MinerGate CEO Claude Lecomte on Cryptocurrency Mining
The computer has come a long way from being a gigantic hunk of a metal and plastic surrounded by groups of curious men and women with clipboards. Fast-forward a few decades, personal computers have become everything from a means to connect to the rest of the world to even generating a full year’s income.
The rise of cryptocurrency mining has taken the concept of earning money with a computer to a new level. Instead of your classic routes of digital entrepreneurship such as eCommerce, cryptocurrency mining essentially allows you to leave your machine running and collect payments as they’re paid out.
Does this sound too good to be true? A small drop of common sense says yes, but things are different in the cryptocurrency world. Multi-billion dollar blockchain-based networks such as that of Bitcoin need miners to keep them running, hence the seemingly passive compensation. With 12 different currencies that can be mined, MinerGate aims to help users maximize their profitability as opposed to just mining any individual coin.
CoinCentral got the opportunity for an exclusive interview with Claude Lecomte, the CEO of MinerGate, one of the world’s larger multicurrency mining pools.
MinerGate was founded in 2014 and has grown to over three million miners as of January 2018. According to the MinerGate site, the company has paid out over $20 million (USD equivalent of cryptocurrencies in December 2017) to its miners since its founding.
However, mining using average computers become exponentially more difficult as ASICs and other more powerful mining equipment burst into the scene. Today, your average MacBook Pro might be able to make anywhere between a few cents to a <$100 per week mining. Every industry has its challenges, and it’s very interesting getting a peek at what it’s like running one of the world’s largest cloud mining pools.
Recently MinerGate released the BTC pool. Why do you think now is the right time for thе release?
You know, it’s quite hard to find the right time for such a decision. At the moment MinerGate hits structural shift and growth. For the last two months, we’ve released off-chain transactions with our partners from Freewallet, launched BTC pool, updated our CLI and GUI miners, increasing hashrate and expanding software support, and made certain upgrades to become fully compatible with the NiceHash software. Our technological platform has been 100% ready for launching the BTC pool, and there were no reasons to hold it back.
Over the top, right now we are in the middle of something – we’ve started a huge flashmob #iamaminer in Twitter to let mining community raise the voice and also win $1000 for a tweet.
Back to the top. The launch of the Bitcoin pool is an important step in the context of the general MinerGate trend to integrate retail and professional mining.
How popular are you expecting the new BTC pool to become in the mining community?
This segment of mining is highly competitive. The market is oversaturated with Bitcoin pools gathering an extensive audience around them. MinerGate BTC pool has several simple features that convinced me in the great future of our project. Outstanding level of the service, 24/7 multilingual support, the quality and reliability of the pool itself and a huge audience of MinerGate let us feel confident about tapping into this market.
Our primary goal is entering top-10. It might not happen tomorrow, but the goals are set to be reached, aren’t they?
Why is MinerGate BTC pool better than the alternatives?
Our advantages are plain to see – the highest level of service, full-time support, the quality of our Bitcoin pool itself, reliability and transparency of the company, and fresh ideas on awesome improvements, like adding merged mining. It is highly important to have large initial audience, launching a mining pool. We have it.
I’m glad you mentioned merged mining. Which coins will be merged with BTC?
Although merged mining won’t be a distinctive feature of the pool right after the launch, we will add it after we make sure that everything is working properly. We have several options for coins to be merged with BTC, but unfortunately, I can’t reveal the details now as I’ve promised not to steal a newsbreak from our PR department.
Who is your target audience? Professional miners or armchair warriors?
MinerGate has always been a newcomer-friendly mining pool. We do our best to simplify everything to the level when even your hamster with no practical knowledge in mining could start earning.
Most of the newbies are enthusiastic and full of ideas, and it is a pleasure to work with them. We are continually working to improve the usability of our software. Recently we’ve released a significant update for MinerGate’s mining software codebase – MinerGate xFast Miner. However, it deserves special mention a bit later.
The key audience of our Bitcoin pool is professional guys with severe ASICs. This audience is new to us. In my opinion, the Chinese audience looks very prospective at the moment, and we are working on developing our brand in several directions at once. Crypto world is international, that’s why we love it so much.
Could you tell the readers of Coincentral more about the new miner open Beta?
This August we promised to get rid of secondary work-streams to turn our focus toward the development of the pool. MinerGate developers’ team created the completely brand-new miner. We’ve achieved several important goals, such as improvement of stable operations and significant performance, that increased to 20% on average compared to the numbers of our main competitors. More than that, for some configurations we have achieved 100% growth, and it is something to be proud of.
Credits to Bruce, Jane, Lesley – we wouldn’t have ever done so much without you!
Let’s get back to the merged mining. Are you going to extend the list of supported merged coins?
We are scrutinizing the possibilities to put the best of them into action. In the very near future, we will enable merged mining of the new pairs of coins that are based on the CryptoNight algorithm. As I’ve already said, we will merge BTC, but here I feel Emma’s eyes (she’s the head of our PR dept.) burning holes in my back.
I can only say that we are monitoring over the development of PoW XMR and coins that can be merged with it.
When will we see the new coins at MinerGate?
We’d just released our BTC pool, and we’ve discussed the support of the merged mining. Recently we’ve launched the first CryptoNight pool for merged mining for CryptoNight ASICs. Now users can start mining Monero Original and get Bytecoin without losing the hashrate for the main coin. We are 24/7 in touch with our partners from China and South America, monitoring prospective altcoins. Just check out the news and stay with us!
Here and there, you may see people posting an opinion that MinerGate is a scam. Can you comment on that?
Eh, it’s envy. Ok, joking aside – scam accusations always align with any big business. Especially business affecting the commercial interests of ordinary people. Especially on the internet. Especially in the crypto universe.
We are one of the biggest mining pools worldwide. 3,5M of our users just cannot be wrong. Apparently, the quality of mining and infrastructure around it force our competitors to work twice as hard to catch up. Have you ever seen a scam lasting four years, constantly working on making its service better and growing year by year? Don’t think that people are that silly!
Our team takes it easy and confident, you know, as if it was a long-drawn joke that isn’t so funny anymore. For the record: no, we aren’t a scam.
What are the MinerGate plans for the nearest future?
Well, we will keep upgrading our pool, adding new coins and providing our users with the best service. We have ideas concerning merged mining. We keep battling Google to get our app back into Google Play. At the moment, you can download it at our site. We have just started the flashmob #iamaminer to show that mining still matters and has a voice. We have tons of ideas, and we will introduce them one by one.
Whereas MinerGate seems to be a closed company, we are always open to new suggestions. In my opinion, the key to our work is the contact with users and their protection. We are always on your side – that’s the motto of our company. Let’s build the better crypto world together!
Thank you, Claude Lecomte.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex is the Editor-in-Chief of CoinCentral. Alex also advises blockchain startups, enterprise organizations, and ICOs on content strategy, marketing, and business development. He also regrets not buying more Bitcoin back in 2012, just like you.