Dogecoin’s incredible start to the year has attracted record numbers of miners to its network. But how easy is it to mine Dogecoin and what do you need to participate?
Dogecoin has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a joke cryptocurrency revolving around a viral internet meme of a Shiba Inu “doge”. What was once a parody project deliberately designed by software engineers Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus to be “as ridiculous as possible” is now a top ten crypto asset with a market cap of $ 32 billion and one worldwide fan base.
The spectacular surge in Dogecoin in the first half of 2021, largely driven by internet pop culture and the relentless advertising of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, unsurprisingly rekindled interest in Dogecoin mining, given the profitability of mining rises to a new six-year high.
Despite its recent success, mining Dogecoin is still significantly less competitive than mining Bitcoin (but still difficult). New blocks are also discovered much faster and the coin rewards are much higher – 10,000 DOGE per block reward versus 6.25 BTC.
How does Dogecoin mining work?
Dogecoin’s blockchain network uses the same system to add new blocks to its decentralized ledger and to reach an agreement between its network participants such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and many other cryptocurrencies.
This process, known as the “proof-of-work” mechanism, involves “mining,” in which individuals or organizations compete for the right to add new blocks of outstanding transactions to the blockchain ledger using specialized computing equipment.
More specifically, miners use their machines to attempt to create a fixed-length code known as a “hash” with a value equal to or less than the target value of the new block known as the “target hash”. Whoever creates the winning code receives the exclusive right to add new transaction data to the next block in the chain and is rewarded with newly minted coins.
Every hash generated is completely random so it is simply a process of trial and error until a miner wins.
How Dogecoin mining compares with Bitcoin and Litecoin mining (as of June 2021):
Typically, PoW blockchains like Bitcoin and Litecoin usually have a predetermined total supply of coins that need to be mined in order to be added to the circulating supply (21 million and 84 million respectively). Think of this as real mining and how precious gems or gold must be physically mined before they can hit the market.
However, unlike most cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin does not have a maximum supply limit. The circulating supply will increase indefinitely over time as new coins are created through mining.
New blocks are discovered about once a minute on the Dogecoin network. For comparison: Bitcoin blocks are discovered roughly every 10 minutes.
Despite using the same proof-of-work system, Dogecoin mining works a little differently than Bitcoin.
Bitcoin, the oldest and largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, uses a hashing algorithm called SHA-256. This may sound complicated, but a hashing algorithm is simply a function that uses a certain technique to generate a code of fixed length. Think of this as random code generators, where each hashing algorithm generates random codes in a unique way.
Dogecoin and Litecoin use a hashing algorithm called Scrypt, which is less complex than SHA-256. This makes mining Litecoin and Dogecoin much faster and less energy-intensive than Bitcoin.
By using a common algorithm, Dogecoin and Litecoin mining could be “merged”, which means that both coins can be mined at the same time without affecting operational efficiency. The two share a common algorithm as the design of Dogecoin is based on Luckycoin, which in turn was derived from Litecoin.
How to mine Dogecoin
In the early years, mining Dogecoin was much easier with very few people participating in the network. This meant that anyone could mine the coin individually. However, as DOGE grew in popularity, the mining process became more difficult, which resulted in the miners banding together and forming “mining pools”.
A mining pool is a group of individual miners who mine the cryptocurrency as a single unit or as a node by pooling their computing power. The rewards are then distributed among pool participants in proportion to the amount of computing power employed by each miner.
Today there are three main approaches to mining Dogecoin:
- Individual mining / solo mining
- Mining basin
- Cloud mining
Solo mining and joining a mining pool
For anyone who wants to dismantle DOGE for fun or just to understand the process, this can be done independently with a GPU using software such as EasyMiner, for example. The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is a specialized processor that renders all of the images on a computer’s screen, and many laptops and desktop computers use it to improve image processing.
However, mining alone can be a difficult process and is rarely profitable unless one is willing to spend significant sums of money on top notch equipment and utility bills.
For crypto enthusiasts looking to try and make a profit from doge mining, joining a mining pool is usually recommended and offers a much better chance of becoming a block validator due to the pool’s collective hashing power. But before jumping into a mining pool, be prepared to pay 1% -3% fees for the privilege to participate and always check beforehand how each pool calculates the payouts for its members.
Popular Dogecoin mining pools in 2021 include:
Dogecoin cloud mining
Dogecoin can also be earned through cloud mining, which is not really mining per se. Cloud mining essentially involves renting computing power from a data center and paying a monthly or annual fee in accordance with an agreed contract. The selected coin will then be mined in the center via a mining pool and then shared with you, depending on how much computing power you pay.
The main disadvantage of cloud mining is that most contracts are time-limited, which means you can lose money if DOGE prices drop below the operating and electricity costs associated with mining.
However, it can be just as effective as joining a mining pool and doesn’t require any special equipment from the user. Anyone who opts for the cloud mining route only needs a Dogecoin wallet.
Popular cloud mining pools that DOGE support include:
Must-haves in Dogecoin mining
For individuals interested in mining Dogecoin on their own or through a mining pool, a range of devices will be required to get started.
There are three types of hardware devices you can use for DOGE mining:
- CPU – Your PC’s central processing unit may still be an option today, but it is not really recommended as it can damage your computer from overheating.
- GPU – A graphics processing unit is more powerful than a CPU and can be used to mine Dogecoins.
- ASIC – an application-specific integrated circuit is a computing machine specially built to generate hashes. ASICs are far more powerful than GPUs and, unsurprisingly, more expensive. Anyone planning to buy an ASIC should look specifically for a Scrypt-based ASIC miner.
Once you’ve decided which type of hardware to use, you’ll need to download the accompanying software as well. Here are some of the leading software options currently available:
- CPU – CPU miner from Pooler.
- GPU – EasyMiner is great for beginners, CudaMiner works best with Nvidia GPUs, while CGminer works well with all types of GPUs.
- ASIC – CGminer and EasyMiner can also be used with ASICs, but most ASIC miners use MultiMiner.
A Dogecoin wallet is essential for mining and provides a safe place to receive all of the Dogecoin rewards generated from mining. A crypto wallet consists of a public key address to send and receive DOGE and a private key to access it. The latter must be kept safe and not shared with anyone. There are different types of wallets, such as:
- Online: Anyone who digs for fun can opt for an online wallet like Coinbase or Binance. These aren’t as secure as other wallet options, but are much more convenient to use.
- Software: Software wallets are located on your PC or mobile device and not online, which makes them more secure. You can download the original Dogecoin wallet or use third-party software wallets.
- Hardware: Hardware wallets are considered to be the most secure solution for storing crypto assets. These are physical devices similar to a USB stick that store crypto offline. The leading hardware wallets include the Ledger Nano S and the Trezor Model T.
It’s worth noting that good access to electricity and an internet connection are essential for mining cryptocurrencies. If you choose to do ASIC mining, it is recommended to keep the rigs in a cool and isolated place to avoid overheating and annoying neighbors from the noise.
Is Dogecoin Mining Profitable?
Well, Dogecoin mining can still be profitable, especially thanks to the recent price hike. However, don’t expect to become a millionaire. With powerful hardware and joining a pool, you have the best possible chance of benefiting from doge mining. If you want to know how much you could be making (roughly) per month, there is a Dogecoin mining calculator that you can use.
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