Bitcoin Mining used to be done using the CPU on your computer. Now days though as the amount of people mining it has increased the difficulty of Bitcoin mining. This high difficulty and hash rate has mostly been fueled by the introduction of ASIC chips. Bitcoin uses SHA-256 cryptographic hash function to secure the blocks and create the hash for each block. This encryption is what protects the transactions in the block from being altered.
An ASIC is an application-specific integrated circuit, this allows miners to use hardware made specifically for Bitcoin or other SHA-256 algo coins, to mine BItcoin. An ASIC has benefits over CPU, GPU and FPGAs due to being designed for one specific task. They are able to mine Bitcoin at a higher hash rate (speed of processing transactions) than CPUs, GPUs and FPGAs. Several manufacturers produce their own ASIC chips and miners. For this part of the Bitcoin Mining Guide we will use the current top miner on the market the Bitmain AntMiner S9.
Bitcoin mining in having gone so high powered with the race to be the one to solve a block has evolved into pool mining where you want to have as much hash power as possible to get a share of the Bitcoin block reward. By combining your hash rate with that of many others you have a better chance of solving blocks (creating a block) and getting the block reward. We will discuss mining pools later in the guides.
The Bitmain S9 is is composed of 189 ASIC chips. The total hashrate of the S9 is roughly 12 to 14 th/s (terahash, which is 1000 giga hash, which is 1000 kilo hash which is 1000 mega hash. CPUs at first were able to do a few mega hash).
Setup is simple. As the S9 requires 1275 watts of power depending on your power type available you can either use 2 110v PSUs such as a Gold rated 1000 watt PSU and a 650 watt PSU to power the miner. If you are able to use 220v power and have the correct outlets or PDU (Power Distribution Unit) you can use special PSUs that are either made specifically for Bitcoin mining or even those made for servers.
You connect the PSU/s to the S9 using PCIe cable connections on your PSU. Once connected you will connect an ethernet cable to the miner itself.
The next step is to turn on your PSU and the miner will power up from there. Next get on a computer or mobile device that is connected to the same network as the miner. You will need to enter in the miners IP address. Since most miners now come with DHCP enabled you do not have to manually set the IP address, you just need to look at the IP table on your router or use a scanning tool. A scanning tool like AngryIP allows you to scan every device on your network and see its IP address. When you run the scan you will see AntMiner as one of the devices. From there in your browser window you type in the miners address.
This will take you to the first screen to login to the miner. In the case of the S9 the login box that comes up the username is root and the password is root. Once you have logged in you will see the system overview. We suggest you go to the Admin tab first and change the PW to one of your own choosing. Your next step is to go to the Miner Config tab. This is where you will add your information for the mining pool you will want to mine on. For this guide we used Kano.is pool.
You will need to enter in the stratum/IP address of your mining pool, then your worker name followed by PW for your worker on the mining pool. (not all pools require a PW you can just put x or 123 here if you want)
Once you have saved your setting the miner will start mining on your pool. Note: it can take from a couple minutes to up to an hour for your full hash rate to show up on your pool. Now you can go to the Miner Status page and you will see how your miner is performing and if the connection is live, temps, hash rate, etc. If you also go to your mining pool you can see your status. You are now mining Bitcoin.
Next we will go over Mining Pools that we have mentioned several times as the guides progressed.