In the last article, I showed you all the hardware that is needed to build your very own Bitcon miner. I didn’t really dive into any explanation on how to actually start mining for Bitcoins. So today, I am going to give you step-by-step instructions on how to set up your Bitcoin mining software.
Before you can receive any Bitcoins from mining, you need to set up a Bitcoin wallet. There are many wallets to choose from but I prefer Coinbase. The reason I recommend Coinbase is because they have a very user friendly interface and have a lot of venture money backing them. They are known as the Paypal of Bitcoins and I have to agree with that comparison. They even have a referral program, like Paypal, where you can earn $5 when signing up. Here is my referral link if you would like to take advantage of that offer.
Once you have your Bitcoin wallet ready to go, you need to create a Bitcoin wallet address. This is a long string of numbers and letters that allows someone to send Bitcoins to your wallet. We need to input this address into are mining pool so that we can get paid for the mining that we will do.
Joining a mining pool increases your odds of finding Bitcoins while mining. This is a network of miners that join together and combines their computing power to solve block chains. When a block is solved, the Bitcoins that are rewarded are split among the miners based off of their contribution to solving that block.
You can join as many mining pools as you like but I prefer BitMinter as my primary pool and Slush’s Pool as my secondary pool. You should always have at least one back up pool in the event that your primary pool goes down. Your Bitcoin mining software will automatically connect to your next available pool. This ensures that your mining rig is not left in standby when a pool goes offline.
Which ever pool you choose, you need to give that pool your Bitcoin wallet address that we created earlier. Most pools will have an “auto cash out” option that lets you enter your wallet address. The “auto cash out” option tells your pool to automatically send the Bitcoins that you’ve earned to your wallet whenever it reaches a certain threshold.
Next you need to create a worker for your mining pool. The worker’s username and password will be entered into your mining software (we will go over this further down). You do not need to have a secure worker username or password. If any one uses your worker’s username and password, they are giving YOU credit for the mining efforts that they do.
Bitcoin Mining Software
As mentioned in part 1 of this series, we will use MinePeon linux operating system to run our Raspberry Pi miner. Head over to Sourceforge to download the MinePeon image. While you are there, you will also need to download Win32DiskImager, this is used to write the MinePeon image on to your SD card. Once both files are downloaded, go ahead and insert your SD card into your computer, then open up Win32DiskImager.
Simply select the location on your drive where you downloaded the MinePeon image. Then select the correct drive that represents the SD card you inserted. (Make sure that the SD card has no information that you want to keep because this will erase everything!) Go ahead and click WRITE, this will write the MinePeon image onto the card, making it a bootable operating system for your Raspberry Pi miner.
Insert the SD card into your Raspberry Pi and power up the unit. We will now go over how to set up MinePeon operating system.
Setting Up MinePeon
After booting up your Raspberry Pi mining rig, you can log into it’s dashboard by using your computer’s browser. You need to first find the IP address of your Raspberry Pi. The easiest way to do this is to log into your router and look for the device named “MinePeon” this will give you the IP address that you need.
Type in that IP address into your browser and hit enter. You will be prompted to enter a username and password for MinePeon. The default credentials is “minepeon” for the username and “peon” for the password. After entering in this information, you will see a security warning. This is perfectly normal and just proceed anyways. You will then be prompted to re-enter that same username and password.
Once you have successfully logged in, you will finally see MinePeon’s user dashboard. This main status page allows you the monitor the performance of your mining rig. You want to immediately enter your mining pool’s worker information.
Head up top and click “Pools” to enter your worker information.
Mine those Bitcoins!
Great job everyone, you are now officially mining for Bitcoins! See, it wasn’t that difficult was it? The great thing about this Raspberry Pi Bitcoin miner is that it takes up very little space and can be left mining 24/7. Since it’s such a small unit, it really does not affect your energy consumption.
Hopefully this article has helped you set up your Bitcoin mining software!
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