How to Mine Cryptocurrency for Profit (2018)

Updated July 22nd, 2018 by Headshot Jacob Tuwiner

Cryptocurrency Mining Page Header

Did you know that over 3,000 new Bitcoins are mined every day?

That being said, it’s safe to say you can’t waste any more time before you get in on the action.

Cryptocurrencies are in, and they’re here to stay.

This guide is designed to provide you with the best cryptocurrency mining hardware.

Don’t get left behind, start mining with the best mining GPUs now!

1. Bitcoin

BITCOIN

In today’s economy, every transaction we make must go through a bank or credit card company.

They take a cut of the transaction, and we must believe that they won’t make a mistake.

That’s where Bitcoin comes in.

At the heart of bitcoin, there is a mathematical problem. Miners solve these problems.

Every time a solution is acquired the reward is given as a bitcoin.

Bitcoin, like other cryptocurrencies, is mined with powerful graphics cards.

If you’re mining with our suggested mining hardware, you can expect to earn nearly $2,000 annually per card!

View Bitcoin mining graphics cards here

2. Ethereum

ETHEREUM

Ethereum is a platform specifically designed for people to build decentralized applications.

Ethereum has become extremely valuable in the past month, rendering it a great choice for beginner miners.

It allows for peer-to-peer messaging, and a generalized blockchain.

The blockchain has a built in programming language. This allows people to use the blockchain for any kind of decentralized application.

It is online, and cryptographically secure. Similarly to Vertcoin, there aren’t any ASICs designed for Ethereum.

Does this mean you can’t make money? Of course not!

If you’re mining with one of our suggested mining GPUs, you’ll generate over $1,400 annually per card.

View Ethereum mining graphics cards here

3. Litecoin

LITECOIN

Litecoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency. There is a finite amount in existence, only 84 million.

It has low transaction fees and fast transaction times. It can be bought and sold among other people, and through exchanges.

Lastly, it can be spent on almost anything.

With the Antminer specified in our guide, you’ll generate nearly $6,000 annually.

View Litecoin mining graphics cards here

4. Dash

DASH

Dash is the first form of digital cash that works like physical cash.

You hold your own money, maintaining full control. You maintain total privacy, and your transactions can’t be tracked.

Furthermore, transactions are instantaneous.

Fees are virtually non-exisistent, as you control your own money.

Dash, Ethereum, and Monero are the MOST profitable currencies to mine!

If you mine with one of the ASICs specified in our guide, you’ll generate over $1,000 per year.

View Dash mining graphics cards here

MONERO

5. Monero

Monero is focused on fungibility and the privacy of its users. With the value steadily increasing, it may be time to consider investing in Monero mining hardware.

If you use one of the mining GPUs specified in our guide, you’ll generate over $1,400 annually!

View Monero mining CPUs and GPUs here

6. Zcash

ZCASH

Zcash is based on Bitcoin, but has one key difference:

Unlike bitcoin, Zcash gives the user the option to encrypt the transaction.

This means that the sender address, recipient address, and the amount sent is hidden from public view.

Many would consider Zcash the future of anonymous transaction. Regular GPUs can be used to mine Zcash, such as the GTX 1080! In fact, it’s also a great card for mining Decred.

NOTE: There will only ever be 21 million coins, so start mining NOW!

View Zcash mining graphics cards here

Crypto Mining Guide

This guide will teach you the basics of mining for cryptocurrencies.

These are the 3 MOST important parts of a cryptocurrency mining PC:

  • The Graphics Card
  • The Motherboard
  • The Power Supply

Here’s the deal:

Originally, the CPU was used to mine for cryptocurrencies.

However, very early on, miners discovered that the CPU was not very efficient for mining.

In fact, it was virtually useless.

Instead?

The graphics card is used for solving the complex algorithms that form cryptocurrency.

How Mining Works

Cryptocurrency mining may seem complicated, but it’s really quite simple.

