A week ago I decided to get back into crypto after discovering Earn and their partnership with Coinbase. In a very short time after, a whole new world opened up to me and what started off as me trying to get free crypto money ended up being an experiment into setting up cloud mining rigs.
In this Article I’m going through every step on how I got started with Coinbase+Earn and I’ll continue to show my discoveries on CPU and GPU mining methods to answer a question a lot of people are searching for…
Is CPU or GPU mining still profitable in 2019 and coming into 2020?
Spoiler: It isn’t…
This article starts off really easy to follow, then it will get a little techy towards the end. I’ll give you drop off points throughout the article itself.
Just a warning, this article is long and full of resources, you might want to bookmark this one into your Crypto Folder and come back later… It’s also aimed at Australian’s but anyone can follow along.
What you walk away with at the end of this article:
- A verified Coinbase wallet with some funds to play (free money!)
- Some experience in mining for XMR Monero using Windows
- Experience in setting up Ubuntu and mining XMR Monero with CPU
- Experience in setting up Ubuntu and mining XMR Monero with GPU
- Know a reputable Australian Bitcoin Wallet & Exchange
- Using Crypto Trackers, Pools & Calculators
- No fraud methods here buddy, you’ll need to verify your ID with a driver’s license inside Coinbase. All reputable traders will actually do this.
- If you wish to deposit funds, then your details in Coinbase must match the Bank Account details: Mainly the name is important. It’s a security method, be grateful it exists.
- If you continue to learn the basics on mining, you need to know how to use Windows as a bare minimum.
- If you go further into CPU Mining on a VPS you need to be familiar with a console and using Putty.
- Obviously if you’ve gone this far then you’re keen on GPU mining, you need to know about installing drivers via console.
Let’s get started!
Getting Your Coinbase Wallet
The deeper you dig into online wallets, the more you’re going to be confused. Crypto is decentralized so you will have a few wallets over your time, so choose the ones that fit your needs.
For this article… Welcome to Coinbase!
I use Coinbase wallets because I got sucked in with the earn feature I’m explaining right now, but It’s actually not that bad. When we’re done here, you should have at least $30+ AUD in your wallet for playing around.
Get A Verified Account
First things first, you need a Coinbase account. Just visit coinbase.com and sign up.
You will need to verify your account with your ID. They do take Australian ID’s and you should be verified within minutes if there are no issues.
You don’t need to add a payment in until you want to buy some crypto. At the time of this article Coinbase doesn’t allow selling in Bitcoin in Australia, but you’re allowed to buy if you choose.
Click Earn Referrals
Because of the high demand for free money, Coinbase are only taking referrals for some of the courses.
Once you’re account is verified, click the referrals below.
Learn about EOS Crypto: https://coinbase.com/earn/eos/invite/25vsgh9t
Learn about XLM Crypto: https://coinbase.com/earn/xlm/invite/56mp180n
At the time of this article DAI and BAT are also paying for quiz answers (no referral needed).
Zcash and 0x are no longer paying. Apparently there are more earn courses coming and everyone will be notified when more are released.
Once you’ve gone through all the non technical courses your account should hold over $30 AUD worth of currency. If you also do the techy tasks you can end up with over $70 USD worth.
Play around with different currencies and apps within the wallet if you choose. Common currencies that website take for services are: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash & Ethereum. You see the markets on blockchair.
After you have made some crypto, you’re free to transfer them into other coins using the Coinbase app.
That’s it! You should have made somewhere between $30 — $70 worth of bitcoin in Australian Dollars. You’re free to leave the article here if you don’t want to know about mining.
If you’re hooked in the earning crypto game now, then don’t bother filtering through Airdrops and Bounties, go straight for something that works!
Check out Cointiply, a legitimate platform that actually pays out in Bitcoin and allows you to earn via games, ads, videos and surveys.
If you don’t want to hold a Coinbase wallet and prefer to use a business in Australia, I recommend using Coinspot. If you really want to invest in Bitcoin then you’ll need a much higher limit.
Another Australian website used is Living room of Satoshi where you can actually pay Bpay bills or transfer to an Australian bank account.
Getting Into Mining Using CPU
Now you’ve used Coinbase and tracked some pricing, it’s time to see how mining works.
Ok, I’m going to keep this really simple so you don’t need to be that techy to follow along, and if you are techy then feel free to add or correct information in the comments below.
There are two approaches for mining: solo and pools. If you’re solo mining, you will have a bad time and will require a lot of power/money to run the rigs. Pool mining is joining a group and sharing the transaction to mine faster.
We are going to use a pool called Minergate.
Click the referral link (https://minergate.com/a/5bfbbb3261279632ad77c391) and sign up, it’s completely free and we get loyalty points or something.
The server is running between 800 Hashes per second to 1000 Hashes per second. Which is nothing compared to the top miner running 368,447 Hashes per second.
Next section I’ll show you how you can get started with just a Windows machine.
