Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is Bitcoin Mining Software?
Bitcoin mining software is essentially what makes Bitcoin work. By tracking and securing transactions known as blockchains, users are able to earn bitcoins rather than having to pay for them with actual currency.
Bitcoin mining software can only be used by specialized hardware that is powerful enough to run the complex calculations required to create new secure blocks. The software connects to the hardware to either mine bitcoins directly or, more often, to a mining pool where multiple users share their hardware’s power and earn shares of bitcoins.
How Long Does It Take to Mine One Bitcoin?
In general, it takes about 10 minutes to mine one bitcoin. However, this assumes an ideal hardware and software setup which few users can afford. A more reasonable estimate for most users who have large setups is 30 days to mine a single bitcoin.
Can You Mine Bitcoin for Free?
Although bitcoin mining software is free, there are tremendous costs involved in both hardware and electricity costs. The specialized mining hardware can cost between a few hundred dollars to $10,000.
Mining equipment is also very power-hungry. Depending on the cost of electricity in a miner’s area, it could potentially cost $73,000 to process one bitcoin in a month’s time. One way to reduce this cost is to join a mining pool that harnesses the computational power of hardware owned by multiple miners. The drawback is that each miner only receives a small portion of each mined bitcoin.
How We Chose the Best Bitcoin Mining Software
We looked at close to a dozen bitcoin mining software for this review. At the top of our list was the oldest and most widely used software, which we analyzed for features and ease of use.
Next, we differentiated between the best mining software for novices and those for advanced power users. Mostly this broke down into the type of interface (command-line versus GUI) and ability to either automate or customize mining features.
Finally, we looked for software that could be used on as many platforms as possible and that was compatible with the widest array of mining rigs to give users the most flexibility in their mining operations.