Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum can provide a big boost to your income. Many users have achieved great ROIs investing in these tokens however investments can be a gamble due to the threat of hacks and scams.
To work around this, some users have started mining cryptocurrency with a gaming PC. Unlike trading, you collect coins on your own so you won’t have to pay others to earn some Bitcoin or Ether. But if you want to succeed as a miner, you’ll need to know what you are getting into.
How Mining Cryptocurrency is Done
Before you can start mining, you need to know how it works. You can’t simply collect the coins and transfer them to your PC.
By “mining”, your computer needs to solve a special algorithm. It’s like a puzzle leading to online token treasures. Once you solve the algorithm, you’ll receive tokens as compensation. The more algorithms you solve, the more tokens you collect.
Cryptocurrency Mining Hardware Requirements
Let’s get this out of the way early: mining for coins is challenging due to hardware requirements. It’s important you have a good gaming computer and graphics card in your rig to process the algorithms faster.
For example, Nvidia and AMD sell the most powerful graphics cards in the world. They can go as far as 3.7 GHz, if not more. Mining for coins takes a lot of processing power so you need these GPUs.
Make sure you have a dedicated fan and cooling system ready. You’ll basically have a PC working on overdrive, so expect a big spike in your unit’s internal temperature. One way to control this is with a voltage suppressor. For example, the BIOSTAR TB250-BTC motherboard uses a “Transient Voltage Suppressor” to protect the system, this helps control electricity flow and regulates how much power is processed at a time.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to splurge a bit as part of your initial investment. Cryptocurrency mining hardware has become popular for its great returns (depending on the card). Because of this, the rise in demand for processors and GPUs with the computing power to mine for coins has risen. For example, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, once priced at around $380, is now being sold for over $700 due to supply shortages.
Cryptocurrency Mining Software
After you have your hardware, you’ll need the right programs to start mining. Cryptocurrency mining software is what uses most of your GPU’s power. Some software programs are full-scale platforms featuring complete user interface including buttons and mining settings. Others are basically command-line applications.
If you want a full GUI program, one of the most popular choices is EasyMiner. It allows you to create your own wallet as you mine tokens. You also get the option to use both the CPU and GPU simultaneously, for a shared workload (and more processing power).
For command line applications, many users enjoy CGMiner. The platform runs off C, which means it can be used in different devices. All you’ll need to set up is the URL and username, and you’re ready. You can even set private key shortcuts for different actions, like scanning or to start mining.
Whichever you choose, remember many have been blocked by antivirus apps in the past. Unless you disable them, all cryptocurrency mining software will be deleted from your PC. Here’s how to tell if you have a bitcoin miner virus
Is Mining for Bitcoin with a Gaming PC Profitable?
Many people choose to mine for Bitcoin because it’s the most well-known and popular cryptocurrency. Its unique blockchain technology helps guide and permanently record transactions and mining sessions. Combined with its reputation, you can easily earn thousands of dollars within a day. In practice, that can mean earn a good profit. But wait!
One issue with Bitcoin mining is processing time. On average, it takes ten minutes for a block of data to be solved. One block of data might be worth $1 at most, but uses a lot of power to work. That means your cryptocurrency mining hardware will contribute to a significant increase in your energy bill–which can eat into your profits.
Another problem is fluctuating prices. Those mining for Bitcoin with a gaming PC will have to wait for the right moment to trade. You can make a profit, but it’s best done when prices are high. It can take months before the price is ideal, and by then, you might have already spent more than you can earn!
Is Mining for Ethereum with a Gaming PC Profitable?
Recent history has shown the value of Ethereum. As the second largest cryptocurrency in the market, it started the year with an all-time digital high of $1417.38. That’s why many miners have started to switch to Ether-based ICOs.
Ethereum uses smart contracts, these are transactions that only happen if someone fulfils their work. For example, Bitcoin users can transfer 10 tokens within minutes. Ethereum, however, transfers 10 tokens in seconds but it can only happen when requirements set by both parties are met.
It can be faster and easier to get Ethereum coins, the price however, is a problem. Ether, even in its peak, isn’t as widely used as Bitcoin. That means the price-per-token is less overall. If you choose to start mining for Ethereum with a gaming PC, make sure that you are aware of its costs and income potential.
Alternative: Cloud Mining
If your gaming PC’s capacity is an issue, there are other methods of mining available. The best method, even for a non-gaming PC, to try is cloud mining.
Cloud mining uses a datacenter to mine for coins. You’ll be helping them online by providing processing power to solve algorithms. That’s an easier way to gain coins, and you won’t overwork your GPU.
There are problems such as fraud mining sites that take the tokens for themselves and profits will not be as high since you’re providing a fraction of the mining potential. Still, it’s a less power-consuming method.
If you need to know more about how cloud mining works, here’s a good guide on Genesis Mining that could help you.
Conclusion: Is It Worth the Effort?
If you want to start mining for cryptocurrency with a gaming PC, you’ll need a good plan of execution. Mining hardware is expensive, if you want to have a steady mining rig. Software programs are easier to get, but can make your PC vulnerable to viruses (since you’ll have to keep your antivirus program disabled). Even if you earn a lot of Bitcoin tokens, ten minutes of processing could use a lot of power.
Overall, mining with a gaming PC can be more trouble than it’s worth. A great alternative is cloud mining, which isn’t demanding in terms of GPU processing. Simply finding the right datacenter is enough to start investing. If you want to use your gaming PC, Ethereum can be a safer choice. You’ll get less profit, but get your tokens faster.