The popularity of Bitcoin (BTC) and the profitability of mining Bitcoin have caused hackers and scammers to device new strategies to steal the coin. One of the methods is using Bitcoin mining software by duping users into thinking they are using genuine software; the Bitcoin miner invests in high-end mining equipment and pays for the overhead bills, but the rewards are diverted.
What is a Bitcoin mining software?
Bitcoin mining comprises of three crucial ingredients; a Bitcoin client, the mining hardware, and the mining software. The client connects to the Bitcoin network, the mining hardware does the actual mining, and the mining software connects the hardware to the client.
Generally, the importance of a Bitcoin mining software can also be seen as a messenger that delivers a mining equipment’s power to the rest of the Bitcoin network. For a solo miner, the mining software interfaces the BTC miner to the BTC network. For BTC pool mining, the software connects an individual BTC miner to the pool, and the pool delivers the computing power to the Bitcoin blockchain.
The reason Bitcoin cloud mining doesn’t need a mining software is because a company operates the mining hardware, and “miners” rent it. However, whether solo mining or in a mining pool, the software will require a Bitcoin wallet where it will store mined coins.
Bitcoin (BTC) wallets
Most wallets support BTC. Wallets are divided into either hardware/cold or software/hot categories. Cold wallets do not need to be online for access, while hot wallets have to be connected to the Internet for access. Examples of hardware wallets include the Ledger Nano X, Nano Ledger S, and Trezor T.
Hot BTC wallets are further subdivided into web, mobile, and desktop wallets. Examples of hot BTC wallets are Electrum (desktop) and ZenGo (mobile). Note that mining software can operate with any type of Bitcoin wallet. However, the software must match with the platform it’s being used on. But, with so many free and paid software, which one is the best?
What is the best Bitcoin mining software?
The value of BTC has caused malicious actors sleepless nights trying to design and offer the software to help mine BTC. Unfortunately, while it does the intended work, the actor takes home the rewards instead of the miner. More alarming is that hoax software can be offered either as free or as paid versions.
The first step for choosing the best BTC mining software is deciding whether it’s best for Windows, Mac, or Linux operating systems.
Best Bitcoin mining software for Windows
This software has a graphical user interface that is clean and easy to use. EasyMiner is compatible with all cryptocurrency wallets and can be used to mine BTC, Litecoin (LTC), and a host of other cryptocurrencies provided they support ASIC mining.
EasyMiner has a “Moneymaker” option that automatically hooks a miner to mine Litecoin on the Stratum pool. However, it has the “Solo” option that allows users to mine BTC or any other cryptocurrency of their choice.
Awesome Miner accommodates SHA-256, X11, Scrypt, and other mining algorithms used by Zcash, among others. One key advantage of Awesome Miner is that it’s ideal for managing multiple BTC mining rigs even if the rigs support different types of miners. For example, one rig may be made of Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) while the other can be running Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGAs).
Also, the software gives users the freedom to create and launch precisely-tailored actions using its built-in C#-powered scripting engine. To ease monitoring and access, Awesome Miner has a web-based front end. Its dashboard provides real-time access to vital information such as rig temperature and hash rate.
Developed by Satoshi Labs, Braiins OS+ is compatible with Windows. Its free nature is meant to entice users to join Slush, a Satoshi Labs-controlled miner of , Slush. However, that’s just an option, and a user can choose to join any other BTC mining pool.
One set back though, is that it currently interacts with a select few miners such as the Antminer S9i, Antminer SS9j, and the Antminer S9 with support for Antminer T17, and Antminer S17 to be added later. Those running these types of miners enjoy increased efficiency and a higher lifespan for their devices. For example, when an Antminer S9 is interfaced with Braiins OS+, it can perform 20 times better on low power than S9i, which is a newer version.
Best Bitcoin mining software for Linux
While not purely for use on Linux, MultiMiner is the best software for newcomers in the BTC mining industry. It’s easy to use and has a graphical user interface. The software supports both ASICs and FPGAs and facilitates switching between the two in case it’s connected to rigs running different types of mining hardware. Also, apart from BTC, MultiMiner allows users to choose the cryptocurrency they want to mine.
Other compatible operating systems are Windows and Mac OS X.
Developed by miners, the software is meant to make the BTC mining experience less stressful for Linux users. Among its strongest trait is the ability to monitor a rig actively, automatically recording its performance, and restarting it when it encounters an error.
