When bitcoin first appeared on the scene in 2009, it was mined using the CPU (central processing unit) in any basic computer. That lasted for a couple years until miners learned how to use the more powerful GPU (graphics processing unit).
While it is still possible to mine altcoins with a GPU (or even a CPU) these days, bitcoin and most others have gone beyond accessibility for home miners. In 2018, most mining is done using powerful ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) rigs that have been created specifically for mining.
While ASIC mining rigs are great for the miners who have plenty of space and access to cheap electricity, they are not so great for the actual blockchain networks since they promote centralization. Some believe that centralized mining gives the miners too much power on the network, and there is always a risk of a 51% attack when mining becomes too centralized.
That alone is a good reason for altcoins to remain ASIC-resistant. For casual miners, the best reason is that these coins remain accessible on home computers.
Crypto Mining Profitability Changes Rapidly
While we have tried to highlight the best coins for crypto mining in 2019, it is good to remember that the blockchain space is extremely fast-moving. Some new discovery in the space or the introduction of a new feature or algorithm could change everything within a few days.
One excellent resource for keeping up-to-date on profitable altcoins to mine is Coinwarz, which keeps an updated database of altcoins and the profitability of mining them. You can find similar information at WhattoMine.com. The primary difference between the two is Coinwarz compares profitability versus mining bitcoin, while WhattoMine compares profitability versus mining Ethereum.
It is not likely you will get rich through mining any altcoin. While it is true that some people became extremely wealthy by mining bitcoin in the early days, those days are gone. Today, mining is a good way to understand how the blockchain works, and it can be a fun hobby with a small return.
If you get lucky, you might mine a coin that later goes to the moon, meaning your mining efforts could eventually be more profitable than you might imagine today.
5 Good Crypto Mining Choices for 2019
Below are five of the top coins for crypto mining in 2019. Some are older coins that have remained resistant to ASIC mining, and others are new coins that have launched within the past 12-24 months, also with a goal of remaining free from ASIC mining.
Even though Ethereum remains the third largest altcoin by market cap and it is mineable by ASIC rigs, it remains profitable for GPU miners as well. A good part of the reason for this is the extreme decentralization the Ethereum network has attained. With that not likely to change, crypto mining Ether should remain profitable throughout 2019. Another benefit to mining Ether is that since Ethereum is one of the leading blockchain projects, it is not as likely to disappear anytime soon. In fact, Ethereum proponents expect it to overtake bitcoin as the top cryptocurrency eventually.
Monero actually goes back and forth between profitability and small losses. So, you will want to keep an eye on it to determine if it is profitable to mine at any given time. The benefit to Monero, and one reason it remains on the radar for 2019, is that it is the top privacy-centric altcoin, as well as being the tenth largest by market capitalization.
Many of the early blockchain adopters like Monero because of its privacy and anonymity. It has become very popular among GPU miners as well because the Monero development team is committed to keeping Monero ASIC-resistant. They are so committed to this path that they changed their consensus algorithm earlier in 2018 in response to the release of an ASIC rig that was capable of mining Monero.
That is another reason to like this altcoin throughout 2019. You can be pretty certain it will remain accessible for home miners using a simple GPU.
Zcash is one of the original privacy-centric altcoins, and it remains very profitable for home miners, despite the fact that it is mineable using ASIC rigs. In fact, the Zcash development team made the decision specifically not to change their consensus algorithm to remain ASIC-resistant. Instead, they embraced the ASIC miners, having found that they have actually helped the network become more secure and stable.
Even with ASIC machines mining Zcash, it remains a good coin for GPU mining thanks to its decentralization and growth. Privacy coins are becoming increasingly popular in the blockchain community, and that trend is not looking as if it will change anytime soon.
Horizen, which was known as ZenCash until August 2018, is another privacy-centric altcoin. You may be noticing a pattern here, with privacy coins being the best target for altcoin mining in the coming year.
Horizen promotes both privacy and anonymous transactions.
Like Zcash, the Horizen team decided to embrace the ASIC miners as they found it made their network more stable and secure. Even so, it remains a profitable coin for GPU crypto miners.
Vertcoin considers itself “the people’s coin,” and it was developed with specific properties to ensure that it remains ASIC-resistant. In fact, its developers might be the most strongly ASIC-resistant development team. So it is a good bet that it will remain a good altcoin to mine using your GPU.
Vertcoin also has a special miner that was created specifically to mine VTC. It is probably one of the easiest miners to use. Once you download and install the miner, all you need to do is join a mining pool and you are done.
Other Altcoins to Consider for Crypto Mining
There are quite a few altcoins that look to remain ASIC-resistant, but honestly, they have not been able to show profitability in the bear market of 2018 for cryptocurrencies. Some other ASIC-resistant altcoins include Dashcoin (DSH), Aeon (AEON), and Loki (LOKI).
Other good coins to mine include Ethereum Classic (ETC), Bytecoin (BCN) and Electroneum (ETN). Bitcoin Cash SV (BSV) has been very profitable since the hard fork that created it on November 15, 2018, but there is no way to know if that will continue since it is such a new coin. The original Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has also been profitable for mining late in 2018.
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