Note: This is not investment advice. This is for educational purposes only. Please note that cryptocurrency is a highly volatile asset class.
“How to mine Shiba Inu” is a Google search query that's gaining traction as people seek to acquire SHIB without purchasing it on a cryptocurrency exchange. Sure you can buy SHIB on Coinbase, but why spend your hard-earned cash when you can allow your idle hardware to generate SHIB for you?
The term “crypto mining” may sound a little intimidating, but the only thing that’ll be breaking a sweat here is your GPU. While you can mine on a laptop, there are some limitations. We'll dive into those drawbacks later, but for now, let's discuss how mining works.
What is crypto mining?
Crypto mining involves the process of earning digital-asset rewards — tokens of appreciation, if you will — as a result of solving cryptographic equations with one’s hardware.
Shiba Inu is an ERC-20 token, which means it runs on the Ethereum blockchain. What's a blockchain? It's a virtual database of transactions distributed and duplicated across a peer-to-peer network of computers — it's a digital ledger, basically. Each “block” on a blockchain is filled with Ethereum transaction data (e.g. Jack sent $500 worth of ETH to Tina). Next, it’s up to the Ethereum miners to verify each block for security and accuracy.
Here's where you'd come in as a miner. Each Ethereum block comes with a complex, mathematical problem that is extremely difficult to solve. The Ethereum miner that solves this complicated puzzle first wins the transaction fees and scores ETH rewards. As such, the Ethereum network is biased; it doles out greater rewards to miners with high-powered hardware.
This is why laptops are not recommended for mining. Yes, they can mine Shiba Inu, but you may find that the hardware is too underpowered to generate worthwhile SHIB rewards.
Shiba Inu mining hardware
Besides being underpowered, laptops are also not recommended due to their slender form. Slim, svelte laptops with dedicated GPUs are a gamer’s dream, but they’re a nightmare for crypto mining because of the poor heat dissipation. Serious miners who make profitable earnings use ASIC miners or decked-out PCs with several GPUs.
Check out our best laptops for crypto mining page to get a good idea of which systems are best for minting SHIB based on their internals, dimensions and thermal results from our in-house testing. You won't earn SHIB at the same rate as owners of ASIC miners, but you'll still be able to collect some rewards.
Shiba Inu mining risks
Before diving into SHIB mining, you should know what you’re getting yourself into. The first thing you should consider is that crypto is volatile. You can mine 100,000 SHIB in one week (worth $5 as of this writing), but the next day, that same amount of SHIB could be worth $1. Here are some other concerns you should keep in mind:
- Increased wear-and-tear on your hardware. Crypto mining requires your laptop to be running continuously for hours and hours on end, which may affect the lifespan of your system’s internals.
- Electricity. Laptops packed with beastly GPUs that are ideal for mining typically don’t have the best battery life, which means you’ll have to keep it plugged in all day. This will affect your electricity bill, so think about whether mining is profitable.
- Energy consumption. SHIB runs on the Ethereum network. It isn't an energy vampire like Bitcoin, but it isn't environmentally friendly either. According to TRG Datacenters, Bitcoin wastes a whopping 707 kWh of energy per transaction while ETH uses 62.56 kWh.
- Ethereum's transition to ETH 2.0. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin is concerned about ETH's environmental effects, so Ethereum is transitioning from a proof-of-work (PoW) protocol into a proof-of-stake network (PoS). To keep it simple, this means that Ethereum will no longer rely on mining to validate the network. As such, mining will become a thing of the past once ETH 2.0 comes along.
- GPU shortage and Nvidia’s crackdown. Crypto miners are in gamers' crosshairs as GPUs get snatched off the shelves for crypto generation. Nvidia is taking action against this by implementing crypto limiters on some graphics cards (e.g. RTX 3060 Ti, 3070 and 3080), which drastically reduces their mining performance.
How to mine Shiba Inu
When you sign up for an account, make sure you keep the provided seed phrase (a string of 12 words) in a safe place. If you get a new device, you’ll need it for security purposes. If you lose it, you can never — and I mean never — retrieve your seed phrase (not even through customer support, which is barely existent). And you won’t have access to your crypto wallet anymore.
1. Go to unMineable’s official website and click “Download.”
2. Install the unMineable beta miner software (click on the green button).
3. Extract the file (I’d recommend putting it in an easily accessible location like a folder on your desktop).
4. Double click on the “unMineable Miner 1.1.0-beta” file, which will run the unMineable desktop app.
How to get started with mining SHIB on unMineable
You’ll need to download another software called PhoenixMiner, which works in conjunction with unMineable.
1. Download the PhoenixMiner here (“PhoenixMiner_5.6d_Windows.zip”).
2. Extract it into the same folder where the unMineable app is located.
3. Find the PhoenixMiner.exe file and take note of where it’s located.
4. Re-launch the unMineable app and click “Continue.”
5. Click on “Graphics Card (GPU)” and click “Next.”
6. Click on “Update miner file location," which will prompt you to locate the PhoenixMiner.exe file. Once you’ve found and selected it, click “Open.”
7. Click on “Next.”
8. Select the Shiba Inu as the cryptocurrency you’d like to mine.
9. Enter your SHIB wallet address (this can be found by navigating to "Receive" on Coinbase Wallet, typing in "SHIB," and copying the alphanumeric code)
Click “Start,” and the app will start mining SHIB right away.
Once you’ve earned a minimum of 250,0000 SHIB, unMineable will send your SHIB directly to your Coinbase Wallet. And that’s it!
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Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!