Our beginners guide to cryptocurrency mining shows you how to mine Litecoin on a Mac in 30 minutes. Mining Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is similar, so this is a smart starting point for anyone interested in mining cryptocurrency. For those using other operating systems (Windows for instance) we will be releasing more mining guides for beginners shortly.
How to Mine Litecoin on a Mac Overview
Here is a quick overview of everything we will cover in this guide.
Step 1: Get a litecoin wallet. This lets you receive and transfer funds.
Step 2: Sign up with a mining pool. This let’s you pool mining power with other users, create “workers” to mine for you, and generally offers a way to get paid for mining.
Step 3: Create a worker bot to mine for you.
Step 4: Install CPUminer software to get your computer mining. This allows your computer to mine cryptocurrency.
Step 5: Write a simple command line in terminal. This tells the mining software to start and tells your worker to be the one mining. Coins your worker mines are collected in your mining pool account and can be sent to your wallet via the mining pool account too.
What is cryptocurrency mining? It’s less Minecraft and more setting up your computer to confirm cryptocurrency transactions. You can read more about the basics of mining here. See below to get started.
How to Mine CryptoCurrency in 30 Minutes or Less (Litecoin on OSX): Introduction
One of the biggest barriers for people to get started with CyrptoCurrency is the idea that it’s too hard for the average person. We at CryptoCurrencyFacts want to debunk that myth right now. No matter what your level of experience and tech know-how, we’re going to get you mining Litecoin from your Mac in 30 minutes. By the end of this tutorial, you will be a CryptoCurrency user!
Before you Start
You will need:
- A Mac Desktop (or a Macbook) running OSX. This tutorial was made running OSX Yosemite on a Macbook Pro.
- Internet access – in addition to downloading the necessary software, you’ll also need to connect to your mining pool and the Litecoin network.
For this tutorial, you don’t need any prior experience or tech skills. Since we’ll be entering commands on the terminal, experience with linux commands and Mac’s command line will be helpful. However, even if you’ve never used the command line before, we’ll tell you exactly what you need to type in order to start mining!
Step 1: Download the Litecoin Wallet from Litecoin.org
In order to mine Litecoin, you’ll need some way to connect with the Litecoin network and a wallet in which to store your profits. The software that can do this for you is Litecoin-Qt, the official Litecoin client.
Go to Litecoin.org, click on the link to download the latest version of the official Litecoin wallet.
Once you have the .dmg file in your downloads folder, install the software by double-clicking on the .dmg file and dragging Litecoin-Qt into your “Applications” folder.
Once Litecoin-Qt is installed, find it in your “Applications” and click on it to start the software. When you open the program for the first time, you may have to enter your password to allow you to run the Application. You will also get a pop-up window that asks you if you would like to let Litecoin-Qt accept incoming network connections. Click the button for “Allow”, and you’ll be started!
NOTE: If you only allow installation of apps from Mac App Store, you’ll need to go into preferences and make an exception for Litecoin-Qt. It’s in your preferences under “Security & Privacy” at the bottom of the screen. You’ll see a button that says “open anyway”.
There are a few things to notice when Litecoin-Qt opens including your balance and recent transactions. Go ahead and click the images at the top of the app that says overview, send, receive, transactions, and addresses. Each is pretty self explanatory. Send is used to send Litecoin, receive is used to receive, and addresses are addresses for sending payments. Anyway, we can back to the ins-and-outs of the Litecoin wallet later. Let’s move onto the signing up with a mining pool.
Step 2: Sign up with a Mining Pool
There are lots of different mining pools that you could join for this step, we will use WeMineLTC.com (LTC is short for Litecoin, as in we mine Litecoin) for this tutorial.
Visit WeMineLTC.com and click to “Register” in the top right corner. Once you fill in the information needed to create your account and get a onscreen confirmation, log-in to WeMineLTC.com by entering your username and password at the top lefthand side .
NOTE: Make sure you create a smart username/password gambit here. Litecoin itself is very secure, but like the rest of the internet and apps wallets and websites should be treated with care.
Next, you’ll need to set up your Litecoin address settings. Hover over the “My Account” tab in the menu bar and click on the “Account Details” link. Once there, scroll down the button that says “send email code” under “change payment address”. Click that – you’ll need the code they send you to verify your mining address in one of the following steps. You don’t need to do anything with it now (ie don’t put it in the field that says email code underneath the field for entering your pin yet).
In order to get your Litecoin address, pull up Litecoin-Qt, click on the “Receive” tab in the header menu, and click to create a “New Address”. In the window that pops up, enter a title in the “Label” field and click “OK” (you don’t need to enter anything in the “Address” field – Litecoin-Qt will take care of that for you. This is just so you can identify your addresses by a name rather than a string of numbers).
Once you’ve made a new address, click on it in the “Receive” tab to highlight it, and click the “Copy Address” button at the bottom of the screen.
Now that you have your address copied, go back to the “Account Details” page of WeMineLTC.com. Paste your Litecoin address into the field that says “Change Payment Address”, enter your pin and email verification code (remember the one from a few steps ago?), and click to “Change Address”.
Now you have a Litecoin wallet and you can receive payments! Exciting. Time to recruit a worker to mine for us.
Step 3: Set Up your Worker
You’re almost ready to start mining Litecoin (scouts honor), and this step is short.
Hover over “My Account” tab and click into the “My Workers” page.
Once there, you should see a default worker that WeMineLTC made for you. This worker will be fine, you just need to enter a password for it. This doesn’t need to be a secure password – if someone steals it so that they can mine Litecoin for you, let them! Don’t worry about the other settings; the defaults will be fine.
