Do you want to start mining cryptocurrencies? That’s awesome, welcome to the mining community. Allow me to give you some general tips, as well as share some basic knowledge with you.
First of all, to answer one of the most obvious questions : yes, you can mine with a laptop of any kind,. However, this is not a good idea as your battery will heat up massively, possible burning your legs if you keep it on your lap for too long. Not to mention it will wear out your hardware very fast, rendering your laptop useless.
Another pressing question is whether or not you can mine cryptocurrency with a smartphone, tablet or game console. There are certain applications claiming to do just that, but I would advise to stay away from them. As with laptops, your hardware will wear itself out very fast.
So what do you really need to get mining? A desktop pc would be the best start, the more recent the better. The best option is to build a separate pc dedicated to mining cryptocurrencies. You can either assemble it yourself, get a friend to do it, or buy a pre-assembled miner. Doing it yourself is a lot more fun and far more rewarding in my opinion though.
We will get more in detail on what hardware to look out for when building a dedicated cryptocurrency miner in a later guide. Let’s just cover the basics with the desktop pc you might be owning already.
If you have an internet connection to that computer, whether it’s through an ethernet cable or Wi-Fi, that’s pretty much all you need as far as connectivity goes. You will need to install some extra software.
You can directly mine Bitcoin with your desktop pc. No, it won’t be worth your time and efforts at this point. To properly mine Bitcoin, you need to invest in proper Bitcoin mining hardware, costing a few thousand dollars/euros/pounds. (By “properly mining Bitcoins”, I mean actually making a return of investment, or even better, PROFIT).
There are other options besides Bitcoin though, in the form of alternate cryptocurrencies. By this, I’m talking about cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Dogecoin, Bitcoin Cash and others. These can all be mined on any video card inside your desktop, but results may vary depending on your type of hardware.
After the basics, it’s time to start picking which coin you want to mine.
In a future article we will also discuss Bitcoin mining hardware, should you opt to choose the Bitcoin mining route and we will take a look at which software you will need to use, and how to optimize your miner’s settings.
When choosing to become a full-fledged Bitcoin miner, you are in for quite the ride. There are plenty of things to consider, and you will need a pretty decent sized wallet to make your investments before you can start mining Bitcoin.
First of all, when it comes to productively mining Bitcoin, your current desktop/laptop hardware simply isn’t sufficient. Sure, it will mine you Bitcoin if you really want it to, but you’ll earn nothing, because your costs are way higher than your income could be.
Factoring in electricity costs, hardware degradation, and the calculation power of your desktop/laptop hardware, let’s say you’ll mine about 0.01 USD per day, while electricity costs alone will be as high as 1 USD per day.
If you have next to no costs for electricity, it is worth giving it a try. Just make sure your expectations are realistic, as you will still only make so litle per day at best, which is next to nothing.
As I mentioned, you will need to invest in hardware to make Bitcoin mining (almost) profitable. Profitability always depends on the costs of your electricity, the lower those costs are, the higher chance of getting a (somewhat) profitable return.
When picking hardware to invest in, there are plenty of choices available. Always do your research before making a purchase, and try to read up on as many reviews as possible to avoid any unexpected surprises. Stay away from Bitmain, you can read a previous article to find more info about why Bitmain is a Scam!
The best option, assuming you have the money to fund such a purchase, is to buy a specific mining hardware (for example an ASIC miner for Bitcoin) but hey’re not cheap to be honest, around 2,700 USD for one of these monsters (called DragonMiner 16 TH/s)
These Dragonminer Bitcoin miners draw more than 1 KWH (1,600W) from your wall socket, so that cost needs to be factored in as well. Also keep in mind these things are heavy (48 lbs or 22 kg) to ship, so you might pay quite the shipping fee on top of your purchase price.
Time to do a ROI calculation : 16 TH/s of mining power, at current Bitcoin Price and mining difficulty will give you about $200 per month. Please not that there is also a 1,600W of power consumption so you should subtract the electricity costs too.At today’s Bitcoin price and mining difficulty is not so profitable to mine. At the moment the Bitcoin Price is low and there are signs that will start to increase on a bullish trend again. In this case earnings from Bitcoin mining can triple.
When calculating this number, we have not factored in a Bitcoin mining difficulty increase, which will happen in time but the price of Bitcoin can go up too. 1 BTC went to $20k just half of year ago and many traders predict even a greater value at the end of this year.
When the Bitcoin mining difficulty increases, it means it will take longer for you to make a ROI because you will earn slightly less Bitcoins every day.
If the value of Bitcoin goes down, you’re looking at a longer period to make your ROI, on top of the extended period because of the Bitcoin mining difficulty increase. If the Bitcoin value goes up, it’s a slightly shorter period.
As you can see, Bitcoin mining is all about making an investment, whether it’s just a hobby, or you want to be a serious miner. The size of the investment will depend on what you can afford, and what you expect to earn on a monthly basis.
The best advice I can give you, is to always use a Bitcoin mining profitability calculator, as those tools will you give a better estimate than anyone else can. Don’t expect to make your money back overnight by all means, as it will simply not happen.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again : do your own research, even if other people convince you to buy this or that hardware. Make up your own mind, as a lot of money is at stake here. Never invest more than you can afford to lose if push comes to shove.