As of April 1st, 2022 over 19 million Bitcoins have been mined, meaning there are less than 2 million left to go.
Knowing how to mine bitcoin on a PC presents an opportunity to make a lot of extra income, but you need to understand what Bitcoin mining is and how it works before you can get started. The world of cryptocurrencies can be confusing and there are a lot of different areas.
To learn the ins and outs of mining, read through this bitcoin mining guide.
What Is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that was created in 2009 and has dominated the crypto market ever since. It started at a price of just a fraction of a cent per Bitcoin, but at the time of writing a single Bitcoin is worth $46,205.53.
This huge rise in value has helped a lot of people make a lot of money through various methods. Investing and trading are the most well-known, but Bitcoin mining is another way that people can profit from cryptocurrencies.
What Is Bitcoin Mining?
Mining is a process that people can use for many cryptocurrencies, and it involves using computer hardware to mint new coins. People can use processing power to solve complex equations that complete transactions on the blockchain. This will validate a block and secure it, and all this allows the blockchain to function.
Many cryptocurrencies (including Bitcoin) work on a PoW (proof-of-work) system, which essentially means more powerful systems will have more of a decision-making factor. Some cryptos use PoS (proof-of-stake) which instead allocates the decision-making to the systems that have the most coins.
With both systems, miners receive payment in the form of whatever cryptocurrency they are mining. The only thing required to do this is a computer and an internet connection. For each block the only person who is rewarded is whoever finds the encryption key first, meaning more powerful systems have a better chance of success.
Over the years Bitcoin mining has become more competitive, and nowadays ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) miners are available. Their sole purpose is to mine crypto and they’re often hundreds of times more powerful than a standard PC.
Is Bitcoin Mining Profitable?
Many people know how to mine Bitcoin but lack the resources to do it effectively. A standard PC has no chance of competing with an ASIC miner. If you want to mine on your own, the only way to make it worthwhile is with a large initial investment into ASIC miners or by building your own Bitcoin mining rig.
If solo mining isn’t a viable option, there are two other types of mining that may work.
Due to the value of a single Bitcoin and the competitive nature of mining, teamwork is sometimes the best tactic. Mining pools are groups made up of a number of miners who combine their computing power.
The members of these pools then split the rewards between themselves. Unfortunately, it’s not very easy to find a pool to join if you don’t have an ASIC.
Cloud mining uses shared processing power from a remote data center. People who don’t have the computing power to mine Bitcoin themselves can make use of these so that they don’t have to set up their own rig.
These cloud-based systems are owned by companies that charge the miners to use them. The amount they charge will depend on the hash rate, and there may be additional fees for maintenance or even a subscription. All of this means that the miner will have lower profits.
If you’re going to do this, make sure you take the time to research different companies. It can take several months to turn a profit, so you will be making quite a commitment. On top of that, there are a lot of scammers in the world of crypto, so you want to make sure anyone you are dealing with is trustworthy.
How to Mine Bitcoin on a PC
If you’re planning on mining bitcoin on a PC, there are some things you need to determine. Firstly, you need to decide between solo, pool, or cloud mining.
If you choose solo mining you need to get the right hardware. Technology evolves fast, and setting up a rig that can compete will be expensive. You then need to pick your Bitcoin mining software. Some popular choices include:
- Awesome Miner
If you opt for a mining pool, you will need to look into different options to determine which is best for you and ensure your chosen one will accept you. Some of the biggest pools as of 2022 are Slush Pool, KanoPool, and ViaBTC.
With cloud mining, you’ll also need to research various options and make sure you do it thoroughly. Falling victim to a scam could cost you a lot of money, and you will often have no way of getting any money back if a scammer manages to take it from you.
Get a Bitcoin Wallet
There’s no point mining Bitcoin if you don’t have a wallet to store it in. There are plenty of crypto wallets available, and Bitcoin is compatible with a lot of them.
You should look into some of the different options as features do vary somewhat between them. Metamask, for example, is a popular choice and works as a Google Chrome Extension. ByteFederal has a wallet that you can use with their Bitcoin ATMs across the US.
Once you’ve set up your wallet, your mining rig, and your software, you have everything you need to get started.
The Future of Bitcoin Mining
Many people say that Bitcoin mining will end soon, but this has been said for years. It’s estimated that about 90% of all Bitcoin has already been mined, so now that you know how to mine bitcoin on a PC you need to act fast.
If you’re interested in reading more tech articles, check out some of our other blog posts.