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Best Cryptocurrency for Mining in 2019

  • Alex Morris
    📚 WikiCoin

    Currently, cryptocurrency mining is all about long-term investing. Find out what cryptocurrency you should invest in to generate a big return on your investment. U.Today has examined all the possible options, including little-known coins that are suitable for CPU mining. Given how unpredictable the cryptocurrency market is, we won’t rule out that one of these coins could become the next Bitcoin.


Best Cryptocurrency for Mining in 2019
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The double-whammy of sinking prices and constantly rising mining difficulty was a complete knockout for Bitcoin miners. U.Today determines whether you should stick to Bitcoin mining in 2019, and what other altcoins could be a good option the following year.

Best Cryptocurrency for Mining in 2019

Picking a new currency to mine

Due to the decline of cryptocurrency mining, it is rather challenging to find a new coin to mine given that cryptocurrency price predictions change almost every day. If you want to pick a new currency, you should perform an in-depth fundamental analysis (the technology behind the coin, the team of developers, etc.). We’ve compiled the list of top factors you have to take into account when mining new coins:


  • mining difficulty;

  • recent price fluctuations;

  • price predictions;

  • market capitalization;  

  • the number of use cases;

  • the developers’ background;

  • social media presence.

Meanwhile, these are some of the ‘red flags’ that you most likely want to avoid when choosing a new coin:

  • the coin has an ICO;

  • the project is selling masternodes;

  • premined coins;

  • ‘copy and paste’ coins in the likes of Ravecoin that do not bring anything new to the table.   

Making sure the mining is profitable

Once you’ve picked the coin that suits all the above-mentioned parameters, you have to make sure that running your mining operation will result in generating a profit (a rather challenging thing to do considering the current state of cryptocurrency mining). There are numerous factors that you have to take into account, such as electricity expenses, mining difficulty, etc. We won’t enumerate all these points since there are plenty of complex mining calculators.

Making sure the mining is profitable

Another important point you should keep in mind is that these parameters are constantly fluctuating, which essentially makes the mining industry so unpredictable. Case in point: mining giant Bitmain, which recently sacked half of its employees after tons of hype surrounding its upcoming IPO that is already shaping up to be a big underperformance.

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The O.G. currencies in 2019

Let’s start with an ultimate O.G. currency – Bitcoin, which turned into a multibillion-dollar business. This December, the mining difficulty of the king BTC experienced a 15 percent decline due to smaller miners leaving the Bitcoin Blockchain en masse after major experts failed with their predictions. In the middle of the crypto rout, Bitcoin miners still managed to rake in an impressive $4.7 bln, but the point is that large mining farms are primarily responsible while run-of-the-mill miners remain on the sidelines.

(coindesk.com)

The exodus of miners that was followed by a difficulty drop makes it much easier for new miners to enter the market. Moreover, it has been recently estimated that mining Bitcoin is still 50 more profitable than mining one of its iterations – Craig Wright’s ‘mining-friendly’ Bitcoin SV.

The same pertains to another major currency – Ethereum, which has been facing bearish predictions the whole 2018. Miners who can benefit from low electricity prices still remain in business in the yo-yo market as the mining difficulty continues to drop. Since Ethereum is way too established, you might also opt for Ethereum Classic, whose mining difficulty has been tanking as of recently.   

Monero and ZCash: top privacy coins

Monero is currently the 13th biggest currency by market capitalization. The flagship privacy coin is particularly attractive for miners given its ASIC-resistance. That essentially means that you could mine Monero without buying expensive hardware, thus disrupting Bitmain’s monopoly, which could be already facing serious woes according to expert predictions. Bitmain came up with a special miner for Monero, but the dev team throttled it with a fork that could make ASIC mining inefficient.    

Of course, the coin’s mining profitability tanked due to the crypto rout, but cheap GPU prices combined with low electricity still make a good combination for mining Monero in 2019. However, do not expect to gain profit from selling XRM on a daily basis despite some positive price predictions.  

Alternatively, you can also consider mining another privacy coin – ZCash, which is responsible for more than 90 percent of all Equihash mining, though the recent rate spike was a blank swan situation for miners who were up to different predictions. Back in July, ZCash made headlines because of its remarkable mining profitability: it outperformed Bitcoin by 400 percent.    

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Horizen (ZEN)

According to whattomine.com, Horizen (previously known as ZenCash before the rebrand happened) remains the Equihash-based currency with the highest level of rewards. In 2019, it is still one of the best currencies to mine with your GPU.    

Keep in mind that Horizen is still in its early PoW days, and they have already paid out 5.3 mln coins to miners. It would be ludicrous to expect sizeable mining profits in the current bearish market, but the project might pick up some steam in the future despite some gloomy price predictions.  

