How to mine and support ERGO

Today we’re looking at ERGO, how to mine it and how to support this thriving new ecosystem by setting up an ERGO node.

Ergo Logo

Over the past few weeks, I made a decision to move away early from Ethereum mining. Not the easiest decision given ETH’s mining difficulty hasn’t been this low since late last year but, it’s a really hot summer here in the UK and frankly, I’m fed up with trying to keep things cool.

Energy: no problem (we’re running on Solar and renewable grid energy at a reduced tariff overnight). Heat: a problem when you’re running ETHash!

This is how and why I first discovered ERGO.

Table of contents

What is ERGO?

Ergo (ERG) employs a proof of work consensus approach to secure its network (so it’s mineable!). However, unlike Ethereum, Ergo is simultaneously a programmable blockchain capable of deploying smart contracts. Its goal is to solve a lot of the problems associated with Ethereum and Bitcoin, namely higher energy costs, transaction speed, and gas fee free programmability.

AutoLykos2 runs more efficiently, uses less power, requires less VRAM, and critically runs cooler.

3090's running on very low power and super cool hashing at 268mh/s
Mining ERGO 3090’s running on very low power and super cool hashing at 268mh/s

My rigs run a good 20c cooler with Autolykos2 mining ERGO. This fact alone really takes the pressure off my own time, and it takes the pressure off my hardware.

But hardware is not the only reason I really like ERGO. It already has a thriving dApp and NFT ecosystem, powering anetaBTC, a decentralized, secure protocol that allows users to unlock the value of their Bitcoin on Ergo and Cardano.

It features decentralized exchanges such as ERGOdex, a Cryptocurrency point of sale (POS) app called ERGOpos, and lots more exciting projects. There’s also a very helpful community group and folks on Twitter such as @SigmaNaut who without his videos and help online I’d be a little stuck by now!

ERGO's ecosystem
ERGO’s ecosystem is growing at a pace (image source)

ERGO also powers an NFT Auction House. It costs only 0.1 ERG to mint an NFT and there is a near-zero cost for transactions. NFT’s on Ergo are secure and sustainable with IPFS decentralized storage.

NFTs at auction on Ergoauctions.org
NFTs at auction on Ergoauctions.org

In terms of its future, ERGO has a bright one ahead of it. Mentioned as Nasdaq’s “top 5 cryptocurrencies” you’ve never heard of, it’s a programmable blockchain that delivers features for developers.

How to Mine Ergo

You can mine ERGO with any mining app that supports AutoLykos2.

I’m very comfortable mining with T-Rex on both my remaining Windows machines and my HiveOS farm.

As a GPU miner, now feels like a really good time to get a jump start on the inevitable hashrate migration to alternative Cryptocurrencies when Etherium finally moves to a Proof of Stake (POS) consensus model.

Check out ERGO’s own documentation on ERGO mining here.

Ergo wallet address

The most important step is right at the start: getting a wallet address! There are several popular ERGO wallets such as Yoroi, Nautilus, and ERGO’s official wallet app. I use the official app. Ledger support isn’t available, but it is being worked on right now.

The wallet generates your address and provides you with the recovery seed phraes. Back up your seed phrases! In the Android app you can use your biometrics as a password with the fingerprint reader. I’ve tested recovering a wallet using the seed phrases – it’s all straightforward and unintimidating.

Official ERGO wallet on Android
Official ERGO wallet on Android

Once you have your wallet address, it’s time to choose a pool.

top 10 ERGO mining pools
The top 10 ERGO mining pools – I’m on 2miners.com (image source: miningpoolstats)

When you’re choosing a pool, always bear in mind the possibility of a 51% attack should everyone just flock to the biggest pool. While the bigger pools appear to be mining more blocks, they’re sharing the rewards amongst a larger pool of miners.

Mining ERGO with HiveOS

Assuming you’re familiar with HiveOS, mining ERGO is much the same as mining Etherium, of course, you’re mining to a different pool with a different algorithm to a different address with different overclock settings, but if you’re already running HiveOS, all of this should be reasonably familiar stuff by now.

Overclock (OC) settings for NVIDIA 3070 / 3080 / 3090 full hashrate GPUs

If you’re mining in Windows with T-Rex, your .bat file might look a little like this:

You can also sell your AutoLykos hashing power at Nicehash using your BTC address to get paid in BTC – either directly to their Autolykos stratum (use the generator here) or in NH Miner. Accumulating BTC is the goal for some miners which I totally get – but I have an interest in building a more exciting and broader portfolio.

