So you’ve decided to start mining your first cryptocoin. Welcome! The cryptocurrency world is big and it can seem overwhelming when you first begin. There are many coins to choose to mine, many software miners, and many mining pools to choose from. Let’s address some of these issues and provide some solutions to the problems.
What hardware do I need?
To get started, you can use your laptop or desktop computer processor (CPU mining), but this method uses a lot of power, generates a lot heat (ruining your device), and yields very small results. Ideally, you will need at least 1 graphic card to mine using the graphical processing unit (GPU mining).
Unfortunately, with the rise in popularity of cryptocurrency mining, all graphics cards are either sold out everywhere (literally everywhere)… or they are at least twice the regular price as retailers take advantage to gain more profit.
A third option is to buy a cloud mining contract. These contracts are usually purchased for a day’s worth of mining at a given hashrate. They eliminate the upfront costs of buying mining hardware, maintenance, and power. You can find out more about mining contracts here.
What coin do I mine?
This is often a starting point for many newcomers. Bitcoin is a household name now, but realistically, it is very difficult to mine. It is still possible with enough mining power, but it is no longer a viable point of entry for beginners. There are many other cryptocurrencies that are gaining popularity and their values are rising daily. These coins are often referred to as “altcoins”.
You’ll have to do much more research on this topic, but in the end, you’ll be taking a gamble on which coin(s) you think will increase in value. In terms of pure math, you can input your hashrate into a mining calculator and get an estimate of daily coins and dollar value earned. Try the WhatToMine and MinerGate mining calculators.
What software do I use to mine?
Depending on your operating system, graphics card, and coin algorithm, there are a few reliable options to choose from.
To see what suits you, take a look at this list of mining tools. All of these miners offer downloadable versions that are easy to start up.
However, some mining software requires a technical programming background, as you have to create the software from the source code. The good news is that some mining pools include easy-to-use software specific to their pools. Check out MinerGate’s software for an excellent example.
What mining pool do I connect to?
You’ll want to choose a reliable mining pool with little downtime and a decent amount of miners connected. They’re almost all free to register, and they work by taking a percentage of the coins you mine, usually 1% – 2%. Not all pools mine all coins, so once you’ve decided what coin you want to mine, you’ll have to do some research on which is the best pool for you.
By the time, you will see that it is not simple to find an appropriate and profitable pool. MinerGate is unique because it offers a wide-range of coins to mine for a flat fee. At just 1% for every coin, the fee is very low and quite competitive, and there’s no variation amongst coins so that you can calculate your expected earnings with ease. MinerGate has been around since 2014 and has earned a reputation for being a reliable mining platform, which is why there are over 750,000 miners connected every day! With that many miners, together with a low pool fee, MinerGate offers one of the highest expected earnings per miner for every coin on their platform.
That sums up a very basic introduction to cryptocoin mining. As mentioned earlier, it’s a big world and there are many more topics we’ll cover in the coming posts. To get started within 5 minutes, sign up for a MinerGate account, download their mining tool, pick a coin, and hit “Start”. It’s that easy!