There are a few reasons that you might want to start mining Bitcoin. You can mine bitcoin to generate some extra wealth for yourself, or maybe you want to mine Bitcoin simply so you can better manage your Bitcoin transactions. It costs a lot to buy Bitcoins- at present, just one Bitcoin costs almost $200, which is a rather costly amount! It’s for this reason that a lot of people turn to mining.
You can create a Bitcoin mine on your own, or you can join what is called a mining pool. The latter is the more popular thing to do, as solo mining is almost entirely non-existent due to price inflation (as mentioned previously, one coin alone costs nearly $200!). Pooled mining is far more cost effective. Join a pool, work for shares in something called a ‘block’ and when you’ve completed working you get a percentage of the block.
To go about setting up a pooled mining account, you need to have a Bitcoin wallet set up- as a user of Bitcoin, it’s likely you already have one. If you have a wallet, you can join a pool. One of the most popular ones to join is called Slush’s Pool, but there are so many different pools around for you to choose from, so have a good search of the internet before making your final selection!
Once you’ve joined the pool, you need to set up ‘workers.’ These workers can be several devices you own- for example, a laptop, tablet and mobile phone could all have an account created on them and become ‘workers’ for your pool. You must have workers to be able to mine.
Having set up your workers, you then need to set up a miner. Think of miners as software. If you’re using Windows, a GUIMiner is probably the best option. OS X users might prefer the likes of DiabloMiner. An all round miner is 50Miner. Once you’ve set up your miner, you can begin to mine for Bitcoins.
Once you’ve done all of this, mining is simple. Set up your computer and all your workers (however many there may be), run your mining software and let the technology do the hard work. It can be a long, time-consuming process to mine even one Bitcoin, but you’ll feel some sense of achievement when you mine them all on your own- and it’s definitely more affordable than buying Bitcoins!