Mining Gulden

Aat de Kwaasteniet
Oct 25, 2019 · 7 min read

Dutch version here

Revised as of 30–08–2021 (new rewards and layout changes)

Introduction

In this story an explanation is given about mining of the crypto currency Gulden.
From the start of the Gulden in 2014 the scrypt algorithm was in use for the mining of the Gulden, but it got so many disadvantages that it was decided to look for a suitable alternative for scrypt. The biggest disadvantage of the scrypt algorithm was the presence of scrypt jumppools. Jumppools are pools of miners that with a very large hashrate only love Gulden when the difficulty is low, so they can easily and quickly mine a number of blocks. As soon as the difficulty went up again she “jumped” to another coin to do the same trick. The behavior of these pools caused a very fluctuating hashrate and therefore a varying block time. It happened regularly that 5–6 blocks were found within a minute and then 15 minutes nothing. The Jump Pools dominated the Gulden Network and that was not good for the stability and decentrality of the network.

SIGMA

Since October 17, 2019, the Gulden team has implemented the Sigma algorithm and since then it is possible to mine Gulden solo without additional equipment.
Sigma is a proprietary algorithm based on the Argon algorithm. Sigma is ASIC and GPU resistant and can only be used for CPU mining. Sigma can be set, managed and activated via the desktop wallet of Gulden. With this, Gulden brings the crypto mining back to the normal user and the decentrality of Gulden has been improved again. The large base of miners also ensures a stable working network. At the moment of writing the number of miners is about 300 of which the largest miners has only 4% market share compared to about 40 in the scrypt era with 2–3 poolminers with 45% market share.

If you want to know more about the technical backgrounds of SIGMA and the reasons for choosing Sigma, I recommend this blog.

Pool mining

Other algorithms are often used in the form of pool mining. This is not (yet) possible with Sigma because of the simple fact that there are no pools that support the Sigma algorithm. In addition, it makes no technical sense to mine in a pool because your solomining is just as effective and even more profitable. You only have to wait a while to find a block against pools that often pay out in fractions of a block, but of course they take some of that in the form of fees. Pools have no advantage over the solominer.

How to get started

Actually very simple,

  • Download the software for a desktop wallet
    The software required is simply the standard Gulden wallet software. Please note that mining is only possible with the desktop version. So don’t choose the mobile or Lite version, because it doesn’t work. Install this and start the wallet software. Wait until the blockchain is fully loaded and synchronized before continuing. This process is one-off and can take up to one or two hour, the complete blockchain of Gulden is retrieved. The next time you start the wallet, the synchronization will be finished quickly. Don’t forget to write down your recovery sentence, in case of troubles you need it!!
  • Create a mining account in the wallet
    Do this in the order indicated below. The shared window with steps 2 and 3 opens after clicking on “+ Add account”.
  • After a few seconds the mining screen will open where the mining parameters can be entered. Depending on the specification of your hardware, the number of threads and the memory usage may be different than in the picture.
  • Threads and memory
    You can customize the sliders of threads and memory to your own needs. Keep in mind that the more threads you use, the faster it will mine. However, choosing the maximum number of threads will cause you to do little more with your computer. In the above example, a setting of 6 threads is still workable to perform other tasks during the mining process. You can play a little with the threads for the arena setup to determine which setting gives the best results in hashrate and setuptime.
    The mining is designed to work optimally with 4096Mb of memory. So if your computer has minimal 8Gb of memory, it is advisable to leave the slider at 4096Mb. Less is possible but has a negative impact on performance. Some miners asked: i have 12Gb available in my computer, can use them to increase the mining power? The answer is no. 4Gb is the optimum for Sigma and the slider wouldn’t go further then this value.
  • Then you can press the Start Mining button in the bottom right-hand corner and the start of the mining process can begin. You can also use two tick marks to make sure that the mining starts as soon as the wallet is started and a tick mark to leave the wallet open during mining.

The mining screen displays some statistics about your mining activities. The hashrate is tracked. For an average laptop, a value between 2 and 6Mh/s is a normal value

Profit or loss

Whether you make a profit or a loss depends on many factors, such as..:

  • What is the hashrate of your installation?
  • How many watts does your computer use effectively for mining?
  • How much do you pay for electricity?
  • Do you take into account the depreciation of your computer? (It may wear out a little more because it gets hot)
  • How much hashrate is there in total on the Gulden Network?
  • What is the price level of the mined Gulden?
  • How much is the mining reward per block

So there is no clear answer to your question as to whether it makes sense for you to mine. To give you some idea: a 5 year old laptop with an i7 processor and 8096Mb available memory and an extra energy usage of ~0,5kWh/day for the mining proces, mined with 6 threads approximately at a speed of 2,5Mh/s and finds +/-1 block (10 Gulden) a day and achieves nowadays (august 30, 2021 with a total hashrate of 1400Mh/s and a Gulden price about 1,8 euro cent) a modest profit of €0.18 per day in the Netherlands. Of course, the additional cost of electricity must be deducted from this.. The advice is, don’t buy hardware special for mining Gulden, use only the computer you have already in your possession. Otherwise you will make a loss.

On Dactual you can find some statistics about mining activity on the Gulden Network. Also there is a mining profit calculator.

Orphans

This section is only for the technical interested persons 😃
An increased number of orphaned blocks compared to other coins is normal in the Gulden system. Because after finding a block the miner must wait till a Witness has checked and approved the block. This takes more time than the coins that uses only PoW as an approval mechanism and in the meantime another miner can find the same block.
But if your miner produce, let say, more than 1 out of 5 orphans it’s maybe a problem in your system. For instance a clock that doesn’t exactly match with the rest of the world. Or a bad position in the network that cause extra time delays. So check your clock and restart the wallet so he can connect to other peers in the Gulden network.

If you checked the checkbox “automatically mine at startup” You wil see at every startup minimal one orphan because the wallet does start mining even if it is not yet synchronized. Because the last block the wallet knows about is quite “old”, at that moment the wallet mines with a very low difficulty to find a block quickly.
If the blockchain is running normal this feels like stupid behaviour and could/should be avoided, because now we see all these orphan blocks.
However: a wallet that is not yet synchronized cannot yet know the state of the blockchain and therefor has to act on what it does know, and that is only it’s own copy of the blockchain.
There are several reasons why the wallet indeed should start mining with it’s understanding of the blockchain at the moment it starts up. Some of those have to do with possible planned or unplanned softforks that happened and others have to do with possible attack vectors.

I hope this explanation will help you. If you want to know more about Gulden you can visit the website of Gulden or you can participate in the Slack forum where you can find enthusiastic fellow users of Gulden.

Other articles of this author are:

The Recovery Phrase, Fail-Safe Or Not?
Miners, Blocktime and Orphans, a trinity.
Which crypto becomes the future payment system?

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Classifying the crypto-coins.
The white hat ethical investor
The nonsense of…. TPS (transactions per second)
Crypto ranked by numbers of users
Fact check Gulden website

Can the Bitcoin exchange rate reach $100,000?
Gulden, Blockchain as intended

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