Lately there’s been a lot of press as to whether or not hobbyists can still make any money in the Bitcoin Mining arena (see the CoinDesk article entitled “Can Hobbyist Bitcoin Miners Still Make a Buck?“.
While mining bitcoins for the hobbyist miners may not be profitable anymore, we want to show you how to start bitcoin mining for one of the alternate cryptocoins that a hobbyist, with a good quality CPU, can still mine and profit from. But first, to understand where the cryptocoins industry is today we need to cover some history about the industry.
Back in the early days of cryptocoins, when bitcoin was in it’s infancy, a hobbyist could mine bitcoins with their home PC and generate a lot of coins in a short period of time. However, back then bitcoins weren’t the HOT cryptocoin that they are today, so very few people were mining them. Overtime, as more people started mining bitcoins, the built in difficulty of the crypto currency increased, slowing down the generation of the coins and reducing the profitability for the miners.
The bitcoin algorithms, in fact all cryptocurrency algorithms, are designed with a governing mechanism called Difficulty. This difficulty is designed to govern the mining of the cryptocoins so that a pre-determined number of coins are mined over a set period of time. The exact number of coins and the period of the coin mining varies depending on the coin that is being mined. As more people mine the coins and the machines used to mine the coins get faster, the difficulty goes up.
In the early days of bitcoin the difficulty was low and the number of coins was set at 50 coins every 10 minutes. In the bitcoin algorithm the number of coins halves every 4 years… So today, the algorithm is set to generate 25 bitcoins every 10 minutes.
Obviously, as more people got interested in bitcoin, the more people started to mine bitcoin and thus driving up the difficulty of mining bitcoin.
Bitcoin Mining Speed
Once the difficulty of bitcoin started to increase, miners looked for better and faster ways of mining bitcoin.
To begin with you could mine bitcoin using the CPU in your computer. Then hobbyists realized that they could use the faster resources of the Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) housed in their graphics cards to gain even faster speeds. Soon afterwards specially designed FPGA cards were designed to gain even faster speeds.
Then the era of the commercialized bitcoin miner hit!
ASIC Bitcoin mining machines changed the landscape for the bitcoin miner. ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) machines were designed with high speed processors that were programmed to do nothing but mine bitcoins. The ASIC machines improved the speed that bitcoins could be mined so drastically that there began a gold rush for bitcoin miners.
In mid December 2013, the price of bitcoin hit $1200 per coin. In part due to the attention bitcoin mining was attracting in the media and also because of the demand for the ASIC machines and the results the early ASIC machines were achieving for the miners that were lucky enough to get them. This “gold rush” not only attracted the hobbyist bitcoin miners but it got the attention of the corporate world and the big venture capitalist investors with money to burn.
Soon we were seeing bitcoin mining farms costing millions of dollars, running with ASIC machines powering Multi Tera Hash’s of speed.
All of this additional mining power, put into action to mine bitcoin, caused the bitcoin difficulty to raise exponentially driving the hobbyist bitcoin miners to the sidelines in bitcoin mining.
Alt-Coins the Hobbyists Alternative CryptoCurrency
Even with all the growth and increase in bitcoin mining, and the related bitcoin mining difficulty, there were still hobbyists that were looking for information on how to start bitcoin mining. For many hobbyists the alt-coin industry was something new. Many a bitcoin miner “wannabe” had never heard of alt-coins.
The Alt-Coin industry is a spin-off of the bitcoin world. Alt-Coins are various coins that were created by entrepreneurial hobbyists that wanted an alternative to the bitcoin maniacal gold rush.
It’s in the world of the specialized alt-coin mining that the hobbyist miner can still be profitable.
