LitecoinRain - Litecoin mining pool
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Round time: 45h38m06s / 7489097 shares Net difficulty: 5788 Pool power: 287.61 MHs Active Workers: 602 Total workers: 22730 Solved blocks: 372

Brief users guide and frequently asked questions (FAQ)


  1. Where am I?
  2. What is this?
  3. Why do I need this?
  4. How to participate?
  5. How to configure all this stuff?
  6. How to track everything?
  7. Where can I spend my LTC?
  8. Where can I exchange LTC to “normal” money?



  1. Where am I?
  2. You are at the collective resource (Litecoin mining pool) which main purpose is to mine LTC coins. To mine coins you need to perform some math calculations on your computer(s). In brief this calculations are needed to maintain some virtual payment system (Litecoin). Means of payment of Litecoin are the coins we are mining.

  3. What is this?
  4. Litecoin is so called crypto currency which like the rest of Internet payment systems (Paypal, Payoneer, Webmoney etc) can be used for payments for various goods and services. The main difference of crypto currencies is that they are fully anonymous and that’s why not controlled by any government authorities. But it is still a reliable payment method to pay for real things in real world.

    To operate normally any crypto currency needs a huge amount of processing power to instantly perform some mathematical calculations. In case of Litecoin this calculations are performed by distributed network of special nodes (so called miners). Miners can operate from any part of the world and can use any equipment which is capable to perform needful calculations. As the reward for their work miners are getting some amount of crypto currency which they support. Off course the reward depends on processing power of the miner. So you need to use more powerful equipment to get bigger reward.

    Litecoin was designed in such way that new coins are always generating in blocks. Initial size of the block is 50 coins. After generation of each 840000-th block the size of all following blocks reduce by 2 times. At the moment of writing this FAQ (beginning of February, 2013) approx. 290000 blocks were generated. After generation of block number 840000 block size will be reduced to 25 coins, after generation of block number 1680000 block size will be reduced to 12.5 coins and so on. Second interesting moment. Litecoin was designed in such way that generation of each new block should take approx. 2.5 minutes. At first glance it’s obvious that when network power is increasing (each new miner is adding some power to the network) it will be possible to find new blocks quicker. To avoid this the conception of network difficulty was introduced. On practice it means that when network power grows, the complexity and difficulty of mathematical calculations grows as well. For example, if at the beginning network power was X and difficulty was Y, then when network power will grow up to 2*X – difficulty will automatically grow to 2*Y as well. This guarantee that with any network power the average time of generating of new block will be approx. 2.5 minutes. Network difficulty is recalculating (so called retargeting) after each 2016-th block.

    You can ask why it’s all so complicated, why do we need to increase difficulty when network grows and so on. The answer is that any crypto currency (including Litecoin) is stable only if any node can’t control more than 50% of transactions in the network. If this rule is violated than this mega-powerful node can disrupt network at any time. Also we shouldn’t violate the rule that new block should be generated each 2.5 minutes. To achieve both of this goals it’s necessary to change network difficulty depending on network power.

    The short summary. The longer network lives, the higher is network power and difficulty and the smaller is block size. So day after day it’s more and more difficult for any miner to earn coins. And if you join the network as early adopter – for sure you will earn much more then if you join at later stages. And that’s absolutely fair, because exactly first miners make network existence possible.

    The current Litecoin network stats (difficulty and so on) can be found on Statistics page of our site.

    The next question is why do we need pooled mining at all. The answer is that you should consider time you need to generate a new block of coins. When difficulty is growing the power of each miner becomes insignificant comparing with total network power. That means that solo miner can spend years and still will not be unable to generate any block. But a group of miners together can use much more power and generate a block much quicker. Then this block will be divided between miners taking into account the contribution (i.e. amount of work) of each miner into block generation. This process is called pooled mining and even the weakest miner of the pool will still receive his reward (the size of this reward is another question) in a reasonable timeframe. Usually you should pay small commission (1-5% of your reward) to the owner of the pool if you want to take part in pooled mining.