Let’s say Bob sends one Bitcoin to Bill. The transaction, like all other crypto transactions, is announced to everyone on the Bitcoin network. The transaction is posted on a huge database known as the blockchain, also commonly referred to as the ledger.

Everyone can see the sender wallet address, recipient wallet address, and the amount of Bitcoins sent. However, the sender’s name, location, etc. are kept private.

Everyone has their own copy of the blockchain, and everyone compares their information to ensure they have the same thing.

The network is legitimized by miners. Different currencies use different algorithms, Bitcoin’s algorithm being SHA-256. Miners use their computer hardware (GPUs or ASICs) to rapidly guess and check solutions to the algorithm. It’s so difficult that it’d be next to impossible for humans to solve it.

The faster the GPU can guess and check solutions, the more likely it is to successfully solve the problem. When this happens, a block reward is received. This means the miner who successfully solves the block receives 12.5 Bitcoins directly deposited into their mining wallet.

Mining Image

Your GPU also consumes electricity. It’s important to make sure your GPU has a high hashrate and low power consumption, as this ratio really determines your profits. If you pay more in electricity than you generate in mined cryptocurrency, you’ll lose money!

It takes about 10 minutes for miners to verify one block. Every time a block is added to the blockchain, the previous layer is sealed off. This ensures the same person can’t send the same Bitcoin twice.

There are only 21 million Bitcoins that can exist, and currently about 16 million have been mined. Every 210,000 blocks, the block reward splits in half. When Bitcoin first came out, the block reward was 50 Bitcoins. 210,000 blocks later it became 25 Bitcoins, and now it’s 12.5 Bitcoins.

As the block reward halves, theoretically the price of Bitcoin (or whatever currency you’re mining) should increase accordingly. Once all Bitcoin are mined, the price should be much higher. At this point in time, miners will receive rewards in the form of transaction fees which are deducted from every transaction.

This ensures the mining incentive is generally the same at all times. Cryptocurrencies couldn’t exist without miners!

You might find the information in this video useful:

Importance of a Powerful and Efficient GPU

Considering the information above, the importance of a powerful GPU is clear. The more powerful your GPU is, the faster you’ll successfully mine coins.

However, powerful cards tend to use lots of electricity. That’s why the efficiency of a card is equally important to consider. Sometimes, it’s better to buy multiple low end GPUs with a great power/hash ratio. It may yield higher profits. The GTX 1050 Ti is a perfect example.

With the difficulty of mining increasing each day, an efficient GPU is critical. Some GPUs cost more in electricity than they generate in revenue. You can find efficient mining GPUs with the guides above.

It’s important to find a good cooling solution if you’re interested in cryptocurrency mining, as your GPU(s) will get very hot. Check out our guide on the best case fans!

Factors that Affect the Efficiency of your GPU

You can’t mine with any old graphics card.

There are important stats to be considered including:

  • MHash/s
  • MHash/j
  • MHash/s/$

MHash/s

MHash/s is equal to the amount of number-crunching the card can do while mining. If your hash rate is high, you’ll go through hashes faster than if your hash rate was low.

What does this mean for you?

A higher hash rate equals faster results.

MHash/j

MHash/j is the amount of hashes the card can process per joule of energy. If you didn’t already know, mining uses a lot of electricity. It is important that your graphics card can mine enough for you to make a profit after you’ve paid your electricity bill.

A higher number means your card is more power efficient. If your card is more power efficient, you’ll save money on electricity. I’m sure you see where this is going.

MHash/s/$

MHash/s/$ is basically a way for you to see the price to performance ratio of the card. If the number is higher, it means you are getting more for your money. A card that uses too much electricity with a low hash rate won’t generate much revenue, if any at all.

It is important to make sure you find a card with a good balance of these stats for the right price.

Mining for cryptocurrency, including bitcoin, litecoin, and ethereum, requires a powerful graphics card.

Actually, it requires multiple powerful graphics cards. Consequently, you will also need a motherboard with enough PCI slots to house these graphics cards.

