2Miners.com - an Ethereum Mining Pool Setup and Review

Posted by The Mining King on 2018-02-03

2018-3-24 Update!

I’m sad to say I’m back on Dwarfpool for now. 2Miners has a slick, reliable interface, but it just doesn’t pay out as consistently as Dwarfpool. Even with new miners coming online all the time, I’m earning 0.1 ETH approximately every 10 days with Dwarfpool. My last round with 2Miners took 14 days to earn the same about of coin.

Sorry 2Miners. Nothing personal. I actually like your service better, but it stands to reason that your pool’s relatively small size makes finding blocks more irregular and thus occassionally infrequent.

2018-3-14 Update!

I put the bula rig back on Dwarfpool, because 2miners was kind of sucking there for awhile. It took 14 days to pay out 0.1 ETH. Dwarfpool has consistently paid 0.1 ETH every 10 days.

We’ll see if this is an issue isolated to 2miners, or if mining profits are down because of dilution…

Setup and Review

Nick from 2miners.com reached out to the Mining King a couple of weeks back. He wants to promote his mining pool, and I’m happy to oblige by giving it a test run.

A new pool is a welcome change of pace for me, because it’s easy to fall into a mining pool rut. Don’t fix what ain’t broke, afterall.

So far I’ve had success mining with:

EthereumPool is relatively small. I once mined for a week without any credit to my account. This wasn’t their fault, it’s just that the entire pool never found a block within that timeframe.

Dwarfpool, by comparison, generates a predictable, steady flow of ether. No complaints here, though my block rewards don’t seem to be worth as much these last few weeks (presumably because of the influx of new Ethereum miners looking to cash in).

It’s 2Miners turn!

The benchmark I’m applying is very simple. I’m mining to make money. Currently, I’m drawing 0.1 ETH from Dwarfpool every ten days on the bula rig.

Let’s see if I can do better mining Ethereum on 2Miners.com…

But first!

Remember the Mining King’s motto: Only suckers pay for software.

The Claymore Dual Miner is all the rage these days and is the software recommended by 2Miners. It’s supposed to be more cost-effective than free mining software like ethminer, even with the royalty they charge.

With all love and respect to the Claymore people, homie don’t play that!

That said, deviating from the norm can invite more work upon yourself. It was a bit tricky connecting to eth.2miners.com. For all would-be mining kings, this is what finally got ethminer working under this Ubuntu system configuration

Configuration and connection

Like most miners, I like to set everything up in a script. In its simplest form, my script looks like this:

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#!/bin/bash

####################
# `2miners-start.sh`
####################

export GPU_FORCE_64BIT_PTR=1
export GPU_MAX_HEAP_SIZE=100
export GPU_USE_SYNC_OBJECTS=1
export GPU_MAX_ALLOC_PERCENT=100
export GPU_SINGLE_ALLOC_PERCENT=100

# Plain connection
ethminer --farm-recheck 2000 -SP 1 -G -S eth.2miners.com:2020 -O 0x7e5533116dbd23b113d3288aacbf4d2122f88ad3.bula

This allows me to start mining by simply executing:

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./2miners-start.sh

Break it down…

Experienced miners will recognize the script above as a fairly typical configuration. Those with sharp eyes might see something slightly out of the ordinary…

Notice:

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export GPU_FORCE_64BIT_PTR=1

Most mining pools recommend you set this variable like so:

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export GPU_FORCE_64BIT_PTR=0

Set this way (i.e., the wrong way for 2Miners), ethminer will report:

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✘  11:04:01|cl-1      clCreateCommandQueue ( -6 )
✘ 11:04:01|cl-2 OpenCL Error: clEnqueueWriteBuffer -36
✘ 11:04:01|cl-1 OpenCL Error: clEnqueueWriteBuffer -36
m 11:04:03|ethminer Speed 0.00 Mh/s gpu/0 0.00 gpu/1 0.00 gpu/2 0.00 gpu/3 0.00 gpu/4 0.00 [A0+0:R0+0:F0] Time: 00:00
ℹ 11:04:03|stratum Received new job #0x3968c3 seed: #3aa8f28cac16bdd858f2a726a06d1217 target: #0000000112e0be826d694b2e
m 11:04:05|ethminer Speed 0.00 Mh/s gpu/0 0.00 gpu/1 0.00 gpu/2 0.00 gpu/3 0.00 gpu/4 0.00 [A0+0:R0+0:F0] Time: 00:00
m 11:04:07|ethminer Speed 0.00 Mh/s gpu/0 0.00 gpu/1 0.00 gpu/2 0.00 gpu/3 0.00 gpu/4 0.00 [A0+0:R0+0:F0] Time: 00:00

You’ll see those OpenCL Error: clEnqueueWriteBuffer -36 messages and the GPUs will stick at 0.00 Mh/s.

