Bitcoin has been making the headlines recently with its value bouncing near to the $20,000 mark for 1 bitcoin. Bear in mind that at the beginning of 2017 1 bitcoin cost only $1000 there is some serious money to be made.
Whilst this isn’t a technical introduction to cryptocurrencies, most (including bitcoin) are maintained by an online community. Transactions are approved, with an associated process called mining. The basis of mining is that people dedicate their computer resources in order to maintain the currency network and get paid in return for this.
It is not all that simple though, particularly for bitcoin. The amount of dedicated, bespoke computer requirements needed now put it beyond the reach of most average home users. Luckily there are many other cryptocurrencies which are much better to mine on home computers.
Getting started with crypto-currency mining can be challenging for two reasons:
- You often need to download, configure and run specialist software – often without a graphical user interface.
- You need to know which of the many cryptocurrencies is more profitable to mine at that point in time.
Even for the technically competent, addressing point 2 is challenging without experience.
We recommend that novice miners get started by using a piece of software called Minergate. Minergate looks and feels like any other piece of software you use; it has a clear user interface, simple sign up process and easy to understand metrics. It’s a great place to start.
It also decides which currency to mine for you. It does this by determining which currency is most profitable in real-time and switches your computer to mine that one. It will run on standard Windows, Mac and Linux computers as well as Android and iOS mobile devices, and will use your CPU and also your GPU (if you have one).
If you read reviews around the web, you’ll find that Minergate is often not as profitable as the more advanced setups – which is probably true. However, you get the trade off for a simple and easy to use piece of software. Often we see novice users starting with Minergate and then moving on to other more advanced mining techniques once they are familiar – other times we see people stick with Minergate due to its simplicity.
To get started with cryptocurrency mining here’s what we recommend you do:
- Identify which computers and devices you have available. Maybe this is just your home laptop (that’s fine), maybe you have a more powerful desktop PC too?
- Sign up for Minergate here (you can do this from your phone – in fact, you can even mine from your phone.. just don’t expect great performance)
- Download the software onto all your computers and devices
- Run it as much as you can. If you need to use your PC during the day for work, we find that leaving it mining over night is the best approach
- Look at your stats in the Minergate dashboard – not only will you see your earnings, but you’ll also start to get a feel for how mining works.