As part of a diversification effort on the Two Week Notice Project, alternative income sources will consistently be reviewed as opportunities arise. The latest craze on Wall Street is now coming to a computer near you: Cryptocurrency Trading and Mining!
Aside from the occasional “WTF” response, the most frequently asked question for new comers to the cryptocurrency craze is: What is it?
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that are decentralized on the internet. A decentralized currency has no common owner (i.e. – manipulator) such as the Federal Reserve Bank in the United States. These currencies are the byproduct of computer programming algorithms used to track transactions online (think Amazon.com purchases), and offer anonymity when conducting online business. The most common of the currencies, named Bitcoin, is “mined” (earned) by lending your computer processing power to tracking and encrypting these transactions. (For further details, you may also refer to Bitcoin Wiki, which further describes the background and financial system that enables this type of currency.)
How much can I earn?
Mining (earning) rates for various cryptocurrencies depend on a number of factors, which will be reviewed in later posts. Essentially, however, the total dollar value earned per day by using some of your computer processing power to track these transactions can range from $1.00 – $10.00, depending on the power of your computer. These figures can vary wildly, but a high end computer can earn an extra $300/month, just by running free software as a background application… not bad!!
How do I get started?
- This may seem like an obvious starting point, but the best approach to getting started with Bitcoin starts with good ol’ fashioned reading. Parse through additional articles on The Two Week Notice Project and review background on cryptocurrencies before you proceed!
- Download the Bitcoin client software
- The Bitcoin software can be downloaded here from the main Bitcoin website. There are a number of alternative applications available with similar platforms, but this is the tried and true original that will be referred to throughout the 2WNP.
- Update your wallet
- After downloading and installing the Bitcoin client (otherwise referred to as a digital wallet), the software will need to download the latest archive of all past Bitcoin transactions. This WILL take some time as there are several years worth of data to collect. Allow the software to complete this download (6-8Gb) before attempting any further use of the Bitcoin wallet.
- Join BTC Mining Pool
- Once your wallet is updated, head over to BTC Guild and join the site with your new wallet ID (found under the “Receive” tab shown below). “Pooled” mining allows users to combine computing horsepower and increase earnings exponentially. Do not attempt to proceed without first joining a pool unless you have an extremely powerful PC!
- Download Mining Software (CG Miner)
- Once your information has been updated in the BTC Guild portal, you can start mining! In order to do so, you will need to download a Mining Client, which is the software application which shares your computing bandwidth. There are numerous software applications available, but the most common mining software is cgminer. You will need to download the application and CAREFULLY review the provided read me file to properly setup your login credentials. The most common command prompt setup is: “cgminer -o http://yourpoolurl:#port -u YourUserName -p YourPasswordHere”, which will launch your cgminer instance and login to your pool as desired.
- For example, “cgminer -o http://btcguild.com:8332 -u 161619926_4 -p= “, will launch an instance of cgminer with a standard test user through BTC Guild.
- Download Mining Software (RPC Miner)
- If you do not have an on board graphics card, an alternative client, RPC Miner, can be used to mine with a computer CPU. Simply download the executable file and CAREFULLY review the provided read me file to properly setup your login credentials. Extract all files to “C:\RPC Miner” and create a new shortcut to the following directory to run the application. “”C:\RPC Miner\rpcminer-cpu.exe” -url=http://btcguild.com:8332/ -user=161619926_4 -password= -threads=4 -workrefreshms=5000″
- Watch the Bitcoins roll in!
- The cgminer application will run in the background of your computer while you work! Check back in once or twice a day to BTC Guild to ensure the miner is properly configured and your funds are being held. Once the minimum account balance is reached, your funds will be deposited in your Bitcoin Wallet!
- If the above guide has helped you, or you simply want to contribute to the 2WNP, all donations can be sent to address # 1HN9jKX5b7ptyyUXMuTkrheRwYPCPnHmGK.