Now that Bitcoin has reached a record new high of $10,000 and above, there are more people than ever before mining cryptocurrency and building the building blocks of the blockchain that will power the future of... well, pretty much everything.
It's like the internet, all over again. Everyone thinks it [crypto and blockchain technology] will fade and go away, but they are both here to stay, and they will only become bigger parts of our lives going into the future.
Mining cryptocurrency sounds incredibly hard and while it isn't the easiest thing in the world to get working, once you've got the tools and know what a "BTC wallet" or "BTC address" or "cryptocurrency" is, you're cooking with gas and making money from your system/s.
In this guide, we'll walk you through how to use NiceHash - a super-simple cryptocurrency miner that pays you in Bitcoin.
What You'll Need
There are a few things you're going to need... with the most important of them all being a digital asset wallet. There are many wallets out there, but I use a mix of Jaxx and Exodus. Jaxx is available on virtually everything including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and more. I use Jaxx on both Windows and Android, and haven't had any issues with it so far (except for sending $3500 to the wrong ETH address... so don't be like me, and triple check everything you do).
The biggest benefits of using Jaxx or Exodus is that they have ShapeShift built-in. Some of you will know what ShapeShift is, but for those who don't, ShapeShift is an incredibly useful tool for those who aren't going to be day trading cryptocurrency.
PC + Lots of GPUs
You won't need to have 50 graphics cards to mine cryptocurrency, a single graphics card and hell, even a laptop will do (you can mine using only your CPU). You can mine with your CPU, HDD, and GPU - something we'll get into soon. For now, you'll need a PC that is running Windows and a graphics card.
AMD is definitely superior at mining especially when it comes to Ethereum, but even their new Radeon RX Vega graphics cards run ridiculously hot when mining. I'm not going to spend much time recommending NVIDIA or AMD over each other, but if you want cooler-operating cards, go for NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 series cards. If you want brute performance that will see you tweaking for hours, AMD has the power.
Time. Time is the most important thing here. Don't think that you can spend 10 minutes doing this and it'll be up and running and you can walk away from your PC and start cashing it in and buying Lamborghini's all over the place.
If you're running a single PC with a single graphics card then it's going to be very simple: install Jaxx or Exodus and get your BTC wallet and address in order, run the mining software (like NiceHash), and that's it. Your PC will make you money. If you have multiple PCs with multiple graphics cards per machine (like I do), it's a time-consuming hobby that just so happens to make you money.
The more systems you're running, the more time it will take to maintain it all. Heating and cooling becomes a problem, so does noise and networking. They are all things we'll talk about, but you'll need to be prepared to spend lots of time tinkering and reading if you want to be serious about mining cryptocurrency.
You should also consider your power costs to determine if mining is profitable or not.
Thankfully, NiceHash has a handy tool on its website that allows you to input the kWh charge your electricity company charges you and select your hardware, and it will give you a rough idea of potential earnings per day, week, and month.
Setting It Up
Setting NiceHash Up
There are multiple options when it comes to mining cryptocurrency, but this is a guide that will have you doing it easily. There are options to mine specific cryptocurrencies like ETH and Zcash, as you can't mine coins like BTC with conventional graphics cards. They require ASIC-specific hardware that is solely for the big-time miners, and not your GeForce or Radeon graphics card that doubles as a gaming card.
If you want the easiest way to make some money on the side, NiceHash is perfect.
- Pay in Bitcoins
- Payments from 0.001 Bitcoin
- Payments from once per day
- No registration required
- Free software & user friendly guides
Setting Up NiceHash
Step 1: Download NiceHash by selecting 'I want to earn with my CPU or GPU.'
Step 2: Download NiceHash.
NiceHash, the free app that allows you to earn bitcoins... all on autopilot.
Once you've downloaded NiceHash, it'll run a benchmark on your system to see what parts you have that can be used to mine (CPU, GPU) and what algorithms they're capable of (and how efficient they are at running said algorithms). This takes a few minutes, so be patient, let it run, and don't run anything else on your PC while it's doing its thing.
The last step you'll need to do is enter in your BTC wallet address, which is something we'll cover on the next page.
NiceHash + BTC Wallet Address
Now, this is one of the most important parts: getting paid.
Once you've opened up NiceHash and let it benchmark your CPU and GPU, you'll need to enter your BTC wallet address.
On the left, you can see "WALLET'. You'll need to click this and then enter your BTC wallet address so you can get your payments.
There's even a guide that NiceHash includes that shows you how to set up your BTC wallet address.
Exodus Wallet Setup
Setting up your BTC wallet address (and hell, virtually any cryptocurrency that Exodus supports) is A-B-C easy.
Open up Exodus, and on the left, you'll see "Wallet."
In there, you'll see two buttons - send, and receive. Click 'receive.'
Boom. Your Bitcoin address is made on the spot, and unique to you. Copy and paste this out to NiceHash when you're ready.
Long Term Mining + Maintenance
Another thing to think about when mining cryptocurrency is where you live, the average weather, how big your house is, and how much money you've got to cool all (or sometimes, one) of your graphics cards.
If you're running a single PC (which most of you probably would be), then I wouldn't bother spending more money on air conditioning or modifying anything or building anything new. Use the single PC, and evaluate your electricity costs (big deal here) to see if mining makes sense for you.
The long-term mining and maintenance side of things is something I'm going to cover in another article, as it's something I've had to do over the last six months of my adventures running a 40+ graphics card Ethereum mine. I live in South Australia where we have the most expensive electricity prices in the world, and it is now getting into summer, so the mine is running ridiculously hot.
I've had to spend $2000+ on new portable air conditioners, as well as thousands on networking equipment, power supplies, motherboard/CPU/RAM combos, PCIe risers, and so much more.
This guide is more about 'mainstream cryptocurrency mining' on a single PC, but if you want to see more from the point of view of 10-20-40-60+ graphics card mines, let me know, and I'll dive deeper into it all.
Let It Mine!
Let It Mine... Let It Mine!
You're all set... your PC will be mining some form of cryptocurrency while paying you out in small amounts of Bitcoin. But this is where you need to be careful: you're not going to get rich overnight. Even my $1200 graphics card, a freakin' NVIDIA TITAN Xp, is making less than USD $5 per day.
Factoring in the power consumption I'm still ahead, but on a 38C day like today, I've got to take into account the electricity cost of keeping the room cool with the air conditioner. Even with the fan at 100%, it's still pumping 70C+ air into the room which gets hot after 24/7 mining.
As you can see, mining with NiceHash is easy. If you have any questions, comment below, and I'll reply to them as much as I can to help anyone out.
Thanks for reading! See you in the mine.
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