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:
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.
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.
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!
We're working on a version where users can choose to disable ads in exchange for a % of what is mined.
At the moment Google doesn’t allow miners on their Play store, so any miner we would develop would only be available via side-loading. Because of this we’re working on improving profitability for users by adding support for more mining algorithms like CryptoNight (Monero) and Ethash (Ethereum) over an Android version.
We're still working on it, but engineering resources are limited and most of our work as been focused on improving or maintaining profitability for users.
We do have some items planned for website later this year - our first priority right now is improving yields for users with better mining algorithms.
The reason it's hard to find shares on SHA-256 pools is that the default pool in Bitcoin Miner is actually a multi-pool, where it has your miner mine whatever is most profitable for your PC/Phone, and then converts it over to Bitcoin.
When you directly mine SHA-256d, the hash rates will be higher but yields lower due to the much easier SHA-256d mining function. Directly mining SHA-256d means you end up competing with large datacenters filled with ASIC hardware coupled to dedicated power plants.
What we're working on is improving the internal mining engines to support more currencies so users can use Bitcoin Miner to also mine PC friendly currencies like Monero and Ethereum.
However to make it user friendly also requires a default mining pool (for users who don't want to deal with pool setup or other companies), and for this reason we no longer offer a Litecoin Miner since we'd then have to support more than one payout currency.
On Dogecoin - we no longer offer Dogecoin Miner because Dogecoin was changed so that it could be earned when mining Litecoin (merge mined). Since most Litecoin pools allow dual mining of both Dogecoin and Litecoin, it didn’t make sense to have a standalone Dogecoin miner.
Also, the Dogecoin project hasn’t been updated for over 3 years, so it’s fairly risky as there hasn’t been much developer support. You can view confirm this via their source code repository on GitHub at https://github.com/dogecoin/dogecoin.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Waleed - please file a support ticket - this forum is for feature requests.
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.
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.
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.
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).
@ Matteo - it's a fair concern, we did do some upgrades over the past two weeks and yields have improved slightly. There's been an overall recession lately however we're continuing to work on improving yields.
Still working on the engineering for improved mining algorithms.
Yields have already gone up - also global mining difficulty is significantly higher than it was months ago which negatively affects yields.
What will have the largest positive impact on yields is when we can get more mining engines online that support more currencies which is what we're currently working on.
This is not something you can wish into existence. It takes months of real R&D to do.
Yes - we're hoping to see significantly improved yields within 1-3 weeks.
Yields are also affected by Bitcoin network fees - the Bitcoin network clears approximately 2000-3000 transactions every 10 minutes, and there are over 100,000 transactions in Bitcoin's queue right now. This number increases or decreases depending on how many people are sending transactions. For up to date stats on this, please see https://jochen-hoenicke.de/queue/#24h
When fees are high yields will also go down, at the moment fees have been exceedingly high for the past two months.
The default pool in Bitcoin Miner is a multi-pool, where it has your miner mine whatever is most profitable for your PC/Phone, and then converts it over to Bitcoin.
Fees are good if they are on the currency you are mining (converting from - these add to the yield).
Fees are bad if they are on the currency you are receiving (converting to - these remove from the yield and can slow payouts).
Directly mining Bitcoin's SHA-256d hash algorithm would unlikely be profitable to PCs and Phones due to the extreme competition from datacenters filled with ASICs, coupled to dedicated power plants.
Another thing to note are the current status of network fees as incurred by the pool, you can monitor this here: https://jochen-hoenicke.de/queue/#24h
More math needed.
Bitcoin dropped from 10k$ to 8k$ for ~10 minutes, then went up to 11k$/BTC.
The yield of 0.2 Satoshis / Share @ difficulty 1 was at 7k$/BTC.
The yield of 0.17 Satoshis / Share @ difficulty 1 represents a 15% drop, however going from 7k$/BTC to 11k$/BTC represents a 57% gain.
Complaining about a 15% yield reduction when the underlying asset has experienced a 57% gain in short period of time doesn't make sense, since you're still earning 33% more (1.57 * .85 ~= 1.33).
