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I'm totally new to this, but love this idea!

I want to help, (and generate coin), and have only installed Bitcoin-Qt version 0.8.1

It ran, synchronized; I encrypted my wallet.

But now what? Will it use my 2 NVIDIA gtx580 GPU's on its own? Do I need to do anything else, other than just let it run?

Got the green checkmark; up to date
I have 8 active connections and my wallet is both locked(?) and encrypted.

marked as duplicate by cdecker, Nick ODell, o0'., BinaryMage, Highly Irregular Apr 6 '13 at 20:46

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I just did this today...

I found a mining pool (I picked Eligius) from here https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Comparison_of_mining_pools

The pools website had further instructions. In my case, I installed a mining client "bfgminer" and followed the instructions to add my ID. It sounds like for a windows OS, GUIMiner might be a good start too.

gui miner thread https://bitcointalk.org/?topic=3878.0

The key thing to realize is that there is a difference being a BitCoin "client", which is what you setup above, and a BitCoin "miner" which requires the steps I in this response.

  • bfgminer thread bitcointalk.org/?topic=78192 (could only post 2 links above) – David Kassa Mar 25 '13 at 4:43
  • The official bitcoin-qt bitcoin client was the first bitcoin miner as well, but it only supports solo-mining. Unless you have some powerful equipment you're much better off mining with a pool, which requires the separate application like gui-miner. – disinter Mar 25 '13 at 17:50
  • i think its a pretty strong rig, so i just keep on waiting? – nevets Mar 25 '13 at 19:16
  • bitcoin-qt won't mine on your GPUs. It's not a miner, think of it as a wallet. You can send and receive coins with it. I created a miner that is dead simple to use. You'll find it at bitminter.com – Dr.Haribo Mar 25 '13 at 21:45

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