Litecoin (LTC)

Litecoin is yet another old-timer on the block that has been around since 2011. It poses a good option for those who want to opt for an already established currency instead of buying coins with little to no background.     

LTC stands out because of faster transaction confirmations (the block generation time is restricted to ten minutes), and a more efficient storage solution.  

A quick look at r/litecoinmining will tell you that the community is in low spirits right now, with some mining for the sake of heating the house or simply keeping their hobby. However, our recent price prediction shows that Litecoin is currently following a bullish path.

Bitcoin Gold (BTG)

Bitcoin Gold is a fork of Bitcoin that was created specifically for GPU mining. Apart from disrupting the hegemony created by super-powerful ASIC miners, Bitcoin Gold is also a marginally safer coin since miners do not have to rely on the hardware that is specifically designed to mine this coin. Hence, BTG miners won’t have to throw away their Antminer if their cryptocurrency lives up to most pessimistic price predictions since they can easily put their botnet on something else.

How to maximize your mining profits?

We’ve listed some of the most conventional (and fairly unconventional) choices, but it’s rather challenging to boil down your choice to one specific coin when there are more than 2,000 options on the table. Hence, it would make sense to mine several coins simultaneously (up to all major mineable currencies) to hedge against potential losses. It is not a piece of investment advice, but swapping currencies is an objectively good option in the highly volatile market where price predictions tend to change very quickly.    

Best coins for CPU mining

Yes, you heard it right – CPU mining is still a thing in 2019 (just like in Bitcoin’s early days when even the boldest price predictions couldn’t foresee its present-day price). Of course, do not expect to make a single dollar (or even a single cent) with your old laptop. However, for the sake of collecting coins whose price could skyrocket one day, you can consider mining the following CPU-oriented cryptocurrencies:

  • Nimiq;

  • Nerva;

  • Pascal;

  • Uplexa;

  • Blur.

You can constantly keep track of new GPU coins with the help of the website newcpucoins.com. One of the best strategies that you can pick is to mine a coin that is basically worth nothing after doing in-depth research of the project and the team. The cryptocurrency market is still very nascent, and there’s a good chance that the value of a new coin could blow up in the future (just make sure not to sell them prematurely).
  

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Should you mine crypto in 2019?

Over the past few years, cryptocurrency mining has turned into an industrial-level venture, which means that the days when somebody could make quick dollars with crypto mining are pretty much over despite some predictions about the comeback of mining craze. In the first half of 2018, cryptocurrency prices began to fall, and many miners were forced out of business.

With the right approach, mining can still be profitable, but it’s a not a get-rich-quick scheme anymore, and the profitability margin is much lower. Even if most bullish price predictions come true, expect more super powerful ASIC miners to appear on the market.    

After all, you can still mine 1 BTC in Venezuela while only forking out $531 because of its extremely low electricity rates. However, don’t be tempted to pack your bags to this ‘crypto paradise’ given that the local government is not particularly welcoming to miners, with some of them even going to jail. There is also another option: Iran, where mining still turns a profit with the country’s government subsidized energy.  

Hopefully, U.Today helped you to come up with the best mining strategy to survive this crypto winter.

Cover image via u.today
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Scalability on the Blockchain — Is There a Problem?


Scalability on the Blockchain — Is There a Problem?
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We can witness the golden era of Bitcoin only if scalability allows it. Just increasing block sizes or reducing mining time isn’t enough to fix the problems. 4 transactions per second — this is the average speed of the Bitcoin blockchain. By comparison, Visa provides about 1,700 (TPS). The difference is colossal! It’s clear that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not yet ready to compete with such indicators.

Problems of Bitcoin

The result of 4 completed TPS sounds disappointing, but why couldn’t Bitcoin’s blockchain work faster? Here are some clues:


  1. Limitations:

With each new transaction in the net increases the blockchain size.

  1. Data Size:

With a standard block hard-cap of 1MB in the Bitcoin blockchain, it’s hard to talk about effective scaling.

  1. Response Time:

On average, it takes 10 minutes to extract one block in the Bitcoin blockchain. Any online transactions must be validated. From here the queue that lasts for a considerable time.

  1. High Fees:

The validation process costs more because mining requires higher processing power.

What are the solutions?

Bitcoin’s blockchain has become something really huge. This is a system with a new level of security, economy and freedom of action. The community is trying to make blockchain ideal, but it’s not that simple. Each decision must be supported by the crypto community, and implementing changes will require even more time and effort. But now there are some solutions.

