When people think of Cryptocurrency mining, they immediately think of big server farms in remote locations churning away hundreds of thousands of bitcoins or other altcoins. Although that is true, in reality, cryptocurrency mining is a lot simpler, so simple that even my grandma can get started. That might be a slight exaggeration but you get the gist.
All you need is a powerful gaming PC with a graphics card having 4 to 8 GB of video memory. The high memory requirement is not a pre-requisite, but it helps if you have more of it.
So here’s a noob’s guide to mining cryptocurrency.
What Is Cryptocurrency Mining?
Every one of us knows the buzzwords like Cryptocurrency, mining, bitcoin etc., but what do they actually mean. Understanding them is crucial, so we don’t mess up in our process.
In Cryptocurrency mining, a person lends out the GPU power of their PC online to solve algorithms, equations etc. Their PC is used to validate certain metric, and upon success, They’re rewarded with cryptocurrencies that they can use to exchange for real-world money.
That’s the simplest explanation of what crypto mining is. You give your PC to the cloud for some work and get rewarded in crypto coins. That’s the entire process of cryptocurrency mining.
The difficulty, time-taken and resources required for online mining depend upon the cryptocurrency. For example, it is relatively easier to mine Ethereum as compared to Bitcoin.
How To Mine Cryptocurrency: Ethereum
There are several different types of cryptocurrencies, but today we will be looking at the second most popular one – Ethereum – and how to mine it.
How To Mine Ethereum
Ethereum mining is on the rise. Mainly because of the jump in the price of Ether and the rise in popularity of NFT or Non-Fungible Tokens that use Ethereum blockchain for transactions.
If you always wondered about “how To Mine Ethereum” or about “how difficult it must be to mine Ethereum?” then don’t worry, You’re not alone. Before writing this article, I had no idea either. But I learned a ton about Ethereum mining in a span of few days.
Here’s what you need to mine Ethereum cryptocurrency:
- A computer with a GPU having at least more than 4 GB of RAM
- Active internet connection
- An Ethereum wallet
How To Get Ethereum Wallet
Assuming you have the first two things, here’s what you need to do to get your Ethereum wallet.
- Open Google Chrome browser
- Search Metamask Ethereum wallet
- Download the Metamast wallet extension
- After installation, click on “Get Started.”
- Click on the “New Wallet” option
- Check the box with Terms and Conditions and click on “I Agree”
- Create a new password and click on “Continue.”
You’ve successfully created your Metamask account, but to make your online wallet completely safe, Metamask will give you your unique phrase. I’d advise you to take a photo of it, write it down and save it offline in a Pendrive because it will help you backup and restore your account in the future.
After you’ve done all three things mentioned above, the Metamask will ask you to enter your secret phrase in the next step by selecting them in an orderly fashion.
Enter the phrase, and your sign up process for Metamask online wallet is complete. With the wallet, you’ll have your address which you can use to store Ethereum coins. Metamask also allows for currency swap, meaning if you’ve Ethereum, you can exchange it for other cryptocurrencies as well. You can keep your wallet address public and store it anywhere you like because it is how you accept payment from the outside world. Think of it as the QR code which shopkeepers use.
How To Install Ethereum Mining Software?
To mine Ethereum, you’ll need a mining software. The easiest one to use is “Lolminer.” You can install it from this Github link. I recommend that you install “Lolminer” only from Github. Mainly because Windows OS and Google chrome consider mining software as malicious. Downloading them from an official link is always the best choice.
Download the Zip file, and if Google Chrome tries to block it manually, force it to download. Once done, go into the folder where the Zip file is present. Extract the contents of the zip file outside in any folder you like. I like to keep it on the desktop for easier access.
After extraction, you’ll see a bunch of pre-configured batch files. Usually, these files have an extension, but if it is not visible, don’t worry. You only need to consider yourself with the file “mine_eth.”
Now we need to find a “mine pool,” a place where different groups of cryptocurrency miners use their computational resources to mine crypto. Simply put, we are now searching for a place to mine Ethereum.
Head on over to Ethermine and click on the start mining option. Here is where you’ll find a place to mine. The window will display different servers in Asia, Europe, US East and West. You’ll need to copy the URL of the region where you live.
We will take this URL and modify a pre-configured batch file within the mining software. Don’t worry, it sounds scary, but it isn’t.
- Go to the file called “mine_eth” or “mine_eth_4G” if you have a GPU with 4 GB of memory.
- Right-click on the file according to your PC’s configuration and click “Edit.”
- Windows will display a bluescreen warning, but click on more info and select “Run Anyway.”
- A note pad will open, and you’ll see a configuration file as displayed below.
- You’ll see a pre-defined set pool within the file. You’ll have to replace the highlighted set pool with the URL you copied from Ethermine.
- Copy and paste the new URL
- Next, you’ll need to change the port with the one mentioned on Ethermine. In our case, it is 4444.
- Lastly, in the wallet option, copy your Metamask Ethereum wallet address and paste it by replacing it.
- Click on Save and close the file.
- Double click on it after saving, and now your PC will begin mining Ethereum.
Refer to the images above for an easier explanation.
Wait for at least half an hour, then copy your Metamask wallet address and paste it on the Ethermine website in the “Miner Address” option to check on your mining progress.
Now you can sit back and relax while your PC works hard to make money. But hold on, mining cryptocurrency is only half the battle. You’ll have to withdraw it and exchange it with fiat currency like US dollar or Indian Rupees.
How To Withdraw Cryptocurrency And Exchange It With Real Money
On the Ethermine website, you can choose when you wish to receive a payout of the cryptocurrency. You’ll need to follow these steps –
- Go to Ethermine website
- Click on settings
Here, enter your e-mail address, payment threshold and your unique IP address. You can find out your current IP address by Googling, “How to find my IP address and following the instructions given.”
In my case, the minimum threshold limit was 0.1 Ether, so I set that as my payment threshold. Whenever the miner reaches 0.1 Ether, it gets deposited in my Metamask wallet.
After that, I can use many services like Crypto.com, Binance, Coinbase to exchange my coins into fiat currencies. These platforms usually have an exchange fee, so compare them to find out the right one for you.
That’s all you need to know about mining Cryptocurrency. Do hit us up on our social media channel, and let us know if you’ve any questions.