Introduction to Mining
If you are reading this you probabily are interested in mining and unsure on how to get started.
Hopefully the following article will help you to understand a little more abuot Cryptocurrency and how to start mining.
Cryptocurrency is a digital form of money so rather than having physical peaces of paper the currency is virtual and stored in a digital walet instead of the walet in your pocket.
Whats The diffrence between Bitcoin (SHA256) and Litecoin (Scrypt)
SHA256 and Scrypt are the systems used by cryptocurrency to authenticate blocks of transactional data.
This is the more complex algorithm proves to be the slower when mining and has less margin for errors with higher data security, currently the only real way to mine SHA256 is by having dedicated hardware (ASIC) altho you can still use your CPU or GPU the return would not cover the cost of having your computer turned on, if you dont have a lot of hardware the best way to mine is to be part of a minning pool like ghash.io
This is a much simpler algorithem and there are much more diffent types of Scrypt coins, when mining Scrypt coins this is still posible to do with a CPU and GPU and get a return but with the new ASICS for scrypt this will go the way of SHA256 where you will want to have dedicated hardware specifaclly for mining Scrypt coins.
Since writing this there has been a lot of changes in the mining landscape and a lot of new alt coins release, if you do not want to go down the route of spending lots of money on expensive dedicated mining hardware then you may want to look at the coins you want to mine, alt coins (cryptonote) are currently to popular coins for mining due to them currently being ASIC resistant and most can be CPU mined.
Mining SHA256 Coins
The first thing that you will want to do is get your self some mining hardware currently one of the best ASICS to get is the Antminer U1/U2 as this is cheap and wont break the bank, altho you may not make your money back on this hardware you will find it is a good way of understanding and getting into mining, check on ebay and find yourself some hardware.
Once you have an ASIC you will want to signup to a mining pool, follow the link and sign up at https://cex.io/r/0/Ragolz/0/ once you have signed up and made yourself an account the next step will be to get yourself a copy of cgminer this is the software that you use to connect to a pool and mine SHA256 coins.
Download current Windows version http://ck.kolivas.org/apps/cgminer/cgminer-4.2.3-windows.7z
You can also get a linx version from http://ck.kolivas.org/apps/cgminer/ please see documentation on how to compile for your Linux OS.
In windows you may also need the driver for your miner http://www.silabs.com/products/mcu/pages/usbtouartbridgevcpdrivers.aspx
Once you have downloaded cgminer unzip the archive to a folder, plugin your ASIC and then run cgminner.exe
you will then be prompted in a dos window for the url username and password for your mining pool, you will have this in your ghash.io account with ghash.io a password is not required.
after you have entered in the details your software should then connect and start mining for you.
If you dont want to type this every time then you can create a .bat file which will auto start for you.
in the folder that you extracted cgminer create a new file and name it startminer.bat, once you have created the file right click and edit the file and enter in a single line
cgminer -o stratum+tcp://uk1.ghash.io:3333 -u accountname.<WORKERID> -p 1
save the file and then run it, you should see that cgminer starts and running
if you are using an ant miner you can overclock this to 2GHs you can do this by adding –anu-freq 250 as follows.
cgminer --anu-freq 250 -o stratum+tcp://uk1.ghash.io:3333 -u accountname.<WORKERID> -p 1
Mining Scrypt Coins
The first thing that you will want to do is get your self some mining hardware currently AMD GPUs are best for mining Scrypt coins if you don’y have a Scrypt ASIC.
If you are using your GPU then you will want to get cgminer 3.7.2 (do not get the latest release as GPU support has been removed) install the AMD-APP-SDK-v2.9-Windows-641.exe from the AMD site http://developer.amd.com/tools-and-sdks/heterogeneous-computing/amd-accelerated-parallel-processing-app-sdk/downloads/
create a startminer.bat file and add the following line.
cgminer --scrypt -o stratum+tcp://doge.ghash.io:3333 -u accountname.<WORKERID> -p 1 -I11
You can then use this to start mining Scrypt coins, take note that the line to start Scrypt mining is slightly diffrent where you have to tell cgminer that you want mine Scrypt coins, you can also set the intensity for your GPU in this example I have used intensity 11 (-i11) this can be changed depending on your hardware or completely removed and you can then let cgminer work at what it thinks is best for your hardware.
Videos may follow shortly when I get time.