by Elijah Potter
What is bitcoin?
Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, was made by Satoshi Nakamoto. Now, what is a cryptocurrency? A cryptocurrency is a form of currency that is based on blockchain technology. Each bitcoin is actually a encryption that is currently worth over 12,000 USD. A blockchain is a record of every bitcoin transaction ever. This method of accounting makes it so that there can be no duplicate bitcoins. The only way to acquire a Bitcoin is to (1) buy a bitcoin from someone, (2) sell something for Bitcoin, or (3) mine bitcoins.
What is “bitcoin mining”?
Bitcoin mining is basically selling your computing power (in exchange for bitcoins) to run the blockchain. The measurement that you get paid for are blocks. When you solve a block you get 12.5 bitcoins. This number halves every time 210,000 blocks are rewarded, which is about every 4 years. Since you have a very low chance of getting the exact encryption code to get a block by yourself, miners have devised ways to link processors. These links are called “pools”. Some of the biggest pools are: Slush’s Pool, Nicehash and BitFury. With these pools, you usually get your payment based on your contribution to finding the encryption minus a small fee for being in the pool.
What is a Bitcoin wallet?
In order to own a bitcoin, you must have a wallet. Since a bitcoin is a file, it must be held by some sort of hard drive. Most people use a bitcoin wallet because it is blocked by some kind of firewall and it is an easy way to send bitcoins to other people over the internet. Here is my bitcoin wallet address: 36AFsrM5fwjtqb8QrEAV8c6GHS5YdW12wh. If someone has a bitcoin address, you can send bitcoins there, but you cannot take them.
How can I mine Bitcoins with my existing computer?
The easiest tool for mining bitcoins with a CPU and/or GPU is Nicehash. Here is the link to the download page. If you want to mine bitcoins right now and you have a windows machine, follow each of the following steps:
**Disclaimer: some of the terms in the following may be unfamiliar to you. If this is true, Google it. If you don’t have a great processor, then it is not worth it to mine.**
Choose a Nicehash Version. Choose one of the softwares based on your hardware. If you have a AMD graphics card, choose Nicehash Legacy which is under the section labeled AMD. If you have an NVIDIA graphics card or have integrated graphics choose Nicehash Miner 2 which is labeled NVIDIA.
Benchmark your processor. If you used Nicehash Miner 2 open it from the start menu and click “Hardware Details” and click “Benchmark”. The software will begin trying all the algorithms to see which one is the most efficient for your processor. If you chose Nicehash Legacy, click on the box “Benchmark”. Then make sure that all the boxes are checked and click start. The software will begin trying all the algorithms to see which one is the most efficient for your processor. Once this is complete, go onto the next step.
Make a Bitcoin Wallet. The best wallet you can use without paying money is Wirex. This is an online service that can function as a wallet. The awesome feature of this wallet is that you can pay $10 to get a physical card that can be used at ATM’s and such. Follow the instructions to create and enter your account. After entering your account, click on the button that is titled “Bitcoin Account”. Under the string of random letters and numbers there is a copy button. Click it and your address is copied to your clipboard. Keep it copied for the next step!
Start Mining. Paste your Bitcoin wallet address into the field that says “wallet”. Then simply click start. Your processor will start mining and after a few minutes you will get an estimate on how many bitcoins you will make per day.