There are a hundreds of alt-coins available today. Many of the alt-coins are derived from the bitcoin algorithm with a few various tweaks to make them unique in their own way. Others, are based off of the Litecoin algorithm which uses a different crypto technology all together and thus has a different requirement when mining it. Then there are the unique alt-coins, the coins that were developed from the ground up with their own unique crypto technology. These coins use algorithms like X11, X15, etc…
The alt-coin algorithm X11 is one that all hobbyists should be especially interested in because this algorithm is ASIC resistant. Meaning;
There can never be an ASIC machine created that can mine the coins using the X11 algorithm.
The X11 algorithm (and some of it’s derivative algorithms) are designed in such a way that it is virtually impossible to design and build an ASIC machine that could ever mine the coins based on this algorithm. This should be great news to any hobbyist miner because this will deter the corporate backed miners from ever getting into the industry.
So what coin uses the X11 algorithm that we recommend the hobbyists miners get started mining. Our overwhelming recommendation for the hobbyist is to mine Darkcoin!
Why We Recommend Darkcoin Mining
So if you were researching the topic of “How to start Bitcoin Mining” and you stumbled onto this article, let us highlight why you may want to rethink your idea and look at mining Darkcoin instead;
- Darkcoin can be mined with a CPU or GPU only
- Darkcoin is ASIC resistant
- Darkcoin can be profitable
- Darkcoin is being actively developed
- Darkcoin is Anonymous
- Darkcoin shows promise for the future
In the following paragraphs we will dig a little deeper into why Darkcoin is our choice for hobbyist cryptocurrency miners and provide more details into our 6 reasons why, if you were looking for information on how to start bitcoin mining, you might want to reconsider your idea.
Darkcoin can still be mined using a CPU and be “Profitable”!
While you won’t make as much money mining with a CPU as you will mining with a GPU, any hobbyist with a late model computer and fast CPU can get started mining Darkcoin in about 15 minutes. (We plan to post an article soon on how to get started mining Darkcoin with a CPU)
GPU mining is the method most Darkcoin hobbyists are choosing for mining Darkcoin. We will feature some Darkcoin mining machines in future articles too.
If you are a Darkcoin miner reading this article and you would like to have us feature your miner in one of our articles let us know.
Darkcoin is ASIC Resistant
Because of the X11 protocol used by Darkcoin it can never be mined with an ASIC machine. This is good news for the hobbyist because this means that the large venture backed corporate mining conglomerates will most likely stay away from Darkcoin mining.
We won’t get into why the X11 algorithm is ASIC resistant here… Instead watch for a future article on this topic.
Darkcoin Can Be Profitable
Darkcoin is a fairly new cryptocurrency. It’s been in existence less than 8 months and thus it is just in it’s infancy and has a lot of future growth. Early Darkcoin miners can amass lots of Darkcoin that most likely will mature and increase in value.
Take a look at the recent Darkcoin price increase and you can see how mining just a few Darkcoin has the potential for huge profit.
Darkcoin is Actively Developed
There is a lot of news in the Darkcoin arena these days because it is the first truly anonymous crypto currency. There are many other recent announcements that have helped to bring Darkcoin into the spotlight too.
The developers behind Darkcoin are doing active development and have a planned road map of releases and updates schedule for the near future.
Watch this video on Instantx Technology for just one of the upcoming features of Darkcoin that are currently being tested and will soon be released.
Darkcoin is Anonymous
Anonymity in the crypto world has been one area that many crypto currencies have talked about, but to date, none have achieved. None except for Darkcoin that is.
Darkcoin uses a technology called Dark Send to provide complete anonymity of the crypto transaction. You can get more information about Darkcoin from the FAQ’s located on the DarkCoin.io website.
So you are interested in “How to start Bitcoin Mining”? Here’s my recommendation. Stop, don’t do it… There’s no profit in bitcoin mining for the hobbyist anymore.
If you have thousands of dollars to burn on bitcoin mining machines then do yourself a favor and put it into Darkcoin mining. However, if you are just starting out with interest in spending as little as possible and you really just want to dip your toes into the crypto currency mining space, then Darkcoin is also for you.
Mining Darkcoin will be the best decision you will ever make and you will be supporting a great alt-coin technology too.