There was a time, in the early days of Bitcoin, when thousands of miners used their personal computer-based rigs for mining. It is no longer a practical or economically feasible option to mine Bitcoin using a PC. However, mining other types of cryptocurrencies is still an option. However, you need to have the proper setup and resources for that. There are people interested in the fast-evolving crypto sector but the volatility and price fluctuations make them feel uneasy. They can still make a profit from the sector by mining at home. They must be prepared to put in the required effort and invest though.
How to get started with cryptocurrency mining
Before you delve into cryptocurrency mining, you need to know the basics well and do the required research. This is not exactly going to be a cakewalk. Remember that even the lesser-known blockchains have plenty of miners competing to locate the winning hash. The competition can be stiff and when you don’t grab the block, it results in wastage of energy and time.
At first, you will have to select the crypto coin for mining at home. It may not be so easy. You have to think of factors like block reward and the value of the currency, for example. The harder the race, the more powerful the machine needs to be. Some amount of mining can be done by a personal computer but after a point, serious miners invest after dedicated mining rigs. That can be a costly proposition.
It is not only about investing in setting up the mining rig. You have to think of the running cost too. The electricity bill incurred can be quite steep. If you are unsure about picking a crypto coin for mining, resort to the mining calculator tools.
What you will need to mine cryptocurrency at home?
- Software- You can find plenty of free crypto mining software applications nowadays. Some applications offer more features and customizations.
- Storage- You will need storage for the coin keys. You may opt for Cold storage or physical storage devices. They are password protected and hence quite safe. However, choose a cold wallet after checking currency compatibility. The crypto wallets are small like USB drives and portable. The risk is you can lose the wallet by mistake.
Hot storage is another option you can use and it is all digital. It makes trading and exchanging crypto coins easier.
- RIG- You may pick from 3 types of mining rigs- namely CPU, GPU, and ASIC. It depends on which currency you will be using and what your budget is.
Most popular crypto coins cannot be mined easily using typical CPUs anymore. However, a few currencies can still be mined using CPUs, such as Monero. AMD offers some seriously powerful CPUs under the Ryzen line-up that serious crypto miners use. One example is the mighty AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X CPU. Ensure you invest in a cooling solution because executing many complex computations can lead to significant heat generation.
GPU mining is commoner than CPU mining nowadays even though it’s a tad more complex. Serious miners combine a number of powerful GPUs on a single motherboard and crunch the numbers. Both Nvidia and AMD offer some good contenders here. You have to find the right motherboard to accommodate say half a dozen GPUs and make them run in alliance! The ASUS B250 Mining Expert supports nineteen GPUs. The MSI PRO Z390-A is the budget champion. Investing in a suitable GPU Mining Case will also be necessary.
To power up the CPU and GPUs, you will need a suitable PSU in place. Some good options are the Thermaltake Toughpower 1500W and the EVGA Supernova 1600 T2. Choose a model that has 80 Plus Gold certification at least.
The veteran and serious crypto miners invest in ASIC. It is basically a mighty computing machine tailor-made for cryptocurrency mining. These can generate hashes better and faster than other options. Of course, an ASIC will cost you a hefty amount. ASICs are built so specialized that they are meant for mining varying hash algorithms. An ASIC made for mining Bitcoin’s SHA-256 algorithm can’t be used to mine Dash which relies on the X11 algorithm.
So shall you mine using a PC at home?
Technically, you can mine crypto coins at home using a PC but you have to be realistic about it. Be careful about picking the apt currency and then picking the required setup will be easier. Monero (XMR)is the preferred coin for CPU mining. The big players like Ethereum or Bitcoin require the usage of ASIC.
Some worthy crypto coins that beginners can consider for mining:
- RavenCoin (RVN)- Bitcoin fork born but ASIC resistant, simple to use.
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)- ASIC resistant, has “Code is Law” principle, good for dApps.
- Bitcoin Gold (BTG)- Bitcoin fork born, ASIC resistant.
- Haven Protocol (XHV)- Monero based crypto with privacy benefits, easily transferable.
Summing it up
Crypto mining can be a time-consuming and cost-intensive proposition. Technically, it is possible to mine some currencies using a CPU setup but even then you will have to make some investments and there will be running cost. So, be fully prepared and research well before getting into it.