Let me guess. You’ve been doing a lot of reading on cryptocurrencies and now you are thinking about mining some coins of your own?
I am sure you know all about Bitcoin and how popular it is, but more and more people are now choosing to mine Litecoin instead!
Here’s a fun fact for you. When people mine Bitcoin, it takes 10 minutes for the network to confirm each block, but Litecoin is four times faster at just 2.5 minutes!
If this is going to be your first time mining Litecoin, it’s probably best I start from the very beginning!
This means that I am going to need to tell you exactly what mining is, the different ways you can do it, and why you might need to get hardware before you can begin!
I like to write my guides in a very simple and easy-to-understand way. That means that after reading my Litecoin mining guide from start to finish, you will have all the information you need to go and do it on your own!
So then, let’s get started and make sure you understand just what it means to be a Litecoin miner!
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Mining?
- 2 How Does Litecoin Mining Work?
- 3 Cloud Mining
- 4 Litecoin Hardware Equipment?
- 5 Litecoin Mining Software Needed?
- 6 Is Mining a Good Option For You?
- 7 Conclusion
What Is Mining?
In the real world, practically every financial system needs a central authority to confirm and process a transaction. For example, if you wanted to transfer some money to your friend, you would probably use a bank.
The money leaves your account and then a few days later it arrives in your friend’s account. Simple!
However, to do this you need to use a third party, which is the bank! The problem is, you have to put all of your trust in to a third party when you use them.
You need to supply lots of personal information and you have to trust them to look after your money.
As you might remember from the 2008 financial crash, lots of banks went bankrupt and people lost their savings. So much for trust! In the cryptocurrency world, things are different. Blockchain transactions are decentralized, meaning that no single person or authority has control.
You must be wondering how it is possible to confirm and process transactions without a third party? Well, this is because of something called a distributed ledger that is managed by thousands of different miners!
Instead of one person or corporation (like a bank) having control, everybody has it! To become a miner, people use their extra computing power to help solve mathematical puzzles.
The reason computers are needed is because they are designed so that no human could solve them. When the puzzle is solved, the block of transactions is verified. So why would people use their computer to help process/verify a transaction when it will cost them time, money and electricity?
Well, to say thanks for their help, miners receive coins as a reward. (In the case of Litecoin, the miners receive Litecoins). This helps the blockchain operate in a decentralized way!
Mining can be a great way to make a profit while supporting the cryptocurrency community. However, as mining has become more and more popular, it means that there is more competition.
It’s like thousands of people trying to solve the same puzzle. Whichever miner solves it first, gets the reward! (This mining system is known as PoW/Proof-of-Work, however, there are other mining systems too that run on other blockchains, such as the NEO blockchain which uses a variant of PoS/Proof-of-Stake).
Now that you know what mining is, let’s have a look at how it works on the Litecoin blockchain!
How Does Litecoin Mining Work?
Now that Litecoin has become really popular, more and more people are investing their time to mine it. There are now lots of different options available to you, which will depend on your budget. To begin, let’s have a look at what solo mining is.
If you decide to buy all of the required equipment on your own and not share any of the responsibilities with other people, this is called solo mining.
The main advantage of this is that you do not need to share the mining rewards with anyone else, meaning that you can make more money! Unlike pool mining (which I will explain below), you don’t need to pay any fees.
However, it is important to remember that you will need to invest in the mining equipment on your own and pay for all of the required electricity on your own too. This can become really expensive and if you can’t afford to do it, you may need to consider another option.
The amount of times you are successful in winning the mining reward can also be quite volatile, meaning that you could go a few days or even weeks without getting anything.
If you think that the costs of solo mining are too much of a risk, then it is worth considering joining a mining pool.
This is where you and other miners share your resources (such as computing power and electricity), which gives you more of a chance to get the block reward as you are able to generate more power! This also means that you will get more of a consistent income.
Think about it like a lottery. If you have one ticket out of 100,000, you will probably never win. If you do, the rewards are big, but it likely won’t happen!
