How to Generate Bitcoins from Your Home Computer

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If you’ve heard about Bitcoin you probably also heard about Bitcoin mining. Bitcoin mining is the process of turning computing power into actual Bitcoins. It allows you to generate Bitcoins without the need to actually buy them.

Now a lot of people say that mining can’t be done on a home computer and that you need very expensive equipment in order to start mining, but that’s not entirely true.

Any computer can be used to mine Bitcoins, even the oldest and weakest laptop you have lying around at home. Actually not so long ago a successful experiment was made where a 55 year old IBM computer was used to mine Bitcoins.

But of course, whenever you start looking for guides on how to mine Bitcoins it’s always very technical with terms like “hash-rate” and “SHA-256” and all sorts of other weird terms. So you find yourself struggling with these terms until you finally just give up the notion of mining Bitcoins all together and just move on.

the good news is that you can mine bitcoins at home, using any computer you have laying around in a simple and easy process.

The only thing you’re going to need is a computer that is connected to the internet. Personally I suggest using a computer that isn’t being used for anything else since the mining process is very demanding and will slow your computer down substantially.

First, go to Bitminter.com. On the nav bar select “Join” and create an account. Make sure to remember your username as we will be using it in the following steps.

Then go to “tools”, “Bitminter client” and choose “latest update”. This will download a file to your computer that will allow it to start mining Bitcoins.

Once the file has finished downloading just run it and follow the simple installation instructions. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a Mac, Windows or Linux computer, the program will run smoothly on any operating system, you just need to make sure you have Java installed. If you don’t the program will ask you to install it once you run it.

Once the program is up click “Engine start”, enter your username and Voilà! you are now mining Bitcoins from your home computer.

A few important things before we conclude. Make sure to keep your computer cooled down using a fan or a dedicated cooling device. If you don’t your computer may overheat after a while and damage itself.

You’ll also notice that if you mine on your home computer you’re probably mining very slowly and won’t get enough Bitcoins to even cover the electricity cost of running the computer. For example  on my home computer I made 13 satoshis after one full day of mining.

If you want to calculate how many Bitcoins you can mine on your own computer just use a mining calculator and enter your processing speed. You can see your processing speed at the bottom right side of the Bitminter program.

If you want to increase your mining rate you can always attach dedicated bitcoin miners to your home computer. Today’s Bitcoin miners are known as ASIC miners , ASIC stands for Application Specific Integrated Circuit and it’s basically an ultra powerful computer designed just for mining Bitcoins. You can find many used miners on eBay or just buy a new one online.

To sum things up you can still mine bitcoins at home using any old computer. You probably won’t be very efficient but if you want to get a taste of what it means to be a Bitcoin miner, you can do so in just 2 minutes using the technique we just discussed.

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Ofir Beigel

Owner at 99 Coins ltd.
Blogger and owner of 99Bitcoins. I've been dealing with Bitcoin since the beginning of 2013 and it taught me a lesson in finance that I couldn't get anywhere else on the planet. I'm not a techie, I don't understand "Hashes" and "Protocols", I designed this website with people like myself in mind. My expertise is online marketing and I've dedicated a large portion of 99Bitcoins to Bitcoin marketing.

18 Comments

  1. I want to mine the bitcoins please tell me all requirements for mining either I can start with my home PC in starting please tell me……

  2. scala.runtime.NonLocalReturnControl$mcV$sp. that is the error the client is throwing when i clck engine start. just so you know i have litterally no experience in this stuff and i need someone to dummify EVERYTHING for me. ive watched tutorials but nothing comes up abou this. i followed the tutorials step for step. someone please help

  3. I get an error,”null……scala.runtime.NonLocalReturnControl$mcV$sp”. How can I solve it in order to start minning with the software?

  4. Well almost any computer but not this one. is there a alternative to Bitminter.com I can use? None of there files are working.

  5. I am new to this and very excited. I am still learning about how all this works and I am glad to read all of your post. thank you Ofir Beigel and your team for allowing me to be here.

  6. When I use the BitMinter Client download it gives me an error that says: NO DEVICES TO START! PLEASE CONNECT MINING HARDWARE TO USB PORT AND USE DEVICES MENU TO PROBE FOR THEM. Please help

    • Ofir Beigel on

      Hey John, I think you should take a look at the preference screen -> devices and then make sure it’s set to “probe all ports”. If it still doesn’t work I suggest post up a question on the support forum.

