Cryptocurrency mining is slowly but surely becoming more and more commercial. Once reserved for neckbearded nerds with a passion for Linux, computer science and cryptography, the process is slowly becoming adopted beyond that exclusive world.
The mining itself has been greatly simplified with people developing simpl(er) mining software that can be set up by almost anyone. And while the latest software with Windows-based GUI is probably a best option for a mining beginner, more complicated text-based mining programs are still available for experienced miners.
So let’s take a closer look at the best available software for out there.
Bitminter is the mining pool that was launched in 2011 and has ever since enabled many a cryptocurrency miner to mine Bitcoin for a measly fee of 1%. Its creators have had a lot of time to perfect their trade and have understandably come out with mining software of their own. It is estimated that this pool mined over 195 thousand Bitcoin ever since its inception. While not being the most popular pool out there, they still keep finding blocks every now and then.
The software client is available on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. The main problem here is that it can only be used with the Bitminter pool. To be able to use it, you need to sign up for the Bitminter pool by creating an account on their website. Sign up and point your ASIC machines to mint.bitminter.com:3333 with your user name and a dummy (x or 123) password. Or use a specific region:
- us1.bitminter.com:3333 (United States)
- us2.bitminter.com:3333 (United States)
- ca1.bitminter.com:3333 (Canada)
- eu1.bitminter.com:3333 (Europe)
A closer server can slightly reduce stale (rejected) work. A reject ratio around 0.10% is normal. Your work with the Bitminter pool is recorded in shifts. When a new block is created you get a share of the income proportional to how much of the work in the last 10 completed shifts is yours. This reward system is known as PPLNS with shifts. 99% of the mining income (including transaction fee income) is paid out to users. Donating more of your earnings is optional and will unlock various perks, such as getting credited to your account before the block is produced.
Bitminter software is among the better ones on the market in terms of GUI simplicity and quality. A dial on the left shows your mining power in megahashes per second. The “Engine Start” button will initiate the process of mining, while you can click on the settings tab to tweak your mining settings. The console at the bottom is regularly updated with information about your mining rig. Stats panel allows you to check your progress and see how long you have been mining.
Older version of the interface which had a temperature scale and a “tune and tweak” button for quick mining process adjustment
The platform offers good mining speeds and promises long polling, to ensure that stale work is reduced to a minimum. It supports mining both through OpenCL GPUs and through external ASIC devices. However they do recommend you get an ASIC machine with at least 1TH of mining power. Antminer and AvalonMiner are their weapons of choice here.
You can use Bitcoin Miner on Windows 10 and Windows 8.1.
It has an easy to use interface, power saving mode, mining pool support and fast share submission.
One useful feature is the profit reports feature because this feature will help you know if your mining is profitable or not. The latest version of this software is Bitcoin Miner 1.27.0.
BTCMiner is an Open Source Bitcoin Miner for ZTEX USB-FPGA modules 1.5.
BTCMiner comes with the following features:
- Dynamic frequency scaling in that BTCMiner automatically chooses the frequency with the highest rate of valid hashes
- Ready-to-use Bitstream i.e. no Xilinx software or license required.
It also comes with supported FPGA boards which contain a USB interface used for communication and programming.
Standing strong for more than 6 years already, CGMiner is currently the most popular mining software out there. It is a GPU/FPGA Bitcoin mining open source project written in C, available for download on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Initially envisioned for ASIC mining, an update from 2013 gave it support for scrypt and GPU mining. However this was reversed later on and Cgminer version 3.7.2 is the latest version with GPU support. Versions later than 3.7.2 do not support GPUs (only ASICs). An in-depth community thread about the CGMiner and its complete list of features can be found on this link.
It is based on the original code of the miner’s PC so it uses the command prompt as its user interface. This will make the CGMiner difficult to run and set-up for beginners. The software queries entries such as pool, username, password, and what hardware you are using for your mining. Once these are input, the software begins hashing immediately.
CGMiner has some great options available for your mining such as overclocking, fan speed, and supports Bitcoin and other alternative digital cryptocurrency. The beginner-unfriendly command prompt interface is somewhat remedied by using third-party GUI. One such piece of software is called CGWatcher. The platform supports multiple mining pools and multiple hardware devices which ensured its widespread adoption.
