Bitcoin Mining Guide - Getting started with Bitcoin mining
- Overview - Table of Contents
- How Bitcoin Mining Works
- Get The Best Bitcoin Mining Hardware
- How To Start Bitcoin Mining
- Bitcoin Cloud Mining Contracts
- Hardware Comparison
- Download Bitcoin Mining Software
- Join a Bitcoin Mining Pool
- Set Up A Bitcoin Wallet
How Bitcoin Mining Works
Before you start mining Bitcoin, it's useful to understand what Bitcoin mining really means. Bitcoin mining is legal and is accomplished by running SHA256 double round hash verification processes in order to validate Bitcoin transactions and provide the requisite security for the public ledger of the Bitcoin network. The speed at which you mine Bitcoins is measured in hashes per second.
The Bitcoin network compensates Bitcoin miners for their effort by releasing bitcoin to those who contribute the needed computational power. This comes in the form of both newly issued bitcoins and from the transaction fees included in the transactions validated when mining bitcoins. The more computing power you contribute then the greater your share of the reward.
Step 1 - Get The Best Bitcoin Mining Hardware
How To Start Bitcoin Mining
To begin mining bitcoins, you'll need to acquire bitcoin mining hardware. In the early days of bitcoin, it was possible to mine with your computer CPU or high speed video processor card. Today that's no longer possible. Custom Bitcoin ASIC chips offer performance up to 100x the capability of older systems have come to dominate the Bitcoin mining industry.
Bitcoin mining with anything less will consume more in electricity than you are likely to earn. It's essential to mine bitcoins with the best bitcoin mining hardware built specifically for that purpose. Several companies such as Avalon offer excellent systems built specifically for bitcoin mining.
Best Bitcoin Cloud Mining Services
Another option is to purchase in Bitcoin cloud mining contracts. This greatly simplifies the process but increases risk because you do not control the actual physical hardware.
Being listed in this section is NOT an endorsement of these services. There have been a tremendous amount of Bitcoin cloud mining scams.
Hashflare: Hashflare offers SHA-256 mining contracts for $1.60/10 GH/s. More profitable SHA-256 coins can be mined while automatic payouts are still in BTC. Customers must purchase at least 10 GH/s.
Genesis Mining: Genesis Mining is the largest Bitcoin and scrypt cloud mining provider. Use the code mWpwy4 to get a 2.5% discount. GM offers three Bitcoin cloud mining plans: 100 GH/s ($26/Lifetime Contract), 2,000 GH/s ($499/Lifetime Contract), and 10,000 GH/s ($2,400/Lifetime Contract). These plans cost $0.26, $0.25, and $0.24 per GH/s, respectively.
Minergate: Offers both pool and merged mining and cloud mining services for Bitcoin.
Hashnest: Hashnest is operated by Bitmain, the producer of the Antminer line of Bitcoin miners. HashNest currently has over 600 Antminer S7s for rent. You can view the most up-to-date pricing and availability on Hashnest's website. At the time of writing one Antminer S7's hash rate can be rented for $1,200.
Bitcoin Cloud Mining: Currently all Bitcoin Cloud Mining contracts are sold out.
NiceHash: NiceHash is unique in that it uses an orderbook to match mining contract buyers and sellers. Check its website for up-to-date prices.
Eobot: Start cloud mining Bitcoin with as little as $10. Eobot claims customers can break even in 14 months.
MineOnCloud: MineOnCloud currently has about 35 TH/s of mining equipment for rent in the cloud. Some miners available for rent include AntMiner S4s and S5s.
Bitcoin Mining Hardware Comparison
Currently, based on (1) price per hash and (2) electrical efficiency the best Bitcoin miner options are:
- 4.73 Th/s
- 0.25 W/Gh
- 8.8 pounds
- 1.3-1.7 Th/s
- 0.65 W/Gh
- 20 pounds
Step 2 - Download Free Bitcoin Mining Software
Once you've received your bitcoin mining hardware, you'll need to download a special program used for Bitcoin mining. There are many programs out there that can be used for Bitcoin mining, but the two most popular are CGminer and BFGminer which are command line programs.
If you prefer the ease of use that comes with a GUI, you might want to try EasyMiner which is a click and go windows/Linux/Android program.
You may want to learn more detailed information on the best bitcoin mining software.
Step 3 - Join a Bitcoin Mining Pool
Once you're ready to mine bitcoins then we recommend joining a Bitcoin mining pool. Bitcoin mining pools are groups of Bitcoin miners working together to solve a block and share in its rewards. Without a Bitcoin mining pool, you might mine bitcoins for over a year and never earn any bitcoins. It's far more convenient to share the work and split the reward with a much larger group of Bitcoin miners. Here are some options:
For a fully decentralized pool, we highly recommend p2pool.
The following pools are believed to be currently fully validating blocks with Bitcoin Core 0.9.5 or later (0.10.2 or later recommended due to DoS vulnerabilities):
Step 4 - Set Up A Bitcoin Wallet
The next step to mining bitcoins is to set up a Bitcoin wallet or use your existing Bitcoin wallet to receive the Bitcoins you mine. A Bitcoin wallet is like a traditional wallet and can be software, mobile or web-based. Bitcoin hardware wallets are also available.
Bitcoins are sent to your Bitcoin wallet by using a unique address that only belongs to you. The most important step in setting up your Bitcoin wallet is securing it from potential threats by enabling two-factor authentication or keeping it on an offline computer that doesn't have access to the Internet. Wallets can be obtained by downloading a software client to your computer.
For help in choosing a Bitcoin wallet then you can get started here.
You will also need to be able to buy and sell your Bitcoins. For this we recommend: