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Ethereum Mining On Windows:
Ethereum is arguably the second most popular cryptocurrency after bitcoin. With the second largest market capitalization in the whole cryptocurrency market, it was the first cryptocurrency to feature “smart contracts”. Smart contracts are individual, decentralized, and self-executing agreements that are coded into the blockchain. Developed by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum went live with its beta version in 2015.
It features the Ethereum virtual machine, or EVM, capable of running smart contracts as a representation of financial agreements such as Swaps, options contracts, and coupon-paying bonds. One can use Ethereum to fulfill employment contracts, as a trusted escrow and to execute wagers and bets. With cryptocurrencies constantly popping up in various articles, every day more and more people find out and develop an interest in the crypto world.
Ethereum is one of the most popular crypto coins out there, with only Bitcoin taking the lead in notoriety. Ethereum is changing the base protocol from proof of work to proof of stake and as a result, some changes are happening in terms of mining the cryptocurrency. Although it is still being mined profitably with proof of work GPUs in 2021, that is bound to change when the protocol shifting to proof of stake is complete by the end of 2021 as per the plans.
Since most people who are thinking about crypto mining are probably using Windows 10, this version of the operating system will be the main one. The best hardware is a Gaming PC equipped with one or more high-end video cards. Mining is not feasible on low-end video cards or machines without dedicated video cards. Getting started with Ethereum mining is pretty easy. All you need is a graphics Processing Unit and you can start generating Ether.
What Is Mining?
Mining refers to computationally intensive work that requires a lot of computer processing work and time. In the mining process, the miner is an investor who provides energy, computer space, and time for sorting through blocks. They submit their solutions to the issuers when the mining process hits the right hash. Miners get rewards which are potions of transactions for taking part in the mining process. Miners in cryptocurrencies are responsible for increasing the circulation of a particular cryptocurrency in the market. Every cryptocurrency has an upper limit on the number of coins that can be mined. So, when rewards are reduced, the inflow of new cryptocurrencies also reduces.
What Is Ethereum Mining?
Mining Ethereum means more than just increasing the volume of Ether in circulation. It also means securing the Ethereum network while creating, verifying, and ad-blocking the blockchain. Mining is the process of creating a block of transactions to be added to the Ethereum blockchain in Ethereum’s now-deprecated proof-of-work architecture.
The word mining originates in the context of the gold analogy for cryptocurrencies. Gold metals are scarce, and so are digital tokens and the only way to increase the total volume in a proof-of-work system is through mining. In proof-of-work Ethereum, the only mode of issuance was via mining. Ethereum mining was also the way to secure the network by creating, verifying, publishing, and propagating blocks in the blockchain.
Mining is the lifeblood of any proof-of-work blockchain. Ethereum miners, computers, and running software used their time and computation power to process transactions and produce blocks prior to the transition to proof-of-stake. Compared to mining Bitcoin, Ethereum mining takes up a lot of electricity and computational power. The difficulty level adjusts itself dynamically to produce one block after every 12 seconds. The mining of Ethereum uses the Proof-of-work system as its greatest pillar of work.
What Is Ethereum Proof Of Work?
Ethereum also uses a consensus protocol to operate, known as proof-of-work. The Ethereum network uses this protocol for its nodes to agree on the state of information recorded on the blockchain. It is the mechanism that allows the Ethereum network nodes to come to a consensus on data. The protocol aims to deter blockchain network attacks or abuse.
They do this by forcing all participants to solve moderately hard calculations or computations to verify blockchain transactions for a reward. Proof-of-work is also responsible for releasing new currency into the system. In the proof-of-work system, no one can erase or create fake transactions. Proof-of-work miners have to use their computational resources to solve hashes to verify transactions.
It is done to prevent double-spending.
Proof-of-work also helps you to ensure that the network functions without relying on any third party or middleman. Some of the proof-of-work functions miners execute include puzzles, integer factorization, Merkle tree-based puzzles, hash sequences, and functions. The completion of these activities helps in producing blocks, after which the network rewards the miners.
Types Of Ethereum Mining:
Depending on the type of processes and hardware used, there are several different ways through which you can mine Ethereum.
1- CPU Mining:
CPU mining utilizes the miners’ central processing unit for mining Ethereum. It used to be a viable option almost 5 to 6 years ago. However, it is declined in popularity due to dwindling profits. It is an extremely slow process to go on for several months without earning any significant gains. All one needs to start CPU mining Ethereum is just a computer and some software programs.
2- GPU Mining:
This is probably the most popular method of mining cryptocurrencies. Miners use one or several graphics processing units to mine Ethereum. It is both relatively cheap and efficient to build a mining rig comprising GPUs. A standard Ethereum mining rig consists of a motherboard, a processor, and a rig frame that houses the graphics cards.
3- ASIC Mining:
ASIC stands for Application- Specific Integrated Circuits, which refer to specific devices that perform crypto mining. ASIC mining can produce a lot of Ethereum because of its higher computational processing power. Normally the companies who announce a new version of their ASIC miners are flaked with criticism from the crypto community.
Since ASIC miners have more computational power than other miners, there is a fear that they rob other miners of equal opportunities. The miners who use CPUs and GPUs can not keep up with ASIC miners in hash speeds and earnings. There are reports that ASIC miners have influenced various cryptocurrency economies by investing in ASIC farms.
4- CLOUD Mining:
Ethereum Cloud Mining is arguably one of the best ways to mine Ethereum alongside pool mining. It is a process where miners pay an entity to rent out their mining rigs. This is usually fixed in an agreement where all the earnings the rig makes, get transferred to the miner’s crypto wallet.
Cloud mining services usually have large mining facilities consisting of several mining rigs. Using this combined computational value, they can offer mining services on a large scale better than others. Individuals who do not have sufficient money to invest in mining rigs themselves can avail of this service for mining cryptocurrency.
5- SOLO Mining:
Mining alone or solo mining seems to be the most plausible method of mining. But the degree of competition is high because of the number of participants involved in the network. This is only a profitable method if you have enough resources to have a big presence in the network. For instance, if you have more than a hundred GPUs as part of a mining farm.
However, there are a lot of disadvantages related to maintaining a mining farm. They can be plagued with heating and ventilation issues. Maintaining multiple mining rigs also means that you have to spend a lot on electricity, especially if you want to install more than 10 graphics cards.
6- POOL Mining:
Ethereum can also be mined using mining pools. A joint group of cryptocurrency miners combines their computational resources into a mining pool. This strengthens their probability of finding a block, leading to more profits.
The participants in the pool receive a reward for finding a block, in this case, Ethereum. You always have the choice of either going solo with your dedicated servers or joining a mining pool along with other miners to combine your hashing output.
How To Mine Ethereum On Windows?
1- GPU Mining:
Before your set up your rig, choose a good spot. Your best bet would be to aim somewhere that is quite cool and spacious. If you reach the point where you want to keep on investing in mining rigs and perhaps eventually even build your farm, you would want a spacious place, that has good cooling, ventilation, and low electricity costs.
Once you have settled in with your hardware and software installed, all that is left to do is to fire the machinery up and see what happens next.
GPU ETHEREUM mining is a pretty straightforward process, the rigs simply do their thing, and you just watch the numbers rise. The hard part is the maintenance, you have to constantly be on the lookout for various possible problems and malfunctions. Although, if you have set everything the way it’s supposed to be, you should not encounter any problems at all. If you find yourself in need of some hardware, you may visit Parallel miner, and see what they have to offer, the parts there are priced fairly, and there is a big variety to choose from.
2- CPU Mining:
CPU mining is simple in the sense that everything is just a click of a mouse button away. You can manage your software following your personal needs. It is often advised, however, that you should mine only when your computer is idle. Certain Ethereum mining software has built-in functions that allow you to set the mining model to “idle” as a default preference. Once you have figured out the software, all that is left to do is to manage your machine so it would not overheat. And keep in mind the electricity prices, so as to not get a heart attack at the end of the month when the bill arrives.
3- ASIC Mining:
ASIC mining is very similar to the GPU crypto mining method, you simply set up your machinery and watch it go. They require relatively low maintenance. You should not encounter many problems throughout the mining process if you are using an ASIC. However, ASICs are not advised for beginner miners.
The reasoning behind this is very simple, these devices are very expensive and hard to come by, while also maintaining a requirement of at least a little amount of knowledge when it comes to cryptocurrency mining. If you are still not certain about becoming a full-time Ethereum miner, acquiring an ASIC could be too much of a challenge that is simply not worth the struggle.
STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR MINING ETHEREUM ON A PC:
1. Install Drivers:
Go to amd.com then choose “support and drivers”. Then enter your GPU information and click “display results” click the download button and choose the older versions. Then install your GPU drivers like you normally would and reboot. If you don’t see any warning marks on the device manager then it means your GPUs are recognized correctly. While the system is off they install the rest of the GPUs. Once done, they turn it back on and let them all be recognized by windows. You will feel the system lagging and flickering while each card is detected by windows.
2. Get An Ethereum Client:
The Mist package contains the Ethereum wallet which you will need to receive any mining profits. Mist also includes an Ethereum browser with various functions like messaging, social networks, and tutorials.
3. Download The Blockchain:
Ethereum blockchain downloads and syncs. It is a really big file so this process may take a while. When it completes, spend a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the mist app, the interface is fairly explanatory.
4. Set Up Your Wallet:
Open the Ethereum wallet and generate a new account and contract-based wallet. This wallet will contain the payout address to which you will receive mining rewards from your pool or directly from the blockchain. After generating the Account, add a wallet and write down or copy to a text file the unique address.
5. A Note On GETH:
Mist also contains Geth, a popular command line interface. You may choose to get only the latest Geth app for your system, it is able to perform all the functions of Mist from the command line. As you become more proficient in Ethereum mining and coding, Geth will become more useful to you, but for now, this is not recommended as the easiest path to getting started with Ethereum mining.
6. Download Miner:
Ethereum mining software called Claymore Miner. Go to Claymore’s original Bitcoin talk thread and download the current version from the Google or Mega download links provided. When downloading the Claymore Miner, Windows may issue a warning, but if you used Claymore’s download link you can ignore this.
7. Windows Settings:
To minimize the disruptions to your mining and settings you may want to also disable Windows updates. If you feel more secure leaving them on, you can do so and just understand there are very frequent updates that sometimes reboot your system without your involvement and therefore stop your mining.
Finally, if you are running Windows Defender or some other anti-virus program, add an exception to it so that it does not flag the Claymore mining executable as a virus or try to delete it.
8. Join A Mining Pool:
Now, set up pool mining, as solo mining is unlikely to make you any Ethereum unless you have a warehouse full of GPUs. Choose the Ethereum mining pool. There are plenty to choose from but Nanopool or Ethermine. The homepage or help section of a mining pool site most likely contains instructions on how to mine their pool using the popular Claymore miner.
9. Start Mining:
Double-click on your Bat file to start the miner. The miner will start, run the setup commands to set those environment variables, initialize each of your GPUs, build the DAG file on each of your GPUs, and start hashing away. Let it run for about 20 seconds and then click on “S” to display your hashing speed.
You can now use this information in the Ethereum mining calculator again to determine a more accurate representation of your earnings.
As mining difficulty increases in Ethereum, coupled with a global shortage of GPUs, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find alternative ways to mine in order to keep the cost in check. Luckily, pool mining Ethereum is one such method that allows you to do exactly that.
Always decide your initial budget first, that will allow you to get a broad picture of just which methods of mining are possible for you and which are out of the question.