The Antminer L7 is a powerful ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) miner designed for merged mining Litecoin and Dogecoin based on the Scrypt PoW algorithm. Today, you’ll have a deep understanding of Litecoin and Dogecoin merged mining, and how to merged mining with Antminer L7.
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History and Origins of Merged Mining
In December 2010, the unidentified Satoshi Nakamoto first came up with the concept of merged mining. In a discussion of a project attempting to create a decentralized DNS system called “BitDNS,” Satoshi described the theoretical possibility that a blockchain could be a “completely separate network and separate block chain, yet share using Bitcoin and CPU power.” As a result, the hypothetical chain would be able to adopt Bitcoin’s security and decentralization without the need for specialized miners.
The eventual development of BitDNS, Namecoin, made Satoshi’s idea a reality. By sharing the proof-of-work found in block headers, Namecoin, which debuted in April 2011, used merged mining with Bitcoin, following Satoshi’s advice from months earlier.
Although Namecoin’s launch was successful, the project was merely a modification of the ecosystem that already existed for Bitcoin, so its use of merged mining was constrained.
Charlie Lee, the man behind Litecoin, presented the case for merged mining between Litecoin and Dogecoin in a Reddit AMA in 2014. Numerous members of both communities supported the partnership, despite the fact that it was never implemented.
What’s Merged Mining?
Merged mining allows a miner to mine more than one coin at the same time. Merged mining only affect mining of the coin. It does not affect the amount of coins produced, the block times, the block rewards, the price of the coin, the usage of the coin, the community, or the development of the coin. Only miners would have to care about merged mining. Regular users would not need to know or care that their dogecoins were produced at the same time as litecoins.
First, the concept of mining is basically you keep hashing the block you are working on with a random nonce, until you get a hash that’s smaller than a target value. The higher the mining difficulty, the lower the target is, so the longer you have to keep hashing to find a hash that small. Litecoin’s difficulty is higher than that of Dogecoin, so for the same hashrate, you will find a dogecoin block (if mining dogecoins) sooner than a litecoin block (if mining litecoins) on average.
What merged mining does is it lets the miner mine on both blockchain at the same time. If the miner finds a hash lower than the Dogecoin target, then it can submit that block to the Dogecoin network as a valid block. And if it finds a hash lower than the Litecoin target, then it can submit that block to both networks and get rewarded for both blocks. This is because a hash lower than the Litecoin target is also lower than the Dogecoin target. So in essence, you get twice the reward for the same amount of work. The problem is if everyone switched to merge mining, then the difficulty will adjust accordingly. So you still get both LTC and DOGE, but you get about half the amount of each. So it all evens out in the end. The first people that switch to merged mining will get an initial bump in revenue, which will taper off when more and more people switch over.
Why Merged Mining Litecoin & Dogecoin?
Litecoin and Dogecoin are both based on the same technology, known as Scrypt proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm. This means that they use similar computational power to verify transactions and secure their respective blockchain networks.
Merged mining is a process where miners can mine multiple cryptocurrencies at the same time, using the same computational resources. In the case of Litecoin and Dogecoin, merged mining allows miners to mine both cryptocurrencies simultaneously, without any additional computational power.
By implementing merged mining, both Litecoin and Dogecoin are able to share their network security, while also reducing the risk of a 51% attack. This is because merged mining allows miners to contribute their computational power to both networks simultaneously, making it more difficult for any individual or group to control the majority of the mining power.
Overall, merged mining has benefits for both cryptocurrencies, as it helps to improve network security and efficiency, while also providing additional revenue streams for miners who can earn rewards from mining multiple cryptocurrencies at the same time.
What’s the Downside of Litecoin & Dogecoin Merged Mining?
There are a few.
First, one coin will have to hard fork to add in merged mining capabilities. That coin will be the auxiliary coin that merges mining with the primary coin. The reason why this has to be Dogecoin is because it is much easier to fork a young currency where the user base is smaller and not all spread out. Dogecoin is also on much fewer exchanges/pools/merchants, so it would be easier to convince all of them to switch to the new code. Dogecoin recently just hard forked, so your userbase is used to it. A hard fork is always dangerous though. So you must do it with caution and with enough advance warning.
Second, there’s some blockchain bloat. Merged-mined dogecoin blocks will include addition stuff that’s required to prove that it’s a merged mine Litecoin block. I don’t know exactly how much bloat it is. I don’t remember it being that much, but it’s something.
Third, you can’t undo merged mining without another hardfork. And that hardfork will be harder to pull off. Because your userbase will be more spread out, and miners might not want to give up the additional Litecoin revenue stream.
Forth, mining becomes more complicated. Every miner will need to do merged mining to stay competitive. Pools are more complicated where they have to pay out both coins or trade one for the other. P2pool miners have to keep both blockchains. But this affects both Litecoin and Dogecoin miners.
Fifth, there’s a psychological issue where it seems like Dogecoin needs help from Litecoin to survive. It’s an image thing that can be bad PR depending on how it’s represented.
How to Mine Dogecoin & Litecoin at the Same Time?
You should be able to mine directly for Litecoin and also get Dogecoin additionally, however in order to be able to do that you will have to use a pool that has already implemented DOGE and LTC merged mining support.
To mine Litecoin and Dogecoin at the same time with an Antminer L7, you’ll need to connect it to a merged mining pool that supports Scrypt merged mining. Here are the general steps:
- Choose a merged mining pool: You’ll need to choose a mining pool that supports Scrypt merged mining. Some popular options include Litecoinpool.org, ViaBTC, and Prohashing.
- Configure your mining software: Once you’ve chosen a pool, you’ll need to configure your mining software to connect to it. For the Antminer L7, this typically involves uploading a custom firmware that includes merged mining support, such as the Braiins OS+ firmware.
- Connect your Antminer L7: Connect your Antminer L7 to your mining pool using the appropriate pool address and login information. This will typically involve accessing the Antminer’s web interface and configuring the mining pool settings.
- Start mining: Once your Antminer L7 is connected to the merged mining pool and configured with the appropriate firmware, you can start mining Litecoin and Dogecoin simultaneously.
It’s important to note that mining with ASICs can be very power-intensive, so you’ll want to make sure you have a reliable power source and consider the costs associated with running the miner. Additionally, mining rewards can vary based on a variety of factors, including network difficulty and market conditions.
Merged mining is a process that allows miners to mine multiple cryptocurrencies at the same time, using the same computational resources. Litecoin and Dogecoin utilize merged mining, which allows miners to contribute their computational power to both networks simultaneously, improving network security and efficiency while providing additional revenue streams for miners. The downside of merged mining includes the need for a hard fork, potential blockchain bloat, and difficulty undoing merged mining without another hard fork.