How to Mine Ethereum? (Beginners Guide)

34 mins read
How to Mine Ethereum

Passive income is one of the best ways to increase your revenue. People do a lot of efforts to increase their earning, and mining is the best amongst them. Mining cryptocurrency is not a new idea in the market, but the question that comes to everyone’s mind is, can everyone do it? If yes, then which is the easiest way to do it, and most importantly, which is the best crypto to mine?  In this article, we will discuss all these questions and primarily discuss Bitcoin’s biggest rival, Ethereum. This crypto recently broke many records and, at one point, was nearly 500% for the year. You can also purchase them from various platforms, but it is best to mine them for yourself. Here is “How to Mine Ethereum? (Beginners Guide)“. Ethereum Mining is pretty easy and can be done by anyone; all you need is software and a desktop.

Mining toils has two purposes: to generate new coins, and the second is to keep a record of all transactions of existing digital tokens. All the transactions are deposited as blocks and combined internally, making a chain called blockchain in a cryptocurrency interface. These blocks are required to be analyzed and approved to make sure flawless transactions are across the network.

Ether’s blockchain is called Ethereum. Once a deal is added to the ethereum blockchain, it can neither be modified nor deleted, giving observers a sound and valid record. The issue that sometimes occurs is that the parties involved in issuing such currencies are not always equipped with the processing power of technologies to ensure seamless transactions.

This is where the role of miners comes into the picture; as they enter the mining process, they have to participate in a cryptocurrency network and solving mathematical problems. Miner helps the issuer of currencies in handling transactions blocks and offers issuers solutions that are used to verify transactions.

Miners are given rewards for the solutions they provide; they also get digital coins in return for the services they offer. Ethereum mining is done to boost the volume of Ether in the market.

Let us have a quick insight into Ethereum.

How to Mine Ethereum? (Beginners Guide)

Ethereum Overview

Ethereum works very similar to Bitcoin; it is also a decentralized software platform based on blockchain technology. All the transactions are approved by a miner, which is why it takes a little time when you process transactions as it has to be verified and put inside the Ethereum blockchain. This verification method is termed proof of work.

As a miner, your role is to keep a check on transactions and see that no one cheats. Ethereum also gives decentralized applications called DApps and peer-to-peer contracts that are described as smart contracts. The benefit of these contracts is that users can exchange values without any intermediary. Their entire network works as a decentralized computer that performs the smart contract code.

For maintaining decentralization DApps also use smart contracts, as it contains crucial data about the transactions. The smart contract code is used on all the data operations in the Ethereum network as it helps maintain data integrity.

What Is Ethereum?

Ethereum logo | How to Mine Ethereum? (Beginners Guide)

It can be said to be the fuel needed to run the Ethereum platform. Ether is the cryptocurrency used for operating the Ethereum platform. Users can also use it for clearing transaction fees and computational expenses as well. The good part is that you can also exchange it between different users and developers who work on the Ethereum platform. Developers can use smart contracts for receiving, storing, and sending Ether to other developers.

Developers also get Ether as an incentive for creating better applications for them. Remember that you need an Ethereum wallet for receiving Ether; you can download the wallet on your laptop or phone. Don’t worry; these wallets are absolutely safe as there is a private key for owners to authenticate transactions and sending Ether to others.

There are other methods as well for obtaining Ether, such as:

  • Receive it from a different user on the Ethereum platform.
  • If you need it, you can exchange it for another cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or transactions that support BTC-ETH pair.
  • You can also obtain it as a miner by obtaining a cloud mining contract or becoming a part of an existing mining pool.

Also Read: How to Mine Cryptocurrency? What Is Crypto Mining?

What is Etheruem Mining?

What is Etheruem Mining?

It is the mining of Ether and can be done from your home. You must be thinking that how to mine Ethereum from your computer? It is a very easy and effortless process. You can do it if you have an understanding of command prompt and scripting. The major expense in Ethereum mining is electricity and computational power.

