Instructions for choosing and installation of special hardware for Ethereum mining, the list of clients for connection to the Ethereum network, the way to set up a mining software and the importance of joining a mining pool
Bitcoin may be the biggest cryptocurrency there is but it leaves much to be desired in terms of individual mining. The abundance of ASICs makes it so that mining Bitcoins is only profitable if you have a big Antminer-powered farm. If you are a fan of cryptocurrencies and want to contribute to their adoption, consider becoming an Ethereum miner.
Instead of SHA-256 used in Bitcoin, Ethereum uses Ethash, a highly ASIC-resistant mining algorithm. This means that there is no special hardware big industrial miners can buy to boost their chances of winning some ethers. You can mine ethers using your CPU or GPU. Though if you are serious about mining, you would not want to start with CPU. GPUs are much more powerful, as they are designed to perform thousands of calculations per second, which is exactly what mining is. As an entry-level miner, you would want to get your hands on a decent AMD or Nvidia GPU with at least 3Gb RAM. Using a high-end powerful gaming laptop is not recommended, as mining generates a lot of heat, and most laptops do not allow for extra cooling mechanisms. Online mining calculators, such as this one, can help you calculate your profit with account for your electricity bills.
Now that you have set up your mining rig, you have to connect to the Ethereum network. You can do that by installing a client on your computer. If you can work with the command line, download geth client for your appropriate operating system (Windows, macOS, Linux), extract the files and run it. If you prefer a more beginner-friendly UI, consider choosing among many other clients, such as Mist, Parity, etc. Once you run the client on your computer, you can interact with the network.
You are now a node in the Ethereum network. Now you need to install mining software. Ethminer is one of the most popular programs for mining. Go ahead and download the program. Keep in mind that though mining software is available for various operating systems, Windows 10 x64 is the easiest to configure. Once you launch Ethminer, your node becomes a part of the Ethereum network, and you are contributing to its security and maintenance by providing your processing power. For more information and instructions, head over to the official ethereum website.
Joining a mining pool
As an individual miner, you would sometimes work for months on end before you win another reward. To secure yourself a steady inflow of ethers, consider joining a pool. Miners form mining pools to pull together their processing power and increase their chances of finding blocks. Then, they share rewards according to how much power each of the miners contributed to the pool.
Before joining a pool, however, familiarize yourself with their payout structures. They can be different, and you want to choose the one that suits you the most.