We finally hit 2020! Can you believe it? Although technology has come a long way in the last 20 years we are ringing in this futuristic milestone by discussing one of the biggest inventions of our lifetime – Cryptocurrency!
So what is bitcoin? Who invented it?
The first and most successful cryptocurrency to date (bitcoin) was created by a pseudonymous software developer named Satoshi Nakamoto. As of this writing just one bitcoin is equivalent to over $8,000 USD! In October 2008, Nakamoto published a paper on the cryptography mailing list at metzdowd.com describing the bitcoin digital currency. It was titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” The idea was to produce a means of exchange which would be independent of any central authority – a new digital currency that could be transferred electronically in a secure, verifiable and immutable way.
It might shock you to find out that there is still doubt about the real identity or even the country of origin of Satoshi Nakamoto! The inventor never dispersed any concrete personal information throughout his exchanges. Many have speculated that even the name Satoshi Nakamoto was used to distract from the inventors real identity and location. It has been 12 years since bitcoin was unleashed and to this day the inventors identity remains shrouded in mystery!
In the late stages of the project Satoshi opened up the source code and gave it to a collaborator (who did not know Satoshi aside from working on code and speaking digitally to one another)…then Satoshi disappeared without a trace. Another crazy twist – the creator of the digital revolution is estimated to own 980,000 bitcoins from mining the cryptocurrency in its early days, and this has remained completely untouched! At over $8,000 USD a coin, Satoshi would be very high on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people.
There has been a lot of speculation about his true identity. Although Satoshi claimed he was Japanese at one point, his perfect English and hours of activity have many believing that the creator of bitcoin is actually of non-Japanese descent, possibly from the United States or Europe. The fact is, nobody knows who the inventor of bitcoin is for sure!
(Read: He might also be an alien)
What makes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies so different from Fiat currencies?
The most important difference is that cryptocurrencies are decentralized. No single institution controls the bitcoin network. It is maintained by a group of volunteer coders, and run by an open network of dedicated computers spread around the world. With bitcoin, the integrity of the transactions are maintained by a distributed and open network. Fiat currencies (dollars, euros, yen, etc.) have an unlimited supply and central banks can quite literally print as much or as little as they wish.
With bitcoin and many altcoins the supply is tightly controlled by the underlying algorithm and therefore has finite values – With bitcoin for example, a small number are released every hour, and will continue at a diminishing rate until a maximum of 21 million has been reached – with the final bitcoin not expected to be mined until the year 2140! This makes bitcoin and other altcoins an appealing asset – if the demand grows and the supply always remains the same, the value will increase for many of these cryptocurrencies that are trading on the market today – Ether, Litecoin, Bitcoin Gold, Grin, Monero, etc.
Can you start mining for cryptocurrency? Is it worth your time to start in 2020?
The good news is there are a few ways to get involved today! It really isn’t that difficult to begin mining or investing in a variety of different cryptocurrencies. If you are seeking professional cryptocurrency consultation please send us a message, but for the purposes of this article I’ll start by saying that if you do not have a dedicated ASIC miner (application-specific integrated circuit) and access to low-cost electricity – bitcoin in particular is almost certainly no longer worth your time to mine from home. However, these days you can utilize newer generation video cards to mine for a variety of other cryptocurrencies (Ether, Litecoin, Bitcoin Gold, Monero, and many others). If you asked somebody in 2008 if they thought mining bitcoin was worth it most people would have said no – and many of them still regret their decision to not mine or invest in bitcoin in the early days! With that said, mining for altcoins in 2020 is definitely worth your time. So long as you have a decent video card and access to reasonable electricity rates you can get started today! There are many calculators out there to determine if your energy costs and mining capabilities are profitable, but keep in mind that any of these cryptocurrencies can fluctuate one day from the next! You must acknowledge that the investment of electricity may appear to show you in the negative on these calculators, however, if any of the coins you are mining gain value in a manner like bitcoin did…your investment might pay off!!!!
