10 Tips For Beginner Bitcoin Miners
Mining is a very important element of the Bitcoin system. It’s very much thanks to the thousands of miners that joined in the network in 2017 that the price of the Bitcoin spiked up so much. And it’s also the merit of miners for shortening the processing time of a Bitcoin transaction to around 10 minutes in the last year – whereas before it could take up to a couple of days.
If you’re looking to become a miner yourself, less for the sake of the community and more for the Bitcoins miners earn as rewards, you might need a few beginner tips to get you started. Here’s what we know:
1. Mining or buying?
We hate to say it, but it’s actually true – mining is not for everyone. It requires quite a bit of computer knowledge, and even a bit of geekiness, as most miners have to build their own rig from scratch. Mining also implies a lot of extra costs, from the processing unit to the (lots) of extra energy you’ll be wasting on keeping the computer running at all times. With the Bitcoin mining scene getting more and more populated in the last year, things have gotten pretty competitive – so if you lack the enthusiasm, might be a better bet to buy those coins instead.
2. Do your research
Before you start getting into mining, do your research. Make sure the information is accurate and recent (!), as the requirements and specs you need for Bitcoin mining are changing very quickly. You can still come across videos on Youtube saying you can mine Bitcoins with just a GTX 1070, which is already outdated info as of December 2017. You have to have a general idea of what mining is (the technical process), what are the minimum hardware specs required for mining at the time you want to get into it, and what pools you can join.
3. Make calculations
Use a Bitcoin mining calculator (there’s plenty of free ones on the Internet) to help you estimate a profit. You have to introduce you hardware model or just the hash rate, the price of electricity in your area, your pool fees, and the block reward amount to get an approximate value of your revenue. Keep in mind that the results are never 100% accurate, especially since the price of the Bitcoin fluctuates every couple of seconds. Also, the calculator does not include the price you’ll be paying for your miner hardware, which can be quite an investment.
4. Consider cloud mining
If the mining calculator didn’t predict some very exciting profits, but you still want to become a Bitcoin miner, might be worth looking into cloud mining contracts. Cloud mining allows you to rent a certain amount of power output on a big mining rig somewhere in the world, and be paid as you would for the performance of your own hardware. There are a couple of advantages: you don’t have to put down a big chunk of money at once to buy the hardware, you don’t have to bear with the heat and noise of the miner in your own home, and you can cut on electricity costs. However, you will have to pay the company a certain fee. Also, be warned that there are a lot of scammers in the cloud mining business, so be extra rigorous in your research.
5. Get a miner
If you decided that you want to build your own rig, you’d have to start by getting an ASIC miner, which is a computer built specifically for mining Bitcoins. There are several models available on the market, but the Antminer S9 is considered to be the ultimate mining hardware. Expect to drop a couple thousand bucks on the miner, even more, if you want to add extra cooling equipment.
6. Place the miner in an isolated and well-ventilated space
Mining computers will usually heat up quite a bit, that’s why they have this reputation of producing a lot of noise. You need some powerful fans to cool it down and keep it working – and you need them to run all the time. That’s why it’s best to plan in advance and place it somewhere where it doesn’t bother you or your family – most people recommend keeping it in the basement.
7. Join a reputable pool
Whereas before you could technically be a standalone miner, nowadays the competition is just too high – even the most powerful rig does not stand a chance before the millions of other computers that work to find blocks. That’s why you will have to join a pool – but again, be very careful that the pool you choose is very transparent with their fees, and their payment policy. That can be per share, per last n shares, proportional to all the miners, or score based.
8. Store your Bitcoins in a secure hardware wallet
Never store Bitcoins on your mining computer – if it crashes, you can lose the money, and they will just disappear into the void. You won’t be able to claim them back from anyone, as you’ll just lose your wallet key once and forever. That’s why it’s best to invest in a hardware wallet that is separate from your miner – or, even better, keep your Bitcoin split into multiple wallets.
9. Decide on the right software
While Mac users mostly agree that MacMiner is the best mining software to date, Windows, and other operating systems have a few options. However, in the end, most of them do the same thing, but if you’re keen on finding the very best one, there are a ton of comparative reviews on the Internet.
10. Go in with the lowest of expectations
Bitcoin mining is already extremely competitive, and it’s getting even more intense every single day. Making a ton of money right away is impossible – but you’ll have to be patient, and start mining bit by bit. Or, if it seems like too much of a hassle, might be worth buying those Bitcoins instead.
Keep in touch with Cryptominers for more useful information for Bitcoin miners.