Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mining Litecoins With a CPU

I've become interested in Bitcoins, and cryptocurrencies in general as of late.  If you don't know what a cryptocurrency is, I would recommend reading this short article on the subject:

In short, cryptocurrencies are digital money based on an algorithm.  Cryptocurrencies are "mined" using computer processing power.  In theory, anyone with a computer can mine for these coins by using your processor to solve a mathematical algorithm.  The more processing power you have, the faster you can solve the algorithm, and the more coins you can acquire.  As time goes on and more and more coins have been discovered, they become more difficult to find until one day, they have all been found.

At this stage in the game, bitcoins (the original cryptocurrency, started in 2009) are fairly difficult to mine and you need some serious processing power, usually in the form of a high end graphics processor (GPU).  Mining bitcoins with a basic computer processor (CPU) is essentially a waste of time.

Now, if you have a CPU you would like to mine cryptocurrencies with, have no fear, there is an alternative to Bitcoin, a little brother cryptocurrency called Litecoin.  The Litecoin algorithm is written differently from Bitcoin's, in a way that makes CPUs more effective for mining compared to GPUs.  GPUs are still faster, but not to the degree found with Bitcoin.

So I've begun CPU mining Litecoins.  Its a fairly slow process (after about a day of mining I have around .01 litecoin), but still I believe optimizations can be made to speed the process up.  I am using an Athlon Dual Core CPU, not particularly powerful, so I find this actually somewhat promising.  I got stared mining by using the guide found here:

For anyone with a computer that sits for a good part of the day, mining Litecoins might be a good way to earn some digital cash.  If you have a gaming setup with a powerful video card, you may actually be able to make a good amount of cash.

If Litecoins catch on, their price will almost certainly rise, and you will be glad you got started mining early in the game.

If you'd like to donate some Litecoins to The Atheron Blog, send them over to LafjdLKbeb8VE3x4Xej97nNwnAJ3GFZ5Ae  Thanks!

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