How To Mine Ethereum And Other Cryptos
First, it's best to answer, what is mining?
Mining can take multiple forms, but at its core - mining is using computational power to solve complex math equations sent by the blockchain. This service allows transactions on the blockchain to be verified. In exchange for solving the math problems, you receive a reward i.e. the cryptocurrency associated with the algorithm. For example, Ethereum's algorithm is known as Ethash, in which you would be rewarded Ethereum.
Computational power refers to the "computers"/devices ability to complete given instruction in a certain amount of time. As an example scenario, our devices are GPU's and their instruction are to solve the math problems sent by the blockchain.
For simplicity sake, we will highlight the three most common methods of mining - which all contain some amount of computational power:
- GPU Mining
- CPU Mining
- ASIC Mining
GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) Mining is one of the most common ways to mine. GPU's are typically used for gaming within a desktop or laptop. However, they are also able to mine cryptocurrency by using different mining software.
When someone wants to mine using GPUs, a major consideration is the parts needed in order to begin mining. Typically, you will need to gather the same parts you would find in a desktop PC - Below we will add the standard parts needed to build your first mining rig:
- Central Processing Unit (CPU)
- CPU Cooler/Fan
- Random-access Memory (RAM)
- Power Supply Unit (PSU)
- Rig Frame
- Graphics Processing Units (GPUs)
- PCIe Cords
- PCIe Risers
- Solid State Drive (SSD)
+ A few more components which are common in mining rigs, but not necessarily needed for functionality:
- Power Button
- USB Stick
- Server Power Supply Unit
Obviously, this is quite a large amount of parts, which can be expensive. An important thing to keep in mind is the price of all of the parts needed and what their current market is looking like. As of writing this article, there is a silicone shortage, which in turn limited production of GPUs. The shortage of GPUs has meant for a increased or even scalped GPU price, making it increasingly difficult for your "Average Joe" to start the wonderful journey of crypto mining.
High prices shouldn't be a deterrent though! Crypto mining, even during the bearish markets, can still be profitable.
There is a wide variety of different mining software available as well as third-parties that implement miners into the operating system. Here are a few to list:
- T-Rex Miner
*HiveOS Operating System Dashboard
*T-rex Miner Mining Ethereum
Typically, to get started you would download one of the software/operating systems and connect it to a mining pool.
A mining pool is typically what GPU miners connect their mining software to when they begin the process of mining. The reason for this is that typically a GPU miner does not have enough computational power to solve the blockchains math problem on their own. The mining pools assists in the sense that they give equal opportunity for everyone to enjoy a portion of the mining rewards. Once connected to the pool, you will mine alongside other crypto miners - the pool will give you shares based on the amount computational power you have. Essentially, the more GPUs you have, gives you more shares, which in turn, gives you more cryptocurrency rewards.
An excellent site for checking which mining pool is the best for you: Mining Pool Stats
Once you have downloaded the miner, you will also be given a .confiq file that is associated with it. The miner users the .config file to find out your wallet address (to receive your rewards) and any settings you want to implement into the miner, for example, trying to specify which GPU device you want running in the miner: "devices" : "1,3" (1 and 3 representing the specific GPU you want to mine with).
Now that you have set up your mining pool in the .config file of your miner, you can start mining!