying "Mining operations suspended due to high gas prices. Please try again later." One way to deal with this is to just leave your miner running. It will keep trying to connect with the pool, and will eventually succeed when gas prices come down. (They tend to cycle up and down at certain times of the day.) Your mining software will likely go to idle and let you save electricity while it is waiting.
Where can I get support?
You can post a question on the 0xBTC Discord and I or someone there will help you. You can also ping me directly (@MVis).

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. This is payable in 0xBTC tokens, and is automatically deducted from your mining rewards. There are also charges for transaction fees, which are payable via ETH deposits. These can vary quite significantly in short periods of time due to the volatile nature of blockchain gas prices, so there is no fixed percentage. There is however, a handy fee calculator on the deposit page which can help you estimate fees for the short-term future.
How does the pool decide how much ETH to deduct from each miner?
ETH fees are charged to the miner using a system similar to the Pay-Per-Share scheme used to award tokens. At the end of each 4 hour round, the total submitted share credits from all miners is used to calculate the 'theoretical' number of mints that would have occurred, and that, in conjunction with the current gas price, is used to come up with a total ETH fee, which is then charged to individual miners in proportion to the number of share credits they submitted.
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, though, 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.
What is the Effective Fee?
The effective fee is the combination of the fixed pool fee, and the variable ETH transaction fees, expressed as a percent of your mining rewards. It is a measure of the overall current mining profitability. This will vary over time, mostly because of changing gas prices, but also due to changing market conditions affecting the price of ETH and 0xBTC. You can see the current effective fee on the Pool Info page.
What is the Effective Fee Threshold?
The effective fee threshold is the point at which the mining pool will disconnect your miner from the pool, and refuse new connections. While this may sound crude, it has the significant advantage of allowing your mining rig to go idle and save electricity during times of high gas prices, without you having to constantly monitor the situation. When gas prices go down and mining is profitable once again, the pool will begin accepting connection attempts from your miner, and mining operations can resume. The pool has a default effective fee threshold of 50%, but each miner can customize that value to their own liking on their profile page.

Payout Scheme

What payout scheme does this mining pool use?

This pool uses a Pay-per-Share (PPS) scheme. 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. Your rewards are calculated based on your submitted shares. 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.

Stratum Protocol

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

The Stratum protocol is a way for the pool to provide your mining software with the necessary parameters it needs in order for it to mine shares. These parameters change every so often, so once your mining software has connected to the pool (subscribed), the pool sends the parameters to your mining software using the concept of "push notifications", similar to SMS (text messages). (If you are a computer dev, you could also compare it to a websockets connection).

This is in contrast to the legacy RPC protocol. RPC stands for Remote Procedure Call. Under this protocol, 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.

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

Other

Does MVIS Token Pool support merge mining?
No. Merge mining dilutes the value of 0xBTC.