Kiriki is right - we mine the best currency available to try and get the best yield for users. Our main engineering focus is adding support for more currencies behind the scenes to improve yields further.
Owen - one thing to try is running in Power Saving mode and to test how much energy is being used over the baseline power of your machine. A cheap device for doing this in the states is the Kill-A-Watt ($15-$20), but your local hardware store should have something like this in the UK as well.
I should also say that we do want to build this feature - right now we're working on improving user mining profitability which should make this less of an issue (but still something on our TODO list).
Network fees have been around 1 Satoshi/byte for around 6 months. Make sure your wallet isn't overcharging on fees. Also - many wallets let you set the fee you include when sending. A typical transaction right now should cost under 400 Satoshis @ 1 Satoshi/byte.
We agree! Enabling users to set a higher minimum payout is a feature we want to do. Right now we're working on revamping all of the mining engines to improve user yields because if users earn more, then the minimum payout is less of an issue.
The reason the pool automatically issues payouts instead of user requests is because the mining pool can issue multiple payouts in one large transaction (AKA batching in Bitcoin parlance), rather than lots of small ones. This reduces Bitcoin network load and keeps network fees lower for everyone.
DB - we don't charge anything and nothing is denominated in dollars as we only deal with Bitcoin. You may be thinking of another service or company's product. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you think something is amiss.
Monero (CryptoNight) hashes require ~256x more computation than Scrypt hashes. Also the underlying currencies are different, with different issuance cycles (Scrypt currencies tend to issue 25 per block every 2.5 minutes, while Monero issues 5 per block every 2 minutes). Monero is more rare and harder to mine.
Contrast with SHA-256d in Bitcoin, which is ~2048x EASIER to mine than Scrypt, but is worth significantly less due to it being mine-able with ASICs.
The problem with ASICs is they are a moving target - each ASIC uses a different interface and each model obsoletes the last version. If you have a limited number of engineering hours you can spend, you're going to work on the things that help the most number of users first.
An explicit goal of ours is to enable people to mine without needing external investment, and there are a lot of things we can do to boost existing PC profitability still before ASICs (Ethash, CrytoNight, Xbox, Android, iOS support, etc.).
Also - most ASICs have dedicated mining software, so it's not an under-served market. Generally once folks are looking to explicitly spend money on hardware, they also invest in the specialized software for their hardware.
DreamofBits - users mine keep every thing they mine. You can verify actual mining is happening using Trace View or a network monitoring tool.
Appreciate all the ASIC interest! Right now Bitcoin Miner Pool is designed for PCs and Phones - it mines coins which yields best when mined on PC and Phone hardware which is then exchanged over and paid-out in Bitcoin. This provides a superior payout for most users.
Unfortunately that also means if we enabled support for SHA-256d ASICs on Bitcoin Miner Pool, people using ASICs wouldn't see the superior payouts they do when compared to regular PC hardware, since SHA-256 coins are much more competitive and less profitable to mine (due to there being ASICs).
Blockchain.com doesn't charge to receive Bitcoin - however nearly all wallets charge to send bitcoin (the later is core to the Bitcoin protocol and not specific to any wallet).
We're working on a feature to let users raise the minimum payout, but until this feature is ready, the best thing to do would be to use a wallet that doesn’t have such business practices.
If your only option is to use a wallet that charges fees, we recommend using a wallet like Blockchain.info that doesn’t charge fees to accumulate payouts, then once you have enough, transfer to your main wallet to avoid fees.
All the comments here are valid - we have been reworking a lot of the internal scheduling code. Hopefully over the next couple months we'll be able to have better fine-tuning of controls so users can set what % of CPU is used for mining.
Also - to your comment on the Android app - our only release platform at the moment is the Windows Store but we are looking into Xbox and Android versions (after the user profitability work gets done). The Google Play and Apple stores do not allow on-device mobile mining so at best we'd have to offer an option via side-load.
