AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric)

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  1. 27 votes
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    12 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    We're working as fast as we can; not a large corporation and we're working on finishing the new version day by day. Maybe two more months.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Yes - currently am working on the messaging code paths between the add-on and the Microsoft Store app. We have to make sure these code paths are secure since the add-on has to allow remote miner control to be compliant with Microsoft Store requirements (i.e. preventing hackers from trying to steal mining power). Am also working on adding features like:
    1. Auto restart in the event of a crash when mining
    2. Fixing audio mute functionality
    3. Having an always-on-top mode
    4. Integrating better mining engines

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    We're still working on it - in the meanwhile we were able to add a bit more hashing power to the cloud, so the cloud miners should be averaging ~20KH/s per client now which is around a 5% yield increase from before.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    We're working on it. This change wasn't our choice. Here's the timeline of what happened:

    October 1st - Microsoft updated their store policy to ban on-device cryptocurrency mining in apps.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uwp/publish/store-policies-change-history

    October 15th - Microsoft notified us of these changes and gave us until October 31st to change Bitcoin Miner or have it removed.

    October 16-27th - GroupFabric drops everything to re-design Bitcoin Miner to prevent Bitcoin Miner from being deactivated, as well as provide a pathway to restore on-device mining in the future.

    October 29th - Bitcoin Miner 1.59 gets recertified by Microsoft by replacing on-device mining with cloud mining. Deactivation averted.

    The choice here was basically:

    1. Do nothing, Bitcoin Miner stops working for everyone on October 31st.
    2. Replace on-device mining with cloud mining, Bitcoin Miner keeps working at a rate close to Power Saving mode.

    #2 is better than nothing and is a temporary solution until we can ship an add-on from our website to re-enable on-device mining. From our side #2 is not good, because we're using GroupFabric's own in-house mining capacity to provide hash rate to users. We can only afford to do this because Bitcoin Miner is ad-supported. While cloud-mining means there are no mining power costs to users, everyone prefers on-device mining since hash rates are better.

    The current situation is a temporary stopgap measure until we can finish the add-on. We've had roughly only seven days to completely redesign things and are working hard to bring back on-device mining!

  2. 2 votes
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    1 comment  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Google doesn't allow on-device mining in Play Store apps, so the hardware specs initially won't matter as we'll likely back the Android version with our cloud miners. The most important thing will likely be supporting at least Android 9 or 10, as well as validating against Google SafetyNet (i.e. rooted devices will not work well as they generally are not considered secure environments by Google).

    We'll look into older Android versions, but a lot will depend on Google SafetyNet validation support for a secure environment.

  3. 6 votes
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    5 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Still working on the non-Microsoft Store miner, a lot of our resources got distracted mitigating attacks on the mining pool which affected progress. We've added a lot of infrastructure to support upcoming Windows Desktop and Android miners. Probably a month or two away.

  4. 109 votes
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    36 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Still working on the non-Microsoft Store miner, a lot of our resources got distracted mitigating attacks on the mining pool which affected progress.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    We're still working on the next version. A lot of work has been going into the mining pool to support the new versions. We also issues a large set of payouts this week for older accounts with at least 2730 Satoshis.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Update - our work was slowed over the past two weeks due to a denial-of-service attack which slowed down our mining pool and had to be addressed. We’ve implement additional defenses and fixes to mitigate future denial of service attacks; no user data was affected as the attack just slowed down the front-ends. There has also been civil unrest in our city due to civil rights concerns and the COVID pandemic, which has slowed our staff's ability to work normally. We want to get the new versions out just as much as you folks do!

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Just posted an update here:

    https://www.groupfabric.com/pool/

    *2020/06/02 - Microsoft has shut down their ad network, preventing Bitcoin Miner from operating in most regions.

    We are working on finishing an Android app ASAP so users will be able to re-activate their miners.

    We are also lowering the next payout minimum to the smallest amount allowed by the Bitcoin protocol so existing balances get paid out sooner.

    Finally, we are working on a new Bitcoin Miner that doesn't require the Microsoft Store and will be available here when it is ready.

