Bitcoin in a wallet. To create a
Bitcoin mining has been in the trend for about seven years now. If you are a recent bitcoin enthusiast who would like to mine bitcoin without expensive ASIC processors, it is too late. However, there are other crypto currencies still available for mining with your laptop.In this article, we will explain how to mine litecoin and other digital currencies like feathercoins and dogecoins without using any expensive equipment.
Bitcoin uses SHA-256 as the proof of work algorithm for mining but litecoin and other latest crypto currencies use ‘scrypt’ algorithm.Scrypt algorithms use more memory than SHA-256 but home PCs and laptops with powerful graphics card can be used to mine crypto currencies efficiently as there is no ASIC technology to run scrypt algorithms.It is even possible to use only your desktop PC’s CPU with integrated graphics to mine the digital currencies.Keep your wallets readyThe Litecoins and other Altcoins you have mined are stored in a wallet.
To create a wallet, you can visit the homepage of the currency you want to mine and check for the download link of the wallet. There are community forums on Reddit and other sites that provide assistance.Many wallets are based on the Bitcoin-Qt client (Bitcoin Core). These wallets can take a long time to download the coin’s entire blockchain before it can be used.SpeedIf you do not have the specialized mining hardware, you can mine the coins with just your· CPU or· GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)Compared to CPU, GPU gives a better mining performance as the mathematical crypto calculations can be solved efficiently. You can mine the coins at a slower rate if you are mining for the first time without a powerful gaming computer that has Intel integrated graphics.
Mining with GPUs require dedicated graphics card like the one in your desktop PC. The Intel integrated graphics card found in many modern day laptops may not be suitable for mining. To speed up the mining process, miners are building dedicated machines with motherboards and riser cables that can hold multiple graphics card.Since mining involves too much of computing power, it is necessary to constantly the check the quality of your electronic components. Keep an eye on the heating and rising temperature of the PC by using an effective cooling system, and always possess the warranty in case of failure.How should you mine: solo or group?Crypto currencies can be mined by a single person or a group of people. You can join a ‘mining pool’ where group of miners split their processing power to mine digital coins and later share their reward.
A mining pool is similar to joining a lottery syndicate. If you mine alone, you get to keep the entire reward but the odds of winning are low. On the other hand, if you mine along with other miners, there is a greater possibility of winning but the coins earned have to be split.For a beginner, mining in a pool is more comfortable and easier than solo mining as configuring the software alone for mining is a tedious process. Also, it gives a steady income even if meager when compared to the group reward.
Some mining pools like ‘Multipool’ help you in deciding what coins to mine for your profitability and manage the switching between coins automatically.Installing CPU miner’cpuminer’ is a software that helps in getting started with mining. It can be downloaded from SourceForge and run on Windows (both 32 bit and 64 bit), OS X and Linux. Here, we shall assume that you are using Windows OS and guide through the mining process.Firstly, download the ‘cpuminer’ software for your operating system. The zip file of the program can be extracted to any storage location on the hard drive. Let us consider that you save the file in a folder named ‘cpuminer on the desktop.ScriptAfter downloading the ‘cpuminer’ software, it should be configured with necessary parameters for mining pool.
A one-line script, called ‘batch file’ in Windows is the simplest way to launch the miner with the required instructions.To write the batch file, you need the following information:· The full path name of the directory where the mining program is stored (e.g: “C:cpu-miner-pooler”)· You mining pool server’s ‘stratum URL’ (e.g: “stratum+tcp://pool.d2.cc”)· Port number of the mining pool server (e.g: “3443”)· Username of the mining pool (e.g: “pool”)· Your worker number or name in the pool (e.
g: “23”)· You worker password (e.g: “xyz”)Then open a text editor like Notepad. Type the script using the syntax given below,start “path” minerd.exe – -url URL:PORT –a scrypt – – userpass USERNAME.WORKER:PASSWORDHence, your script will look like this,start “C:cpu-miner-pooler” minerd.exe –url stratum+tcp://pool.d2.
cc:3443 -a scrypt –userpass pool.23:xyzSave this script file with a “.bat” extension, for example “mining-file.bat”.To activate the miner, double click on the batch file. The mining pool opens in a web based interface in a browser and in a few minutes, the website tells you that your miner is active.Note: The instructions above are based on the assumption that you are mining a scrypt currency.
Installing GPU minerFor mining with GPUs and USB mining devices, ‘cgminer’ program is used and it can be downloaded from the developer’s website.’cgminer’ versions after version 3.72 are not compatible with script mining and version 3.82 removed the support for GPU.
Hence, download the appropriate ‘cgminer’ program that satisfies your needs.Here again, we assume that you are using a Windows OS. The command line argument parameters are still the same on Linux OS or OS X. Ensure that your graphic drivers are up to date.Download and extract the ‘cgminer’ software in the required location, for example, “c:cgminer”.Then open the ‘Run’ dialog box by pressing Windows Key+R. In the Run dialog window, type “cmd” and press “Enter”. It opens the command terminal.
Use the “cd” command to navigate to the folder where the extracted cgminer zip file is stored.Then type “cgminer.exe –n” to list all the devices recognized by your system.
If your graphics card is on the list, you can continue with the next steps. Else, you have to go through the steps for setting up your graphics card properly.Just like the CPU mining, GPU mining also requires the following details:· The full path name of the directory where the mining program is stored (e.g: “C:cpu-miner-pooler”)· You mining pool server’s ‘stratum URL’ (e.g: “stratum+tcp://pool.d2.cc”)· Port number of the mining pool server (e.g: “3443”)· Username of the mining pool (e.
g: “pool”)· Your worker number or name in the pool (e.g: “23”)· You worker password (e.g: “xyz”)A batch file script is then written in the following format.Start “path” cgminer — scrypt -o URL:PORT -u USERNAME.WORKER -p PASSWORDYour script will look likeStart “c:cgminer” — scrypt –o stratum+tcp://pool.
d2.cc:3443 –userpass pool.23:xyzRunning your minerAfter the mining software has been set up, you can see it running on the command terminal displaying various details. The ‘cgminer’ displays more information than ‘cpuminer’ . ‘cgminer’ gives details about the currency, mining pool and mining hardware. ‘cpuminer’ will show particulars about the blocks your PC has solved and hashing speed.
Increase your computing powerIf you have a PC with dedicated graphics card, you can run both cpuminer and cgminer programs at the same time. For this purpose, add a “– threads n” to the miner command line, where “n” stands for the number of CPU cores to be used for mining.But do not use all your CPU cores for mining. One or two cores should be left free to send data to GPU for processing. For instance, if your PC runs on a quad core processor, use the argument as “– threads 2/3”.Thus by using both CPU and GPU at the same time for mining reveals why GPUs are better than CPU in mining.
There must be at least five times difference in the hash speed of each of your mining programs.