For Ethereum mining, you would need to have a computer with a minimum 2GB of RAM in your GPU as it is 200X faster than your CPU.

What do you need for mining?

There are just a few things that are required for starting the mining process. Here is the list for you:

1. Free mining software: The first and foremost thing is a range of software is required depending on the type of crypto you opt for. For Ethereum, you can also go for Ethminer or Minergate; both of them are compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

2. Temperature monitoring and overclocking software: This tool is really important as it helps increase your GPU performance, thus giving you more hashes every second

3. Membership to a mining pool: It is essential to have membership in a mining pool as it enhances the possibility of getting the reward. There are various resources that are used so that they can crack the puzzle and add a new transaction to the blockchain.

4. Membership to an online currency exchange: This is necessary as this is where you would be able to trade Ethereum.

5. Cryptocurrency wallet: This is recommended as this is one place where you can keep your tokens safe

6. GPU: You would need a GPU with ample storage in the VRAM to store a DAG. It is important to have minimum 3 gigabytes of VRAM as a file is created after 30000 Ethereum blocks are added, and you need a lot of space to store them.

Also Read: How to Mine Dogecoin?

Methods to mine Ethereum

There are three ways to mine Ethereum; you can choose any method as per your convenience and ease-

1. Pool Mining

A mining pool is an organized group of miners who operate together to figure the cryptographic codes for blocks. It is the simplest and most expeditious method to get started. All other people that are mining in a pool accept that if any member finds the secret number, they will share the rewards.

Joining a pool is a great option as it has low fees, plus many enthusiasts are working to find the key which keeps everyone motivated.

There are a lot of factors that you should consider before choosing a pool, as not all of them are the same. Some of the major factors are-

a. Pool size- Checking out the pool size is substantial because the number of people increases in the pool, the chances of getting rewards also rise. Joining big pools can be safe as you might get less reward for a block, but there wouldn’t be a day where you do not get any reward.

On the contrary, the more people in the people, the more rewards get distributed. Hence, it is recommended to try different pools and see which one works for you in the best way.

b. Pool fee- All the pools have a minimum fee associated to them; the amount can be small or big. This amount gets deducted automatically, so you need not worry about paying it every now and then. The payments are based on the percentage and are calculated in the crypto that you are mining.

The feelies between 1-3%, and it is always recommended to opt for a pool with at least 1% fee, not 0%, as they are not considered reliable. Pools with a 0% fee are usually not stable as donations support them. Also, do not opt for a pool with a 3% fee as it is too high.

c. Minimum Payout- Do not opt for pools with a high minimum payout; try to find pools with less minimum payout. The reason is that if the payout is low, then you would have the flexibility to switch between different mining pools.

Also Read: 17 Best Cryptocurrency to Mine

2. Mining alone

This method is not recommended by the experts. A lot of people get fascinated by this idea as you do not have to share any rewards in this method. But, here, you only get rewards if you solve the math puzzle first and you are competing with so many people in it.

Your competition would be with a lot of people plus companies who have numerous resources; thus, you need to be very lucky to get the rewards through mining alone. This method is best for you if you have a plethora of resources at your disposal. The various problems associated with this method are-

  • Heating issues: If the system that you are working on gets too hot, then there are chances that it could break. Once it breaks, the chances are very few that it could be repaired. Thus, there could be an additional expenditure either in fixing the equipment or buying a new one.
  • Ventilation: It is important to see that there are many fans moving air quickly to keep everything working correctly.
  • Noise- There could be a lot of noise around as the fans and cooling equipment would make noise that would be very loud. Hence, try and opt for a garage or a remote location if you use this method for mining.
  • Electricity cost: If you use so many pieces of equipment simultaneously and for so long, then just imagine the cost of electricity. As you are mining alone, the cost might reach up to $30-$40 per day for just electricity cost.
  • Space: The space required for storing more than 100 Ethereum rings is not available to most people. Thus, if you rent it, the cost would go even high.

