How to Mine Ravencoin In 2021
Ravencoin (RVN) which was launched in 2018 is an attractive coin that many people have turned to as they look to benefit from cheap mining options. With Bitcoin mining largely out of reach for beginners and Ethereum switching to PoS, coins like RVN are proving to be the next gem.
As a miner, you are not just processing transactions, but securing the network as you create new coins. You can solo mine this coin profitably, or join a mining pool to further increase your chances of success. This tutorial details how to mine Ravencoin, including what you need to be profitable.
Breaking Down Ravencoin Mining
We've already mentioned that Ravencoin is one among many smaller coins attracting huge interest from miners. In the subsections below we look at what Ravencoin mining is, with details on why it is critical to the network.
What is Ravencoin Mining?
Ravencoin is a Proof-of-Work coin that needs miners to maintain its decentralization and to secure the network from bad actors. That is what Ravencoin mining is all about. As an open-source project whose protocol is a fork of the Bitcoin code, Ravecoin shares several mining characteristics with the BTC network.
Ravencoin's PoW system differs from that of BTC and some other coins due to a feature that makes it ASIC-resistant. This feature is coded into the KawPoW hashing algorithm used on the RVN network.
The new consensus mining algorithm is a variation of the X16R algorithm and was introduced in an upgrade of the network in May 2020. KawPoW allows for mining using much lower computational power needs than Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin. But the basic principle is that the network uses miners (computers/nodes) to validate transactions in a block before adding them to the distributed ledger (blockchain).
In this way, the network remains decentralized and miners get newly minted RVN as a reward for their work.
Why Ravencoin Miners are Important?
Through mining, Ravencoin keeps the network decentralized and can release new coins into circulation. More importantly, the network needs a decentralised network of miners to secure the network against potential attacks.
As miners contribute hashing power to verify transactions, they help protect the network against one major loophole that can be catastrophic - a 51% attack. Blockchain platforms achieve security by relying on multiple miners strewn across the globe.
The resources used to mine new coins offer what is called hashrate, which is what anyone looking to process transactions must have. If the network isn't robust enough, a single miner or group of miners can collaborate to maliciously spend or even steal funds by altering the blockchain. This requires them to control 51% or more of the total hashrate.
That means that if the network is big enough, with a far more decentralised network of miners, such loopholes are difficult to exploit.
Ravencoin incentivizes miners to continue dedicating their computational power in processing transactions and adding valid blocks to the blockchain. Currently, miners earn 5000 RVN for every valid block added to the blockchain.
Ravencoin Mining Limitations
Ravencoin was launched in 2018 without a pre-mine and did not also undergo a token sale via an ICO. After the Ravencoin team forked Bitcoin source code, they tweaked it to allow for a different mining algorithm.
However, the network still incorporates several aspects of Proof-of-Work coins that work with the Bitcoin network. This includes having a hard cap to the number of coins that will ever be released, similar to Bitcoin's fixed supply of 21 million BTC. While Ravencoin increased its maximum supply, it's fixed at 21,000,000,000 RVN coins, meaning that there will only ever be 21 billion RVN coins in circulation.
Ravencoin ‘halving’ is another of the mining features you need to note. Halving allows for the reduction of mining rewards as newly created RVN coins in each block decreases by half.
The RVN network has coded its block halving to happen every 2,100,000 blocks, which is approximately every four years. The current block reward of 5,000 RVN will be cut to 2,500 RVN when the network has its first halving in January 2022. Halving will continue to cut the newly minted coins until all coins are mined.
Mining RVN follows a 1 minute block time, which sees mining difficulty rise or fall to adjust for this limit. Difficulty adjusts as per the above block time and depends on how much mining power is being used on the network. This also relates to mining profitability, which sees more miners seek to mine RVN when prices go up, and move to other chains when prices go down.
Depending on hash power, difficulty will adjust to make it possible to mine RVN within the protocol's coin generation limit.
Tip to Mine Ravencoin Efficiently for Greater Profits“ Ravencoin's ASIC-resistant algorithm makes it easier for anyone with a decent amount of hashrate to mine RVN using GPU miners. While you can mine with any Nvidia cards or AMD graphics cards, the more effective and efficient cards are Nvidia's. A good rig can give you enough hash power to mint RVN, whether solo or through a pool. If you want to check how profitable RVN mining can be for you with the hashrate at your disposal, use a mining profitability calculator to check out potential revenue and ROI time. ”- Benson Toti
Technical Aspects of Mining Ravencoin Explained
You might find crypto mining a little easier to understand if you get to grips with the technical language associated with the topic. A simplified explanation makes it even better, which is what we have done here to help you understand what is meant by hashrate and processing power.
