The rise in the price of Ethereum has led to a renewed interest among potential investors. One good reason for the hike is the increasing number of industries experimenting with Ethereum’s smart contracts to offer or innovate services. This, in turn, led to more transactions using the digital currency.
The present and projected values of this particular digital currency are prompting some people to mine it, rather than simply buying every available unit. However, there is still some confusion in terms of the actual process. This article serves as a guide on mining Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency in market value today.
In theory, just about any personal computer can be used to mine Ethereum, as long as it comes with a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) that has at least 2 GB of RAM. In reality, however, the efficiency of mining is strongly dependent on the capacity of your system.
Blockgeeks CEO Ameer Rosic explained that the key is to invest in a powerful GPU, with the central processor being only secondary. This is because the former is at least 200 times faster than the latter when it comes to mining cryptocurrencies.
PC Mag provides some tips in choosing the best graphics card if your goal is to mine Ethereum. It all comes down to hash power which is measured as millions of hashes per second (MH/s) and energy consumption.
Mining Ethereum can be very energy-intensive, which, in turn, can put a huge dent to your electricity bill. However, Coinwire recently reported that developers are now taking steps to reduce their energy footprint when mining cryptocurrency. Currently, mining Ethereum is less energy-intensive compared to acquiring Bitcoin, which is three times more power-hungry.
Different GPU models and brands have their corresponding specifications in mining power and energy consumption. Go for the one with the suitable balance between the two factors.
Besides investing in a GPU, it would be good to prepare enough space on hard drives – both internal or external – for regularly backing up your system. At present, there is no way to recover your coins in case of computer crashes. Backing up your system helps protect you from this potentially disastrous situation.
How to mine
Once you have acquired the hardware, your next move is to get the software. Start by procuring a digital wallet from the Ethereum project website or from a third-party provider. This will serve as your ‘vault’ for Ether, the unit name of the cryptocurrency. Download the client and allow your computer to sync to the network. Note that this process can take several days.
Once you have your wallet, you now need a mining software. TechRadar recommends getting MinerGate, which allows you to join a mining pool where you share your computer’s resources in exchange for a percentage of the mined cryptocurrency. Basically, you will be teaming up with other users who have the same software to generate higher mining power and split the gains.
After installation, choose ‘Ether’ from the selection, and then ‘Start Mining’. You can go to either the ‘CPU Mining’ or ‘GPU Mining’ sections if you want to manually allocate how much of your computer’s resources you are willing to dedicate to the process.
If you wish to see how much Ether you have currently mined, click on the ‘Miner’ tab to view your balance.
A long, yet exciting process
A previous article here on Ethereum Price predicted that the interest in Ethereum will not die down anytime soon. If you have the resources to set up your own mining rig, you can do so to make money from this current cryptocurrency trend. Given the volatility of cryptocurrencies in general, however, it is equally possible for you to lose funds. Plan wisely so you can mitigate risks and maximise profit.
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