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Simply stated, crypto mining means solving complex mathematical formulas to create crypto funds, by means of hardware or software.
With mining, everything is documented on the blockchain. Everything is collected in a ‘block’, which then forms a chain of blocks in line with each other. You must remember that additions can only be made behind the block. Past transactions will always remain a part of the Blockchain and cannot be changed.
Incidentally, not only are the transactions stored but also refers to the previous block (the hash): a difficult to crack mathematical puzzle.
The control over the transactions is usually achieved with what is called a Proof-of-Work protocol (PoW), a hashing algorithm. Or the complicated puzzle that must be solved by the miners. Thanks to PoW, there is agreement about all transactions in the records (Ledger). The computing power that the computer has provided for solving the mathematical puzzle and updating and checking the records is proof of work. PoW. Thanks to this protocol, you do not need, for example, an accountant or auditor.
With mining, you thus contribute to the security of cryptocurrency. That is, however, not the only advantage of crypto mining. As mentioned earlier in this article, you can also receive a reward for the use of the computing power of your miner. The biggest gains, however, can lie in discovering a new block in the Blockchain. Bitcoin has become very competitive, and therefore a lot of computing power is needed to earn a little bit. This, therefore, costs your miner a great deal of power. With other, smaller or newer crypto coins (Altcoins), it can be easier. The value of this currency may still increase, which means that in the long run, you can still achieve a nice return.
How do you start mining yourself? Below you will find a list of the things you will need if you want to start mining yourself.
- A wallet for the specific coin that you want to start mining.
- A good miner that is specially built for mining. The days when your own household computer was good enough are over.
- A good, and most of all, reliable internet connection.
- A good location. The miners can get very hot and can make a lot of noise. It is therefore not a good idea to do the mining in your living room. The best location is a cellar, attic or shed.
- For the same reason, you will also need a cooling system. Such as a fan or an air conditioner. It is important to keep your equipment cool.
- It is advisable to become a member of an online mining pool. This is a pool that is mining the same crypto coin you are. By joining an online mining pool, you will ensure a more stable income.
- When you want to sell the crypto coins, you must be a member of an online exchange where you can sell your mined coins.
- And the most importantly: you have to enjoy mining and be curious about how it all works.
As you can see, the difficulty of mining continues to increase and the only way to keep up is by constantly teaching yourself about how you can improve your miners. You can think of it as a sport: the person who works the hardest ultimately achieves the best result.
Crypto mining or “crypto mining,” as some call it, is a very popular topic in the crypto space today. However, mining is nothing new — it has obviously been around since Bitcoin was first launched in 2009 because mining is how new Bitcoin is made!
Crypto mining involves solving complex cryptographic equations through the use of computers to get cryptocurrencies as a reward. The computer resource used in solving these complex cryptographic equations determines the type of mining.
The most basic form of crypto mining involves mining with the computing power of an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), a central processing unit (CPU). However, today, it is also possible to mine cryptocurrencies with a GPU or graphics processing unit.
What Is GPU Mining?
GPU mining involves the use of a gaming computer’s graphics processing unit to solve complex math problems to verify electronic transactions on a blockchain.
Normally, to mine a cryptocurrency, digital coins must be built on a blockchain architecture that supports proof-of-work (PoW) mining. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Monero (XMR), Litecoin (LTC), and Dogecoin (DOGE) are examples of coins that can be mined.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070: The Most Popular Mining GPU
While there are a lot of different graphics cards in the markets, the cards used for crypto mining are those specially designed for gaming, not for video rendering. Shares in GPU manufacturing companies like NVIDIA and AMD have skyrocketed as miners look to earn cryptos with their computing powers. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 is one of the most popular mining rigs when considering both its electricity usage, although there are other models out there if you do your own research into a will that can work for you.
While it used to be possible to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies at home with your laptop, that's no longer an option for most cryptos due to the rising interest in mining, along with the Bitcoin reward halvings. Most mining operations, including the use of graphics cards and specialized mining rigs, are now conducted in shared pools, where participants combine their computing powers into a big group to generate results more quickly. Rewards are handed out to miners after a block of the currency has been mined.
