Before you read this post, read this one, as NiceHash has confirmed they were hacked.
The computational complexity of Bitcoin at the end of 2017, means that its not practical to mine Bitcoin anymore without a serious commercial implementation. If you’re just learning about cryptocurrency now, there is a way to get involved and that’s through Altcoins. There are literally thousands of alternatives to Bitcoin which can also be mined. Rather than concerning yourself with which is in favour this week, you can use a service like NiceHash which automatically switches to mining the most profitable cryptocurrency and simplifies payment with a single Bitcoin wallet.
Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve been experimenting with NiceHash, deploying the unused horsepower of a Nvidia GTX1080 at night, when our power is at is cheapest. Internationally, Australia has seriously high power prices, it can still be profitable to mine, thanks to the dynamic switching of altcoin based on the profitability of current market values.
Trading your compute power for Bitcoin comes in 3 forms, using your CPU or GPU (usually GPU), a dedicated ASIC machine, or from a Rig farm if you’re fortunate enough to own one. To date, NiceHash has paid out A$1.89 Million worth of Bitcoin. If you’re like me, you’ll have a spare PC to throw at the problem and to get started, its as easy as downloading their NiceHash Miner app for wither Nvidia or AMD on Windows.
The amount you’ll make is dependent on how long you want to run the Miner. Given you can start and stop when you like, its really down to your judgement as to when and how much power you’re willing to pay for. The output is also tied to the hardware you throw at the problem, with the app first running a benchmark to know what you’ve got.
Which my machine features a PC and GPU that can be used for mining, the GPU has definitely been the primary earner. In fact, the GTX1080 is around 14x the performance (in terms of mining) of the 3.4GHz Core i7-6700 CPU CPU. When we talk about deploying your PC hardware for mining, it will use all of what’s available, this means your PC transforms into a mining box, with other tasks considerably slowed while NiceHash is running. Sure you can still check you’re email or light browsing, but generally, this is something you want to do when you’re machine’s at idle.
NiceHash recognises this and allows you to configure in the setttings, an option to only start mining when the PC is at idle. Since I’ve been using NiceHash, there’s been a number of updates and the service appears to be committed to adding support for new cryptocurrencies and new hardware with the most recent 188.8.131.52 (beta) improving support for the new 1070 Ti. In terms of configuration option, you also get to make the decision around the service location, the currency, personally I like seeing prices relative to AUD, as well as limiting mining to a mininum income to ensure X income is guarenteed.
This minimum setting means that you can do the calculations of the maximum cost of power your PC will use (maybe $2-3 per day) and only mine if its possible to make more than that. Along with dynamically switching between currencies, its this feature that’s the single biggest of the platform in my opinion. Are you going to make millions? Probably not, but as someone who’s sat back and watch Bitcoin (and altcoins) go crazy in price, it may be worth grabbing whatever you can, even if there’s a couple of zeros after the decimal place. Payouts don’t happen everyday, but I can confirm I have been paid. Personally I wanted simplicity, given this was an experiment, not a serious investment, so I was happy enough to let NiceHash be host to my wallet as well. It is possible to enter a Bitcoin address stored in another wallet provider, just watch out for transfer fees. You can read all about the fees here.
There’s a number of mobile apps available to monitor your miners on NiceHash. It is worth noting that you have an API limit, which means if you’re checking it often, you’ll likely hit a message to come back later. This feels a little limiting, like only being able to check your bank balance a couple times an hour, its a little weird, but still, not having to jump on the computer in use is an advantage.
For more information, or to try out NiceHash, head to nicehash.com