Luckily for us, however, bitcoins seem to be going up in value and should maintain their value over time, unlike your mint condition Tiny the stuffed Chihuahua. But how do you get bitcoins? You can begin by buying them outright, but the market is currently wild. 188 per coin, the direction of the bitcoin is anyone’s guess right now and, unlike equities, bitcoin rpcminer osx things don’t split.
In short, you should probably mine. Think of it as work done by groups of people to find large prime numbers or trying keys to decrypt a file. As it stands, mining solo is very nearly deprecated. The process of finding blocks is now so popular and the difficulty of finding a block so high that it could take over three years to generate any coins. While you could simply set a machine aside and have it run the algorithms endlessly, the energy cost and equipment deprecation will eventually cost more than the actual bitcoins are worth.
Pooled mining, however, is far more lucrative. While this is simplified, it is basically how the system works. You work for shares in a block and when complete you get a percentage of the block based on the number of workers alongside you, less fees. 50 over the weekend by running a dormant PC. The astute among you will note that I probably used twice that amount of electricity.
Being a neophile, I’m surprised it took me so long to start mining. My buddy Tom explained how to set up a pooled mining account so I thought it would be interesting to share the instructions. You can either store your wallet locally or store it online. You can download a local wallet here but make sure you keep a copy of your data backed up. This, without the period, is a direct way to send bitcoins to your wallet.
Make a note of your address. In Coinbase, the wallet address found under linked accounts. To mine in a pool you have to work with a group of other miners on available blocks. The most popular is Slush’s Pool found here.
You can also try guilds like BTC Guild as well as a number of other options. How can you be sure the pool owner doesn’t steal all your bitcoins? In theory, as the Bitcoin pool operator, I could keep the 25 BTC from a block found by the pool for myself. I’m not going to do this, but I completely accept that people do not trust the pool operator. It is their freedom of choice, and Bitcoin is about freedom. For simplicity’s sake, I’m using Slush’s Pool and have created three workers. The workers are sub-accounts with their own passwords and are usually identified by .
Mac and two on my old PC. You must create workers to mine. The instructions are very straightforward for most services so don’t become overwhelmed. Like any online club, you can dig deeply into the subculture surround bitcoin as you gain experience.
I like to think of it as a financial MMORPG. Also be sure to enter your wallet address into the pool information. This will ensure you get your bitcoins. There are a number of mining options for multiple platforms although OSX users may find themselves in a bit of a pickle. Home uses spare cycles for finding intelligent life. Miners, on the other hand, use these cycles to help handle peer-to-peer processes associated with bitcoins.
GUIMiner is the simplest solution for Windows users as it allows you to create miners using almost all standard graphics cards. 50Miner is also a popular solution. Both require you to enter your worker info and pool and they’ll start mining. Linux users can run miners like CGMiner. An excellent guide to installing a miner on Ubuntu is available here. Sadly, it uses deprecated calls to Bitcoin and is quite a bit slower. As a result, you need to run your own proxy, Stratum, that allows Diablo to connect with services like Slush’s pool.