Agree - this is something we'd like to do when we update the website.
Thanks for the kind words! We've actually tried to ship a Background mode in the past, but the Windows Store app sandbox limited it so badly that the feature cause more problems than it was worth (i.e. app couldn't start unless PC was idle and on power, users were frustrated by having no control over when mining started and stopped, mining would be terminated arbitrarily, mining sometimes would never be started by Windows, etc. - the Windows Store sandbox just didn't let it work.)
This is something we are looking at and internally have prototype code for, but it will require a lot of engineering time to complete as several protocols are very different. It is something we'd like to do!
We do also support SHA-256d today (it's just that Scrypt is almost always more profitable). We are looking into adding better X11 and Ethash support.
We actually have most of this code written - the main issue is updating our trading systems to also support X11 in a way that provides solid yields. We are working on it though.
We'd like to do something like this - right now Microsoft doesn't certify Windows Store apps that use CUDA or OpenCL. We are looking into if there are any new possibilities with DirectX 12 however.
Quick explanation - during mining partial solutions are found to a currency's proof-of-work algorithm. Until a partial solution is found (i.e. an accepted submission), a miner doesn't have anything that will validate. Because work items change with every new transaction on the network, when a miner stops, whatever work they get when they reconnect is almost always different, so progress is effectively reset since no submission was made. The pool also has no idea whether a miner is going to reconnect, so a miner's "slot" can be reassigned to another miner, as these are assigned from the pool of available slots (literally a numeric range in the proof-of-work) at the time a miner connects.
We'd definitely like to improve the integration between the pool site and the app - right now the app only reports the amounts mined during a session rather than all time.
The main thing would be showing what numbers users are interested in - i.e. mined in the session vs. mined in all sessions but pending vs. mined in all sessions and pending and paid out.
You're absolutely correct! What the Bitcoin Miner Pool does behind-the-scenes is issue work for whatever currency is most profitable to mine on the device you're using. In some cases this can be a currency that uses Scrypt.
The mining pool takes submitted work and exchanges it over to Bitcoin for payouts. The end result is users get better yields since direct SHA256d mining is dominated by custom ASICs in datacenters with dedicated power plants.
The mining pool exists purely to make the app easier to use and takes no fees as the app is ad supported. This ensures that we are only successful if users want to run the app! As always, we also offer a Custom Pool option where users can experiment with connecting to direct SHA256d mining pools as well.
Good point on multiple or buggy GPUs - a lot of times GPU manufacturers optimize for gaming performance over compute stability and often break things between releases.
We are working on an update which should handle buggy/crashing drivers a bit better in the future (i.e. automatically stop using those GPUs).
This should already be happening - some things to double check:
Bitcoin Miner defaults to efficiency mode where it will try to minimize power consumption vs yield. If you run in performance mode you should see higher hash rates at the expense of heat and power consumption.
Make sure AMD Crossfire or NVidia SLI are disabled when mining. Both cause the operating system to report multiple GPUs as one to apps, and both Crossfire and SLI are designed for graphics rendering (they have no logic to divide up compute workloads). On our development systems Cossfire/SLI cause only the first GPU to be used for mining! Unfortunately, Microsoft blocks access to the programming interfaces needed to automatically adjust this setting in Windows Store apps so this has to be done manually.
If running in a VM, make sure the VM can do passthrough of the GPU (some VMs mess with the GPU compute bytecode which affects performance).
We're also working on improving the settings UI in the future to list all of the devices Bitcoin Miner is using (or not).
Bitcoin addresses are self-validating, so if the app is not accepting it, it's likely there is a typo somewhere. Valid Bitcoin addresses start with a '1' or a '3', are case-sensitive, are alpha-numeric only, and are typically 32-34 characters long.
Any Bitcoin Wallet or Bitcoin Exchange should be able to generate a Bitcoin addresses for you to receive bitcoins with. Coinbase is a popular exchange in the USA for converting Bitcoin into dollars and you can receive directly to your wallet.
Do you know what GPU model you have? Also is the 500MH/s on Scrypt or SHA256d?
Ideally we'd like to have it where the app automatically detects when the user is interacting so it can slow itself down. Unfortunately Microsoft doesn't expose the programming APIs needed to do this to Windows Store apps at the moment.
What do you have in mind for a button like this?
Something like a pause mining for 15 minutes button in the app?
Also the app will auto-resume mining it was mining when it was closed.
As far as transparency goes, in the settings page we provide a Trace View button which lets you see your mining pool traffic. This is the same as what you would see if you were to record the mining traffic at the network layer.
Thanks for the kind words! Unfortunately our mining pool isn't compatible with other apps due to custom extensions like PoW switching and yield/earnings reporting.
We may look at this in the future, but the list of things we're already working on to improve Bitcoin Miner is huge!
Is there a specific coin you have in mind? Most of the time the limiting factor is the mining algorithm. Bitcoin Miner already supports custom pools, so it can actually mine many alt coins if configured via the settings.
Doing coin-specific branding is harder, as it usually means adding support for the coin in our mining pools and going through various certification processes with Microsoft.
Engineering gets complicated if the mining algorithm needs to be implemented as we are the only miner that supports DirectX mining, which means custom mining engines.
Agree! We've been working very hard on the next version, but this is something we'd like to do more of!
9 votesAdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) shared this idea ·
It's a good idea - one thing I always try to think about is how to have enough info while also keeping things clean - I'll have to think about how to work this in.
Thanks for the kind words! I'll have a look at this soon (been working on adding GPU and increasing mining performance!)AdminAlex (CEO / Founder, GroupFabric) supported this idea ·