Aside from Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH) is one of the fastest-growing digital assets when it comes to market value, leaving people fascinated by what it can do. But apart from online trading, you can also make money from this digital coin through Ethereum mining. Before we go any further, here’s a quick recap of what Ethereum is.

Ethereum in a “technical” nutshell

In a nutshell, Ethereum is the powerful technology behind many cryptocurrencies, digital applications, and payment services around the world. With its decentralized network, Ethereum offers various opportunities to anyone, anywhere, as long as they’re connected to the Internet.

Its robust network houses its very own digital money known as Ether (ETH), and the process of acquiring these coins is what we’ll focus on. In case you haven’t done your techy and geeky research, you can go over our post about what exactly is Ethereum to get you started. 

Before you mine ETH

Mining requires a lot of careful planning. Before we walk you through ways on how you can run an Ethereum mining operation, let’s go over the things you need to know and take note of.

🖥️  Equipment cost

Crypto mining involves solving complex mathematical equations that require specialized equipment. Building a machine requires heavy-duty computers with software and hardware specially designed for cryptocurrency mining. The thing is that these equipment come with a price, which varies depending on the functions they can perform. We’ll give you ideas about the costs of these later on.

⚡  Power consumption

Crypto mining machines cracking very complex codes 24/7 can consume massive amounts of electricity. These power-hungry machines can use up more than a hundred terawatt-hours (TWh) per year—a rate that’s historically been much higher than some countries’ annual consumption.

❄️  Weather conditions

Mining machines run very complicated digital operations almost nonstop, and just like any other device, they are vulnerable to overheating. Taking advantage of countries with year-round sweater weather is one way to help these machines cool down, lessen the cost of consumed electricity, and dodge other potential heating issues.

📍  Mining farm location

Mining farms require a large space that can house several high-powered computers. Cooling fans and mining rigs also produce too much noise, which is why building a mining farm in residential areas isn’t ideal. Looking for other potential locations for crypto mining could save you from being hit with noise complaints that can potentially shut down your operations.

⚖️  Legality of cryptocurrency

While cryptocurrency adoption is on the rise, some institutions, countries, and jurisdictions remain skeptical about these assets and their promising features. That’s why it’s crucial to know a country’s stance before you start any crypto-related activity.

Getting started

Now, let’s walk you through the actual steps and a list of things you’ll need in your Ethereum mining operations.

Step 1. Get a cryptocurrency wallet

This is where you’ll store, manage, and keep track of your ETH funds. Crypto wallets are a special kind of storage that you can also use to send and receive your digital money. We’re talking about your funds here, so be sure to get one that is secure and reliable. There are different types of crypto wallets out there, so check out which one best fits your mining and storage needs. Your most secure options include Ledger Nano S and Trezor One.

Step 2. Pick a mining hardware

ETH mining hardware

Ethereum mining hardware is also better known as the Ethereum mining rig. These powerful machines are specially designed to mine ETH, but some geeky folks use them for gaming and other desktop computer activities. Picking suitable mining hardware can help bring you more earnings by lessening your production expenses.

ETH mining rigs consist of a power supply, cooling system, motherboard, and graphics cards, all often held in aluminum cases. It comes in two types: 

  • CPU mining rigs – Central processing unit (CPU) mining rigs used to be the most popular type of ETH mining hardware for newbie miners. Why? It’s a lot cheaper and easier to use. On the flip side, the results certainly aren’t the best. Its process can take months or even years to finish, so CPU mining rigs aren’t the first option for crypto miners today.
  • GPU mining rigs – Graphics processing unit (GPU) mining rigs, on the other hand, are more powerful than CPU mining hardware, which is why they’re expensive. How expensive? Well, most GPU mining hardware retails at a price between 600 USD and 4,000 USD. 

Here’s a list of the top mining hardware in no particular order:

    • AMD 5700 XT
    • AMD RX Vega 64
    • AMD RX 580 (8GB)
    • Nvidia RTX 3090
    • Nvidia RTX 3080 
    • Nvidia GTX 1060
    • Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti

Some miners use another powerful type of hardware called Ethereum ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) miners. ASIC miners are also expensive, but they’re more popular and suitable for Bitcoin mining operations. You can also look for other motherboards if you want to customize or upgrade your hardware. These equipment have different features and functionality levels, so it would be best to explore and compare them to know which one best fits your mining operations’ needs.

Additionally, we suggest getting one with a quality cooling system since these machines tend to get extremely hot. If you want to give your mining rigs extra ventilation, you can always scout for some cooling equipment on online marketplaces or your favorite tech store.

