Many people mistakenly think that video cards are needed to mine digital assets. It’s not wholly accurate. There are other ways to start mining cryptocurrency. For example, you can mine cryptocurrency using a computer processor. Let’s see how it works.
What is CPU mining?
Cryptocurrency mining is the process of releasing coins from the project network. To get digital assets, you need computing equipment. The devices connect to the cryptocurrency network, and they process various tasks. In particular, machines’ computing power is necessary to conduct transactions with coins and record information about them in the blockchain.
There is some computing equipment for mining cryptocurrencies that are often used:
- video cards (GPU);
- ASICs (explicitly designed machines for the extraction of coins);
- processors (CPU).
CPU mining is a small profitable opportunity for making money by mining coins. At the same time, to start mining on the CPU, one computer is enough.
Why is CPU mining still relevant?
Mining on a processor is much less energy-intensive than mining coins on a GPU or using ASICs. It’s essentially why many developers deliberately create cryptocurrencies, sharpened for the CPU.
There is a theory that GPU and ASIC miners’ capture of the market centralized the crypto industry. All because of the concentration in the hands of a group of persons of a large volume of hash rates in the networks of coins.
The work of miners through CPUs scattered around the world, according to several participants in the crypto community, on the contrary, helps to maintain a high level of decentralization of the crypto industry.
The profitability of CPU mining
In the realities of 2023, mining on a processor should not be considered the primary source of income. Even on top-end equipment, CPU mining of cryptocurrency can bring no more than a few dollars a day, provided it is connected to a cheap source of electricity.
The income from mining on the processor is small, but it allows you to reimburse the cost of the processor in a couple of years. At the same time, it is necessary to consider the motherboard’s ability to constantly provide power to the processor at full mode. In summer, the processor power circuits on the motherboard overheat, leading to a breakdown of transistors and failure of the board and the processor.
Types of CPU mining
CPU mining can be different. It all depends on the approach to work. There are two main directions.
Solo mining on CPU
Mining cryptocurrency in a solo format implies independent mining without combining its computing power with other market participants.
Mining on a CPU in a pool
The pool is a platform for uniting miners. The circuit works as follows:
- Miners combine the computing power of their devices, thereby increasing mining profits.
- After receiving the reward, the coins are distributed among all the participants in the pool.
Many crypto community members consider this approach to work more profitable than solo mining.
How to start CPU mining?
To start mining on a CPU, you need to determine the sequence of actions of a crypto community member. It might look like this:
- You need to study the technical specifications of your processor.
- Select the cryptocurrency you are interested in.
- Create a cryptocurrency wallet.
- Download the miner program and connect to the network.
How to choose the best CPU for mining?
To organize mining on a processor and choose the right equipment, you should pay attention to several technical characteristics:
- Cores. Generally, the more cores a processor has, the better. A high score means the CPU can multitask efficiently. The choice should start with processors from 8 cores.
- Streams. CPU multithreading support improves processor performance. Also, as with cores, the more threads a device has, the better.
- Speed. Efficient mining requires high hash rates. As a rule, the more GHz the CPU has, the better the level and the more competitive the miner’s equipment becomes.
Cryptocurrencies that support CPU mining
We propose considering the most popular cryptocurrencies, which are often chosen for mining on a processor.
Mining Monero on a CPU is one of the most popular requests in the network related to the mining of cryptocurrency on a processor. The coin differs from most other altcoins in its high anonymity rates. In particular, therefore, hidden mining on the CPU often organized by hackers is explicitly sharpened for the mining of Monero.
The cryptocurrency network has built-in protection against ASICs. Accordingly, Monero is more accessible to mine than most other popular cryptocurrencies. The fact is that in this case, miners will not face competition from the owners of professional equipment.
Tesla founder Elon Musk’s favorite cryptocurrency, Dogecoin, can also be mined with a processor. Unlike Monero, miners will have to face competition from the owners of ASICs and GPUs when mining this coin.
The coin is ASIC resistant. Many crypto community members consider this project promising and recommend choosing Electroneum for mining.
Other cryptocurrencies can be mined with a processor. Including, many consider, as the main direction, mining ZCash on the CPU.
Pros and cons of CPU mining
The main advantages of CPU mining include:
- You can have a small passive income on a powerful processor that allows you to mine cryptocurrency and work in parallel.
- You can try to mine a not very popular coin in larger quantities. And if it becomes widespread, there’s a chance to make a good profit.
But there are much more minuses:
- You need an excellent processor and preferably a multi-threaded one to get at least some profit.
- In the case of expensive electricity, mining on most processors becomes unprofitable.
- If you purchased the most costly and top-end processor, mining such coins as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other popular tokens would be unprofitable.
- Keeping track of the CPU is even better than the GPU farm. And if the processor burns out, the likelihood of the death of the motherboard is high.
Prospects for mining on the processor
It is not impossible to call mining on a processor promising in the future, but it is complicated. Even Bitcoin was efficiently mined on the CPU when the cryptocurrency industry developed.
But CPU mining has almost completely lost its relevance after the advent of ASIC miners and FPGA devices. They survive the mining of cryptocurrency on processors and video cards entirely.
Of course, it makes sense to mine new coins with not high network complexity and low miners’ competition. Nevertheless, there is a risk of struggling with a scam or simply facing difficulties in selling the mined cryptocurrency.
So if you are interested in exceptional income in mining, then mining on a processor is hardly suitable.