Cryptocurrency doesn’t appear out of nowhere. Just like regular currency, crypto must be created — but unlike normal currency, there is no government regulating when and where cryptocurrency is generated nor who is able to make it for themselves. Therefore, any average joe with the right tools and techniques can deposit a shiny, new crypto coin in their digital wallet.
But what are the right tools and techniques? Crypto experts can provide in-depth analyses of the best strategies for mining crypto, but essentially, here are the basic tools:
Incredible Processing Power
A hopeful cyptominer needs a device to mine crypto — but not just any device will do. The act of creating cryptocurrency involves validating blocks within the blockchain, and that process requires power used to compute incredibly complex equations generated by the blockchain system. The larger the system and the more valuable the currency, the more power is necessary to add a block and mine a coin.
Any device used for mining crypto will not be usable in the typical sense, so it generally is not wise for users to dedicate their personal device to the process. The best hardware is purpose-built to consume power economically while mining crypto, but considering the steep cost of these gadgets, most beginners start with a PC with enhanced processors used only for cryptomining.
Users can start by repurposing an old PC and running a free PC cleaner to rid the memory and storage spaces of unnecessary junk. Gaming PCs are ideal for this kind of work, but any relatively high-quality PC can be adjusted to mine effectively. Some PCs might need new motherboards, which will allow for additional graphics card attachments, but there is little reason to upgrade the CPU, RAM or storage. Users need to invest in more than a few high-quality graphics cards, which are what will be doing the difficult mining work. Due to difficulties in the supply chain as well as increased demand from miners, graphics cards are more expensive than they used to be, so users should find the best cards they can within their budget.
It should go without saying that cryptominers need reliable access to the internet. The internet is what connects a mining rig with the rest of the blockchain; it is how the digital ledger sends and receives validation for the creation of blocks. Though it is possible to transact crypto offline, the transfer won’t be authenticated in the rest of the chain until at least one party logs onto the web.
However, because the internet isn’t necessary in the mining process, miners don’t need to invest in the highest tier offered by their ISP. An internet connection is only necessary for data syncing, so a connection of 10 Mbps should be sufficient, though miners have reported success with dial-up speeds less than about 500 Kbps. More likely than not, a user’s current internet connection will work just fine — but they might want to upgrade their modem and router to devices that can handle the traffic of an additional internet-connected machine.
A Cold, Cold House
Cryptomining requires a significant amount of energy, and all that power coursing through a computer is going to generate heat. Unfortunately, heat is bad for electronics; high temperatures affect the voltage running through electronic components, and spikes in voltage can cause damage. It doesn’t take much time for that damage to accumulate and cause inefficiencies that will harm cryptocurrency output.
To combat the heat generated by mining, users need to keep their homes quite cool. In the winter, mining operations can be useful room heaters, as long as there is ventilation pulling the heat away from the mining rig. During the warmer months, homes should be kept colder than usual to balance the warmth generated from mining. Unfortunately, this will result in higher energy costs — as well as a larger carbon footprint. Prospective miners interested in keeping their utility bills low and their global environment healthy might invest in renewable energy solutions, like solar panels.
Cryptomining is complex — but it isn’t difficult to acquire the right tools to get started. A good PC, a strong internet connection and a temperature-controlled space will go a long way toward generating cryptocurrency for beginner users.