mining software

In order to mine crypto, you need not only special hardware but mining software as well. Without it, you won’t be able to connect your Bitcoin miners to the blockchain and the pool if you are part of a Bitcoin mining pool.

What is Bitcoin Mining Software?

With Bitcoin, miners use special software to solve math problems and are issued a certain number of coins in exchange. This provides a smart way to issue the currency and also creates an incentive for more people to mine.

Even if you have the best hardware in the world, but without Bitcoin mining software, the hardware is useless.

The application is what instructs the hardware to do the hard work, passing through transaction blocks for it to solve. It will direct them to mine as part of a specific pool, change the speed of the fans, change which currency to mine – all the good stuff! There is a variety of these available, depending on your operating system. They are available for Windows, Mac OS X, and others.

You may need special software for your ASIC miner as well, although some newer models promise to ship with everything pre-configured, including a bitcoin address so that all you need to do is plug it in the wall.

What is Blockchain?

By allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied, blockchain technology created the backbone of a new type of internet. Originally devised for the digital currency, Bitcoin.

Blockchain represents an innovation in information registration and distribution that eliminates the need for a trusted party to facilitate digital relationships.

Mining, in the context of blockchain technology, is the process of adding transactions to the large distributed public ledger of existing transactions, known as the blockchain. It involves creating a hash of a block of transactions that cannot be easily forged, protecting the integrity of the entire blockchain without the need for a central system.

What is Mining Pool?

A mining pool is a way for miners to pool their resources together and share their hashing power while splitting the reward equally according to the number of shares they contributed to solving a block.

Anyone who wants to make a profit through cryptocurrency mining has the choice to either go solo with his own dedicated devices or join a pool where multiple miners and their devices combine to enhance their hashing output.

How to Choose Which Mining Software to Use

Ultimately, the best Bitcoin mining software for you will depend on a few factors:

  • OS Compatibility 

Before picking the mining app make sure that it is compatible with your OS.

  • Hardware Compatibility

Make sure that mining program you choose is compatible with the hardware that you use. Some software is made exclusively for ASIC devices and is not compatible with GPU and vice versa.

  • Coin Support

There are numerous of cryptocurrencies out there. When choosing your app, you should check which currencies it supports, in case you want to switch later.

  • GUI/CLI

How good are you with computers? Do you need a Graphical User Interface (GUI) that is easy to use? Or will you be comfortable with a Command Line Interface (CLI), which can be a problem especially for the beginners in the crypto mining game?

  • Web and Mobile support 

Do you need web and mobile support? So, you can monitor your activities anywhere you go. If this seems important to you, be sure to check if your mining program supports that.

There are a number of programs available to help manage your crypto-mining. If you’re an experienced computer user, you may prefer to install the free operating system Linux (to be able to use one of the free bitcoin mining software) and make use, for example, of one of the text-only apps such as CGminer.

While if you prefer to keep things simple and are sticking with Windows 10, mining clients with a GUI such as MultiMiner may suit you better.

Best Cryptocurrency Mining Software

CGMiner

  • OS: Windows, Linux, and OS X
  • Supported Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and derivative coins
  • Free App: Yes
  • Supported Devices: GPU/FPGA/ASIC
  • Automatic alerts: Yes
  • Interface: Command Line

CGMiner is a flexible mining program that supports almost every platform.  It works via a simple command line interface and supports multiple mining pools and devices. It’s primarily designed to be used with hardware mining devices but can make use of any GPUs connected to your machine as well.

On the first run, CGMiner will ask you to enter the URL, username, and password (if necessary) for your mining pool, and it will automatically detect any hardware you have connected such as an ASIC device.

Although you have to work with CGMiner via the command line, the layout is very easy on the eye: the devices are listed at the top and you can use simple keyboard commands to change your settings.

It has a ton of features including config files, logging, monitoring as well as overclocking capabilities and API monitoring. The more advanced area of the software is its control on the hardware. It lets you change numerous settings in the ASIC or FPGA machine such as voltages and other features.

Features:

  • overclocking
  • monitoring
  • fan speed control
  • remote interface capabilities
  • self-detection of new blocks with a mini-database
  • binary loading of kernels
  • multi GPU support and CPU mining

Bitminter

  • OS: Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux
  • Supported Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin
  •  Free App: Free to download, 1% to use the BitMinter pool
  • Supported Devices: ASIC/ GPU
  • Automatic alerts: No
  • Interface: GUI

Bitminter is one of the longest-running and most reliable services out there. This client has an extremely clear graphical interface and can work with GPUs and external ASIC devices equally well. A simple dial on the left displays your hashrate in MH/s. Simply click ‘Engine Start’ to begin mining.

You can check progress at any time by reviewing the ‘Stats’ section which lists vital info such as the number of proofs of work accepted/rejected by the server, as well as the time spent working. You can reset these values at any time.

