CryptoNote Mining Overview
There is no doubt that mining is the backbone of every cryptocurrency. Whether it is on a mobile phone, ASIC, or hardware in the Cloud, it is these computations, big or small, that make the transactions of users possible. Here is an up-to-date review of the CryptoNote mining scene.
Monero is one of the most well-known CryptoNote forks. It was released in April 2014 and is centred around the core features of CryptoNote: decentralization, security, untraceability, and fungibility. Led by 7 members, 49 developers, and 3 researchers, Monero has seen stable growth in the past couple of years, taking the position of the most notable rival to Bytecoin.
One of the most discerning features of Monero is the ASIC-resistant POW algorithm. Yet without ASICs, it has a hashrate of almost 600 MH/s, clearly demonstrating the popularity of the coin.
Monero can be mined with the Monero GUI application as well as with the supported miners, like XMR-Stak, XMRig, Claymore, and MinerGate.
As a large coin with an audience, Monero has quite a lot of mining pools to choose from. The official website has links to 28 pools. A lot of pools are very similar, here are the ones that have caught our eye and are worth mentioning:
xmr.nanopool.org takes the first position by hashrate with a considerable amount of 160MH/s. What sets this pool apart is the proprietary pool API that provides various user and mining info.
The second place by hashrate is split between minexmr.com and supportxmr.com with 110 and 107 MH/s respectively.
minergate.com stands apart from other pools in terms of functionality. It is by far the only pool that provides custom mining application for 4 operating systems. The app has a built-in benchmark as well as a system of achievements that encourage users to explore the app. If a user prefers to use other miners, MinerGate has support for them too (12 miners for different cryptocurrencies).
Aeon is a Monero fork that aims to be the smaller brother of Monero. Its first release dates back to Sep. 12th, 2014. Thanks to its CryptoNote-Light POW protocol and blockchain pruning it is fast, compact, and can run on mobile devices. Unlike its older brother Monero, it allows for traceable transfers, a faster lower-fee option for non-sensitive payments.
One of the biggest and more advanced pools, aeon.hashvault.pro, stands with almost a third of the cryptocurrency’s hashrate. Other pools have a very similar design and vary in scale.
The official AEON software, called Sofia, is a set of CLI-tools for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Bytecoin is the first CryptoNote fork, dating back to July 4th, 2012. It acts as a good exhibition of CryptoNote’s features: it is secure, untraceable, anonymous, and fast. It has a reference block time of 120 seconds.
In addition to Bytecoin’s Desktop application for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Bytecoin has created bytecoin.money, a modern web-wallet with a sleek design. This web-wallet can be accessed via the Android app as well.
Another interesting feature of Bytecoin is Sendproof. This tool allows one user to prove to another user that a certain Bytecoin TX has taken place. Considering the fact that the Bytecoin blockchain is fully anonymous, this feature is a very necessary piece of functionality.
Software-wise, Bytecoin supports mining with Bytecoin Desktop, XMR-Stak, XMRig, and Monero.
When it comes to mining pools Bytecoin does not have as many as other coins, but they don’t lack in quality:
bytecoin-pool.org is the biggest pool by hashrate with 93 MH/s (out of Bytecoin’s 450+ MH/s). It has servers in the USA, Europe, Russia, and Asia.
bytecoin.uk is another 0-fee pool in the UK. It has one of the most active and responsive communities as well as regular giveaways.
minergate.com has longtime Bytecoin support. Actually, with MinerGate PRO, users can merge-mine BCN with XMR on their ASICs. Merged mining allows users to mine one block, but submit it to two currencies, multiplying their mining efforts by 2.
Electroneum is an interesting concept: it is the first CryptoNote currency, originally designed to be mined on mobile devices. The goal of Electroneum is to create an instant distributed mobile payment system. With over 2 million registered users, Electroneum shows potential for an interesting twist on CryptoNote technology.
Introduced as a mobile-only solution, Electroneum has enabled ASIC mining with the latest updates. It has a few mining pools:
f2pool.com and poolin.com are the key players among the Electroneum mining pools.
etn.nanopool.org, which has already been mentioned in this article.
What makes Electroneum interesting to observe is that with so few mining pools and its adjusted CryptoNote algorithms it claims to produce 3.5 GH/s. And it is worth mentioning that mining on mobile devices is a trend in itself. For instance, minergate.com offers Android apps that allow users to mine from their Android devices and monitor their mining stats.
These days mining is not just a rare hobby, but an established business, a source of income, and an exciting pastime with plenty of options to choose from. CryptoNote’s mining scene can accommodate both a beginner and a seasoned professional.