It is true, everyone talks about it but until now you had never thought of deepening the discussion. However, if you are here now and you are reading these lines, it seems clear to me that you would like to know more because you are intrigued by it and eager to possibly take advantage of a new payment system. I am referring to Bitcoin and the related mining activity. Well, given the situation, I can’t help but suggest you take a few minutes of free time all for yourself, get comfortable in front of your trusty computer and concentrate on reading this tutorial of mine entirely dedicated to the subject. In the following lines, I will in fact go to explain in detail what it is and above all how to mine Bitcoins.
Before deepening the discussion, however, I would like to immediately point out that Bitcoins are not physically available like euros or dollars. It is in fact only and exclusively a digital currency, to be precise a cryptocurrency, and as such can always be obtained digitally. One of the most popular systems consists, in fact, in carrying out mining operations.
Technically, it involves attacking data protected with cryptography using the brute force technique based on the SHA-256 algorithm. Therefore, everything is done via computer but it is an operation that requires a lot of computing power which is why, in order to avoid “melting” (literally) the PC, it is good to equip yourself with special devices or to move towards other less harmful techniques for the computer . To learn more, keep reading, you will find all the info you need in the various steps of this guide.
What are Bitcoins
Before explaining in detail what needs to be done to be able to mine Bitcoin, it seems only right to provide you with some more info about the nature of this cryptocurrency. Bitcoins (BTC), as already mentioned, are a digital currency and, like dollars or other currencies, they can be exploited for the purchase and sale of goods and/or services. Unlike the “rankings” coins, Bitcoins however do not have a central bank or an institution that acts as an intermediary between the people who exchange them. In fact, it is all based on an open-source peer-to-peer network that uses a database distributed among the users’ computers (which are defined as nodes).
This database contains all the transactions that took place on the Bitcoin network and can be consulted without hindrance by anyone. Therefore, although they can participate in the creation of digital currencies without providing their personal details, all the movements made are public and traceable.
Regarding the legality discourse, Bitcoins are legal all over the world except in: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Algeria, Bolivia, Bangladesh, Republic of Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Vanuatu, Vietnam. The regularity of the transactions is guaranteed by a public key cryptography system thanks to which users are unable to spend the same coins more than once or to “make up” their purse (the essential tool to collect all the BTCs I will tell you about in detail at the end of the article) by inserting Bitcoin they do not actually own.
You must also know that the value of Bitcoins fluctuates constantly. To understand how much it amounts in a given moment, it is necessary to visit some specific online services, as in the case of Bitcoin Charts, referring to all the main internet exchange markets. It should also be noted that this value is not infinite, on the contrary. A maximum of 21 million is foreseen and every four years the number of coins generated must be halved according to a deflationary rule.
For more details, you can visit the official Bitcoin website which is in English and which contains many useful topics and links.
Now let’s try to understand how to mine Bitcoins. I have already told you that to mine Bitcoins it is “sufficient” to have the CPU or GPU of the computer perform an activity consisting of attacking data protected with encryption based on the SHA-256 algorithm using the brute force technique.
However, since with increasing time this activity becomes more and more demanding and therefore requires more and more computing power as well as a very high energy expenditure, it is advisable to rely on alternative solutions designed specifically for the purpose instead of using your own PC (also because exploiting it in this way in a short time would inevitably break down).
Among the various alternative solutions currently available for mining, it is certainly worth mentioning the special computers marketed by some companies and designed precisely to generate Bitcoins. Such computers, called Bitcoin ASICs, tend to consume much less energy than would have been necessary to use a traditional computer.
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However, it is worth bearing in mind that many of them are characterized by poor build quality and reduce their performance in a short time. So, before moving towards a solution of this type, try to inform yourself well, perhaps by doing some detailed research on Google. As for the purchase, you can contact Amazon or other e-commerce platforms.
Alternatively, you can evaluate the use of an ASIC (an acronym for Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) in USB format. This is a device with a shape very similar to that of a Pendrive that has a minimum cost of 60-70 dollars and which must be connected to the computer to start mining Bitcoin. In short, something much more affordable!