    Thank you to everyone for your support as we continue our engineering work. We apologize for the downtime!

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Re: Are we going to be payed out for the mining we completed if it doesn't meet the 5000 pay out?

    If it came to that, yes we'd find some way to issue payouts.

    Keep in mind that there are hard minimums in Bitcoin:

    - Bitcoin Core’s minimum transaction relay size is 2730 Satoshis; amounts smaller than this do not get transmitted
    - Bitcoin protocol’s hard minimum transaction size is 546 Satoshis; amounts smaller than this do not get validated
    - Most wallets charge fees on amounts smaller than 5000 Satoshis, and some on amounts smaller than 10000

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Re: Does this mean Windows Mobile devices will be dropped?

    There's no good way to sugar coat it. Windows Mobile devices will be dropped.

    With Microsoft shutting down their Advertising network on June 1st, there's no way of funding the cloud miners that back Windows Mobile devices.

    Microsoft also changed their policies back in October to prohibit apps that mine on device.

    Without any way to do on-device mining, or to pay for cloud mining, there's no obvious way to cover cloud mining costs.

    Well, technically not true - our short term plan is to move the advertising code on to Android, which will allow people to use an Android device to activate cloud miners from Windows devices.

    So in theory you'll be able to use an Android device to activate a Windows Phone device, but it will be a bit awkward.

    Longer term (if it looks viable), we'll bring cloud mining outright to Android devices.

    But realistically Windows Mobile is a dead end due to Microsoft's shutdown of their ad network and their prohibition of on-device mining in Microsoft Store apps (Windows Mobile will not load an app without a Store or developer signature).

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    We’re working as fast as we can to move Bitcoin Miner off of the Microsoft Store!

    The upgrade is coming in two phases:

    Phase 1: Over the next two weeks we will be releasing an Android “Miner Key” app which will separate the ads from the miner, this will allow the cloud mining to continue to work when Microsoft finishes shutting down their ad service on June 1st.

    Phase 2: Over the next 1-3 months we will be releasing a Windows desktop miner, which will restore on-device mining. This will allow you to use your local hardware, where better equipment will make a difference when it comes to mining performance.

  5. 1,192 votes
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    123 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Right now we're focusing on just making sure the same features are there as before. Microsoft policy changes progressively forced us to reduce functionality, so our first goal is to provide something that is equivalent to what people used to enjoy. Once we've restored functionality, the next focus will be on improving user profitability and quality-of-life improvements (minor things like enabling users to adjust their payout minimum as an example).

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    We’re still very busy working on the next versions. Our work was slowed over the past two weeks due to a denial-of-service attack which periodically affected availability for users. We’ve implemented additional defenses and fixes to mitigate future attacks, and no user data was affected. There has also been civil unrest in our city due to civil rights concerns and the COVID pandemic, which has slowed our staff's ability to operate normally. Right now it’s looking like the Android version may be 3-4 weeks away if everything goes as planned.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    New software is coming in the next couple months.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    If you're seeing crashes, please contact support@groupfabric.com so we can investigate more.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Wallet ids and addresses are issued by the Bitcoin wallet you decide to use. https://www.blockchain.com/ is one option if you need a wallet.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Mining add-on is ~40% complete; we hope to make faster progress over the next couple months given the holidays are now past.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Reposting this information due to some confusiuon:

    We had to temporarily replace on-device CPU and GPU mining with cloud mining. The change wasn't our choice. Microsoft changed their policy to ban on-device mining in Microsoft Store apps and gave us 15 days to replace it with cloud mining or be de-listed. We're working on a new add-on package to restore on-device mining that will be available through our website.

    Here's a link to the Microsoft policy change: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uwp/publish/store-policies-change-history

    Here’s some more information we posted on our site: https://www.groupfabric.com/bitcoin-miner/major-changes/

    The current cloud miners should still be able to generate around 500-700 Satoshis per day.

