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Miner Terminology

  • Staff

    General Crypto Terminology


    Also known as the Algo, this is the actual code that makes up the currency itself: the wallets, the blockchain, and how the network operates. Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 algorithm. Ethereum uses the DaggerHashimoto algorithm. Zcash uses the Equihash algorithm.

    An Algorithm determines mining efficiency. Each algo gets certain Hashrate on certain Hardware with different settings.


    A coin is a token made of cryptocurrency. A coin has 1 algorithm. A coin can be thought of as an implementation or instance of an algorithm.


    When you want to participate in a crypto currency, you get a wallet software that allows you to generate private keys. Since the blockchain (transactions) are all public, this is how you can access your coins. A wallet is for a specific coin, which is made of a specific algo. A wallet's private keys allow you to make addresses to send and receive coins on that blockchain.

    General Mining Terminology

    These terms are well known among most crypto enthusiasts and/or miners.


    In mining, a rig is any computer system that you are going to use for mining crypto currency. You can use your own computer or you can build a special one just for mining. Usually mining rigs are made with focus on the GPUs and/or CPUs as well as energy and cost efficiency.


    A pool is a group of miners working together to smooth out the work and the payouts. The hashing work done by your rigs is managed by a pool which takes your work and gives you coin payouts in return. Different pools do it in different ways.

    In other words, a Pool is lots of Hardware mining together. Pool depends on Algo. The pimp profiles will allow you to mine in a pool so that you get the power of other miners to help you.
    A Pool pays out to either a Worker (made on their site) or a Wallet (address for that pool's algo.)

    A Miner with the right Conf can mine an Algo to a Pool that supports that algo.

    A Conf tells a Miner to mine an Algo to a Pool and Worker/Wallet. Conf depends on Miner, Pool, and Worker/Wallet.


    A share is a unit of reward that miners earn by submitting proofs of work (the result of hashing) to the pool. The term “share” originates from the reward system of proportional pools, whose total earnings are distributed among miners in proportion to the number of shares they submit. In a PPS (pay-per-share) system, shares are paid directly to miners, indipendently of how many blocks the pool actually finds. The value of a share depends on two factors: the network difficulty and the share difficulty.

    Network difficulty

    The network difficulty is a number (currently 33202.95439611) that gives an indication of how difficult it is to find a block. For example, The Litecoin (LTC) network automatically adjusts its difficulty every few days so that blocks are found on average every 2.5 minutes. This means that the more hashing power is on Litecoin, the harder it is to find a block. This is the case for most modern coins.

    Share difficulty

    The share difficulty is a number that gives an indication of how difficult it is to find a share. The lower this number, the more shares a miner will find at a given speed, and the lower their value. For this reason, the share difficulty does not affect miners’ expected earnings. Why does the pool report more shares than my miner? This pool serves variable-difficulty work units, so when you solve a share the pool counts it with multiplicity, according to its difficulty. For example, if you solve a share that is four times as difficult as the baseline share, it gets counted as four shares.

    PIMP Rig Terminology

    Here are some terms that are mostly specific to the PIMP / Miner.farm mining systems:


    Once you have a rig, and you want to control it and monitor it, you have to install a small piece of software so it knows how. This software is called the Miner.farm Agent. If you run PiMP, miner.farm is completely integrated and configured out of the box for many coins and configurations.


    In PIMP we have defined a "Miner" as one "Mining Instance". Basically, a profile that is loaded on a rig and either running or startable.

    This is different than “Mining software”, which is a program that runs on the rig (example: Sgminer-gm), reports to the agent, and does the actual mining operations itself.


    A profile is simply a miner binary and a conf file. The managed profiles are set up as a matching miner (mining software program like sgminer-gm) and a conf file (such as sgminer.xmr.conf to mine xmr with it). So, the default profile for mining XMR with sgminer-gm on an AMD rig is: 1103 (amd) sgminer-gm: xmr [sgminer.xmr.conf]. This means, use /opt/miners/sgminer/sgminer as the binary, and /opt/confs/sgminer.xmr.conf as the conf file.


    A port is just the TCP port number that minerfarm talks to the “miner” / “binary” / “mining software” with. You should be able to choose what port you want, and then it will launch the miner with that API port. If the miner does not support API, obviously this will not be very useful. You should rarely or never have to specify this yourself.

    A binary is just the miner software file. On windows, these are easy to pick out because they have .exe or .com on the file name. All of the miner binaries are stored in the /opt/miners/ under their own folder. Some miners put the binary in a dark, deep subfolder.

    .conf files and .pcfg files

    A conf is just a config file. This is used to tell the miner binary what settings to use. Basically, the pool to mine to, the wallet or username of the pool, and the GPU settings such as intensity are all controlled by the conf. .conf files are written in JSON and are checked by PiMP and miner.farm for JSON syntax to make sure that it has a good chance of working properly.
    Since some miners only accept command lines and not conf files, PiMP team has created our own way of giving you easy-to-edit conf files for those miners. This is what the .pcfg files are. They are written in Bash and give you an easy way to edit your pools/workers/settings for non-conf-compliant miners.

    In Summary: Running a Miner on your Hardware for an Algo using a Conf for that Algo that defines a Pool and Worker/Wallet compatible with that Algo results in Hashrate going to the Pool which is paid out to your Worker/Wallet in that Coin.


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