How to Mine Ethereum Classic (ETC): Best Guide for Beginners

Published: 4th August, 2023 | Last Updated: 9th January, 2024

Markos Koemtzopoulos

Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

Welcome to my comprehensive guide on mining Ethereum Classic. In this article, I will walk you through the entire process step-by-step, covering everything from the basics of ETC mining to optimizing your mining setup for maximum efficiency. So grab a cup of coffee and get ready to delve into the exciting world of Ethereum Classic mining.

This article is part of my series on mining altcoins.

How to Mine Ethereum Classic

Understanding Ethereum Classic: An Introduction

Ethereum Classic (ETC) is a decentralized blockchain-based platform that enables developers to build and deploy smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps). It is an open-source platform and is the original Ethereum blockchain from 2016.

Interesting Trivia on the origins of ETC: the Ethereum Network is actually a hard fork of the original Ethereum blockchain. At the time the Ethereum community decided to fork their chain after a hacker stole millions worth of ETH from the first Decentralized Autonomous Organisation (DAO) to be created. There were some Ethereum miners however who thought that forking went against the ethos of a decentralized chain. No one should be able to manipulate the truth even if people’s funds got stolen. After the fork, these purists continued to mine the original Ethereum blockchain and called it Ethereum Classic.

You can read up on it in my article that explains what Ethereum is.

Ethereum Classic retains the core principles of decentralization and immutability, making it an attractive choice for developers and enthusiasts.

To mine Ethereum Classic, you need to understand how the mining process works and why it is important.

How ETC mining works

Mining is a crucial process in the Ethereum Classic network. It involves solving complex mathematical problems to validate and add new transactions to the blockchain. Miners use powerful computers and specialized hardware to compete with each other in solving these problems. The first miner to solve the problem and add a new block to the blockchain is rewarded with a certain amount of ETC.

Mining serves two main purposes in Ethereum Classic.

  • Firstly, it ensures the security and integrity of the network by making it difficult for malicious actors to manipulate the blockchain. The decentralized nature of mining prevents any single entity from gaining control over the network.
  • Secondly, mining plays a vital role in the distribution of new ETC coins. By rewarding miners with newly minted ETC, the network incentivizes participation and encourages miners to continue securing the network.

It’s important to note that mining Ethereum Classic requires significant computational power and energy consumption. As the network grows, the mining difficulty increases, making it more challenging to mine new blocks. However, mining can also be a profitable venture for those who have the necessary resources and expertise.

Mining specs

Blocks are mined approximately every 15 seconds. The block reward is 2.56 ETC plus any transaction fees. In today’s price this amount to about $50.

Unlike Ethereum, the Ethereum Classic community voted for a fixed monetary policy and has a fixed supply of 210,700,000 ETC. While Ethereum has moved to a proof-of-stake model ETC is still a proof-of-work coin and uses the Ethash algorithm.

In this sense, ETC mining is more similar to Bitcoin mining. But unlike Bitcoin which halves its block reward every 4 years, the ETC network reduces the block reward by 20% every 5 million blocks which is about 2.4 years.

You can find out more on the official website.

Other altcoins that use proof-of-work algorithms are Zcash, Monero, Bitcoin Gold, Litecoin, and Ravencoin.

The Basics of Cryptocurrency Mining

Cryptocurrency mining is the process of validating and adding new transactions to a blockchain. Miners use powerful computers to solve complex mathematical problems, which in turn helps secure the network and verify transactions.

In the case of Ethereum Classic, mining also involves the execution of smart contracts. Miners compete to find a solution to a mathematical puzzle. The first miner to solve it receives rewards in the form of newly minted ETC tokens.

One important aspect of cryptocurrency mining is the concept of mining difficulty.

Mining difficulty refers to the level of complexity of the mathematical problems that miners need to solve in order to add new transactions to the blockchain.

As more miners join the network, the difficulty level increases to maintain a consistent rate of block creation. This ensures that new blocks are not added too quickly or too slowly, helping to maintain the stability and security of the cryptocurrency network.

Another key consideration in cryptocurrency mining is the energy consumption involved. Mining cryptocurrencies can be energy-intensive, as the computational power required to solve mathematical problems and validate transactions can be significant.

This has led to concerns about the environmental impact of mining, particularly for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin that rely on proof of work. In response, some cryptocurrencies are exploring alternative consensus mechanisms, such as proof-of-stake, which require less energy and have a lower environmental footprint.

Getting Started with Ethereum Classic Mining

Before you begin mining Ethereum Classic, there are a few essential steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Get a Mining Rig

The first step is to acquire a mining rig, which is a specialized computer system designed for cryptocurrency mining. You have two options: building your own rig or purchasing a pre-built one.

If you choose to build your own mining rig, you will need to source the necessary components such as a powerful graphics processing unit (GPU), a motherboard, a power supply unit (PSU), memory (RAM), and storage.

Keep in mind that a GPU mining rig will be cheaper but an ASIC mining rig will be more efficient and give you a better ROI at the end of the day.

Step 2: Obtain Ethereum Classic Mining Software

Once you have your mining rig, you will need to download and install compatible mining software. There are various options available, including popular choices like Claymore’s Dual Miner, PhoenixMiner, and Ethminer.

You will need to use the command line of your laptop to install these but it is not at all complicated. Just visit the respective site of the software provider on how to go about it.

Step 3: Create an ETC Wallet

Next, you need to set up an Ethereum Classic wallet to store your mining rewards. There are several types of wallets available, including hardware wallets, software wallets, and online wallets. For maximum security choose a hardware wallet.

