Mining Ethereum on the M1 Macs
In this article, we’ll be showing you how to mine Ethereum on an M1 Mac. Macs aren’t usually the first thing that come to mind when you think of cryptocurrency mining, but with the release of the M1 it’s certainly possible.
1. Install a wallet
First, you’ll need a wallet, so that you have somewhere to store the Ethereum coins that you mine.
2. Download Ethminer-M1
To do the actual mining, you’ll need the M1 native version of Ethminer, compiled by Yifan Gu. Go to the Ethminer M1 GitHub page and click on “ethminer-m1” under assets. This will save Ethminer to your downloads folder. Once downloaded, copy the ethminer-m1 file from downloads to your Applications folder.
3. Make Ethminer-M1 executable
The ethminer-m1 file doesn’t have the executable flag set, so you will need to set it before it can be run.
Open a terminal window and type
to change to your applications folder.
Then, to make the ethminer app executable and allow it to be run from the terminal. type
chmod +x ethminer-m1
You can then run it by typing
The first time you try to run it, you’ll find that its blocked by Big Sur’s security settings. To bypass that, click “OK” to close the error message, then open System Preferences. Click “Security and Privacy” and then click “Allow anyway” next to where it says “ethminer-m1 was blocked from use”.
Then switch back to the terminal window and run ethminer again by typing
Again, you’ll get a popup window but this time you’ll have the option to allow it to run by clicking “Open”. Ethminer should then run and immediately quit, because there were no command-line arguments specified, but it means that it can now run freely in future without being blocked by Big Sur’s security.
4. Choose a mining pool
You will now need to choose a pool to mine with. There are dozens of Ethereum mining pools to choose from – you can have a look at poolwatch.io for a list. For this article I’ll be using ethermine.org, which at the time of writing is one of the biggest pools with the highest number of active miners.
5. Configure Ethminer and start mining
Now you need to configure Ethminer to mine to the ethermine.org pool with your Ethereum wallet address.
Ethminer’s configuration is passed as command line arguments. The format is”
./ethminer-m1 -P stratum://WalletAddress.WorkerName@PoolAddress:PortNumber
WalletAddress should be your Ethereum wallet address, WorkerName should be the name you want to use to identify your worker, and PoolAddress should be the url of your pool’s server. Ethermine.org has different servers depending on which part of the world you’re in. You can see the server addresses in this table.
Finally, PortNumber should be the pool’s stratum port number, which is 4444 in the case of ethermine.org.
For example, if you were in Europe and you called your worker “MacBook”, the command would look like
./ethminer-m1 -P stratum://WalletAddress.MacBook@eu1.ethermine.org:4444
Instead of typing all that every time you want to start mining, it’s easier to create a small shell script, that you can execute whenever you want to mine.
Open textedit and create a new file, and type the line above, replacing the details with your own.
Then go into the format menu and select “make plain text”, then click “OK”. Once you’ve done that you can save the file to your applications folder as “StartMiningEth.sh”. The filename can be anything you like, but you need to use the .sh extension so that it’s recognised as a shell script.
Once the file has been saved you need to make it executable. Open a terminal window, change to your Applications folder, and type
chmod +x StartMiningEth.sh
Finally, to start mining, type
and ethminer will connect to the server and start mining ethereum using the GPU in your M1 Mac. It’ll take a short while for the DAG file to be created and you should then see the hash rate go up and after a few minutes you should start to see accepted shares in the miner log window.
6. Earnings and getting paid
Once you have a few accepted shares you can paste your ethereum wallet address into the box labelled “miner address” on the ethermine.org website, then press enter and you’ll see your mining statistics. At the bottom of the page you’ll see your average hash rate. On my M1 MacBook Air, for example, the hash rate is 2.2 megahashes per second.
Ethermine.org pays out automatically once the earnings reach the payout threshold. The default payout threshold is 1 Eth. To change that you can click on “settings” then type the new value into the box for payout threshold, with a minimum of 0.1. You’ll also need to type your public IP address into the bottom box. The easiest way to find it is to just Google “what is my ip address” then copy the result and paste it into the box. Once you click submit and you’ll see a popup saying that your settings have been updated.
So, how much can you make? On my M1 MacBook Air, with 2.2 Megahashes per second. At the time of writing, that earns about 0.00006 Ethereum per day. On the bright side, though the M1 package is only pulling about 5 watts of power
For more about how to mine Ethereum on an M1 Mac, watch the video on Youtube.