- Understand how mining works. If you are new to mining, read our Beginner’s Guide.
- Create a pool account. Register here.
- Configure your miners. Connect your miners to the server(s) closest to you (most mining software allows you to specify more than one server for failover):
stratum+tcp://litecoinpool.org:3333 (London, UK) stratum+tcp://us.litecoinpool.org:3333 (New York, USA) stratum+tcp://us2.litecoinpool.org:3333 (San Francisco, USA) stratum+tcp://ltcpool5brio2gaj.onion:3333 (Tor hidden service)
If you are behind a firewall, you can also access Stratum on port 8080.
The default credentials are:
Username: (Your Username) Password: (Your Password)
If you want, you can create additional workers on your account page, with names and passwords of your choice. Both the username and the password are case-sensitive.Never use your account password for any of your workers.
- Create a Litecoin address. Download a Litecoin client from the official website. After starting Litecoin-Qt, click on the “Receive” tab and copy your address, then paste it on your account page so that you can receive payments. If you use Electrum-LTC (recommended), you can use any of the addresses shown in the “Addresses” tab.
The pool automatically serves work of optimal difficulty by estimating the speed of your miners and applying gradual adjustments to the share target. It may take a couple minutes for the difficulty to stabilize. Share difficulty changes do not influence your expected earnings.
If desired, the default adaptive mechanism can be overridden by appending “,d=N” to the worker’s password (in your miner’s configuration, not on the website). For example, if a worker’s password is “foo”, connecting with password “foo,d=64” will ask for share difficulty 64. Keep in mind that difficulty can only be set on a per-connection basis, so if you connect multiple workers via a proxy they will all share the same difficulty (this is a limitation of the standard Stratum protocol). Moreover, the server may round or cap the difficulty you asked for in order to prevent denial-of-service attacks.
Keep in mind that some ASIC devices may malfunction if you don’t set an appropriate difficulty manually.
Additionally, the pool also supports BFGminer’s --request-diff option to manually set an initial share difficulty. This is especially useful for very fast miners.
If your mining software supports Stratum over SSL/TLS, you can connect to port 3443 (instead of 3333) to obtain a secure encrypted connection. This makes it impossible for a man-in-the-middle attacker to send malicious spoofed requests to your miner. All our servers support this feature, including the Tor hidden service.
Using a Proxy
If you have many miners running within a local network, it is best to use the Stratum proxy for Litecoin mining. This proxy allows you to significantly reduce your bandwidth usage. The Python source is available here, and a binary for Windows here (note that this is not the same as Slush’s proxy, as it is optimized for Litecoin). You start the proxy on one of your machines as follows:
mining_proxy -o litecoinpool.org -p 3333
Then you connect your miners to that machine on port 8332 with the usual pool worker username and password. For example, if the proxy is running on 192.168.1.123, you should connect your miners to http://192.168.1.123:8332 instead of directly to the pool.
- Would Litecoin mining be profitable for me?
- That depends on many factors, including your hardware, the cost of electricity and the value you give to a litecoin. In practice, nowadays you can only make a profit by using ASIC (application-specific) hardware. Check out our mining profitability calculator.
- Can I use a Bitcoin ASIC miner to mine litecoins?
- No, it’s not possible. Litecoin uses an entirely different hashing algorithm (scrypt).
- Can I use the same worker name and password for more than one physical miner?
- Yes, but if you use different workers it is easier to track your miners’ performance.
- What is the share difficulty?
- The share difficulty is a number that gives an indication of how difficult it is to find a share. The lower this number, the more shares a miner will find at a given speed, and the lower their value. For this reason, the share difficulty does not affect miners’ expected earnings.
- Why does the pool report more shares than my miner?
- This pool serves variable-difficulty work units, so when you solve a share the pool counts it with multiplicity, according to its difficulty. For example, if you solve a share that is four times as difficult as the baseline share, it gets counted as four shares.
- Why variable-difficulty (“vardiff”) shares?
- The technique of adapting the difficulty to each miner’s hash rate allows the pool to measure workers’ speed more precisely while keeping bandwidth usage optimal.
- How does share difficulty influence my earnings?
- Short answer: it doesn’t.
Long answer: a higher/lower share difficulty does not mean you will be earning more/less, because your expected earnings are independent of the share difficulty: they only depend on your hash rate and on the network difficulty. A higher share difficulty can only increase the variance, but not in a significant way.
- How is the value of a share (a.k.a. the PPS rate) computed?
- The standard PPS formula is used: BS × R / ND × (SD / 65536), where BS is the block subsidy (currently 50 LTC), R is the PPS ratio (currently 1.03), ND is the network difficulty, and SD is the share difficulty (expressed as a multiple of the minimum share difficulty, which is what cgminer displays).
- Is there a fee?
- Not anymore, the fee was removed when merged mining was introduced. In fact, the “fee” is now negative: the PPS ratio is currently 103%, meaning that miners earn 3% more than with a 0-fee PPS system.
- What is the PPS ratio?
- Short answer: the higher the PPS ratio, the more you earn.
