How to Mine Bitcoin on a Mobile Phone
Financial markets all around the world seem to be fixated on the concept of “cryptocurrencies”, a type of alternative virtual currency doing rounds across financial circles. There is an excess of 1600 cryptocurrencies and related token projects active in the world, with Bitcoin leading the way. In fact, Bitcoin is the world’s first created cryptocurrency, first coming to prominence in 2009. Like fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies have a lot of striking similarities, including the ability to produce more coins. This action is referred to as “mining” in the Cryptocurrency world, with Bitcoin mining being the most popular among investors.
Bitcoin Mining in Brief
Bitcoin Mining refers to the process of creating and securing “Bitcoins” and pumps them into the network. The Bitcoin network is heavily reliant on the miners for support and thus is rewarded for their effort. These rewards are generally paid small instalments of Bitcoins in exchange for the time and exertion a “miner” has invested. There are many ways to mine Bitcoin, the majority of which involve desktop units like using a PC’s CPU or GPU as well as more advanced programs like Application Specific Integrated Circuits or ASIC excavators. However, in this article I will touch upon one of the lesser known techniques to mine Bitcoin: Using one’s Mobile device.
Using Android Apps to Mine
Ever since the popularity of Bitcoin started to skyrocket some 3 to 4 years ago, developers everywhere have been researching, newer, easier and more profitable ways of mining bitcoins. One of the first considerations outside PCs and other computer devices were to use Mobile devices for the same. It should be noted that mining Bitcoin on a Mobile device is not as profitable as mining with a PC-rig, as mining usually requires very high processor speeds. So, I’d suggest buying Bitcoin directly instead of mining unless you have access to low cost electricity and high end hardware. That being said, smartphones and other Android devices have developed as well, some having a better computing power than old generation PCs.
Mining Bitcoin on any device is a very hardware intensive task, requiring the most recent, and cutting-edge mobile (Android) devices available. Another important consideration is the energy requirements for this process especially the power required to keep the Android device powered while the mining process continues. Today there are a number of Bitcoin mining apps available exclusively for android devices, with more being added frequently as bitcoin’s popularity continues to surge. Below are some examples:
- MinerGate (Mobile App)
- LTC Miner
- Easy Miner
- DroidMiner BTC/LTC Miner
I will now use the example of MinerGate to properly explain Bitcoin mining using an Android app. It should be noted that Bitcoin cannot be successfully mined in any of the apps due to the overall network difficulty present. For this reason, users can mine several other cryptocurrencies and convert them to Bitcoin using a third party exchange or wallet.
Using MinerGate for mobile
Among all the mining apps available for Android devices, probably the most well received app in the community has to Minergate. Even though Android mining in general has lost a significant degree of profitability over the years, it is still a credible way of utilising an Android’s computing power to mine Bitcoins and other related cryptocurrencies. Below, I will discuss some brief steps to start mining bitcoins using this app.
Step 1: The first step involves setting up an account with the app, which requires a desktop browser. Click the “Sign up” button located at the top right of the home page. After entering the required credentials, head on over to the Google Playstore and locate the Minergate Mobile App. If you do not or cannot sigh up on the website, you also sign up directly on the Minergate Android app.
Step 2: Once the download has been complete, open the app and sign in. You may see various Cryptocurrency related ads have popping up during this step. You’ll also be asked to set a 4 digit PIN/Passcode for withdrawals and other sensitive operations. Head over to the “Settings” tab and click on “thread count”. You will find Settings tab by clicking on Hamburger (☰) button on top left side of the app.
This is the section where a user has to carefully decide how much of his/her phone’s processing power should be allocated to mining. This can be tricky, as not all phones have the hardware capabilities to withstand the rigors of successive Bitcoin mining. For instance, if a user wants to use the least battery power required, the thread count should be turned to one. The thread count refers to the number of processors available, which may be 2, 4, 8, depending on the device used.
Step 3: Next, choose the Cryptocurrency that you intend to mine. As mentioned above, directly mining Bitcoin on an Android device is not profitable and MinerGate along with other mining apps have disabled this feature. The best bet is to mine other cryptocurrencies such as Bytecoin, Monero etc and convert them into Bitcoin. You should see the following page when selecting the appropriate token.
Step 4: Hit the Start button after selecting the token. In our example, I’ll be using Monero. After a while, H/s or hashrates will start to show up indicating the start of the project. You must wait patiently for shares to be found which can take a few minutes to complete.
Note: Phone battery must be charged or the miner won’t start.
Step 5: To ensure that your Android device is at its maximum efficiency, set the screen timeout limit to the max. Most androids have a maximum of 10 minutes. Ensure that the process is running by frequently checking on the app and not letting your android device go to “timeout” mode.
Bitcoin Mining, in general has lost its charm significantly over the last few years as network saturation levels are at an all-time high. That is why many crypto-analysts advice against using android devices to mine cryptocurrencies, in particular, Bitcoin. The whole process of Bitcoin mining has become thousand fold more complex as compared to what is was 3 or 4 years ago. As more and more elaborate mining techniques and hardware started to emerge, the degree of profitability of mobile mining has decreased and is almost non-existent. That is why it is advised to research and take a look at other cryptocurrencies such as Monero, Bytecoin etc. that still possess a high degree of profitability after mining.