How to start mining.
Assuming you already chose and setup your wallet now it’s time to fill it.
First you should know about the different ways of mining :
- CPU Mining – This was the first method used for mining Bitcoins, early clients used the computers CPU but it was soon discovered that GPU are way faster. Even if you can still find clients using CPU you should avoid them.
- GPU Mining – Probably the most common mining method, using your computers graphic card drasticially improves your mining speed over CPU method. It’s quite common for people to have mining rigs build solely for mining, these rigs have multiple high end graphic cards.
- FPGA Mining - Short for Field-Programmable Gate Array, a type of logic chip that can be programmed, an efficient way to mine, comparably with GPUs, FPGA is faster and has a lower power consumption.
- ASIC Mining – This is the latest, fastest and most efficient way to mine bitcoins. ASIC stands for Application-Specific Integrated Circuit, this are special devices and can be connected to your PC through bluetooth. ASICs are still kinda rare but they are expected to be vastly superior to all other methods.
After you decide on the method you want to you it’s time to choose a pool, pools are organized groups of people working together on the same blocks, it’s possible for you to mine alone but it’s not recommended. There are many different pools there and they each have their pros and cons.
Based on payment method the most common ones are PPS and PPLNS pools.
Pay-per-Share – Each share has a fixed value each block no matter if the block successful or not, this method is recommended for casual miners.
Pay Per Last N Shares – The value of each share varies if you are lucky you can earn more if not you could earn less however on long-term dedicated miners will earn more on average.
Another thing you should check for before choosing a pool is the tax, the tax is usually there to cover the pools loses for PPS payments, the average tax is 2-3% but you can find reliable pools with both higher and lower tax.
Currently the most used pool is BTCguild, it recently increased its tax to 7.5% or PPS payments to encourage people to join other pools.
You can find a chart here with the most popular pools http://blockchain.info/pools
After you select a pool, you should be able to find a good guide how to setup and start their client, if you need help feel free to leave a reply below and I’ll hep you.