Before we get to the nuts and bolts of Bitcoin mining, let’s begin by understanding what Bitcoin mining is all about. First, where do new Bitcoins come from? Are Bitcoins minted by the central banks? Obviously no, Bitcoin operates in a decentralized network with no central authority at play.
Unlike the paper money that is printed by the governments, Bitcoin is mined on the Bitcoin network. Just like the way people mine gold; but this time on the internet. And just as gold mining is capital and energy intensive, Bitcoin mining also consumes a lot of energy.
The same way gold miners introduce new gold to the world, Bitcoin miners introduce new Bitcoins to the ecosystem.
The introduction of a new Bitcoin to the ecosystem happens when a miner mines a valid Bitcoin block successfully. In return, the miner earns a block reward. Some people will call this process a lottery since winning means making the correct guess. However, these are not just simple random guesses. They are highly constrained and educated guesses. Making the guess means solving complex mathematical problems to add a new block to the blockchain.
Every 10 minutes a miner somewhere in the world successfully mines a block and earns a reward for that. The miner in this case will have made many attempts before hitting the jackpot, the same as with gold mining.
This is what we call proof of work (PoW). The reward for it is a block reward which can later be sold or held in Bitcoins.
So, what is Bitcoin mining software?
The software used to generate the Proof of Work on the Blockchain platform is what is responsible for mining operations on the network. If you are looking to get Bitcoin mining software to make a profit with it, you would be using the software to ‘mine’ Bitcoin by verifying PoW transactions. To know just how safe this system of verification is for genuine transactions and how difficult it is to tamper with the chain, I have not heard of any successful security breach or attack on the Bitcoin network for the 10 years it has existed!
Importance of Bitcoin Mining Software
Consider mining software a way for miners to work. Its work is to receive the finished work submitted by the miners. While looking for the best software dig for cryptocurrency, you should understand how the information is relayed between the blockchain and your mining pool. Standard Bitcoin mining software further monitors the blockchain network to provide general but up-to-date statistics about the network – including but not limited to the hash rate, average speed over a specified period of time, and miner-specific parameters such as power consumption, temperature, and fan speed.
There is a wide range of different software you can use to mine cryptocurrency today. The most effective way to compare the best tools that the market has to offer is by comparing the different software built for your operating system – Windows, Linux, or OSX. Since each platform offers different capabilities, each of its software will have different attributes. It is therefore vital to prioritize those functions that make software ideal for use in your specific situation.
What cryptocurrency is the best to mine?
You can still mine bitcoin using your computer CPU and GPUs today, but to make any real money you should also consider other cryptocurrencies that are still profitable to mine on a small scale. Since all cryptocurrencies essentially use the same blockchain technology, many mining software programs can be easily configured to mine almost any cryptocurrency requiring Proof of Work (PoW) or Proof of Stake (PoS) verification.
Aside from Bitcoin, three of the major cryptocurrencies that you can consider mining are ETHER (Ethereum), Bitcoin Cash, and ZCash. It is advisable that you take the time and put the effort to understand how each of these cryptocurrencies works, what benefits there are to mining them, and potential profitability based on the hardware you have and the mining software you are considering using.
Glossary of crypto mining terms
Hash rate: The number of guesses a miner makes at a hash of a block
ASIC: Application-specific integrated circuit. These chips are designed for mining cryptocurrency
GPU: Graphic processing unit renders 3d graphics. Enables more guesses at a hash compared to a CPU
CPU: Central processing unit processes information provided by programs. It’s the cheapest way to mine.
Top Mining Software Comparison
Bitcoin Miner markets itself as user-friendly easy to use miner that utilizes a computer’s CPU and GPU to mine cryptocurrency. It offers power-saving and night modes and has been praised for its detailed profitability reports, fast share submission, and SHA-256d & Scrypt supported DirectX 11 GPU mining.
Best for: Considering its simplicity and ease of use, it is ideal for beginners into the world of cryptocurrency mining.
|Windows 8.1, Windows 10||Free (with Ads)||Pros|
On its website, BTCMiner proudly proclaims the company’s mission, which is to make mining more accessible to everyone without necessarily investing thousands in equipment and power costs. This is an Open Source Bitcoin Miner with dynamic frequency scaling, cluster mode with hot-plug, and ready-to-use Bitstream for licensed and unlicensed software.
Best for: BTCMiner is ideal for intermediate miners who have a basic understanding of how Bitcoin mining works and are probably looking forward to investing in their own ASICs.
|Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Linux||Free||Pros:|
CGMiner is one of the best Bitcoin mining software written using the C programming language but based on the original code of CPUminer. This lightweight mining software is simple but powerful in that it combines the technologies used in FPGA, GPU, and ASIC for efficient mining.
