Jimmy’s just turned 43, so we’re having coffee at my favorite spot downtown. The shop is dead, as is the city, but that doesn’t concern us.
Both Jimmy and I run our own copywriting business. We also take home roughly the same amount every month.
Problem is, instead of celebrating, he’s paying me back. Again.
See, Jimmy doesn’t have a penny in savings. Would you believe me if I told you I’ve been trying to convince ole’ Jimbo to invest for over a year? He didn’t budge… not until I mentioned mining dogecoin. (Seriously.)
“Wait. What’s that?”
“Doge. It’s some stupid coin.”
“And you can use my current setup to get it?” He asks, pulling up his chair to the table. “And I can spend it? It’s real money?”
Jimmy didn’t have much growing up, so he’s quite risk averse when it comes to his finances. He can’t bear to part with his precious pennies, but he’s happy to invest his already-owned resources if he can mine some coin.
I’ll assume you already know what mining is, or you have some general idea. What you’re wondering is whether this coin is worth mining, and how to get it done.
What is dogecoin, and why mine it?
Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/ppkrmpIypaI
Dogecoin is a meme coin that was released roughly 8 years ago as a joke. The actual dog on the coin is a shiba inu. As the first meme coin, few people took it seriously. It did get a lot of press at the time though.
Today, it’s a popular and polarizing cryptocurrency, getting frequent mentions from the likes of the self-proclaimed “Dogefather” and Tesla CEO Elon Musk to Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. (The latter recently joined the Dogecoin Foundation.)
But when it comes to cryptocurrency mining, doge is like any other mineable coin out there. After all, doge isn’t the only coin based on proof-of-work.
And in mining any coin, it all comes down to this: Profitability.
But how do you determine that?
Here’s a simplified equation:
Profitability = The potential future value of doge (based on your research) – electricity costs for dogecoin mining
Which means: Keep an eye on your energy consumption, because your electricity bill will make you very sad otherwise.
But as long as you’re profit-positive, you’re fine. To be doubly-sure, calculate your mining profitability using the dogecoin mining calculator.
But let’s say your info isn’t limited to the present.
Let’s say you’re sitting at your desk when you receive a phone call. You’ve got an insider, a Mister Doge X, who keeps feeding you prices from the future. And one day, he calls you from an airport phone booth to tell you that doge is going to be worth $2 in 2024.
“It’s a sure thing,” he says before he hangs up and walks away, disappearing into the crowd.
Much wow!, you think, as you rub your greedy little paws together and switch on your mining machine.
After all, now that you know the future price with 100% certainty, you know mining will net you X amount of profit every month not just in today’s value, but in doge’s real value in 2024.
What you need to get started with dogecoin mining
Since you’re getting started, let’s cover crypto mining hardware first.
We can break down mining power like this:
Scrypt ASIC miners
At minimum, you’re going to need a computer and a secure internet connection. You can mine using pretty much any computer, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Just like when you’re mining bitcoin, with doge you use your computing power to solve puzzles and unlock a block reward as well. And like bitcoin, the mining difficulty for solving those puzzles has gone up… a lot… which means you need more powerful computers with greater processing power to make mining profitable.
In other words, mining with your central processing unit (CPU mining) is out of the question. So leave your laptop at home, kids. The days of mining dogecoin from your laptop are long gone.
At the very least, you’re going to need a GPU (your graphics processing unit). But these days, scalpers are out there jacking up crypto-relevant hardware costs. Even dedicated PC shops are refusing to sell graphics cards à la carte. (And you’re going to have to order a complete desktop computer setup to get your hands on a powerful-enough GPU to spit out some sweet, sweet, mining power.)
Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/1-Sfd9QSPi4
But maybe you’re planning on going all in because of Mister Doge X’s insider info… in which case, you’re going to want to get a Scrypt ASIC miner. Doge runs on the Scrypt algorithm, like litecoin. This means that when it comes to mining equipment, the ASIC miner is a rig that’s specially dedicated to dogecoin mining and litecoin mining. Just make sure you have enough cooling, mining space, and noise tolerance, because these bad boys can get pretty loud and hot.
But unless you’re building a dedicated mining farm, let’s set aside ASICs for a second. What you’re after right now is to get something basic running and go from there, right?
In that case, since we’re going the GPU mining route, this is what you should consider. For your mining equipment, as long as your current mining rig (aka your PC) has enough ram and decent cooling, you’re good to go.
Just keep an eye on the temperature, and make sure you get enough air circulation in your case. If not, you get trapped heat, which is bad because it makes your hardware get older faster.
Ready to join the Doge Army? Follow these steps to mine dogecoin
What I’m about to show you is the most straightforward mining process to start mining doge in as little as 20 minutes.
Here’s a brief summary of what we need:
1. A digital wallet that supports doge
2. Unmineable app
3. Phoenix Miner
Step 1. Get yourself a doge-supported crypto wallet. If you plan to HODL long term, you can either:
a) Download a full-node dogecoin wallet (Dogecoin Core) onto your computer
b) Use a lightweight-node “Multi-Doge” wallet
A full node is more secure, but takes slightly longer. Light wallets download just enough data to validate the dogechain.
Planning to offload your doge immediately? Then get your wallet address off of one of the main crypto exchanges. If you’re based in the US, that’s Coinbase. If not, I recommend Binance. For improved security and extra peace of mind, you may also consider going with a hardware wallet, like a Ledger Nano X or a Trezor.
Step 2. Go to Unmineable, click “Download”, and then click on the big green button.
