Journey into Cryptocurrency

Last week, my new Windows PC with an RTX 3080 finally arrived, and I was lucky enough to get a 3080 before the limited hash rate version came out. Getting one without the hash rate limit got me thinking about digging into cryptocurrency.

This isn’t the first time I’ve dipped my toes in the water. My interest in cryptocurrency always seems to perk up when I get a new GPU, but after some playing around, I tend to give up on it. Mining generates too much heat in the room for Texas summers. I’m also unsure if cryptocurrencies are viable for normal transactions, and it would be too speculative if I just wanted to exchange dollars for cryptocurrencies instead of mining them.

I was also afraid of losing my security codes, my PC wallet failing, getting hacked, or using a seemingly reputable exchange that would later collapse like Mt. Gox.

The concept behind any cryptocurrency, the blockchain, is fairly simple and has a growing list of practical applications. These days, there are more accessible tutorials and explanations available to make the concept of a cryptocurrency easy to understand. My favorite is “But how does bitcoin actually work?” by 3Blue1Brown.

For my latest journey into cryptocurrencies, I’m focusing on casually mining coins while it still seems viable with consumer GPUs. I’m trying out two mining programs: NiceHash and CudoMiner, and I bought a Ledger Nano S wallet to store my coins.

One snag I hit is that there are minimum amounts that you need to have before you can transfer coins from your wallet with the mining program to another wallet. This is mainly due to the cost of transferring a currency from one wallet to another. After about 40 hours total of mining with NiceHash, I still haven’t met the minimum amount.

I want to mine enough to transfer to my ledger wallet and then try to buy something with the coins in my wallet.

It’s been fun to learn about cryptocurrencies, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this journey goes.