Building an ERGO Node

As a hobbyist, I like to embrace a network as I learn more about it. You don’t have to build or own an ERGO node, but doing so improves the really important stuff: decentralization and democratizing participation in the Ergo network and community. The more of you good people decide to run a node = more of the good stuff!

Everything I learned, I learned by following this guide from @SigmaNaut. I had a few questions and he was more than happy to help:

How to install an Ergo node on Windows 11 (also works on Windows 10)

I happened to have a ASRock B560M-HDV Intel Socket 1200 mATX motherboard from an old hobby project.

As far as I can recall the board was something like £40 to purchase, I found the correct CPU on eBay (and it worked!). I had plenty of spare DDR4 ram sticks kicking around and I found an mATX case with a built-in PSU and fan for £34.99. So hardware-wise, I spent around £100.

ASRock B560M-HDV Intel Socket 1200 mATX Motherboard
ASRock B560M-HDV Intel Socket 1200 mATX Motherboard

Installing the board into the case was quick and easy and with quite a short space of time I had a fully working PC ready to set up my node.

Booting PC
Booting!

Here’s the step-by-step to installing an ERGO node once you’ve got a running Windows machine

  1. Download and install the Java™ Platform, Standard Edition Development Kit (JDK™) for Windows
    Java SE Development Kit 18.0.2 download page with MSI installer running
    Java SE Development Kit 18.0.2 download page with MSI installer running
  2. Download the Ergo Protocol Reference Client (currently v4.0.35 release)

    Save the ergo-4.0.35.jar file to a new folder on in your root directory. Something like my_ergo_node is fine:

    Save the .jar file in a new folder
  3. Create an ergo.conf file in the ERGO node folder

    With a right click, create a new txt file, and call it Ergo.conf.

    By default in Windows, file extensions are hidden and we need to name the file correctly. The chances are Windows has kept the .txt file extension. This is easily removed with rename as soon as you’ve selected the “File name extensions” checkbox in the “View” top menu:

    Show file extensions in Windows
    Show file extensions in Windows
  4. Edit the .conf file and add the following text:

    Save and close the file.

  5. Open Powershell from new folder and execute the command to run the node

    Type “powershell” in the Explorer bar. A big blue Window will open.

    Copy and paste this command, being sure to add the version number of the jar file:

    java -jar -Xmx4G ergo-4.0.35.jar --mainnet -c ergo.conf

    I’ve highlighted the section with the current version number. This will likely change so double check. You can also copy / paste this command from the official docs: https://docs.ergoplatform.com/node/install/

    Press enter and the node should begin initializing:

  6. Secure the API

    Next, you’ll need to secure the API by creating a hash of your node’s password. Do this by opening: http://127.0.0.1:9053/swagger#/utils/hashBlake2b

    After clicking “try it out” replace the example hash with a password of your own, for example:

    Make a note of this password! Scroll down and click “Execute”. Swagger will encode that password for you.

    An example encoded password
    An example encoded password

    Copy that hash, then head back to the Ergo Node install docs and paste this text into your ergo.conf file:

    Paste the API key into the apiKeyHash=”” field in ergo.conf

    Save, and close Ergo.conf

  7. Restart the node in Powershell

    To restart the node, simply close the Powershell window, open a new PowerShell window and re-enter the node start command.

    Pro tip: using the up cursor key will bring back the last command you typed.

  8. Open the ERGO node interface cpanel and create a wallet address

    ERGOs node interface can be found at: http://127.0.0.1:9053/panel/

    ERGO cpanel interface

    For simplicity, I just created a new wallet separate to my main ERGO wallet – I’m not planning to store ERGO on this node so a blank wallet address will do fine.

    Just click “Wallet” in the left-hand nav of the panel page. To continue you must “set API key” which is the unencrypted version of whatever you used when you secured your node:

    From here, you can create a new wallet simply by putting a password in this field:

    Clicking send will generate a new wallet address and seed phrases – back up your seed phrases!

    Example wallet initiated (source: @SigmaNaut)

    Click close, and you’re done. The Node will sit and synchronize for a few hours depending on your machine. Mine took 5 or 6 hours:

    A fully synced and running ERGO node
    A fully synced and running ERGO node

And there you go. Congratulations, you’re an ERGO miner and Node owner – supporting the network and having fun without all the big temps and inefficient ETHash mining! Enjoy!


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