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Litecoin is a cryptocurrency that uses an algorithm known as Scrypt. Litecoin is convenient as it can handle big numbers of transactions because of its fast block generation.
What is Litecoin mining?
Litecoin mining is the process of doing mathematical calculations with computer hardware, for confirming transactions. As a miner, you need to gather transaction fees, confirm them and be awarded Litecoins for each block that you verify.
If you are interested in mining Litecoin then you are in the right place. Do you want to know how to mine Litecoin? Well, here are some methods of Litecoin mining with their pros and cons.
How does Litecoin mining work?
Litecoin mining uses a method known as proof of work. Through proof of work system, miners are competing against one another in order to successfully complete transactions on the network and receive rewards accordingly. As PoW system involves intensive mining processes it may be not very effective and expensive if we take into account electricity costs and opportunity costs such as time. Litecoins have to be included in a block, in order to send those and make transactions. Please note that the transactions are verified with the PoW.
During this process, the miners review the transactions with the previous ones that have been recorded on the blockchain. This is done for avoiding the idea of “double-spends”. Later, all the new blocks are sent to the nodes that are on the network. The miners’ work is used by the nodes so that the verification and transmit transactions of the network keep going on. The rewards are distributed among the miners after each block is mined. These rewards appear to be incentives for the miners to make sure that they will continue providing their hashing power to the network.
Litecoin Cloud Mining
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on equipment, but you’re very much interested in Litecoin mining then cloud mining is a good solution for you.
Cloud mining services rent out their facilities. It is a good alternative for minimizing costs as a miner (cheap electricity, low fees) and for being more productive.
Cloud mining rates for Scrypt algorithm miners is $7.50 per 1 MH/s, with a minimum hash rate of 1MH/s, maintenance fee $0.005 / 1 MH/s / 24 hours.
Pros of Cloud Mining
- Low costs
- No equipment needed
- No ventilation needed
Cons of Cloud Mining
- Many scams
- Shady Cloud mining operations
- Low profits
- Unable to change the mining software
Litecoin Mining Pools
Mining pools are the network of several people who wish to mine and collaborate while mining a block and eventually split the profit with one another.
A very important parameter that you should take into consideration while joining a mining pool is its reputation.
A mining pool with a good reputation will provide you stability and progress. As for profitability, you need to know that high hash rates mean the variance of profits is lower.
Pros of Mining Pools
- Fast and easy
- Low costs
- Shared resources
- More profits from a mining block
Cons of Mining Pools
- Rewards are shared among miners
- Risks of service attacks
Best Litecoin Miner 2018
There are not many profitable litecoin miners out there. Litecoin uses a unique scrypt-based mining algorithm which makes it difficult and expensive to produce mining machines. However, the Antminer L3+ ASIC LTC miner has proven to be the solution for litecoin miners. It packs 288 mining chips in its shoe-box size with a combined hashing power of 504 MH/s. It consumes 800 watts but this may rise slightly at the wall (10%). If you intend to buy this device for profitable litecoin mining, it has an estimated annual return of $581 if you pay $0.1 kWh in electricity costs. If litecoin’s mining difficulty doesn’t change significantly, it will take 17 months to get your money back.
The L3+ is considered to be the best litecoin miner out there which shows that Bitmain has consistently proven to be a leader in producing ASICs. You can also mine litecoins with GPU machines, but none of them is able to outperform the L3+’s performance.
Can Litecoin mining be profitable?
To understand if Litecoin mining is profitable or not, let’s look at some numbers;
Block time: 2m 27s (the time for each block to be completed)
Last block: 1, 339, 867
Block reward: 25 (by solving one block you get 25 Litecoins)
Block reward 24h: 25
Difficulty 3 days: 3,524,870.838
Difficulty 7 days: 3,491,958.019 (As you see the difficulty grew as more Litecoins were mined)
Nethash: 104.28 Th/s
|Per||Pool Fee||Est. Rewards||Rev. $||Cost||Profit|
As you see, mining Litecoin may be rather profitable and you can have a breakeven in around 100 days.