Step 3. Pick a mining software

After getting your hardware, the next step is to find reputable mining software. Deciding which virtual pickaxe to use in mining ETH’s digital cave is as crucial as choosing your mining hardware. Mining software is a program that allows you to mine Ethereum with your GPUs as resources to solve complex mathematical problems.

Here’s a list of some of the most popular mining software in the market for you to check out:

  • WinETH – If you want a simple and easy-to-use software that automatically updates itself, WinETH is one of the best options. You can use it on Windows devices with Nvidia or AMD graphics cards. It also has a “background mining mode” that gives you the option to mine ETH only when your computer is idle.
  • Claymore – Available on Windows and Linux devices, Claymore Ethereum miner gives you a dual-mining option that allows you to mine Ethereum and another type of crypto simultaneously. 
  • ETHmine – This is another software that’s compatible with Windows operating systems. It has an affiliate program that offers different bonus rates and features, such as “Earnings per Minute” and “Earnings per Day.”
  • MinerGate – This mining software was created and designed in 2014 solely by cryptocurrency enthusiasts and is very popular with Mac users. It also offers 24/7 support service and supports 10 digital coins, including ETH, Ethereum Classic (ETC), Monero (XMR), Monero-Classic (XMC), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Litecoin (LTC), Zcash (ZEC), Bytecoin (BCN), AEON, and Grin—perfect for miners who are looking to mine a wide range of cryptos.
  • CGMiner – Built using the C++ programming language, this software is hailed as one of the handiest and easiest programs to use. CGMiner allows you to work with different mining pools and multiple devices and is preferred by many crypto mining beginners.

Step 4. Choose your mining strategy

ETH mining strategy

Once you have your mining hardware and software ready, it’s now time to decide how you want to run your Ethereum mining operations. Do you want to do the digging alone or with a company of fellow crypto enthusiasts? Moreover, which one is more profitable: solo mining or pool mining?

⛏️  Solo mining

There are many fun things to do by yourself. However, mining crypto isn’t one of them. The idea of running a mining farm might sound rewarding since you don’t need to share your rewards—that’s a hard fact. On the flip side, it can be costly and impractical.

Imagine competing alone against a group of 100 people in solving a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle within five minutes. Sounds insane, right? Well, it really is. You can quickly lose your slim chance of being the first one to solve the puzzle if you don’t get as much help as possible.

The same goes with solo mining. When you mine alone, you’re competing against thousands of other Ethereum miners in the crypto world—we’re talking about groups and companies that operate in huge mining facilities here. Solving the complicated mathematical puzzle requires a significant amount of computing power from many mining resources—something you can only achieve if you have over a hundred graphics cards running in your mining devices.

Aside from the expensive cost of setting up solo mining operations, you should also watch out for your future maintenance expenses—that would be a heavy load to carry alone.

⚒️  Pool mining

When you join a mining pool, you’ll work together and share rewards with other ETH miners. Since many people are working together to find blocks or solve intensely complicated math problems, the chances of getting rewards also increase. 

This is known to be the quickest and easiest way to get started in crypto mining. But before joining one, you need to consider the following factors:

  • Pool size  – Some mining pools have a few members, while others have lots. For starters, you can join big crypto mining pools. You might not get huge amounts of rewards right away, but you’ll surely get paid within the day or week.
  • Pool fees – Mining pool operations are expensive, which is why every pool collects fees from miners. These payments are percentage-based and are automatically deducted from your reward—no need to stress about computing and paying it manually. The amount of fees in reliable mining pools usually range from 1% to 3%, depending on the crypto you’re mining.  
  • Minimum payout – This is the smallest amount you’re required to mine before receiving your rewards. Pools with small minimum payouts are ideal if you want to get paid as often as possible. 

If you’re interested in joining one, check out this list of active Ethereum mining pools and see which one is suitable for you and your equipment.

You can find more mining pools online, so don’t be limited by this list!

Let the digging begin

These are just some of the essential things you need to consider if you want to build an Ethereum mining operation. Note that the rewards you get will vary depending on the type of mining operation you use. You can use an Ethereum mining calculator to compute how much you’ve earned. This might require you to explore and dig deeper into the intricate details of mining since you’ll be asked to provide some technical information—it might sound daunting at first, but you’ll surely get the hang of it in no time.

Also, keep in mind that mining isn’t the only way to acquire and make money with ETH. If you’re still waiting for the “best time” to get started with ETH mining, you can try your hand at crypto trading on marketplaces like Paxful. All you need to do is create an account, pick the best Ethereum deals from millions of crypto traders worldwide, and start buying or selling using your preferred payment method. 

Explore these options and learn how you can make the most of the great opportunities that await you with Ethereum. Good luck!