Apps that do not perform on-device mining generally require the users to interact with ads, since otherwise no real value is being created.
We don't take any shortcuts - Bitcoin Miner is a real miner and AFAIK the only DirectX based miner out there (Microsoft only certifies DirectX for GPU operations on the Windows Store).
Hi NS, first thanks for the thoughtful comment.
The default pool in Bitcoin Miner is actually a multi-pool, where it has your miner mine whatever is most profitable for your PC/Phone, and then converts it over to Bitcoin.
We are working on adding more mining engines as right now as we don't have CryptoNight or Ethash cores which negatively affect yields As-is, users keep everything they mine as our app development is ad-supported (this is so we only do well if users want to run the application). While we don't charge fees because of this, some users have asked for an option to remove ads so we're also looking into seeing if we can offer that in the future for a small % of what is mined. Our first priority is improving mining yields for users however.
Our engineering team is fairly small - unfortunately that means that often we have to spend time on mining pool security and scalability work rather than the Bitcoin Miner app itself. This is something that isn't as visible as people only notice when something goes wrong.
As to the company name - the original focus was on something else before we launched Bitcoin Miner back in 2013, and have never bothered to change it as we've been mostly focused on the engineering rather than marketing!
Thanks for the feedback! It's true we'd like to better organize this information. Generally we issue payouts between Friday and Monday as this is when network fees are congestion is low which lets us keep yields higher for users. It's also correct that we don't publish specific times as otherwise the payout transactions could be targeted by network spam attacks. Our systems do issue payouts every week to all accounts with balances of at least 5000 Satoshis, and if a user doesn't have 5000 Satoshis at the time of a payout the balance simply rolls forward (it is not lost).
This is a feature we want to do, but for the moment if your only option is to use a wallet that charges fees, we recommend using a wallet like Blockchain.info that doesn’t charge fees to accumulate payouts, then once you have enough, transfer to your main wallet to avoid fees.
Wallets like Xapo, Kraken, Luno, and Coins.ph charge large fees to receive bitcoin (often the entire amount of the transaction). You can change your wallet and payout address in Bitcoin Miner at any time and the server will use the updated payout address during its next payout cycle.
As a reminder: please contact email@example.com or file a support ticket if you have questions on individual payouts.
Transactions can't be refused in Bitcoin as they are one way and permanent - your wallet is confiscating those Satoshis; we'd recommend immediately switching to another wallet that doesn't have those business practices. If you need the bitcoin transaction ids of a payout to follow up with your wallet's support department, contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the payout address used in Bitcoin Miner.
A good time to issue transactions to minimize fees is over the weekend when network congestion is low; at the moment fees are under 5 Sat/byte. Tradeblock is a great resource for identifying when network fees will be low. Another thing is that many wallets are relatively poor at estimating fees, so its a good idea to "get a feel" for how high of a fee to attach to transactions. This is one reason we moved to a weekly payout schedule so we could minimize fees and speed up transactions (plus it lowers fees for users when they receive smaller but larger transactions).
We'd like to add features like this, but until we can don't use wallets like Xapo or other ones that charge fees to receive Bitcoin. The Bitcoin protocol doesn't impose fees when receiving, it's purely the poor business practices of these wallets. Blockchain.info and Coinbase.com both do not charge fees to receive Bitcoin.
Internally the website uses UTC, which is then converted to your local time when shown - that said, the pool can issue payouts on 1-3 days before that date because it depends on the level of Bitcoin network congestion and network fee optimization.
Agree - we actually have a large work item for the site - right now the work looks roughly like this:
1. Improve user yields (Monero, possibly Ethereum support)
2. Get Xbox version working (improve yields for users)
3. Add ability for users to set payout minimum (improve user yields)
4. Bech32 address support (also improve user yeilds)
5. Make improvements to site/add more precise miner controls/QoL improvements/try to improve background mining support
Huge amounts of coding!
Having more status updates is something we'd like to do, however at the moment all of our efforts are going into improving the product and we do not have a large team for things like site updates and such.
All good ideas!