Cryptocurrency Mining in 2022
Cryptocurrency mining is a topic I have been interested in since I first started hearing about Bitcoin in the early 2010s. The thought of essentially being able to print money with a little bit of hardware was a fascinating concept to me. Until recently, I only had a very vague idea of how cryptocurrency mining actually worked.
Over the last few weeks, I have done extensive research on how to mine various cryptocurrencies, which ones are the most profitable at the moment, and what you need to get started. Today, I am here to relay what I have learned about cryptocurrency mining so you can also start passively earning your own crypto.
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What is Cryptocurrency Mining?
If you’re not familiar with how mining works, let me break it down in the most digestible way possible. Cryptocurrency is based on a blockchain. In layman’s terms, a blockchain is a secure public ledger of the transactions taking place in a particular cryptocurrency. If Jim trades 100 Bitcoin with Geoff that transaction enters the blockchain and gets recorded.
In order to process all these transactions, you need a massive amount of computing power. With a normal fiat currency, the transactions are handled by a bank with a warehouse full of servers. On the other hand, with cryptocurrency, this computation is done by private individuals on the network.
As a private miner, you’re using your personal computing power to race against everyone else on the network to solve math equations. The first computer to finish the problem and turn it in is rewarded with a small amount of cryptocurrency.
What Do I Need to Get Started Mining Cryptocurrency?
As far as what you need to get started mining cryptocurrency, it heavily depends on what coins you’re trying to mine. In ye olden days of crypto, all you needed to mine was a computer CPU and you were good to go. Today, things aren’t so simple.
As mining algorithms became more difficult to solve, miners largely switched to using dedicated graphics cards known as GPUs to mine because of their superior computing power. CPU mining is still a thing but most mining algorithms are too difficult at this stage to run on most CPUs.
GPU mining is still probably the most popular type of cryptocurrency mining. In general, if you have a gaming computer or system you use for video editing you can probably mine some form of cryptocurrency. However, with the explosion of cryptocurrency prices and the global silica shortage during the pandemic, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find graphics cards. If you’re lucky enough to find one, it probably won’t be at a reasonable price.
Around 2013, a new type of cryptocurrency miner was released known as an ASIC miner. ASIC stands for application-specific integrated circuit and is basically a computer designed solely to solve a particular algorithm. These machines are extraordinarily efficient at mining because it is what they’re designed to do but are quite expensive starting at around $1,000. If you’re looking to mine Bitcoin, ASIC mining is basically you’re only option because of the current difficulty of the algorithm.
GPU mining is still the most accessible way for regular people to mine cryptocurrency. I have started mining Ethereum with my desktop gaming PC and I will be sharing my journey with you over the coming weeks. In the next installment, I will be going over what kind of mining software I am using and what kind of profitability you can expect mining on a powerful personal computer.
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