Lastly, using the right power supply is crucial. If your mining rig is not provided sufficient power, it will short out.

Is Mining The Right Choice for You?

Mining may sound like a great idea. Just get a mining GPU, and let the profits roll in.

Right?

Not necessarily.

There are huge mining warehouses in countries with extremely low electricity cost. These warehouses have thousands of mining GPUs, and cost hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars.

On such a huge scale, mining is extremely profitable and the investors are making lots of money. However, when mining with one or two GPUs in your house, you might not see a great return on your investment, if anything at all.

Mining still has its benefits. Some miners are doing so as a hobby that pays them something in return. However, unless you’re doing it on a large scale, you probably won’t see much profit. If you just want cryptcurrency, we recommend you buy them.

Best Mining GPUs

GPU Image Benefits Buy
AMD Radeon R9 295X2 radeon r9 295x2
  • Powerful ETH Miner
  • Profitable Mining Different Tokens
Shop
AMD Radeon RX 480 radeon rx 480
  • Affordable
  • Good Hashrate/Power Consumption Balance
Buy
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GeForce GTX 1070
  • Plenty of Memory
  • Great Performance/$
Buy
AMD RX Vega 56 vega 56 GPU
  • Impressive Hashrate
  • New Architecture
Buy
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Insanely Powerful
  • Good Hashrates
Buy
AMD RX 580 AMD RX 580
  • Efficient Cooling
  • Very Profitable
Buy
AMD Radeon HD 7990 radeon hd 7990
  • High ETH Hashrate
  • Power Consumption
Buy

AMD Radeon R9 295X2

radeon r9 295x2

The AMD Radeon R9 295X2 is one of the best mining GPUs on the market. Boasting an ETH hashrate of 45 MH/s and drawing 500W from the wall, this GPU is the most powerful Ethereum miner on the market.

The 295X2 has 8GB of dedicated video memory, which is crucial for ETH mining. As time goes on, the amount of dedicated video memory will steadily increase, so it’s important to buy a GPU like the R9 295X2 that has a lot of memory.

If you want to generate serious revenue mining Ethereum, consider running multiple R9 295X2 GPUs in an Ethereum mining rig.

The R9 295X2 is also a proficient Monero mining GPU. You’ll be able to profitably mine various cryptocurrencies with this card.

AMD Radeon RX 480

radeon rx 480

The AMD Radeon RX 480 is one of the most profitable Ethereum mining GPUs on the market as of now. Ethereum is a profitable cryptocurrency to mine, meaning the Radeon RX 480 is a worthy investment.

The RX 480 has an Ethereum hashrate of around 25 MH/s and draws 150W from the wall. Even though it has a lower hashrate than the R9 295X2, it also has a lower power consumption. The R9 295X2 is a powerful miner, but you’ll end up spending more on electricity with that card.

The RX 480 provides a great balance of power and efficiency, both of which are important traits of a cryptocurrency mining GPU. The RX 480 is also great for mining Monero, ZCash, etc.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

GeForce GTX 1070

The GTX 1070 has a hashrate of around 30 MH/s. This is one of the best cryptocurrency mining GPUs because it has a good balance of hashrate and power consumption, only drawing 150W from the wall.

Unfortunately, the GTX 1070 is an expensive GPU. Although it’s easily one of the most profitable mining GPUs on the market, you’ll have to invest upfront. However, in the long run, this GPU is well worth the investment. If you’re able to run multiple GTX 1070 GPUs in a cryptocurrency mining rig, you’ll make a killing.

Remember, you’ll make more money if you mine where electricity is cheap. That’s why the majority of cryptocurrency mining is done in China. On the other hand, the GTX 1070 is a profitable mining GPU no matter where you live.

AMD RX Vega 56

vega 56 GPU

Out of the box, the AMD RX Vega 56 gets around 36 MH/s.

