Bitcoin (BTC) mining is a wildly popular way to earn an extra buck that keeps on gaining popularity. To many the whole process of mining might look very complicated, which it – in the core of the process – indeed is. However, nowadays it’s very simple to get started with your own bitcoin mining operation thanks to the latest ASIC miners.
ASIC vs GPU
Since the birth of Bitcoin and its blockchain, many things have changed. The changes in the Bitcoin-protocol affected bitcoin mining as well. However, as the sector keeps on growing and the value of bitcoin rising, mining manufacturers are constantly trying to improve the chips inside mining rigs to make mining operations faster and more efficient. Want to know more about how bitcoin mining developed in the past? Read our blog article “An introduction to the history of bitcoin (BTC) mining”.
While people in the beginning mined with CPU’s, they quickly realized that mining with GPU, or graphics cards, was way faster. Soon a new kid on the block revolutionized bitcoin mining once again: the ASIC miner. ASIC stands for “Application-Specific Integrated Circuit”, which basically means that this type of chip is very good at a very specific task, in this case mining bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
The fact that they are good at just one task makes them in a sense simple machines as they are developed from the ground up to do just that one thing: mining bitcoin. This simplicity means that they are not only simple to operate, setting them up is just as easy!
Installing an Antminer S9
To demonstrate the ease of installing we will use the Antminer S9, made by Bitmain, as an example. This miner was launched already back in 2016 but remains one of the most popular miners on the market today. It can produce a hashrate of 14,5 TH/s with a consumption of 1.350 watts. The Antminer S9 can mine more than bitcoin. Here is a list of the cryptocurrencies you can mine with this ASIC miner: Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV), DGB-SHA (DGB), Litecoin Cash (LCC), Nicehash-SHA en Peercoin (PPC).
The image above shows the Antminer S9 with its ports and buttons. As you can see there’s only a couple of them, already providing a glimpse of the simplicity of these machines. For the installation of the machine the “IP Report” button and the ethernet port are important. To get started you need to connect the PCI-e power connectors of the power supply which are included in the package. This will connect the machine to the power grid so it can get electricity.
Now, connect the internet cable and turn on the Antminer S9. Right now the machine is already ready to start mining. However, you will have to link the machine so you can actually use it. For that you will need “IP Reporter.exe”, a very simple piece of software which you can find on the website of Bitmain.
Once you start the software, you press the IP Report button on the machine until you hear a beeping sound. On your computer, inside the IP Reporter program, you will see an IP-address which you have to copy and paste in your internet browser. After this you will see the interface in your web browser which lets you do the basic setup such as connecting it to a mining pool. Now you are good to go. It’s that simple!