Show Me How CPU Mining Works In Windows 10
If you just want to see how the pool works and how powerful your computer is, then just install the Windows Desktop Application GUI from Minergate.
Note: All miners register as viruses or malware. Norton will block this every time. Just turn off your firewall until you restart next if you are playing around, otherwise you can run it on an old laptop.
Follow through the install wizard and install the program.
Open the application, click on the Extended Mode button and add your username and password.
Once you’re logged in, you can click on the Miners tab and select your CPU threads and click start. Just mine XMR (Monero) for now, it’s the second most profitable coin at the time of this article.
That’s it to see how it works.
My i7 CPU can clock about 170 Hashes per second, and if you have a gaming computer with GPU processing power then minergate will detect that and you’ll get a really high hashrate.
My Lenovo laptop with 2 cores can only hit a max of 20 hashes per second.
If you’re doing this from home, don’t use a cheap laptop, use a decent desktop computer.
Let’s Mine XMR Monero With Windows VPS
This is the most common approach and the most common tutorial on Youtube for this, so I filtered the videos and choose the one that is easy to follow.
Start here https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/free/ to get your account.
Go through on how to deploy a Windows Virtual Machine and load the program as you would on your own windows machine. This is no different to installing it on your own computer but with a VPS
Update 19th August 2019: I had a call from Microsoft Azure with someone explaining that mining crypto is against their terms of services. My overall opinion to pay for the service would be too expensive, you can use linux and gain a better result.
Once you’re done you just need to download the Windows version of minergate, select the cores to run around 80% of your CPU.
Warning: If you run 100% the server will most likely auto shutdown and you’ll be using all the systems resources, most likely flagging some critical overheating issues.
That’s it for deploying a Windows 10 VPS and running a miner on it.
If you find any cheap windows VPS accounts that allow mining, please add it into the comments se we can all benefit from your discovery.
If you wanted to just know a little bit about mining and not interested in knowing about installing miners on linux servers then you can drop off here.
Thanks for reading!
Mining On A Paid Linux VPS
If you want to mine continuously, deploying a windows VPS is not profitable. You’ll be much better off trying to find a linux VPS with Ubuntu 16.04 or higher. I’ve managed to test this out using a VPS on $40 per month with v6 Cores.
Spoiler: I ended up getting an average of 150 Hashes per second. Not profitable on it’s own.
There is a little trick that works for installing minergate-cli in Ubuntu, but if you know what you’re doing then go ahead and install the dependencies at the start.
You’ll need to wget the minergate-cli to pull download it to your own server.
Downloads the file
Unpacks the file and will return an error saying this and that isn’t installed
$ sudo dpkg -i xfast-ubuntu-cli
Fix the errors from previous install attempt
$ apt-get install -f
Unpack the file and installs
$ sudo dpkg -i xfast-ubuntu-cli
To run the miner you need to run a command that looks like this
$ minergate-cli —-user email@example.com —-xmr 4
Replace firstname.lastname@example.org with your own minergate email address.
I’m running 4 threads on a 6 thread server. The reason I’m doing this is you can’t run VPS at maximum speed all the time, you’ll need to sit just under the “critical usage” barrier to avoid the server being shut down.
Running 4 threads should bring around 150 H/s.
At the time of this article that hash rate would bring $0.47 USD per week in XMR coins, not really going to cover my $40 per month.
Note: I did try to run 1 core on a 1 core server but it maxed out straight away and the server reached critical warnings within minutes. So if you’re looking to buy a $2 server and run it in the background, don’t bother.
It was a fun experiment to play around with mining software, but at this stage I felt there could be more. I wanted to know how these people were getting thousands of hashes per second. So I did a couple of Google Searches and it looks like people mining ethereum are using GPU rigs with AMD or Nvidia GPU’s.
Mining XMR Monero with GPU & CPU Rig
I think if you’re scrolling down this far in the article, you’ll probably want to know some specs.
- CPU — 1 x Intel Xeon E5–2630L Hex Core 2.00 Ghz 15 Mb Cache
- RAID 1–2 x SATA 500 GB
- OS — Ubuntu 16.04
- RAM — 16 GB
- GPU — NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPU 2560 CUDA Cores
- Port Speed — 300 Mps
This did take me a few days to get working, but I guarantee that the GTX 1080 GPU will bring around 500 hashes per second on it’s own. The Xeon E5 will bring close to 180 Hashes per second.
I shopped around for anyone that would lease out GPU rigs but everyone was super expensive. I’m looking at $500 — $1000 a month for a mining rig, that’s nowhere near profitable and I’m thinking a lot of companies are simply taking advantage of a booming industry and by doing this it’s holding it back.
I did find a place called Primacast https://www.primcast.com/dedicated/gpu/ that offer dedicated GPU mining rigs, and I managed to get the rig above for $130 USD for the month. Seemed like a good deal considering some pricing I’ve seen, but still not a profitable exercise, I wouldn’t be able to mine more than $15 USD worth of coins in 30 days on 1000 hashes per second.
