While it is no longer possible to profitably mine bitcoin as an at-home miner, there are still several cryptocurrencies that enable small miners to use a PC and GPUs to profitably mine crypto.
The best cryptocurrencies to mine with GPUs in 2020:
AEON (Anonymous Electronic Online Coin) started as a hard fork of Monero’s earliest consensus algorithm CryptoNote. Today, the digital currency has grown to become a popular cryptocurrency in its own right due to its innovative features.
AEON is well suited for at-home mining due to its mobile-friendly status. The blockchain underlying the digital currency is designed for pruning the data downloaded to a device based on its storage capacity. As a result, it is easy to run the blockchain and its consensus algorithm on devices with reduced storage, such as CPUs, without much ado.
AEON is a privacy coin and employs its own modified version of the CryptoNote protocol, called Cryptonite-light. Cryptonite-light verifies the underlying blockchain in a fast manner. The block time within the privacy coin is four minutes.
To begin mining, simply download the software, set up your GPUs, and follow the prompts.
Beam is a privacy coin that was launched in early 2019 as the first implementation of the MimbleWimble protocol, which is focused on privacy, fungibility, and scalability. Additionally, BEAM was developed to be GPU-mineable thanks to its Hashii mining algorithm.
To mine BEAM, you first need to download the official wallet for your desktop and sync the Beam blockchain. Next, you need to configure the settings by switching on the “Run Local Node” feature and setting mining threads to a number greater than zero. Then, you create a wallet address into which you will receive your mining rewards. Finally, connect your GPUs, and you are set to start mining BEAM.
Ethereum’s ether (ETH) consistently tops the list of the top five digital assets by market cap and value. Additionally, this popular cryptocurrency is still profitable for GPU miners. Using several powerful graphics cards, it is possible to turn a profit mining ether.
The smart contract platform employs a consensus mechanism called proof-of-work, which requires miners to use their computing power to solve complex mathematical equations to win a block reward. As a reward, miners receive newly mined ether (ETH).
Unlike Bitcoin’s hashing algorithm, Ethereum’s algorithm Ethash was designed to be ASIC-resistant, which has enabled CPU/GPU miners to contribute to securing their network. As a result, it can still be profitable for at-home miners to mine ether, provided they can deploy enough computing power using their GPUs to compete.
To begin mining ether, download the official software and allow the blockchain to sync. Once the software is installed and synced, join a suitable mining pool to optimize your GPUs for performance.
Ethereum Classic (ETC)
Ethereum Classic launched in 2016 after Ethereum hard forked to recover coins lost during the infamous DAO hack. A section of the Ethereum community did not agree to this fork and, as a result, kept mining the original Etherzem chain, which became known as Ethereum Classic after that.
The Ethereum Classic blockchain has many of the same features as Ethereum, including smart contracts functionalities and using a proof-of-work algorithm that enables mining. The latter has made it a popular coin for miners.
Like Ethereum, Ethereum Classic uses the Ethash algorithm, which means it can be mined using GPUs. The setup process for mining ETC is effectively the same as for ETH.
You need to download the official desktop client, sync the blockchain and configure your GPUs to mine ETC. Additionally, you should join a mining pool to boost mining rewards.
Electroneum is another favorite for at-home miners. ETN was introduced to the market as a solution to the online gambling and gaming market where micropayments are the norm and claims to be the world’s first KYC compliant cryptocurrency.
Electroneum (ETN) is supported by a network of blocks that are based on the Bitcoin blockchain. The digital asset, and its underlying blockchain, is entirely accessible through mobile devices via its application and wallet. Additionally, mobile “mining” is supported but generates a negligible amount and is not actually mining but an airdrop-based system. However, ETN is well suited for home mining.
The mining setup process is the same as for most GPU-mineable coins. You will need to download the official Electroneum mining software and configure your GPUs accordingly to start mining. Joining a mining pool is also advisable.
Feathercoin was launched in 2013 as a fork from Litecoin. The digital currency employs the NeoScrypt hashing algorithm, which was unique to cryptocurrency when it first launched because it is designed to support CPU and GPU mining. Hence, its popularity among community-oriented developers and at-home miners.
Due to its hashing algorithm, Feathercoin is well suited for GPU mining. However, the setup process is not very straight forward. Depending on the operating system on which your device runs, you must first download the Feathercoin Core Node. Then, you must configure it manually to fit your specific set of circumstances, which may prove to be a challenge if you are new to blockchain technology. Once completed with this step, it is advisable to join a mining pool to potentially maximize your profits.
Grin is another implementation of the MimbleWimble protocol, and like Beam, was launched in early 2019. Grin is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency that deploys the ASIC-resistant Cuckoo Cycle mining algorithm to enable small, at-home miners to mine GRIN.
To start mining Grin, you need to download the official software, sync the blockchain, and connect your GPUs. The Grin community recommends using Nvidia graphics cards as they are said to be the most effective for mining GRIN. Next, you need to set up a wallet and – if you are mining using GPUs – sent the mining algorithm to Cuckaroo POW, which is the one dedicated to GPU mining.
Haven Protocol (XHV)
Haven Protocol is a relatively unknown cryptocurrency project with a market capitalization of around $4,000,000 at the time of writing. The digital currency is a fork of Monero and, thus, has inherited many of its predecessor privacy-protecting features.