3. Cloud Mining

Cloud Mining Ethereum

When you think about how to mine Ethereum on PC, cloud mining should be the first method that should come to your mind. In this method, you pay someone else to mine for you, and in return, they give you all the rewards they can mine. A lot of questions would come to your mind regarding cloud mining, such as:

  • Why would other person use their devices to mine for you when they can mine for themselves?
  • Why would you reward someone else to mine for you when you can invest the money in equipment and mine yourself?
  • Why don’t you employ the money on obtaining the cryptocurrency you want instead of finding someone to mine it?

All these questions are absolutely valid and worth asking, so here are the benefits of opting for this method:

  • The foremost benefit is that you are free from any expenses that might occur due to an equipment outbreak. The repair expenses are not your liability; once you pay to mine, you’re hiring a certain amount of work that has to be done. But, before signing the contract, be careful that there are no electricity or repair costs included in it.
  • Another benefit is that you do not need to rent a big space required for mining, plus you are saved from the noisy equipment you would keep in your house or warehouse.

Disadvantages of Cloud mining

Certain cons come along with this method and are important to know before choosing this method. Some of them are-

  • You might get stuck with the mining work you bought as you pay the money upfront, and if the Ethereum price drops, you will not get your money back.
  • You would have to accept the mining software and hardware that the provider uses as you do not have any say on it.

All in all, cloud mining is a safe way, especially for the mining providers, as it assures them revenue for the equipment they have purchased. The price of crypto does not affect them as they charge you up-front. But, cloud mining is relatively less profitable less than mining it yourself. You can also buy Ethereum directly instead of mining them.

Also Read: How to Make Money with Bitcoin

Step by step guide on Mining process

As you know everything about mining, let us learn how to mine Ethereum with CPU or other resources.

1) Mining Ethereum on a PC- The complete process of setting up a wallet, downloading the miner, configuration, and setting up your batch file would not take more than 10 minutes. Let us follow the steps on how to mine Ethereum on a PC:

  1. Install drivers.
  2. Get an Ethereum Client (advanced)- In this step, you would have to download the blockchain and set up your wallet.
  3. Get an Ethereum client (beginners).
  4. Download Miner Step.
  5. Windows settings.
  6. Join a mining pool.
  7. Start mining

How to pool mine Ethereum?

Ethereum home page | How to Mine Ethereum? (Beginners Guide)

For mining Ethereum the foremost thing you would need is a computer. There are various other things required, such as a compatible operating system, a mining application, GPU drivers, graphics card with a minimum of 3GB of RAM, mining pool address, and an Ethereum Wallet.

Before getting on to the mining process, the first step that you will need to take is:

1. Create a digital wallet: Just like you need a wallet in your real life to keep physical money, you would need an Ethereum wallet to store your crypto in it. So you can keep your Ether here, plus you can also use it as your digital wallet.

2. Installing graphics card drivers: Once the digital wallet is ready that, you need to update the software on your PC. The mining process can be even more beneficial if the hardware is running all of the latest updates.

3. Installing Ethereum Mining Software: In this step, you need to go to their website and download their latest version. Once you click on the latest version, click on the download as a zip button and wait for the download to finish. Then, you can save the file on your desktop for easy access.

Open the folder that you have extracted to view the files; it would appear like this-

Right-click on the start button and click on ‘Edit.’ After that, edit the start file and put the following lines-

setx GPU_FORCE_64BIT_PTR 0
setx GPU_MAX_HEAP_SIZE 100
setx GPU_USE_SYNC_OBJECTS 1
setx GPU_MAX_ALLOC_PERCENT 100
setx GPU_SINGLE_ALLOC_PERCENT 100
EthDcrMiner64.exe -epool -ewal -epsw x

Save the start file by going on file and click on ‘save as’ and change the file name to start.bat, and for saving as type, choose “all files.” Next, click on save, and if there is a pop that you want to replace the file, click on “yes.”

