How To Mine Cryptocurrencies?

The initial cryptocurrency mining gold rush that started in 2017 was fairly short-lived but had the side effect of increasing demands for graphics processing units (GPUs) across the globe. This “mining” process entails a process of validating cryptocurrency transactions on a blockchain network. These transactions are added to a distributed ledger, and miners are rewarded with new coins that are created in the process.  

Reading Time: 4 minutes

How To Mine Cryptocurrencies

Ilustration: Milica Mijajlović

While there are special mining machines, like the Bitmain line of products, that are specifically created for mining coins (mostly Bitcoin and Bitcoin derivates), anyone with a computer could, in essence, join the mining race for new coins. The trick is to find lucrative coins to mine, as the entire process consumes huge amounts of electricity and requires expensive hardware to be done profitably. Along with the hardware, a software component also aims to solve complicated cryptographic and mathematical equations in the mining process. Finally, the last part a miner requires is a crypto wallet in which the mined coins will be deposited.   

What is the easiest coin to mine? 

The most profitable cryptocurrencies usually become more difficult to mine over time, and additionally, large-scale crypto mining operations and firms have accrued huge hashing power (hash refers to the cryptographic puzzle mining is trying to solve – it is used to determine how many calculations a network performs per second), making it even more difficult. While mining is a concept of diminishing marginal returns, as less money is distributed among more miners, users with a decent GPU can still join in easily.  

Namely, a mining pool would make the most sense for beginning miners who would like to get acquainted with the details of mining. A mining pool is, in essence, a group of miners combining their power and work to solve complex equations and split the reward among themselves. The advantage of a mining pool is that it doesn’t require complex and expensive hardware, but the drawback is low earnings.  

Among the mining pools and cryptocurrencies in general, the token Monero (XMR) represents one of the easiest, if not the easiest, coins to mine. It is built using the CryptoNote protocol utilizing RandomX hash function. The mining process is ASIC-resistant, meaning that all miners use consumer-grade hardware, and industrial miners like Bitmain’s ASIC cannot be used.  

Beginners can mine XMR by either using a CPU or a GPU, though using a CPU, dedicated software such as XMRig or CSminer will be required.       

Which crypto to mine today? 

While there are over 21,000 tokens on 522 exchanges, as per CoinMarketCap data, not all can be mined, and not all are profitable to mine, which is why we will look at the ten coins that are profitable to mine today, in October 2022.  

Monero (XMR) 

The best and easiest coin to mine for crypto beginners as it doesn’t require complex hardware, and there are numerous mining pools focused on XMR, making it very accessible. It is a privacy-minded coin, also called the privacy crypto, so its use should be guaranteed in the future. One XMR is mined every 24 seconds, and frequent payouts are a norm on mining pools.  

Zcash (ZEC)

A coin used for speedy transactions was originally designed to be ASIC-resistant, which makes it easier to mine. The advantages of mining this coin are similar to XMR, as ZEC has been around for a long time, there are a lot of profitable mining pools and no expensive hardware is required even to start solo mining.  

Bitcoin Gold (BTG)

A spinoff of the world’s most popular crypto, Bitcoin (BTC), designed to be mineable using regular equipment, utilizing the Equihash algorithm, which is ASIC-resistant. There are a lot of mining pools, and almost all exchanges have a BTG pair, so selling it for fiat is quite easy. 

Source: Envato

Source: Envato

Dogecoin (DOGE)

A meme coin with an infinite supply is hard to justify as profitable for mining, but the sheer hype and unpredictable trading patterns surrounding this coin, still make it profitable to mine. Though serious equipment is needed to make the endeavor profitable, DOGE can also be mined by beginners using CPU and/or GPU.  

Helium (HNT) 

A unique coin that can be mined using radio waves all users require is a Helium router, which will enable them to earn HNT for providing connectivity. The goal of the project is to provide connectivity and longevity for Internet of Things (IoT) projects and devices.   

Ravencoin (RVN) 

Another fork from Bitcoin, though this one has very low hardware requirements, where 4GB GPUs can still mine the coin profitably. The network has low fees, and the goal is for the coin to be used to tokenize real-world assets.  

Vertcoin (VERT)

VERT, also known as the mining coin, since the goal was to create a coin that is easy to mine. It is the most budget-friendly mining option, as older hardware can mine the coins, and even cell phones can get in on the action.   

Haven Protocol (XHV)

Though barely profitable to mine, it is good for beginners as it is a coin based on Monero. Another feature the coin offers is converting XHV into other fiat-pegged tokens creating synthetic fiat and cryptocurrencies. Similar to Monero, there are a lot o mining pools, making it easy to mine and access.  

Monacoin (MONA)

The first Japanese crypto, created in 2013, represents another meme coin type. It is resistant to industrial mining, so users with older hardware can join in on the fun. Furthermore, there is an ample number of mining pools to make the endeavor more fun than mining solo.  

Aeternity (AE)

With Ethereum (ETH) now out of the mining picture after the Merge moved it to proof-of-stake and Solana being unminable, AE emerges as a possible solution. It is a project focused on running smart contracts and decentralized applications. Currently, the crypto can be mined using CPUs, GPUs, and even ASIC miners, but the competition is not yet steep.  

Which cryptocurrency is most profitable to mine? 

While mining is a losing game in the long run, since miners will be getting fewer and fewer rewards as time passes, there are still a few coins worth mining. Vertcoin, the miner’s coin, has the best premise as it doesn’t require complex hardware to start, making mining profitable for small-scale miners. Monero closely rivals VERT, as it commands a higher price, has been around much longer and could be said to be one of the easiest coins to mine.  

Beginners in mining could opt for a one-click solution offered by VERT coin miners and gradually get acquainted with XMR mining, as both currently represent the best options.    

Which is the best cryptocurrency to invest in? 

For those not looking to get into mining, but looking to get some exposure in the crypto world, investing into coins is certainly an option. As there are numerous tokens, it can be hard to decide where to invest, especially since crypto prices move rapidly and unpredictably.  

Regardless of the various projects that have come and gone over the years, both BTC and ETH have represented the safest investment vehicles in the crypto space. Users investing into these two tokens often say that BTC is gold and ETH silver, pointing to the fact that they are safe investments that will certainly appreciate over time. There are other promising projects whose tokens could see meteoric rise, but BTC and ETH should represents the safest investments in the crypto world, for the time being.  

Dino Kurbegović is a project coordinator and an investor and technology enthusiast with years of experience in managing complex projects. His journey into content writing began in 2014, covering finance, investing, crypto, technology and complex technical topics.