Dogecoin Mining: Explained
Dogecoin is a popular altcoin that was launched in late 2013. It has a Shiba Inu as its official mascot and uses a mining algorithm (or hash function) called ‘Scrypt.’
As with other ‘Proof-of-Work’ cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin miners compete in a race to confirm blocks of transactions on the network. Each new block comes with a unique mathematical problem attached. The first miner to crack the code is rewarded with newly-minted coins.
Is it Difficult to Mine Dogecoin?
Mining Dogecoin has become a lot harder since its inception. This reflects higher levels of competition on the network. One significant development was the discovery of a way to allow powerful ASIC miners to interpret and work with Scrypt algorithms.
In 2014, the advent of ‘merged mining’ gave miners of other high-profile altcoins (such as Litecoin) the ability to dig for Litecoin simultaneously. To make matters worse, falling block rewards have lowered the potential returns available to all Dogecoin miners.
Technically speaking, mining ‘difficulty’ refers to the amount of computation needed to solve a single block problem. A cryptocurrency’s difficulty rating changes in relation to factors such as the total amount of mining (or hashing) power on the network.
Since early 2018, Dogecoin’s difficulty has ranged between 2 and 6 million. As you might imagine, that’s a lot less number-crunching than is required by Bitcoin (16 trillion). However, it’s considerably more than many other, less well-known cryptocurrencies.
So what does this mean for you? Put the difficulty of solving a single Dogecoin block is beyond the scope of most small-scale solo miners. Accordingly, newcomers often join forces with other miners to form a collective (or ‘mining pool’).
Stage 1: Dogecoin Mining – Go Solo or Join a Pool?
Solo Mining Dogecoin
Going it alone may sound exciting, but the reality is somewhat different. Granted, you’ll get to keep all of your winnings. Plus, you’re not liable for additional fees beyond your basic hardware and running costs.
However, as the little guy, you’re going to find it challenging to compete with the hashing muscle of the ASICs and Litecoin merged miners. That could mean going for long periods without seeing any returns on your mining investment.
Dogecoin Mining Pools
A more palatable solution for newbies and smaller miners is to join a pool. Members of mining pools combine their hashing power, enhancing the group’s ability to compete for blocks. Rewards are then shared out on a pro-rata basis.
The main attraction of a pool is that it generates a steadier flow of mining returns than a solo effort. Examples of popular mining pools that support Scrypt are Multipool and Prohashing.
Nevertheless, one major drawback to this type of arrangement is you’ll have to pay a fee. You’re also susceptible to any problems in the pool, including outages and other mining interruptions.
Dogecoin Cloud Mining Pools
Perhaps the easiest way to get up and running is by using a cloud-based mining service. These are remote data centers that let you rent mining hardware in exchange for a monthly fee.
The cloud approach is particularly enticing for less sophisticated users. Those with limited mining experience have the peace of mind of knowing that a dedicated professional is monitoring all of the operational and technical details. You can sit back and wait for the coins to be deposited in your wallet.
On the downside, most cloud mining services work based on fixed longer-term contacts. This introduces a degree of market risk into the mix. If the price of Dogecoin were to fall sharply, the return on your investment could plummet.
Stage 2: Choosing the Best Dogecoin Mining Hardware
Using a CPU (Central Processing Unit) for Mining Dogecoin
In theory, the CPU on your laptop or desktop computer has the capacity to mine Dogecoin. That said, it’s not well suited to the task at hand and can easily overheat.
More importantly, a regular CPU lacks the power to compete in the current environment dominated by ASIC miners. Due to the rapid growth of merged mining, most Dogecoins rewards are actually won by mega pools primarily focused on other altcoins.
Using a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) for Mining Dogecoin
Multiple GPUs will give you a clear advantage over basic CPU mining. But it still won’t be enough to command a serious profit when you’re competing against ASICs.
But don’t just take our word for it. There are many free online mining calculators that will help you estimate your money-making potential. So long as your expectations are realistic, a GPU setup can be a decent jumping-off point for getting involved in the Dogecoin mining community.
Your best bet is to use a high-level graphics card manufacturer such as Nvidia or ADM. Set up a mining rig, download a compatible software package, and get going.
Using an ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) for Mining Dogecoin
By now, it should be clear that if you’re serious about mining Dogecoin for profit, an ASIC is an essential requirement. The processing power you’ll get from one of these boxes far exceeds a CPU or GPU arrangement. They’re also more energy-efficient.
Even so, ASICs are noisy and generate a lot of heat. This can be an inconvenience for home-based miners. The general consensus is that the Bitmain Antminer L3++ is one of the best products on the market.
While standard ASIC miners are not particularly expensive, the amount of wear and tear they receive means that their value depreciates rapidly. And unlike a graphics card with multiple uses, ASICs are specifically made for mining and offer no other benefits.
Stage 3: Getting Set Up To Start Mining Dogecoin
Starting Solo Mining Dogecoin
First things first. You’ll need a Mac or a PC with a good internet connection and a Windows, OS X, or Linux operating system. As already mentioned, ASIC devices will give you by far the most mining bang for your buck.
It’s also helpful if you’re mining from a location where electricity costs are low and stable. Always use a profitability calculator to get a rough idea of the viability of your mining operation before launching into it.
Next, you’ll want to choose a wallet (see ‘Where to Store Your Mined Dogecoin?’ below). We recommend you use Atomic Wallet’s storage device. Once this is all in place, you can install the appropriate mining software and get going.
In our opinion, CGMiner is a good solution for most ASIC equipment. Download and configure the application, link to your wallet, and you should be ready to start mining.
How Long Does the Dogecoin Mining Process Take?
Every minute a block of Dogecoin is mined. The reward for the successful miner is 10,000 coins. How long the process takes, you will depend on your equipment and setup. As a rule of thumb, the best ASIC miners will net you at least one coin per hour.
If you’re serious about mining Dogecoin, one of the best strategies is to constantly reinvest your profits. Alternatively, if the ROI isn’t there, you could try mining other cryptocurrencies and exchanging them for Dogecoins.
Where to Store Your Mined Dogecoin?
There are lots of options for wallets; however, some are much better than others when it comes to reliability and functionality. Atomic Wallet is a great option and is consistently ranked as one of the best storage devices on the market.
Atomic Wallet’s user-friendly app is compatible with over 300 coins and tokens, including Dogecoin, and works on all major operating systems.
Dogecoin mining is accessible to pretty much anyone with a laptop and an internet connection. In recent years the entry of ASICs and merged mining into space have reduced the appeal of solo and pooled mining. In short, if you’re looking for big, fast gains, there are probably better options.
Having said that, Dogecoin mining does offer a valuable service in validating market transactions. Due to the low entry barriers, it is a useful training wheel for anyone who wants to learn more about cryptocurrency mining.