Playing with Cryptocurrency: Part 5 Mining Apps
The main way to make money crypto mining is with dedicated mining machines such as ASIC miners. However, it is possible to install mining apps on a phone or to mine on a computer. The question, of course, is can these be profitable when calculating the cost of electricity and equipment compared to currency earned?
On my main windows computer I installed three mining programs. The first was one by Group Fabric, the second by Minergate, and the third was NiceHash. I was also able to install a couple of these on my phone and an old netbook.
The first one I found was by Group Fabric for Windows and Windows Phones. Yes, Windows Phone! I have an old Windows Phone from when I worked at Microsoft. I actually like the phone but since they gave up on getting the apps that people want, I gave up on them and switched to Android. But, since I had the phone sitting around, I decided to get some use out of it. The app was easy to install from the apps store and all I needed to do was enter my bitcoin address. I used the one from my Jaxx wallet. They don’t ask for a lot of annoying stuff, just enter the address and start mining, which is tracked in Satoshis. Satoshis for those who don’t know, is the lowest measurement of bitcoin.
The Group Fabric miner can also be downloaded and installed on a PC or laptop, so I also installed it on a very old netbook I have. Like the phone, I don’t really use the netbook since it so slow, making it perfect for this experiment, to see if I can still get some use out of it.
Minergate wasn’t well reviewed based on a few Reddit threads I read. However, Minergate does have an app for Android phone which is nice. It will slow the phone down a bit and drain the battery, so for me, I let it run when I have the phone charging and that’s about it. There are three settings for mining speed. The low is where I have been keeping mine. I tried medium a few times but that makes the phone almost unusable and I’ve never tried the high setting. I have a Samsung S7 in case you are wondering. Minergate can also be installed on 32bit Windows systems, so I installed this on my netbook as well.
A few nice things about the app so far, is it lets people select from the coins to mine if they want. Or users can let it select for you. Right now the most profitable coin on the app is Monero. And like me, if you use your computer at the same time, it gives you the option of selecting the CPUs for mining so you can put it on a lower number if needed.
Overall the program is very easy to use and figure out. You can view your stats via the phone app or the website. There is a 1% – 1.5% payment fee depending on what pay-out option you want and what currency. They also have some type of achievements program to get prizes that pop up every once in a while. Although its’ not clear what you need to hit for each achievement or what you get for prizes, so I just ignore it.
This one seemed to get the better reviews of the two on Reddit. However, it can only be installed on a 64bit system, and they don’t have a phone app for additional mining. I was only able to install this on my main computer due to the requirements. The installation and the setup was a bit longer as it needed to scan and benchmark my system. Then once installed and running they sent an update for v.126.96.36.199 that started giving me an error No compatible devices and I had to find an older version v.188.8.131.52 and switch back to get it to work.
Also, users don’t have the option of selecting the coin to mine, it will do it automatically.
After finally getting it installed and working, it is a nice miner. NiceHash shows the pending income, while the program running. What it does is it will display a daily estimated earnings in a currency of choice as well as total balance. So far it seems to be a decent money maker.
NiceHash is the more resrouce intensive of the two programs on my computer. When working I can let Minergate run in the background. NiceHash I can only let run in the background if I’m doing low resource work such as writing content. The payout fees change depending on the wallet the currency is being sent to.
I also decided to go the script route, as well, for some litecoin to see how that compares. This of course was the most difficult to install since it involved downloading the script, editing the wallet info, and directing it to the mining pool I decided to use.
Once installed and running, it was is easy enough to save and launch the script each time I wanted to mine some Litecoin. Like NiceHash this is resource intensive, and I can only run it if I’m not doing anything that involves using computing power for something else at the same time.
There are a couple of phone apps for mining litecoin. I tried one and let it run for a few hours with no results. I ended up uninstalling it and sticking with the Minergate one. I didn’t try any of the others.
All of these programs got flagged by my Norton security, so depending on what security software you are using, you might have issue with this. I had to disable mine for the install, then set rules to allow them to work and keep Norton running at the same time. Norton will also sometimes remove Minergate and I will need to reinstall it.
After running each for a while, I will do some comparisons to see what is the most profitable and do a post when I have some data.