You need a secure wallet to hold cryptocurrencies
Before mining you will need a secure wallet for your cryptocurrencies. There are many options out there, but this is an important decision when it comes to where you are going to store your cryptocurrencies. Your wallet may one day contain a large amount of cryptocurrency – so naturally having a secure wallet is a smart investment. One of the most trusted and secure wallets is actually 100% free through Coinbase – which is a San Francisco company founded in 2012 – this is where we at Secret Cloud personally trust our wallets and therefore the only wallets that we will recommend. The Coinbase verification process is very detailed and when getting set up with the app you can easily see that security is a top priority. It becomes very clear why Coinbase is the most trusted of all cryptocurrency wallets, and it is free to create your wallet.
You can buy, sell and receive cryptocurrency directly through their interface, but Coinbase also boasts high-quality mobile apps (both iOS and Android) to use on the go. You can send and receive funds through scanning or providing QR codes or wallet addresses, and you can also check current prices, crypto news and more.
Now that I have a digital wallet how do use it? How do I start mining cryptocurrencies?
If your Coinbase wallet is now set up you can start mining right away. Within Coinbase you can generate a QR code and wallet identifier for any specific cryptocurrency. In this example I have produced a QR code for my bitcoin wallet, so if you had bitcoin you could send it to this address by scanning the QR code or by using the wallet address and I would receive it. You will do the same thing by generating a wallet address for any currency you are mining. You will then use your address for payouts when mining.
All you need to begin mining is a modern video card with at least 2GB of dedicated Video RAM. We tested several applications on various PC’s and found that even fairly older computers could in fact mine.
On a PC with a modern, but relatively modest video card (Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060) we were able to mine a large array of different cryptocurrencies on multiple different programs. We ranked these programs based on three tiers (Best, Runner-Up & Honorable Mention.)
Mining programs that we tested in order of grading
Program 1: BetterHash (BEST)
The first program, and the one we are going to rate the highest out of the ones we mention today -is BetterHash!! This program has the absolute best platform due to the nice user-interface paired with their extremely low fees. Unlike other programs of this nature, BetterHash charges a 0% mining fee, and their minimum transfer amounts are actually much lower than others we tried – meaning that if you choose to transfer out your funds to say for example Coinbase, with a bit of mining these transfer minimums are very achievable. The fact that BetterHash is not trying to charge high mining fees and does not attempt locking your money in their system with extremely high transfer minimums – we have to commend BetterHash for avoiding the unscrupulous fees/withdraw minimums that others are using.
Although the second program we list below (CudoMiner) has the better User-Interface, their stiff 6.5% mining fee is not good, and this is the prime reason we have to list BetterHash as the BEST MINING SOFTWARE for the consumer. The software works really well, and it also switches between most profitable cryptocurrencies automatically. Of course, you can shut this feature off and just focus on one crypto, but it’s nice to have this feature. Once you get familiar with the layout and design of your online wallet, etc. I found this mining software to be leaps and bounds better than the competition!
The program automatically switched through multiple different cryptocurrencies (Ether, Grin, Monero, Ravencoin, etc.) and we found the mining capabilities of our modest PC was actually quite surprising. Fear not, if you would rather focus on one specific cryptocurrency BetterHash software also allows you to do so. The program does require you to hit a cap prior to withdrawing, but if you followed our instructions – your Coinbase wallet is ready to go for when you do hit those targets! Just be sure to mine every day and take solace in knowing that your cryptocurrency portfolio is automatically being diversified due to the automated coin switching in BetterHash!
As we have seen in the altcoin world, any one of these cryptocurrencies could raise in value very quickly. Having a broad range of cryptocurrencies will give you the most potential to capitalize if one of them really starts gaining value through time, and this makes BetterHash an excellent choice as your primary VGA miner.
You can use my referral link if interested: https://www.betterhash.net/?ref=29983
Or just type in the code: 29983 as your referral when signing up.
Program 2: Cudo Miner (RUNNER-UP)
Our second program titled Cudo Miner works quite well, but due to a few key reasons (particularly the mining charge of 6.5% that CudoMiner charges compared to the 0% of BetterHash) – BetterHash is far superior. Cudo Miner, much like BetterHash and the others listed, is suitable for miners with all levels of experience.
Cudo Miner also allows the auto coin switching for max profitability like BetterHash, but the sad thing is that when Cudo Miner greedily takes such a high mining fee, and the fact that they have extremely high withdraw minimums – this auto coin searching isn’t helping profitability when compared to BetterHash.