    To answer the question “how new block will be divided between miners” at first we need to understand how each pool calculates the contribution of each miner. This is done as follows. During his work each miners is sending so called shares to the pool. In brief, the share is the proof of work of the miner confirming that miner performs all needed mathematical calculations. If you have more powerful equipment – you'll be able to make calculations quicker and will send more shares to the pool. And if you are sending more shares then you will receive bigger reward. Just because you contribute more power to existence of Litecoin network. So, all payout calculations are based on number of shares you are sending to the pool. But payouts can be calculated in different ways. At present moment there are some of the most popular schemes of payout calculations.

    1. Proportional. Payout calculations are made after new block was found. Payout is calculating taking into account percentage of shares which were sent to pool by each miner since previous block was found. For example, the block was found after 10000 were sent to the pool, and all shares were sent by 4 miners. Miner A sent 5000 (50%) shares to the pool, miner B – 3000 (30%) shares, miner C – 1500 (15%) shares and miner D – 500 (5%) shares. In this case new block will be distributed between this miners in the following way:

      Miner A – 50 * 0.5 = 25 coins Miner B – 50 * 0.3 = 15 coins Miner C – 50 * 0.15 = 7.5 coins Miner D – 50 * 0.05 = 2.5 coins

      This scheme is the easiest one, but it has one significant drawback. It’s vulnerable to a fraud called pool hopping. We will not talk in detail what is pool hopping (if you are interested you can read about it on your own, it’s very well described). You just need to know that in pools which are vulnerable to pool hopping, the honest miners usually loose 10-15% of their income.

    2. PPLNS (Pay per last N shares). It’s very similar to the proportional scheme but with one important change. Payout calculations are made after new block was found. But payout is calculating taking into account percentage of shares which were sent to the pool by each miner during the last N shares were sent in total. This scheme has several advantages. It’s not vulnerable to pool hopping (yes, 10-15% of your income is safe now) and in some cases your shares can be paid several times. For example, if N=200000 and 200000 shares was enough to find 3 blocks – all your shares will be paid 3 times.

    3. PPS (Pay Per Share). Each share which was sent to pool is paid and it doesn’t matter was new block generated or not. The advantage of this scheme is that you see instant cash flow on your account. The main drawback is that this is the most risky scheme of payout calculations for pool owners (pool should pay to miners even if they are unable to generate any new block). That’s why pool commission is the highest for PPS pools (up to 5-7%). This scheme isn’t vulnerable to pool hopping as well.

    At present moment our pool is using PPLNS method with 15min accounting and calculation interval after block is found.

  5. Why do I need this?
  6. In general, if you have some free processing power to spend – why not to use it to make some

    money doing almost
    nothing ? No, of course you should setup some special software, join the mining pool and so on, but unlikely it will take more than 20 minutes of your time. We will describe it in details below.

  7. How to participate ?
  8. First, which equipment do you need if you decide to mine some Litecoins? The modern CPU isn’t suited well to make Litecoin mathematical calculations. The most efficient way to do this calculations is to do it on GPUs. Yes, yes. You need a good powerful video card if you want to mine efficiently. Also you should take into account that nVidia video cards aren’t suited for mining as well, and you should use AMD video cards. Of course, you can use your CPUs, nVidia’s and so on, but don’t expect a significant reward in this case. If you want to estimate how your hardware will perform mining tasks – you can use this table (hashrates for Litecoin) or this one (hashrates for Bitcoin, but to get Litecoin hashrates you simply need to read “MHashes” instead of “GHashes”).

    Then you will need so called Litecoin wallet and special mining software. And …PROFIT!