The hardware costs vary depending on speed, to give you an idea about the current prices:
Radeon HD 7990 – speed 1100 KH/s, power 375 W, Price $600
Radeon HD 7970 – speed 700 KH/s, power 250 W, Price $310
Radeon HD 7950 – speed 600 KH/s, power 200 W, Price $255.
Litecoin mining calculator
Litecoin mining calculator is created for helping people to understand how much profit can they earn if they use a certain kind of Litecoin miner. In order to determine the profit or the loss from the given miner, the calculator takes into account costs such as the electricity cost, possible fees, the cost of the LTC mining hardware and so on. Using Litecoin mining calculators is very simple. All you need to do is enter the name of the particular LTC miner you are interested in and click on the “Compute” button. Some calculators may also ask for further information about the given miner such as the hash rate (shows how powerful is the given miner), power usage (how much electricity does the miner consume) that you can find out easily on the websites the miner is sold on. Make sure you use reliable and up to date calculators to avoid poor decisions. The best Litecoin mining calculator is https://www.litecoinpool.org/calc.
Litecoin Solo Mining
When you do solo mining, you keep the rewards just to yourself. Currently, the award per block is 25 new Litecoins (the number is halved with every 840,000 blocks).
The rewards might not be as sustainable as in case of pool mining and might be a bit more complicated to start with.
Solo mining the costs are a lot higher and to have a better idea you should check out the special Litecoin mining calculators.
Pros of Solo Mining
- You keep all the rewards to yourself
- Can be profitable in the long run
Cons of Solo Mining
- High costs
Litecoin mining with GPU
For beginners, GPU (Litecoin mining hardware) is a very good option. Even though it may seem complicated at first, it will help you to get a better idea about the processes of mining.
It is also very important to pay attention to the temperature and make sure that the cooling system is working well enough as mining is very intensive.
The GPU mining costs largely depend on your electricity costs. With the help of calculators, you can check your potential profits.
You may assume that the values are 150 MH/s for hashing speed, 750 watts for power consumption (RX 470 GPU) and put the electricity rates that correspond to your country’s electricity rates.
For a more detailed understanding of costs, you should take into account the cooling costs too.
Pros of GPU mining
- The best way of learning about the mining process
- Profitable (see below for more details)
Cons of GPU mining
- High energy consumption
- Confusing (at first)
- Creates extra costs for ventilation
For mining Litecoin, GPU rigs do not work anymore. This is probably because of the increasing difficulty of mining Litecoin. The Radeon HD 7990 in specific, is quite outdated. It can certainly be used to mine other altcoins, but Litecoin mining with this card is not even remotely possible anymore.
Previously, mining Litecoin was pretty easy just by the use of a regular intermediate-high end laptop. However, special mining equipment such as ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) will now be needed to handle Scrypt-based coins such as the Litecoin. This would not be possible without a good level of investment at first, and one may still have to join a mining pool so as to get instant returns.
Some miners claim that CPU is one of the easiest methods to start with. However, if we compare the hash rates of CPU to GPU, GPU is much better as the hash rate is around 5 times faster.
Note: Miners have to create a cryptographic hash of the block. The cryptographic hash function is a set of hash functions with certain features, and mathematical algorithms for mapping data of any size.
The whole process of hashing may get difficult if the blocks appear often to create competition.
Pros of CPU mining
- Easy for starters
- Useful for a better understanding of the process
- No specialized hardware is needed
Cons of CPU mining
- Low hash rates
- Vulnerable to bot networks
- Not very flexible
Guide for mining Litecoin using GPU
Can you mine Litecoin? Yes, you can. Let’s find out how you can go about it using GPU.
For GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) mining you’ll need a good graphics processor, for which many laptops aren’t fast enough. To solve this issue miners often get machines that can keep many graphics cards.
If you want to know how to mine Litecoin, here are the steps to litecoin mining using GPU?
Step 1 – decide if you want to do solo or pool mining
Solo mining: what should you do to get started?
- Get Litecoin client installed and configured.
- Afterward, you need to catch up with the network to get started with mining.
- Then set up the Litecoin client and open in the %appdata%\litecoin folder.
