Bitcoin is an open-source network, meaning anyone can access the code, run it, and become part of the network. Additionally, if you wish, you can operate your own node, build your own wallet to store your coins, and even mine bitcoins.

Getting involved in a hands-on Bitcoin project can be a great opportunity to better understand how Bitcoin operates and engage with the technology. Using NerdMiner, a solo mining software you can have at home, is a great place to start.

What is Bitcoin Mining?

Bitcoin mining is the process by which new bitcoins are generated and transactions are confirmed on the Bitcoin network. This is achieved by a network of computers (or nodes) participating in a probability game, where the one who finds the result unlocks a bitcoin as a reward.

Therefore, when a Bitcoin transaction is made, it needs to be verified and recorded on the blockchain, which is a public and distributed record of all transactions made on the Bitcoin network.

Bitcoin miners compete to solve complex mathematical problems, and the first one who manages to solve adds the new block of transactions to the blockchain.

Thus, as a reward for this work, the miner receives a certain amount of bitcoins. Currently, the reward is 6.25 bitcoins, but this amount is halved approximately every four years in an event known as “halving”.

Additionally, miners have the possibility of receiving transaction fees as an additional form of reward. Therefore, when someone makes a Bitcoin transaction, they can choose to include a transaction fee to encourage miners to confirm the transaction.

The higher the fee, the more incentivized the miners will be to include the transaction in the next block.

Computing Power

Bitcoin mining is today a process that requires substantial computing power and consumes a lot of energy.

In the early days of Bitcoin, it was possible to mine with common personal computers. However, as more people joined the network and the “difficulty” of mining increased, specialized mining equipment known as ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits) were developed, which are much more efficient for Bitcoin mining.

ASICs have a high cost, potentially reaching up to 50,000 Reais per machine, depending on the chosen model. Besides the high cost, the maintenance of these machines requires some technical knowledge.

To give you an idea of how difficult it currently is to mine individually, the likelihood of a miner extracting a Bitcoin block using an AntMiner S19 XP, which is the best available equipment, is only 1 in every 29 years. As a solution to this problem, mining pools were created, where miners combine their computing power, with each being rewarded according to their proportionate contribution.

With the professionalization of the industry and the increased difficulty for ordinary people to access Bitcoin mining due to the high investment required, a solo mining project called NerdMiner emerged.

What is NerdMiner?

NerdMiner, or NerdSoloMiner, is a free and open-source project created by BitMaker, which allows you to create your own miner for under 40 dollars.

The idea is to try to mine a Bitcoin block with low-end hardware that can be built at home and kept on an office desk. This allows ordinary people to have the opportunity to participate in mining without the need for significant investments or complex infrastructure.

NerdMiner

How does NerdMiner work?

NerdMiner is a cryptocurrency mining project that allows users to create their own low-cost mining rig. It uses low-end hardware, which can be assembled at home and operated on an office desk.

Therefore, a Bitcoin miner competes with other miners in the search for a specific number through probabilities. To do this, it is necessary to generate hashes through a process called proof of work. The chances of earning the reward are directly related to computational power, that is, the miner’s hash rate.

The higher the hash rate, the greater the probability of a miner discovering the block and receiving the reward. However, considering that miners join their hash rates in pools to further increase their chances, a solo miner is at a significant disadvantage.

Due to it being a game of hashes, the reduced hash rate offered by NerdMiner is comparable to buying a lottery ticket every ten minutes. In terms of capacity, NerdMiner operates with only ~1 Watt of power and achieves a hash rate of more than 20 Kh/s.

How to build a NerdMiner?

Bitcoin mining has sparked interest in many people around the world. However, the initial cost and complexity involved in setting up a mining rig can be challenging for beginners. That’s where NerdMiner comes in.

Here’s how to create your own NerdMiner and join Bitcoin mining in a more accessible way!

Hardware

Start by selecting the necessary components to assemble your Bitcoin miner. This usually includes a motherboard, processor, RAM, one or more storage devices, a power supply, and an appropriate cooling system.

Setup and Connection

After assembling the hardware and installing the operating system and mining software, set up your NerdMiner. Enter the necessary information, such as your Bitcoin wallet address, into the mining software.

Test and Monitoring

Run tests to ensure that your miner is operating correctly. Monitor performance, check hash rates, hardware temperature, and power consumption to ensure stability and efficiency.

Step by step

You can buy the device assembled or buy the parts separately and assemble it yourself.

To create a NerdMiner, you will need the following:

  • TTGO T-Display S3
  • A USB cable
  • A bought or 3D-printed case
  • A fan

Once you have everything, follow the steps available here:

1- Access the online ESPtool
2- Load the firmware with the binaries from the src/bin folder.
3- Connect your board and select each file from src/bin with its address
4- Connect the NerdMiner to the Internet.
5- Put in your Bitcoin address and mining pool
6- Start mining Bitcoin

The cool thing is that the device comes with several screens to monitor your work process and also to show network mining statistics.

Mining Bitcoin with the Jade Wallet

Following in the footsteps of the NerdMiner project, Blockstream launched a firmware in April 2023 that enables mining using their Jade Wallet. That is, anyone who owns Jade can now mine in the same way as NerdMiner does.

Jade Wallet Interface

To do this, simply follow these steps:

  1. Update your Blockstream Jade to a miner-supported firmware. If you want, you can revert back to a non-miner-supported firmware.
  2. Visit the add-on page and connect your Blockstream Jade. You will need to use a web serial-compatible browser like Chrome. Then, enter the address to which you wish to mine and click ‘Start.’
  3. Your Jade will automatically start mining, so there’s no need to initiate your device or access a wallet. You can then see the current block height and your hash rate on Jade, as well as the block reward and the address to which your Bitcoin will be sent if you mine a block.
  4. The downside is that you will always need to be connected to a computer, as Jade does not have an internet connection, and the software also doesn’t allow you to start it up on the device.

On the other hand, NerdMiner is completely independent, and you can connect multiple mining devices to the same wallet, thereby remotely increasing your chances of success.

With Jade, you’ll be mining solo without access to statistics to check whether your shares are being accepted. You can’t perform a ping test to check the quality of your connection. You just have to trust the information displayed on the Jade device.

The hash rate is approximately 80 Kh/s.

Is it worth mining this way?

The processing capacity of this hardware is significantly lower than that of ASICS. It is easier to win the Mega Millions lottery five times in a row than to mine a block of Bitcoin, so it’s essentially a lottery and something with insanely low probabilities of happening.

However, bitcoiners have embraced the idea of being able to mine at home again, no matter how slim the chances are. At the very least, the experience will be fun, and you’ll learn a lot about mining in the process.

Share on your social networks:

Written by
Imagem do Autor
Area Bitcoin

Area Bitcoin is an educational Bitcoin school that aims to accelerate the financial and intellectual sovereignty of all individuals.

Ícone do X

Enjoyed this article? Donate some sats so we can grab a cup of coffee and keep writing. ☕