While it is no longer possible to turn a profit mining bitcoin as an at-home miner, there are still several altcoins that enable individuals to use CPUs/GPUs to potentially mine them profitably.
Here are a few of the best cryptocurrencies to mine with CPUs/GPUs in 2019.
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.
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 a number of 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.
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.
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.
AEON (Anonymous Electronic On-line Coin) started out 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.
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.
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.
In summary, 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. There are a number of online mining profitability calculators available, like CryptoCompare, or WhatToMine as mentioned earlier, to help you do some research first.
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”.