DiabloMiner uses the OpenCL framework to swiftly conduct hashing computations and support unlimited amounts of mining pools for its users.
The mining software is compatible with GPU mining hardware and runs on Mac, but if you have any of the current Nvidia drivers or an ATI Stream SDK 2.1, it’ll run on any operating system. You also have the option of either doing solo or pool mining.
BFGMiner is a software for mining coins which use SHA256 algorithm. It has the ability to mine Bitcoin on ASIC, FPGA, GPU or even obsolete CPU systems. It supports a range of systems, from Windows, to Arch, to Debian, to Gentoo, to OpenWrt, to Ubuntu. Similarly to CGMiner, BFGMiner is a piece of mining software that has been written completely in C, making it fast and free from bloatware. It features dynamic clocking, monitoring, and remote interface capabilities (it is fully compatible with the abovementioned CGWatcher software). The last one is a useful feature as BFGMiners interface is text-based, similarly as with CGMiner.
Besides being very versatile, BFGminer has other features which include vector support, integrated overclocking and fan control, ADL device reordering by PCI bus ID, support for mining with free Mesa/LLVM OpenCL and for getblocktemplate decentralized mining protocol and also crypt mining support for both CPU and OpenCL (GPU). It can connect to various pools and will automatically stop connecting to unreachable pools, making your mining much more efficient. In depth information about the software can be found in their BitcoinTalk thread.
MultiMiner is a desktop application for cryptocurrency mining and monitoring. It is available on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and is capable of supporting mining with ASIC, FPGA and GPU hardware. It offers an intuitive and simplified interface which makes it easy for miners to switch between two currencies MM supports, Bitcoin and Litecoin.
MultiMiner is a special piece of software that functions as the front-end of BFGMiner. Its creator, Nate Woolls was the main contributor in developing scrypt mining support for BFGMiner and has decided to create MultiMiner as a GUI of sorts for his original platform.
It has a simplified, easy to use interface which will guide you through your mining rig initial setup. The setup will ask you to send 1% of your profits to the developer but you can opt out of this afterwards. After you complete the setup, MultiMiner will automatically scan your hardware and begin mining.
It displays and tracks important information like the pool you use or the average hashrate and also displays an average daily mining profit which you can make with your current mining rig. The software supports connecting to multiple pools and gives you a “strategies” tab, where you can decide if you want to mine the most profitable coins or the least difficult ones to mine at a certain time.
Nate has built an app called MobileMiner for your Android and iPhone. There is a MultiMiner Remoting component as well built into the MobileMiner app that lets you start, stop and monitor many standalone network miners as well such as the Bitmain Antminer S1, Avalon Miners and many more.
EasyMiner is another GUI mining software made to function on top of BFGMiner and CGMiner. It is very convenient and easy to setup and use, as its name suggests. It supports CPU, GPU and ASIC mining.
Upon initial launch, a default MoneyMaker mode will initiate to guide beginners through the process of setting up a cryptocurrency miner. Using this mode will enable you to mine Litecoin from a private stratum pool.
You can of course set your own mining preferences later if you are an advanced miner. Upon setting the miner up, all you need to do is to click on “Start Mining” to begin doing exactly that. There is also a console included which tracks the progress of your mining.
Some of its most often cited qualities include:
- Free & open source: You don’t need to pay a single penny to start using EasyMiner. Source codes are available so you can customize it per your needs.
- Extremely easy to extend: It is Highly optimized for x86, x86-64 machines and supports the getwork mining protocol as well as the Stratum mining protocol. Mining can be used for both solo and pooled mining.
- Versatility: Automatically uses SSE2, AVX and AVX2 instructions where available. Lightweight, only depends on libcurl and jansson.
- Real-time Statistics: Displays hash rate, total shares accepted/invalid, and total shares in the past hour. Ensures maximum transparency with a featured log viewer.
- Community Support: An extensive chat functionality that comes in the software.
- Personal Wallet: Lets you use and withdraw funds with the help off your personal wallet. It provides all the functionality and security of a php wallet.
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