The RX Vega 56 performs well, but compared to other GPUs on the market, it probably isn’t worth your money. As of now, the Vega 56 is quite expensive. Moreover, it draws a considerable amount of power, making it an expensive GPU to run 24/7 in a mining rig.

If you already have an RX Vega 56 for gaming, it is definitely a profitable way to mine cryptocurrency. However, if you are already in the market for a new GPU, particularly for cryptocurrency mining, I’d recommend choosing one of the more profitable alternatives in this list.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is the most powerful gaming GPU on the market today. In addition, it’s also a proficient cryptocurrency mining GPU. In fact, the GTX 1080 Ti can achieve around 32 MH/s if you tweak the right settings in the BIOS. The GTX 1080 Ti also boasts 11 GB of dedicated video memory (VRAM), which is very impressive.

On the other hand, the GTX 1080 Ti is one of the most expensive GPUs on the market. You’re better off choosing one of the GPUs mentioned higher up on this list, as they’re cheaper and consume less electricity. The GTX 1080 Ti draws around 180W from the wall, a bit higher than more efficient mining GPUs.

Click here to read more about the GTX 1080 Ti’s mining capabilities.

AMD Radeon RX 580

AMD RX 580

The AMD Radeon RX 580 is a great cryptocurrency mining GPU. Although its younger brother – the RX 480 – is slightly more profitable, the RX 580 is still a profitable mining GPU. Moreover, the RX 580 is usually easier to find than the RX 480.

With the 580, you’ll be able to achieve 24 MH/s out of the box, while drawing 136W from the wall. If you tweak RX 580’s settings in the BIOS, you’ll be able to achieve 29 MH/s while drawing 156W from the wall.

This video does a great job showing you how to maximize your mining profits with the Radeon RX 580:

For more information regarding the RX 580’s mining performance, read our RX 580 review.

AMD Radeon HD 7990

radeon hd 7990

The AMD Radeon HD 7990 is a good budget mining GPU.

The HD 7990 achieves 36 MH/s while drawing 375W from the wall. It’s not quite as profitable as the Radeon RX 480 or the GTX 1070, but it still gets the job done. The card has three fans as opposed to just two, which allows for superior cooling.

It’s important to note that the HD 7990 is a long graphics card – make sure the GPU fits in your case before you buy it! If you’d like the best cooling possible, considering mounting your GPUs in a cryptocurrency mining rig rather than inside a traditional case. The rack mounts allow for better airflow, and they have more space for multiple mining GPUs. The more GPUs you have, the more profitable your mining operation will be!

Logo Cryptocurrency Mine
bitcoin-logo Bitcoin View our Guide
litecoin-logo Litecoin View our Guide
ethereum-logo Ethereum View our Guide
monero-logo Monero View our Guide
dash-logo Dash View our Guide
zcash-logo ZCash View our Guide
decred-logo Decred View our Guide
vertcoin-logo Vertcoin View our Guide
vertcoin-logo Zencash View our Guide

Cryptocurrency Mining Profitability

Mining cryptocurrency is not as profitable as it was back in January of 2018 – the cryptocurrency market has retraced around 50% from where it was just 6 months ago.

Although, that does not mean mining cryptocurrency is not profitable. With the right mining hardware, you can still generate passive income by mining cryptocurrency.

Take a look at your projected earnings with a Radeon RX 480:

Current Mining Profitability

We’re in the midst of a bearish market. Once the bulls return – and they will return – the crypto market cap will increase once again, and cryptocurrency mining will be even more profitable. It makes sense to acquire as much cheap cryptocurrency as you can while there’s still time!

Bitcoin Mining GPU

If you’re interested in buying a GPU for Bitcoin mining, I regret to inform you that you can’t mine Bitcoin with a GPU. Once Bitcoin mining ASICs were developed, Bitcoin’s mining difficulty skyrocketed. If you tried mining Bitcoin with a GPU, you’d never turn a profit.