But if you joined a mining pool with 50,000 other people, every time your pool won, you would get you share based on your 1 ticket. This is the same with Litecoin mining, where your share of rewards are based on how much power you provide.
However, you sometimes need to pay a fee to join a mining pool, which you might find annoying! You will also have to share the reward out with the other miners instead of getting it all for yourself!
There are hundreds of different Litecoin mining pools to choose from, however I have listed two of the most popular choices below.
Litecoin Mining Pool are one of the original pools and have been operating since 2011. One of the main benefits about Litecoin Mining Pool is that they don’t charge a fee!
They use a system called pay-per-share (PPS), which means that the amount of Litecoin rewards you get are based on the amount of power and electricity that you contribute.
You also get the benefit of free and instant pay-outs. For security, two-factor authentication is available.
Antpool, located in China, are one of the largest Litecoin mining pools available. They also have pools available for other cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Although Antpool do not charge any fees to join, they do keep all of the transaction fees for any blocks that the pool mines. However, all of the block rewards are shared.
The amount that you receive is based on how much power you contribute, and they release their payments daily.
If you do not like the sound of having to spend lots of money on expensive equipment, but you still want to experience mining, there is a third option!
Cloud mining is where you pay a Litecoin mining rig to do all the work for you! All you need is a computer!
Note: A mining rig is basically a group of computers that are only set up to mine cryptocurrency! The more computers you have in your rig, the more you can mine!
This is a great option for beginners as you will not have to buy expensive hardware that costs you lost of electricity!
Of course, nothing in life is free — you will need to invest a certain amount of money to get access to the cloud mining rewards. The more that you invest, the greater amount of coins that you can receive.
However, you have to be very careful about which cloud mining company you use. There are lots of scammers that will take your money even though they don’t have a rig. Do lots of research before you send any money.
One of the most popular Litecoin cloud mining websites is Hashflare. Based in Estonia, Hashflare have been offering Litecoin cloud mining services since 2014.
In reality, if you can’t afford to buy your own equipment and/or don’t want to take the risk, this is probably the best solution for you.
If you decide that you want to go ahead with solo mining, or if you want to join a mining pool, you will need to buy some hardware. Let’s find out what you are going to need!
Litecoin Hardware Equipment?
When LTC mining first began, it was possible to make good profits by using just a CPU (Central Processing Unit) and a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit).
This was great, as it meant you could invest really small amounts and still make money! However, it’s now possible to buy specialized Litecoin mining hardware called ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit)
ASICs are much more powerful than CPUs and GPUs, meaning that they will have a much better chance of winning the mining reward.
Imagine entering a Formula One race. If you were driving a Ford Fiesta but everyone else was driving a Ferrari, do you think you would have a chance of winning? You would have no chance!
Unfortunately, this means that it is no longer possible to use either CPUs or GPUs anymore as ASICs will always win the race!
If you want to mine Litecoin, you really need to consider the following piece of hardware.
Antminer L3+: The Antminer L3+ is by far the most powerful Litecoin mining hardware that you can buy. Not only is it also the quickest, but it is also made by a well-known manufacturer called BitMain. No other Litecoin mining hardware will compete with this.
The amount of calculations that a hardware box can make per second is known as the hash rate. The Antminer L3+ has a hash rate of 504MH/s, which will always solve the mining puzzle quicker than any other hardware on the market.
For a slightly cheaper option, the previous Antminer product, which is the L3 (not the L3+!) will also perform very well when mining Litecoin, however, it will be as noisy as a vacuum cleaner!
Don’t forget, if you don’t want to invest lots of money into expensive hardware, you can just cloud mine instead!
Now that you know about the best equipment to buy for Litecoin mining, let’s find out what software you will need!
Litecoin Mining Software Needed?
As I mentioned earlier, if you are serious about Litecoin mining, the most viable piece of hardware for making a good profit is the Antminer L3 or L3+.
