What is a cryptocurrency?
While a real currency, such as a euro, is something tangible, whose value is controlled by governments and banks, a cryptocurrency It is an intangible cryptographic file that allows you to trade with it in a decentralized way.
The first cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, and it began to function in 2009. Since then, many other currencies have appeared, with higher or lower values, that seek to imitate BTC and offer other alternatives for digital commerce, whether related to BTC or to independent of him. These currencies, and all transactions, are recorded in a decentralized database, called blockchain, which can neither be modified nor deleted once a transaction is registered.
These coins do not appear out of nowhere, but must be generated using computer systems. To do this, computers must solve very complex mathematical operations using the full power of the computer’s hardware. To avoid conflicts, and speed up the resolution of trades, teams are generally grouped into groups, or “pools”, which perform calculations at the same time and, once the trade is resolved, divide the profits among all participants proportionally.
Cryptocurrency mining programs
Next, we are going to see what are the most common programs that we can use to mine cryptocurrencies. Not all programs are suitable for all currencies, that must be clear. And, when choosing between one or the other, we recommend you visit the following wiki where we can see the currencies compatible with each of the programs.
We must also bear in mind that antivirus programs usually detect all these programs as threats potentials. This is because hackers use these programs to remotely infect computers and use them to mine your accounts for cryptocurrency. Therefore, if we are going to use them, we have to make sure to place it in a folder added to the AV exclusions list to avoid problems. But never disable the antivirus.
CGMiner It is one of the oldest programs in cryptocurrency mining. This program is written in C and is multiplatform, being able to install it in any operating system. Its main feature is that it is intended to be used in dedicated mining systems, although we can also easily use it on any PC that has a GPU connected.
It is one of the best optimized programs, since, instead of spending resources on loading a graphical interface, it is designed to be controlled by commands. When using it for the first time, it will ask us to enter the URL of the pool, mining, as well as our username and password. All the cats generated will go directly to the pool, and it will be he who is in charge of accumulating our cryptocurrencies and making payments when we reach the minimum amount of money accumulated.
This mining program is open source, and we can download it from its repository.
For users who do not handle well with a console or who do not feel comfortable configuring the program from configuration files, it is born EasyMiner. This mining program has a very simple and intuitive graphical interface with which we will be able to start generating money as soon as possible.
This program includes two mining tools, CGminer (to mine Bitcoin) and CPUMiner (to mine Litecoin), which we can use simultaneously. In addition, it allows us to configure various ASIC equipment to mine, and join mining pools easily.
We can download EasyMiner here and realize that mining cryptocurrencies is not just a matter of four geeks.
This program is based on CGMiner, but it is specially designed to work with ASIC mining hardware. If we do not know what it is, an ASIC is an integrated circuit for specific applications, or what is the same, a hardware designed to perform only a specific task in an optimal way, in this case, mining cryptocurrencies. This software has some very interesting functions, such as the control of several groups of ASICs, the possibility of easily joining mining pools, and even the possibility of dynamic overclocking and remote control of all equipment.
Unless we are going to mine with this type of equipment, BFGMiner It is not the best program that we can download and install at home. But, if we want it, on its main website we can find the latest version of it.
Generally, most of the users will use one or two computers that we have at home to mine. But what if we want to carry out a larger-scale operation? Awesome Miner It is a program that not only allows us to mine, but also allows us to control up to 25,000 computers dedicated to mining cryptocurrencies.
The purpose of this program is to avoid having to configure and control all these computers one by one, but we can have them all remotely controlled through a very simple and intuitive interface. With this program we can also join a mining group with all our devices, or use them on our own to generate the cryptocurrencies ourselves.
This program is in charge of controlling everything, from hardware overclocking to the optimal and most profitable coins that we can mine. And it is available for Windows and Linux, so if you want to start using it, you can go here to download Awesome Miner.
If you want to mine cryptocurrencies, but everything sounds like Chinese to you, then you should try MultiMiner. This is not a mining program like the previous ones, but, like EasyMiner, it has been designed as a graphical interface for BFGMiner. When executing it for the first time, it allows us to see a configuration wizard from which we can start the program, register in the pool we want, and start generating that extra income as soon as possible.
This program can be used both to mine using ASIC systems and to mine through the GPU of our computer. It is compatible with the main cryptocurrencies on the market, and includes the main mining algorithms so that we can choose the one we want to use.
From its website we can download MultiMiner for free. Of course, we remember that we will need additional software to start mining.
What program should I use?
In the end, all mining programs are more or less the same, with some features to differentiate between them, but nothing critical. Of course, the most used, oldest and most popular program among users is CGMiner. A very complete, open source program that has everything you need to start mining just by entering the data from the mining pool.
However, if we do not have much experience in the field of mining or computer science, and we want to go easy, then the other option we can consider is MultiMiner. This program is easier to configure and launch, and allows us to control everything from a simple interface.