Take note of your username (should look like USER_NAME.1 or username.1) and your password. You’ll need those in step 5.
Ok so now we have a wallet, a wemineLTC account connected to the wallet, and a worker to go make that money for us. Now we actually have to put that worker to work so we can make sweet sweet coins.
Step 4: Download and Install CPUminer (minerd)
This step can be a little bit tricky. The reason why is that in order to download CPUminer without tech skills, you’ll need to download the binary (the executable file) for the software. To download this software:
- Figure out whether your Mac is running on a 32-bit or 64-bit processor (you can tell if it’s 32 or 64 by going to about this mac and comparing your processor to the processors on the list of the aforementioned link)
- Click the link for your system from this page. NOTE: Make sure to get the latest version. It’s currently 2.4.2. The higher the number the more recent the version. Don’t go by the modified dates per-say.
NOTE: Most mining software triggers a false-positive with antivirus programs. In other words, your antivirus might block this download as a threat, so you may need to briefly disable your antivirus software.
Move the download to your Desktop and extract the file by double-clicking on the zip file. To finish installing, open up finder and move minerd program from your desktop to your Applications folder. (If you can’t find it sort by name).
Ok now we have a wallet, a way to get paid, a worker, and mining software. Now, we finally get to put the metaphorical pickaxe to the digital dirt!
Step 5: Start Mining
One more step to go! Thankfully, this is the easy part!
Now that the software is place, your accounts are in order, and your worker is set up, you only have to enter a few instructions from the command line and you’re on your way.
- Open up your terminal (hold command and press spacebar to do a find, then type “Terminal” into the search.. or navigate to /Applications/Utilities and double-click on Terminal.)
- In Terminal press command “N” to bring up a new terminal to ensure you are working with a fresh window and change into your Applications directory using the following linux command:> cd /Applications (ie just type in “cd/Applications” you don’t actually put the “>” in there.)
- Temporarily change your security settings to allow you to run CPUminer/minerd. Open your “System Preferences”, move into the “Security & Privacy” section, and change your setting to allow apps downloaded from anywhere. Be sure to change this back later! Or alternatively just double click on minerd, if it’s blocked go into “Security & Privacy” and at the bottom of the screen, where it says “minerd” was blocked, click “open anyway”. This avoids you having to “allow from anywhere”.)
- Tell CPUminer to start mining using the following linux command in the application window you opened in step 2 of this section. NOTE: Be sure to replace “WORKER_NAME” and “WORKER_PASS” with your actual worker’s name and password (from Step 3)!:
> ./minerd --url=stratum+tcp://freedom.wemineltc.com:3339 --userpass=WORKER_NAME.1:WORKER_PASS
That’s it! If everything went well, minerd should print out “Starting Stratum on stratum+tcp://freedom.wemineltc.com:3339” followed by a bunch of information about “binding” and “threads” and “hashes”. In simple terms this is just showing you that your computer is mining (decoding hashes). You can worry about what all that information means later – the important thing is that you are now mining Litecoin on your mac!
If you got set up and the program is running, your terminal screen should look something like this:
How to Stop Mining Litecoin Via Terminal
When you’re ready to stop mining, you can stop the miner by pressing Control-C (holding down the Control key and the “c” key on your keyboard at the same time). This will quit Minerd and the mining will stop.
What Does All This Mean?
Let’s recap what you just accomplished:
- You installed the LiteCoin client and created a CryptoCurrency wallet to store, send, and receive LiteCoin.
- You installed mining software on your computer that lets you mine CryptoCurrency from your desktop.
- You joined a LiteCoin mining pool.
- You started contributing to the CryptoCurrency network by putting computational effort into the mining process!
If you leave your miner running for a few minutes, and then go back to WeMineLTC.com, you can look at your dashboard on the left-hand corner. This will tell you your hashrate (a measure of how effectively your computer is mining), your paid and unpaid shares, and your account balance (how much LiteCoin you’ve actually been paid for your mining!
Keep in mind, CPU mining is a very ineffective mining process. Because of the large amount of computing power in the LiteCoin network, you really would need to invest in more powerful mining hardware to make a profitable mining operation. Leaving your Mac running the mining program 24/7 would almost definitely cost you more in electricity than it would earn you in LiteCoin, so we don’t recommend trying this. However, if you’ve made it this far, you’ve officially become a CryptoCurrency miner – moving on to creating a more-involved mining setup is definitely within your reach.
At this point, you might not fully understand what you’ve done up to this point. There might be steps that still seem mysterious (especially since we told you what to do without fully explaining why you needed to do it), and that’s totally ok! The purpose of this tutorial was just to show you that you can do it, and from here, you can put everything else that you learn about CryptoCurrency within the reference of this tutorial and the process we’ve shown you.
Whether or not you know what a CryptoCurrency Wallet is, you’ve used one. Whether or not you know How Mining Works, you’ve seen how to start. Even if you don’t quite grasp the concept of a CryptoCurrency public ledger, you have worked with a program that interfaces between you and the LiteCoin block chain.
If you’d like to learn more about CryptoCurrency, we would like to encourage you to explore the various pages on our site, some of which were linked to from this tutorial. If you’d like to learn how to set up a more involved mining rig, there are plenty of resources from which to learn about Mining Hardware, GPU and ASIC mining, and CryptoCurrency Mining Profitability.
We truly hope that you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and that it’s inspired you to continue learning about CryptoCurrency! Congratulations on having taken such a strong first step!