Inside it integrates circuits designed to solve precise calculations quickly and effectively. Compared to the above solution, energy consumption is decidedly reduced. As for the purchase, even in this case it is possible to do everything directly online.
A further alternative that allows you to mine Bitcoin without however affecting the health of the computer and the electricity bill in the least is represented by the mining pool. This is a system that, by exploiting the technology of distributed computing, allows various users from all over the world to combine the computing powers of their computers to perform mining. However, it should be borne in mind that at the end of the operation the value of the mined block is divided among all users. There are several systems of this type, one of the most famous is Slushpool.
In order to take advantage of them you need to have a special client, as in the case of BFGMiner, which uses the computing power of the GPU and is compatible with all operating systems (if you are using a Mac you can download it from here)
Other ways to get Bitcoins
Now that we have seen together how to mine bitcoins you should know that it is possible to obtain Bitcoin in other ways as well. For example, by taking advantage of the appropriate affiliation systems or, much more simply, by buying them. For more info keep reading, everything is explained below.
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As I told you, another good solution that you can rely on to get Bitcoins is that of affiliations. In fact, there are special Sistas online, as in the case of QoinPro, through which, after registration, it is possible to cash a small number of Bitcoins every day without doing anything in particular, or rather without doing anything!
In this specific case, however, the amount of Bitcoin earned every day turns out to be decidedly low. You can eventually get small increases by having other people sign up to the service by providing their referral link … but don’t expect piles of Bitcoin.
Do you want to spend on Bitcoin but don’t have any? Instead of mining or referring to affiliations you can buy them, there is no impediment and it is completely legal. Even in this case, to do this it is necessary to rely on services specifically designed for the purpose, such as Bitstamp, which allows you to open an account and fill it with the Bitcoins purchased by other users of the site.
To start, all you have to do is go to the home page of the service, press the Create account item at the top, fill in the form on the screen with all the required data and then click the Register button.
Then go to your e-mail box, the one you specified when you filled out the form, take note of the username and password that were assigned to you by opening the email sent by Bitstamp and log in to the site. If prompted, change the default password to a custom one.
Then click Buy / Sell which you can access by pressing the button with the three horizontal lines located at the top right and select one of the available options to proceed with the purchase. Believe me, it takes a lot longer to explain than to do it.
To conclude, I would like to provide you with some clarification about the wallet, that is to say that “thing” you must use in order to collect all the Bitcoins that you have mined or that you have managed to obtain in any other way.
This is essentially a digital wallet specific for the purpose in question, a sort of client, which allows you to keep your Bitcoins, make payments and receive them. In short, without Bitcoins they are practically useless!
There are so many wallets for Bitcoins and they are all equally functional. Among the various clients available, the most popular and appreciated one and that I recommend you try is Bitcoin Core. It is a multi-platform software (compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux) with very simple operation. However, you choose the one that best suits you among the various proposals on the net and follow the instructions contained therein to open your Bitcoin wallet.
To give an example, in the specific case of Bitcoin Core, you can download it from the Bitcoin.org website (on which you will also find several other clients for all major operating systems and mobile devices).
Once the download is complete, if you are using a Windows PC you can install it by starting the .exe package obtained and always clicking on Next. If you are using a Mac instead, simply drag the program icon to the Applications folder. Subsequently, regardless of the OS in use, start the program and indicate the folder in which you want to save your wallet.
Then I suggest you immediately secure your Wallet by enabling the encryption function. To do this, on Bitcoin Core you have to go to the Settings menu and click on Encrypt wallet. I also recommend that you periodically create backup copies by calling up the Coin wallet backup item, which is always attached to the application menu.
If, on the other hand, you want to know the address of your wallet (it is essential to be able to send and receive money), again in the case of Bitcoin Core you must go to the File menu and click on Receiving addresses. If you need, you can also create your own by pressing the New button.
Warning: When you start using Bitcoin Core or any other wallet, always wait for the program to synchronize completely with the Bitcoin network so that the blockchain on which the system is based is downloaded to the computer, the database in which all transactions are registered.