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In the early days of Bitcoin Core (BTC), mining used to be done using the CPU on your computer. Nowadays though as the amount of people mining has increased the difficulty of Bitcoin Core mining has also increased too. This high difficulty and hash rate has mostly been fueled by the introduction of ASIC mining chips. Bitcoin Core 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.
(Update: Bitcoin Core is less usable as money due to much higher fees and delayed transaction times. The Core team has also expressed an interest in keeping these fees high since they view BTC as a “store-of-value” and not something to be transacted on a daily basis. In contrast, Bitcoin Cash’s transaction fees cost pennies and payments can be validated even with zero confirmations. These facts make BCH the ideal cryptocurrency for sending and receiving money anywhere in the world.)
Application-Specific Integrated Circuit
ASICs allow miners to use hardware made specifically for Bitcoin Core or other SHA-256 algo coins. An ASIC has benefits over CPU, GPU and FPGAs due to being designed for one specific task. They are able to mine BTC 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 Core mining guide we will use the current top miner on the market the Bitmain AntMiner S9.
Bitcoin Core mining has gotten so high powered with the race to be the winner to solve a block that it has evolved into pooled mining where a group of miners want to have as much hash power as possible to get a share of the Bitcoin Core 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. Bitcoin.com has launched it’s own mining pool with competitive pricing, which you can register for and begin pool mining today.
The Bitmain S9 is composed of 189 ASIC chips. The total hash rate (mining speed) of the S9 is roughly 12 to 14 TH/s (terahashes per second). CPUs were only able to do a few MH/s (megahashes per second).
BTC mining setup is simple
As the S9 requires 1275 watts of power depending on your power type available you can either use two 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 Core mining or even those made for servers.
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 miner’s 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 password to one of your own choosing. Your next step is to go to the Miner Configuration tab. This is where you will add your information for the mining pool you will want to mine on.
You will need to enter in the stratum/IP address of your mining pool, then your worker name followed by password for your worker on the mining pool. Note: not all pools require a password, you can just put “123” if you want.
Once you have saved your setting the miner will start mining on your pool. 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 Bitcoin Core mining pool you can see your status. You are now mining BTC.
If you are mining on the Bitcoin.com mining pool and have questions on getting started, fees, or payouts, simply login and head over to the Getting Started page to read some common question and answers. There is also a community forum where users can engage with other miners.