However for regular users mining bitcoins is no longer practical since ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) for mining came along, these ASIC allows for far faster mining but can be costly, not to mention the power requirements it takes to mine a bitcoin with a decent setup is somewhat unpractical.
However there exists other Crypto Currencies such as LiteCoin, PeerCoin, PrimeCoin here a list of other crypto currencies. And one can always trade one crypto currency for another relatively easily.
So how do you mine crypto currencies? Well first you need a few things,
- Type of crypto currency you want to mine (LiteCoin, BitCoin etc..)
- Mining hardware (CPU, GPU, FPGA, ASIC)
- Not all coins can be mined with GPU, FPGA, ASIC
- Mining Software for that crypto currency
- Wallet to store you coins for that crypto currency
- An account at a pool
Step 1 - Mining software
Typically just google for primecoin mining software but as of now the most popular software is jhPrimeminer which you can get here
Step 2 - Get a wallet
A wallet is a program that will store you coins, you can get a wallet here
The wallet will take a while to update but you can start mining before it is done.
Step 3 - Create an account
Setup an account at ypool.net here your mining software will connect to and get job to compute they will then either store the money with them or payout into your wallet. Once there click on workers there should already be one. Add a password to it and click on update
Step 4 - Setup the mining software
Go to the folder where you extracted jhPrimeminer create a new .bat file which you can name mine.bat, inside that .bat file add the following:
start jhPrimeMiner.exe -o http://ypool.net -xpt -u <username>.<workername> -p <password>
start jhPrimeMiner.exe -o http://ypool.net -xpt -u jj.worker_1 -p badpass
Where username is you ypool account username, workername is the name your worker (found in the worker tab of ypool) and password is the worker password NOT you ypool password
Step 5 - Setup payment to you wallet
To get the money to go to you wallet you have to get your wallets address which can be found in the wallet under the Transactions tab and will look like a hash string of random characters. Copy this address right click -> copy address. Then in ypool go to account-> main options and put that address in there.
Now double click on the .bat file you created and presto.