Huge thanks to everyone who already jumped in and tried out our new crypto-miner app for macOS. The pre-Christmas release was really a great initial value proposition test to see how much the idea connected with our existing audience - and I was pleasantly surprised.
The app itself, aside from being nice looking and simple to run, doesn’t really do much - by design. It’s supposed to be the easiest, prettiest way to start playing with crypto mining with complicated command line tools and crazy Github repos.
That said, we’re definitely planning to and working on bringing new functionalities to the app, starting as you’d expect with general account management, like monitoring your balance, withdrawing your funds. This will be available soon.
In 1.7.4 we added better support for the miner, by running the node.js based miner as an executable, which got around the need to have Homebrew installed. But it didn’t address the fact that the Coinhive based miner was running between 10H/s to 75H/s depending on multiple factors, such as CPU throttle setting, which processor your Mac has etc. But realistically, we were seeing 20 - 40H/s average.
So, we spent some time working on enabling a new level of mining prowess through the Coinstash app with the introduction of support for a new Cryptonight miner - XMR-stak.
The new app looks very much like the old one, but one key difference. I’ll just leave this here…
Screenshot taken from Macbook Pro 15inch i7 (2017) 3.1GHz with AMD Radeon Pro 560 GPU. The same machine was average 70H/s with Coinhive miner
Coinstash with XMR-stak not only provides better CPU performance and a few more configuration options, in addition to CPU throttling, determining how many cores to target and importantly, being able to take advantage of GPU, if it’s available.
GPU mode is kind of special, it basically renders your machine pretty much unusable while it’s running, so we’ve handled this by adding a kind of screensaver mode (as per screenshot), which will activate when GPU mining is run and as soon as you hit a key or press the mouse, it will be interrupted and your machine is ready to respond to your next whim.
This also works with the Scheduler tool, so you can crank up GPU mode when you know your machine will be unused and unoccupied…
New Miner - New Pool
In addition to supporting the new miner, we’re preparing to move to our own Pool. The Coinhive Pool was ok, had a decent enough API and worked out of the box with the Coinhive miner, but at a price - 30%!
We’ve now setup our own kind of private pool - that is, we wont really be promoting the Pool itself - but the Coinstash app will mine through this Pool.
This way we make sure that the hashes you mine are put to best use in building your digital asset portfolio.
With the new Pool, we now need to update our backend application to integrate with the Pool’s API, and it’s now the next priority as we look to be in a really solid position, architecturally speaking, to push on with more of the app’s features that we all want to see…