I first heard crypto mining back in 2013 when I was in college. At that time, Bitcoin just went into the public. However, Bitcoin mining quickly became non-profitable for average users due to the emergence of ASIC miners. Since then, I paid little attention to the crypto currency world, until the recent shortage of graphics cards on market.
After some research, I realized the development of crypto currency has gone beyond my knowledge. When Bitcoin price reached $1000 in 2013, everyone thought it was insane and the bubbles will quickly blow, while now the price is even more insane – the peak in 2017 was >$20000 and now the price is still >$10000. Beside the insane price boost of crypto currency market, many new crypto algorithms were developed, and many new crypto currencies emerge. Despite the huge business success, one main drawback of Bitcoin is that it is no longer decentralized as it was claimed due to the development of ASIC miners, which have huge efficiency boost over consumer hardware. The new crypto currencies learned the lesson from Bitcoin, and intentionally used algorithms that are “ASIC resistant”, which typically arae more memory intensive. That’s the main reason that GPU mining or even CPU mining comes back.
Since last week, I have tried to mine several different crypto currencies with my 2x GTX1080 GPUs. Here are some details.
- Mining hardware: 2x GTX1080 GPUs. One installed in my desktop, the other installed in Alienware graphics amplifier driven by an Alienware laptop (probably most weird mining configuration).
- Mining software: ethminer, an open source GPU miner with OpenCL and CUDA support.
- Pool: ethermine.org, which has 1% fee.
- Profit: Profit ~$1.5/day with each GTX1080 GPU
- Mining hardware: Almost all harwares from desktops to laptops. Monero can be mined using CPUs.
- Mining software: xmrig, an open source CPU miner.
- Pool: supportxmr.com, which has 0.6% fee.
- Profit: The profit varies depending on hardwares. My i7-7820HQ@2.9GHz laptop runs at ~150 H/s, with profit ~$4.8/month.
NiceHash is more like a one stop solution for all. It will automatically pick the most profitable crypto currency to mine and pay you in Bitcoins. The mining software NiceHash Miner has a simple GUI but currently only Windows is supported. Now I mainly use NiceHash for my 2x GTX1080 GPUs. The most profitable crypto algrithms picked for my hardware are Equihash (used by Zcash) and Lyra2REv2 (Used by Vertcoin), which can generate profit of $2~$3/day with each GTX1080 GPU.