For starting mining, you need to double-click start.bat.

Once the process is completed, this is the screen you would see-

The process is complete, and your computer is now ready for mining Ethereum. Now, the complete process of how to mine Ethereum on your PC would be clear. It is very easy and just takes a couple of minutes to start.

Pricing

The prices of Ethereum constantly change; thus, giving a price range is very difficult as they see a sudden drop and rise in just a couple of hours. But, its pricing is available in a range of different currency equivalents, which are-

  • US Dollar – ETH to USD
  • British Pound Sterling – ETH to GBP
  • Japanese Yen – ETH to JPY
  • Euro – ETH to EUR
  • Australian Dollar – ETH to AUD
  • Russian Rouble – ETH to RUB
  • Bitcoin – ETH to BTC

Also Read: Top 15 DeFi Lending Platforms

Why should you mine Ethereum?

Mining might seem a bit tough as it includes a lot of steps, but it is a profitable affair. As a miner, you get rewards for every block along with that; you also get the transaction fee paid by the users. Although the fee is of a nominal amount, but the drastic change in 2020 changed the equation of Ethereum completely.

Another benefit of mining is that you can get Ether without directly investing in the asset. Another unconventional benefit is that the mining process produces a lot of heat, which can be beneficial for people who live in colder areas.

How to check how much you have mined?

All the pools have a unique or different interface, but the principal for each of them remains the same. So, for checking the mine count, you would have to go to your pool’s website and put in the public wallet address, and you will be able to see all the information there.

In the case of a 2miners pool, once your balance reaches 0.01 ETH, it will automatically be sent to your wallet address which you typed in the start.bar file earlier.

How to calculate profits?

First, you need to open your miner and see how many Megahashes per second (mh/s) your hardware is submitting, how much power your computer draws under load, and how much electricity cost is in your area? Next, you can download the mining calculator, and there you need to insert your Mh/s, cost of electricity, and power consumption. This would give you information about the average results based on how much 1 ETH is at the time.

Why choose Ethereum over Bitcoin?

Why choose Ethereum over Bitcoin

This is one thought that comes to every investor’s mind that why to choose Ethereum over Bitcoin. The major reason is that Ethereum was created to be mined with graphic cards. On the contrary, Bitcoin is mined with ASICs that is hardware designed particularly for mining Bitcoin.

Because of the benefits of mining with huge ASIC operations, this network is not that decentralized as people think it is. However, Ethereum is resistant to ASICs; this means that smaller players with consumer hardware would have a better chance of participating in mining.

Also Read: Top 15 Cryptocurrencies to Invest other than Bitcoin

Is Ethereum worth mining?

There are various benefits of Mining Ethereum; it is essential to know some of its advantages as a lot of people are not even aware of them-

  • It is a perfect method of subsidizing the purchase of a new GPU
  • Ethereum can be traded for Bitcoin; thus, it’s a slow method of holding a position in Bitcoin and that too at a reasonable price
  • You can also see Ethereum for cash on various big exchanges like Gemini, Coinbase, etc.
  • Mining is a reasonable method for people who want to enter the Ethereum market. Traders like it because of its high volatility, and if you are a good trader, then you can earn good profits through it.
  • If you truly believe in the ETH concept, then only you will be able to gain a voice in the Ethereum network by mining.

Is Ethereum mining profitable?

This needs some economic calculations to understand that whether Ethereum mining is profitable or not. It takes time to gauge whether it is profitable or not because mining not only earns money but also costs money, and if you make wrong decisions, you may end up with a negative ROI.

Here is a dummy of Ethereum mining calculator, where you need to put these required fields, and you will get to know whether you are earning profit or not:

Difficulty Factor 6399490001742725
Hash Rate MH/s
ETH/Block reward 2
ETH/USD Exchange Rate 2138.21
Pool Fees% Leave empty if not sure
Hardware Cost (USD) Leave empty if not sure
Power (Watts) Leave empty if not sure
Power Cost (USD/kWh) Leave empty if not sure

When you fill in the data in any calculator, you need not fill in difficulty Factor, Block reward, and ETH/USD rate as these fields are updated automatically.

