I dabbled a little in mining back when ‘only’ Bitcoin and Litecoin were around; After a long break in cryptocurrency, I decided to take another look at cryptos and mining. So I started looking around on which wallets, exchanges, and miners were popular at this time. Most of my old pools and tools didn’t exist anymore, so I had to find new ones. I will get back on this shortly.
First of all, let’s start at why you even should start mining with all the huge mining farms all over the world and the power costs of running your computer (or mining rig if you are getting serious about mining). The profits made by mining short term are minimal since you spend money on electricity. For each 10 euros worth of crypto you mine, you will probably spend 5 euros on electricity, depending on your rates. It could be higher, but even then it might still be very profitable in the long run! It is important that your pool gives you the actual coins as payment, not dollars/euros/whatever. Let’s use Ethereum as an example if you mine 1 Ethereum (which is at the time of writing worth ~€200), but in a few months or years, it could be worth €400, which means the ratio electricity costs vs. profit just got a lot better!
Step 1: Getting a Wallet
Coinbase is a good online exchange and wallet combination. You can buy, sell and store your cryptos here. Founded in June of 2012, Coinbase is a digital currency wallet and platform where merchants and consumers can transact with new digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. It’s easy to setup an account, and if you use my link, you will get €8 ($10) of free Bitcoin once you buy or sell €85 ($100) of digital currency or more. There are a lot of arguments for an offline wallet, and if you are becoming serious about cryptocurrencies, you should take a look at Exodus. However, to get started on MinerGate you can use the MinerGate integrated wallet. First, you will have to sign up at the signup page.
Step 2: Downloading & Setting up the Software
After you made an account, you have to go to the downloads page and download the MinerGate software, compatible with your OS. The software is straight forward, and you can start mining right away at the mining tab. There also is a smart mining tab; this allows you to mine several different coins based on what the program thinks will give you the best results. I wanted to mine Ethereum, so I choose that myself under the mining tab. CPU mining is not worth it for Ethereum, so I only use my GPU (Radeon RX480).
Unfortunately, the program gave me a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death), so I had to setup a console miner (which I will write a guide about later). I might switch back to the program later if they fix the bug and the hash rate stays the same (note: this doesn’t mean the bug will occur on your system though because there are many variables to take into account).
Step 3: Enjoy Easy Mining
Now all you have to do is wait, and you will see your successfully mined shares climb, once a block gets solved by the pool the result is shared among the miners in the pool. You will get paid by PPLNS (Pay Per Last N Shares) or PPS (Paid Per Shares) principle. Using PPLNS your payout per share will have a large range (30% more or less on your payouts), but on average, PPLNS earns more than PPS (by 5% or so) in the long run (a month or more). This method of calculating payouts includes a “luck” factor. PPS eliminates the “luck” in your payout but can decrease your total income per share by around 5%. Using PPS, you get a set number of cryptocoins per share of work you have solved. It has no luck involved, so the payouts do not fluctuate.
You can find most of the information in the mining program itself, but if you want more details just check out the MinerGate dashboard on their website! Using the dashboard is also the clearest way to withdraw and transfer your mined coins.
Good luck setting up your miner and if you got any questions, be sure to leave a comment!