According to the Monero website, Monero is a cryptocurrency that ensures anonymity, security and non-traceability. Its special cryptography ensures that transactions cannot be linked or traced. Given all the benefits that it offers, it is not surprising that it is being adopted in large numbers, and was one of the high flyers of 2017 as far as cryptocurrencies are concerned.
As with most other cryptocurrencies, the primary source of Monero is by mining. This article seeks to provide a step-by-step guide on how you can mine Monero using your PC. Experts recommend using Minergate.com because the platform is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. Also, you can use this mining technology with either a CPU or GPU.
Monero Mining Technology
Before you set out to mine Monero, there is a need to understand the inherent features of the technology used in the mining process.
Firstly, Monero uses a hashing algorithm (CryptoNight) that is entirely different from that of Bitcoin. This makes the coin unsuitable for use with Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), the unique hashing hardware used in mining for Bitcoin. Without ASICs for Monero at the moment, anyone can mine for the digital coin, provided they have a CPU or GPU. You will need both if you want to engage in dual mining. Monero’s CryptoNight conflicts with all ASICs-based mining tools.
The second point of note is the inbuilt privacy protocol that Monero uses known as Ring Signatures. This is a significant difference between Monero and Bitcoin. It is this feature that makes Monero one of the most anonymous cryptocurrency out there today. You can mine blocks in as little as 2 minutes on the Monero blockchain, as opposed to 10 minutes on Bitcoin’s blockchain.
To begin mining Monero, you will first need to decide whether to join a pool or go solo.
Solo vs Pool Mining
As you may already know, a significant amount of computational power is needed to mine cryptocurrency. You can go it alone if you think that you have sufficient power resources. Otherwise, joining a pool will be more rewarding, since you won’t have to wait for too long to receive a reward. If you are mining on a pool, then it is worth having in mind that doing so will cost you a little money.
You also need to determine which hardware to use for the mining activity. The two options available to you are AMD and Nvidia cards. Both cards have their advantages. However, their effectiveness varies depending on the algorithm you are using as well as the currency you are mining for. For instance, Nvidia performs better than AMD if you are applying the Equihash algorithm using EWBF miner.
On the other hand, AMD eclipses Nvidia as regards Monero mining and the crypto night algorithm. It is also essential to do your homework before you settle for any GPU. The factors you should consider when making your choice should include power needs, hash rates, GPU availability, as well as GPU price.
The Process of Mining Monero
Here are the steps to follow to begin mining Monero:
Install Video Graphic Card Drivers
For those using AMD GPUs
To download and install AMD drivers for your graphics card, visit AMD.com, then select “Support & Drivers.” After you have done that, provide the details of your GPU, then choose the “Display Results” option highlighted with a black background. To download the most recent driver for your device, select the Download option.
If on the other hand, you prefer to install an older version, then you will have to click on the “Download Previous Drivers & Software” option. You will see the option to do so to your right. From there, choose your preferred driver and click the “Download” option to transfer the file to your computer. Typically, if you are using the R9 or older cards, you should choose version 15.12.
Those who are using the RX 4XX series are advised to go with any version between 16.9.2 and 16.10.3. If you are using the more recent RX 5XX card series, it is advisable that you choose the newest driver, as they are optimized for the most recent cards.
For those using Nvidia GPUs
For Nvidia, you can obtain the current Nvidia GeForce drivers by visiting https://www.geforce.com/drivers. After that, provide your graphics card information, then select “Start Search” to look through the site for the latest version of your driver. Install the most up-to-date version.
Reboot your PC after installing the downloaded driver to the device. After rebooting the device, go to your device manager to see if the drivers were installed correctly and whether they are recognized. If there aren’t any warning signs next to the GPU, it means that the device has recognized the newly installed drivers.
If you are facing issues installing the graphics card drivers with all cards installed, you can uninstall the GPUs, then install one card first. After that, set up the drivers, then shut down the PC before installing the remaining GPUs.
Create Your Minergate Account
As mentioned earlier, Minergate allows you to mine using your CPU or GPU (or both) on your PC. To open a free account, go to the company’s signup page at https://www.minergate.com/reg. Enter your email, set a password, and click on “Sign up” to register.
Download Minergate Application from the Site
After creating your Minergate account, download the app to your device by selecting the “Downloads” option. You need not worry about imputing your OS information, as the site identifies your Operating System type automatically and serves up the correct software version.
Install the downloaded program. Once you have done that, run the app, provide the email address you used in creating the account, then select “Start Mining” to begin mining. The beauty of Minergate is that it makes the entire mining process easier.
How to Make the Most of Your Mining Rig
Mining Using Nvidia Mining Rigs
To mine on rigs that have been built with Nvidia cards, you’ll need the EWBF. However, if you possess a powerful CPU, such as a core i5 or a core i7, then you can use your CPU to mine via Minergate. Minergate is compatible with both EWBF and Claymore miner. This makes it easy for you to embark on dual mining.
Mining Using AMD Mining Rigs
To elevate your mining experience on AMD cards-powered mining rigs, you can make use of a Claymore miner suited to work with AMD cards-compatible CryptoNight algo. To do this, visit the downloads page on the Minergate website. On the site, scroll down until you see an option that reads “Alternative Miners.” Clicking on the option should redirect you to the CryptoNote Miner page. If it doesn’t work, you can select the option by the left-hand side.
You should be able to transfer the XMR.bat program to your system once it goes through. After that, go to https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=638915.0 to download the miner file to your PC. After the download, transfer the previously downloaded .bat file to the folder containing the Claymore CrytoNote Miner on the desktop. Make sure to place both the file and the miner software in the same folder, otherwise, it may not run correctly.
Modify Your Device Settings
You will need to make adjustments to your windows settings to prepare your system for the demands of mining for Monero. The first thing you should do is to stop your computer from going to sleep, as it could interfere with the mining process. To do this, navigate to Power Settings, then select the “Never Turn Off or Sleep” option to keep it from going to sleep.
After that, your next move should be to adjust the system paging file. Resize it to 16GB (16,384). To reduce interference with the mining process and system modifications, it is recommended that you turn off the Windows Updates option. Leaving the feature on might interrupt the mining activity since some updates can cause your system to restart. Also, you should ensure to whitelist the Claymore miner folder in your antivirus or Windows Defender to prevent them from deleting the file.
Start the Miner
To begin mining, double-click on the .bat file in the miner folder to run the miner. If everything runs smoothly, you shouldn’t face any other issues. Claymore CryptoNote mining tool works well with AMD miners. You can also use the Minergate platform or both at the same time.
Monitor Your Progress
As with all mining endeavours, you need to keep an eye on your performance to see how you are progressing. To do this, log in to your Minergate account, then go to the dashboard. To send your earnings to a Monero-supported wallet or exchange platform, select the “Withdraw” option.
This article has tried to demystify the mining process for Monero and has also mentioned the steps in the process for the two popular mining rigs used. As reiterated earlier, you have to determine whether to run a solo mining operation or a pool operation before you start the process.