10 or so years ago the overclocking community was hot on the trail of curing cancer helping the Stamford folding@home project. Not only were they stress testing their computers overclocks they were helping a good cause but since BitCoins inception in 2008 they have all left folding proteins in an effort to mine cryptocurrencies but what exactly is cryptocurrency mining?
What is Crypto-currency Mining?
The idea of a P2P currency is that when compared to our current banking systems, it is completely decentralized meaning that there is no central server, no one person controls the currency, everyone that has their wallet open and connected to the network knows every single transaction that happens.
Crypto-currency mining on its own it’s a very misleading term, people are not actually mining to find coin they are instead helping to secure the network. Every time a transaction takes place on a crypto-currency network, it’s entered into the block chain or ‘ledger of transactions’. These blocks are then picked up by miners who then confirm that the transaction did or didn’t happen. By doing this the block chain is kept secure. Miners are paid in the networks crypto-currency as a reward for helping to secure the network.
So, How do I Mine Bitcoin?
Not many places will tell you this but the days of mining Bitcoin on your PC hardware are long gone even with a quad crossfire setup. When BitCoins price rose drastically to $800 per coin so did the abundance of Application specific intergrated circuit (ASIC) mining machines which in turn increased the difficulty of finding a transaction block on the network.
What this means the amount of people searching for a transaction block on the Bitcoin network exploded and it continues to double in difficulty every month. Unless you have a ridiculously huge amount of disposable income to invest in a mining farm you can bet your bottom dollar you will lose money and never make a profit mining Bitcoin directly, even if you did have the money to invest in a bitcoin mining farm even then it would be better invested directly into Bitcoin currency instead.
How Can I Make Money From My GPU?
So if you cannot mine BitCoin directly and make a profit how are you supposed to make money from your hardware? the answer is simple – alternative coins.
alternative coins are exactly that, alterative options to BitCoin and while there is currently hundreds of different coins out there (a lot of which are scams), you can still make money of your pc hardware by carefully choosing which coin or mining pool to mine on any given day.
It’s important to make your own decision with which coin to support or not support. unfortunately there is a lot of scam coins out there that have been released by developers so its important to make sure that the developers are honest, the community is enthusiastic and lots of upcoming revolutionary features.
Profitability of each coin changes on a daily basis so its important to stay up to date using sites like CoinWarz
To get started mining you will need a few things.
- An Nvidia or AMD Graphics Card – AMD is Best
- The Appropriate mining software for your graphics card.
- Some Patience Getting Everything set-up
What Do I Do With My Mined Crypto-Currency?
At current the only major consumer adoption has been to BitCoin, that does not mean that other coins will not be adopted by retailers in the future but for now if you belive in the currency you are mining you will need to hold your coins until they gain in value other wise you can trade them for BitCoin on trading exchanges like Cryptsy.