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5 easy steps to mine & earn Ethereum on Azure

Ethereum as we know is an open blockchain platform that lets anyone build and use decentralized applications that run on blockchain technology. Like Bitcoin, no one controls or owns Ethereum – it is an open-source project built by many people around the world. But unlike the Bitcoin protocol, Ethereum was designed to be adaptable and flexible.

Ether is the name of the currency used within Ethereum. It is used to pay for computation within the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Ethereum, like all blockchain technologies, uses an incentive-driven model of security. Consensus is based on choosing the block with the highest total difficulty. Miners produce blocks which the others check for validity. Among other well-formedness criteria, a block is only valid if it contains proof of work (PoW) of a given difficulty.

In order to obtain Ether, you need to either

  • Become an Ethereum miner (steps explained below) or
  • Trade other currencies for ether using centralised or trustless services
  • Use the user friendly Mist Ethereum GUI Wallet

The successful proof of work PoW miner of the winning block receives:

  • a static block reward for the ‘winning’ block, consisting of exactly 5.0 Ether
  • cost of the gas expended within the block – an amount of ether that depends on the current gas price
  • an extra reward for including uncles as part of the block, in the form of an extra 1/32 per uncle included

Now we will check the steps of how to setup mining in Azure

VMWare AU/Asia Pacific

Step #1 : Setup Ubuntu 14.04 Virtual Machine

Setting up Ubuntu 14.04 Virtual Machine on Azure is straight forward,once you login to Azure portal.Click the New button found on the upper left-hand corner of the Azure portal.

Select Compute, and then select,Ubuntu 14.04 Virtual Machine.Since this is an example,I’m choosing lower configuration machine,ideally you should use higher configuration & Ubuntu latest versions.

Ubuntu 14.04 VM Launch Page
Image – Ubuntu 14.04 VM Launch Page

Enter the virtual machine information. Provide user name and password to log in to the virtual machine. When complete, click OK.

Ubuntu VM information
Image – Ubuntu VM information
Choose Ubuntu VM Size
Image – Choose Ubuntu VM Size

Since this is an example,I’m choosing lower configuration machine,ideally you should use higher configuration.

Under Settings, keep the defaults and click OK.

Ubuntu VM Settings
Image – Ubuntu VM Settings

On the summary page, click Ok to start the virtual machine deployment.Once the deployment has completed, the VM summary automatically opens.

Once the deployment has been completed,you can connect to VM using any of SSH client like putty using the username/password or SSH certificate.

Connecting to Ubuntu VM via Putty
Image – Connecting to Ubuntu VM via Putty

Step #2 : Update proper drivers for mining

Once we have connected,first step is to update drivers to latest using following command

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common

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Step #3 : Setup ethereum client

Add Ethereum PPA repository using the following command

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ethereum/ethereum

Below is an example of output

More info: https://launchpad.net/~ethereum/+archive/ubuntu/ethereum

Press [ENTER] to continue or ctrl-c to cancel adding it

Development Category (English)234x60

gpg: keyring `/tmp/tmp516xhjf0/secring.gpg' created

gpg: keyring `/tmp/tmp516xhjf0/pubring.gpg' created

gpg: requesting key 923F6CA9 from hkp server keyserver.ubuntu.com

gpg: /tmp/tmp516xhjf0/trustdb.gpg: trustdb created

gpg: key 923F6CA9: public key "Launchpad PPA for Ethereum" imported

gpg: Total number processed: 1

gpg: imported: 1  (RSA: 1)

OK

Run update to get the required packages by using following command.

sudo apt-get update

This would have installed all the required packages for ethereum mining like EthMiner,it is standalone miner. This can be used to mine or benchmark a mining set-up. It is compatible with eth, geth, and pyethereum.Running this locally will allow you to easily interact with the Ethereum blockchain.

Step #4 : Create new geth account & start mining

geth account new

Your new account is locked with a password. Please give a password. Do not forget this password.

Passphrase:

Repeat passphrase:

Address: {You will get new address} 

ex.

{7f444580bfef4b9bc7e14eb7fb2a029336b07c9d}

You must save this address for future.Now there are 2 options for us to start mining,either we can do on our own or join pool.When you join a Pool, you will be mining together with other people in the Pool on a certain block. The chance you will find a block will be higher than when you mine solo. The disadvantage is that you will pay a fee to the pool, this is mostly 1%-2% of your revenue.The mining pool submits blocks with proof of work from a central account and redistributes the reward to participants in proportion to their contributed mining power.

In this below example we are going to use a pool named ‘Dwarfpool‘, but there are others out there.Please check here.

Dwarfpool is one of the largest Ethereum mining pools due to its Anonymous registration (no registration required) system, its ability to mine directly to an exchange address, quick payments (multiple times per day once your balance is over 1 ETH), and ability to keep track of your miners via its statistics page.

Dwarfpool currently serves about five different geographic areas with servers located in various data-centers.

Dwarfpool availability
Image – Dwarfpool availability

The currently available servers are:

  • EU-Server: eth-eu.dwarfpool.com (France)
  • US-Server: eth-us.dwarfpool.com (Montreal,Canada)
  • US-Server2: eth-us2.dwarfpool.com (Las Vegas)
  • RU-Server: eth-ru.dwarfpool.com (Moscow)
  • HK-Server: eth-hk.dwarfpool.com (Hong-Kong)
  • ASIA-Server: eth-asia.dwarfpool.com (Taiwan)
ethminer -F http://eth-eu.dwarfpool.com:80/YOUR_WALLET
ethminer -F http://eth-eu.dwarfpool.com:80/0x7f444580bfef4b9bc7e14eb7fb2a029336b07c9d
Start mining using ethminer client
Image – Start mining using ethminer client

Congrats! You have just started mining!!

Step #5 : Check earnings

You can check your earnings by visiting your pool website,here in this case it would be https://www.dwarfpool.com/

ex.http://dwarfpool.com/eth/address?wallet=0x7f444580bfef4b9bc7e14eb7fb2a029336b07c9d
Replace your own wallet address.

Dwarfpool stats
Image – Dwarfpool stats

Key considerations while mining

  1. Use higher configuration machines ex.N-Series GPUs for mining.Also check Microsoft reference for the latest commands on how to setup GPU drivers. CPU Mining is not much profitable, since GPU miners are roughly two orders of magnitude more efficient.
  2. If you don’t see your miner on the stats page, 99.9% that you have corrupted DAG file. You must delete it and restart ethminer.
  3. Join any of the pool to maximize your earnings.The mining pool submits blocks with proof of work from a central account and redistributes the reward to participants in proportion to their contributed mining power.
  4. For advanced users Dwarfpool also allows the use of a proxy. A proxy is useful for people who have several miners and they can point them all to a single proxy server that will be the single point of contact for the pool. This can help efficiency somewhat and is especially useful once you get over a critical number of miners, such as greater than 10.

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Summary
Article Name
5 easy steps to mine & earn Ethereum on Azure
Description
This article explains how to setup ethereum client on Azure & start mining