Also make note of the stratum protocol option (-SP) on the ethminer command:

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ethminer --farm-recheck 200 -SP 1 -G -S eth.2miners.com:2020 -O 0x7e5533116dbd23b113d3288aacbf4d2122f88ad3.bula

That -SP 1 option is similarly critical to getting up and mining on 2Miners. Set incorrectly (to 0 or 2), ethminer will report this error:

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ℹ  10:59:36|stratum   Connecting to stratum server eth.2miners.com:2020
ℹ 10:59:36|stratum Connected to stratum server eth.2miners.com : 2020
ℹ 10:59:36|stratum Subscribed to stratum server
✘ 10:59:36|stratum Read response failed: End of file
ℹ 10:59:36|stratum Reconnecting in 3 seconds...

In a nutshell

If you’re going to use ethminer on 2Miners, there are two points of which to be mindful:

  1. The GPU_FORCE_64BIT_PTR environment variable (needs to be set to 1)
  2. And ethminer‘s stratum protocol option (set like so -SP 1)

Also, initially the hash rates reported by ethminer fluctuated wildly. That was resolved by raising the --farm-recheck parameter from 200 to 2000.

Review

So, with a bit of trial and error, the bula rig is ready to join the 2Miners Ethereum mining pool. After my next Dwarfpool payout, I’m going to plug in and see how long it takes to earn 0.1 ETH. If it takes less than ten days, 2Miners will be declared the winner and I’ll fall back into a nice, comfortable mining pool rut.

Results

Mining commenced February 5, 12:50 MST. A 0.101 payout was received on February 17.

This is a bit disappointing because I’ve been able to consistently draw about 0.1 ETH every ten days with Dwarfpool. It took twelve days on 2Miners. That said, I’m not ready to abandon 2Miners just yet. Here’s why…

The web interface

The 2Miners web interface is way slicker than Dwarfpool’s. It’s stable, you don’t have to refresh all the time, and it’s designed with mobile devices in mind. Dwarfpool cannot say the same.

For long-term profitability, pool size probably doesn’t matter

Dwarfpool is huge. 2Miners is tiny by comparison. While 2Miners have found three blocks today so far, Dwarfpool has found over 50 (they only display the last 50, so I’m not sure of the exact total). Naturally, this leads to more predictable, hourly payouts for individual miners.

Most miners are aware that they’re trading profits for predictability when joining a mining pool. Solo mining, over time, is supposed to be more profitable. You won’t know when you’ll find a block, but when you do, you don’t have to share with anyone. Over time, you’ll earn more ether as a solo miner.

Pooled mining, is kind of the same in a way. Though I didn’t receive the desired payout within the desired timeframe, over time the hills and valleys in earnings will likely even out.

2Miners’ stats are very informative

To be fair, Dwarfpool has reasonably descriptive stats too, though it misses the mark in presentation. I really like 2Miner’s breakdown of earnings for the last month and precise shares on found blocks. Maybe this is a benefit of being a smaller pool. With all the new blocks found every hour by Dwarfpool, shares are summed for those hours. A minor criticism, but you’re never totally sure how you profited from individual blocks.

2Miners cons

One thing I like about Dwarfpool is that you can set payouts at 0.05 ETH. With 2Miners you have no choice but to wait until 0.1 ETH.

As well, I’m not sure how 2Miners’ Pay Per Last N Shares scheme impacts earnings when mining is interrupted. For example, I was trying to get my RX580s to reach their full potential the other day. I’d frequently connect and disconnect my rig from the pool. During connected times, my submitted shares and potential earnings were displayed on the web interface. When disconnected, potential earnings would drop to zero. So what happened to the shares I submitted when I was connected? I’m not really sure. With Dwarfpool I know for sure I received credit.

Conclusion

In terms of profitability, Dwarfpool has been great. That said, their interface sucks and their stat calculations frequently fall behind. I once went a whole day without any updates. That’s the kind of thing that makes a miner nervous.

It’s all about profitability. Though 2Miners fell a bit short, I can’t be sure the same thing wouldn’t have happened on Dwarfpool. After all, blocks are added at regular intervals and new miners are coming online all the time. As such, it will take longer to earn the same amount of ether.

With all that in mind, I’m sticking with 2Miners for awhile. Their web interface is superior and I suspect earnings will even out over time anyway.

Check bula’s stats here.