    Our choices were:

    1. If we did nothing, Bitcoin Miner would have stopped working for everyone on October 31st.
    2. Temporarily replace on-device mining with cloud mining until an on-device mining add-on can be developed, Bitcoin Miner keeps working at a hash rate close to Power Saving mode.

    We're working non-stop to finish the on-device mining add-on. The cloud mining change was the best we could do before the October 31st deadline. While the free cloud mining costs us money to operate, it is the right thing to do for users.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Right now Microsoft Store apps are not allowed to access temperature sensors - this is because Microsoft hasn't standardized how to get this information and doing so requires accessing vendor specific driver interfaces which isn't allowed on the Microsoft Store.

    What is possible is adding in manual CPU/GPU % controls, time-based controls, or user-idle/active based controls. We do want to implement these types of features but feel that user profitability still needs to take highest priority which is what we're working on right now. Once we improve user profitability, we want to continue to focus on quality improvements like these.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    We do care and are have this work scheduled, we're just a small engineering and are working on improving user yields first which is a huge amount of work to do.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    The initial hash rate spike happens only in Power Saving mode because Bitcoin Miner is determining the performance capabilities of your hardware to find the best yield while minimizing power use.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    On Charle's comment - you can actually verify Bitcoin Miner is performing as advertised using a network trace tool or the built in Trace View for analysis.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    We haven't made any performance changes to the core mining algorithms - the only thing I can think of that would negatively affect performance might driver updates.

    It's also possible that some of recent fixes for Spectre and Meltdown from Intel and MSFT may have affected mining on some machines, but that seems unlikely.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    The only time the Bitcoin Miner should try to use your camera is if you click the scan button in the Payout Address screen (so the app can scan in a payout address QR code).

    If it is at any other time, we recommend immediately denying any camera permission dialogs.

    Likely it’s because a bad advertisement on Microsoft’s advertising network – we have a thread going with Microsoft right now over why their ad network is delivering ads that are requesting this permission.

    Another option is to deny the camera permission to Bitcoin Miner in the Windows 10 Settings –

    1. Start Menu
    2. Search for Settings
    3. Find A Setting -> Camera Privacy Settings
    4. Bitcoin Miner -> Off

    This will disable the QR code scanning functionality in the Payout Address screen, but is probably the best workaround until we can get a fix from Microsoft.

    Mining performance was also partially degraded over the past week due to connectivity issues, but we implemented several fixes over the weekend that should boost overall yields. Even at low hash rates users should be able to mine 300-500 Satoshis/day at the moment.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Definitely disable SLI/Crossfire when mining - GPU drivers don't correctly distribute compute workloads in SLI. When in SLI the GPU driver "fools" the application by only showing one virtual GPU, but then you're relying on the GPU driver to correctly distribute mining workloads which they don't.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    CUDA and OpenCL are tricky to have directly because Microsoft will not certify apps that use these functions right now (only DirectX is allowed). We'd certainly like to use both CUDA/OpenCL and are investigation other ways we could get something similar done.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Waleed - please file a support ticket - this forum is for feature requests.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    If the GPU driver crashes - unfortunately it's exactly that - a bug in the GPU driver. That said, sometimes GPUs will crash if they have insufficient cooling, but both AMD and nVidia drivers do let you see the driver status in their control panels.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Hi Michal, all of our Windows Store miners use DirectCompute (DirectX) when GPU mining.

    Unfortunately Microsoft has not certified any OpenCL or CUDA libraries for use in the Windows Store. This means if an app were to use OpenCL or CUDA, it would not pass certification for release on the Windows Store.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Hopefully some time in the next 3 months - right now most of the work is going into a Litecoin version as well as ASIC support.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Right now Bitcoin Miner doesn't show stats or controls on a per-device basis, but I'm looking into adding this sometime in the next couple versions (both controls and info).

    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) shared this idea  · 
  6. 27 votes
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    6 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Microsoft shut down their Ad Network on June 1st, and ads were what supported the cloud miners behind Bitcoin Miner. While we've tried to keep mining services available since the shutdown, availability will continue to be limited until we can finish the new versions of Bitcoin Miner that do not depend on Microsoft's advertising platform. right now it’s looking like the Android version may be 3-4 weeks away if everything goes as planned.

