Mining Bitcoin (BTC) has become a popular — and profitable — way to earn passive income for crypto enthusiasts, combining the power of computer hardware with efficient mining software to earn Bitcoins. The process of mining cryptocurrency involves solving complex equations to add the next block to the blockchain, and in return, users gain a share of block rewards in the form of crypto. When mining Bitcoin, the current mining reward is 6.25 BTC per block mined.
Mining is a competitive process, with the first computer node to solve the equation receiving the rewards, so having a sophisticated hardware setup is crucial, but you also need to have the right software to facilitate the mining process.
We’ve reviewed over a dozen of the most popular mining platforms to find the best Bitcoin mining software for your setup. Whether you are looking to use your own PC’s power, are building out a Bitcoin mining rig, or want to join a Bitcoin mining pool, we’ve got you covered.
The Best Bitcoin Mining Software
The best overall Bitcoin mining software is Cudo Miner. With a simple user interface for beginners, as well as advanced controls to meet the needs of serious mining companies, Cudo provides a lot of value for every type of miner.
The other mining software companies on this list offer value to specific types of users and mining setups, such as pool mining or cloud mining.
Best Overall: Cudo Miner
Cudo Miner is a versatile crypto mining software that offers a suite of tools for both individuals and crypto mining companies. With the ability to automate most of the setup and configuration of mining rigs, Cudo is designed to help you maximize productivity and profitability.
Cudo Miner operates as a desktop application for easy setup, and also includes a web console for remote management and monitoring from any device. You can select which coin you’d like to get paid in, while still mining Bitcoin and other altcoins. Cudo automatically trades your coins for you to convert them to the cryptocurrency of your choice.
Cudo features Auto Coin Switching, which reconfigures your mining setup automatically to mine the most profitable coins. This allows a more hands-off approach to mining while maximizing profitability.
Additional features of Cudo Miner include:
- Advanced customization of mining settings
- GPU, CPU, and ASIC mining available
- Overclocking of GPU to increase “hash rate” (processing power) of your mining rig
- Idle mining to use your personal computer to provide extra mining resources
- Mining farm management software available for larger operations
- Access to mine Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and other coins
Best Open-Source Bitcoin Mining Software: CGMiner
Developed by Australian programmer Con Kolivas, CGMiner is one of the oldest mining software platforms, founded in 2011. It is the best open-source Bitcoin mining software platform available. Offering a flexible configuration for many types of hardware mining setups, CGMiner is ideal for intermediate to advanced miners who want total control of their mining setup.
CGMiner operates via the command line (a text-based user interface for executing computer commands), so there is some cursory knowledge needed to get started, but there are copy/paste commands available directly from the CGMiner website. It supports Windows, Mac, and Linux machines, and can be configured across multiple mining rigs and pools. There are several hardware types supported as well, including GPU, CPU, FPGA, and ASIC mining setups.
CGMiner is a free software that is publicly available on the code hosting platform GitHub.
Additional features of CGMiner include:
- Remote management available
- Access to mine Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and other coins
- Single and multi-pool configurations available
Best for Pool Mining: Awesome Miner
Awesome Miner is a large-scale mining software that allows users to manage thousands of miners and mining pools, ideal for large-scale Bitcoin mining operations. Founded in 2014 by Swedish software company Intellibreeze, the software is free to download.
Awesome Miner is compatible with most crypto mining hardware, including ASICs and different types of GPU/CPU miners. It also supports over 50 mining software configurations for miners, allowing individual miners to select their own software, but still be managed. Windows and Linux computers are supported, and remote access is available via the web.
Additional features of Awesome Miner include:
- Profit switching to optimize earnings
- GPU monitoring
- Native overclocking
- Automation triggers
- Secure Shell (SSH) control to facilitate network communications
Best Cloud Mining Software: ECOS
ECOS is a cloud-based Bitcoin mining software that allows you to lease Bitcoin mining equipment and electricity, paying for a “mining contract” to start earning crypto. Using ECOS is ideal for beginners and those who do not wish to purchase Bitcoin mining hardware, as the entire platform is cloud-based for users.
ECOS offers a simple setup where you select the estimated Bitcoin price you predict in the future, select the contract term length (minimum 24 months), and select your total hash power, which determines how much the mining contract will cost. ECOS will show you an estimated daily, monthly, and annual profit based on your BTC price prediction and hash rate, and you can sign up by paying with BTC or a credit card.
Note: There is a daily service fee that is not included in the profit calculations.
Once you are signed up and have deposited your payment, you will start mining right away.
Additional features of ECOS include:
- Profits paid out daily
- Built-in crypto exchange and digital wallet
- ASIC Miner shop for users who opt for hardware mining instead
Best for Mining on your PC: NiceHash
NiceHash is a software platform that helps you use your personal computer’s processing power to mine Bitcoin. NiceHash pools together the resources of thousands of computers to create mining pools that have a higher chance of mining a block of Bitcoin, and rewards are distributed to users.
NiceHash Miner is a free application that runs in the background on your computer, using available CPU or GPU resources to increase the hash rate of a given pool. There are several software options available, compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux OS. It is ideal for gaming PCs or more powerful home computers.