The Bitminter client also has a text console at the bottom of the window which provides you with updates such as when a device is connected, or when it has successfully connected to a mining pool.

It is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux and is based on the Java Network Launch Protocol (JNLP) and requires no installation (BitMinter belongs to a mining pool, so your initial step is to register and fill in the pool sign-up form).

The software itself is entirely free. However, the BitMinter pool does charge 1% as a commission for mining with them. This is one of the lower mining pool fees around though.

Features:

  • simple installation
  • cross-platform support
  • Preinstalled pool settings

BFGMiner

  • OS: Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Raspberry Pi 
  • Supported Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin
  • Free App: Free
  • Supported Devices: ASIC, FPGA
  • Automatic alerts: Yes
  • Interface: Command Line

BFGMiner is designed specifically for ASIC mining hardware. The client is also compatible with FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) devices and can be configured to work with some graphics cards – but it’s unlikely you’ll make a profit from these.

BFGMiner is a fork of CGminer and adds some unique and advanced features. The main difference between these miners is the fact that BFGMiner uses the newer getblocktemplate vs the older getwork template.

The app provides overclocking and using a remote interface option. It also monitors the temperature of most devices and can connect to multiple mining pools. Furthermore, BFGMiner will stop connecting to unreachable pools, saving you precious system resources.

The interface is text-based and you can make use of hotkeys to perform routine tasks such as monitoring pools, identifying devices and enabling extra features.

Features:

  • Compatible with FPGA devices
  • Overclocking
  • Remote interface
  • Fan control
  • Vector support

MultiMiner

  • OS: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux 
  • Supported Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and Litecoin
  • Free App: Free (1% optional donation) 
  • Supported Devices: GPU, ASIC, FPGA
  • Automatic alerts: Yes
  • Interface: GUI

MultiMiner is a graphical version of BFGMiner. Thanks to its graphical interface, the MultiMiner is many a novice miners’ favorite piece of mining software. It is a desktop application for crypto mining and monitoring on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. MultiMiner simplifies switching individual devices (GPUs, ASICs, FPGAs) between crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin and Litecoin. An open-source project, MultiMiner is compatible with many mining devices. These include Block Erupter, BFL/Bitforce and HashBuster Micro.

After setup is complete, MultiMiner will automatically scan for devices and list their details in a helpful table, such as the pool used and average hash power. Most importantly, the client will also display your daily projected profit with your current hardware.

MultiMiner is also capable of connecting to numerous pools at once too. There’s even the option to have the device automatically mine the most profitable coin at any given time or to target those which offer the lowest difficulty.

Features:

  • Automatic detection of network devices
  • Remotely monitor and control other MultiMiner rigs
  • Connecting to numerous pools at once

EasyMiner

  • OS: Windows, Linux and Android
  • Supported Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and Litecoin
  • Free App: Yes
  • Supported Devices: ASIC, CPU and GPU
  • Automatic alerts: No
  • Interface: GUI

EasyMiner serves as a graphical frontend for such apps as CGminer and CPUMiner. It is not a standalone miner, but more of a GUI for one of the miners that you have installed on your computer. The program includes a console which informs you of the progress of CGminer (cgminer.exe) and CPUMiner (minerd.exe), which by default are used to mine Bitcoin and Litecoin respectively.

The dashboard has a neatly laid out interface to allow you to configure mining pools, amend network settings and view your wallet. Although it’s well-suited for CPU and GPU use, EasyMiner can also mine cryptos using more advanced hardware. You can also use the settings feature to enable ASIC hardware such as an Antminer.

It auto-configures your Bitcoin miners and provides performance graphs to for easy visualization of your Bitcoin mining activity.

Unfortunately, there does seem to be issues when using EasyMiner with Windows 10. Certain antivirus programs will remove the files associated with it.

Features

  • Graphic console for CGminer and CPUMiner
  • Auto-configures your Bitcoin miners

CPUMiner

  • OS: Windows, Linux and Mac 
  • Supported Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin or Litecoin
  • Free App: Yes
  • Supported Devices: CPU
  • Automatic alerts: No
  • Interface: Command Line

CPUMiner is a very simple CPU mining software. What I like about this software is the fact that it is very simple to use and is great for getting started into learning about mining in general. It works with Windows, Linux and Mac and you can use it mine Bitcoin or Litecoin. This was one of the original bitcoin mining software, and is where CGMiner forked from CPUMiner.

Features:

  • Highly optimized for x86, x86-64 and ARM architectures.
  • Automatically uses SSE2, AVX and AVX2 instructions where available.
  • Supports the Stratum mining protocol.
  • Lightweight, only depends on libcurl and jansson.

Summary

It may be not easy to decide on the best bitcoin miner for you. Your choice will depend on your unique circumstances. This will include which hardware you’re using, which operating system you plan to use the software with, and your level of expertise when it comes to computers.