You’ve no doubt heard about the newest and most rapidly growing cryptocurrency, ether. While it’s not quite as valuable as bitcoin just yet, it’s gaining quickly, and is expected to surpass the value of bitcoin in a short period of time. At time of this writing, Ethereum had increased in value by a shocking 4,500% in just six months. So how can you cash in on the cryptocurrency? Take a look at Ethereum mining and how you can take advantage of this open source platform’s cryptocurrency.
First of all, it’s important to differentiate between Ethereum and ether. Most of you have asked how to mine for Ethereum, and that’s not quite correct. Ethereum is an open sourced, peer to peer platform which is available to all developers. Any developer can build applications and programs on this blockchain platform.
What is blockchain, you ask? Blockchain is, essentially, a publicly held compilation of information. It’s information shared between computers, with each of those computers communicating simultaneously. That is to say that the information belongs to everyone who uses those computers, and it’s highly resistant to fraud or illicit modification.
Ether, on the other hand, has been described as the fuel which powers the Ethereum platform. It’s kind of how developers “pay” the blockchain network. Ether is a cryptocurrency, and it’s mined just as bitcoin is mined.
Miners are essential to the Ethereum platform. They use their resources to analyze information across the blocks within the blockchain. As a reward for analyzing and solving computational and mathematical problems, the miner will receive ether.
This, of course, is an overly simplified version of how ether is mined; just the Ethereum mining basics. But it does, perhaps, explain better why ether is both a currency and a commodity for investors. It is both valuable monetarily, and it’s mined as if it were a commodity.
Ethereum Mining for Beginners
Interested in learning how to mine ether yourself? It’ll take a little bit of technological know-how, but really doesn’t require much special equipment.
Most miners choose to mine ether using just their personal computer. Bear in mind that mining Ethereum will consume a lot of electricity. A lot. There are, however, mining calculators which you can use to calculate the amount of profit you’ll make in Ethereum mining after accounting for the electricity and other costs.
Ensure that you’ve got at least 30GB of free space on your hard drive. If you’re using a GPU, you should have at least 3GB RAM. You’ll need this space for software, including the blockchain software. Then, download Geth, which is the program you’ll use to tell your computer what to do.
The last thing you’ll need is a mining software. There are many of these available; choose a few and then research reviews and message boards. Narrow your options down to the program you’d like to use to mine Ethereum, and install it on your computer. All set? You’re ready to mine!
How to Mine Ethereum
While CPU mining is possible, it’s more energy and sanity-efficient to do it with the use of a GPU, or graphics card. GPUs are faster and more reliable than CPUs. The method by which you’ll set up to mine is the same.
You can choose to mine solo, or you can point your software to a mining pool. If you’re confident in your equipment, by all means go solo. But if you’ve got entry level equipment, you may find it more profitable to use a mining pool. For the purposes of this article, though, well show you how to mine solo.
Ready to start? Geth will usually be downloaded as a .zip file on your computer. You’ll extract it and move it to your hard drive. Execute the application by means of your CMD prompt. Locate Geth, and type ‘geth account new‘ into the command prompt. At this point, you’ll be given your password. Do not lose this password.
Type the password into the prompt, and then hit enter. Then type geth –rpc. Hit enter. Now you’re downloading the Ethereum blockchain, and you can expect it to take a while.
Pull up a new command prompt, and type cd prog, the hit the TAB key until C:\Program Files> is highlighted. Hit enter, then type cd cpp, then TAB and Enter until C:\Program Files\cpp-ethereum> is displayed. Select that option.
You’re almost there! Type in MiningSoftware –G, where MiningSoftware is the placeholder for the software that you chose. This is what will begin the mining process. Be sure to check with your specific mining software to ensure that there are no additional steps.
Finally, you’ll just let your computer do the work!
How Much Does it Cost to Mine Ether?
As we mentioned, Ethereum mining costs a lot of money. The electricity costs alone are staggering, and if you want to do it right you’ll need a good GPU and a fast internet connection. There are certain requirements your computer will need to meet, as well. For example, ether mining is usually best on a Microsoft Windows 10 computer. (Currently, there is no Apple Mac version available.)
But the cost benefit analysis shows that even despite the electricity and other costs, ether miners will usually come out ahead. There are calculators online which miners can use to calculate profitability. Simply input a few details about your operation, such as your cost per KW/h, and the calculators will tell you how much you’ll earn.
Cryptocurrencies are some of the newest, hottest investments, and ether is the second biggest cryptocurrency in the world. It’s growing steadily, too, and analysts predict that it may surpass bitcoin in value within the year.
But ether, like any cryptocurrency, is highly volatile as an investment. It may be experiencing dramatic increases in value now, but it also fluctuates wildly.
For the latest Ethereum news, be sure to check back to the Buy Shares In site frequently. We will continue to provide you with up to date information on Ethereum, as well as bitcoin and other investment options.