Additionally, it allows for remote operations through a mobile application. Hashr8 automatically sends rig updates on the mobile app, making it suitable for users on the go.
This is probably the most used BTC mining operating system. It’s an open source software coded using the C programming language and is compatible with Linux, Mac, and Windows. CGMiner can detect new blocks, allow the rig to be monitored remotely, allow the hash rate to be increased instantly, and enable the control of the fan speed. The software can be used with ASICs, GPUs, and FPGAs. Also, it can be used for CPU mining.
BitMinter is another open source multi-platform Bitcoin mining software with a graphical user interface. It can be used with Linux, Windows, and Mac operating systems. BitMinter is compatible with FPGAs, ASICs, and GPUs.
Written in C programming language, BFGMiner supports ASIC and FPGA miners. Due to its many features and functionalities, the software is not ideal for novice BTC miners. The software allows dynamic clocking, remote control, and monitoring. Using its watchdog feature, BFGMiner can restart idle services without affecting the performance of the miner in case the services don’t respond.
The information displayed by BFGMiner include, but not limited to, hardware errors, accepts, utility, efficiency, and speed of the rigs’ fan. The software allows fan speed control, overclocking, and among other features.
Best Bitcoin mining software for Mac OS X
Hive OS supports cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, among others. Its dashboard is feature-rich, allowing an efficient and centralized control of GPU and ASIC devices. Hive OS can be used to control single or multiple mining rigs. To make it easier and time-saving, the mining software automatically detects and adds rigs to the dashboard.
With Hive OS, miners can track their rigs’ hash rate, electricity consumption, hardware errors, online status, among other metrics. Apart from the desktop version, the software has a mobile app to enable rig monitoring on the go. Hive OS supports AMD and Nvidia cards for GPU mining and Antminer miners for ASIC mining.
It supports GPU mining and uses the OpenCL framework allowing it to be interfaced with multiple mining pools. One major feature that sets it apart from other GPU Bitcoin miners is the ability to switch between pools when it encounters connectivity issues and actively monitoring the status of the problem every hour.
RPC supports GPU Bitcoin mining and is suitable for beginners.
Factors to consider when looking for a good Bitcoin mining software
Ease of use
A Bitcoin mining software can be suitable for either beginners, experienced miners, or both depending on its complexity. For beginners and slightly more experienced miners, one that has a graphical user interface is best for mining compared to those strictly supporting command-line interaction.
If it’s easy to use, can its settings be tweaked or optimized? User optimizations can help improve the performance of the mining hardware.
Apart from profits, the security of mining software is the next thing a miner should never take their eyes off. The security can be enhanced by using an open-source software or one that allows rewards to be deposited directly into a chosen wallet for solo miners. Also, BTC mining software MUST be downloaded from its official website.
Does the software allow overclocking of the hardware’s hash rate? Can the software support a good miner? Does it have a limit on the device’s hash rate? Some of the software is known to have a cap on the hash rate allowed.
BTC mining software is available as either free, paid, or subscription-based, where a user pays a monthly fee for the license.
Frequently asked questions on BTC mining
How long will it take to mine 1 Bitcoin?
It depends on the equipment used and the computational power dedicated to finding a new block. On average, it can take 10 minutes to find a new block and be rewarded. Currently, a BTC miner takes home 6.25 Bitcoins for every new block found.
Can I mine Bitcoin on my PC?
In the earlier days of BTC, anyone with a personal computer or even a simple graphics card was able to run and profit from the venture. But, as the coin rose in value, miners reduced the possibility of finding a new BTC block with minimal computing power due to an increase in hash rate. This led to the development of specialized equipment called ASICs and FPGAs. Without these, finding a new block on the Bitcoin blockchain is likely to take years if it ever happens.
Can you mine Bitcoin on a phone?
The current BTC mining difficulty doesn’t allow the coin to be mined using a mobile phone.
After using a Bitcoin mining software to connect your mining rig with the BTC blockchain, it’s better to use a virtual private network (VPN) to help increase the security of your minted Bitcoins.
When the rewards start coming, a miner may need to liquidate some coins to settle electricity, the internet, and other bills. The best places to buy or sell Bitcoin is on leading cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance, Coinbase, or Gemini.