Choosing a management tool takes a lot of time and effort. Not knowing which features matter most can make it impossible. To help, we’ve sampled the industry, ranging from small-scale hobby miners to enterprise-grade publicly traded companies, and created this list: our take on the most meaningful features to successfully manage a Bitcoin mine at scale.
Management at Scale
Up front, it’s important to understand that if you’re simply looking for miner management software, you’ve narrowed your search too much. Miner management died in 2019: now, it’s "Facility Management." The industry has matured. Bitcoin mines aggressively participate in Demand Response programs while also relying on more sophisticated infrastructure, such as managed network switches, smart PDUs, auxiliary sensors, and even custom firmware. The software you pick needs to grow and scale with you. Most importantly, it should combine as many of these features as possible:
Automated Curtailment and Demand Response
As Bitcoin markets retract and electricity prices fluctuate, curtailment has become a staple to avoid peak electricity costs while securing revenue to help cover operational overhead. Automation is key to effective curtailment: often, the better you perform, the better you’ll be compensated. The management software you select must promote automated curtailments; otherwise, you’re at the mercy of operators and technicians running around the site trying to flip breakers as quickly as they can. Putting aside the fact that continuously turning miners on and off via breakers will cause your ASICs to fail sooner, you’ll be left with your hands tied, unable to participate in the most aggressive, most rewarding, Demand Response programs. For programs like Synchronized Reserves in PJM (a 10-minute response time), or DSASP in NYISO (following a linear curve down or up within 5 minutes), automation is a necessity.
Foreman communicates directly with Curtailment Service Providers (CSPs) and local utilities to streamline your Demand Response participation, automatically reducing or increasing your electricity consumption based on grid demand. With automated curtailment, you’ll never miss a dispatch window, enabling you to maximize your Demand Response dollars. Foreman enables your site, regardless of its capacity, to curtail in less than a minute, so you can finally participate in otherwise unobtainable curtailment revenue sources.
Most importantly, Foreman enables you to curtail safely. Through Foreman, the machines are paused, which keeps their power supplies energized, but lets you achieve over a 97.2% power reduction in a manufacturer-approved way that doesn’t require opening and closing breakers.
When you mine as part of a pool, you’re relying on a middleman, the pool itself, to pay you fairly. If you haven’t heard it yet, you will: a miner had their ASICs directed toward a pool and found that the pool was stealing hashrate (siphoning small amounts of revenue, hoping that a miner wouldn't notice). Sometimes, it’s an honest mistake; other times, it’s intentional. An independent third party in your corner can help answer the question: “How do I know I’m not being ripped off?”
Automated financial reporting is a necessity. Reports should be automatically sent to you and your team as often as possible, providing peace of mind. As soon as there’s a deviation, you know immediately.
A unique Foreman success story: our reporting helped one of our customers find nearly six missing Bitcoin (~$270,000 when discovered), attributed to inaccurate transaction fees paid out (too few) from the pool they were using.
Interactive Mapping and Ticketing
Searching for a miner or facility-related issue is like continuously finding a needle in a haystack. An interactive site map effectively providing precise coordinates to where problems reside is invaluable. The illustration below is an example of Foreman’s Site Map, depicting containers (a001, a002, etc.) and their corresponding racks (a001 - 0, a001 - 2, etc.). Any miner with an orange or red border is either warning or failing (possibly overheating, not hashing, or missing a hashboard). The caution signs show which miners are offline, and the colors show how the heat is distributed.
Combined with a built-in ticketing system, your operators can quickly resolve issues without stepping on each other’s toes. If a miner has a problem, you can assign, open a ticket, and let your team know it’s being investigated. Additionally, fully customizable roles and permissions allow a team of any size to collaborate on a single dashboard while allowing external partners to access some of the miners at a site, which is common when managing a large-scale hosting operation.
An added benefit: as a farm owner, you’ll also appreciate the ability to track operator productivity (who’s creating and resolving tickets).
Security and SOC 2 Type II
As mines scale, accountability quickly becomes one of the most common problems facilities face when relying on simple desktop applications like BTC Tools or WhatsminerTool alone. Most management tools provide no miner-level change tracking, so when a pool gets reconfigured in the middle of the night to a nefarious wallet address, quickly finding the culprit is a must.
Foreman provides a robust, in-depth audit log, tracking every change that’s made to any miner on the account. Armed with this, the malicious insider can be found in less than a minute.
Foreman is the only SOC 2 Type II (continuously audited) management tool in the mining space.
For security-conscious businesses, SOC 2 compliance is a must-have when considering a software suite. SOC 2 is an auditing procedure that ensures your service providers securely manage your data to protect the interests of your organization and the privacy of its clients. The certification is issued by outside auditors, evaluating security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.
Best Leading Tool Overall
In our opinion, Foreman is the leading tool to manage a mine at any scale. Through a single, collaborative dashboard, your team can control the entire fleet, promoting visibility over sites while enabling automation to secure profitability.
Our users, on average, realize at least a 5% increase in revenue, excluding any improvement in Demand Response participation.
The ability to remotely manage your full infrastructure while diagnosing and remedying problems saves time, energy, and makes you more profitable.
Master Your Mining with Foreman. Try it for free today!