  7. 17 votes
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    4 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    We’re working on moving Bitcoin Miner off of the Microsoft Store so users will once again be able to mine with their own devices, and not be subject to Microsoft Advertising which is causing most of the crashes. The non-Microsoft Store version will be available for download later this year at https://www.groupfabric.com/bitcoin-miner

    The upgrade is coming in two phases:

    Phase 1: Over the next two weeks we will be releasing an Android “Miner Key” app which will separate the ads from the miner, this will allow the cloud mining to continue to work when Microsoft finishes shutting down their ad service on June 1st.

    Phase 2: Over the next 1-3 months we will be releasing a Windows desktop miner, which will restore on-device mining. This will allow you to use your local hardware, where better equipment will make a difference when it comes to mining performance.

  8. 15 votes
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    2 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    We’re working on it – at the moment we’re trying to finish an Android add-on for Windows version. The Android add-on will be responsible for showing ads while the Windows version will do the mining.

    This will fix the Windows crashes as most are being caused by Microsoft Advertising, plus it will fix funding the cloud miners as Microsoft Advertising is shutting down on June 1st.

    Once the ads are no longer part of the Windows version, we’re going to finish the non-Microsoft store version which will also restore on-device mining.

  9. 1 vote
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    1 comment  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    We do plan to offer an Android version in the future. At the moment we are working on a Bitcoin Miner version that doesn't require the Microsoft Store, and adding support for more mining algorithms like Random-X (Monero) and Ethash (Ethereum). After that our plan is to look at and Android and iOS versions.

  10. 9 votes
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    4 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Windows Phone apps requires a digital signature signed by the Microsoft Store authorizing both your phone and account to load an app. AFAIK only developer unlocked phones can side-load, but Microsoft isn't unlocking phones anymore.

    Longer term, we're working on an Android version as Microsoft has completely discontinued supporting Windows Phone.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    We'll offer it as long as we can - however Microsoft is shutting down their advertising network on June 1st so beyond then there won't be a way to fund it.

    That said, we are looking at possibly offering it on Android and iOS as those do have advertising options.

  11. 3 votes
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    1 comment  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Here's a tentative schedule, but things in software always take longer than they seem.

    - Phase 1 is an add-on which we hope to deliver in some form over the next 2-3 weeks. It will do basic things like crash re-start and restore the mute functionality that was broken by various Windows updates.

    - Phase 2 is the full non-Store miner. We hope to have that before June 1st since that is when Microsoft's Advertising network shuts down, however engineering schedules are already tight so at least 2-3 months (which would mean early July if 3 months).

  12. 6 votes
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    2 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Regarding the 5000 Satoshi minimum payout – it is set to this with very good reason:

    1. Most wallets charge fees on amounts smaller than 5000 Satoshis, and some on amounts smaller than 10000
    2. Bitcoin Core’s minimum transaction relay size is 2730 Satoshis; amounts smaller than this do not get transmitted
    3. Bitcoin protocol’s hard minimum transaction size is 546 Satoshis; amounts smaller than this do not get validated

    Effectively 5000 Satoshis is the smallest payout we can reliably issue to users as this is determined by the Bitcoin network itself.

    The mining pool automatically issues payouts every week to accounts with balances of 5000 Satoshis or more. If you do not have at least 5000 Satoshis during a payout cycle, the balance carries forward (you don't lose it).

    The most recent pool payout was issued on March 8th in transaction id 065bd2b33ef031a9998b672d1530577a71263806c01caea0cec61fefb237b8f8, which can be verified in any blockchain explorer. The next payout will be issued on or before March 16th.

    In October 2019 we had to replace on-device CPU and GPU mining with cloud mining because Microsoft banned on-device mining from Store apps.

    Cloud mining means your computer doesn't do any of the work - cloud means miners are run by GroupFabic where GroupFabric pays all of the power, infrastructure, and hardware costs. A benefit of cloud mining is that Bitcoin Miner doesn’t use any power over your machine’s baseline load.

