by Jamie Holmes
Three ways cryptocurrencies can be mined are through standard computers, with their CPU, more advanced GPU mining and finally ASIC mining, which involves machines devoted to the purpose of mining cryptocurrency. Back in the very early days of bitcoin, it was profitable to mine on a standard computer but now the ‘arms race’ between groups of miners has squeezed out the little guy.
CPU Mining CryptoNote Coins
However, you can still mine some cryptocurrencies using a standard computer with your CPU, learn something and make a little profit along the way too. For example, the CryptoNight algorithm offers GPU mining no advantages whatsoever over CPU mining. Some well-known examples are Monero, Bytecoin, and FantomCoin.
To start mining the CryptoNote coins, you need to download the MinerGate GUI miner. This software is foolproof and connects to mining pools automatically. Also, the miner conveniently finds the best exchange rates for CryptoNote coins and mines accordingly to maximize your profits, a feature known as ‘smart miner.’ As you open the program after installing, smart mining will be activated, shown below.
The MinerGate GUI also lets you perform a hardware benchmark to compare the processor power of your laptop to see whether it is below or above average.
Aside from mining CryptoNote coins such as Monero (XMR), you can also mine on the Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Bytecoin networks too, as displayed below.
All of this is done in a matter of minutes using MinerGate’s GUI, making it one of the easiest ways to start mining some of the most popular cryptocurrencies.
Alternatively, the developer Zone117x has created an easy to use CryptoNote miner. This mining software only is compatible with pools powered by the open source node-cryptonote-pool projects. The files needed are provided here and to start you must enter the information of the pool you want to mine from.
Then you must specify how many cores you wish to use. After that, you can click on start mining and you will have started CPU mining Monero.
X-11 Algorithm Coins Offer CPU Mining but GPU has Advantages
Cryptocurrencies with the X11 algorithm can also be mined with a normal computer but GPU mining does have advantages with these coins. Saying that, the advantage is not as great compared to Scrypt coins, such as Litecoin, so it may be worthwhile scoping out some cryptocurrencies to mine that use the X11 algorithm. The most well known example is DASH, which is also available to mine on the MinerGate GUI.
Furthermore, some of the X11 coins allow you to augment your earnings for running a node that provides services to the network, usually to help ensure anonymity of transactions. Running a node for DASH, known as a masternode, requires you to hold 1,000 DASH to earn a return on investment for providing services to the network.
At the time of writing, the investment would equal roughly $11,500, which is a stretch for most people, but for some it could be an attractive opportunity to complement a mining operation. If DASH is the gold of X11 algorithm coins, then the silver of X11 is XCurrency; by CPU mining and running a special node for this network, it is a cheaper alternative to DASH, where 1,000 units of XCurrency would set you back just over $50.
Participate in Distributed Proof of Research
GridCoin is an innovative cryptocurrency that uses neural networks to ascertain how much research has been done by each user across Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) projects, utilizing a decentralized network of computing power. Some projects enable GPU mining but others are exclusively CPU. The best case for CPU mining is to check the projects that are CPU only and use the pool http://pool.gridcoin.co.
One example is the World Community Grid which utilizes computing power to make a contribution toward understanding and finding cures for diseases and sponsored by IBM. By donating space computing power, you help scientists solve the world’s biggest problems in health. Also, there is the University of Oxford’s climate modeling and prediction project. Instead of Proof of Work à la Bitcoin, Gridcoin’s method is known as Distributed-Proof-of-Research.
By participating and devoting computing power, you can obtain payments for participating in one or more of the BOINC projects.
- To get started, install the Gridcoin Wallet and create an account.
- Also, you must install the BOINC program.
- After running the BOINC program, select “View > Advanced View”. Then go to “Tools > Use account manager…”
- Enter “https://pool.gridcoin.co” in the Account manager URL box and click next.
- Finally, select which projects you want to run on your profile.
With Gridcoin in the top 50 cryptocurrencies and with such an altruistic offering, it is likely to see increased interest in the future as cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology gradually emerge into our everyday lives.
To get to grips with mining cryptocurrencies, you could start off with just a standard computer, going down the route of pure CPU mining; CryptoNight coins such as Monero, Bytecoin and FantomCoin are the best cryptocurrencies to mine if you only have a CPU setup. Next, X11 algorithm coins such as DASH can be mined with a minimal setup, but GPU mining does offer some advantages. Finally, by participating in the BOINC project, you can find CPU-only projects and earn Gridcoin.
Now you can get started with mining cryptocurrency with your laptop or computer!