- Right-click on the folder, “new” and choose “Text Document”.
- As a result, a window will pop up on your screen and ask if you want to change the extension of a .txt file to .conf, and you need to choose
- You are ready to start mining litecoin.
Setting up mining pool: to do this, register an account on a website of your preference. However, you need to be very careful in choosing one as some sites are scams.
Step 2 – create a Litecoin wallet to store your Litecoins
You can install your Litecoin wallet from the official website of Litecoin, for your operating system. It is very important to keep your wallet very safe. To do so, keep your key safe and avoid losing it.
Step 3 – install a mining software
In this case, we will use CGMiner. After downloading it move the files to Local Disk C:\
Step 4 – run the software
To start mining go to cmd.exe and run this command:
Pooled mining: c:\cgminer-2.11.3-win32\cgminer -scrypt -o http://coinotron.com:3334 -u <login> -p <password> -thread-concurrency 24000 -I 10 -g 1 -w 256
Solo mining: c:\cgminer-2.11.3-win32\cgminer -scrypt -o http://127.0.0.1:9332 -u username -p password -thread-concurrency 8192-l 10 -g 1 -w 256
Now determine the optimum settings:
- I – this is the intensity that can be between 0 and 18 that decides your hash rate. 18 may be intense and freeze your computer. You need to see which rate is the most efficient for you.
- g – this is the GPU threads.
- w – this is work size.
- temp-cutoff – here you set the maximum temperature.
- thread-concurrency – must be multiple of 64. 7xxx cards 64* bus_width_of_card_in_bits. For example, in case of 7950, you’ll have 64*384=24576
Step 5 – shortcuts
If everything is doing fine, you’re welcome to do shortcuts on the desktop by right-clicking on your desktop, “new”, “Shortcut” and paste the commands.
Litecoin mining software
When it comes to Litecoin mining, an essential ingredient of the process is the litecoin mining software. To give you a better idea about the best litecoin mining software, here are some of the best ones.
SGMiner supports only GPU miners, as it considers that software created for a specific device is much more effective than a software designed for every kind of gadget. The algorithms that use Scrypt, appear to be valid for inclusion. SGMiner has been in the industry for a quite some time and has managed to gain a pretty good reputation during this period of time.
Another litecoin mining software, which is known as CGMiner, appears to be an open source miner for ASIC and FPGA miners. The software is written in C and is compatible with OS X, Windows, and Linux. The software has entered the industry in 2013 and has been commonly used by various miners since then.
CPUMiner is a Bitcoin and Litecoin mining software. It is recognized as the best one for CPU miners. However, please note that due to the increasing mining difficulty of the coins CPU is not able to mine efficiently enough anymore.
CUDAminer is another Litecoin mining software for GPU hardware miners. This software has been used for GPU miners since 2014. There have been some complaints about the CUDAminer as some people keep having issues with downloading it (computers say it is a virus). However, those who use the software claim that the miner is the fastest for NVIDIA GPUs.
GUIMiner – scrypt
GUIMiner – scrypt is also a litecoin mining software, which has been in the industry for around four years. The software provides a GUI for both CUDAminer and CGMiner. The software is not highly recommended as it does not have enough back-end transparency. Please note GUIMiner – scrypt does not support Linux.
Is mining Litecoin safe?
Litecoin mining is safe if you do it properly.
- avoid scams and websites which are creating the impression of “too good to be true”.
- Check the reviews and the ratings of the websites you are working with, and deal with transparent, trusted companies.
- make sure your Litecoin wallets are secure; you may save a few dollars on cheap wallets, but may lose thousands of dollars if they are not good enough.
Be aware that Litecoin mining may be taxed in some countries. For instance, the IRS is treating the incomes of cryptocurrency as a capital asset and is taxed 15% – 20% based on the amount of income.
For more detailed information you need to check the tax law of your country/state.
let’s sum things up
Litecoin mining is simple, safe and profitable if you avoid scams. You also need to be aware of regulations and taxes in your country. More importantly, choose the most efficient method of mining for you based on the information provided above. Check out our other articles to learn more about other cryptocurrencies.