Just for the sake of the article and recording what I’ve done, let’s do it anyway…
Install Nvidia Drivers
$ sudo apt-get update
$ apt search nvidia-driver
$ apt-cache search nvidia-driver
$ sudo apt install nvidia-driver-390
$ sudo reboot
Install Cuda Toolkit
You’ll need to wget the file onto your server.
$ wget https://developer.download.nvidia.com/compute/cuda/repos/ubuntu1604/x86_64/cuda-ubuntu1604.pin$ sudo mv cuda-ubuntu1604.pin /etc/apt/preferences.d/cuda-repository-pin-600$ wget http://developer.download.nvidia.com/compute/cuda/10.1/Prod/local_installers/cuda-repo-ubuntu1604-10-1-local-10.1.243-418.87.00_1.0-1_amd64.deb$ sudo dpkg -i cuda-repo-ubuntu1604–10–1-local-10.1.243–418.87.00_1.0–1_amd64.deb$ sudo apt-key add /var/cuda-repo-10–1-local-10.1.243–418.87.00/7fa2af80.pub$ sudo apt-get update$ sudo apt-get -y install cuda
You should have installed Cuda Toolkit successfully
Now we’re not going to install the miergate-cli rig because that doesn’t seem to work with GPU processing or Nvidia cards. Apparently you can compile an older version of minergate-cli that works with Nvidia cards, but I didn’t even bother going down this path. Instead I installed XMR-Stak.
Installing XMR-Stak On Ubuntu
$ sudo apt install libmicrohttpd-dev libssl-dev cmake build-essential libhwloc-dev$ git clone https://github.com/fireice-uk/xmr-stak.git$ mkdir xmr-stak/build$ cd xmr-stak/build$ cmake .. -DOpenCL_ENABLE=FALSE$ cd xmr-stak/build$ make install
This should lead you to successfully install XMR-Stak on Ubuntu Server.
I did receive an error when trying to cmake .. and XMR-Stak actually tells you the error.
Once everything compiles and you’re install has worked, you can run the program to set it up.
$ cd xmr-stak/build/bin$ ./xmr-stak
When you run the application for the first time, you’ll be asked to set it up. It is really easy, but make sure you get the information correct.
- Currency: ‘monero’ or ‘aeon’Monero- Pool address: e.g. pool.usxmrpool.com:3333
MONERO_POOL_ADDRESS_HERE # Check you Minergate pool address https://minergate.com/altminers/xmr-stak- Username (wallet address or pool login):WALLET_ADDRESS_HERE # This is your Minergate Email address- Password (mostly empty or x):
X- Does this pool port support TLS/SSL? Use no if unknown. (y/N)
n- Do you want to use nicehash on this pool? (y/n)
n- Do you want to use multiple pools? (y/n)
Minergate actually give you the pool address here https://minergate.com/altminers/xmr-stak
Press CTRL-C to stop the miner and add in the following lines into the console to use CPU and GPU at the same time.
$ sudo sysctl -w vm.nr_hugepages=128
$ sudo echo “* soft memlock 262144” >> /etc/security/limits.conf
$ sudo echo “* hard memlocl 262144” >> /etc/security/limits.conf
Reboot your server.
$ sudo reboot
Once you’re back in, login via root and use your password.
Now enter the code below to run your mining rig.
$ cd xmr-stak/build/bin$ ./xmr-stak
After this, your GPU & CPU will start mining.
Don’t worry if you’re hashes are hitting 700 straight away, the machine needs to build up power.
That’s it. If you followed the entire tutorial, you should have free crypto and probably running 3 servers mining Monero currency.
Although I’ve been using Ubuntu for some time and could wing it for CPU mining on Ubuntu, I had no idea how to set up GPU mining. I had to filter through a lot of crap to get the correct information. In case people get stuck, I’ve included my information sources below for backtracking.
Monero Mining Setup — https://www.monero.how/how-to-mine-monero-with-gpu#ubuntu
Install Nvidia Drivers in ubuntu with CLI — https://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/ubuntu-linux-install-nvidia-driver-latest-proprietary-driver/
Install Cuda + XMR-Stak with CLI — http://dadhacks.org/2018/01/21/setting-up-a-mining-system-with-xmr-stak-built-from-source-and-ubuntu-16-04/
Did You Like This?
If you found this article useful, feel free to send me a tip using XMR coins you’ve mined already.
Please feel free to send a few cents to test out how crypto sending works, just go into your wallet and click send, scan the QR code and confirm the transaction.
Monitor how long it takes for a transaction to go through.
If you have any questions and want a response, you’re free to access me via my Earn.com account.
Contact Nick Cavarretta for $20
Email Nick Cavarretta directly for $20. Pay only if you get a response.
Good Luck with your mining !
Also thanks in advance for clicking on my referrals.
Update: 31st August 2019
I have written an article on my full two week crypto journey. You can read the complete story on Steem Network.