Bitcoin mining on a home computer is no longer possible, but other cryptocurrencies can be “dug” from a personal PC, if, of course, you make some efforts.
After creating Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto spoke in detail about how a peer-to-peer digital payment network will work to ensure fast, secure and untrusted transactions.
In the original version of white paper, he introduced coin emission algorithms:
“The first transaction in a block is a special transaction that launches a new coin belonging to the creator of the block.”
This alignment creates an incentive for participants to support the network and ensures a stable flow of coins into circulation because there is no centralized authority for issuing assets in the Bitcoin blockchain – this is the whole charm of decentralization.
As with any activity (mining of gold, minerals, etc.), certain resources are spent on the extraction of new coins – in our case, this is computer power, processor time and electricity.
This whole process is called mining.
Initially, it was possible to mine bitcoins using laptops and desktop computers. However, with the growth of its popularity, people realized that it was possible to make a profit by participating in the Bitcoin network through the process of checking and confirming transactions. There were many who wanted to earn money, competition became more intense, and equipment capacities increased – simple PCs have already lost relevance.
In addition, the growing complexity, as well as the emergence of specialized integrated circuit (ASIC) software designed specifically for BTC mining, made it virtually impossible to profitably participate in the network as a miner using the computing power of a home computer and a handful of video cards.
However, this option is still relevant for some other cryptocurrencies in 2020.
Zcash (ZEC) is a privacy-oriented cryptocurrency that was launched in 2016. For the home miner, the most important feature built into the Zcash architecture is that it uses the Equihash algorithm as part of the consensus mechanism.
Equihash is an algorithm designed to provide ASIC resilience. As a result, a home miner with its GPU can participate in the network and earn money successfully.
Before you start mining Zcash, you need to purchase certain equipment. In addition to the computer itself, you will need video cards that will be used to increase computing power. A fan is also needed to cool the installation.
Next, you need to download software that will help control the operation of the equipment. To do this, download the Zcash blockchain and configure the wallet. This will require some waiting since the blockchain will need to be fully downloaded to your node, as well as synchronize. In addition, you will need to download drivers for video cards.
Finally, electricity will be needed to power the mining installation. It is logical to think about joining the mining pool, as this maximizes revenue.
Ethereum is the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. In addition, it is still possible to mine this coin at home using GPUs equipped with powerful enough graphics cards.
Ethereum’s POW engine uses the ASIC-resistant Ethash algorithm, which allows you to use a PC. However, due to the popularity of Ethereum, home miners should maximize their income both by acquiring the most powerful video cards on the market and by joining the mining pool.
Grin (GRIN) was launched in January 2019 on the Mimble Wimble blockchain. The project focuses on privacy and scalability. The Grin blockchain uses the MimbleWimble algorithm to support transaction confidentiality.
However, for a home miner, the most relevant is the ASIC-resistant POW algorithm. Moreover, the project developers went even further to hard code hard fork every six months to minimize the influence of ASICs that can be developed specifically for the network of this cryptocurrency.
Grin supports mining both CPU and GPU. However, if you decide to choose a GPU, get Nvidia cards because they are considered more efficient. In addition, you must have at least 5.5 GB of space to start mining coins.
To get started with GRIN, download the blockchain from the official site for subsequent configuration of the site. After successful synchronization of the blockchain, you need to connect the node to your wallet. Creating it is easy – you just need to run the file in the directory. After the wallet has earned, you should configure your video cards for further work. Finally, be sure to install the software on Cuckaroo POW, which is a version of the Grin network that supports GPU mining.
Another implementation of MimbleWimble, Beam (BEAM), is also well suited for home mining. She uses the Hashii algorithm,