In order to start bitcoin mining, you’ll need to obtain an account at a mining pool. There are many bitcon mining pools out there. A Google search for bitcoin mining pool will provide a wealth of information. Personally, I found Slush’s pool to work for my bitcoin mining needs.
Some would argue, you could solo mine but I wouldn’t recommend it. I base that of the idea my bitcoin mining power is so low even with the several USB AsicMiners I use. Bitcoin pooled mining is a pool that allows many people to work in harmony to mine bitcoins, and to have a share of the potential block reward of 25 BTC.
Since, I prefer Slush’s pool I will walk through the steps of getting started mining. Once you have your bitcoin address, register an account over at the slush’s bitcoin mining pool. Enter a username, email, and a strong password. Be sure you read the terms /wink and hit the checkbox and finally click register now!
In a few moments check your email and verify your account. You”ll be greeted with the: “To activate your account, click to this activation link” with regards from the BitCoin pool operator. You”ll be greeted with a similar message message. The information in the screenshot is what you’ll need to plug into your bitcoin mining program such as CGMiner. Disclaimer: Be sure to enter your own information and not that of the screenshot. Although, feel free to test using it although it would be credited to the account I created for this document. If that’s the case I appreciate the donation for the accepted shares!
You’ll then be redirected to a login page, enter your user credentials and login. You’ll be greeted with My account. Here you can add your bitcoin address from your desired bitcoin wallet for your mining payouts. You can change the Coins will be sent once the reward crosses over the threshold section down to 0.01. Currently, the send threshold at Slush’s pool is 0.01. So you’ll want to try to mine for bitcoins at least a little while to receive your first bitcoin payout! In this section of the my account screen you can see your estimated BTC rewards. It lists both unconfirmed, confirmed and total BTC rewards with a brief description of each. You always have to areas to check or uncheck regarding stats and payouts. Be sure to click save after entering any changes. Another disclaimer – Disclaimer: Be sure to enter your own information and not that of the screenshot. Although, feel free to use that bitcoin address for a donation!
In the bottom part of the screen you’ll see an area called workers. Once you have been mining for your virtual currency you’ll get an average of your bitcoin mining hardware hash rate. You can also register new workers if need be. There is also a section for mine for namecoin. NameCoin is an alternate cryptocurrency but doesn’t seem to function currently on Slush’s pool. Some information on the bitcointalk forums suggest it hasn’t work since stratum servers were implemented. Remember, my disclaimers earlier? Well, same applies here too! And before you think oh you pulled a fast one and the information changed, I switched the bitcoin mining worker screenshot to a single USB AsicMiner working on a current block to display some populated stats being generated.
Once you hit save and launching an app like cgminner be sure to note the Slush’s mining pool server ips located on the “what is pooled mining?” tab at the left of your screen if viewing on a desktop computer. I use the stratum setting, that server name and port is stratum.bitcoin.cz:3333. You’ll now need to take note your bitcoin worker information with the ip in the previous sentence for your mining client. Fire up your bitcoin client mining software such as CGMiner and get to hashing. IF you use an USB Block Erupter, you can learn How to Setup USB Asicminer Block Erupter in an earlier post.