Hashrate Simplified for Ravencoin
- What does hashrate mean?
Hashrate in cryptocurrency mining refers to computing power, which is the power your mining machine uses as it solves complex mathematical problems to unlock new transaction blocks. The more powerful your computer or rig, the more hashrate it packs. When multiple miners join a network, the total amount of computational power becomes the network hashrate.
- How is hashrate measured?
Miners measure hashrate in hashes per second (h/s), which simply defines the number of times the device can calculate the hash of a block. The calculations are guesses aimed at determining a certain value that identifies the valid block. Hashrate can be quantified as follows:
If the hashrate allows for 1,000 calculations per second, that's 1 kilo hash/second (KH/s). If it's 1 million calculations, that becomes 1 mega hash/second (MH/s). 1 gigahash per second (GH/s) is 1 billion hashes, while 1 terahash per second (TH/s) and 1 petahash per second (PH/s) account for 1 trillion and 1 quadrillion hashes respectively.
- Why is a higher hashrate important?
A higher hashrate is important on two fronts: For miners, the greater your hashing power, the higher your chances of competing for the block reward. It means a miner with inadequate computing power might struggle to win a block reward, especially if they choose to solo mine.
For the Ravencoin network (and any other PoW coin), a higher hashrate equals better network security. This comes about by more miners joining the network and dedicating their computational resources towards mining. A lower hashrate means fewer miners, and is a risk factor that can make it easy for nefarious players to mastermind 51% attacks.
Ravencoin has seen its hashrate rise over the past few months, with miners returning to the coin after the March 2020 price crash that decimated mining profitability. Currently, Ravencoin's hashrate is 10.72 Th/s.
Processing Power: CPU & GPU
The engine of your mining machine is the central processing unit (CPU), which you could use to mine some cryptocurrencies. However, today you need a graphics processing unit (GPU) to mine most coins.
The CPU and GPU are made up of microprocessors that power your computer's speed of performing calculations. How fast this is, and hence how many calculations per second, is what gives you the hashrate, and is the reason you can mine Ravencoin and other cryptocurrencies using the faster GPU microprocessor and not the slower CPU.
In the early days, it was possible to mine cryptocurrencies with CPU power, as the computing power needed then was not as high as it is today. This is because CPU power is suitable for basic math calculations (i.e. less hashing power).
The graphics processing unit (GPU) offers more firepower for fast math calculations, which is what today's mining is all about.
Apart from CPUs and GPUs, miners also used field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), fixed-function mining machines that offered higher processing speeds and were better suited for mining Bitcoin. FPGAs packed more hashrate than single GPUs and consumed less power, which was an advantage to miners.
Then came the advent of the application-specific integrated circuit miners (ASICs). These are custom-built machines specifically designed for mining, and they offer the most processing power. ASICs are expensive, however, and often make mining more centralized than it should be by concentrating mining power in the hands of a few mining farms/pools.
Mining algorithms like KawPoW are designed to be ASIC-resistant to prevent the use of these specialized mining machines.
Hashrate needed to mine Ravencoin profitably
Your mining rig can calculate millions of hashes per second when looking for the correct hash. It means the more hashrate the higher the number of these calculations. So, you may have a GPU rig built with Nvidia's 1070 Ti that packs over 24 MH/s. Three such cards can give you 72 MH/s for which you can mine 1 RVN. But you cannot mint just one coin, which makes it even harder to mine the block reward.
Another component of mining Ravencoin you need to know is difficulty. Mining difficulty shows how hard it is for miners to find a block and adjusts from time to time depending on network hashrate and block generation time.
If network hashrate increases, it means there are more miners and difficulty will adjust up or down to keep the block time within the 1 minute block time. Ravencoin has a hashrate of 11.5 TH/s and a network difficulty of 150.63K.
Ravencoin network difficulty chart. Source: 2Miners.com
Pros and Cons of Mining Ravencoin
DIY Ravencoin Mining - How to Get Started
Do you want to get started mining Ravencoin? Well, you know that you need mining hardware, software, and electricity. As a miner, you'll also need to have somewhere to store your mining rewards. Have all these requirements in place, and you would be ready to start mining RVN. Here is the breakdown of how to go about mining Ravencoin.
Best Mining hardware for Ravencoin
Ravencoin is best mined using GPU hardware, which makes it a popular coin for miners who cannot afford the more expensive ASICs.
What makes RVN mining more manageable is that the KawPoW algorithm that is ASIC-resistant; allowing miners to compete for block rewards using hardware assembled using consumer-grade equipment. Changes to the protocol have also allowed miners with 3GB RAM graphic cards to mint RVN.
