- What do you need to start mining cryptocurrency
- How To Start Mining Cryptocurrency; A Beginners Guide
- What is Cryptocurrency? [Everything You Need To Know!]
- Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining explained
- How to Trade Cryptocurrency – For Beginners
- Coinbase, Cash App, and Other Solutions For Trading Cryptocurrency
- A Beginners Guide Trading Cryptocurrency
- Mining Actually Costs You Money
I'll try to make this as basic as possible.
So you want to start earning money and help out the network.
Well if you have a powerful enough computer, then you're one step closer! Mining cryptocurrency essentially means you're adding the hashing power of your computer's GPU and/or CPU.
What do you need to start mining cryptocurrency
For this guide, we'll assume you're going to pool mine as it's the most profitable. Unless you have a spare couple hundred thousand dollars you're willing to spend on a mining farm. In that case, this guide isn't for that.
- Step One: Find the currency you like
The easiest way to get started is to first find a currency you like. It doesn't have to be the one with the highest price right now (Ethereum at the moment).
If you're wondering why I didn't say Bitcoin, it's because Bitcoin runs on a different algorithm called SHA-256. With the current difficulty of Bitcoin, is not profitable using normal computer hardware. Instead, you'll need an ASIC miner which can be a couple thousand dollars.
How To Start Mining Cryptocurrency; A Beginners Guide
But back to the topic. Finding the currency you like all depends on your research. Before you dive in and just start mining, do your homework and look at the whitepaper of each coin you like. You don't have to read all of it, just look at their goals, short term and long term plans and how they differ from other coins. I mine Monero because I believe in it's privacy standards and how it has come along in the past year.
Whatever coin you choose, this guide follows the same steps.
- Step Two: Find a pool
A pool is a local network of miners who join together and add their hashrate to the select pool.
In return, when a block is found, miners are paid a percentage of the block based on their submitted hashes. Once a block is found, the hashrate resets and you start looking for the next block.
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For example, if I mine for 8 hours and a block is found, I'll get 0.XX Monero. Then the next day, I only mine for 4 hours. I'd get less than yesterday because I didn't submit as many hashes. For Monero, there are many pools to choose from. But which one should you choose? The key to this is about sharing the hashrate. Certain pools have a lot more miners than others. minexmr.com is a heavily populated pool.
The current Monero network is about 57.2 MH/s and minexmr.com makes up 6.32 MH/s. That's a huge percentage that needs to be delegated to smaller pools to share the hashrate. I'm using monerohash.com but then again, you choose whatever pool you want. I chose monerohash because they're below 1 MH/s and being that I only contribute about 1 KH/s, (1000 KH/s = 1 MH/s) my payout is pretty frequent.
With each pool comes different rules.
Some pools have a higher mining fee than others and some have lower payout thresholds which means once you earn 0.5 Monero, it gets sent to your wallet. Others will say 1 Monero threshold.
It's not a big deal, just preference. I should state that although you're getting paid in the pool, the pool IS NOT your wallet. Your wallet is where the Monero is paid out to once the threshold limit is met. The next two things you need to do are set up a wallet and get your mining program set up.
Step Three: Create your wallet
This is where your Monero (or whatever coin you choose) is stored.
On getmonero.org they recommend you use mymonero.com as your wallet. This is a website that acts as an online wallet.
You don't enter any personal info, they give you a private key that is a list of random words. That list is your password and if you forget it, you can forget about your Monero in your account too.
So make sure to back it up somewhere. There are other wallets out too, but those require syncing with the blockchain which can take some time. Plus, we want to get started making money sooner.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining explained
So for right now to make things easy, I'd set up a mymonero account. If you ever want to switch to another wallet, you can easily transfer your funds.
Step Four: Get your mining program
This part is a little tricky as it depends on what hardware you use and what pool you're in.
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But don't worry, it's not difficult. With any pool, they most likely have a "Getting Started" page. This page gives you connection details, the types of mining programs there are, and they might have examples to show you what your setup file should look like. So lets say you go to monerhash as your pool.
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Click on the "Getting Started" tab. Scroll to the bottom and you'll see "Mining Apps". There are various programs and they all do the same thing, some just work better than others. For me, I use XMR STACK NVIDIA and XMR STACK CPU as the NVIDIA version is very well optimized for the new 1000 series GPUs.
For the CPU miner, Claymore and XMR STAK CPU have worked the best. If you're using AMD cards, then the Claymore GPU miner is a good choice. Once you have the apps downloaded, there should be a setup file where you input your settings.
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If not, look through the README.txt file and see if you need to create one. All you'll do is create a .bat file and enter a line of code corresponding to the app you downloaded.
Your line of text should be the same as whatever app you downloaded.
If you are using XMR STAK NVIDIA or CPU, check their github as there are better optimizations you can do.
For example, say you chose CPUMiner. You keep everything the same until you reach monerohash.com:3333.
If you're going to be using a different pool, replace monerohash.com with your pool address (check on their site to make sure the setup is right). The 3333 is your port number. This depends on what hardware you're using. 3333 is used for low-end hardware like older cards.
A good medium would be to use 5555 if you're running the latest AMD or NVIDIA cards. Once inputted, continue to -u.
Mining Actually Costs You Money
This is where your wallet address goes. Whatever wallet you created, your address in shown in it. Replace the text of "YOUR_WALLET_ADDRESS" with your very long wallet address. The last part you can keep the same as most pools dont need a password. So after your wallet address, just add -p x. Save that file as a .bat or just overwrite the pre-made file they gave you. Close out of it, double-click the file and you should see something similar below.
If you're using the XMR STAK apps, then press h to print your hashrate.
Now it'll take a few minutes for the pool to get your hashes, so don't be worried if you don't see anything on the website right away.
Right below "Your stats and payment history" input your wallet address so you can see your current hashrate and how much you've gotten paid.
By the way, the pending balance isn't instant. That will update once the pool finds a block and that block has matured on the network. The pending balance is a good way to figure out how much you're making each day.
If you have reached this far without any issues, congratulations!
If not, I'm happy to help with any troubleshooting.
There's more to do than just mine also.
Here are two main things you can do as well.
- Run a node
- A node is a great way to make sure the network runs smoothly. You don't get paid doing it, but it's a good deed anyway
- Buy some cryptocurrency!
- Investing early is the best thing you can do. If you don't believe me, check the price of Ethereum last year compared to today
If you liked this guide and would like to donate, this is my Monero address.