We have all heard about cryptocurrencies in recent years and it is a term that is everywhere, but how do you get it? They can be purchased, but you can also choose to mine cryptocurrencies at home and perhaps you have considered it. Can anyone do it? How is it done? What advantages does it have? We review everything you need to know about home mining and whether or not it’s worth it.
As we will see at the end of this text, it is not the only option to get cryptocurrencies, but it is a possibility and it is convenient that we review everything about it.
What is cryptocurrency mining?
cryptocurrency mining is to solve mathematical calculations using computing power. You make your team available to the network and it is in charge of performing calculations, processing a series of transactions and sealing the blocks. Each transaction is part of a block and each block must be sealed. We simply have to use computers that work connected to carry out the mathematical calculations. In exchange for sealing the blocks, we receive a “reward”. That reward is the cryptocurrencies you earn and can trade with.
Is it legit? mining is legal and so is the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment as long as both parties agree. There are online stores that offer it, Elon Musk allowed us to buy a Tesla car for a few months (although he eliminated the possibility a little later) and we can buy everything from tickets to all kinds of physical products. Even in physical stores.
It is safe? Yes. Although it is a currency that we do not have physically available, the purses and the keys that keep them make them totally safe. In the case of mining, we simply have to pay attention when choosing an application or program and not fall for scams and scams, which are quite frequent.
mine from home
Anyone can mine from home if they have equipment and software that allows it. You just have to validate the network transactions. How is it mined and what should we take into account before starting this work? Not only can it be done from a computer (although it is the most common) but it has even managed to mine from a Game Boy, from electric cars…
how they are mined
The recommended and appropriate for mining is to use a computer or specific equipment for it but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way if you have enough power for it to work looking for blocks while you work or play. You must bear in mind, of course, that you must be constantly solving operations and that this requires using a lot of power on your computer. But once you have it clear, it remains to explain how to mine and what are the difficulties of doing it at home?
Not all cryptocurrencies are profitable when mining at home (as we will see in later paragraphs) but it is advisable to do it with those that use GPU for mining. Once we are clear about what and how, we must download a program and follow the steps indicated by each of them. For example, we can use Phoenix Miner compatible with AMD and Nvidia cards…
Although it will depend on the user or your specific decision, it is advisable that let’s optimize resources and do it with programs like MSI Afterburner that allows us to optimize the graphics card: if we lower the frequency of the GPU and the consumption of the graphics card, we can get less heat in the equipment that we are using without the need for it to influence the mining that we are doing.
In the case of be part of a pool, we have to download the program and you will have a .bat file in which we have to fill in our Ethereum address. After filling it out and executing it, we choose a server and we will have a panel where we will see everything that happens. You will see when a block is found successfully, at what temperature is the GPU, what is the consumption made or when there is a Devfee.
What to consider
Is it worth mining cryptocurrencies at home? Which one? What should we take into account and what aspects are going to influence whether or not this is profitable?
- What cryptocurrency are you going to mine
Not all of them are a good idea if you want to mine from home. It will not be the same to mine Ethereum as Bitcoin and this is the first thing that we must take into account when we are going to start with this work.
- cost of electricity
It is one of the main things that we must take into account when mining cryptocurrencies at home: how much is the electricity dedicated to this work going to cost us? We must have the equipment continuously connected to the current, always in continuous operation. This will mean that you are going to have a high electricity bill month after month and it will not only depend on you but also on the price of electricity or the off-peak hours or the peak hours that are generally set. Although you can control it with your rate, we must take into account that it will suppose a additional and high cost.
- hardware and cooling
You cannot mine cryptocurrencies with a basic laptop or with the old computer that you have at home and we must take this into account. It takes good hardware to mine cryptocurrencies at home and this is not available to everyone. You may want to operate with this type of virtual currency but you do not have the budget to have hardware to match. Or that the investment in the hardware that you are going to buy for this purpose is not recovered in the medium term. If you have a good team, go ahead. Or if you want to buy it to do something other than mining. For example, if you are passionate about gaming and do not mind spending 2,000 euros on a new computer with parts that are up to the task of this process.
The work of crypto mining requires to keep the computer continuously at full capacity, with an excessively high temperature –Although it can be controlled, Y consuming energy almost to the max.
But we must not only take into account the equipment itself but also the cooling it needs. Mining cryptocurrencies consumes a lot of energy and that translates into high heat. Heat that we must avoid with refrigeration systems.
