With the increasing number of people exploring different mining calculators, more questions rise up. While we already published a guide on how to use a mining calculator like a pro (which you should also read), there are still some other tips and tricks you can use. They will answer the questions a miner should be asking when they are exploring what to mine.
Before we start …
#1 rule of every mining calculator: If the estimated earnings of one coin are very high, there is a greater chance that there is something wrong in calculation or with this coin particular than the chance of actually making that much. Thousands of people use mining calculators every day and they have stumbled upon the same data as you did - if the coin would actually be making fortunes, most of the miners would already mine it.
Why is such a coin on the mining calculator anyway, you might ask? Because some of the experienced miners, developers of this coin, or pool operators for this coin are actually mining this coin. And as soon as a coin is being mined with minerstat, we add it to our mining calculator.
#2 rule of every mining calculator: Always take the results of the mining calculator as a point for comparison and not a sacred truth. The results of the mining calculator are just the results of multiplying and diving different numbers. If the inputs to these calculations are different, so will be the results.
Differences between mining calculators
One of the most common questions when speculating mining estimations is what are the differences between different mining calculators.
Most of the mining calculators are calculating estimated earnings based on network hashrate, difficulty, block reward, and coin’s price. The formulas are more or less the same. On the other side, on marketplaces, such as NiceHash, the mining calculator shows the earnings that depend on the values of the buyers’ orders and current BTC price.
So if all calculators use the same variables and same formulas, how can estimated earnings be different?
- Coin’s price: Coin’s price depends on the exchanges that are used in the mining calculator. Make sure that you are comparing results that are using the same source for the coin price. Check Coinpaprika or CoinGecko.
- Block reward: Some mining calculators deduct the part of the block reward that doesn’t go to miners while others don’t (for example, POS rewards and dev fee rewards). At minerstat, we are dedicated to removing the part that doesn’t go to miners and showing and using only the part of the block reward that miners actually get. In case you see that we are showing a too high block reward, you can use the report button and we will check it and correct it as soon as possible.
- Hashrate, power consumption, and fees: Some mining calculators have already predefined different hashrate, power consumption, and fee values while on others you need to enter them manually. Make sure that you are comparing results that are using the same values.
- Timeframe: Some mining calculators are using estimated rewards that are based on average or median difficulty. At minerstat, we do have this option, but by default, we show real-time data. A lot of our customers are using profit switch and they want to know current estimated earnings and not earnings based on the historical data.
Coins with alerts
One of the basic signals that the calculation for reward might be unreliable are different alert tags. Currently, we are using the following tags to determine different signals:
- Low volume: For coins with 24h volume less than 25,000 USD.
- Spike: For coins for which the reward spiked within the last hour.
- Unrealistic: For multi pools (with an exception to marketplaces) that are reporting higher rewards than the reward for the best normal volume coin in the same algorithm.
We suggest avoiding such coins if you aren’t interested in speculative mining.
Check the difficulty
Another signal that the reward might be highly unreliable is sudden difficulty drop. The higher the difficulty, the lower the reward. And the lower the difficulty, the higher the reward. However, lowered difficulty also means there are fewer miners mining this coin and that the calculation for estimated reward is less reliable.
Check the network hashrate
If the difficulty lowers, so does the network hashrate (at least most of the time). This again means that there are fewer miners that are mining this coin. However, regardless of the network hashrate trend line, network hashrate can also tell you a very important thing about the coin - how many GPUs or ASICs are actually on the network.
Why is this information important? Because you will know if there are only 3 high-end GPUs that are mining specific coin, all estimations are probably unreliable. Let’s see four examples of coins on the Ethash algorithm:
- ETH: ETH’s network hashrate is 230 TH/s. If a single GPU makes 50 MH/s and you have a rig with 10 such GPUs, you are making 500 MH/s with one worker. This means that the network holds 460,000 such workers. You can conclude that the mining calculator’s estimations on such coin are quite accurate as long as the pool has normal luck.
- ETC: ETC’s network hashrate is 1.5 TH/s. To use the same comparison, this means that the network consists of 3,000 such workers. This is way less, but still quite powerful.
- EXP: EXP’s network hashrate is 84 GH/s. To use the same comparison, this means that the network consists of 168 such workers. The calculation for such a coin can be unreliable.
- REOSC: REOSC’s network hashrate is 45 MH/s. To use the same comparison, this means that the network doesn’t have even one such a worker that is mining this coin. The calculation for such a coin can be very unreliable.
GPU mining calculator
While there are general mining calculators, coins’ mining calculators, and algorithms’ mining calculators, there are also ASIC mining calculators and GPU mining calculators. Since ASICs usually have hashrates and power consumptions fixed, GPU mining calculators are those for which the results can vary the most.
Each GPU mining calculator uses its own values - the sources of these values can be different. On minerstat, we use hashrate and power consumption from the benchmarks our users conducted. We don’t show the best possible results or average results, but the median.
While this can sometimes give lower results than what cards are actually able to produce, this can sometimes also give results that are way higher than what average miner achieves with his cards. Sometimes can also happen that the unit isn’t properly detected and results show thousands of times more or less. In such cases, we suggest to use the report button or contact us on Discord - we fix such issues as soon as we get the report.
To see if the hashrates are reliable, you can use our hardware comparison tool. Compare your GPU with another and you will see if the hashrates and power consumptions are really comparable or something stands out.
Check the pool
Not only the results of mining calculators can differ, so can the actual rewards that you get paid by the pool. This is a topic for another discussion, but here are some things to consider when selecting a pool:
- Pool’s hashrate: How many miners are on the pool? The more hashrate the pool has, the more blocks it will hit and more rewards will go to you as well.
- Pool’s payout scheme: What is the payout scheme of the pool? Depending on the reward scheme, you might get higher or lower rewards.
- Pool’s minimum payout threshold and fees: Make sure to check what is the minimum payout threshold on the pool, so you will be able to estimate when you get paid. Similarly, check what are the fees and took them into account when you are using a mining calculator.
To summarize the things you should be looking out for when you are using a mining calculator:
- Check if a coin has any special tags and avoid those with low hashrate and spikes;
- Check if the difficulty suddenly dropped;
- Check how many miners are actually on the network and avoid coins with too low network hashrate;
- Check which hashrate and power consumption is used in the calculation and if it matches your own;
- Check if you are comparing the average results of the last few days or actual real-time results.
If you have trouble checking these facts and need further help, you can always ask us on our Discord. We will be happy to help.
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