Bitcoin is paid out into the NiceHash wallet, and can be transferred to Coinbase with no additional fees.
Additional features of NiceHash Miner include:
- Hardware auto-detection
- Multiple mining pools to choose from
- Available mobile app for iOS and Android devices
Methodology: How We Select the Best Bitcoin Mining Software
To evaluate the best Bitcoin mining software, we use five key metrics to review each platform and feature the ones that are best for our readers.
First and foremost, software security is very important, and all software listed here offers encryption and additional security features. We also evaluated the ease-of-use to get started, as well as the ability to customize the software for different needs. We also evaluated the range of features available on each platform and the customer support options.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are inherently secure due to blockchain technology, but if you are the one facilitating the blockchain transactions and records, operating a secure mining setup is paramount. We only selected software that offers encryption for user data and has a solid reputation in the industry. Additional security features may also include audited code, SSL protocol, and user groups to segment access.
If you’re looking to mine Bitcoin and you can’t use the software, it isn’t any good. Although there are some more complicated software options out there, we selected the most user-friendly Bitcoin mining software on the market, and even the more advanced options on this list are intuitively designed.
Most of the options selected have a graphical user interface for simple setup, with some offering auto-detection of hardware and one-click setup and deployment.
Bitcoin mining requires understanding the details of your hardware, internet connectivity, and the overall measure of your processing power (calculated as “hash rate”). These features should be available from any quality Bitcoin mining software, but there are also additional tools that can simplify the process or make your mining more profitable.
We selected the software with the widest range of capabilities to support any type of mining setup. There are also features such as automatic optimization to ensure your hardware is always mining the most profitable coins, as well as overclocking to gain the most processing power out of your hardware.
There are different levels of support for different types of mining software, with the cloud-based services offering more hands-on support and the open-source software offering community and direct developer support. We chose software that has proven support teams that can handle requests and issues through email or Discord channels.
Overall, customer service is an important part of any software company, and having an avenue to escalate and resolve issues is a must.
The pricing of mining software is critical in calculating your overall profitability, and many of the software companies even offer built-in calculators to find your “break even” point and daily profitability from mining. But not all software offers transparent pricing.
Although many of the Bitcoin mining software options are free, there are costs associated with some of the services provided, including withdrawing your crypto from the platform. We evaluated the top mining software options to favor transparent pricing structures that make sense.
Bitcoin Mining Software FAQs
Bitcoin mining software can make the processes of becoming a miner much simpler. Here are the answers to a few common questions about Bitcoin mining software:
Can You Mine Bitcoin for Free?
No. Although some Bitcoin mining software is free, the electricity and hardware will cost money, sometimes thousands of dollars just to get started. Although you can utilize a software like NiceHash to use your existing computer power to mine for Bitcoin, there will be an additional electricity cost for running a computer at max capacity.
What is Open-Source Mining Software?
Mining software that is publicly released and can be modified by anyone after downloading. CGMiner is a great example of this, as the code is available for free on GitHub and can be reviewed by anyone. Users can also modify the code and customize it to fit their needs.
Open-source software is more trusted than private software as well because it can be publicly critiqued, and vulnerabilities can be exposed and patched in public.
How Long Does it Take to Mine 1 Bitcoin?
One new Bitcoin block is mined every 10 minutes on average, resulting in newly minted Bitcoin — currently 6.25 Bitcoin per new block. This means that one Bitcoin is mined every two minutes on average.
That being said, this does not mean your mining rig will win the block, and typically this minting is awarded to the most powerful Bitcoin mining setups (typically part of Bitcoin mining farms or pools). Due to the competitive nature of mining cryptocurrency, a single mining rig may not ever win any block rewards.
Can I Mine Bitcoin on My PC?
Yes. Software such as NiceHash allows you to use your computer processing power to mine Bitcoin.
It does this by using idle CPU and GPU resources to add processing power to a mining pool. These pools bring together the hashing power of thousands of computers to give them a better chance at solving the Bitcoin mining mathematical computation and earn Bitcoin block rewards.
The Bitcoin rewards are then split between miners according to their contributed hash power.
How to Choose the Best Bitcoin Mining Software
Finding the best Bitcoin mining software for you requires knowing what you are looking to accomplish, what your budget is, and what type of hardware (if any) you will be running it on. There are several options available, meaning that there is an ideal software for your setup out there.
If you are looking to run dedicated Bitcoin mining hardware exclusively for mining purposes, using a software like Cudo Miner or CGMiner gives you full control over your settings and the ability to optimize your earnings. If you simply want to repurpose your PC and mine Bitcoin while it is not in use, NiceHash is a great solution that will help you earn Bitcoin from your unused processing power.
Joining a Bitcoin mining pool is a great option for most users, as combining the hash power of thousands of computers increases the likelihood of rewards. Awesome Miner is ideal for this scenario if you have your own hardware. Using a cloud-based program like ECOS is a great alternative if you simply want to lease hardware in the cloud.
Mining Bitcoin can be profitable, but it’s important to calculate the cost, evaluate your options, and choose the best software and hardware setup to fit your long term goals.