Cryptocurrencies of all types rely on mining to unlock units of currency for use in transactions and exchanges. The mining process differs from currency to currency but inevitably involves complicated computer rigs which solve difficult puzzles, earning tokens or currency as a reward. The most significant currencies, including Bitcoin, sport professional mining outfits with gargantuan hardware setups working around the clock at these tasks. Now, blockchain fans are creating their own individual hardware rigs for the purpose of mining lesser-known and rising currencies available on the Ethereum network.
Computing Power in Exchange for Currency
Besides Bitcoin, currencies and tokens like ether and zcash are mined on the premise that computing power can be exchanged for units of currency. As cryptocurrencies begin to expand their reach more broadly into the wider world, a larger number of everyday fans without substantial computer programming background are becoming interested in getting involved in the mining process.
According to an article in IBTimes, personal mining setups can be built with regular computers and laptops and for the purposes of mining Ethereum. Machines require graphics cards with at least 2 GB of RAM, and in fact the sudden increase in mining outfits is driving up the demand for higher powered graphics cards.
Home Rigs Require Powerful Setups
When it comes to mining for digital currencies, home computer rigs require ample processing power. For this reason, many people venturing into this pastime are building separate rigs to mine for currency on the side. This way they do not interrupt their usual computer habits.
The growing interest in home mining is inspiring companies to cash in as well, including SMS IT Group, a Los Angeles company selling mining rigs. Scott McCarthy, the company's CEO, explains that they "can't build the rigs fast enough." It's no surprise, when some home enthusiasts claim to make hundreds of dollars per month, and given that the rigs do all of the work themselves.
Elsewhere, online communities have formed in which users provide each other with tips on building rigs at home. Doing so circumvents the markup by companies selling pre-made rigs, but also requires additional maintenance and upkeep, as well as substantial knowledge.
An at-home mining setup certainly does not guarantee immediate or easy wealth. Many fledgling cryptocurrencies have yet to take off and may never see the gains that have made Bitcoin especially newsworthy in recent weeks. Nonetheless, fans of the digital currency industry see the increase in interest as a great sign that cryptocurrencies of all kinds are gradually making their way into the public consciousness. Further, the more independent mining operations exist, the greater the degree of decentralization, and that is typically a founding principle for any of these currencies.