At 3:52 am on March 1, 2019, Beijing time, Ethereum updated two hard forks of Constantinople and St. Petersburg on the 7,280,000 block. As the sixth and seventh comprehensive system upgrading at Ethereum, the process in Constantinople and St. Petersburg was unexpectedly smooth. Some accidents once happened in previous Ethereum hard forks, the most famous one was the ETC which appeared after the hard fork in 2016. Until now the ETC has been still running as a separate chain. The Constantinople upgrading has completely changed the mining rules of Ethereum and delayed the difficulty bomb of Ethereum for at least one year. The average block time after upgrading was reduced from 21 seconds to 12.5 seconds, while the block reward was also reduced from 3 ETHs to 2 ETHs.
The result of this upgrading: although the difficulty of Ethereum mining has been greatly reduced, many mining workers have turned to other currencies for higher returns. In addition, the development team of Ethereum implemented a new consensus mechanism called “ProgPoW” to counter the hashrate monopoly of ASIC mining equipment. The basic principle of ProgPoW is no different from that of PoW since they are both the proof of workload to determine the income of the mining workers based on the hashrate. However, ProgPoW can effectively reduce the mining efficiency and hashrate of ASIC miners, so that its hashrate will be maintained at the same level as that of the GPU miners. This move opened the gate to attract more mining workers newly involved in the mining industry and those with small-scale GPU miners.
As can be seen from the difficulty chart, the Ethereum difficulty has been greatly reduced. So, it’s a good opportunity for mining workers now. If you intend to return to Ethereum mining in 2019, the first thing you should consider is the hardware selection and next factor with the same importance is the mining software suitable for your miner. Now, we’d like to provide the evaluations on several popular Ethereum mining software in the market.
Download website: https://github.com/ethereum-mining/ethminer
Ethminer is the most preferred mining software for many newbies because the setup and application are relatively simple. It is quite similar to Geth, Ethereum’s official client, but the difference is that Geth is programed with Go language which only supports Ethereum mining, while Ethminer is programed with C++ which supports all the currencies with ethhash algorithm.
As a complete opensource software, Ethminer promises not to charge anything fees and commissions (better than Claymore). It is recommended for Ethminer workers to use Nvidia for mining. Relatively speaking, the operation of Ethminer will be simpler without any complicated command lines to input. In general, Ethminer is a good choice for the newbies and the mining workers who use Nvidia for mining.
Download website: https://github.com/claymore-miner/Claymore-Dual-Miner/releases
Claymore is another popular mining software which has been widely used due to its special double-mining mode. Claymore enables the miners to mine not only Ethereum but also other Altcoins with little impact on hardware performance. It supports both Nvidia video cards and AMD video cards, and can run smoothly on Windows and Linux.
Claymore released a V12.0 updating in December, 2018, which provided a non-commission mode for 2GB and 3GB graphics cards, and reduced the commission rate of double-mining from 2% to 1% as well as the minimum requirement on GPU memory. Those who refuse to pay commission can download the crack version of claymore from the Internet.
Download website: https://github.com/digitalpara/WiNETH
WinETH is one of the best software with GUI suitable for mining with the easiest operation currently. Therefore, WinETH is greatly favored by the Ethereum mining workers who are less skilled. Being written based on Ethminer, WinETH is added with a user-friendly graphical interface and an intelligent configuration algorithm, which can help users slightly improve mining efficiency based on current hardware.
As the name suggests, WinETH is only suitable for Windows users. In addition, users can choose to run WinETH only when the hard disk is idle or when the computer is booting, which is more suitable for CPU mining workers. Moreover, WinETH will charge 1% of mining revenue for software development.
Download website: https://github.com/ckolivas/cgminer
Now, we finally talk about the well-known CGMiner. It’s mainly designed for the mining workers using AMD graphics cards because there is no CUDA support in CGMiner (CUDA is known as the Compute Unified Device Architecture introduced by NVIDIA, which enables GPU to solve complex computational problems). It has always been opensource and the first choice for AMD mining workers in the past years. However, because it has no GUI, the operation is relatively complicated compared to WinETH and Claymore.
CGMiner is operated by means of command line interface and the most important thing is that it never charges commission! (very attractive). Due to good compatibility, CGMiner supports multiple pools and miners, so it’s the Ethereum mining software most frequently used in my mining career.
Tips: Choose suitable mining software according to specific requirements, make more comparations without any arbitrary decision.