Cudo Miner does have a very engaging referral program – you’ll receive an ongoing revenue share from Cudo Miner’s commission which is 10% for the first level and then 5% of everyone you refer in the future! That means that if some reason you decide to use Cudo Miner over BetterHash (we think you’re crazy) using our referral code to increase your commissions from the very beginning is a good idea! Be sure to use my referral code to benefit from this offer: https://www.cudominer.com/?a=piVKE_YE
Program 3: Windows Ethereum Miner (BRONZE MEDALIST)
The next program is called Windows Ethereum Miner (WinEth). As the name indicates, this program strictly mines Ether. Considering that as of today’s date just 1 Ether is worth $142 USD – we’d say mining this cryptocurrency is a worthy cause! WinEth features one click mining for AMD and NVidia cards on Windows, and I found their program was very straight-forward and easy to use. Using your Coinbase wallet you can simply enter your Ether address for payout, click to start the program and then leave it to accumulate ETH automatically. After you acquire a few shares you can view your payout status, and much like BetterHash you have to hit a certain cap prior to withdrawing funds. In this case the minimum withdraw to an external wallet is 0.2 ETH, but seeing that I mined for one day and accumulated 0.00043512 ETH I would think the .2 ETH withdrawal requirement is certainly within the grasp of a dedicated miner.
WinEth is an intelligent mining application that pairs the performance of open source miners like Ethminer with an algorithm that can configure the miner for optimal performance automatically on nearly any hardware combination.
Key features of Windows Ethereum Miner:
- One or more GPU capable of OpenCL or CUDA with 3GB ram or higher
- An Ether wallet address for payouts
- Zero configuration required
- Provide wallet address and get paid automatically
- Very low dev fee of 1%
- Now supports ETC (Ethereum Classic) as well
- Access to a hosted proxy to allow Mining In Restricted Networks
Program 4: EasyMiner (HONORABLE MENTION)
The last program in our list is perhaps the most basic, EasyMiner. This program was the only program that worked on our older video card as well!
By default EasyMiner is set up to mine Litecoin, but this can be adjusted to mine Bitcoin or several other cryptocurrencies. Litecoin is another valuable crytpocurrency with a promising future so for our testing purposes we did not adjust this. As of the time of this article one Litecoin (LTC) is worth $50 USD, so again, mining this in 2020 is certainly worth your time.
One unique feature that I enjoyed within EasyMiner is the Network Chat where you can speak with other miners from across the globe in real-time while mining. This just adds a nice touch where you can ask questions or assist fellow miners, and it brings a nice sense of community to the program.
EasyMiner is optimized for x86, x86-64 machines and supports the getwork mining protocol as well as the Stratum mining protocol. Mining can be used for both solo and pooled mining. EasyMiner also displays hash rate, accepted/invalid and total shares in the past hour,earnings and many other features. Automatically uses SSE2, AVX and AVX2 instructions where available. Easyminer truly is a lightweight mining software that is low on CPU and GPU resources!
Although we found this to be the most basic of the three, and although the user-interface was a bit antiquated – we do feel that EasyMiner lived up to their name and we believe this is worth trying if your video card is incapable of running BetterHash or Windows Ethereum Miner.
Conclusion – 2020 brings mining accessibility to the masses
As you can see, mining cryptocurrency is no longer reserved to those with super computers or specialized machines! Even with a modest video card or CPU you can begin mining cryptocurrency with little to no financial investment! Setting up a bitcoin wallet is extremely easy and free, and with programs like BetterHash anybody with a relatively decent video card can maximize their earnings and begin immediately with zero investment!
The first bitcoin boom was an incredible investment for the select few that capitalized early. If you had the ability to go back and mine bitcoin during the early stages it would be a no-brainer to do so. Now that you have the ability to mine Ethereum, Litecoin and many other cryptocurrencies – are you going to let this opportunity pass you by? The year is 2020 and practically every economist in the world now understands that cryptocurrency will entirely replace FIAT currency sometime in the future. It’s time for you to start thinking about what is in your digital wallet, and if you have the tools to start mining you may want to put some consideration into joining the cryptocurrency revolution before it passes you by…again.
Read our article about MOBILE CRYPTOCURRENCY
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