Cryptocurrency mining is still one of the easiest and most profitable ways to own cryptocurrencies and make money using them. However, as technology advances, there have been several changes that affected the dynamics of the cryptocurrency industry. For instance, Bitcoin halving has reduced the profitability of mining, but as the price of Bitcoin increases, the profit increases.
Moreover, as Ethereum moved to Proof of Stake with its Merge upgrade, its miners started looking for more profitable cryptocurrencies to mine. If you are also looking for other mining options, you have come to the right place. But first, a short introduction.
What is Cryptocurrency Mining?
Cryptocurrency mining is the process of solving complex mathematical computations to generate new blocks on a blockchain network and recording crypto transactions on them. There are several ways to mine cryptocurrencies that vary from crypto to crypto and blockchain network to blockchain network. Here are some of them:
- ASIC Mining
ASIC miners are application-specific integrated circuit miners that are probably the most efficient in mining cryptocurrencies. ASICs are designed specifically for the purpose of solving computations and mining cryptocurrencies.
- GPU Mining
GPU mining uses a graphic processing unit, which is basically graphic video cards used in desktops and laptops to mine cryptocurrencies. These cards are able to mine cryptocurrencies but with low profitability as the computing power is not equal to ASIC miners.
The above-mentioned are the hardware categories of cryptocurrency mining. However, the methods for crypto mining also vary according to the specific asset.
- Solo Mining
Solo mining is the process of mining independently without joining a pool or hosting your mining device in a mining farm. The number of miners set up in a solo operation can vary according to preference.
- Pool Mining
Pool mining uses the collective computing power of all the mining devices in a pool to mine blocks. The rewards are distributed proportionally to the contribution.
- Cloud Mining
Cloud mining enables miners without mining rigs to pay for the electricity costs when using someone else’s mining rigs on rent to receive a cut of their profit in return. If you own a mining rig, you can further rent it out as well.
Best cryptocurrencies to mine
Now, that we know better about cryptocurrency mining, let’s take a look at some of the most profitable ones to mine. It’s also worth mentioning that you can calculate the profitability of your mining operation using a mining calculator, such as Whattomine.
After switching to staking consensus, ETH is not the most profitable cryptocurrency for mining. Alternatives are below.
Ethereum Classic (ETC)
Block Time: 13 seconds
Hardware: GPU, CPU
Ethereum underwent a hard fork in 2016 to recover from a DAO attack which led to the birth of Ethereum Classic, a simplified and upgraded version of pre-2106 Ether. You can mine Ethereum Classic using GPU and CPU.
ETC has a market cap of around 6 Billion USD and still operates on the Proof of Work consensus algorithm. It became a very popular option after ETH moved to staking.
Block Time: 15 seconds
Monacoin is a fork of Litecoin and uses a Proof of Work hashing algorithm, making it one of the most profitable cryptocurrencies to mine using GPU miners. The user only needs a secure hardware wallet and a hardware device to handle the mining of Monacoin. Moreover, as it is not popular, the difficulty of mining Monacoin is comparatively low, increasing the profitability.
Block Time: 2.5 minutes
Vertcoin is a cryptocurrency using the Lyra2REv3 Proof of Work hashing algorithm and is ASIC-resistant. As it can only be mined using GPU or CPU devices, its rewards are more equally distributed among the miners, making it an excellent choice to mine. Vertcoin was made ASIC-resistant to ensure decentralization.
Block Time: 1.15 minutes
Hardware: GPU, CPU
ZCash is also an ASIC-resistant cryptocurrency created to focus on privacy, which also helped ZCash gain popularity. ZCash is harder to mine as its ASIC-resistant but also has a more stable and high price, making it an excellent choice to mine.
Since their inception, cryptocurrencies have become alternatives for fiat currencies. With the rise of DeFi services, banking became obsolete. Many are switching to more decentralized options – DeFi is not fully decentralized, no matter what they tell you – in pursuit of more control over their money, and an extra option to earn some additional income.
Mining cryptocurrencies, therefore, became a very popular choice. With a relatively small effort, you get to earn additional assets in your portfolio, and with a little bit of luck, this can bring you extra money in the long run. If you decide to mine, happy mining!