So you’ve heard about this whole Dogecoin phenomenon and want to get your paws on some. If so then you’ve come to the right place because that’s exactly what we’re looking to help you do! For those completely new to DOGE, and possibly other cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin is a fun cryptocurrency that can be used to transact online. At the moment it’s mostly used to tip people on sites like Reddit though there are some merchants starting to accept it. If you don’t yet have a Dogecoin wallet and need a full primer I suggest you check out our guide to Getting Started With Dogecoin.
Commonly referred to in other cryptocurrencies as mining, the process of digging for DOGE allows you to use your computer’s CPU (Central Processing Unit) to do a certain amount of cryptographic work. This amount of work helps to secure the network that runs Dogecoin.
In the early days of Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, mining was done solely with CPUs and could even be done solo in a process referred to as solo mining. Eventually this became too difficult which led to a process now referred to as pool mining. For this tutorial we’ll be covering how to engage in pool digging for Dogecoin. Pool digging allows a group of users to band together and solve cryptographic problems that would be too difficult for them alone.
The point of mining is to solve what is referred to as a block. Each block that is solved comes with a certain award of Dogecoin. These Dogecoin are then distributed amongst the diggers that contributed to the pool digging.
While this guide will cover digging with a CPU, it is also possible to use a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). GPUs typically dig at a much faster rate than CPUs and thus earn more Dogecoin. You may have heard of ASICs before, which are specialized hardware designed to mine Bitcoin. At the time of this writing, none are known to exist that are capable of digging Dogecoin.
Disclaimer: Digging full time with some types of computers, such as laptops, could be harmful to your hardware as they aren’t able to dissipate the heat. It is recommended that you only dig lightly with such devices.
Joining A Digging Pool
First up you’ll need to join a Dogecoin pool. Right now it looks like nearly all Dogecoin pools are running the same software, though some pool operators have tweaked theirs a little bit. For this guide I’m going to cover mining with Dogehouse.org, though the process should be the same for virtually all Dogecoin pools.
Once registered you’ll need to setup a ‘worker’. A worker is just a name and password that your CPU mining program will use to communicate with the mining pool.
You’ll need the worker information for the next part so keep the window open or write the information down. You can choose whatever name and password that you want for your workers as they’re mostly used for tracking multiple computers. If you have multiple computers you’d like to use you can setup different workers for each of them.
Setting Up The CPU Miner
While the Dogecoin client does have a CPU miner included with it, that’s not the one we’ll be using for this tutorial. I wouldn’t suggest trying to solo mine with it as your chances of finding a block by yourself are pretty low. Instead you’ll need to download a simple CPU mining program. Choose the version that fits your operating system from the below link to Bitcointalk.
Once you have the .zip file downloaded, go ahead and extract it to another folder. You should see something like the below (Windows).
Now if you’re good with the command line or terminal you can go ahead and run the program from there. However, since this is the beginner’s guide I’m going to show you how to make a shortcut for the program that will make it easier to use and start (The following portion is specific to Windows users).
First make sure you have the information for you mining pool handy. Then open up the folder with pooler miner in it. Next right click on minerd, then click on Create Shortcut. You should see a new file named minerd – Shortcut. Now right click on minerd – Shortcut and click on properties. You’ll see a window pop up with the properties for minerd.
You’re only going to need to change one line, the one labeled Target. You want to keep everything that is currently on that line, but add the information for your pool at the end of it. Below is a basic usage example (change to your location/worker information).
C:UsersUsernameDesktoppooler-cpuminer-2.3.2-win64minerd.exe –url=http://myminingpool.com:9332 –userpass=my.worker:password
For me the following line worked for Dogehouse.org:
C:UsersUsernameDesktoppooler-cpuminer-2.3.2-win64minerd.exe –url=stratum+tcp://stratum2.dogehouse.org:943 –userpass=CryptoJunky.CPU:12345
Once you have your settings then just go ahead and double click on the shortcut, you should see a screen like the one below pop up and start running.
You can also check your dashboard at your mining pool’s website to get an idea of your hashrate (it usually takes a good 10-20 minutes until it shows actual speed, as it is averaged over time).
Note also that Dogehouse.org has several different URLs you can use to point your digger(s) to them. Check your mining pool’s website for information on which URL you should be pointing to. For a list of other pools you can check this page at DogeDigging.com.
While GPU digging or mining can be somewhat profitable, CPU mining is unlikely to be very lucrative. A couple of weeks ago I put together a profitability calculator, or Dogecoin Digging Calculator, that will provide a crude estimate of how much a digger might make in a day/week/month if conditions were to remain constant. You just have to change the box labeled HashRate (kh/s) to the number you’re getting on your Dashboard.
So why dig Dogecoin if it isn’t going to make you a lot of money? Well first off it’s fun and will teach you a lot about cryptocurrencies. Second, since there are a lot more Dogecoins out there than other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, you’ll earn full Dogecoins even with a CPU. This will give you some coins to play around with and learn with. If you want to make a bunch of coins you can even look into GPU mining which requires the use of a high end graphics card to dig a bunch of Dogecoins.
Mainly because Dogecoin doesn’t take itself too seriously, and a little because there will be 100 Billion DOGE. Currently it is very difficult for newcomers to cryptocurrencies to get their hands on an entire unit. Regardless of what people may say about unit bias and the perception of scarcity and what not, it is still just fun to be able to send entire coins. With the 100 Billion DOGE cap, Dogecoin are much easier to come by for newcomers. Even mining with a CPU will earn you a few Dogecoin a day right now. Conversely, trying to mine Bitcoin or Litecoin with a CPU is a near impossible task. It would easily take you more than one lifetime to earn a single coin at the rate things are going. Because of the difficulty of acquiring Bitcoin, some are referring to Dogecoin as a gateway cryptocurrency.
So in the interest of fun, experimentation, and taking a load off, I’m writing about Dogecoin. For the same reasons that it is fun to play around with, I wouldn’t expect them to have a high valuation per coin anytime soon. So go ahead, dig up some Dogecoin and have fun playing around with them!
I’ll also be covering some CPU specific cryptocurrencies in the future that might make you a bit of money with just a CPU so check back for those!