One way to earn cryptocurrency is to actually “mine” for them. Cryptos like Bitcoin and Litecoin are proof of work, which means that in order for the network to process transactions, some computation power is needed to help create new blocks (decentralized ledgers) in the blockchain. This is done by miners with computers, graphic cards or with specialized machines known as ASIC miners. ASIC meaning Application-Specific Integrated Circuit and these equipment are designed specifically for mining a particular cryptocurrency. And the reward for miners doing all the work are the coins. Note that in most cryptos, who gets to create the blockchain is random, thus the more computation (aka hashrate) the higher the chance of getting the reward. That is why miners are competing against each other trying to get the highest hashrate.
So if you have a pretty high end computer and graphics card, you yourself can join a pool to mine. Mining alone is pretty difficult nowadays and you might have to mine for a long time before you even hit a block. Of course it is random but joining a pool makes it more consistent. So individual miners now join pools to “pool” their resources (their hashrate) to do mining. The Nicehash miner actually mines Ethereum but miners are paid in Bitcoin. You can also mine Monero with your CPU at the same time. I normally run the Nicehash miner with CPU mining on when I am not using my gaming computer. Your system will be sluggish if you use it while mining.
As for the profits – well not really that much. I get around EUR14 per week with my Nvidia GTX 1660 Super 6GB and about EUR 5 per week with the Minero CPU mining. It is okay for passive income/investment. I just let it run the entire day. Electricity charges should also be an important consideration as some countries the electrical bills can be quite high. So please check the charges first before you do any mining. And please ensure that your computer has plenty of cooling as the mining process is pretty intensive. Look out if your system overheat. You won’t want your house to be on fire right?
The Nicehash installation and setup is pretty straight forward. However beware that the your computer’s anti-malware system might detect it as a malware. This is because lots of hackers and scammers trick users into installing mining software on their system. It was pretty common several years ago when mining on CPU was still profitable. Once you have installed the software, it will automatically start mining. Note that you will need to create an account with Nicehash first. Your earnings will be in your account and you can transfer the BTC to other wallets once you have accumulated enough BTC. Again, there is a withdrawal fee. If you are transferring to a Coinbase wallet, the withdrawal fees are waived though.
For those looking for a little more profit, they can tweak the settings on the Nicehash software. I would suggest beginners to go for the lite or optimized settings first. And once everything is stable and heat is not an issue, you can try for the medium settings. And no, don’t go beyond that. Remember your graphics card is very costly and getting a replacement is going to be painful. And it is now even more costly than before. Everybody wants to mine! You will never be able to get a suitable graphics card at MSRP prices anymore. Checking the online prices on even older used graphics card gave me quite a scare as well. So take good care of your graphics card!
Nicehash has a pretty nifty web interface where you can control your mining “rigs”. You can see the profits being generated, the history and can tweak the setting mentioned above via this web based interface. And of course you can check it anywhere you want. Very convenient especially for those with multiple rigs to configure and monitor.
Note that profits will vary on your computer setup and can change from time to time, depending on the difficulty, number of total miners and the prices of Ethereum and Bitcoin. So please make sure you check whether it is actually profitable for you or not. It makes no sense to do it at a loss, unless you are taking it as a hobby (which is actually a very fun hobby).
Nicehash Website: https://www.nicehash.com/
They have a nice profitability calculator as well. Please check out which hardware is supported by Nicehash.