All the participants in a shared pool get a share in the profits based on how much computing power they contributed. In this way, individual computers represent workers in a mine getting paid for searching for the treasure, the block reward.
How Does GPU Mining Work?
GPU mining became a hot topic in 2017 after Bitcoin zapped past its previous highs to peak at just under $20,000 (a little less than half of what it would later reach in January 2021!). Since then, individuals from around the world have sought the best GPUs to get their share of crypto block rewards.
The complex maths functions solved by computers are usually SHA-256 hash functions. In mining, the computer takes the SHA-256 — an encrypted mathematical algorithm — and turns it into an output. The output is always a 256-bit number.
The Sha-256 Hash Function
Encrypted in the SHA-256 problems solved by computers are details of electronic payments and algorithms necessary to secure a blockchain network from attackers wishing to "double-spend." For partaking in the security of the blockchain network, miners are rewarded with crypto coins.
When the computational problem is solved by the mining card, the product is a seemingly random 64 character output called a hash. On the Bitcoin network, miners have to find a hash that starts with approximately seventeen zeroes. To get this number, a computer has to try multiple times.
Once the hash is found, the block is closed, and the miner/pool of miners is rewarded with newly-created Bitcoins and transaction fees. On any blockchain, the hash rate is the speed at which a miner arrives and finds a hash. The hash rate is measured in Giga hashes (GH/s).
GPU Mining Algorithms
Just as there are different cryptocurrencies built on different blockchains, there are different types of cryptocurrency mining algorithms available. The hash (the product of mining) differs on the different types of blockchain.
A hashing algorithm is a cryptographic hash function that maps data of any random size to a hash of a fixed size. These mathematical functions condense data to a fixed size. Because they are smaller, it is more convenient for a computer to compute hashes and solve the problems in the files or data string.
The hashing algorithms available that support GPU mining are the following.
SHA-256, also known as a cryptographic hash algorithm, is a cryptographic function. SHA-256 algorithms function on a 512-bit message block and a 256-bit intermediate hash value. The hash rate for the SHA-256 algorithm is measured in gigahashes (GH/s).
The product of mining an SHA-256 algorithm is a 32-byte (256-bit) signature for text strings. The block time varies between 6 to 10 minutes. Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Terracoin (TRC), and Peercoin (PPC) are based on the SHA-256 algorithm.
The Scrypt hash function is used by Litecoin (LTC) as an alternative to the more power-hungry SHA-256 algorithm. Solving the Scrypt algorithm is a lot faster than the SHA-256 algorithm. The hash rate of the Scrypt algorithm is measured in kilo hashes (KH/s).
Scrypt runs on password-based key functions, which were created for the Tarsnap online backup service by Colin Percival. This algorithm creates many pseudorandom numbers for storing in RAM locations, which makes it almost impossible for large-scale hardware attacks to be performed on a network.
Scrypt was first implemented in cryptocurrency by an anonymous programmer called ArtForz in Tenebrix, then Fairbrix and Litecoin shortly after.
The block generation time of the Scrypt function is 2.5 minutes for many cryptocurrencies. As a result, they can be performed on the GPUs of computers. Dogecoin (DOGE), Latium (LAT), and Bitmark (BTM) are some other cryptocurrencies based on the Scrypt algorithm.
This is the most energy-efficient mining algorithm for GPUs. With the X11 Algorithm, the GPUs can run on 30% less wattage. Proof-of-work blockchains that implement this algorithm run on a sequence of eleven hashing algorithms.
This algorithm was implemented in the Darkcoin protocol (later renamed to Dash) in 2014, specifically made by Evan Duffield to be resistant to ASIC mining.
The hash rate of the X11 Algorithm is measured in megahashes (MH/s). Some of the cryptocurrencies that use the X11 algorithm are Dash (DASH), StartCoin (START), CannabisCoin (CANN), and XCurrency (XC).
