People often ask me “how can I get started mining bitcoin?” and I always smile. It took me hours upon hours of research before I went all in on crypto mining, and so condensing it all into a two minute conversation is hard.
So I’ve decided to write this short guide on how anyone can start mining crypto without first spending hours upon hours of research.
Can You Actually Mine Bitcoin?
The short answer is: Yes!
The longer answer is: No… not unless you have thousands of dollars to invest upfront. But stick with me. There is a work-around, and chances are good that you can start mining crypto today already using your laptop or home computer.
Let me explain: Bitcoin is so far advanced already that you need something called an Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) miner. These things are not only expensive, but are extremely noisy and power hungry as well.
So if you are just starting out, I’d recommend focusing on mining coins that can be mined using a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). In other words, mining coins like Ethereum or Raven that can be mined using the graphics card in your laptop or home computer.
You can always exchange those coins for Bitcoin afterwards if you prefer. In fact, if you keep following this short guide, I will show you how your mining “earnings” can converted to Bitcoin automatically.
Getting Started Mining Crypto
If you have a computer with a Windows operating system, I’d recommend heading over to the NiceHash profitability calculator to see if it would be profitable for you to start mining with it.
NOTE: Mining isn’t currently an option on Macs (Apple computers).
This is how I got started. I signed up for an account with NiceHash, then downloaded the NiceHash Miner, and started playing around with it and I instantly fell in love. Truth is, I had no idea it would be that easy.
There are a dozen different coins out there you can mine and even more mining software to mine them with, but if you’re just getting started, NiceHash is probably the easiest place to start.
Is Crypto Mining Still Profitable?
After a few days of mining on my laptop, I started creating spreadsheets with profit potential for different graphics cards. I did extensive research on cost of profitable graphics cards and realized that – at the time – I could get a Return On Investment (ROI) in as little as 4 months.
Of course this greatly depends on availability of affordable graphics cards, cost of electricity, value of coin you’re mining, etc. The ROI isn’t as quick as I’m writing this – largely because crypto is in a bit of a slump right now and also because affordable graphics cards are a little harder to get (due to chip shortage) but – it’s still very much doable!
If you intend to withdraw mining profits as quickly as you make them, it can be painful when the crypto market is down, but if you can create a bit of a buffer (where you withdraw only when market is up), it’s extremely rewarding.
So – a couple things to keep in mind:
- First (and MOST important): Aim to learn a little bit more about crypto every day. If you’re researching things and feel overwhelmed, step away from it and come back tomorrow. Aim to compound your knowledge over days instead of trying to figure it all out in one sitting.
- Hold (or HODL as it’s called in crypto space) when market is down. Only sell if you need to or when market is up Up UP.
- Stay optimistic. It is SOOOOO easy to panic with every market dip when you’re new to crypto, but keep this in mind: Bitcoin is up 3200% since 5 years ago. Even if it only does half of that in the next 5 years, you can make a LOT of money by staying invested.
Yes, you can still mine crypto and get paid in Bitcoin. In fact, if you start mining with NiceHash (as I explained above), you can exchange your Bitcoin earnings into just about any crypto coin right on the NiceHash exchange.
If you have a laptop or computer running a Windows Operating System (OS), and it has a decent graphics card built in, you can probably already start mining today. And if crypto mining grows on you, consider investing in more profitable graphics cards to increase your daily earnings.
Here is a detailed guide on what hardware I recommend to build your first mining rig!