Some popular wallets with Ethereum Classic miners are

  1. Atomic wallet (check Atomic wallet vs Coinbase: which one is best for you)
  2. Coinbase
  3. MetaMask
  4. Trust Wallet
  5. Exodus
  6. Ledger
  7. Trezor

Step 4: Choose a Mining Pool

While it is possible to mine Ethereum Classic solo, joining a mining pool is generally more profitable. Mining pools allow miners to combine their computing power and increase their chances of earning rewards. Research and choose a reputable mining pool that suits your preferences.

Step 5: Configure Your Mining Software

Once you have joined a mining pool, you will need to configure your mining software. This involves specifying the pool’s address, your wallet address, and other necessary settings. Make sure you follow the instructions provided by the pool and adjust the settings accordingly.

Step 6: Monitor and Optimize Your Mining Operation

Once you have set up your mining rig and started mining, it’s crucial to regularly monitor and optimize your operation. Keep an eye on your mining software’s performance, temperature, and hash rate. You may need to adjust settings or upgrade components to maximize your mining efficiency.

Choosing the Right Mining Hardware for Ethereum Classic

The choice of mining hardware is crucial for Ethereum Classic mining. Generally, GPUs are the preferred choice over CPUs due to their superior processing power. Nvidia and AMD GPUs both work equally well.

However, it is essential to consider factors such as cost, power consumption, and performance when selecting the right mining hardware for your setup.

Popular GPU choices for Ethereum Classic mining include AMD Radeon RX series and NVIDIA GeForce GTX series.

For best results, you should use an ASIC machine. ASIC miners are more efficient at mining ETC as they have a higher hash power though they tend to be more expensive.

Setting Up Your Ethereum Classic Mining Rig

Building or setting up your mining rig requires careful planning and consideration. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Ensure that your mining rig has adequate cooling to prevent overheating. You can achieve this through proper ventilation, fans, or dedicated cooling systems.
  • Position your mining rig in a suitable location, preferably in a cool and dust-free environment.
  • Connect all the components correctly, especially cables.
  • Install the necessary drivers and ensure that your operating system is compatible with your mining hardware.

Selecting the Best Ethereum Classic Mining Software

Choosing the right mining software is essential for optimal performance and stability. Popular mining software options for Ethereum Classic include:

  • Claymore’s Dual Miner: This software is known for its efficiency and flexibility. It allows dual mining of Ethereum Classic and other cryptocurrencies, maximizing your mining potential.
  • PhoenixMiner: PhoenixMiner is another popular choice due to its stability and high hash rates. It supports both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs.
  • Ethminer: Ethminer is an open-source mining software developed specifically for Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. It is known for its simplicity and reliability.

Creating an Ethereum Classic Wallet for Mining Rewards

Your Ethereum Classic wallet is where you will receive your mining rewards. There are several types of wallets available, each with its own benefits and considerations. Here are the most common types:

  • Hardware Wallets: These physical devices offer the highest level of security. Examples include Trezor and Ledger wallets.
  • Software Wallets: Software wallets are applications installed on your computer or mobile device. Popular options include MetaMask, MyEtherWallet, and Exodus.
  • Online Wallets: Online wallets are web-based wallets accessible from any device with an internet connection. Be cautious while selecting an online wallet, as security risks may exist.

Joining a Mining Pool for Ethereum Classic

Once you have your mining rig ready, joining a mining pool is the next step. Mining pools allow miners to combine their computing power, increasing the chances of solving mathematical puzzles and earning rewards.

When choosing a mining pool, consider factors such as pool size, fee structure, payout mechanism, and reputation.

Here are the most popular mining pools for ETC.

Best Ethereum classic mining pools


Configuring Your Mining Pool Settings for Ethereum Classic

After joining a mining pool, you will need to configure your mining software to connect to the pool’s servers and input your wallet address.

Tip: the pool will ask you to register with an email address and password but you will have to set up a separate username and password for your machine.

Monitoring and Managing Your Ethereum Classic Mining Operation

Once your mining setup is operational, it is essential to monitor and manage it effectively.

Regularly check the status of your mining rig, monitor the pool’s statistics, and ensure that your hardware and software are running smoothly. Stay up-to-date with the latest developments in mining software and hardware to optimize your mining operation.

Troubleshooting Common Issues in Ethereum Classic Mining

In the course of your mining journey, you may encounter various challenges and issues. Common problems include hardware failures, software crashes, connectivity issues, and incorrect mining pool configurations. Educate yourself about common troubleshooting techniques to address these issues promptly and minimize downtime.

Maximizing Profitability from Ethereum Classic Mining: Tips and Tricks

While mining Ethereum Classic can be profitable, optimizing your mining setup is essential to maximize your earnings. Here are some tips and tricks to consider:

  • Keep your mining rig up-to-date with the latest drivers, firmware, and software updates.
  • Monitor your electricity costs and explore energy-efficient mining solutions to reduce operational expenses. Energy costs will vary by server location. If you don’t want to deal with managing the operations then consider a hosting company or cloud mining.
  • Consider mining during off-peak hours to take advantage of lower electricity rates.
  • Fine-tune your mining rig’s settings, such as overclocking, under-volting, and optimizing fan speeds, to improve performance and efficiency.
  • Stay informed about market trends, network difficulty, and new mining techniques to adapt and stay competitive.

Up Next

Passive Crypto Mining: 7 Best Strategies to Earn Income (2023)

passive crypto mining

Passive crypto mining is a strategy that allows miners to earn Bitcoin or other coins without actively participating in the process. But the terminology can be so confusing that it’s hard to figure out how to go about it. On top of that the options seem endless. So how do you figure it all out? What is the easiest way to generate income by simply holding or staking your cryptocurrencies through smart contracts? Well, buddy you’ve landed on the right page. Stick around and I will walk you through all you need to know. Read more.

Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

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