Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that gained a lot of popularity after its launch a few years ago. This type of currency can be used to purchase goods, make online payments for various types of services, donate to certain charities, and so much more. If you're familiar with bitcoins, then you probably know what bitcoin mining means. If not, this article might prove to be of good use. Bitcoin mining is the process of checking bitcoin transactions, an operation which users are rewarded for.
Basically, bitcoin transactions are checked and added to the public ledger, also known as the block chain. By mining, you will compile recent bitcoin transactions into blocks and solve a challenging puzzle. The miner who solves the puzzle first puts the block into the block chain and receives a reward. Your earnings will mostly depend on what's under the hood of your computer. To be more exact, the better your computer hardware is, the less time your PC will take to solve puzzles and collect bitcoins.
A pertinent question is: Is bitcoin mining worth it? It's worth it as long as you're using a powerful hardware that doesn't affect your electricity bills much. There are websites where you can enter your bitcoin hardware info and electricity rates and a hashing power calculator will reveal your prospective mining profit and current bitcoin difficulty. The results might give you an idea of which is your possible profit and help you figure out if you need to invest more into your PC parts for better bitcoin mining results. Also, you won't get free bitcoins instantly. You will need to wait a while.
Another important part of mining bitcoins represents the use of a specialized bitcoin mining software. This type of programs tells your hardware parts how to make the hard work. There are dozens of this type of applications, developed for multiple platforms. In this guide, I will show you how to use Bitcoin Miner, CGMiner, and BFGMiner for mining bitcoins on your Windows PC.
Use Bitcoin Miner
Bitcoin Miner is one of the best bitcoin mining software. This is bitcoin mining software for Windows 8.1 and 10 PCs. This application can help you easily mine bitcoins which can then be used for exchanging into real-world currency. The advantage of working with this utility is the fact that it provides you with accurate profit reports which let you know if your bitcoin mining is actually profitable or not. And since bitcoin mining profitability is important, this feature will definitely come in handy. Here's what you need to do in order to mine bitcoin with this application:
Launch the utility on your Windows PC.
Click the icon showing three lines (on the upper-left side of the interface) and select the "Payout Address" option. Enter the necessary bitcoin network info.
Go back to app's home screen and click the "Start" button. The app will provide you with info about your bitcoin mining profit. Let the program run in the background and get bitcoins for you.
Mine with CGMiner
CGMiner is an open source utility for mining bitcoins on your Windows PC that supports ASIC. This ASIC (Application-specific integrated circuit) and FPGA (Field-programmable gate array) miner were written in C, and its objectives are to overclock your GPU and control fan speed. You can also use additional tools to monitor CPU and GPU temperature to avoid overheating your hardware. To mine bitcoins with this app:
Create a personal account on a bitcoin mining page. Create a worker profile after logging in to your personal account.
Create a batch file to launch the CGMiner app. You will be using the Notepad app to create a CGMiner BAT file. Enter the following command and change the user profile info to match your worker's profile: start /D "c:\cgminer\" cgminer.exe -o http://us2.eclipsemc.com:8337 -u accountname_worker -p password -d 0 --auto-fan --GPU-memclock 300. A CGMiner GPU configuration is necessary for the app to mine bitcoins. Save the file.
Launch CGMiner. The app will immediately start mining bitcoins. CGMiner works great on Windows 10 PCs.
If you receive a message like this one "CGMiner no devices detected", then I'd suggest you try the BFGMiner app.
BFGMiner is a modular ASIC/FPGA bitcoin miner that is also open source. Its most important features include remote interface capabilities, dynamic clocking, and monitoring. BFGMiner setup might take a while, but with a little patience and a few configurations (enable CPU and GPU mining), you will be able to get free bitcoins fast. Here's how you can use this program to mine bitcoins in a pool (different users contribute to generating a block):
Download and install CP210x USB to UART Bridge Virtual COM Port (VCP) driver on your PC. This tool should be visible in the Control Panel -> Hardware And Sound -> Devices And Printers page. Under its name, you should see a term like COM1, COM3, etc. Remember this info as you will need to enter it in the next step.
Create a shortcut for the BFGMiner executable file and save in on your desktop. Open the file and enter the BFGMiner script showing your server URL, username, and password. Go to Manage Devices and enter the following command "erupter:\\.\COM3". Hit the Enter key.
Head to the homepage of your mining pool and log in to your personal account. For example, here's a mining pool page. The app will start mining bitcoins within moments. Here's an example of a miner config file example.
Optional: You can also earn bitcoins by playing games. There are countless websites where you get free bitcoins by solving trivia quizzes.
No matter which of the aforementioned applications you choose to use for mining bitcoins on your Windows PC, be careful you're following the laws in your country. Some countries ban or have certain restrictions when it comes to mining bitcoins, and there's a chance you might be dealing with some charges later on if you don't comply with the rules in your home country.