    • Ofir Beigel on

      Well it depends on the specifications. You can use the mining calculator mentioned in the post to figure it out according to your specific case.

  7. Ι think that people starting to learn about BTC are doing so in order to find an alternative way to earn money, not for academic education, nor for the experience.
    Instead of overheating his home pc (and not being efficient) and being unable to start doing what above comments describe to mine with equipment, there are lots and lots of sites that give away free btc in the net and others too that give away free mining ghs. One can earn as much as 100.000 satoshis daily from first and invest them in seconds. For a start.
    Then one must invest bigger if he wants to earn more, just as in conventional money.
    That’s what I discovered so far about BTC and also, it is important that if one all legal and legit user as he is, although he needs privacy and anonymity (I want to believe there are such people, I am myself) he can achieve it through BTC if only he pays attention.
    The critical issue I believe is to fund his BTC wallet anonymously, that is without the use of credit card, and this can be done by bying BTC hand to hand locally, for one thing. Or he might deposit anonymously to a bank (brick and mortar subsidiary) to the seller’s account and receive anonymously his btc from him.
    This is something that never before could be done (before BTC).
    I thank you for your assistance in this travel of mine as I read you from the beginning.

    • Ofir Beigel on

      Hey N.T. thanks so much for your detailed insights.
      Indeed in order to make substantial amounts of money you have to move into more serious investments, or you can do what I do which is to find a different way than mining or trading.
      Soon enough I’ll post another video with some new cool tricks to get free Bitcoins.

  8. Nice article. I am pretty new to mining but as a QA engineer and a hardware junkie I went at it with an open mind.
    Bitminter is absolutely the easiest way to mine and learn. But you really need to be careful. Hash rate and power go hand in hand. Your computer may run Battlefield or COD just fine but mining with that video card could peg it at max watts and your 500 watt PS starts melting wires.
    There is an abundance of little USB Asic block erupters on ebay and amazon for $10 that will churn out 330 megahashes per second for a tiny 2.5 watts. Get yourself three of these little babies and you are on your way to the next level. The gigahash :)
    This is where the bottom now starts. Using bitminter as an example a GH/s running 24/7 may average about making 8 cents a month. But that 7.5 watts of power costs you how much?
    The bottom line of mining boils down to how many GH/s do you have and how much does it cost to power it.
    Some of the original mining hardware sells cheap but the hash to watt ratio is too low.
    You have to pay a little to make a little. Find an Antminer U3 as cheap as you can and you get about 60 gh/s for 60 watts but you can play with the settings and fine tune it to get a lower hash rate but where the wattage is lower than the hash.
    Then all you are left with is using the lowest wattage computer to run it and you just let it mine away while you check on it once in a while.
    You could mine the big pools that multi pool to different coins. Or just let it sit on a consistent pool like bitminter and use your bitcoin to buy other coins.
    Even alt coin mining seems to even out in the end. Only difference with scrypt is the scale is lowered by 1000. You start with MH/s devices at 10 watts and coins are worth thousands less.
    It’s all good :)

    • Ofir Beigel on

      Hey Mark thank for this detailed explanation. It seems that you are not that new to mining after all ;)

  9. This is a good way to ruin a laptop. Even BitMinter notes on their website:

    “Making bitcoins with a normal computer is too slow and also not profitable due to electricity costs.”

    Trying this on a laptop will cause overheating and fry the box. If you want to mine bitcoin at home and actually make a return on your investment you could spend about $340 for an Antminer S5 bitcoin ASIC miner from Bitmain. Don’t forget to add in the cost of a power supply if you do not have a spare. Due to noise and heat many folks just choose to buy hosted mining hashes from Hashnest on their internal exchange at https://www.hashnest.com

    • Ofir Beigel on

      I guess that if you don’t follow the advice in the video and cool down your laptop it indeed may get ruined. But I think that people who just want to see what mining is all about don’t need to spend large amounts of money to participate in it. We tend to think that everyone is in it for positive ROI but some people are just interested in the process.

      Thanks for the excellent feedback and suggestion for the ASIC miner.

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