The most well-known cryptocurrency to implement the Ethash Algorithm is Ethereum (ETH), the crypto for which this algorithm was initially created. DaggerHashimoto was the name of the first version of the Ethash algorithm, designed by Vitalik Buterin and the Ethereum team to be ASIC-resistant.
DaggerHashimoto is a combination of two other algorithms. The first, the Dagger algorithm, was built as an alternative for memory-intensive algorithms like Scrypt. However, Dagger is susceptible to pressure in shared memory hardware acceleration. The Hashimoto algorithm was designed to attain ASIC resistance by being IO-bound.
The hash rate for the DaggerHashimoto algorithm is measured in megahashes (MH/s). The popular cryptocurrencies that are based on it include Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Expanse.
GPU Mining Software
GPU hardware is only one part of the equation in mining. To get the most out of a GPU, you would require a mining software equally as good and optimized to produce the best results.
Some of the best mining software available for GPUs are the following.
Claymore miner was one of the most efficient Ethash GPU miners, but when Ethereum hit DAG epoch 384, it no longer worked, as it did not support past epoch 385. The DaggerHashimoto algorithm increases the DAG file every 30,000 blocks, which makes up one epoch — this increase then increases the GPU memory requirements needed for mining.
Claymore software is built with a dual Ethereum miner for mining cryptocurrencies with a similar algorithm without compromising on the hash rate.
Claymore was also famous for constantly rolling out new updates and being well-optimized. Claymore’s Dual Ethereum v15.0 is available for AMD and NVIDIA-based GPU miners. Although specially designed for Ethash, Claymore works excellently with other similar mining algorithms, but it's unclear if it will still work for Ethereum after epoch 384 at this time (February 2021).
WildRig Multi Miner
The WildRig Multi Miner software for GPU mining supports more than 30 different algorithms. WildRig Multi focuses on modern AMD GPUs and is supported on both Linux and Windows systems. The developer fee on the network is set to 2 percent.
KawPow is very popular among miners because of its support for any type of mining pool. The major drawback of this mining software is its lack of compatibility for AMD GPU devices. The Kawpow Miner 1.2.3 is the latest version of this all-purpose mining software as of February 2021.
What to Mine With GPUs
Choosing a cryptocurrency to mine with GPUs is one of the major problems new miners face. In making the decision, one of the most frequently asked questions has been how much one can make from mining cryptocurrencies with GPUs.
To start, the project must be built on a blockchain architecture that supports proof-of-work (PoW) before it can be mined with GPUs. Also, different factors affect how much rewards one can make from GPU, including the block rewards.
The block reward is the amount of crypto given to a miner/pool of miners for completing a block of cryptographic equations on a blockchain.
For example, when Bitcoin launched in 2009, mining one block would earn you 50 BTC. However, in 2012, the block reward was halved to 25 BTC. By 2016, this was halved again to 12.5 BTC. Finally, in May 2020, the reward halved again to 6.25 BTC.
The best cryptos to mine are those that give rewards that can cover the electricity charges used in mining and the cost of the mining device/rigs.
Best Crypto to Mine With GPU
Some of the best cryptos to mine with GPU in 2021 are the following.
Grin is a relatively new cryptocurrency with high block rewards. Although the complexity of mining changes dynamically on the Grin network, mining is relatively easy and the project offers unlimited coins — a joy for miners. 60 GRIN is rewarded per block mined. A grin coin currently trades at $0.34 as of Feb. 1, 2021.
This is one of the few cryptocurrencies created specifically for GPU mining. The architecture is perfectly optimized to support GPU mining. It is also one of the few non-stablecoin cryptos that have a relatively stable price.
Bitcoin Gold implements the Zhash hashing function and offers 12.5 BTG for a mined block. A BTG currently trades at $10.65 as of Feb. 1, 2021.
Litecoin was one of the first users of the Scrypt protocol, meaning the network is best suited for GPU mining. Litecoin can be mined without an ASIC because it uses the SCRYPT protocol. The network also provides high-speed transactions with low fees.
ASIC Mining Companies
ASIC devices came to prominence through a Chinese company called Bitmain. Notably, Bitmain dominates ASIC Bitcoin mining activities through its AntMiner product range.
