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Reasons to Mine

Mining a cryptocurrency may have several reasons. The most altruistic one is to just support a project and ensure reasonable transaction speed. Some miners will support an unprofitable coin or token in the expectation that its price would rise.

The most immediate reason to mine is that miners' rewards are immediately profitable due to the high market price of a given cryptoasset.

But remember that even for Bitcoin with its extremely high market prices mining may, in the end, become unprofitable, especially for small-scale miners. Some days look like this:

The third reason is a mix of the other two: mining a coin to support a project in the hope of making market profits as well one day.

Is Personal Mining Still Possible?

It is possible to own mining equipment and connect it to a mining pool. But you would need to account for the high price of the mining equipment.

Mining any coin in the last few months has become more difficult for the reasons that cryptographic currencies are set up. The more miners there are, the more difficult it is to solve the cryptographic puzzle. So when a lot of greedy miners join a pool, the result may be worse.

Don't Go for Coins, Go for Algorithms

There are different algorithms to mine coins, and there are different mining machines for all of them. Some coins and algorithms still require very little hashing power and can be mined with a cheaper GPU from AMD.

The X11 hashing algorithm has a wide fan base. Compared to SHA-256 and Scrypt, this type of mining is much more energy-efficient and does not allow for specialized machines. And the investment in a single GPU for mining X11 coins such as Dash is much smaller.

Currently, DASH would be the most profitable X11 coin to mine. Other coins are much smaller and much riskier regarding market price. DASH, however, has a solid team and good liquidity on many exchanges. So while a miner could switch to mining a lesser coin for a while, there are higher risks of loss.

Coins for a Personal Computer

Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum are not accessible for small-scale mining anymore. But if you want to experiment and feel like the early days of cryptocurrencies, there is the CryptoNight algorithm that is used on several types of coins.

This option is only reserved for high-powered multi-core processors with enough RAM power. But it is still possible to download the mining software and join a mining pool.

A good coin to mine this way would be Monero, which had a wild price explosion, reaching as high as $140 before sliding back to $100.

MinerGate offers a highly intuitive interface, so you can easily set up your computing power for the greatest profit.

The Scrypt Stars

Currently, the Scrypt algorithm contains a series of winning coins, headed by Litecoin. While buying a personalized Scrypt miner is quite expensive, some mining pools offer easy access to Scrypt coins.

But look through the coins to see if their market price is right. Worldcoin, for example may be asleep for a while. Looking at its blockchain charts, it seems miners often take up or abandon the token, as difficulty and hash rate fluctuates from peaks to lows.

graph source: coinwarz.com

Automatic Profitability Tracking

If you are interested in mining more than a handful of the most well-known coins, you would need to make the process automatic.

Luckily, apps make the process automatic, taking into account difficulty, market prices and other factors.

Cloud miners also have an in-built option to stop the contract once it is no longer profitable, but for personalized coin pickings, especially for obscure coins, an automatic process would be needed.

Mining and Malware

Be very careful when downloading mining software. If possible, get the versions from the GitHub respective pages. Some versions of mining software may contain malware. Always run the files through an antivirus if you download them from other sites.

Research New Coins

If you want coins at a glance, to pick new ones based on algorithm and profitability, look through the graphs of WhatToMine. Profitability is updated in real time, allowing users to make a judgment and pick more versatile, though riskier coins. The reason to mine lesser coins is to hold in the hopes of a price spike. Make sure you know how to sell those tokens and check beforehand if they are listed on a suitable exchange that you can easily access and use.