How is cryptocurrency mining done?

The process of how to mine cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Ravencoin, and ERGO is relatively simple. We’ll explain the hardware you need, the best software for this task, and the best pools for mining.

What is cryptocurrency mining?

It is the process of verifying transactions and creating new blocks upon obtaining a reward. Blocks are a combination of items in addition to transactions. Blocks are created by solving complex mathematical problems solved by a CPU, a GPU, or a specially designed chip.

Creating new blocks is an increasingly complex process as more users are added to do this job. Users compete to create the block and get the reward set for that block.

Normally, users join mining pools to have a chance to get more valid blocks. Users ‘add’ their mining power and everyone works to create a new block. When they solve a block and it’s valid, they get a proportional portion of the block reward based on the power they add to the network.

Block mining and production is used to eliminate the need for trusted third parties. This mechanism ensures that, for example, double spending (using the same amount of money twice) cannot occur.

Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Ravencoin (RVN), and ERGO (ERG) cryptocurrencies are based on consensus, which is Proof-of-Work (PoW) or “Proof of Work”. Special computer hardware is required to perform this job. Graphics cards are used in these four crypto currencies. For other cases like Bitcoin, ASICs or processors for Monero (XMR) are used.

Requirements for mining ETH, ETC, RVN and ERG

The PoW consensus algorithm requires special hardware to be able to solve mathematical problems. Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Ravencoin and ERGO cryptocurrencies are characterized by requiring video cards for mining. These computer components are used for different reasons:

  • They are very strong and stackable components (we can install several graphics cards on the same motherboard)
  • Graphics cards are (usually) more economical than specialized equipment such as ASICs
  • These components are cheaper than ASICs

But any video card on the market is not worth it. Ethereum mining requires a file called DAG. This file grows with each epoch, which is a 30,000 block cycle in Ethereum. Currently, this file weighs more than 4.5 GB, so video cards with 4 GB of VRAM or less are not worth it. For example, the 4GB AMD RX 6500 XT graphics card could not be used for Ethereum mining as it does not have the capacity to store this file.

Ravencoin has a DAG greater than 3.1 GB and increases every 7,500 blocks. Ethereum Classic has a DAG greater than 2.8GB and increases every 60,000 blocks. ERGO has a DAG greater than 2.1 GB and increases every 1024 blocks. All these cryptocurrencies can be mined with video cards with 4 GB of VRAM memory. If you want more information, visit the Minerstats website which shows the size of the current DAG and other data you may be interested in we leave it to you.

How to mine ETH, ETC, RVN and ERG cryptocurrencies

Now we will see all the elements necessary for mining these cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency mining is relatively easy, but you must know which components to use and which not. There is also the necessary software for this process.

Video cards for mining

We commented in the previous section that video cards are required for mining Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Ravencoin and ERGO. Not all video cards are worth it, they must have a larger amount of VRAM than the DAG size. For Ethereum we need video cards with more than 4 GB of VRAM memory. We can use graphics cards less than 4GB for Ethereum Classic, Ravencoin and ERGO.

AMD Radeon or NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards are used for mining these cryptocurrencies. Recently, NVIDIA has released CMP graphics cards specially designed for cryptocurrency mining. They also introduced the NVIDIA LHR limiter on gaming graphics cards. This integration halves the power of GeForce graphics cards.

Other components for mining

Video cards do absolutely nothing on their own. We need a motherboard, processor, RAM memory, storage and power supply.

Regarding the motherboard, we can choose specific motherboards or opt for gaming or commercial motherboards. Gaming or commercial motherboards are usually cheaper. All we have to do is configure the motherboard BIOS for cryptocurrency mining and get the best performance.

Regarding the processor, we do not need a powerful processor. Any entry-level processor with 2 cores and 4 threads will suffice. Regarding the amount of RAM, we will be more than enough for mining with 4GB of RAM. Any SSD drive on the market or even a USB stick is sufficient for storage. These components are necessary for the mining rig to operate, but extremely powerful hardware is not required.

The power supply has an important role. These should primarily power the video cards. We need powerful power supplies with high efficiency certificates. They need to be powerful and efficient as well as offering stable voltages.

