Merit is an invite only cryptocurrency that is decentralized and open-source. This cryptocurrency is focused on community, safety, simplicity and usability. One of the core innovation of this project is; its approach to mining. Merit coin strives to be approachable by all types of users including the ones that don’t have any mining equipment. To achieve this Merit introduced a new consensus called Proof of Growth (Growth mining ) along with Proof of Work (PoW).
Proof of Growth is designed to reward users for building the network and it doesn’t require any compute power. On the other hand PoW requires computational power and it helps secure the Merit blockchain. For growing and securing the network both growth miners and PoW miners are rewarded equally. Previously in our Merit coin beginners guide we’ve explained Proof of Growth and all of its other features except PoW which we’ll now cover in this Merit coin mining guide.
Before we see how to mine Merit let’s first take a look at this special Proof of Work algorithm called Cuckoo Cycle. Once it is done we’ll share all the mining software and mining pool list to help you get started with the mining.
What is Cuckoo Cycle?
Merit coin uses Cuckoo Cycle which is a memory bound graph-theoretic Proof of Work hashing algorithm. The down side of majority of Proof of Work algorithm is 1. It greatly favors users of large mining farms which as a result causes mining centralization and 2. It consumes enormous amount of energy. This Proof of Work algorithm cuckoo cycle is specifically designed to solve this.
Cuckoo cycle offers egalitarian mining; meaning it is designed to make mining accessible on any device such as CPU, GPU, smart phone and tablets. When the mining gets more fair and accessible to general public the mining adoption increases. This in addition to securing the blockchain it helps keep the network decentralized.
Cuckoo cycle is a memory bound algorithm. Unlike other PoW algorithms that uses raw computing power cuckoo cycle is bound by memory-bandwidth. This memory bound proof of work approach results in less power consumption and heat dissipation.
Cuckoo cycle hashing algorithm was invented by John Tromp. Apart from Merit other coins that uses this algorithm are Aeternity, Grin coin and BitCash. For more documentation and implementation you can check their GitHub repository. Also For more technical details you can go through the whitepaper.
More info on Cuckoo cycle PoW algorithm: https://github.com/tromp/cuckoo
You can also find more discussion here regarding Cuckoo cycle PoW algorithm: https://www.reddit.com/r/Aeternity/comments/6vsot4/towards_a_more_egalitarian_pow_using_cuckoo_cycle/
How to mine Merit (MRT)?
Now before mining Merit here are few particulars that you must note first.
- Total Coin Supply: 100 Million MRT
- Premine: 20 Million MRT
- PoW Algorithm: Cuckoo Cycle
- Target Block Time: 60 Seconds
- Block Reward: 20 MRT (10 PoW / 10 PoG)
- Difficulty Retarget: Every 300 blocks
1. The Hashrate of cuckoo cycle is measured in cycles per second (cycles/s). Also mining cuckoo cycle is similar to mining PHI and CryptoNight. It is easy on your GPU, uses low power and produces less heat.
2. Did we talk about ASIC resistance? Currently there are no ASIC or FPGA available for cuckoo cycle. Also NiceHash will not affect this algorithm anytime soon.
3. Did we say mobile mining? Yes, it is technically feasible but there is no implementation yet. Currently mining can only be done through CPU and GPU.
4. Sorry, currently there is no AMD miner available. Only NVIDIA and CPU. Also since this algorithm is memory-bound, hardware that are low in RAM are less efficient.
5. Merit is invite only. If you are not in yet then you can use our invite link to join this project. https://wallet.merit.me/?invite=CoinGuides
Once you are in we’ll unlock your wallet. Once it is unlocked head to receive tab and copy your wallet address to start mining. Also note that we only got limited invite tokens available so please do not waste them.
Alright! Now let’s get started with mining Merit coins.
You can mine Merit using CPU and NVIDIA GPUs that has more than 2 GB of memory. For optimal performance first ensure you have the latest NVIDIA drivers installed. Next choose the appropriate mining software.
Merit core wallet: Core wallet is available for Windows and Mac OS. Core wallet requires you to download the entire blockchain and using core wallet you can only solo CPU mine. Since the network hashrate is too high solo mining using CPU is profitless. So consider joining a mining pool.
Core wallet download: https://github.com/meritlabs/merit/releases/
Merit Miner: This is a multi-threaded CPU miner that you can use for both solo and pool mining. How to configure the miner is explained below.
Merit light wallet: This is a desktop wallet that doesn’t require blockchain download. This wallet lets you to pool mine using both CPU and GPU and it is available for Windows, Mac as well as Linux.
Merit light wallet download: https://www.merit.me/get-started/#get-merit-desktop
First download this wallet and complete the setup. Once the setup is done, import your wallet seed. After this head to the mining tab in your wallet, choose the mining pool, CPU threads and GPU devices.
Then click on start to initiate the mining process. Once the mining is started the wallet will display all the necessary information such as: GPU temperature, memory usage and mining rates. Cycles Found/s that you find under mining rates section is the hashrate of your hardware.