In the pool fees % field, you need to out your mining fee in case if you are mining through a pool. However, you need not fill it if you are mining on your own.

In the Hardware section, fill the amount you paid for GPU and other equipment in USD.

In the Power cost option, but the electricity price that comes on your utility bill.

Also Read: BlockFi Review: Is it legit or too risky?

What’s better for Ethereum mining, a GPU, FPGA, or ASIC?

When you think about how to mine Ethereum on PC, the next thing your mind comes up with is the processing units attached to it, as it is substantial to choose the best one so that the mining can be done quickly. Ether is designed in such a way that it can only be mined with GPUs (Graphics Processing Units). On the contrary in Bitcoin can only be mined effectively with specialized devices called ASICs.

ASICs are hardwired and can do only one task because of which they can achieve more efficiency than the generic computational hardware. Making a mining algorithm that is ASIC resistant is nearly impossible. Hence, the ASIC algorithm was also created for Ethereum called Ethash; it was released in 2018.

These miners provide a comparative improvement over GPUs in the aspect of hashing efficiency. But, the ASICs for Bitcoin is more efficient than GPUs because of the specifics of their mining algorithm.

Although it is feasible to mine Ethereum with all the devices, the truth is that not all are practical and sensible. FPGAs are inferior to GPUs usually plus they are expensive and complex devices. Ether ASICs provide a measurable performance boost over graphics cards but carry a host of drawbacks in practical usage.

Hence, GPUs are the most sensible choice because of its flexibility and good performance compared to price.

How to find the best mining hardware?

Selecting the perfect hardware depends significantly on three factors which are energy consumption, maximum possible hash rate, and purchase price.

People usually ignore the purchasing price, but it is an essential factor to consider as it can make or break a mining operation because the hardware does not last forever. The good part is that GPUs are resilient devices, and as perusers, they continue mining for more than five years.

Another risk associated with hardware becoming obsolete is where miners get stuck. If they opt for the latest GPUs or ASICs helps them in reducing electricity cost but think of the payback period; it will take longer for the miners to pay themselves back. Hence, mining hardware becomes a significant factor for financial analysis.

Therefore, choose the hardware carefully and see all the aspects before choosing one.

Also Read: 33 Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges 

FAQs

Q1) Can mining be done with CPU instead of GPU?

A1) CPU mining is not profitable as GPUs are must faster and can give you more profits. You would be amazed to know that even if you opt for entry-level GPUs, they are 200X faster than the CPU mining process.

Q2) Can any ETH wallet address be used for mining?

A2) Yes, any ETH wallet address can be used for mining, but a few exchanges do not enable deposits, so check with the site before mining.

Q3) What about cloud mining sites?

A3) You should not buy into ETH mining sites or programs related to it as most of them are Ponzi schemes. Although some websites have been around for a couple of years, their profits are very low; plus, there have been no third-party audits done of the hashing power sold; thus, it is not advisable to trust cloud mining sites.

Q4) How many Ethereum can be mined?

A4) The good thing is that there is no limit to the amount of Ethereum that can be generated; in this aspect, it is quite different from Bitcoin as it has a limitation to it. Every day approximately 13,500 Ether can be mined.

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As an Ethereum miner, you support them to stay decentralized and get compensated in the process. The price of Ethereum is quite high as of now; thus, it will help you easily outpace the electricity cost of a single GPU, which would eventually help increase your profit. Thus, mining Ethereum is not a rich quick scheme but a great method to earn a side income with almost negligible work.

Sushma Singh

Sushma is a full-time blogger and financial expert. Join Sushma and 10,000 monthly readers here to learn how to save and invest your money wisely.

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