Don't Mine Bitcoin. Mine Altcoins fool!

4 minute read Updated

Did you know mining Bitcoin isn't nearly as lucrative as altcoins? True story. Learn how to mine altcoins using nothing but spare computer resources.

I’m no Pliny the Elder but I’m here to tell you there’s a gold rush occurring in the cryptocurrency mining space. Whether you’ve just overcome your Bitcoin investing fears or already hold tokens from some wild new ICO you too can mine cryptocurrencies like ETH ETC XMR and more. It’s easy! Here’s how…

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking mining competition is too fierce. Or you’re thinking you have to have specialized hardware to mine. But the fact of the matter is, if you have a computer—just about any will do–you too can start mining bitcoin.

But don’t mine Bitcoin, mine altcoins fool!

Why not mine Bitcoin?

Altcoins, otherwise known as “alts” alternatives to Bitcoin. Like Bitcoin alts are cryptocurrencies. Many of them even trade on the same exhanges and can be converted to or from other forms of cryptocurrency.

There are literally hundreds of alts and almost all of them provide a more lucrative opportunity to profit from a mining perspective. To get a feel for the kind of growth alts are seeing take a look at the following table:

Cryptocurrency Rate of Return (Jan 1, 2017 thru Aug 16, 2017)
NEO (NEO) 31620.81%
PIVX (PIVX) 25971.53%
BitBean (BITB) 8441.22%
Stratis (STRAT) 8441.22%
NEM (XEM) 6998.64%
Pepe Cash (PEPECASH) 6768.72%
Ethereum (ETH) 3683.83%
Siacoin (SC) 2977.27%
Golem (GNT) 2651.16%
Ripple (XRP) 2332.16%
Dash (DASH) 1968.06%
Ardor (ARDR) 1175.05%
Litecoin (LTC) 920.09%
Dogecoin (DOGE) 685.20%
Nav Coin (NAV) 607.84%
Monero (XMR) 251.63%

Thanks to CoinSheet for raising awareness of these data and its source.

By comparison, during the same period, Bitcoin was on the lower end of the returns spectrum with a 355.31% return rate, or about 10 times less that you’d have made if you were to mine Ethereum.

With these altcoin rates even a modest mining rig can be very profitable. And because alts are frequently in need of miners just about any computing resources you can throw at these cryptocurrencies could have a large payoff.

Why mine Bitcoin at all then when you could mine something like Neo, PIVX, Dash or Ethereum?

How to start mining Altcoins

By far the easiest way to start mining I’ve found is MinerGate, which I learned about on the CoinSheet `#mining` channel on Discord.

MinerGate is a simple GUI application which allows you to mine as a part of a pool of other miners. It utilizes spare hardware resources to mine for several cryptocurrencies using a smart mining feature to help maximize profits. Earnings from the mining operation can be direct deposited into a crypto wallet once a nominal amount has been earned. Best part is it can run in the background while you do other stuff.

As you can see MinerGate is not very complex. You just click a few buttons and you’re mining. It even gamifies the mining experience by giving you badges when you help the pool hit mining goals. So cool.

I’ve been mining Monero (XMR) exclusively for the last few weeks. I didn’t choose Monero for any specific reason at first — I just wanted to gain mining experience and contining learning. But after watching Monero jump about 50% in value since my dig started I’m feeling pretty happy about the choice.

Later I’m hoping to use commodity hardware to set up a dig for round-the-clock mining with the Raspberry Pi and some of the new, purpose-built hardware emerging as a result of the staggering popularity of crypto mining.

Some hardware I’ll be looking at as I put together my rig include Avalon6, AntMiner S7, AntMiner S9 and application-specific integrated circuits, or ASICs, made by a company like Canaan or Bitmain — at least until AMD and Nvidia finish their new mining chips and continue their epic climb in the stock market.

Take your mining to the next level

Once you’ve tried MinerGate you will see just how easy mining can be. When you’re ready to take your mining to the next level consider the following:

Ledger Nano X - The secure hardware wallet