Bitcoin mining is one of the most economically satisfying activities when it comes to the crypto space. It involves two parts depending on your mining strategy. Mining can be done through cloud mining or through setting up a mining rig. If you prefer to get the mining rig route then you get to choose your hardware and your bitcoin mining software.
The hardware is the tangible tools that include the cables, graphics cards, ASICs, motherboards etc. if you have that then you move on to the next step which is choosing the best bitcoin mining software that will not only be compatible with your hardware but also, in your opinion, the best software to make your mining more rewarding.
There are a further two more choices to make if you prefer to go the ‘own-setup’ route. You can either join a mining pool and contribute hashing power or mine directly and independently. Either way, you will need more of the same components for bitcoin mining.
Once you have set up your mining rig you will need to communicate with the blockchain directly if you are mining independently or communicate with the mining pool that you are contributing hashing power to. The piece of software that enables you to do this called the bitcoin mining software.
Bitcoin, being the original cryptocurrency, was first mined in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. Back then it was possible to mine using a CPU or normal laptop at home without many expenses. However, with time, as more nodes started joining the bitcoin network, the difficulty increased and soon developers found out that graphics cards could mine bitcoin faster than a CPU could and this ushered the proliferation of graphics cards.
As the cryptocurrency became more valuable more competition was imminent and more money was pumped into the mining scene and soon the ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) was introduced. ASCIs are very expensive but more powerful than graphics cards.
Therefore, since small-scale and retail miners could not compete with individuals who could afford to run mining rigs using ASICs, less and less mining is done through GPUs. Basically, by now, it is economically unfeasible to mine bitcoin using GPUs. This scenario has led to more centralization.
Software that could be used to mine bitcoin using GPUs has become obsolete as well. This article presents five of the best bitcoin mining software that can be used with ASICs.
How does bitcoin mining software work?
Bitcoin mining software has several functions. The main as mentioned previously is communicating with the bitcoin network. It serves to relay the input of your mining rig to the network while also receiving metadata about the network from other nodes. Not only that, but it also monitors the rest of the network for consensus. If you are part of a pool, the software will relay the same information to the rest of the participants within the pool.
The software also works by collecting vital information from the mining rig such as mining input and output, fan speed, the speed of your miner, temperature and the hash rate. Some software goes an extra mile and controls some of these parameters such as fan speed to regulate the temperature of the rig.
All these factors should be taken into consideration when choosing a bitcoin mining software. However, the final decision depends on an individual’s preference. The following list of bitcoin mining software features not just the best software for the job but also the most popular in the market. So without further ado, let’s dig in…
The Best Bitcoin Mining Software for Windows / MAC / Linux
The list below is by no means conclusive and neither is it presented in an orderly way. It is a selection of the best bitcoin mining software according to Crypto-economy.net.
CGMiner is, no doubt, the most popular piece of software to mine bitcoins. It supports all GPUs as well as FPGA and ASIC miners. CGMiner has a very active community of supporters and a plethora of features. It includes support for mining pools and solo mining. The software is open-source and available for download through the GitHub repository.
The most important features that are bundled with CGMiner include config files, logging, monitoring as well as overclocking capabilities and API monitoring. It also supports remote interface capabilities, multi-GPU support, self-detection of new blocks, fan speed control, CPU mining support among several other features. The CGMiner was created and improved upon the CPU-Miner.
Operating System Support
CGMiner is available across all major operating systems. This includes Windows, Mac OSX and Linux operating systems. CGMiner is coded in C programming language for Linux and Windows with very low non-mining CPU and ram usage.
One of the other more popular bitcoin mining software is the BFGMiner. Full of customizable features and supports a wide array of miners including FPGA and ASIC machines. BFGMiner was a fork of CGMiner with added customizations and features that make it more appealing to a wider audience.
However, the main difference between the two is the template that either of these software uses. BFGMiner uses a more recent getblocktemplate as opposed to CGMiner’s getwork template.
Some of the cool features that make BFGMiner very popular include integrated overclocking, automatic pool failure detection, support of multi-devices, fan control including automatic adjustment when configured, monitoring, remote interface capabilities and the option to work with a GUI as opposed to the default command line prompt. Several other features can be found in its official forum thread.
Operating system support
Similar to the CGMiner software, BFGMiner is also coded in C language. It supports several different types of operating systems including major operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and OSX.
EasyMiner is more of a GUI interface rather than a stand-alone bitcoin mining software. It works with other software and provides users the capability to use their favorite software through a more user-friendly interface. EasyMiner can integrate with CGMiner, minerd, and ccminer used through a normal PC computer, a GPU setup or an ASIC machine.
EasyMiner is a great starting software for miners who care about the interface as much as the functionality. It presents a nice, clean, uncluttered and modern interface. Any user whether advanced or new to the mining world will immediately identify with the simplicity the interface provides.
Some of its more utilitarian features include easy integration with the CGMiner, ccminer and minerd software. Using EasyMiner allows you to configure your miners to view performance metrics and other bitcoin mining activities through a graphical interface.
The software supports the mining of coins that are encrypted through the SHA-256 and Scrypt algorithms that includes Bitcoin and Litecoin. As an added addition, EasyMiner supports all coins that can be mined through the ccminer integrated software package. EasyMiner has a really cool feature called the MoneyMaker mode that will allow you to start making money mining immediately whether you are an advanced or newbie user.
Operating Systems Support
EasyMiner supports mining on Windows, Android and Linux operating systems.
Using the software, a user can create low-cost FPGA clusters with standard components, for instance, USB hubs and allow running large-scale mining operations through a single or minimal software instance.
Other features that Bitcoin Miner presents include a ready-to-use Bitstream, which doesn’t require any Xilinx Software or a license and the ability to choose the frequency that has the highest rate of valid hashes.
Operating System Support
Bitcoin Miner only runs on Linux and Windows.
As mentioned in the introductory section, bitcoin mining is more of a subjective activity with all sorts of biases and preferences.
In this regard, some individuals are die-hard fans of the Mac OS platform and for these individuals, the preferred bitcoin mining software has to be compatible with OSX. The RPC Miner (also referred to as the puddinpop’s miner) works exclusively on the Mac OS as opposed to CGMiner or BFGMiner that support a range of operating systems. This software supports Mac OS version 10.6 onwards.
RPC Miner has a ton of features including performance metrics reporting, pool mining support and logging.
Operating Systems Support
The RPC Miner is exclusive to the Mac OS platform.
Conclusions about the best Bitcoin Mining Software
Bitcoin mining provides several different options starting with the option to cloud mine or install hardware and manage the rig independently. These options are both viable and you can argue for either case. Similarly, if you chose to go the hardware installation route you can mine independently or join a mining pool.
Not much difference in terms of returns because when mining independently, the rewards will be far in between but they will be huge returns. On the other hand, when mining in a pool, the rewards are more consistent but little. In the end, they add up to almost equal returns.
Therefore the option comes down to preference and so does the choice for the best bitcoin mining software. Most of these software has similar features and it’s hard to choose between any of them. The best recommendation is to take all for a spin and see which one fits your mining strategy then stick with it.