One of the great things about it is that it’s so easy to set up. When the product arrives, it comes with an installation file. You then have the option to either mine solo or join a mining pool. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started.
- Visit the BitMain (Antminer manufacturer) website and create an account.
- On the main hardware controller, press the IP Reporter button for 5 seconds (until you here it beep).
- This will then display your IP address on your screen. Enter it in to the BitMain website.
- That’s it! Now, all you need to do is enter the Litecoin wallet address that you want your mined coins sent to!
If you want to join a mining pool, follow the below instructions.
- In your BitMain account, click on Miner Configuration. Then click on General Settings.
- Now you need to enter the URL of your mining pool, your worker ID and also your password.
Now that you know how to set up your Litecoin mining hardware, let’s consider some of the risks.
Is Mining a Good Option For You?
Before you go and buy hardware, it is really important to consider whether you are going to make any money. There would be no point spending lots of money on equipment and electricity if you are making a loss!
Remember how I told you earlier that you need to use your computing power to mine, and that the more you use, the more Litecoin rewards you will get? Well, this requires LOTS of electricity!
Believe me, once you start mining, you will soon notice how expensive your energy bills become!
The cost of electricity is different depending on where you live. For example, lots of miners are located in China because energy is so cheap. However, in places like the USA, electricity is really expensive.
You need to consider how much extra electricity you are going to use, and whether you are mining enough coins to make it worthwhile.
By visiting this link here, you can enter details of your equipment, electricity costs and any mining fees, to calculate how much money you can make (or lose).
Difficulty of Each Block
You might remember how I told you that mining is similar to solving a really difficult puzzle. In fact, the puzzle is so difficult that no human could solve it!
Well, over time, the difficulty of each puzzle gets harder and harder. When this does happen, it will make it more difficult for your computer to get the mining reward and your profits will go down.
Reselling Your Hardware
If you bought a car, after a few years you might want to sell it to help pay for a new one, right? Sure, you will get less than what you originally paid, but you will still get something! This is called re-sell value.
The Litecoin hardware that you buy can only be used to mine cryptocurrency. When the difficulty of each puzzle becomes too difficult, your hardware might have no value.
When people started mining Litecoin in 2011, it was possible to buy GPUs to help do this. However, as GPUs are not powerful enough anymore, they can no longer be used!
I know how great it would be if you could mine lots of Litecoin’s with your new hardware, but what happens if the value of the coins goes down?
This is a really important thing to consider. For example, if you are mining and each Litecoin is worth $100, but then the price goes down to $50 the next day, you could be making a big loss!
Don’t forget how volatile cryptocurrency can be. The prices can change massively overnight!
Consider Other Ways to get Litecoin
If you are thinking about mining as a way to get more Litecoin, it could be easier just to buy it. This way, you won’t need to invest lots of money on expensive equipment.
You could use that money to buy Litecoin instead! There are lots of exchange brokers that allow you to buy Litecoin with a credit or debit card. To find out more about how to buy Litecoin, see our beginners guide here!
The Main Risks
The main point of buying equipment to mine Litecoin is to make a profit. There would be no reason to do it if you were losing money instead!
This means that the risks can be quite high, especially if you have spent lots of money on hardware and you have a very big electricity bill to pay!
Always check the profit calculator that we listed above. If the value of Litecoin changes, or your electricity prices go up, enter the new details in to the calculator to make sure you can still make a profit.
I hope you have enjoyed my guide on how to become a Litecoin miner! You should now have a really good understanding on what you need to do to get started.
I know I have given you lots of information, but it’s really important that you consider all of the risks first. If you have checked out the amount of money it costs to buy ASIC hardware, you will now know how expensive it can be!
The best thing you can do is not rush in to anything. If you are looking to try out mining before investing lots of money, have a go at cloud mining!
So, did you decide to try out cloud mining first, or did you go crazy and buy an Antminer!? I would love to know!
If you have any ideas on the best way to mine Litecoin that I didn’t mention, don’t forget to let me know too!