  9. How to configure all this stuff ?
  10. This chapter unfortunately still under construction

    To start mininh on our pool with cgminer for example you can use following command line:

    cgminer.exe --debug --scrypt -o stratum+tcp://pool.litecoinrain.org:3333 -u username -p password

    For all those pool users, who unfortunately can't use stratum directly we recommend to use Statum Proxy:

    1. You can download it here:
      Stratum Mining Proxy

    2. Launch it with following command line:

      mining_proxy.exe -o pool.litecoinrain.org

    3. Now you can start mining runing miner from command line like this:

      cgminer.exe --debug --scrypt -o http://localhost:8332 -u username -p password

    Attention! Proxy is incompatible with some mining programs. With latest cgminer releases at least. Anyway, usually all those incompatible mining software can do statum by itself without any stratum proxy. So it would be better to use it.

  11. How to track everyting ?
  12. First – on the Statistics page of our site (pool power, network difficulty, number of workers and so on). Second - all private information is in your personal cabinet. There you can see power of each of your workers, payments and earnings history and so on. Important notice about payments and earnings. “Earning” is the reward for each generated block. If earning is lower than minimal payment amount then this earning will be stored on your local account in our pool. When amount of money on your local account become greater then minimal payment amount – then there is as time for “payment” and coins will be really send to your Litecoin wallet.

  13. Where can I spend my LTC?
  14. In this chapter we will talk about online shopping using Litecoin. If you are interested in converting your LTC to any “offline” currency like USD, EUR and so on – proceed to the next chapter.

    Litecoin is a quite young currency. That’s why there aren’t a lot of shops which accept directly LTC. You can check some sites like

    http://www.litecointraders.com/
    http://www.litecoinshop.com/

    But, again, the number of shops isn’t big for now. So one of the ways of using your LTC is to exchange them to BTC (Bitcoin) and make shopping using BTC. There are hundreds of online shops accepting BTC. For example, you can check this list:

    http://www.bitcointrading.com/forum/spend-bitcoins/online-stores-accepting-bitcoins/

    And exchange LTC to BTC you can, for example, here:

    http://www.btc-e.com/
    http://www.vircurex.com/
    https://ltcexchange.bitparking.com/main

    You can again ask a reasonable question “Why it’s so complicated and why can’t I mine BTC directly”? And there are several reasons for it:

    1. Very often the exchange rate of BTC/LTC is the following that you will get more money mining LTC and exchanging LTC to BTC than mining BTC directly. Sounds strange, but that’s true.
    2. Bitcoin is quite mature network, so network difficulty is very high and it’s can be quite challenging to join the network and mine efficiently. Also special very powerful mining equipment (ASICs) for Bitcoin will be available in the nearest future. After that Bitcoin network difficulty will drastically increase and it’s very probable that you will be unable to mine any reasonable amount of BTC even using the most powerful GPU. Will it be possible for you to buy ASIC ? Yes, sure, if you are ready to spent approx. 15000$ and more.
    3. Litecoin’s young age has its advantages. At present moment it’s still not so hard to get LTCs. And if LTC/USD rate will grow in the future than your tens of LTC may become thousands of USD (it’s exactly what happened with Bitcoin). Will LTC exchange rates grows ? We’ll see. In January, 2013 LTC/USD rate was 0.07 USD per LTC, and now (April, 2013) it’s 4.1 USD per LTC. Please draw your own conclusions.

  15. Where can I exchange LTC to “normal” money?
  16. For example, here:

    http://btc-e.com/

    Register, shttp://www.litecoinshopell some LTC and get some, for example, USD on your Payoneer card or directly on your bank account.

    Where can I read about all this staff with more details ? We tried to write this FAQ in a such manner that it should be possible for any person to understand what Litecoin is, how can we get and use it and what are mining pools. That’s why there aren’t a lot of technical details here. If you want to make a deep dive into the world of crypto currencies (just warning - prepare for a lot of math) you can start from here:

    https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Main_Page
    http://wiki.litecoin.net/index.php?title=Main_Page

    First site is dedicated to Bitcoin, but almost all details about Bitcoin are true for Litecoin as well. And on second site you can get more details about Litecoin and about the differences between Litecoin and Bitcoin.
    Good luck!

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Outer Space @ 2013