You have probably heard of Bitcoin. Of course, that cryptocurrency that today reaches $ 10,000 and that probably when you read this article a few months later this figure that it has given you will have been totally out of date. The rate at which the value of Bitcoin grows it is in line with the amount of news and interest it is generating around the world and this, of course, has also spread to Android.
Many people want to invest in Bitcoins and the first step they decide to take is to investigate how mining works to generate blocks. A quick look at Google Play returns us a lot of applications that promise to help us generate cryptocurrencies and then later transfer it to a wallet. If what you are looking for is to mine Bitcoins on Android, we have to give you bad news: you are not going to get it and absolutely nothing happens because there are other apps that are very useful for cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
Mining Bitcoins requires specific and expensive hardware
When you think about cryptocurrency mining, it is impossible not to remember the gold rush that occurred in the United States and everyone traveled west to find mines and chop until they found something. Years ago, when Bitcoin was not not a thousandth of what it is now, it was possible to install software on the computer and start creating blocks with a lot of patience and energy.
It is also normal to think that from a mobile phone this could be possible: any smartphone has a lot of raw power and with such powerful configurations, anyone can think that if they put it in their spare time or at night while charging, they would get money without having to do anything . The reality, however, is somewhat different. Yes, the mobile that you have in your pocket or with which you are reading this article has a lot of power but it is not enough.
Bitcoins mining has become so complex and specialized that to generate a block with a common device (understand a home computer, a smartphone …) it would take many years, so the effort and dedication to be made is insufficient. In fact, those who are dedicated to mining to obtain blocks use very specific hardware optimized for that purpose.
Do not be fooled: mining Bitcoins on Android does not make any sense if what you are looking for is to get easy money.
Does this mean that it is a waste of time to mine Bitcoins on Android? Yes and no. If what we are looking for is to generate blocks and by extension make money with it, we are sorry to tell you that you are going to waste your time. All the Android mining apps are full of empty promises and take advantage of people’s desire to get gold with this phenomenon.
If what we are looking for is help the Bitcoin network grow, then mining from Android is not a waste of time. Bitcoin as a decentralized network lives and grows with all those hundreds of thousands of people who are part of it. With this effort, value continues to be generated and by extension the value of this cryptocurrency increases. If we think about it like this, you can use them knowing that you are going to contribute to a cause.
What about the rest of the cryptocurrencies?
If you’ve read a bit about this topic, you probably already know that in addition to Bitcoin there are other cryptocurrencies. So far we have talked about this because it is the currency with the highest valuation and the one that gives more to talk about. There are others and from Android they can be mined as well. It is a little easier but we find ourselves with the same problem: it is still necessary to have a very specific hardware dedicated to that particular task.
As a result of all this interest, and given how complicated it is to generate Bitcoin blocks, more mobile-oriented projects have emerged, such as Storm. This app is based on the concept of perform micro tasks (in the style of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk or Task Rabbit) and be rewarded with a cryptocurrency. The company sells it as a gamification but the reality translates into seeing ads and little else.
Storm uses its own cryptocurrency system that we can then pass to Bitcoins or Ethereum to finally send it to a wallet. The problem is that their currency has a very small value so generating some money is very complicated and in the end we end up doing a lot of small tasks that consume us time and do not generate anything.
Another mobile-oriented option is Burstcoin. A rather curious concept that is based on use the free memory of our mobile to generate blocks. It does not require much maintenance as much of the work is done when the device is idle. To hang out is fine but we have the same problem: if you want to earn money, you are not going to get much.
These two are the most popular apps, but not the only ones. You will find many apps and games that promise to build blocks and make us rich. The reality is different as you have seen: it is difficult, it requires a lot of time and in most cases they only want to take advantage of the most unsuspecting to earn money from your thing by selling advertising, getting more downloads on Google Play, etc.
All is not lost: there are useful mining apps
At this point, you might leave feeling that any app on Google Play related to Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is a scam. The reality, as we have seen, is that yes, there are many apps that are looking to waste our time and get benefits at our expense. That does not mean that there are no useful tools, there are and if you are going to invest (not mine) in Bitcoins, they will interest you.
The first of all is Crypto Tracker. If you follow the news of the valuation of the main currencies of the moment, surely you will like to control this number, especially if you dedicate yourself to investing your money. Of all the apps on Google Play for this purpose, we recommend this one in particular for its simplicity, the ability to follow various currencies, and its design.
It is free but it contains advertisements, it is easy to use and it gives us the necessary information as well as an evolution of each currency. It also includes data from the real and centralized currencies in case you want to compare data
All the cryptocurrencies that we have are stored in a virtual wallet called a wallet. There are many ways to access it to make transactions, check our balance, etc. and yes, our Android is among them. We are left with the Coinbase Bitcoin Wallet because of the security it transmits (the company behind it is one of the largest intermediaries in the world) and because the application is well made and works without problems. One tip: protect your wallet well and don’t lose your password.
Finally, we have an application that is not directly related to cryptocurrencies but with the technology behind it: Folding @ Home. It is an app that has been around since the days of the Playstation 3 and a few years later it made the leap to Android. In this case the mining work is used to assist in disease research and contribute with the power of our mobile to find treatments. A humble contribution but for a beautiful cause.
Folding @ Home
In Engadget | Newbie’s Guide to Bitcoin: Everything You Need to Know Now That You’ve Surpassed $ 2,000
The bitcoin icon in the header image is the work of Alex Kunchevsky.