As Bitmain and other ASIC manufacturers continue to release new rigs for mining new algorithms the cryptocurrency community has increasingly been turning to ASIC resistant algorithms and coins in an effort to maintain the decentralization promised by cryptocurrencies.
One coin that got a lot of interest a few months ago on Reddit and Twitter, and remains both popular and profitable for home miners, is the Ravencoin (RVN).
There are more profitable coins, but Ravencoin has remained near the top when it comes to profitability, and chances are that will continue, thanks to the ASIC resistance of the algorithm the coin uses. If you haven’t heard of Ravencoin before the following guide will get you on your way to mining this neat little coin with either an Nvidia or an AMD GPU.
The guide below will give you links to all the resources you need from the Ravencoin mining software to mining pools. Let’s get started.
What is Ravencoin?
Ravencoin was developed as an open-source, decentralized peer-to-peer network that is implementing a blockchain specifically designed for transferring assets from one party to another. If you want to take a deeper dive into the project and its capabilities, here’s a link to the Ravencoin whitepaper.
Ravencoin RVN Coin and network statistics. Source: rvnstats
Ravencoin is a fairly new project, having been launched in January 2018 as a fork of Bitcoin. Like Bitcoin it was created with no pre-mine and no ICO. Furthermore, it is a complete proof-of-work coin with the network fully secured by miners. It uses a unique X16R algorithm that was designed specifically for Ravencoin and ASIC resistance.
X16R & ASIC Resistance
One of the reasons Ravencoin has gained popularity so quickly is the X16R algorithm it uses for proof-of-work mining.
The X16R algorithm is actually 16 different algorithms, which are used randomly during mining and the order depends on the hash of the previous block. Because of this randomness it’s extremely difficult to program an ASIC machine to mine the X16R algorithm. And even if someone tried to make an ASIC for the algorithm the developers could simply change the algorithms being used in X16R.
So, it’s fairly safe to assume that the X16R algorithm will remain ASIC resistant for a very long time.
As is true for any mining you need a wallet to send your coins to. You can get the latest version of the official Raven wallet from Github, where it’s available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Ubuntu, cenos7 and fedora27. Download the wallet and go to File -> Receiving Address to create a new wallet address.
Ravencoin Proprietary Wallet GUI
You should also encrypt the wallet by going to Settings -> Encrypt and following the prompts.
Next you’ll want to download the appropriate mining software for your GPU.
Ravencoin (X16R) Mining Software
When it comes to mining software there are several options available, and if you look at the hardcore mining forums you’ll find sometimes heated discussions about which miner produces the best results. The truth is your results are highly dependant on the setup of your own machine, and honestly most of the miners produce results that are quite similar.
So, don’t stress too much about your choice of Ravencoin miner. Based on what we’ve read the general consensus is that for Nvidia cards the best miner is zealot/enemy-1.08. The downside of this miner is that it’s closed-source with a 1% developer fee.
I don’t recommend using closed-source miners because you never know what else might be hiding in the code. Open-source options include the Suprminer 1.6 (1% dev fee), the Nevermore 0.2.3 (no fee) or Ravencoin Miner v2.6.
If you’re using an AMD card the most popular mining software is Avermore 1.4.1, which is by the same developer as the Nevermore 0.2.3 mining software for X16R.
For any of the miners you’ll need to download and unzip the files. Note that Windows Defender or your anti-virus will most likely flag the software as malicious and you’ll need to allow it or add an exception.
Ravencoin Mining Pools
The final piece of your mining puzzle is to choose a mining pool for Ravencoin. It’s best to use a mining pool rather than trying to solo mine. While Ravencoin is ASIC resistant, it is still too difficult to solo mine unless you have a farm of GPUs. You’ll find lots of available pools with fees ranging from 0% to 2%. Below are some of the most popular pools and their hashrate. Note that it isn’t always best to choose the most popular pool because that promotes centralization.
- Suprnova.cc – Largest Ravencoin mining pool with 398 GH/s
- Ravenminer – 330 GH/s
- Ravenminer EU – 106 GH/s
- BSOD – 106 GH/s
- A Hash Pool – 16.5 GH/s
Keep in mind that at the end of the day (or week as it is) your earnings will even out no matter which pool you use. That means there’s really no best pool, only pools with lower fees and different payment types and minimums. Pick any pool that suits you and it will be the best for you.
For this guide I’m using Ravenpool, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best.
Mining Ravencoin (RVN) with Nvidia and AMD
After you’ve downloaded and extracted the mining program you should see a few files, one of which is a batch file. In my case I’m using Suprminer and the batch file is called mybat.bat, but for others you may only see a batch file called “example”.
Ravencoin Miner file directory
In any case you’ll need to right click the batch file and choose “Open with”. You can use Notepad or Wordpad or any other text editor you have installed on your computer.
What you see will depend on the miner you’re using, but in general it will follow this format:
ccminer -a x16r -o [pool url] -u [wallet address] -p [password] -i 19
You need to complete the “pool url”, the “wallet address” and the “password. In the case of Ravencoin miner all of these are prefilled, but need to be changed to reflect your own information. And in most cases the –p field remains blank.
Note the “ccminer” designation at the beginning of the line. In the case of the enemy miner this is “z-enemy” and in the case of the Averminer miner for AMD this is “sgminer”.
The pool url, user and password values all come from your mining pool. In my case I’ve use the Ravenminer pool and my settings look as follows:
.bat file settings for Ravencoin
Save the batch file and then double click it to run. A command window should open and the Ravencoin miner will connect and begin mining RVN.
Ravencoin Miner running in Command Window
Tuning and Troubleshooting
There are a number of errors that can occur when setting up the mining software and I can’t cover all of them here. Remember Google is your friend. If you get an error message you almost certainly aren’t the first person to get that error and a Google search will probably uncover a solution.
There are also a number of settings related to the intensity of mining and other parameters. I’m also not going to touch on those since they’re really for advanced users. Mining with the default settings will be fine.
One other thing to note is that hashrates with X16R aren’t stable due to the constant switching between algorithms. Miners sometimes freeze or crash as well, and in many cases lowering your overclock settings can solve this problem.
RVN Profitability Calculator
Finally, you can use the bot in the Ravencoin Discord channel by entering “!hash xx“, where the “xx” is replaced with you hash power. The bot is pretty accurate.
Hopefully this guide has given you what you need to get started mining Ravencoin. There are few coins that are set to remain ASIC resistant as well and as long as Ravencoin, meaning you should be able to continue mining it with your GPU for a very long time. The same is not true for many altcoins.
If you didn’t click through to check out the Ravencoin Discord bot you really should, if only to join the community there, which is now over 10,000 users and is quite active. They can help you with any Ravencoin related problems or questions you might have.
Aside from being mineable with a GPU, the project is also focused on giving a useful blockchain product. With a strong community and complete transparency the project continues growing. I also like the fact that Ravencoin launched with no pre-mine and no ICO , and is avoiding the use of masternodes and staking in favor of mining, which is a far more decentralized consensus mechanism.
Featured image via Fotolia