Are you serious about mining cryptocurrencies? If so, you need to know how to make the best use can butterfly labs mine litecoin your money and equipment. In this guide, we’ll show you how to mine your digital treasure in the most profitable way. Obviously, the big money is going into costly bitcoin ASICs.
If you are already in that position, you probably know how the process works and are intending to mine bitcoin. However, those of you on a more moderate budget are probably looking at building a GPU miner for scrypt currencies, or a buying a small ASIC machine for bitcoin or other SHA-256 currencies. The SHA-256 algorithm favours raw processing power. The scrypt algorithm favours greater amounts of RAM and parallel processing ability, which is why GPU-based rigs are still the way to go. Furthermore, ASICs for scrypt have yet to take off, so the difficulty level of those currencies has not been pushed up as dramatically as has been the case with bitcoin.
While some people may use a standard PC case, many use unusual casings, such as beer crates, which allow for increased air flow around the components. Ethernet port, and are usually ready made by manufacturers. ASIC miners are usually more expensive than DIY rigs and are mostly produced in the USA, which means those of us in other parts of the world will have to spend a little extra to get them imported. Plus it’s a good idea to provide some excess capacity to deal with unexpected events and provide the potential to overclock your system. ASICs, on the other hand, can do far more calculations with far less power because they are highly specialised devices. And since they ship with an appropriate power adapter, you won’t have to worry about doing all the maths to find one that is up to the task.
Check your bills After the initial expense of your rig, the essential thing you need to know to calculate your ongoing profitability is the cost of your electricity. Check with your provider, or take a look at your last bill. If the power charges add up to more then you earn, it obviously isn’t a good business model. Pool your efforts Rather than go it alone, it usually makes more sense to join a pool, where you combine resources with other miners. By joining a pool, you earn a share of the coins mined by all members of the pool and stand a greater chance of solving a block. Miners earn a share of the rewards if the difficulty level of the blocks they solve is greater than the level set by the pool operator.
That level is always somewhere between 1 and the difficulty level of the currency. The volatility of the currency being mined also affects your long-term profitability. If the price suddenly drops, you will be faced with the choice of either selling at a low price or hanging onto your coins until their value increases. In the former case, you would have to keep mining for longer to recoup your expenditure on equipment and electricity.
Power problems When building a DIY mining rig, it doesn’t make sense to save money by buying a cheap PSU. Any instability in the power supply could hit performance, or even cause a system crash that will lead to downtime, so do invest in a high-quality unit. Avoiding downtime If your hardware isn’t mining, you are losing money. Get the best power supply you can afford.
Configure your mining computer to automatically start mining on start-up, so that if the system crashes and reboots, it will automatically start mining again. This applies to DIY rigs and computers hosting an ASIC. We imported a Jalapeno ASIC miner from Butterfly Labs to the UK. These costs are significant, and if you’re importing an item, try to work out beforehand what costs it might incur. It’s not just the cost of your miner’s power use. What about the electricity of running any extra cooling system, such as fans or air conditioning? As a test, we entered the specifications of two mining systems into the calculators below.