If you suddenly decided that you need to jump onto the ledge of the cryptotrain and start mining coins, then this is the FAQ you've been looking for.
We would like to share our experience with you, so we created this brief, yet detailed mining guide for beginners. If you are curious and know your way around search engines, then these next seven steps will help you get a taste of this new trendy activity.
- Decide what you need it for
If you just want to see what mining is like, how it works, and understand its basic principles, then cloud mining is your best option. No need for massive start-up funds - $100 will be enough, though your income will be just as small. But if you are serious about mining, are prepared to invest a few thousand - or even tens of thousands - of dollars, and you understand that it will take at least 12-18 months for your equipment to pay its way, then you may consider purchasing hardware. If your goal is to quickly earn 10-20% of your invested funds, but you don’t want to risk investing a big sum, then I recommend you purchase a popular cryptocurrency when it is at its lowest, wait for the exchange rate to rise, and sell it for more cash. Considering how volatile cryptocurrencies are today, this option allows you to earn income much faster than any other mining method; the downside is that you also risk losing your investment if you have weal nerves.
- Where your hardware will be stored.
So you have chosen the serious approach. This means you first have to decide what hardware to buy ad where to store it. ‘Video adapter’ farms are more demanding in terms of storage. You will need a well-ventilated clean room, external cooling systems and sound isolation if you are planning on mining at home. ASIC hardware is less demanding with storage conditions, but it is more expensive to repair. Mining farms that use 10-20 video adapters (depending on their price and performance) or 2-3 ASICs will cost you approximately $10,000 and can easily be stored on your balcony, attic or basement. If you have a larger investment at your disposal, why not invest into a separate, dedicated, specially equipped location?
- What hardware to get: ASIC or video adapter?
A very common and debatable question. There are countless factors to consider. These include the availability of your chosen cryptocurrency, its complexity, your technical skills and knowledge in operating systems as well as their setups, your willingness to constantly monitor the market, service availability, warranty and so on. So my advice to you is: if you want to switch it on and forget about it, choose ASIC; if you prefer to be on top of things at all times - video adapters are your best choice. We can spend hours arguing about which of the two will be more profitable, but either way we end up having to discuss the technical matter. Proceed from how deeply you want to get into the technicalities and how much time you are willing to contribute to the mining process. The following website is one of the best tools in determining the potential proft of your hardware: http://whattomine.com/
- Where and how to purchase hardware
Video adapters are simple. Since these are computer parts, they can be purchased in any computer store. There are a lot of good deals available on the market offering not only appropriate components, but also assembly services, setup and repair services. With such a high demand it may be difficult to find a specific video adapter, or a specific amount of them, but this is easily solved. ASIC hardware is much more complicated. Firstly, they are not officially sold in the CIS countries, which means you can forget about any official warranty. All you can rely on are mass suppliers who may provide you with their own warranty but these usually do not exceed a period of 6 months. Taking into account the fact that the paying-off period is longer, you should be careful in your choice of hardware. Another critical point to note is that if you’ve decided to buy whatever ASIC is available, be prepared to pay 2-3 times the original price. Dealers often set their prices by taking the prime cost and adding 3-6 months of potential income, depending on their greed. You can buy hardware directly from the manufacturer, but this only brings about more problems. Almost all ASIC manufacturers are in China. This means that you will have to make your purchase in China. You may be lucky to have direct shipping available to your country, but you will most likely need to use carrier services. Lucky for you there are a lot of those available on the market offering decent conditions, and they even take responsibility for consolidation, delivery, customs etc.
- How to mine
Congratulations on purchasing your hardware! Now what? When it comes to video adapters, you will be required to install the relevant software. If you haven’t purchased a fully assembled set, and your supplier hasn’t consulted you or installed your software, then your only solution is to head to the English-speaking profile forums, such as https://bitcointalk.org/. Choose an OS: Windows or Linux. Then choose a relevant software depending on your video adapters (AMD or Nvidia) and depending on the cryptocurrency you want to mine. If you are looking squeeze all the juices out of your hardware, then you will also need some software, such as MSI Afterburner, to set it up. If you don’t want to constantly monitor your ‘farm’, why not install a software or hardware watchdog? This is where ASIC makes life easier. You simply prescribe the pool settings in the relevant section. That’s it! Nothing more. Choose a pool for mining the necessary cryptocurrency, such and Suprnova, Flypool, Nanopool, Antpool and so on, or you can stop your search on a multipool like Nicehash or Zpool if you don’t want to fuss over the choice of a more profitable cryptocurrency.
- Where to store the mined coins?
There are a few options. You can create a software wallet on your mobile or computer device by downloading a relevant app. You can also purchase a hardware wallet such as Ledger and Trezor. Or you can register with one of the cryptocurrency exchanges and get your wallet there, Every option has its pros and cons. If all you’re looking for is secure storage without a constant buy-sell, go for a hardware wallet. If you don’t want to buy an extra piece of hardware, then download your cryptocurrency’s official wallet from its official website and install it on your PC. If you need constant and speedy access to trade operations, they your number one choice is the exchange.
- How to exchange cryptocurrency for cash
Most large exchanges allow to exchange cryptocurrencies to actual, real-life currencies (USD/EUR) and transfer them to your bank account or card - VISA/MasterCard. But be prepared for ID verification. Without it you may have withdrawal limits impose, or you may prevented withdrawing your funds as real-life currencies at all. Today, ID verification can take anywhere between 1-3 months due to a roaring flush of new clients. Be sure to carefully study the terms and conditions of funds withdrawal at the exchange of your choice. You can also use currency exchange officers. This option is simpler than working with the actual exchange, but the exchange rates are often worse, and you risk becoming a victim of fraud.
P.S.: Mining is not a money mint. It is quite complex, especially for a beginner. You need to constantly monitor your devices, be on top of the market, and read topical information. All this is incredibly time consuming. You will not have to constantly monitor it once your hardware and software are up and running, but you must always be prepared to fix any problems that may arise. And trust us, they will arise. Pay close attention to what you are downloading, where from, and who and where you are transferring your coins too. Frauds are waiting behind every corner! Good luck! Be patient and strong!