Crypto mining involves the use of a powerful graphics processing unit (GPU) to solve complex math problems to verify electronic transactions on a blockchain to get cryptocurrencies as rewards.
Crypto mining is best executed with the computing power of an Application-specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC, a piece of hardware that is designed for crypto mining), then GPU, then the least efficient CPU.
ASIC consumes most electricity and the hardware is expensive as well. As of 2022, an ASIC miner costs around US$12 to 17k per unit.
Why GPU Crypto Mining?
As most of the computers nowadays have GPU, we can use the unused GPU power in your computer to earn money.
But not why CPU Crypto Mining?
CPU mining is less efficient, and it will make your computer less responsive as it makes your computer very busy.
Okay, but why does this article focus only on iMac GPU mining?
macOS itself is not very friendly to crypto mining, as the GPU driver, as well as OpenCL driver, is not compatible with most mining software available in Mac. No matter you are using NVIDIA or AMD Radeon graphics card, most mining software, such as MacMiner, Cudo Miner, or BFGMiner, will still report the GPU is incompatible, no matter you installed the latest CUDA driver or not (if you are using NVIDIA cards).
Windows PC has no such problem in setting up a crypto mining environment.
Also, we are not focused on MacBook mining, as the crypto mining process will make your computer run in full power, which means when you set the following structure in MacBook, the battery will probably drain very quickly.
So, how do I set up correctly in Mac?
Okay, before we start, here is a checklist of the requirements:
- an iMac (M1 or Intel-based iMac with i7 or i9)
- the latest available macOS is installed (at the moment of writing, the latest version is macOS Monterey 12.2.1)
- GPU is not Intel Integrated graphics (which has much lower computation power)
- An XMR Wallet, you can use Freewallet’s Monero Wallet and obtain an XMR address.
- Admin rights in your macOS (make sure you are in the Administrator role)
- Homebrew (can be installed via https://brew.sh/)
- Basic knowledge of Terminal commands
- for AMD graphics card: Mac GPU Miner (the DMG installer can be downloaded via https://github.com/garrylachman/mac-gpu-miner/releases)
for NVIDIA graphics card and Apple M1 users: Cudo Miner (https://www.cudominer.com/)
Let’s start (for AMD Radeon iMac users)
Note: Scroll down for NVIDIA and M1 iMac users
Assumed you have installed Homebrew and Mac GPU Miner.
Step 1: To install the required libraries, in Terminal (can be found in Spotlight), type:
brew intall libmicrohttpd hwloc
Step 2: In your Monero wallet, copy your wallet address.
Step 3: Last, launch Mac GPU Miner and paste the wallet address into the wallet box, and click Start. On the first run, macOS will tell you the software is not signed by Apple trusted developers. To override this, you can go to System Preferences > Security and Privacy > General > click “Open Anyway”.
Mining should start after a few seconds.
To know the progress of GPU mining, you can go to this website and paste your wallet address: https://moneroocean.stream/
After you mined 0.3XMR (where 1 XMR is approximately 0.004 BTC at the moment of writing), the credits will be transferred to your wallet address.
Let’s Start (for NVIDIA and M1 iMac users):
Assumed you installed Cudo Miner.
Step 1: Install the CUDA driver from NVIDIA website: https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/drivers/cuda/mac-driver-archive/
(but even if you installed the latest version, the driver will still think you need to update the software)
Step 2: Launch Cudo Miner and set up the account.
Mining should start after a few seconds. Cudo Miner will use CPU for mining at the same time. To change the behavior, you can config it at the Preferences page of Cudo Miner.
Remember to start mining when your iMac is not in use, and stop mining when you want to use your iMac intensively.
I am not the author of the mining software Mac GPU Miner. For the mining software setup issues, please contact the author: https://github.com/garrylachman
I am not affiliated with the software above as well. I wish I am :)