What is mining, we have already covered in the previous article. Today we are talking about the mining algorithm SHA-256, and which coins can be mined through it, aside from Bitcoin. After Ethereum switched to the staking option to secure its network, there is a lot of mining equipment out there, and different options for making passive income with it.
Before we start, here is one important note to have in mind: The best SHA-256 coin to mine is a matter of the moment because the hash rate and difficulty are volatile characteristics.
This is why I will cover several of the best SHA-256 coins in this article. But first, let’s explain the basic concept behind this term.
SHA-256 algorithm explained
Although the first crypto algorithm was created back in 1995 it didn’t make much success and several years later the second and finally the third generation was released and licensed for civilian usage. The most important algorithm from this family is of course the SHA-256 protocol, which stands behind the Bitcoin network, providing it with the necessary bulletproof security.
This protocol uses Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) miners which are in easy terms specially designed computers for this task, with the goal of mining as many coins as possible for as low electricity spent as possible by confirming crypto transactions on a blockchain network. The SHA-256 might be called the old and obsolete protocol, but its simplicity, reliability, and safety hold it in its position strongly. It is important to mention that SHA-256 can’t be processed by regular PC GPUs, which makes it a bit harder for ordinary people to jump on board.
The BTC mining hash rate (the mining power) takes the biggest part of the crypto mining by far, but there are also some other cryptocurrencies that can be mined with the SHA-256 protocol and I will cover the most profitable ones here.
Different SHA-256 coins to mine:
The first one of course is Bitcoin, the king of crypto and the foundation stone of the blockchain in general. This project doesn’t need much of presenting and description, so I will just say it is a blockchain project with a proof of work consensus model with a great hash difficulty, mined in every part of the world, and by its power and strength is positioned like a sun in the solar system, in the sole center of the crypto universe.
Its price movements pull all the other coins up or down and its mining at this point of evolution is mainly done by the institutions, which in my opinion is the only weak spot of this project. The fact that solo miners have almost no chance of earning anything and teaming in pools is much needed to be productive, brings the question of lowered decentralization. Other than this, BTC has a rock-solid potential in the future, so mining and saving it is a sure thing, with a very high percentage of ROI potential. I will take BTC mining profitability as a reference point for my list in this article.
The second best SHA-256 coin to mine is Bitcoin Cash (BCH). This coin is only 1% less profitable than the BTC at this moment, but as I mentioned this is a volatile piece of data. The BCH is presented by its team as “the best money in the world” with near zero fees and very fast and reliable transactions worldwide. With a price of 110$ and its market cap of more than 22 billion $, it holds on 33rd place, which is not bad at all, but if you for some reason decide to mine it you can always turn it into some other crypto of your choice.
The security of the BCH network is spotless, especially because it is much lower network difficulty and is more decentralized due to less institutional mining. This coin, just like the BTC, has a limited maximum supply of 21 million, which can be very important for its price movements later on.
The third best SHA-256 coin to mine is DigiByte (DGB). I am mentioning this coin because it is at this moment the most profitable one, although its price of 0,0085$, the current market cap of 133 million USD, trading volume of only 2 million USD daily, and other important parameters aren’t speaking much in his favor. Its profitability is about 5% higher than with mining BTC, but if you decide to mine it, I would recommend changing it immediately for some other coin of your choice.
DigiByte promotes its project as a rapidly growing open-source blockchain that after 8 years of forward-thinking has become one of the safest, fastest, longest, and most decentralized UTXO blockchains in the world. It might be, but at the moment I wouldn’t put much faith in it.
The fourth coin I will mention here is Peercoin (PPC) which first came online in 2012. The Peercoin project is one of the pioneering blockchain projects, but its 13 million USD market cap and only 4000$ daily trading volume don’t present it as an important project. The reason I am mentioning it is that this coin offers almost the same profitability as the BTC does, only 4% less at this moment to be precise. The team behind it claims they are the first who presented proof of stake consensus and their network is secured by both consensuses at the same time.
This sounds interesting, but I would suggest if you decide to mine this coin, to also think about changing your gains to other coins by your choice because I don’t see much potential in this project’s future.
And for all of you guys who don’t want to dig deep and spend a lot of your time in research, I will also mention the option of putting your machines in NiceHash mining. I would describe it as proxy mining because NiceHash isn’t a crypto network with its coin but a protocol that automatically chooses the best mining option for your mining machines, for a small fee. This is an interesting option for those who don’t have much time to hunt after profitable coins and want to work on run and forget method. At this moment mining via NiceHash is about 4% more profitable than mining BTC.
There you have it, by the editor’s choice – the best SHA-256 coins to mine in the crypto space. I hope I helped a bit with clarification and mining options on the SHA-256 protocol and I wish you all the best in your mining endeavors.
As always, everyone at Echo Chamber is eager to hear your thoughts on this topic. What do you think about these coins? Do you think I should have mentioned some other options for earning passive income through mining? If yes, which one?