If you have a good mining rig with Nvidia or AMD cards, you can easily mine Ravencoin - whether you choose it as an individual or join others in a mining pool. For the former, it is important to realize that you need a good amount of hashrate to compete with other miners and that means you might need more GPUs.
An example of the hashrate would be getting a single video card like the Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti that offers up to 45 MH/s per unit. A mining rig of 6 graphics cards would give you 270 MH/s.
Note that it currently takes about 0.021 days for you to mint 1 RVN using a hashrate of 70MH/s at 580W and $0.10 in electricity costs. This means you are still not able to solo mine a block of 5000 RVN using a single rig of 270 MH/s.
It could be costly to try to assemble an operation of more than 30 of Nvidia's 1080 Ti GPUs, to mine solo, with costs of over $600 per graphics card. But you can assemble a smaller rig and use the hashing power in combination with other miners to get a share of the reward. Find out how to do this in the section on mining solutions below.
Other Costs to be Considered
Hardware makes up the largest costs associated with mining. So, apart from the GPUs, you will have to purchase a power supply unit, a motherboard, and several fans to cool the mining machines.
The overall capital needed to start a Ravencoin mining operation depends on the hashrate needed as well as electricity. After the mining rigs have been set up, electricity will make up the largest chunk of costs. For a profitable mining experience, set up your mining in a region where electricity costs per kilowatt are below $0.10.
We've already talked about how mining RVN is suited for GPUs, which means you can easily set up a mining rig or get a custom-made one for a quick start.
If you have these requirements taken care of, you are ready to start mining Ravencoin (RVN). The other step to take is to install mining software and choose a pool from one of the many available for RVN mining. Next, connect your wallet to the pool via the compatible software you have downloaded. There many options to choose from when it comes to the best software for Ravencoin mining, including KawPoWminer, TeamRedMiner, and Gminer.
KawPoWminer is best for Nvidia graphics cards, while TeamRedMiner is highly optimised for mining Ravencoin with AMD graphics cards. If, for any reason, you don't like these two, the Gminer software is compatible with both AMD and Nvidia GPUs.
A mining service allows you to mine cryptocurrency either by joining others in a mining pool or renting computational power from a cloud service. Ravencoin miners can mine at home on their mining rigs, join a pool and contribute hashrate, or find a reputable cloud mining service to start processing transactions and earning mining rewards.
But it's not that straightforward, which means you need the right details to benefit from these services. Note that mining Ravencoin can be profitable when done right, with the opposite also true with an improper set up.
While Ravencoin's mining algorithm is ASIC-resistant, demands on hashrate make solo mining largely unsuitable unless you set up a massive operation with several dozen GPUs.
Why do you need to join a mining pool?
A mining pool combines the computing power of many miners, allowing them to mine RVN as one entity and thus increasing their chances of securing the block reward.
Miners compete with each other on the network, with the reward for a winner being a block reward of 5,000 RVN.
When you want to pick a mining pool, check on the following:
What are the pool fees? Different pools charge different fees to miners before they are allowed to join the group. You'll find also that some pools offer 0% fees, which can be an incentive as that means costs related to mining RVN are lower. Apart from that, find out how the pool shares rewards with its members. Also, try to figure out where the pool servers are located.
Cloud mining is another option for mining cryptocurrencies which you can utilize to mine RVN. You don't have to acquire or run the mining hardware. Neither will you have to worry about maintenance and electricity.
To mine a given coin on the cloud, all you need to do is get a mining contract from a cloud mining service. The mining service usually runs large data centers and mining farms, with the computing power "sold" to customers. The service will do the actual mining, which means as a miner, you don't invest your time in running and maintaining mining hardware.
Once you pay the cost of mining the cryptocurrency for say 5 years, you'll receive mining rewards from your rented hashrate for that duration. It can be an efficient way to mine coins if you get a reputable platform, but third-party providers can pose risks if they are disreputable.
NiceHash is the most popular place to sell or buy computing power, which means you can mine on the cloud by simply purchasing the desired amount of hash power. NiceHash supports Ravencoin's new mining algorithm KawPoW, and miners can go to the NiceHash Marketplace to download the miner.
GamerHash is also a great platform to get mining power for Ravencoin. Once you install the application, you can also share idle processing power and earn from it in Bitcoin. The rewards will be sent to your wallet address, where you can decide on the next step.
Where to Save my Coins After Mining?
One of the first things you must do when looking to mine cryptocurrency is to create a crypto wallet. The same concept works for RVN, and the wallet address you generate is where you save your newly mined coins. The wallet needs to be secure, as your funds can easily be compromised if malicious entities gain access to them. Here are our top recommended Ravencoin wallets you can use to store your RVN.