The Antminer S9, released in May 2016, was the leader in mining during Bitcoin’s 2017 bull run and helped Bitmain’s value reach billions of dollars. Unfortunately, Bitmain has seen a power struggle in recent years between co-founders Jihan Wu, the Bitcoin Cash advocate, and Micree Zhan, which has adversely impacted the company. In January 2021, Wu announced that he would be leaving the company as CEO and chairman after reaching an amicable settlement with Zhan. After failing in its quest for an IPO in 2018 in Hong Kong, Bitmain is rumored to be gearing up for another attempt in 2021.
Other mining startups like Canaan, Bitfury, and KnCMiner also thrive. And in 2018, Halong Mining made a stab at the monopoly of AntMiner through its Dragonmint T1 ASIC-based blockchain mining device. This leveled the playing field just a little bit.
ASIC Mining Explained
ASIC mining is essentially the process of mining cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin using ASIC rigs. An ASIC miner is a piece of equipment that is purposely built solely for mining. Unlike other types of mining devices, ASICs can only be used to mine cryptos and nothing else.
Mining is an activity that is required by a proof-of-work (PoW) blockchain to carry out its operations. It involves making complex calculations to solve a mathematical puzzle, which miners compete in order to earn a block reward.
Bitcoin’s anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, envisioned a scenario of increased Bitcoin mining difficulty when more mining devices plug into the network. With the growing number of powerful mining devices, miners are incentivized to invest in ASIC hardware to give them the highest chance of successfully mining a block.
Note that each ASIC device is designed to mine a particular coin (or rather, a particular algorithm). For example, a Bitcoin ASIC miner can only mine BTC, while a Litecoin ASIC miner only interfaces with the LTC blockchain. This is because each digital currency has its own cryptographic hash algorithm, which ASIC devices are intended to match. Bitcoin, for instance, uses the SHA-256, while Litecoin uses Scrypt.
Is Bitcoin Mining Profitable?
Yes, Bitcoin mining is profitable, but it’s a little more nuanced. In the early days, things were simple. Standard CPUs handled BTC mining, and the rewards were 50 BTC for every successfully mined block. Today, the cost of running a BTC miner is higher while the rewards (amount of BTC) are lower, with current block rewards only 6.25 BTC following the 2020 Bitcoin halving. Furthermore, mining Bitcoin with CPUs has not been profitable for a long time.
However, while the block rewards were higher back then, the prices were also substantially lower compared to today. This makes ASIC mining not only a worthwhile endeavor but also a reasonably profitable venture.
The tricky bit is that you have to consider so many metrics before diving into space, the most pertinent of which is electricity cost and the AntMiner price.
The Antminer price is determined by, among other things, its model and hash rate, which is a measure of its computing power. The higher the better, but also the more expensive.
Later in this article, we’ll look at how to calculate an ASIC's mining profitability by factoring in the hash rate, Antminer price, and electricity cost.
Advantages of ASIC Mining
ASIC mining may be more costly than all other mining schemes in terms of hardware, but it has some key benefits. For example:
- Easy to set up — Thanks to their specialized nature of mining a single coin, they have plug and mine capabilities.
- High mining efficiency – ASICs have high computation powers and efficiency compared to GPUs and CPUs.
- Relatively high profits – With an ASIC's power, you are almost assured of getting a bulls’ eye and earning rewards faster than with any other type of hardware.
- Low energy consumption – Thanks to mining innovations in recent years, these devices have been designed to consume less energy relative to their computing power, compared to other mining models.
Top Cryptocurrencies for ASIC Miners
Top on the list is the leading cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. Its phenomenal price increase per coin over the past few years boosts its profitability. Despite the reward to miners being cut in half every four years, the price has consistently increased after a certain period of time with each halving, making it even more profitable, and as a PoW-powered platform, all mining rewards go to miners.
To mint as many BTCs as possible, use the latest or the most powerful ASICs in the industry. Some of the best ASIC Bitcoin miners include the AntMiner S9, which has a hash rate of 13.5 tera hashes per second (TH/s), or the Innosilicon Terminator 2-Turbo with a 24 TH/s hash rate.
