My estimated earnings are different than actual earnings, what can I do?

First, it is important to understand how the estimated earnings are calculated.

We are using two different approaches when calculating the estimated reward.

  1. Coins: For coin's estimated earnings (ETH, BTC, ZEC, XMR, RVN, etc.) we use theoretical estimations based on network data. The rewards are calculated based on the current network hashrate, difficulty, block reward for miners, block time, and coin price collected in the last few minutes.
  2. Pools: For estimated earnings from pools (Binance, Ezil, HiveOn, Mining Pool Hub, etc.) we use estimated rewards provided directly from the pools' APIs. Pools don't have unified reporting, so keep in mind that the rewards can be displayed with a few hours delay.

For miners with multiple rigs, estimated rewards are usually very close to real ones. However, for miners with a lower hashrate (1 GPU or few rigs), the estimated earnings can show off.

The estimated reward is then multiplied with the amount of hashrate your mining client reports, deducted of electricity costs you might have entered and converted to the currency you set up in your settings. So there are several variables that affect the final calculations. Here is a simple guide that can help you identify why your estimated earnings are off.

1. Check hashrate

The hashrate that is reported by the mining client (and displayed on the minerstat dashboard) can be different from what the pool displays (why is hashrate different?). Make sure that mining client and pool are showing similar values. If not, you can always:

  • Wait at least 24 hours on one pool to see the real hashrate.
  • Switch to a pool that works better with your difficulty and can accept your shares in tempo that works for you (some pools offer different difficulties by using different endpoints of theirs).
  • Switch to a different mining client which calculates hashrate closer to the one you get on the pool.

2. Check rejected shares

Some mining clients and some pools report rejected shares properly, while others can't display them, so you can only find them on the pool. It is really important to keep the mining efficiency at maximum as otherwise, you are losing rewards that you wouldn't have to. For example, 50% mining efficiency means that your earnings will be 50% less than what is estimated since the pool won't accept 50% of shares you submitted to them. You can improve mining efficiency by:

  • Stale shares: Choosing pools that are closer to you, switch from WiFi to Ethernet, or use stratum proxy.
  • Rejected shares: Adjust your mining software, overclocking settings, and hardware.

3. Pool's difficulty

Like mentioned before, different pools have different operating difficulties - for multiple rigs, this might not play a big difference, but for small rigs or single GPU machines, difficulty can play a big role. If the difficulty on the pool is too high, you will find shares less frequently, which will result in a lower hashrate on the pool (don't forget - pool calculates hashrate from the shares you submit), and lower earnings. If the pool doesn't offer a lower difficulty stratum endpoint, the only solution is to not use the pool that isn't suitable for your hashing power. You can do a quick test to see if the pool's difficulty is too high by connecting to the pool - if you don't find your first share within a minute, then the difficulty is too high.

4. Check what is going on with the coin - or pool

Your minerstat dashboard will always show the latest data that was saved in the past few minutes. For each coin, we have a special coin's profile where you can check the historical data and see what the movement is about. For example, if ETH transaction fees are higher than usual, you will see a sudden increase in ETH estimated reward. The pool won't show you this, because the pool uses different calculations that are not based on the network, but blocks they find and their reward methods. The change might be visible only in few hours. Example of coin's profiles:

Events that can affect estimated earnings:

  • Increased transaction fees: When there is a lot of transactions on the blockchain, transaction fees increase, the rewards in the block increase, and miners tend to earn more;
  • Decreased difficulty and decreased network hashrate: When difficulty and network hashrate decrease this means that there are fewer miners searching for blocks and more rewards for them. However, if the network hashrate and difficulty are very low, the estimated rewards go really high and are often unrealistic.
  • Increased coin's price: When the price of a coin goes up, so do the estimated earnings. However, if there is a sudden high spike in the coin's price, do know that this might be just temporarily and you should explore the reasons why the price jumped and if you even can sell the coin.
  • Delay in pool's reporting: Like already mentioned, some pools report estimated earnings with a delay. For example, Binance re-calculates base reward every 24 hours. This means that today's drops or today's gains will be only visible in tomorrow's estimated earnings. You can check if there is a delay by comparing different options on algorithm's profile page, for example Ethash.

5. Check fees

While fees usually present a small percentage of the final rewards, they do affect the final estimated earnings.

  • Mining client's fees: Most of the mining clients have fees. Usually they are taken by redirecting the hashrate for short period to the pool of developer's choice. Each mining client has their own fees that can be different from algorithm to algorithm, so make sure to visit the mining client's official Bitcointalk thread to learn more about the fees the developers take.
  • Pool's fees: Most of the pools have operating fees. Make sure to visit the pool's website to learn more about the fees the pool takes.
  • Payout/Withdrawal fees: Some pools take care of the payout fees when transaction is made to miners, while with others miners take the burden of transaction fees. Make sure to visit the pool's website to learn more about how payouts or withdrawals are handled and what are the fees.

6. Profit switch

If you are using a profit switch, it is really important that you learn about the mechanics of it beforehand. There are no profit switch settings that fit all rigs and all miners as everyone have their own preferences. Here are some useful guides that will tell you what to look out for and how to set things up:

If after you have checked all these options, you are still seeing differences, then we suggest to choose some other pool or coin that will fit you better.

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