Bitcoin (BTC) hit its all-time high of $41,941.56 just at the beginning of this year, but the apex cryptocurrency is not rising in isolation, the so-called altcoins are also experiencing new highs.
Investors can wet their feet in cryptocurrencies by buying the coins directly from exchanges like Coinbase and Binance or fintech platforms like PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PYPL) and Square Inc (NYSE: SQ).
However, there is one other way of getting hold of cryptocurrencies and that is by “creating” them through a process called mining.
Bitcoin Mining Is Hard Work: BTC mining involves solving complex mathematical problems, which have become more complicated since the cryptocurrency came to the fore nearly a decade ago. Now the process requires highly powerful computers like a graphics processing unit or an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC). An ordinary laptop will simply not cut it, but it is still possible to mine some other cryptocurrencies in 2021 using just your trusty-home computer.
Ethereum (ETH): The second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap touched its all-time high of $1,467.78 on Monday. ETH can be mined with a graphics processing unit, provided it is sufficiently powerful. Potential miners will need to download the ETH blockchain and set up their wallet to receive the mined coins.
ZCash (ZEC): Similar to ETH, this currency can also be mined with a GPU. A complete mining guide is available for novice miners. ZEC promoters recommend miners join a pool instead of attempting to go solo.
Monero (XMR): Known for its anonymity, this altcoin is suitable for mining with your home computer. Miners will require a wallet to store the XMR, and there is one available for multiple platforms from Monero.
Dogecoin (DOGE): The meme-themed cryptocurrency often at the receiving end of jokes from Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk can be mined at home. While CPU mining with CPU miner is possible, it is slow and it is recommended to use GPU mining. Graphics cards made by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc (NASDAQ: AMD) are superior for mining DOGE than those made by Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA), according to this Dogecoin tutorial.
Other coins that can be mined include Grin (GRIN), Beam, Bytecoin (BCN), Aeon, and Ethereum Classic (ETC).
Hot Stuff: Cryptocurrency mining can heat GPUs. It is best to use heat monitoring software to avoid damage to equipment. Miners need wallets for respective coins and access to cryptocurrency exchange in case they want to trade the mined coins.
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