For those looking to mine something different — like perhaps a blockchain with a lower mining difficulty than BTC — then LTC is a good bet. Although it's a PoW protocol, it differs from Bitcoin in terms of hashing algorithms, since LTC uses Scrypt. As such, it needs unique ASIC Litecoin miners.
Miners that handle the Scrypt-based cryptocurrencies include the AntMiner L3++ with a hash rate of 596 mega hashes per second (MG/s) or the Innosilicon A4+ with 620 MG/s. In addition, the Innosilicon A6 LTCMaster, with a speed of up to 1.2 Giga hashes per second (GH/s) is a worthwhile investment, although it may come at a higher cost.
You may probably think it's not worth it to mine ETH since the network is shifting to a proof-of-stake (PoS) system. To some extent, you may be right. However, Ethereum still supports PoW and is likely to do so for a certain period of time since Ethereum 2.0, its PoS upgrade, is a multi-year undertaking.
Besides, ASIC Ethereum miners are not as costly as Bitcoin's. Therefore, you have a chance to make easy money from mining the less competitive second-largest cryptocurrency. After all, its decreasing hash rate is ideal for new miners using ASIC devices.
Ethereum utilizes the Ethash hash algorithm. Therefore, the best ETH miners currently are the AntMiner E3, which operates at 190 MH/s, and the InnoSilicon A10 ETHMaster, with a power of up to 485 MH/s. The InnoSilicon A10 Pro’s 700 MH/s puts it among the most efficient ASIC ETH miners in the market.
How to Mine Bitcoin With an ASIC
Although ASICs have plug-and-mine capabilities, it's a bit more complicated than simply purchasing hardware and plugging it in. Since it is a business, things like planning for profitably must come into play. Luckily, you can use a Bitcoin mining profitability calculator to estimate the ROI margin before you even step out to shop for those ASICs.
A calculator considers crucial metrics such as your mining rig's hash rate, the current BTC price, the rig's power consumption and electricity costs. It'll then show you the profitability per day, month, and year.
CryptoCompare offers a reliable mining profitability calculator. First, you need to follow the steps below to know your hash rate, power consumption, cost per KWh, pool fee, etc. Then click here and input your variables (see step 4).
With Bitmain's AntMiner devices widely used in the market, it's good to shop around for a good ASIC Bitcoin miner with the same or even higher computational power. However, if pre-used devices are the only ones within your range, ensure that they're working correctly before swiping that credit card.
Here are the steps to mine Bitcoin with an ASIC device:
- Choose an ASIC mining rig.
- Choose your mining software.
- Join a reputable mining pool.
- Use a mining profitability calculator to ensure that you’ll profit.
- Create a new Bitcoin wallet for your Bitcoin rewards or use what you already have. This can either be a software or hardware wallet.
And you’re done! The same steps can be applied in mining Litecoin, Ethereum, and other digital currencies.
Things to Consider Before Venturing into ASIC Mining
Before venturing into ASIC mining, it's best to deeply consider critical things like the mining rig, pool, and software.
Choosing the best rig boils down to your preferred device and your budget. For those looking to buy new machines, going for the latest models is the best choice. However, there are also pre-owned models on online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay.
The right equipment depends on one's needs. Some will want to utilize spare space in their garage, while others may be looking to build mini ASIC mining farms.
Whichever the option, there are essential things to consider. For example:
- Hardware – A rig comprises several ASIC devices connected to work as a single unit. Things to look out for in hardware are computational speed and electrical power consumption. Efficiency is also a critical aspect when choosing the hardware. Less efficiency means more electricity costs relative to output, and vice versa.
- Motherboard – This is the backbone of the rig because it holds the hardware together. The choice of a motherboard depends on the hardware you want to run on it.
- Power supply – Miners need power. How big or small the power supply relies on the number of powered devices. It also depends on whether you'll be overclocking your miners since doing so consumes more power.