Note: CPU hashrates are low compared to GPU. Anyways if you are mining using CPU then make sure to monitor CPU temperatures. Also remember to use light wallet only if you are mining from desktop. If you have multiple GPU mining rig then use the GPU miner.
GPU Miner: (NVIDIA)
For NVIDIA currently there are 2 miners available to mine Merit.
Official command line miner: It is open source, has got no dev fee and is available for both Windows and Linux.
Zjazz miner: It is a closed source miner which comes with 2% dev fee. However compared to official CLI miner this one is little faster.
Zjazz miner download: https://github.com/zjazz/zjazz_cuda_miner/releases
Due to high network difficulty solo mining is not recommended and we’ll not be covering solo mining here. Anyways if you are interested then you can make use of this solo mining guide. Now its time to pick a mining pool.
Merit coin mining pool
Currently there are only three mining pools that seem to be active and they are as follows.
https://pool.merit.me/ - stratum+tcp://pool.merit.me:3333 https://parachute.merit.me/ - stratum+tcp://parachute.merit.me:3333 https://icemining.ca/ - stratum+tcp://mine.icemining.ca:3333
Now as we have the pool connection details lets configure the miner and start mining Merit.
Mining Merit using CPU & NVIDIA GPU
Configuring the Merit CPU Miner, command line GPU miner and Zjazz miner is all the same. Download the miner and unzip the package. Once done create a batch file and configure the miner accordingly.
If you are new and do not know how to configure miners then we suggest you to go through this beginners guide on CCMiner. Instead of going through all those steps; here we’ll just share the sample configuration setup for all three miners. All you need to do is input the following config and replace the wallet address with your address.
Merit Miner – CPU
minerd -o stratum+tcp://mine.icemining.ca:3333 -u MCqgpRhb6sKpeQRUDvDHR4fMf7PKTptJdw -p c=MERIT -t 2 -C 2 pause
./minerd -o stratum+tcp://pool.merit.me:3333 -u MCqgpRhb6sKpeQRUDvDHR4fMf7PKTptJdw -p c=MERIT -t 2 -C 2
Note: -t is CPU threads. -C is cuckoo algorithm threads. To know more command-line arguments create a help batch file and run it.
minerd.exe --help pause
Also do note that while mining using merit miner you’ll find your miner often returning the following:
Stratum difficulty set to 2.000000
Stratum requested work restart
It’s a normal output and it returns for every block found.
Official command line miner – NVIDIA
Same as above. Create a batch file within your miner, input the following command and make sure to replace the wallet address.
:loop merit-minerd-0.5.exe --url stratum+tcp://mine.icemining.ca:3333 --address MCqgpRhb6sKpeQRUDvDHR4fMf7PKTptJdw --gpu 0 1 2 3 4 5 --cores 2 goto loop
--gpu 0 1 2 3 4 5 is the number of GPUs. For example if you only got 2 GPU then use
--gpu 0 1.
--cores 2 is the number or CPU cores. To disable CPU mining use
Even though if you are only mining using your GPUs you’ll find CPU resource being used. If the CPU usage is 100% or of it is overloaded then disable 1 or more GPUs. If you still like to utilize all of your GPUs then use Zjazz miner which has an option to reduce CPU usage.
zjazz CUDA miner
zjazz_cuda.exe -a cuckoo -o stratum+tcp://eu.icemining.ca:3333 -u MCqgpRhb6sKpeQRUDvDHR4fMf7PKTptJdw -p c=MERIT -g 2 --cuckoo-cpu-assist-min
-g 2 is GPU threads.
--cuckoo-cpu-assist-min lowers CPU resource and
--cuckoo-cpu-assist-disabled disables CPU usage completely. Also note that disabling CPU usage will cause your hashrate to drop significantly.
In all the above three configurations replace the wallet address, save it as .bat file and then start the miner.
That’s it! You are mining Merit. Head to the mining pool and enter your wallet address to view your earnings.
Merit mining calculator & mining hashrates
Now since you’ve started mining you may wish to estimate the mining rewards. To calculate how many merit coins you can earn in a day you first need to know your hashrate. As we said in Cuckoo cycle hashrates are measured in cycles per second (cycles/s). Every now and then your miner displays this information. Fetch your hashrate and use the following mining calculator to estimate your mining profits.
Mining calculator: https://merit.disifi.com/calculator
This mining calculator is created by a community member and it gives you an estimate on merit mining rewards.
For your reference here are some of the GPU hashrates reported by the community members. But do note that these hashrates vary depending on one’s configuration.
- GTX 1080TI: 0.42 – 0.5 cycles/s
- 1070 TI: 0.30 – 0.35 cycles/s
- GTX 1070: 0.3 cycles/s
- 1060 6GB: 0.2 cycles/s
- GTX 970: 0.144 cycles/s
Hope it helps! If you find this mining guide helpful then kindly do share it. Also if you got any doubts regarding Merit mining then feel free to drop your comments below.