Cooling and electrical installation

One of the aspects that is often overlooked when installing mining equipment is proper ventilation. Also, we shouldn’t be installing just one 120mm fan. Mining equipment should be installed in a well-ventilated room that is not used regularly. We must not forget that mining machines generate a lot of heat, so we should keep them in a well-ventilated room that we do not use.

Another point that is often not taken into account is the electrical installation. For a typical home electrical installation 5-6 graphics cards can be a huge load. Installation can cause stability problems and even damage electrical wiring and the rest of electrical appliances. It is recommended to strengthen the electrical wiring before installing the mining equipment.

Mining software

Due to the growing popularity of mining, different software is available for this application. The process of how to mine ETH, ETC, RVN and ERG cryptocurrencies is simple. We’re going to tell you a little about the best cryptocurrency mining software and which graphics cards they support. These software are:

  • Etherminer: Currently, it only supports Ethereum mining and is the best software for it. This software supports AMD or NVIDIA graphics cards.
  • GMiner: In addition to supporting Ethereum, it also supports Ethereum Classic and Ravencoin, but not ERGO. It also allows mining using AMD or NVIDIA graphics cards.
  • T-Rex Miner: Mining software optimized for NVIDIA graphics cards. The software supports ETH, ETC, RVN and ERG cryptocurrencies.
  • NBMiner: Another mining software specially optimized for NVIDIA graphics cards. It is also characterized by supporting ETH, ETC, RVN and ERG cryptocurrencies.
  • TeamRedMiner: This is a great option for mining ETH, ETC, RVN and ERG with Radeon graphics cards. It is the best software for mining with AMD graphics cards as it is optimized specifically for these graphics cards.
  • LOLMiner: This software is designed so that we can combine AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards in the same mining rig. The other software we’ve seen is geared towards AMD or NVIDIA graphics cards, not a combination. Supports ETH, ETC, RVN and ERG cryptocurrencies.
  • Claymore Dual Miner: Software designed for Ethereum mining that allows you to combine AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards in the same miner. It is most popular among those building hybrid mining rigs because it works so well.

How to mine cryptocurrency?

We choose one of the mining software we described in the previous section. For example, T-Rex Miner because we will test it with an NVIDIA RTX graphics card. We download it from the official repositories, in this case we find it on GitHub.

We will run the tests from Windows, if you are doing this from Linux you can use your regular distribution or a dedicated mining distribution: RaveOS or HiveOS are the most common.

Once its software is downloaded, we will open it and we are looking for the file “ETH-ethermine.exe”, in this case Ethermine, as we are going to extract the Ethereum cryptocurrency and use a mining pool. Right click the file and edit it with notepad.

We quickly tell you what we need to change:

cryptocurrency mining-2
  • Red zone: we put the pool we use here. If you are in Turkey, you will need to use European pools. The closer you connect, the better.
  • Green zone: Here is your wallet, copy and paste it to the address that comes by default.
  • -p: Used to set password, you can delete it if you want, nothing happens.
  • Blue zone: Here is the name to identify your miner in your wallet in the pool.

We save and start the application:

cryptocurrency mining-3

Now is the time to earn extra money with your graphics card. If you don’t know what a mining pool is, read the next section.

What is a mining pool?

In mining ETH, ETC, RVN and ERG it’s not a good idea to be a lone wolf, it’s better to play as a ‘team’. The power a few mining rigs can inject is very low compared to the total power of a network. It is better to join a mining pool to have a chance of finding more blocks.

Members of mining pools work together to find a block. When found, the cryptocurrencies awarded for finding that block are proportionally distributed among all miners. This rate depends on how much mining power we contribute relative to the pool’s total power.

Let’s see what are the best pools right now:

  • Currently the best pools for Ethereum mining are Ethermine and F2Pool. We can also choose MiningPoolHub, which is a very good mining pool with very low commissions.
  • Some of the best pools for Ethereum Classic mining are Ethermine and HiveOn. Alternatively, there are two very important and interesting pools, 2Miners and MiningPoolHub.
  • Now we turn to see the best pools for Ravencoin mining such as 2Miners and MiningPoolHub. Here we can also prefer Flypool and Ravenminer, which have very good features.
  • Now let’s start with the best pools for ERGO mining featuring Herominers and WoolyPooly. Currently the highest accumulated power pool for ERG mining is Nanopool.