  13. 81 votes
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    5 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Couple things at play here:

    1. In October Microsoft banned on-device mining in Store apps. This means Bitcoin Miner can only do cloud mining where GroupFabric runs the miners.
    2. CloudMining has GroupFabric pay the power and infrastructure costs; these costs have to be supported by ads.
    3. Ads require foreground focus.

    We're working on a new version that doesn't require the Microsoft Store. This version will have an option for no ads in exchange for a % of what is mined. When running without ads, it will also work in the background.

  14. 193 votes
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    5 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    We'd love to do this, but Microsoft recently changed their policy to ban on-device mining back in October. Here's a link to their policy changes: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uwp/publish/store-policies-change-history

    Basically the only people who would be able to mine would be those with rooted Xboxes or developer licenses that allow side loading. Doesn't mean it won't happen, but with Microsoft's current policy it's hard to make a user-friendly product.

  15. 1 vote
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    1 comment  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Microsoft unfortunately doesn't allow on-device mining in Microsoft Store apps, so the ads actually are paying for cloud miners which GroupFabric runs. I.e. the mining isn't performed on your machine - GroupFabric is running the miners already on your behalf.

    The ads are what pay our power and infrastructure costs which is why the loss of ads is bad for yields. We're working on moving Bitcoin Miner off of the Microsoft Store so users will be able to mine using their own machines.

    Once users are mining on their own machines, we'll be able to offer a no-ads option in exchange for a fee % of what is mined as mentioned here.

  16. 22 votes
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    3 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    It's on the roadmap, right now we're working on a non-Microsoft Store version. After that we'll look at add-ons for Android and iOS.

  17. 19 votes
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    5 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Most of these stats a fairly standard for miners - but here's some general info:

    As to what are shares – shares are completed units of work that have been submitted to the mining pool. The higher the difficulty a share was mined at, the more the share is worth. The mining pool automatically calibrates difficulty so your miner finds one around every 30 seconds. Higher hash rate miners can solve higher difficulty shares and consequently have higher yields.

    Errors are when you miner submits a share and the pool cannot validate or redeem it. Reasons for this can be if there is a mathematic error in the share (sometimes an indicator of a hardware issue but this is rare). More commonly, errors happen when a work item that the miner was working on goes stale and is replaced by a newer work item. Bitcoin Miner is designed to submit the old share just in case it can be redeemed, but in these situations errors nothing to worry about. Generally they happen when work items change quickly such as when the pool and miner haven’t settled into a steady state and the difficulty is changing.

  18. 10 votes
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    2 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Thanks for the support! Microsoft was a good partner while it lasted - but nothing lasts for ever. We're going to try to keep yields as high as we can until the new miner is out.

  19. 154 votes
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    14 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    We're probably ~40% complete on the mining add-on (since November when we were forced to switch to cloud mining); we hope to make faster progress over the next couple months as the holidays are now done.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    Over the next couple weeks we hope to have the Cloud Mining hash rate improve as optimizations get made.

    Probably end of January or mid-February for the add-on as it will contain new mining engines as well.

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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    We're working on it. Microsoft changed their policy to ban on-device mining (both CPU and GPU) in Microsoft Store apps and gave us 15 days to replace it with cloud mining or be de-listed. We're working on a new add-on package to restore on-device mining that will be available through our website. Here's a link to the Microsoft policy change:

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uwp/publish/store-policies-change-history

    Our only choices were:

    1. If we did nothing, Bitcoin Miner stops working for everyone on October 31st.
    2. Temporarily replace on-device mining with cloud mining until an on-device mining add-on can be developed, Bitcoin Miner keeps working at a hash rate close to Power Saving mode.

    We're working non-stop to finish the on-device mining add-on. The cloud mining change was the best we could do before the October 31st deadline. While the free cloud mining costs us money to operate, it is the right thing to do for users.

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    2 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) commented  · 

    We are working on it. Microsoft's policy changes are outside our control but we are doing our best.

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