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    How Do I Mine Bitcoin For Free

    Beginner's Guide To Mining Bitcoins


    One of the biggest problems I ran into when I was looking to start mining Bitcoin for investment and profit was most of the sites were written for the advanced user. I am not a professional coder, I have no experience with Ubuntu, Linux and minimal experience with Mac. So, this is for the individual or group that wants to get started the easy way.
    1. Get a Bitcoin mining rig
    Bitcoin mining is a very competitive niche to get into. As more and more miners come on board with the latest mining hardware the difficulty to mine increases each day. Before even starting out with Bitcoin mining you need to do your due diligence. This means you need to find out if Bitcoin mining is even profitable for you.

    The best way to do this is through the use of a Bitcoin mining calculator. Just enter the data of the Bitcoin miner you are planning on buying and see how long it will take you to break even or make a profit. However, I can tell you from the get go that if you don’t have a few hundred dollars to spare you probably won’t be able to mine any Bitcoins.
    Once you’ve finished with your calculations it’s time to get your miner. 

    Make sure to go over our different Bitcoin mining hardware reviews to understand which miner is best for you. Today, the Antminer S9 is the newest and most powerful miner.

    As a side note it’s important to state that in the past it was possible to mine Bitcoins with your computer or with a graphics card (also known as GPU mining). Today however, the mining niche has become so competitive that you’ll need to use ASIC miners – special computers built strictly for mining Bitcoins.


     2. Get a Bitcoin wallet

    First thing you need to do is get a “Bitcoin Wallet“. Because Bitcoin is an internet based currency, you need a place to keep your Bitcoins. Once you have a wallet make sure to get your wallet address. 
    It will be a long sequence of letters and numbers. Each wallet has a different way to get the public Bitcoin address but most wallets are pretty straight forward about it. Notice that you’ll need your PUBLIC bitcoin address and not your PRIVATE KEY (which is like a password for your wallet).

    If you’re using a self hosted wallet (i.e. you downloaded a program to your computer and are not using an internet based service) there’s one additional very important step. Make sure you have a copy of the wallet.dat file on a thumb drive and print a copy out and keep it in a safe location. You can view a tutorial on how to create a secure wallet here. 
    The reason is that if you computer crashes and you do not have a copy of your wallet.dat file, you will lose all of your Bitcoins. They won’t go to someone else, they will disappear forever. It is like burning cash.
     3. Find a mining pool
    Now that you have a wallet you are probably roaring to go, but if you actually want to make Bitcoin (money), you probably need to join a mining pool. 
    A mining pool is a group of Bitcoin miners that combines their computing power to make more Bitcoins. The reason you shouldn’t go it alone is that Bitcoins are awarded in blocks, usually 12.5 at a time, and unless you get extremely lucky, you will not be getting any of those coins.

    In a pool, you are given smaller and easier algorithms to solve and all of your combined work will make you more likely to solve the bigger algorithm and earn Bitcoins that are spread out throughout the pool based on your contribution. Basically, you will make a more consistent amount of Bitcoins and will be more likely to receive a good return on your investment.


     4. Get a mining program for your computer

    Now that you’ve got the basics covered we’re almost ready to mine. You will need a mining client to ru
    I’m using a mac so I will use a program called MacMiner. The most popular program I’ve found for a PC are BFGMiner and 50Miner  . If you want to compare different mining software you can do this here.

    5.  Start mining
    OK, so hopefully now everything is ready to go. Connect you miner to a power outlet and fire it up. Make sure to connect it also to your computer (usually via USB) and open up your mining software. The first thing you’ll need to do is to enter your mining pool, username and password. n on your computer to that you will be able to control and monitor your mining rig. Depending on what mining rig you got you will need to find the right software. Many mining pools have their own software like Bitminer but some don’t. You can find a list of Bitcoin mining software here.



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    How Does Bitcoin Mining Work

    AS THE bitcoin price continues to fall, sceptics have started to wonder what will happen to the industry underpinning this digital “crypto-currency”. Around the world, hundreds of thousands of specialised computers have been built to create (or “mine”) bitcoins and, in the process, validate transactions and protect the system. How does bitcoin mining work?



    The aim of bitcoin—as envisaged by Satoshi Nakamoto, its elusive creator—is to provide a way to exchange tokens of value online without having to rely on centralised intermediaries, such as banks. 
    Instead the necessary record-keeping is decentralised into a “blockchain”, an ever-expanding ledger that holds the transaction history of all bitcoins in circulation, and lives on the thousands of machines on the bitcoin network. 
    But if there is no central authority, who decides which transactions are valid and should be added to the blockchain? And how is it possible to ensure that the system cannot be gamed, for example by spending the same bitcoin twice? The answer is mining.
    Every ten minutes or so mining computers collect a few hundred pending bitcoin transactions (a “block”) and turn them into a mathematical puzzle. The first miner to find the solution announces it to others on the network. 
    The other miners then check whether the sender of the funds has the right to spend the money, and whether the solution to the puzzle is correct. If enough of them grant their approval, the block is cryptographically added to the ledger and the miners move on to the next set of transactions (hence the term “blockchain”). 
    The miner who found the solution gets 25 bitcoins as a reward, but only after another 99 blocks have been added to the ledger. All this gives miners an incentive to participate in the system and validate transactions. 
    Forcing miners to solve puzzles in order to add to the ledger provides protection: to double-spend a bitcoin, digital bank-robbers would need to rewrite the blockchain, and to do that they would have to control more than half of the network’s puzzle-solving capacity. 
    Such a “51% attack” would be prohibitively expensive: bitcoin miners now have 13,000 times more combined number-crunching power than the world’s 500 biggest supercomputers.
    Clever though it is, the system has weaknesses. One is rapid consolidation. Most mining power today is provided by “pools”, big groups of miners who combine their computing power to increase the chance of winning a reward. As mining pools have got bigger, it no longer seems inconceivable that one of them might amass enough capacity to mount a 51% attack.
     Indeed, in June 2014 one pool, GHash.IO, had the bitcoin community running scared by briefly touching that level before some users voluntarily switched to other pools. As the bitcoin price continues to fall, consolidation could become more of a problem: some miners are giving up because the rewards of mining no longer cover the costs.
     Some worry that mining will become concentrated in a few countries where electricity is cheap, such as China, allowing a hostile government to seize control of bitcoin. Others predict that mining will end up as a monopoly—the exact opposite of the decentralised system that Mr Nakamoto set out to create.

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