Crypto currency – and the underlying technology behind it – has the potential to completely transform the way that our world works, in ways that most people never could have expected or anticipated.
Already, major crypto currencies like BitCoin and Ethereum have skyrocketed in value after only being “invented” a few short years ago. Industry insiders, investment experts, and financial gurus around the world all believe that crypto currency is only just getting started.
How to start mining Ethereum in 2018
Ethereum offers a truly anonymous and decentralized currency, and while its adaptation hasn’t been quite as widespread as BitCoin, it is certainly the second most popular crypto currency of available and offers investors that missed out on the gold rush of BitCoin to get in on the ground floor of another crypto currency that stands to have the same kind of extreme growth potential moving forward.
And while you could certainly purchase Ethereum at any point in time with cold hard cash (or BitCoin, for that matter), a lot of people have started to mine their own crypto currency and Ethereum – putting their computers to work and earning a tremendous amount of crypto currency along the way.
If you’ve been thinking about getting into the world of mining for Ethereum you’ll want to know exactly how to get started and how to improve the overall efficiency of this process you’ll learn that and more in this quick guide!
What exactly is Ethereum mining, anyway?
As we mentioned above, the fundamental technology that is underneath BitCoin and Ethereum (as well as every other major crypto currency out there right now) is a technology known as blockchain.
Requiring a tremendous amount of computer resources and quite a bit of processing power to solve challenging math problems to produce more impactful and more secure encryption protocols (amongst so many other things), blockchain essentially allows you to earn crypto currency by providing your computer resources to be used by the peer distributed network.
Essentially, you’ll be letting the blockchain backed by Ethereum use your computer resources when you aren’t using them to solve mathematical equations and strengthen the blockchain network, and in exchange you will be rewarded with Ethereum currency.
Getting started with Ethereum mining
Right out of the gate, it’s important for you to understand that mining for Ethereum is going to take up a tremendous amount of electricity and it’s also going to use up almost all of your computer resources while you are actively mining.
Any personal computer can be used to mine for Ethereum, as long as that computer has a graphics card (GPU) with at least 2 GB of RAM available. Trying to mine for Ethereum with just your CPU (your main processor) is going to take a magnitude or two longer, will make your machine almost unusable while you are mining for a theory, and is nowhere near as efficient as it needs to be to help you turn a profit.
With the right GPU (an advanced GPU from AMD or Nvidia) you’ll be able to mine for Ethereum 200 times faster than you would have been able to with a CPU, and many that mine for Ethereum professionally say that the AMD GPU cards are much more efficient than the Nvidia brethren.
Secondly, you’ll need to get your hands on a mining application/program that allows you to connect to the peer network responsible for securing Ethereum, mining Ether, and producing the Ethereum along the way.
You’ll need to download the official Geth application that acts as a communication hub and tool as well as a Ethereum platform to help you better coordinate your hardware and your resources with the rest of the “hive”.
After installing this new application, you’ll need to create an account for yourself. You’ll want to make sure that you create as secure a password as you can, but you’re also going to want to make sure that you physically record that password somewhere (writing it down somewhere secure) as you won’t be able to retrieve that password after it has been created.
This is going to be the central hub for all of your Ethereum mining, but it’s also going to act as a Ethereum wallet of sorts to hold onto your crypto currency. Lose these details and you’ll lose out on all of your hard work and your investment.
Jumping on board
After everything has been set up on the technical side of things, you’ll need to dive headfirst into the blockchain for Ethereum and start synchronizing with the overall global network.
It is probably going to take a little bit of time for you to really get synchronized with the Ethereum blockchain, but this all depends on the size of the blockchain at its current moment in the speed of your online connection. You absolutely have to wait until you are 100% synchronized before you initiate the actual mining process, or all of your work will be for naught.
After you have synced up to the Ethereum network it’s time to fire up a mining software solution specifically designed for Ethereum, one that you are going to be able to pull out of Geth or one that you can download independently all on your own.
Ethminer is a very popular solution, open sourced so it can be trusted to come in relatively resource light – as far as Ethereum miners are concerned, anyway – and you can fire it up 100% free of charge, too.
You’ll be asked to create a keystroke that will initiate and close down the actual process of mining so that you can start up and shut things down from your keyboard. This is done because using your mouse and the graphical user interface will become really slow and inefficient while the mining system is running.
All left to do is to simply fire up the platform, allow it to run and use your resources, and sit back and collect as much of that sweet Ethereum as you can muster. The more powerful your machine and the longer you allow it to be used as a mining box, the more Ethereum you are going to be able to accumulate.