Best for: CGMiner was not built to be user-friendly but effective in mining. This software is great for experienced miners with various mining hardware or computers they want to pool as one.
|Windows, OSX, Linux||Free||Pros:|
BFGMiner is based on CGMiner but strictly for ASIC mining hardware, which explains why this software is developed for performance and not ease of use. This miner has a narrow focus of devices but offers a wide range of features and options such as hardware overclocking and remote operation.
Best for: Since this mining software is focused on ASICs, it is ideal for miners willing or ready to invest in specialized mining equipment.
|Windows, Linux, Raspberry Pi||Free||Pros:|
Consider EasyMiner a more user-friendly version of the popular CGMiner and CPUMiner. This software is essentially the graphical front-end interface that is neatly laid out and easy to configure. It comes with both the CGMiner (cgminer.exe) and CPUMiner (minerd.exe) consoles.
Best for: EasyMiner is designed with beginners in mind. Choose this software to take advantage of the features offered by the more powerful miners but with a friendlier user interface.
Also called Puddinpop Miner, the RPC Miner is a Bitcoin remote mining software for devices running Mac 10.6 or later. The program is designed to make it easy for first-timers to just download and configure the automated mining processes and begin making money in no time.
Best for: Ideal for miners with unutilized Mac hardware.
|Mac OS 10.6 or later||Free||Pros:|
BitMinter is a pool-backed bitcoin mining software designed and made to make it easy for anyone to get into bitcoin mining and actually make money. Being a software platform for one of the oldest bitcoin mining pools, it has a large number of users who swear by its software.
Best for: Miners who would not mind being locked in to the BitMinter platform.
|Windows, Mac OSX, Linux||Free||Pros:|
As its name suggests, GUIMiner is a graphical front-end for cryptocurrency mining. It is built to offer a convenient and streamlined way for ordinary users to mine Bitcoin right from their CPUS and AMD and NVIDIA GPUS. The software comes embedded with a range of mining pools to choose from.
Best for: Miners looking to make the most of their machines’ processing power to make money.
NiceHash has branded itself as ‘the largest crypto-mining marketplace’ in the world, and it has the user numbers to back up this claim. This is a platform where users can buy or sell mining computing power called hashing power. In short, rather than trading in bitcoin, NiceHash trades in the power that creates bitcoin.
Best for: NiceHash is a great platform to sell any unused computing power and to buy and speculate on crypto mining power. This platform is ideal for opportunistic miners who may need a lot of has power in for a short period of time.
|MacMiner – FabulousPanda|
MacMiner holds the title of being the first native app for Mac to mine Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other alt coins. It sells as a powerful, simple, yet effective cryptocoin bitcoin mining mac software.
Best for: Mac users looking for simpler ways to get into mining the most popular cryptocurrencies in the market.
Designed to cater to the mining needs of both new cryptocurrency miners and power users, MultiMiner has many features and is designed to reduce the need for configuration before mining starts. Some of its best features are mining support from PC and smartphone, remote monitoring, and simple control of multiple rigs on a network.
Best for: This Bitcoin mining software is designed with miners with a wide range of experience.
|Windows, Mac OS X, Linux||Free||Pros:|
MinePeon caters to the earlier generation ASIC and FPGA miners that connect with a computer via USB. This software was hugely successful before the age of dedicated miners, but miners can still use it to generate income on older devices.
Best for: Miners with older ASIC or FPGA devices that connect to the computer USB.
|Linux, Raspberry Pi, and Windows||Open Source||Pros:|
50Miner is more of a graphical user interface for various back-end miners including CGMiner, Diablo Miner, Phoenix, and Poclbm. It supports two major cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and Litecoin. The platform is easy to download and install since it comes with ready configuration files.
Best for: Miners using a Windows computer.
BitMoose describes itself as an open source mining assistant software, and not an actual miner. This software essentially allows miners to carry out mining processes in the background as a service on a Windows computer. The BitMoose package includes a console host and a GUI interface.
Best for: BitMoose is ideal for miners who already have a client but want an add-on to improve their mining venture with background services.
|Simple Mining OS|
SimpleMining OS, or SMOS, is a Linux-based operating system developed specifically for mining systems. To begin mining on Linux, simply download and flash the OS image and set up your account with email and boot.
Start your mining right
Getting started with cryptocurrency mining is very simple today because everything is automated – from downloading and setting up the mining software to joining pools and receiving your money. However, there are till many traps a newbie may fall into. Top among them is choosing the wrong software for mining Bitcoins and other cryptos. To get the most out of your mining hardware – be it your laptop or a dedicated rig – you must take the time to review the available software and choose one that best meets your mining needs.