- Central Processing Unit (CPU) – The CPU coordinates different aspects of the rig, including the ASICs. Therefore, a sound processor is a key to ensuring the rig's smooth running.
- Frame – A frame holds everything together to make a compact system. A more robust frame means fewer repair costs. However, its size depends on the number of miners you wish to add.
Choosing the Best Bitcoin Mining Pool
While it's possible to be a solo Bitcoin miner, it may require considerable investments in mining devices to find a new block on the BTC-powered blockchain. The next option is to join a mining pool where miners join the power of their rigs, direct it on Bitcoin and share the rewards for any successfully mined block.
Unfortunately, quack pools are also conducting mischievous businesses. To avoid falling prey, consider the following mining pool variables:
- Reputation – Some pools don't pay miners, while others charge exorbitant rates. The trustworthiness can be seen by analyzing other miners' comments on different social platforms like Reddit and Twitter. However, be cautious of artificially sounding positive praises. Some players in the crypto industry are known to employ sock puppets, i.e. false online identities used to pad review scores.
- Size – A pool's size is a testament to its reliability, trustworthiness, and influence. Therefore, a bigger pool is oftentimes a better choice since it has a higher hash rate; hence, it has a higher likelihood of uncovering a new block. Consequently, participants of large pools get frequent and consistent rewards.
- Payment rules – How often does the pool release funds to miners? Is there a minimum payout? These factors are vital before settling on a Bitcoin mining pool. If the minimum payouts are high, a small miner may need to wait longer before getting their rewards. Payment rules dictate pool fees and payout methods. Payout methods include DGM (double geometric method), ESMPPS (Equalized Shared Maximum Pay Per Share), and CPPSRB (Capped Pay Per Share including Recent Backpay).
- Other factors – Other crucial factors to consider when choosing the best Bitcoin mining pool include latency, support/feedback, and uptime/efficiency.
Choosing the Right Mining Software
Mining software is a computer program specially designed to connect the mining hardware and pool. Choosing the wrong BTC mining software will render you unable to connect to a pool or the Bitcoin network itself.
The best software depends on the target operating system; it will also rely on your expertise. Popular Bitcoin-mining software includes the MultiMiner (best for beginners), CGMiner (for advanced users), and BitMiner (for a quick setup).
The software can either be free or paid. Some paid versions are subscription-based, while others charge according to your rig’s hash power.
For the explanation about the Blockchain, we limit ourselves to the part that is relevant for mining. There is much more to tell about Blockchain technology.
A blockchain is actually a large, distributed database. It is open to everyone, no one owns it. It’s just like the internet with all its websites. Anyone with an internet connection can see those pages.
When using these databases, a sort of secret code is used, the ‘hash-code’. That code is linked to a certain purchase or transaction. The question is often: is a blockchain secure? The answer is yes, a decentralized blockchain is secure as each participant can see everything and collectively safeguard the security.
The advantages of making payments, transactions and transfers through a blockchain:
- Fast, since it is real-time.
- Cheap, since there is no longer any middleman needed.
- Reliable, since the transactions are visible on all computers that are connected to that blockchain. Cheating is therefore nearly impossible.
Started in 2016 , CryptoMine IT Services Ltd , the owner of cryptomineshop.com ,is a United Kingdom based company specialized in Blockchain management, offline sales, e-commerce and cryptocurrency mining.
We are a team professionals with a vast experience and by the middle of 2021 we aim to be one of the major players in the crypto world and one of the biggest miner distributors.
Until now we have build a very strong relationships and a high level of support with the major players in the IT.
Our vision is to bring Blockchain and Cryptocurrency at the next level, we will always try to provide all products at a very reasonable price from the current market rates.
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Here you will find information about the conditions and stock of current pre-orders.
- An order is only delivered when all products in the order are in stock. For example, if you have also ordered an accessory for your miner and it is not yet available, delivery will be delayed. It is better to order the miner and the accessory (s) separately from each other.
- You have to pay the miner in full in advance.
- Unfortunately it is possible that the demand exceeds the supply. Although we do our best to prevent this, it is possible that the delivery date may be postponed. In this case we will keep you informed by mail.