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Driving Stratum V2 Adoption with Braiins OS+ Autotuning Firmware

We’re excited to share another way we will start driving Stratum V2 adoption: Braiins OS+.

Daniel Frumkin
Published on Apr 29, 2020
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Published on Mar 30, 2020
Published on Apr 29, 2020

In past articles, we’ve explained why miners and other mining pools will benefit by adopting Stratum V2. We also hinted at how it can happen with our open-source initiative. Today, we’re excited to share another way we will start driving Stratum V2 adoption: Braiins OS+.

Context

Stratum V2 is a replacement for the old Stratum V1 mining protocol that has gradually become outdated since its creation in 2012.

  • V2 improves efficiency by reducing both the size and frequency of data transfers, which lowers the infrastructure costs for pools and makes it easier to run mining operations in remote locations where internet speeds are slow.
  • It also includes encryption to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks such as hashrate hijacking, as well as a new decentralization-boosting feature inspired by Matt Corallo’s BetterHash which gives miners the ability to choose their own work.

More information can be found in our Q&A recap, here.

V2 adoption

There has been a good amount of excitement since we published the specification and documentation in late 2019. However, there has not yet been any significant adoption because there were still many little things to work out before the protocol could be implemented at scale.

That’s finally ready to change. Today, we are launching a new product that includes a working implementation of Stratum V2 as well as additional autotuning functionality that has strong user demand. The product is an ASIC firmware called Braiins OS, which was the first mining firmware to implement overt AsicBoost back in 2018 and is also the first fully-open source firmware in the industry.

More significantly, this update includes a whole new edition of Braiins OS, simply called Braiins OS+. It features the same open-source foundation as Braiins OS with the Stratum V2 implementation. The key difference is that Braiins OS+ comes with additional proprietary algorithms for autotuning ASICs, which helps miners increase the profitability of their machines.

Autotuning spotlight

Autotuning has grown increasingly popular during the past 1–2 years because it can drastically improve the performance of a mining machine through software tweaks. For example, Braiins OS+ enables miners to increase the hashrate of an Antminer S9 from the standard 13.5 -14 TH/s to as high as 17 TH/s.

Alternatively, miners who are operating with slim margins (particularly after the halving) can use autotuning to focus on efficiency improvements, bringing the consumption of their S9s down from 85 J/Th to as low as 68 J/Th with Braiins OS+ Low Power Mode.

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You can view the changelog also in our documentation.
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By including a working implementation of Stratum V2 in both the open-source and autotuning firmware, we are driving V2 adoption in two ways:

  • Open-source Braiins OS makes it simple and free for any miner to download firmware and start benefiting from Stratum V2 on their machines at no added cost.
  • Braiins OS+ attracts miners who want to boost the performance of their ASICs and has the extra benefits of Stratum V2 support by default.

To top things off with one more economic incentive, we are offering 50% lower pool fees to Braiins OS+ users who mine with Slush Pool.

Braiins OS+ has a 2% development fee, which is in line or below other premium firmwares on the market. Moreover, the revenue generated will support further open-source development of projects like Braiins OS and Stratum V2, which help the entire Bitcoin mining industry.

The takeaway from all this is that Stratum V2 is no longer just a theoretical proposal on paper. The code is now being deployed on thousands of mining machines around the world, making the first stages of V2 adoption a reality. And with autotuning, there is plenty of economic motivation for more miners to get a V2-based operating system running on their machines in the months ahead.

Our next step is to add Braiins OS and Braiins OS+ support for new-generation hardware such as the S17 and M20S. This takes some time, but the process will be far more efficient now that we’ve replaced CGminer with BOSminer, our own software component written from scratch in Rust language. You can learn more by visiting braiins-os.com.

Thanks for your support! If you have any mining questions, you can always engage with us on Twitter @braiins_systems or @slush_pool.⛏📈️

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About Braiins

Operators of Slush Pool. Creators of Braiins OS+ autotuning firmware & a fully open-source mining stack: Braiins OS + BOSminer + Stratum V2.