Bitcoin mining software lets you use computer hardware to help administer the blockchain technology that runs Bitcoin (BTC). As a reward, you can earn newly created Bitcoins.
Most Bitcoin mining software is free, and runs on all of the leading operating systems. Computer hardware—commonly known as mining rigs—can be as simple as a cloud computing option or as complicated as a highly customized system costing thousands of dollars.
The Best Bitcoin Mining Software of 2022
Developed in 2011, CGMiner is one of the oldest Bitcoin mining software programs—and today it also lets you mine other cryptocurrencies, like Dogecoin and Litecoin. This highly flexible, open-source platform helps you scale up your mining operations rapidly, as it works with a variety of hardware options.
CGMiner runs on a command-line interface, rather than a graphical interface. That means the platform has a steeper learning curve than some other mining platforms, but CGMiner remains the go-to choice for experienced users who deploy a variety of different platforms and devices.
With CGMiner you can easily manage mining rigs remotely, via keyboard commands, allowing you to adjust settings on devices such as fan speeds for cooling.
CGMiner runs on Windows, Mac or Linux. It’s compatible with various types of mining hardware, including application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and graphic processing systems (GPUs). The latest version, however, is only for ASIC hardware.
BEST FOR CENTRALIZED HARDWARE MANAGEMENT
If you plan on growing your mining operation by using a mix of different hardware, Awesome Miner will let you do so in one convenient location. You can even track your mining performance while away from your main computer.
The Awesome Miner interface manages all your mining activity in one program, allowing you to manage multiple mining engines and control mining pools in the same place. In addition, it can manage several different types of mining hardware rigs.
Through the dashboard, you can track information like your mining hash rate, fan speeds, the temperature of your devices and earnings.
Awesome Miner runs on Windows and Linux, and it also offers a cloud-based web version that can be accessed via a browser on any internet-connected device.
BEST FOR FAST, SECURE SETUP
If you’re in a hurry to start mining Bitcoin and don’t want to figure out a complicated program, EasyMiner might be the right fit.
The EasyMiner dashboard provides graphical representations of your crypto mining workflows, making it simple to switch mining pools, change your network settings and check your crypto wallets.
It’s also an incredibly secure system. EasyMiner makes all your mining activity private while protecting your mined Bitcoins from being stolen.
When you set up the software, it immediately begins mining cryptocurrency for you. The tradeoff for this ease of use is that this program is mainly for less powerful central processing unit (CPU) and GPU mining capabilities.
You aren’t limited to just Bitcoin mining on EasyMiner. You can also mine for Litecoin and other cryptocurrencies.
BEST FOR OPTIMIZING MINING PROFITABILITY
As market conditions change, so does the most profitable cryptocurrency to mine. Kryptex Miner, a Windows app, pays users for their computer powers.
The program is meant to run in the background and automatically switch your equipment to mine the coins that will earn you the highest profit. It even offers a “lite mode” for when you want to use your computer for other things, like using the internet or playing games.
Users with gaming PCs can earn around $95 per month, while those with more expensive, powerful mining rigs can expect a richer payout.
Your mining work is paid in Bitcoin or other payout options, ranging from Amazon eGift Cards to Visa/Mastercards denominated in fiat currencies.
Be warned, payment comes with a few strings attached. For example, if you’re receiving your remuneration in Bitcoin, there is a 0.00005 BTC fee, roughly $1.50, with a minimum payout of 0.00025 BTC, which is about $7.34.
BEST FOR CLOUD-BASED MINING
ECOS offers as simple an experience as you can get for mining Bitcoin. It’s a cloud-based program that works online, so you don’t need to buy actual cryptocurrency mining equipment to run ECOS. Instead, you pay upfront for a mining contract, and through that, you lease Bitcoin mining equipment and electricity through ECOS.
At the start of the contract, you pick what you forecast the price of Bitcoin will be over time, the duration of the mining contract, and the total hash power from your mining, based on how much you want to spend. The site will then estimate a profit, but the actual results will depend on the price of Bitcoin as you mine.
When you buy a cloud mining contract, you pay a fixed amount of money to use ECOS devices for mining. While your long-term profit margins could be lower than if you invested in your own equipment, it’s hard to beat ECOS as an easy mining solution.
What Is Bitcoin Mining?
Bitcoin mining is the proof of work consensus mechanism that creates new Bitcoins.
Like many other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is based on blockchain technology. This is a distributed ledger that tracks all past transactions, a decentralized system that’s not controlled by a centralized authority.
To record transactions and encode them on the blockchain, Bitcoin miners use their computers to solve complex math equations in order to earn the right to add new blocks to the blockchain.
It takes an ever increasing amount of computing power to obtain the solution to these equations, known as a hash. Miners deploy computers, sometimes referred to as mining rigs, to solve the next hash. In exchange for their work, successful miners receives payment in the form of newly created Bitcoins.
As of 2022, a successful miner receives 6.25 BTC, or about $183,000 at current prices, for solving a hash. The Bitcoin payout rate decreases over time, dropping in half roughly every four years.
How To Mine Bitcoin
To mine Bitcoin, you first need software like the programs described above to solve mathematical problems.
The programs require powerful computing hardware to solve complicated equations. In the early days of cryptocurrency, it was possible to use the standard CPUs found in regular home computers.
Today, miners install more powerful systems based on GPUs to build mining rigs. They also set up standalone ASIC-based rigs for the sole purpose of mining Bitcoin.
Expect to invest considerable amounts in electricity and hardware to successfully mine bitcoin. The rigs need to run 24-7 in order to earn more value in Bitcoin than you spend on resources.
A rig with three GPUs consumes as much energy as a medium-sized window AC unit. You also need to spend on fans to cool your systems so they don’t overheat and break down.
If you don’t want to buy the equipment yourself, you could lease it and Bitcoin mine through a cloud system.
Another way to combine resources is by joining a mining pool. It’s when you share your systems with other miners through your mining software. If one person in your pool succeeds at completing the hash, you split the value of the Bitcoin. This increases your chances of solving a hash (which is quite rare).
How To Pick The Best Bitcoin Mining Software
Beginners may prefer cloud-based software that doesn’t require mining equipment and programs designed for more basic CPU and GPU mining.
They may also prefer software that features low withdrawal requirements, since it could take a long time to mine enough Bitcoin to make it worth using mining software with high limits.
More sophisticated miners with more powerful systems may prefer customizable programs to utilize a wide variety of mining equipment, mining pools and more ways to tailor their mining rigs.