Cryptocurrency has been the talk of the town for years now but it has largely been a niche thing. People discuss Bitcoin or Litecoin or any other cryptocurrency but they typically talk about it as if it were a fun little source of entertainment, not a serious change to the way our financial systems may exist in the future. Thankfully that mindset is beginning to turn with Bitcoin and Ethereum leading the real world charge. Bitcoin is the grandfather of cryptocurrency and Ethereum is the young up and comer. Both cyrptocurrencies have seen surges in popularity over the past year or so and this has caused more people to become interested in mining them.
What is mining? Mining is the minimum wage day job of trying to farm your own cyrptocurrencies. Mining revolves around the concept of block rewards. For the traditional coin you will have to find an answer to a hashing algorithm. Some of these equations are more difficult than others and the ‘reward’ on the other end changes as a result. Depending on the currency that you are mining you will have a different goal for rate of transaction. To be an effective Bitcoin miner you want to solve these equations every 10 minutes. For Ethereum your goal is closer to every 16 seconds. Doing this makes you essentially a gold miner, sifting through the river with your pan looking for something shiny. Sometimes you get a massive nugget, other times some dust. There are no guarantees but there can be profit.
To be an effective coin miner you have to have quite a few things going for you. To lead off, you are going to need to have an effective computer that is capable of mining at peak efficiency for long periods of time. This can be an expensive route and one that is least understood among miners. If you mine with an inefficient computer then you aren’t likely to make any money. Secondly, you need to find your way to a mining guild. Much like online gaming, mining with partners is more profitable and entertaining. Guilds pool their resources and then pay out based on the percentage of impact regarding the rewards. Finally, you are going to need time. You can’t break into mining for Ethereum or Bitcoin or any other coin without spending a ton of time researching, working, and paying attention to trends. As a result, many people are doing this for a living while others just dabble.