You may want to be part of a pool. And even recommended. It is a group of participants or miners who work together to find blocks. Once the block is found, the reward is distributed. But here we must bear in mind that there is a commission that we must pay to the pool and it is usually between 1% and 5% in total, although almost none exceeds 2%. It is an amount that we must subtract from the estimated total that we intend to earn.
- Return per cryptocurrency
The profitability of cryptocurrency it’s not up to you. Yes, there are a number of aspects that we can “control”, such as those we have seen in this same section. But there are others who do not. The price of cryptocurrencies varies instantly. And between them. Each one goes up, down or has a different flow depending on the moment. The best thing in these cases is to use a profitability calculator that allows us to know if it is worth it or not to bet on mining or if another option would really be better. There are websites like cryptocompare or as CoinWarz that they have a calculator in which we can choose the currency that interests us and fill in a series of data to find out if it is worth it or not or what the profitability is at that moment. It is essential to calculate it before deciding if we want to do it.
Problems and risks
Not all are advantages and mining cryptocurrencies at home has drawbacks not only at a particular level for you if you have decided to do it, but also at a global level.
Mining has many negative consequences not only on a personal level but on a global level and has been continuously criticized for the last few years. For example, a study by the Center for Financial Alternatives at the University of Cambridge showed that the energy used worldwide to mine bitcoins is 140.25 terawatt-hours per year. What does this mean? That the energy destined for mining is greater than the energy consumed by an entire country in a year. Higher than what the Ukraine or Norway or Sweden consumes in a whole year.
An article in the journal Nature In April 2021, he also spoke about the footprint that blockchain and Bitcoin had on the environment. There is a high carbon and energy emission in the minority. The people in charge of the study, Dabo Guan and Shouyang Wang, traced the carbon emission flows in blockchain operations in China. The result was 130 million metric tons of carbon emissions estimated for the year 2021, with a consumption of 297 terawatt hours. This, according to the study, would be equivalent to the total annual production of greenhouse gas emissions of some entire countries and only with mining as an activity.
At the individual level, there are also drawbacks. The main one is high consumption. We have already explained at the beginning of this text that mining requires powerful devices and not everyone has access to one. But in addition, another of the problems that we can find is the high electricity consumption that can be caused by using your hardware to dedicate him continuously to this work. The price of electricity goes up, your bill will be increased and it may not compensate you or you may not amortize the expense.
It does not have to be a problem, but we should take it into account as well as inform ourselves before starting with it.
Why can’t I mine bitcoin from home?
If you are going to mine from home, it is best to use Ethereum. Why can’t we mine Bitcoin today from home? It is not enough for us with a powerful computer because this cryptocurrency is not viable or profitable at home. To be able to mine you need hardware that will cost you thousands of euros. Are the ASICs or Integrated Circuit for Specific Applications. That is to say, a hardware designed exclusively for this purpose and that it will cost you more than ten thousand dollars. They are systems with a better hashrate for each watt consumed if we compare it to mining with a Normal GPU. In addition, all its computing power is used for this task.
If we wanted to amortize these devices, it would take more than two years to do so and that makes it a less recommended option than betting on other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum. Is Bitcoin then not mined? Yes, but it is becoming more and more common that the mining farms move to other countries where energy is cheaper. A few years ago it was common to find these farms in China, although now Kazakhstan is one of the chosen places and according to figures from the end of 2021 it is in second position in the world mining ranking.
Is that the only way to get them?
No. You do not necessarily have to mine cryptocurrencies at home to get them, but there are others methods also valid that allow us to do it and that allow us to get them for free: Airdrops or faucets and cryptocurrency taps. They are options to get foreign currency at no cost and without the risks or problems that using the option of mining at home can entail (cost of electricity, hardware…)
The faucets or taps of cryptocurrencies were created in 2010 and it is a series of missions that we must carry out to get a reward. Lhe missions can be of all kinds such as solving a captcha code or playing a game or watching an ad. They are very easy tasks, although their difficulty is usually linked to an improvement in the reward. And there are many websites where we can register to start doing these missions to get free cryptocurrencies or Bitcoin without the need to mine at home. For example, Freebitcoin or Cointiply.
Another option is to use Airdrops. The function is similar but generally will be used for advertising or brand promotion rather than tasks such as a specific game. For example, we must follow accounts on social networks, write something on Twitter, share a post on Instagram… And we receive tokens in return.
Finally, we have an alternative to mining at home: buy them. There are websites that allow us to buy cryptocurrencies without the need to use mining. Although the best known is Coinbase (which allows us to buy, sell, transfer or store) there are many others such as Binance, for example, which allows us to buy with Visa or Mastercard credit card and that you have all sorts of options to choose from.