Long answer: a PPS ratio of 1 (or 100%) corresponds to the expected earnings of a Litecoin solo miner in an ideal world, without taking into account aspects such as orphaned blocks. (In practice, a Litecoin solo miner will always achieve a slightly lower ratio in the long run.) We say “expected” earnings because mining is a stochastic (random) process, and it is therefore impossible to know beforehand exactly how much a miner will earn in a given lapse of time.
Thanks to merged mining, a technique that allows multiple cryptocurrencies to be mined simultaneously, it is possible to achieve PPS ratios higher than 100%. This is unrelated to what profit-switching pools do, as in merged mining all chains are mined at the same time. For this reason, merged mining does not cause sudden difficulty spikes and does not harm any of the involved networks.
- How and when does the PPS ratio change?
- The PPS ratio depends on factors such as the current network difficulty and market price of merged-mined cryptocurrencies. Since these elements can be highly volatile, the ratio can change at any time.
- Do block finders get extra reward?
- No. That would go against one of the main goals of the PPS system, which is to minimize variance. It would also make miners who don’t find blocks earn less, as the PPS rate would need to be adjusted downwards.
We do list recently found blocks and their finders, but only for transparency purposes.
- I keep getting the message “Stratum requested work restart”.
- It is perfectly normal to get this message even 3-4 times per minute. It simply means that your miner is switching to a new work unit, because the previous one is no longer valid. Because of the stochastical nature of mining, frequent work updates (which are necessary for efficient merged mining) do not mean that your work goes wasted.
- I get the message “stale share detected, submitting as user requested”.
- That is also normal.
- I’ve just started mining and all my shares are being rejected, what’s wrong?
- Make sure that your hardware and software support scrypt mining, and that they are configured correctly. Configuring a GPU for Litecoin mining requires particular attention; please refer to the configuration wizard to get an idea of what settings you need.
- Why doesn’t the hash rate reported by the pool match that reported by my miner?
- Because of how pooled mining works, the pool has no way of knowing your exact hash rate, so it can only estimate it based on how frequently you submit shares. After you start mining, it takes about 10 minutes for the estimates to become accurate. They will never be very precise, though; even if your miner’s hash rate is steady, the pool estimate will keep fluctuating around the actual speed.
- The pool keeps reporting a much lower hash rate than cgminer. What’s going on?
- If the estimate displayed on the site stays too low for more than 10 minutes, then you are almost certainly experiencing hardware errors.
cgminer checks every solution generated by your hardware devices, and if one turns out to be incorrect because of hardware errors it (rightfully) doesn’t even submit it. Since pools can only estimate your hash rate based on how many solutions you submit in a given amount of time, their estimate will be lower than your real raw hashrate. This raw hashrate, which is correctly displayed by cgminer, is, however, not meaningful if the solutions your card generates are wrong.
You need to make sure that all (not just the top one) of the HW figures in cgminer are zero or next-to-zero; if that’s not the case, you need to review your settings. Make sure you carefully read the documentation about scrypt mining provided with cgminer.
- Servers provide each miner with some unique data that the miner must use to find a share. This data needs to be updated every time a new block appears on the Litecoin network, and that’s why servers must promptly notify miners when they detect a new block. Every second you keep on mining for the old block is wasted, because that block has already been found. If a new block is found before a submitted share hits the server, the share is marked as “stale”, and yields no reward.
Stale shares are caused by latency, which can happen at various levels. The most obvious cause is a high ping time to the server, which however shouldn’t affect the stale rate by more than 0.5%.
- I’m getting more than 2% of stale shares, is this normal?
- No. On our Stratum servers, most miners achieve a stale rate well below 1%. If you’re GPU mining, make sure the intensity parameter is not set too high on your miners. More generally, consider that anything that pushes your hardware too much can cause additional latency, which results in a higher rate of stale shares. Some software latency is sometimes unavoidable when GPU mining, but if your stale rate is above 2% then something probably needs to be fixed.
- Should I set the --no-submit-stale option in cgminer?
- No, you should not set that option. If you set it, your rewards may be lower.
- What is Stratum?
- Stratum is a network protocol for pooled mining, designed as a replacement for the now obsolete “getwork” protocol. It was originally proposed by Marek Palatinus (aka Slush), who also wrote a proxy for miners that could only understand the getwork protocol.
Today most mining software supports the Stratum protocol natively, but the Stratum proxy is still useful for reducing network bandwidth usage on large installations.
- What is the “resume” extension to Stratum?
- It is an extension to the original Stratum mining protocol, jointly designed by Slush and ckolivas, the maintainer of cgminer. If your mining pool supports the extension and your Internet connection has a hiccup, the server may still accept any shares that your miners found while disconnected, if they reconnect and submit them within a reasonable time. As simple as this may sound, it is actually tricky to implement this feature correctly, because Stratum is not a stateless protocol.
- Why did my Google Authenticator codes suddenly stop working?
- It might be because the time on your Google Authenticator app is not synced correctly. To make sure that you have the correct time, go to the main menu on the Google Authenticator app, and select “Settings”, “Time correction for codes”, “Sync now”.
- What Android apps can I use to monitor my workers?
- To name a few: PoolWatch, CryptCoin Monitor, Coin Pool Monitor.
- What iPhone/iPad apps can I use to monitor my workers?
- You can check your workers with Miner Stats or Pool Monitor.