This is going to be the hardest thing to explain, so instead of explaining it to you and trying to water it down - because I barely understand it, I'm going to be honest. I'm about 50 hours into this, 10 hours per day for 4 days straight and I'm utterly addicted to Ethereum and everything to do with it. This series of articles are going to be a journal of sorts, so you'll be here right with me - and I want as much community feedback as possible. If I'm referring to something wrong, terminology or hardware or anything at all - please let me know, and I'll edit these articles as we go.
This is one of the best explanations on just what the hell Ethereum is, and that it could be the future.
What You'll Need
- A computer of some sort
- 4GB RAM+
- 1 x GPU+
- Linux or Windows OS
- Some experience with networking/software
GPU + PSU Requirements
Cryptocurrency mining power comes down to the GPU of choice, and how many of them you have. I'm in the first week of my Ethereum mining adventures and I'm using 22 x GPUs across 9 systems, which is horribly inefficient - but it gives me a good base to start from and work up from there.
But with more GPU power cranking along at 100% all day every day, we run into two big problems: power and cooling. For systems with 3-4 x GPUs, you're going to need a specific motherboard with enough space between PCIe x16 slots, or dual-GPU graphics cards like the AMD Radeon R9 295X2, which I happen to have two of. Except, the R9 295X2 will use 500W+ each without a problem, so two of them are beyond hardcore on your PC with heat and power consumption.
If you're using 2 x GPUs and will only use 2 x GPUs with your Ethereum mining, then an 850W should be fine. It'll give you some good headroom in case you upgrade your graphics card, but not add another one in. If you're using a 3 x GPU rig, you'll want 1000W+ while 4-way systems will want 1200-1500W minimum. For the 6 x GPU systems (it can be done, more on that later) 1500W minimum or multiple PSUs, depending on the graphics cards used.
Choose an eWallet
This is where things will get personal, but for now I'm using MyEtherWallet.
Security is Key, Protect ETH Like Real Money or Gold
It's super easy to set up, and very secure. But be warned: the password you set is permanent. Do not lose it. This is your key to everything you mine.
Once you've saved your password, you're going to need to download your encrypted keystore to your PC and then move it elsewhere to keep it safe. I would suggest making a few different backups of this: to your main PC, to a USB flash drive, external HDD, or a NAS. You can also store it on the cloud with Google Drive or Dropbox, but then that means you'd need access to the cloud all the time to grab your key.
There's also the option of printing out a paper wallet, which will save your raw private key, or a QR code of your raw private key. You can print this off as a final backup, and if you've got a safe in the house - well, this is something you'd protect as many layers of security as possible.
Note: Please have multiple backups of your private key, as there's no way at all anyone - including MyEtherWallet or any other eWallet site can recover your password or private key. With this, you and only you (or someone who hacks you and/or steals it) can use to transfer funds, draining your entire account - thousands, and even millions of dollars disappear in a second, never to return.
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