Back when cryptocurrencies were just gaining traction, it was enough processing power to just use your computer with or a high speed video processor card. It didn’t take that much energy to successfully mine the likes of Bitcoin in the very early days. However, nowadays it requires much more high end equipment to successfully mine and add to the blockchain.
Firstly, as part of the dedicated hardware, you’re going to need a graphics card that has been designed specifically for mining cryptocurrency. This is what is going to be doing the mining process.
Next you’re going to need a perfectly good power supply unit. Now this is where a lot of people can make the wrong decision, and end up investing in a power supply unit that simply isn’t powerful enough, and can end up costing them more in electricity.
Finally, you’re going to need a motherboard. One thing to consider when looking for a dedicated motherboard, is how many PCI slots it has. The more PCI slots means the more graphics card! Remember that!
Get yourself a wallet
The next step is finding somewhere that you can store your cryptocurrency, I.E. a wallet. But it’s not just any wallet, like the one we carry round in our pockets or bags. Digital wallets are needed to store your coins. One of the things to consider when getting a wallet is SECURITY because the last thing you want is for your coins to be lost or stolen. Wired Magazine had a pretty interesting article on the subject.
In light of this, many people suggest getting a local wallet. This increases the security and overall is a much more popular option. Local wallets have the same appearance as USB drives, but they have dedicated software that is solely used for the purpose of cryptocurrency.
Popular wallets include Trezor and Ledger Nano S which normally sell for $100, although it might seem like a lot, you have to think of the security it brings to the table.
Be careful not to lose your wallet though, as the recovery process can be a little tedious and time consuming!
Join a community or be a lone wolf
This decision can make or break your mining operation. With mining becoming more difficult as time progresses, you need every opportunity you can get. The option to join a mining pool can often be a wise decision, because a pool allows you to share resources and split rewards that can lead to faster return on investments.
Being part of a mining pool means you will have to pay a small fee, which is normally around 2% of your earnings.
Mining alone however can often be less fruitful. You could go a whole year without successfully mining any cryptocurrencies, because the process is just so damn competitive, however the upside is, whatever you mine, you keep.
The software side
The next step is to obtain the required software called a mining program. These mining programs are all open source and free. There are different mining programs for the type of hardware that you have running.
The mining programs run in the command line of your computer, and some may need a batch in order to initiate the mining process (especially if you are part of a mining pool).
One thing to mention is that if you’re going solo, and mining alone, then REMEMBER to connect the mining program to your wallet, so that anything you make gets deposited directly. However if you are part of a mining pool then you will need to connect your wallet to your mining account with the pool.
Burn baby burn!
One crucial aspect of mining is to keep an eye on temperatures! These mining programs are relentless for creating high temperatures in your hardware. There are software programs such as SpeedFan which makes sure that temperatures don’t get to the point where things can go critically wrong. Pretty wild considering how much some people are investing in bitcoin.
Little pointer: Graphics cards should never go above 80° C or 176° F.