Additionally, Haven Protocol aims to enable users to anonymously store funds in what it calls “offshore storage,” without having to worry about price volatility. This is made possible through the use of smart contracts and the network’s native stablecoins.
Haven Protocol uses the CryptoNight Haven algorithm, which is a tweak of Monero’s cryptonight, that enables miners to use GPUs to mine XHV.
To mine Haven, you need to download the official software, sync the blockchain, set up a wallet, connect your GPUs, and off you go!
Horizen is another privacy-centric digital currency on the list of best cryptocurrencies to mine at home. The cryptocurrency was launched in 2017, following a hard fork from its parent blockchain Zclassic. The fork was inspired by differences over the launch of Zclassic, which community members believed was skewed in favor of developers. Following its launch, ZenCash rebranded to Horizen.
ZEN employs the Equihash algorithm, which is ASIC-resistant, and, thus, well suited for at-home mining. Additionally, Horizen is considered the best among the Equihash coins in terms of rewards earned.
Mining Horizen is a fairly straightforward process. Download the official client on your computer, install the program, and configure the settings for your GPUs. Once the setup is complete, join a mining pool to optimize your potential returns.
Blockchain networks that utilize the CryptoNight protocol, such as Monero, are considered among the best cryptocurrencies for home miners as they are consistently among the most profitable mineable coins.
The leading privacy coin Monero (XMR), is a popular digital currency for small mining operations as it consistently ranks among the largest cryptocurrencies in terms of market value. Thus, it has the potential to be more profitable to trade the profits acquired through mining. Additionally, the developers of the project are dedicated to keeping the blockchain ASIC-resistant. As a result, small-scale miners can rest easy because they will always be able to compete within the privacy coin’s network.
To begin mining XMR, you must download and install the official Monero client. Then, you need to wait for your node to sync the Monero ledger. Once synced, connect and optimize your GPUs and join a mining pool.
Vertcoin was launched in 2014, with its main aim defined as staying true to the decentralization outlined by Satoshi Nakamoto in his Bitcoin whitepaper. The digital asset’s developers felt that Bitcoin and other leading cryptocurrencies had become too centralized due to the rise of ASICs. As a result, they launched Vertcoin, which they designed to be ASIC-resistant.
Vertcoin (VTC) employs the Lyra2RE proof-of-work algorithm. The algorithm is intended to be mineable only through the use of CPUs and GPUs. Due to this algorithmic consideration, Vertcoin is a popular choice for at-home miners.
Additionally, mining the digital currency is a simple process as its developers have created a one-click miner. You may benefit from joining a mining pool to maximize your hashrate and increase your chances of earning a block reward. To start mining, you can download the software here.
Launched towards the end of 2016, Zcash (ZEC) is a popular privacy-focused digital currency. Describing itself as “a privacy-protecting digital asset built on strong science,” the cryptocurrency has a fixed supply of 21 million units like its predecessor bitcoin. However, unlike bitcoin, which utilizes the Sha-256 algorithm, it employs the Equihash algorithm within its consensus mechanism.
The Equihash algorithm makes ZCash well suited for at-home-mining because the mechanism is designed to be ASIC resistant. ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit) are special machines intended to confer their holder with an upper hand in mining cryptocurrencies. These machines are generally designed to work best with a specific algorithm and are especially common for the Bitcoin algorithm, Sha-256.
Zcash is one of the best cryptocurrencies to mine with a CPU due to its conducive Equihash POW consensus mechanisms. To begin mining the digital currency, requires a computer, an internet connection, and access to electricity or another source of affordable energy. It is important to note that ZCash mining is more profitable than BTC or ETH mining at the time of writing, according to WhatToMine.
To get started, download the Zcash mining software from the website and wait for the blockchain to sync, after which you are free to begin mining. To increase your hashrate you can benefit from employing graphics cards. Additionally, you may want to consider joining a mining pool like Multipool or Slushpool, to increase your hashing power and potential revenue.
Hot Tip For Beginners: Try Honeyminer
If you are new to crypto and want to try out mining, the easiest way to do so is using Honeyminer.
Honeyminer is a mining software that enables anyone to mine digital currency using their PC. The software uses your computer’s power to mine whatever digital currencies are the most profitable to mine at the time. Then, it converts the mining rewards into bitcoin and deposits it into your account wallet.
If you are using your home computer to mine, you will quickly notice that your mining revenues are tiny. However, you could install a few graphics cards to boost your power, which will result in higher mining rewards.
However, it is imperative to keep electricity costs in mind as they could outweigh your mining revenues. Additionally, you shouldn’t use your laptop or a work computer to mine as mining takes up a substantial part of your machine’s energy resources and may slow it down.
Mining crypto can be a great potential way to put your CPU to work instead of sitting there idly. However, keep in mind that choosing the right coin to mine is a critical decision and one that requires a bit of research up-front to be sure you are not needlessly expending money and energy mining an unprofitable coin.
If mining sounds a little too complicated for you, but you still want to make money in the decentralized economy, check out our guide: “Top 7 Ways to Earn a Passive Income with Crypto”.