You are previewing Bitcoin Essentials.
O'Reilly logo
Bitcoin Essentials

Book Description

Gain insights into Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency and a powerful technology, to optimize your Bitcoin mining techniques

About This Book

  • Learn how to use the advanced features of Bitcoin wallets

  • Set up your Bitcoin mining operations to mine with efficiency

  • Explore what the future holds for mining and blockchains in this pragmatic guide

  • Who This Book Is For

    If you have never mined before, this book will ensure that you know what mining is all about. If you are familiar with Bitcoin mining, then it will help you to optimize your mining operations at a deeper level. A basic understanding of computers and operating systems is assumed, and some familiarity with cryptocurrency basics would be an added advantage.

    What You Will Learn

  • Get introduced to Bitcoin mining from the ground up

  • Find out about mining software and the different types of mining hardware

  • Master setup techniques to enable efficient mining

  • Examine the pros and cons of the different types of mining hardware

  • Deduce the differences between solo and pool mining

  • Take a peek into professional mining farms

  • Explore the future of mining and blockchain-based applications

  • In Detail

    Blockchain is being billed as the technology of the future. Bitcoin is the first application of that technology. Mining is what makes it all possible. Exploring mining from a practical perspective will help you make informed decisions about your mining setup. Understanding what the future may hold for blockchains, and therefore for mining, will help you position yourself to take advantage of the impending changes.

    This practical guide starts with an introduction to Bitcoin wallets, as well as mining hardware and software. You will move on to learn about different mining techniques using the CPU, GPU, FPGA, and ultimately the ASIC as an example. After this, you will gain an insight into solo mining and pool mining, and see the differences between the two. The book will then walk you through large-scale mining and the challenges faced during such operations. Finally, you will take a look into the future to see a world where blockchain-based applications are commonplace and mining is ubiquitous.

    Style and approach

    This is a practical guide that includes detailed step-by-step instructions and examples on each essential concept of Bitcoin mining.

    Downloading the example code for this book. You can download the example code files for all Packt books you have purchased from your account at If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit and register to have the code file.

    Table of Contents

    1. Bitcoin Essentials
      1. Table of Contents
      2. Bitcoin Essentials
      3. Credits
      4. About the Author
      5. About the Reviewer
        1. eBooks, discount offers, and more
          1. Why subscribe?
      7. Preface
        1. What this book covers
        2. What you need for this book
        3. Who this book is for
        4. Conventions
        5. Reader feedback
        6. Customer support
          1. Downloading the color images of this book
          2. Errata
          3. Piracy
          4. Questions
      8. 1. Bitcoin Wallets and Mining Software
        1. Bitcoin wallets
          1. What is a Bitcoin wallet?
          2. Why do we need Bitcoin wallets?
        2. Types of wallets
          1. Software wallets
          2. Hardware wallets
          3. Full wallet versus thin client
          4. Hosted wallets
          5. Wallet security
        3. Mining software
          1. The need for mining software
          2. What does mining software do?
          3. Which mining software to choose?
        4. Summary
      9. 2. CPU Mining
        1. Mining with Bitcoin Core
          1. Mining software
          2. Let's start mining
        2. Pros and cons of mining
          1. Pros of mining
          2. Cons of mining
        3. Best practices when mining with CPUs
        4. Profitability of mining
        5. Summary
      10. 3. GPU Mining
        1. Setting up a GPU for mining
          1. Drivers
          2. Mining software
            1. Windows installation instructions
            2. Linux installation instructions
            3. Let's start mining
          3. Multiple GPU setup
          4. Mining on a GPU
        2. Pros and cons of GPU mining
          1. Pros of GPU mining
          2. Cons of GPU mining
        3. Best practices when mining with GPUs
        4. Benchmarks of mining speeds with different GPUs
        5. GPU versus CPU mining
        6. Profitability of GPU mining
        7. Summary
      11. 4. FPGA Mining
        1. Setup and installation of the required software
          1. Mining software
            1. Linux installation instructions
            2. Windows installation instructions
            3. Let's start mining
          2. What happens when mining on a FPGA
        2. Pros and cons of FPGA mining
          1. Pros of FPGA mining
          2. Cons of FPGA mining
        3. Best practices when mining with FPGAs
        4. Benchmarks of mining speeds with different FPGAs
        5. FPGA versus GPU and CPU mining
        6. Profitability of FPGA mining
        7. Summary
      12. 5. ASIC Mining
        1. Setting up mining software
          1. Drivers
          2. Mining software
            1. Installing cgminer on Linux
            2. Installing cgminer on Windows
          3. Let's start mining
          4. What happens when mining on a ASIC
        2. Pros and cons of ASIC mining
          1. Pros of ASIC mining
          2. Cons of ASIC mining
        3. Best practices when mining with ASICs
        4. Benchmarks of mining speeds with different ASICs
        5. ASIC versus FPGA, GPU, and CPU mining
        6. Profitability of ASIC mining
        7. Summary
      13. 6. Solo Versus Pool Mining
        1. Solo mining
          1. Setting up a wallet for solo mining
          2. Setting up mining software for solo mining
          3. Setting up mining software for pool mining
        2. Pool mining discussion
          1. Mining pools
          2. Choosing a pool
          3. Solo versus pool mining
          4. Profitability
        3. Majority attack on Bitcoin
          1. 51% attack
        4. Summary
      14. 7. Large Scale Mining
        1. Large Scale Mining overview
        2. Large Scale Mining challenges
          1. Inexpensive and reliable electricity
          2. Good network connectivity
          3. Access to latest hardware
          4. Stable political climate
          5. Bitcoin exchange rate
          6. Cooling of mining hardware
        3. Large Scale Mining operations
          1. BitFury
          2. KnC Miner
          3. 21 INC
          4. Mega Big Power
          5. Genesis Mining
          6. Other mine operators
        4. Summary
      15. 8. The Future of Bitcoin Mining
        1. Overview of the current state of mining
        2. Further centralization of mining
          1. Hardware arms race
          2. Halving of the reward
          3. Consolidation, mergers, and acquisitions
          4. Bitcoin exchange rate
          5. Quantum computing and mining
          6. Cracking the security of SHA-256
          7. Centralization by region
          8. Governments adopting cryptocurrencies
          9. Decentralization of mining
          10. Mining chips everywhere
          11. 21 INC and the Bitcoin Computer
          12. Mining devices as a source of heat
          13. The end of the ASIC arms race is near
        3. Decentralized mining is key
        4. Elimination of PoW
          1. Inefficiency of PoW
          2. Replacement of PoW
        5. Can we do without mining?
          1. Replacing or eliminating mining
          2. Efficiency of mining
          3. Possible ways in which mining may change
        6. Summary
      16. Index