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Hard Fork

It is enough to imagine a complete change of the game’s rules to understand what a hard fork is. For example, you played football, but now you must play basketball. The ball is there, but the rules are radically different. So, a hard fork makes all members of the Bitcoin network download a completely new protocol. However, it has a history of transactions but not the connection with the old system.

Perhaps everyone has heard about one of the most successful hard fork at the moment — Bitcoin Cash. The altcoin lives and thrives, successfully breaking the block size mark of up to 32 MB.

time BCHUSD charts
Bitcoin Cash charts by TradingView

Soft fork

Segregated witness (SegWit) is an implemented protocol update that solves the issue of the Bitcoin’s blockchain transaction malleability and scalability. Every transaction consists of two part. The first one is Basic information. And the second part is Witness, it carries a special cryptographic code. This code is a confirmation of the virtual transaction in Bitcoin currency.

The essence of soft fork is to store the Witness signature in a sidechain. This move creates free space inside the block. At the same time, the block size increases without actually increasing. Let's look at the pros and cons of SegWit.

Pros:

  1. Increasing the Bitcoin’s block size allows containing signature data about other transactions in each of them.

  2. Optimizing the payment verification time will greatly enhance the transaction confirmation process.

  3. Soft fork reduction fees.

  4. SegWit eliminates the problem of Bitcoin’s transaction malleability.

  5. The bigger transaction amount in each block, the better miner's fee.

  6. The Bitcoin network is becoming less vulnerable to hackers thanks to a decrease in transaction volume.

Cons:

  1. During implementation, problems may arise in the operation of the system, since wallets must conduct it themselves.

  2. Radical actions can separate community.

  3. Miners will receive fewer fees.

  4. Resource consumption will grow with an increase in bandwidth and the number of transactions.

  5. No fee for miners for chain maintenance, unlike the main Bitcoin network.

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Lightning Network

The technical solution, known as Lightning Network, can be called the most successful of all that solving the current issue with scale. Deployed on top of Bitcoin, LN uses advanced smart contracts to achieve higher transaction bandwidth while maintaining the peer-to-peer nature of the Bitcoin protocol.

Lightning Network usage nowadays
Lightning Network charts by p2sh.info

The main idea of the service is to not record all transactions in the blockchain since it overloads it. If participants transfer funds to each other several times, it is not necessary to register each transfer. It will be enough just to open the payment channel and record the data on its opening in the blockchain. The channel will remain open until one of the participants decides to close it by adding the relevant data to the blockchain.

The advantages provided by Lightning Network:

  • Reducing the load on the Bitcoin blockchain.

  • Significant increase in transaction per second.

  • Reducing the verification queue.

  • Minimizing the miners' fees for servicing transactions.

Disadvantages of Lightning Network:

  • Although the Lightning Network is actively developing and implementing by more and more services, it is still in the experimental stage.

  • P2P nature of protocols allow making only online transactions, which means that the recipient and the sender must be in the network at the time of sending.

  • There are concerns about the security of the network because everything happens on top of Bitcoin, and therefore Lightning Network does not use the Bitcoin security model provided by miners.

  • The high probability of network centralization, the level of network control by one player has reached 64% of capacity, which is incredibly high.

In any case, LN is a real system, able to cope with the problem of Bitcoin blockchain scalability.

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Plasma

Plasma is similar to Lightning Network, except for Ethereum. This is a contact system built over the main blockchain. The root network contract handles only a few obligations from affiliated blockchains, which, as a rule, can handle a huge amount of computation. Obligations are periodically translated from child chains to the root. It can be said that the root blockchain plays the role of the supreme judge from whom the authority of the subordinate courts emanates.

But since the data is transmitted completely only to those who confirm a particular state, participants must independently monitor the chains of interest to punish fraudsters. In the event of an attack, participants will be able to quickly and easily make a mass exit from the child's blockchain to the root.

Blockchains can line up in a hierarchical tree structure. This allows you to balance the system, make the data as accessible and safe as possible, and reduce costs. Mining is performed with complete reliability only in the root blockchain, and the rest receive data authentication from it.

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Conclusion

The network of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is growing rapidly. The larger the network, the sharper is the issue of scalability. We reviewed the popular methods of solving these problems. The community is trying to find appropriate solutions and new ideas.

One of the most successful and discussed solutions in the media is Lightning Network, the capacity of which exceeded 700 BTC, and the number of nodes is close to 6,500, but new heights obey the community. For example, the maximum block size in the Bitcoin SV network has already exceeded 128 MB and in 2019, it is planned to reach the size of 1GB. In parallel, the implementation of SegWit continues.

As for what will happen next, we'll see, but a final solution to the problem of Bitcoin scalability is not expected in the near future.

Cover image via 123rf.com
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