Recently I have been asked to explain how to start mining for beginners, so here it goes.
Many people have already started to mine, and so much more are getting in to it now. Everyone has that old GTX660 SLI or their father’s ATI Rage Fury Pro II, and mining, crypto currencies, bitcoin is all over the news, world leaders talk about it, news networks cover stories of the next new bitcoin alternative that exploded and made few hundred people millionaires, why not start mining now?
Here is how to start.
Choose your hardware.
Well, couple of GTX660 or the antique ATI Rage Fury Pro II will not help you mine. You will need some modern hardware. NVIDIA or AMD, both have their strengths and weaknesses in mining some of the hashing algorithms. AMD cards used to be better at mining, when there was 20 crypto coins in the world, but this is no longer true. Over 40% of the 1700+ coins we have now are minable and NVIDIA has advantage mining a large portion of those. So the next time someone tells you NVIDIA is no good for mining, just smile – you are talking to a person that still reads physical newspapers to be up to date.
You can take any of the mid-ranged to high end modern last generation cards and mine with them. For our example, let’s say you are a proud owner of 2 1070Ti cards that are playing BF1 in 4K with reasonable frame rate.
Now that you have your mining gear you need to find something to mine.
Choosing Alternative Coin to Mine.
You can read the forums, ask in chats, search the BitcoinTalk.org bible for new coins, and of course use our Crypto Calculator to see what is most profitable. But the key to success is taking risks. Reasonable, measured risks. Don’t you go jump from bridges thinking you will get nirvana while falling and the name of the coin to mine be crystal clear in your head. Usually once a new coin is announced, an ANN page is created in BitcoinTalk.org that promotes it. They try to get miners to work for their network, promote the new coin, give airdrops to random people, get listed on an exchange, etc. When you find such a coin you can take the risk of mining it before it is on an exchange, before they have a perfect website, block explorer, or are listed on a calculator site like ours. This will give you the advantage of mining it and getting more of it before the coin gets popular. The risk involved is that the coin might never get listed on exchanges, or people might never get interested in the technology the coin offers, or the Dev of the coin can decide to stop developing it and leave to die slowly. The risk can be quantified with the amount of hours and electricity you are willing to invest in this new coin. Never forget to read their White Paper – the document that describes what they offer and their plan on how are they going to achieve it. If they have none – well, that’s probably not a good coin to bet on.
Or you can always go to our Crypto Calculator and find out the best coin to mine with your gear.
Getting the wallet
After you know what you want to mine with your gear, you will need a wallet to store the mining rewards in to. Open the official web site of the coin and get the windows/linux wallet. Install It, let it connect to the P2P network of the coin and sync the digital ledger. Create an address on to which you will receive the coins you mine. Save the address somewhere safe. The other important thing you need to keep safe is the file that contains the Private Keys of your wallet. Those keys allows you to operate with the funds you will get from mining. If anyone get your privet keys, they can empty you wallet. The keys are stored in the wallet.dat file, that in Windows is usually located in the AppData/Roaming folder of your user profile.
Choose a miner
The Miner is a software that utilizes your gear usually at a 100% and makes it calculate hashes like crazy all day long. The safest place to get your miner is from GitHub, and the best way to find the official GitHub page of the miner is from the ANN page of the miner in BitcoinTalk.org. For example the best miner for NVIDIA cards for NeoScrypt algorithm at the moment is called CCMINER moded by KlausT.
Every miner has a starting file that you need to configure, so the miner mines for your address. For example the CCMINER configuration bat file in windows look like this:
ccminer-x64 -a scrypt -o stratum+tcp://scrypt.blocksuckernation.com:4301 -u IWillPutAddressHere -p c=DFS
So you have specified the exe file to be used, the algorithm to mine with, the pool address where you will mine, your wallet address to which you will mine, the coin (DFS) you are going to mine on the pool.
Every miner has a little bit different configuration, but they all come to the things above, just listed in a different order.
Choose a mining pool
Mining solo is possible, but the probability of you getting something mining alone is close to 0 today. And with so much people mining, it this will not change any time soon. You can choose a mining pool from our Recommended Pools list, or from the official site of the coin you will be mining.
Once you choose a pool, first thing is to check how the miner has to be configured to be able to connect to that specific pool. Every pool has a Getting started page that shows how the configuration bat file has to look like for the miner to be able to connect to the pool. The coins you mine will have to wait a certain amount of time to be confirmed from the coin network, before they are send to your wallet on your machine.
Use a Crypto Calculator to find the best profits
Use a Crypto Calculator like this one, to find what is best to mine at the moment for best profits. You can switch the coins you mine, mine different algorithms, test new and different miners and over/under clock your gear to get the best hash/power ratio if you pay a lot for electricity.
I hope this will be useful for the beginner miners and make mining a bit simpler.
if you have any questions feel free to ask in our forum