Pool mining is one of several approaches to mining dogecoin. It’s also your best approach as a beginner miner. You can choose to mine solo… if you want to wait a gazillion years for your next block reward. Just like the days of using your CPU miner are over, you can say your sorry goodbyes to individual mining as well… unless you’ve got a gang of Scrypt ASIC miners waiting to go whir!
For many proof-of-work coins, sharing is caring when it comes to rewards. So if you’re armed with a decent gaming rig, pooling your computing power is the way to go.
Unmineable isn’t your typical pool either. Unlike popular dogecoin mining pools like Aikapool, the setup process is much, much simpler.
So what’s the catch?
Well, when you’re using Unmineable, you’re not really mining dogecoin. You’re actually mining ETH (!), which Unmineable is then going to swap to doge for you. (This is how Unmineable can offer you a whole host of other coins that aren’t proof-of-work. You mine ETH, they trade it for your desired coin, you get doge, and they get their cut of the ETH cake. Everybody wins!)
See, you might have heard of merged mining and thought, “Wait. I can mine dogecoin and litecoin at the same time, since they both run on the Scrypt algo?”
Well, not quite. Not with a GPU anyway.
You’d be in luck if you use an ASIC, but the problem is, ASICs are expensive. And they’re a riskier investment too: Because Scrypt asics are specialized for mining Scrypt coins, they can’t do anything else.
In other words, if you somehow found yourself wanting to try mining another coin, you couldn’t. Not with that ASIC. That’s why right now, GPU mining is your best bet.
By the way, if you’re not a fan of Unmineable for whatever reason, here are a couple popular alternatives worth checking out:
Prohashing. Prohashing has got some cool customization features, like “Proswitching”. When Proswitching is turned on, it switches automatically to the most profitable coin.
CGMiner. CGMiner is popular because it’s lightweight, supports pretty much any GPU as well as ASICs, and is platform-agnostic.
What to watch out for when installing your miner
When installing mining software, there’s a chance that your antivirus program or firewall will flag it as a virus. Don’t panic. This happens all the time. To fix it, add your miner as an exception to both your firewall and antivirus program. You can also switch off the firewall and antivirus until you’re done installing the apps.
For your browser, go to Settings. Click on “Privacy & Security”, then click on “Security” again. Under “Safe Browsing”, click on “No Protection”.
For Windows, go to your Windows Settings, navigate to “Windows Security”, and click on “Virus & Threat Protection”. Then click on “Manage Settings” and switch off “Real-time protection”.
Just make sure to switch everything back on once you’ve completed the installation process.
Step 3. Use an extraction tool like Winrar to extract the content into its own folder. Then click on the Unmineable application to open it and go through the setup.
During the setup process, the app will ask if you want to mine with a GPU. Clap your hands with a resounding “Yes!” while clicking your heels midair.
The setup will also ask you to “Update miner file location”. Let’s come back to that.
Step 4. Install your mining software.
For our purposes, we use Phoenix Miner. (This miner works on both Nvidia GeForce GTX cards and AMD cards, which is why it’s popular for mining crypto.) Once you’ve installed it, repeat the step of extracting the content into its own folder. Make sure to copy the location of the application file.
Just in case you want to go with another option, here are a few alternatives to Phoenix Miner:
T-Rex Miner. T-Rex Miner is one of the few miners with the distinction of receiving frequent updates. It also seems to be a fan favorite among Nvidia users.
NBMiner. Full disclosure? This is one of my favorite miners. It’s easy to configure and use. Once you turn it on, you can continue to use your computer pretty much like normal while the miner runs in the background.
Step 5. Prepare a batch file by creating a txt document.
Copy and paste the following:
PhoenixMiner.exe -pool ethash.unmineable.com:3333 -wal DOGE:YOURDOGEWALLETADDRESS.WORKER_NAME -pass x
Replace “YOURDOGEWALLETADDRESS” with your actual doge wallet address. Remember: This address is from a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase (US) or Binance (international) if you want to cash out… or from the dogecoin wallet website, if you plan to HODL.
Replace “WORKER_NAME” with whatever name you want your mining rig to go by. You can call it “Skeptical-Poodle”. It doesn’t matter as long as you recognize it.
Save by clicking on “File”, going to “Save as…”, and saving as “Start.bat”, and instead of saving as txt, checking “All Files”. This way, once you close the file and double-click it to open it back up, it won’t reopen as a doc. It’ll instead start running the miner.
But we’re not there just yet!
Step 6. Once you’ve installed Phoenix Miner, return to the Unmineable app setup and paste your miner file location.
On the last screen, confirm that it’s indeed dogecoin you want to mine, and input your online wallet address again.
That’s it! You’ve successfully launched your dogecoin mining operation.
O Doge, will you be mined?
Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/rfUl0Lfyays
Dogecoin has come far for a meme coin. One of the earliest cryptocurrencies, what started off as a joke has created an army of millionaire crypto enthusiasts. Will doge go to $1 soon? Crazier things have happened in crypto.
If you want to add a passive income stream and a bag of doge to your pockets, the approach outlined in this article is easy to implement and non-risky.
Full disclosure? I hold doge. (And we’re not counting my lost college hard drive with my dogecoin wallet from Dec. 2013. Yes, it still hurts.)
And one day, maybe you’ll be sat at your desk, taking a break while you stare outside your window. Lean back, take a sip of your coffee. Then you receive a notification on your screen.
“Doge hits $2.”
You’re ecstatic. What a price surge, you shout! You’re jumping for joy. You’re over the moon. And it all started here on CoinGecko.
Valerio is a blockchain and cryptocurrency writer, and founder of the Freelance Copywriter Collective. He lives in Chiang Mai with his life partner and dog.