How to start mining cryptocurrency from scratch in 2021: a complete guide

mining cryptocurrency

The popularity of mining in 2021 is driven by a noticeable rise in the value of a number of cryptocurrencies. Because of this, the decision to become miners is increasingly being chosen by both large investors and ordinary PC users. Today we will tell you how to start mining cryptocurrency.

For beginners who start from scratch, you should first figure out how to mine cryptocurrency, how to choose a coin, how to mine it, hardware and software. And also – to get acquainted with the basic terms for this type of activity:

  • “Blockchain” – a record of all transactions in chronological order; 
  • “Hash” – the result of the hash function, presented in the form of a string, ensuring the connectivity of the blockchain; 
  • “Hashrate” is a unit of computing power for a particular cryptocurrency; 
  • “Rig” – one unit of equipment intended for mining; 
  • “Farm” – a group of rigs combined into one system; 
  • “Pool” or “mining pool” – a server that receives a large task and divides it into several small ones, for each member of the group. 

Mining itself is a mathematical calculation that confirms transactions. Their result is finding a block for which a reward is issued. And miners are those who extract cryptocurrency, and sometimes programs for obtaining digital assets.

How to choose a cryptocurrency

The first question that will have to be resolved is whether to start mining cryptocurrency at all in 2021? Much depends on the investment, the method of mining, and also on the correct choice of the coin. 

The most popular, though not necessarily the most profitable, options right now are Bitcoin , Monero, Zcash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. You can check this on the WhatToMine service, where you should choose a mining method (graphics cards or special devices, ASICs) and check the list. 

When starting to mine cryptocurrency, you can use another method – analyzing the statistics of mining pools. For this, the service is suitable, where the algorithm for checking the payback of a certain cryptocurrency is as follows: 

  • Go to the service. 
  • Find the Miners Online tab.
  • Scroll down the list and find a miner with the same power as the user’s equipment. Suppose that such a device is the popular in 2021 Asik PandaMiner B3 Plus. For Ethereum, its performance is 220 Mh / s. 
  • Go to the miner’s page by clicking on his nickname on the service.

Check profit for the day, week and month. In this example, the user can expect to receive $ 459.85 per month. This is enough to quickly recoup PandaMiner B3 Plus, which costs about $ 2500 on Aliexpress. 

When calculating the payback, it is also worth considering the cost of paying for electricity. So, for the PandaMiner B3 Plus model, it does not exceed $ 0.07 / kW x 720 h x 1.25 kW = $ 63. The expected payback period is $ 2500 / ($ 459.85 – $ 63) = 6.3 months. If this suits the user, you can stop at Ether – or check a few more coins on the same service, choosing the most profitable option. 

However, both of these methods are not suitable for cloud mining. When mining in the “cloud”, it is worth looking for, first of all, a good service, which will already allow you to avoid accidentally choosing an unprofitable coin. 

Instructions for starting mining

Three methods are used to mine cryptocurrencies – solo, group and cloud mining. The first assumes that the user uses the computing power of his own equipment only. In group mining, users are united into groups (pools) to increase the overall hash rate. Cloud mining allows you to do without buying equipment at all.

Mining cryptocurrency solo

Solo mining of cryptocurrency is chosen for the large amounts of remuneration for each individual miner and the absence of a commission that would have to be paid when working in the pool. But there is also a very serious disadvantage – when choosing what you can mine on, you will have to buy an ASIC. That is, an expensive, usually no less than $ 2,000-3,000, but a powerful device specially designed to obtain digital assets. 

The process of starting the mining of cryptocurrency in the “solo” mode can be represented in the form of the following algorithm:

  • Choose a cryptocurrency, download a suitable cryptocurrency wallet from the official website of the coin. 
  • Configure it by creating a configuration file and registering login, password, IP and port in it. 
  • Download an application suitable for mining – for example, BFGMiner.
  • Make changes to the bat-file of the miner program – the text depends on the selected cryptocurrency and the data that was previously entered into the wallet configuration file. 
  • Save the bat file and launch the wallet, after which the mining process should begin. 

The more powerful the equipment, the faster the cryptocurrency will be mined. Therefore, solo mining on a regular PC, even with a top-end video card (or even two), will not work. The ROI will be low and the list of eligible coins will be limited. And a novice miner should choose other options – mining in a pool or cloud services. 

Group mining 

Mining cryptocurrency in a pool is an excellent answer to the question of how to start mining on your home computer, without buying or assembling a powerful farm (or at least a rig). Miners will unite into groups, and the reward for the found block is divided among all participants. Therefore, even the owner of not very productive equipment can count on a small share. 

For mining in the pool, you can use a PC with a modern video card, the amount of video memory of which is at least 4-6 GB GDDR5, even better – 8 GB or more. If the equipment is assembled independently and specifically for the extraction of cryptocurrency , you can buy a motherboard with support for 6, 8 or even 12 graphics cards – for example, ASUS Prime H270-PLUS. 

To connect video cards, you will need risers, and for the device to work, you will have to buy an SSD drive of at least 120–160 GB and a modern, but not necessarily efficient processor. All this is collected in a separate building. 

The mining algorithm in the pool is as follows: 

  • Start a cryptocurrency wallet on a crypto exchange such as Binance or Bittrex. 
  • Choose a suitable pool. You should be guided by ping (at least 100 ms), total hash rate (the more, the better) and the minimum payout threshold. 
  • Download the program for mining, choosing it by the type of coin and the brand of the video card. For Ether and Nvidia cards, the GMiner utility is suitable.
  • Put the equipment into operation and start mining.

Additional configuration will help to increase the efficiency of the assembled rig or computer with a powerful video card . To do this, you can use the MSI Afterburner utility or similar software.

Cloud mining 

Having figured out how mining works, you can try another method that is available to almost everyone and has a minimum entry threshold. The advantages of the technique are that there is no need to buy expensive equipment, adjust it and tolerate high noise levels. 

All that is needed for mining in the “cloud” is a regular PC, even without discrete graphics, and instructions:

  • Find the best coin and cloud service for mining. 
  • Select the calculation algorithm and power. 
  • Choose the rental period – on average, about 1 year. 
  • Pay rent and commission. 
  • Periodically check the receipt of mining charges. 
  • After the end of the contract, decide whether to switch to another service and tariff or stay on these. 

The disadvantage of cloud mining of cryptocurrencies is the inability to independently control the process and the ability to face fraudsters. Therefore, a beginner and even an experienced miner should carefully select services. And in 2021, among the best options, you can find the following sites :

  • Shamining, for mining BTC; 
  • ECOS, for Bitcoin mining; 
  • BeMine – for mining Bitcoin, Zcash and Ethereum; 
  • Genesis Mining, for mining a variety of cryptocurrencies, from Bitcoin and Dash to Zcash and Litecoin. 

The duration of an average contract is 1 year. Almost all cloud services have such offers. But you can find rental options for 180 days (ECOS), and for 2 years (Genesis Mining), and for 8 months (BeMine). But it is worth considering – the longer the contract, the more the miner will have to invest. 


Summing up, it can be noted that for a beginner miner there are several ways to make money from scratch – how to mine cryptocurrency on your computer or work in a pool. Or even mine coins in the “cloud”, dispensing with the purchase and configuration of equipment. 

Each method has its own characteristics, and the average payback period in 2021 is within 6-24 months.