Which computer can produce the largest number

Bitcoin mining: make money yourself with your own computer

Thomas Joos

Do you want to make your own money? Bitcoin can do that. We tell you what to look for when mining bitcoins. Plus: Tips for the right graphics card. A how-to to get started with mining Bitcoins.

EnlargeProduce bitcoins yourself: a very fast computer and extremely powerful graphics card are the prerequisites for this
© Momentum Photography / Shutterstock.com

Bitcoin is by far the most popular cryptic currency. Not only can you buy bitcoins, you can also produce them yourself. This process, which runs on the processor of the graphics card, is called mining. In the process, more blocks are added to the Bitcoin block chain and the miners receive a reward in the form of Bitcoins. However, the production of bitcoins is no longer that easy - the production takes longer and longer, the more bitcoins are produced.

The right hardware for mining bitcoins

To produce bitcoins, but also other cryptic currencies such as ether, you need a very fast computer with a suitable graphics card. Popular graphics cards are, for example, Geforce RTX cards, for example Geforce RTX 3080. In many cases, graphics cards of the Geforce GTX 1080 Ti design are also used in parallel. RTX 2080 and other RTX cards from Nvidia are also widely used. A good source of information about good graphics cards for mining are the mining operating systems that can be used for mining. The supported hardware is a good guide, for example from Minerstat Mining OS.

However, you shouldn't blindly buy graphics cards that are similar in name. The graphics cards were actually designed to provide optimal performance for games and video applications. The use for mining is therefore not welcomed by manufacturers such as Nvidia, as the cards are sold out and normal users who use cards for conventional purposes no longer get them. Therefore, cards like Geforce RTX 3060 are delivered in such a way that the performance is very high, but the mining slows down. Nvidia integrates special mechanisms into cards for this.

AMD also offers corresponding cards, for example: RX 460, RX 470, RX 480, RX 560, RX 570, RX 580, RX Vega 56, RX Vega 64, Radeon VII, RX 590 Vega Frontier Edition, RX 5600, RX 5600 XT , RX 590 GME, RX 5700 XT and RX 5700.

At the same time, of course, Nvidia wants to serve the market and offer graphics cards that are primarily optimized for mining. Examples are CMP 30HX and CMP 40HX. These are development names. These cards will probably also have an RTX in their name.

MSI plans graphics card specifically for crypto mining

However, graphics cards that can be used to produce cryptic currencies are very expensive and prices fluctuate strongly or tend to rise. It is not certain that you will recover the purchase price, especially since there are also electricity costs involved in making Bitcoin.

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Before you buy expensive hardware, you should first deal with the calculation of Bitcoins and test the software and access to the individual providers. In general, the software for managing bitcoins (wallet) is free, and applications for producing bitcoins are often free. Most of the applications are open source. The first and most important entry page for creating and using Bitcoins is bitcoin.org. Here you will also find the providers of digital wallets.

Bitcoin versus Bitcoin Cash

In addition to the classic version of Bitcoin (BTC), there is the Bitcoin Cash (BTH) version. Bitcoin Cash is a fork from Bitcoin. Because the production of Bitcoin is now very tedious, the developers have split off with Bitcoin Cash. The creation is faster here, but the price is also lower. So before you start creating Bitcoins, you should study both Bitcoins and Bitcoin Cash more intensively.

Ether as an alternative

Ether manufacturing may also be something for you. The Ethereum platform works with the cryptocurrency Ether. As with Bitcoin, efficient graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia are used to calculate the currency when generating ether. Ether is the second most popular cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. The underlying blockchain "Ethereum" is also used a lot by companies, for example for smart contracts in supply chains. Therefore, many experts see an advantage of Ethereum over the Bitcoin blockchain, as it does not support smart contracts and is therefore rarely used in companies.

However, Bitcoin is the top dog in the cryptocurrency market. In addition to bitcoin.org, the bitcoin.de site also plays an important role. Here you can also see the current rate of the currency in euros.

EnlargeOn bitcoin.de you can see the current price of Bitcoin

This is how Bitcoin mining works

First of all, you should know that while you can produce bitcoins for free and thus benefit from the cryptocurrency boom, you have to consider other costs. The production of Bitcoins costs (a lot) electricity, because you have to leave your computer running almost continuously. You also need a suitable graphics card, which is expensive. Of course, the rest of the PC has to be able to keep up with the performance of the graphics card, which further increases the price for use. And you have to install a tool that you can use to log into the pool and then calculate the bitcoins.

Sign in to the mining pool

It takes a long time to calculate bitcoins and you need to dig deep into the subject to be successful. To create bitcoins, you can also create an account with a mining pool. In this case, you calculate along with other bitcoins. All participants in a mining pool collectively calculate Bitcoins, which are shared between the participants. However, if there are several computers in the network that calculate bitcoins, it becomes more difficult to create the bitcoins and you will receive fewer bitcoins.

Mining pools, which are used by many applications for the production of bitcoins, are for example IQMining, Sesterce, Genesis Mining, BTC.com, AntPool and Slush Pool. Slush pool has a special role because it is the first mining pool for bitcoins from 2010. F2Pool and BTCC Pool are also popular pools. But there are also many pools displayed within mining software that you can log into.

You can also mine Bitcoins on your own without a mining pool, but this means that the production takes significantly longer and you incur more costs.

Tools and operating systems for calculating bitcoins