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What Cryptocurrency Can You Still Mine with GPU/CPU on Your PC in 2019?

  • Denys Serhiichuk
    📚 WikiCoin

    One could think that ASIC-miners got out of the market home miners. Fortunately, it is not true. There are still coins, which you can mine with GPU or CPU. Moreover, their number keeps increasing. In this article, we picked the most profitable assets for getting crypto at home. Hope after reading this article you can start setting up your PC for mining.


What Cryptocurrency Can You Still Mine with GPU/CPU on Your PC in 2019?
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It is a vivid fact that mining is one of the most popular ways of making money with cryptocurrencies. However, nowadays lots of digital assets require ASIC-miners for it. In this article, we will analyze those coins which can be mined with GPU\CPU on your PC in 2019.

Many years ago, at the dawn of mining, conventional processors (CPUs) were used to mine Bitcoin. Users who believed in the bright future of cryptocurrency installed special software, entered the wallet number, started the calculation and waited for the reward. Later, when the first high-speed graphics cards (GPU) were invented, mining with CPU ceased to be so relevant, as the complexity of the network immediately increased. The logical continuation of the development of the industry was the emergence of the first devices based on specialized chips, the so-called ASIC-miners.

The repeated growth in network performance forced all other owners of outdated devices to stop cryptocurrency mining due to the fact that the payment for electricity exceeded the benefit.


Today, huge farms exist for mining cryptocurrency. Most of them are located in the East, particularly in China. In addition, most companies which distribute ASIC-miners also come from Asia.

The main mining problem

ASIC-miner
ASIC-miner

ASIC-miners became a potentially major problem even at the time of their appearance on the market. The emergence of specialized mining equipment for the SHA256 algorithm, which was more efficient than mining on a CPU or GPU, significantly complicated the life of Bitcoin miners and forced large mining farms to get involved in the race for computing power and cheap electricity.

It should be noted that the majority of relatively young blockchains, including Ethereum, have hashing algorithms that are resistant to the use of ASICs equipment to a certain extent. For example, the developers of anonymous cryptocurrency Monero deliberately complicate the lives of ASIC manufacturers, making changes to the algorithm every six months.

Even the slightest differences make ASIC a useless device: this equipment is optimized for the mining of specific cryptocurrencies, and changes in the algorithm drastically reduce their effectiveness, sometimes making them completely useless.

The use of ASICs obviously causes harm to the entire industry, as it leads to the centralization of the network, and the emergence of large miners.

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CPU mining

CPU mining is performed similarly to the process of obtaining cryptocurrency according to the Proof-of-Work algorithm (PoW).

Most of the blockchain networks have built-in mechanisms for adapting the complexity of the computations performed, due to the fact that the confirmation time for one block must be constant. Therefore, as the total computational power increases, it is necessary to increase the mining complexity so that the time spent by the sides remains the same. There are some coins whose mining is specially optimized for processors, which is done to get the highest degree of network decentralization and to ensure the widest possible access to cryptocurrencies.

GPU mining

GPU mining is the process of cryptocurrency mining using graphics processors. To do this, one uses a powerful video card on a PC or a specially built farm from several devices in one system. Video cards are initially designed for processing large amounts of data by performing operations of the same type, as is the case with video processing. The same case is observed in cryptocurrency mining because here the hashing process is of the same type. In this regard, laptops or processor integrated chips with full-fledged discrete video cards are used.

Actual cryptocurrencies for mining with CPU

Currently, you can get the most income from CPU mining if you choose coins that operate on the Cryptonight cryptocurrency algorithm: Monero, Bytecoin, Electroneum, DigitalNote, etc.

Monero

The cryptocurrency was launched in 2014. It is a coin with an emphasis on transaction privacy. Monero operates on a Proof-of-Work algorithm for verifying transactions. The digital asset works fine with a CPU, which makes it an excellent option for miners with small budgets.

To start mining Monero with a CPU, you need to create a wallet on one of the exchanges or install a local version of the wallet by downloading it from the official Monero site at https://monero.org/downloads/.

It should be taken into consideration that the full synchronization of the wallet with the network can take some time, and it requires a lot of disk space. In the latest versions of Monero wallets, you can use synchronization with a remote node, which significantly reduces synchronization time and takes up almost no space.

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Best Monero Mining Pools 2019

Dogecoin

The launch of Dogecoin took place on December 8, 2013, as a “comic currency.” Today it has become one of the top cryptocurrencies in the world, and its market capitalization has reached more than $185.17 million. This makes it attractive for investment and mining.

The setting up of Dogecoin mining is carried out similar to Monero. First, you need to have a wallet and find out its address. Then you will need to create an account on one of the mining pools, add a new worker, enter the wallet address and update your account. Then choose the appropriate miner program, download it, install it on your personal computer and configure it.

Zcash

The principle of Zcash operation is the same as that of other cryptocurrencies. Its blockchain consists of blocks where information about transactions is stored. Miners confirm these blocks and get a reward for that.  

The mining process remains the same. First, you choose a wallet and find out its address. Then you select the mining pool, register there, enter the address of your wallet in your personal account and update your account. Then, choose the appropriate software, download the program and install it on your computer. The best option in the context of mining Zcash would be nheqminer. You can download this software from Github.

Subsequently, Zcash can be exchanged for Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, and some exchanges allow you to exchange it immediately for dollars or euros.

Actual cryptocurrencies for mining with GPU

Bitcoin Gold

Bitcoin Gold officially started on October 24 on the block 491 407, but the network was launched on November 13. The main task is to return mining from large farms to PCs, for the sake of which the transition from the SHA-256 crypto algorithm to Equihash is done. In this regard, Bitcoin Gold does not support ASICs.

Maintaining a large mining farm on a GPU requires much more effort than ASIC data-centers, so the major players choose the latter, leaving the mining on video cards to small companies and individuals. So decentralization in Bitcoin Gold network is higher and larger blocks (2-4 MB) increase throughput.

Zencash

Zencash is another representative of a rather extensive family of digital coins based on the Zerocoin protocol, launched in May 2017. At the same time, it was formed as a fork of the non-basic Zcash cryptocurrency, and another Zclassic fork. Zencash can be called an interim solution between the previous two: if the ZEC miners give the developers a fifth of the rewards for each block found, and the ZCL miners keep everything for themselves, then the ZEN miners receive 88%.

Zencash has an open and private blockchain, which allows both to quickly carry out transactions and to guarantee anonymity where it is needed.

In addition, the Zencash blockchain also allows exchanging encrypted messages, acting as a private messenger.

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Top Cryptocurrencies by Mining Revenue in 2019: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Zcash (ZEC), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

Zclassic

Zclassic is a fork of the popular and widely used cryptocurrency Zcash. The principal difference from the maternal coin is that the entire reward goes to miners, while 20% of the mined ZEC goes to the addresses of the developers. Zclassic also gets rid of those 20 thousand blocks that were mined in Zcash during the pre-mining period.

The absence of a 20% commission potentially makes Zclassic more profitable for mining than the original chain.

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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.

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