While I've paused my monero journey, maybe you haven't. Maybe you'd like to start. Maybe you have started already, and want a tip or two. Here's how to get started mining:
- Download a monero wallet and mining software. I used Monero's GUI Wallet and xmrig. WARNING: xmrig sets off just about every malware alarm due to nefarious types tinkering with the source code and turning it into an invisible mining program that can use other people's computers to mine for them. It is also one of the fastest monero mining programs, though, so there's that.
- Choose a pool of miners to join. This changes your chances of getting a reward from "winning the lottery" to "slow and steady." Mining on your own, even with the beefiest machine, gives you a teensy-weensy chance of ever earning monero (or any cryptocurrency for that matter). Joining a pool ups your chances of getting paid, but the payout needs to be divided amongst the people in the pool. The one I joined was SupportXMR, but there are others out there.
- Configure xmrig through their configuration wizard. This sets up the optimum settings for your computer with minimal tinkering. Make sure you kick a few percent of your mining power back to the developer of xmrig.
- If you run xmrig through Windows 10 like I did, it is best to run it through a command window with admin privileges. This will let you set up large page support, which can improve your mining considerably (mine increased 25%, but your mileage may vary).
- If you're interested in further accelerating your mining power, run xmrig off a fresh reboot, with no other programs/processes running save for the ones essential to keep Windows running. This gave me an extra 10% mining power. Chrome was notorious for being a resource hog once I opened it, dropping my mining power by up to 50% (and never fully recovering, even after I closed the program).
- Don't worry about running the GPU part of the miner. My graphics card is in no way beefy, but setting up xmrig to use it to mine only gave me about a 10% increase in mining power. If you have a super-expensive card and don't care about shortening its lifespan, see if mining with the GPU is right for you (spoiler alert: for monero, it probably isn't).
- Let your miner mine. Run it when you're sleeping. Run it when you're not using your computer. Run it when you ARE using your computer, but pause it if you feel the performance hit is too much.
Good luck out there, and may you at least earn back your electricity!
Side note: After mining monero for awhile, I decided to also try mining all-but-failed Webdollar again. Even with its PoS mining model and lack of adoption (CoinGecko has them listed as 904th place out of all cryptocurrencies in terms of total market capitalization), I gave the client/miner a few days of computer work. In the end, I wound up with 14000 webdollar which equates out to ... about forty cents. This gave me more value-per-day than Monero did, but it only has value if I'm able to sell it, and the markets for Webdollar are pretty barren.