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This Man Wrote the Software That Runs Most Miners on the Planet and Got Nothing in Return
Bitcoin Ethos

This Man Wrote the Software That Runs Most Miners on the Planet and Got Nothing in Return 

This man’s software, cgminer, powers virtually every miner.

Dr. Con Kolivas. Anaesthetist, software engineer of Bitcoin’s cgminer, ckpool, admin of,-ck kernel, Japanese translator, Hi-FI, astronomer, nutrition, anime geek. Those are his own words from his twitter bio.

I’m pretty sure he’s Greek too.

The Chinese ASIC manufacturers just took his open-source software and put it into their close source firmware – in full breach of the license. Don’t think he ever saw a dime.

In the early days I saw some dimes as they asked me for some involvement but they were less and less interested in involving me over time, not incorporating my driver fixes and eventually closed their firmware and renamed cgminer to bmminer when it was clearly the same software.

Dr. Con Kolivas

Con Kolivas is also running solo ckpool. A misnomer which he admits himself on the site, it’s not a pool but more of a service to ensure anyone can run a solo miner. Otherwise you’d need some technical knowledge, cgminer, fast nodes to avoid hashing defunct blockheights and so on.

He’s still developing it after 10 years.

Solo Ckpool is very easy to use, you just have to grab a bitcoin address that you hopefully generate through a self-custodial wallet, follow the instructions on

Basically you need to set the mining pool to solo and add the BTC address as the username. As soon as it’s running, you can check your statistics by searching for that BTC address on the text field right after the setup instructions. When hashes go through you’ll see stats for that username.

Solo mining is not something I can recommend to people, as you might never see any rewards. You can calculate your chances of mining a full block reward (6.25 BTC plus mining fees in 2023) on this site.

Whereas with pool mining, even my lowly underclocked S9 that I keep as a space heater in my room can generate a few sats each day.

But, it’s good to add the solo pool as a backup option, since pools can and will disconnect from time to time and those hashes would have been gone anyway. You never know.

Solo mining or not, what’s important are the contributions of Con Kolivas to the entire bitcoin space.

Will you run a solo miner? You have 3 options.

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