As I write this, the price of Bitcoin is around $58k (£42k) and something of a gold rush is happening. Cloud mining contracts with reputable companies are being snapped up, GPU prices are high, and some retailers are limiting the number of graphics cards which can be purchased per customer. As a result, I’ve spent a lot of my time studying alternative coins and what’s needed to mine them.

For the time being at least, Monero seems to be a practical proposition to CPU mine. Financial returns are miniscule, but I’ve made the mistake in the past of taking a short term view. In the longer run, coins mined now could potentially increase in value by thousands of percent. When I stopped mining Bitcoin the first time around, I held just a few hundred dollars in value. That value of that same holding now runs into 5 figures.

Rather than procrastinating any longer, I decided to sign up for a Cudo Miner account and to get mining. Initially, I set it their mining software on my Windows PC just to get a feel for the user interface and, more importantly, to gauge whether I trusted the legitimacy of the system and that I’d actually get paid. This latter point is an increasing concern with all mining pools and organisations – as the value of crypo rockets, finding companies and services which aren’t going to lock funds, or disappear overnight becomes more and more of a gamble.

My research into user reviews and ratings seems to suggest that Cudo Miner can probably be trusted – but given the risks involved, please do your own research – this site was intended to document my experiences, not to give financial advice!

After installing on my main laptop, I decided to experiment with running the Linux version of Cudo Miner’s own mining software on another machine. The first thing to come to hand was a pretty lowly Cloudbook which I bought on a whim a while back, but had never really got along with due to its tiny and slightly non-standard keyboard layout. Installing the app was as simple as installing a Windows application. Once installed, configuration was equally easy – just a matter of entering the “organisation name” for my Cudo account.

I’d expected that trying to mine using the CPU in a passively cooled Cloudbook would be a disaster and that it would cook itself in a matter of hours but, in practice, it’s barely warm to the touch. So far, I’m not looking at power cost vs return, but the low temperature and the fact it runs 24/7 with the screen off in power saving mode suggests it’ll be consuming pretty minimal power.

The mining hashrate on the Cloudbook varies between 150-300 h/s which is currently predicted to earn me $0.36 per month.

My main laptop, a relatively new Ryzen 5 3500U produces up to around 600h/s, but this fluctuates a lot, as I use the machine more heavily for web browsing, email and even the occasional game. The Cudo mining software can be set to stop mining when the PC is in use, but I’ve yet to find the need to enable this feature and operating temperatures have remained low, even when doing other things which make heavier use of the Ryzen’s inbuilt Radeon Vega 8 graphics. Predicted monthly income for the Ryzen machine is currently sitting at $1.36, but that’s based on 4-5 hours running week days and 12-14 hours at the weekend.

With the two laptops running, I’m now studying how things perform more closely, setting up a permanent mining rig using an old i5 tower PC running Linux Mint – and trying to decide whether I can beg, borrow or buy a set of parts which could make a more profitable 24/7 mining rig. More to follow….