Introduction to Ethereum mining
When you talk about mining Ethereum, most people imagine you need supercomputers with multitudes of computational power to pull it off. Well, that is not entirely misguided; however, unlike a few years back, mining cryptocurrency is a lot easier now. This is due to the milestone developments that the cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies have experienced over the time.
Mining Ethereum at home on a PC was unheard of a short while ago; you needed a mainframe with the processing power and speed to download over 20+ GBs of the blockchain and manage chunky command line miners with physical guidelines. Such is no longer the case; however, you can quickly get started with your mining activities using your personal computer within the comforts of your home. If done systematically, you can set up your work environment within 10 minutes.
This article is going to take you through the systematic approach on how to set up your workstation and start mining Ethereum.
Download and Install GETH
Geth is an application that enables you to interact with the Ethereum network. It links your computer and its computers to the Ethereum platform thus allowing you to communicate effectively.
Download and save it somewhere easy to access such as your desktop. Then decompress the file and replicate the application to your C: drive. By now, you should be able to access the command prompt, traverse to the C: drive and launch GETH.
The above strokes will enable you to open a new GETH account. Once this account is ready, you will be prompted to input a passphrase. This passphrase protects your account and private keys; therefore you guard it. Losing it is similar to losing your entire portfolio.
Entering and confirming this passphrase will automatically create a new wallet for you. You will be presented with its address, which should write down and store well as it will come in handy later.
With your wallet set, you can now begin initiating communication with the Ethereum network with GETH. Prompt GETH by entering ‘geth-rpc’ and it should commence with blockchain downloading and synchronizing your platform with the rest.
Mining Software Installation
Ethminer is an integral part of your network. Through your GPU, Ethminer runs the hashing algorithm, which uses proof of work protocols to secure the Ethereum network. Therefore, you should download, run and install the latest and most up-to-date version.
Just like with GETH previously, you will need to create another command prompt. Right-click the existing command prompt and scroll down to the command prompt menu on your taskbar. By clicking that menu, you should be able to open a new command prompt for the installed Ethminer.
Once you have GETH, Ethminer and your wallet ready, the mining can now begin. You may be tempted to work alone as in solo mining, but that is not recommended.
Pool and Cloud Mining
It takes a lot of hash power to pull off a solo mining venture. Plus, building a mining rig and getting it to crank is not an easy task. Therefore, it is recommended that you find a suitable pool and join. Working in a pool makes finding solutions easier and a lot more frequent; thus you get to benefit more often. Apart from pool mining, you can also try out cloud mining as an alternative to solo mining.