If you don’t believe me, input any GPU’s Bitcoin hashrate and power consumption into this Bitcoin mining profitability calculator, and see for yourself.

Don’t get discouraged – you can buy a Bitcoin mining ASIC to profitably mine Bitcoin!

Cryptocurrency Mining Pools

If you’re interested in maximizing your mining profits (why wouldn’t you be?) then you should participate in a cryptocurrency mining pool. There’s strength in numbers, especially when you’re mining.

Rather than trying to mine on your own, you can combine your hashing power with a bunch of other miners’ hashing power. Then, all of you work together, which increases your odds of successfully validating a block.

Once a block is verified, you receive a cut of the block reward that is proportional to the computational power that you contributed. For example, if you were responsible for 40% of the computational power, you’d receive 40% of the block reward, after pool fees.

Here are some popular mining pools to consider:

If you’d like to understand why the majority of Bitcoin mining is performed in China in huge mining farms, click here.

How to Trade Monero, Dash, & Other Altcoins for Other Cryptocurrencies & USD

You’re going to have to exchange your (insert your altcoin here) for Bitcoin first. Here’s how:

Step 1. Sign up for an account on an online exchange such as Binance.

Binance Signup

Step 2. Once you have created your account, it’s time to acquire your Decred (or whichever currency you’re mining) wallet address on Binance. You’ll use this address in your mining software. All of the currency you mine will be deposited into your Binance wallet. From here, you can exchange it for Bitcoin, and eventually, regular currency (USD). In this example I’ll be using other cryptocurrencies, but the process is the same for any cryptocurrency.

Hover over the Funds tab, and a dropdown menu will appear. Click Deposits Withdrawls.

Deposits Withdrawls

Search for your desired cryptocurrency. In this case, we’re using Monero. Then, simply click “Deposit”. When prompted, agree and continue.

Deposit

You should be taken to a page that shows your unique XMR Deposit Address. Copy the code indicated in the graphic below:

Wallet Address

Now, point your mining software to this address.

Step 3: Once you’ve deposited Monero into your Binance account, you can exchange it for Bitcoin. Here’s how:

Navigate to the Binance homepage by clicking the big logo in the top left corner. Navigate over to BTC Markets, and search for your desired currency. (I don’t own any Monero for this example, but I do own TRON, or TRX. I’ll be using this for the tutorial from here on out, but it can be applied to any currency on Binance).

exchange

After you’ve searched for your currency, you should see it pop up in the search results like so:

trx

Click on it. Now you should be here:

Sell

Within the “Sell” box highlighted in the graphic above, you can exchange your cryptocurrency for Bitcoin. In my example, I’m using TRON, or TRX. If you want to convert all of your cryptocurrency into Bitcoin, just click 100% and then sell.

Awesome! Now it’s time for the third step. Almost done!

Step 3: You need to transfer your Bitcoin from Binance to another exchange such as Coinbase or Gemini. Once it’s transferred to Coinbase or Gemini, you’ll be able to exchange the Bitcoin for regular currency. Here’s how:

Navigate back to the Deposits Withdrawals page. Withdraw from your newly acquired Bitcoin wallet like so:

BTC Withdrawal

You’ll be asked for the BTC Withdrawal Address. Now, navigate over to Coinbase or Gemini. For this example, we’re using Coinbase. After you’ve completed the registration, click “Accounts”. Under your BTC Wallet, click “Receive”.

BTC Receive

Now, you should see something like this:

Final Address

The address you see is your Coinbase wallet address. Copy and paste the address into the “BTC Withdrawal Address” on Binance. Select the desired amount, and submit.

Finally, our fourth and final step.

Step 4: The last step is to simply sell your Bitcoin on Coinbase for regular currency.

Sell

Navigate to “Buy/Sell” on Coinbase. Then, click Sell. Now, all you have to do is select the bank to which you’d like your currency deposited. Select the amount of BTC to deposit, and hit “Sell Bitcoin”. It’s that easy!