What is CryptoSwitcher?
You've heard about these altcoins, and none have them have taken your fancy; you think they're all clones and destined to failure. You think BTC is the one true way, and are still mining it. The altcoins aren't useless to you. Many of them are more profitable to mine short-term than BTC if you just sell them at the market price.
How can I used it?
The source is available at https://github.com/area/CryptoSwitcher. Clone it, and then edit the cryptoswitcher.config.sample file as it instructs in the comments. If you wish to use BTC-E, you will need to edit the 'key.sample' file to contain your API key, and move it to 'key'. The README included should be a bit more comprehensive than the instructions here. If you already have scripts to start and stop mining, then setup should be easy for you.
How does it work?
The actual maths is done by the websites:
http://fizzisist.com (Vanity address mining only - down at the moment?)
This is just a wrapper to use the above sites to pick the most appropriate mining activity for your hardware, and make sure that it's doing the right thing for you. It's written in Python, and uses scripts (which the end-user must write, in the language of their choice; some samples are included) to stop other miners and launch the appropriate one.
Isn't this a terrible idea?
Maybe. I honestly haven't decided whether coin-hopping is a bad thing long term. The consequences of wide-spread adoption that I can think of are:
- This would tie the value of all alt-coins to BTC.
- It would cause massive difficulty spikes as retargets happen, causing mining an alt-coin to become less profitable and hoppers to mine elsewhere. The dedicated miners on that coin are then left with a much higher difficulty than they should have, and struggle to find blocks. We have seen this happen already with TRC, which is still struggling to deal with the aftermath
The closest parallel to this I can think of is pool-hopping. However, pool-hopping eventually brought about good - nearly all hoppable pools eventually moved from proportional payouts to an unhoppable payout scheme (e.g. DGM), and pool hopping died as an art, despite the best efforts of P4Man and others. I feel like the same should happen here; if an alt-coin is unable to convince people of its merits such that it is mined regardless of profitability compared to mining the more accepted BTC - or is unable to deal with the consequences of not doing so - then perhaps it doesn't deserve to succeed.
I think this is probably the most contentious issue with this project, and is probably going to get worse as BTC difficulty continues to rise with the advent of ASICs, and people with outdated hardware look to put it to use. I welcome input on this particular aspect.
- Support for both Dustcoin and Coinchoose, and all the coins they list (though only one site may be used at a time)
- Takes merged mining into account if you say its available
- Will automatically sell coins for BTC on BTC-E and/or Vircurex if you choose.
- Use the CGMiner API to switch between coins with the same hashing algorithm in one CGminer instance. If a user were to allow remote API access, then this could in theory be provided as a service, without the user having to run the script themselves.
- Monitor miners for dead pools.