makeuseof.com / By Kannon Yamad / August 2, 2013
Lately, I’ve been trying to earn some money by mining the Bitcoin alternatives, Litecoin, Feathercoin and Terracoin. After spending the entirety of last week attempting to get free money, I may have succeeded, to an extent. This introductory article covers how I got started mining cryptocoins and which coin provides the best returns on investment, for beginners. It’sshockingly easy.
If you know nothing about Bitcoins and virtual currencies then here’s a short primer: Bitcoin is an uncollateralized digital cryptocurrency subject entirely to the market forces of supply and demand. As long as individuals demand it, it will possess value, although that value will fluctuate wildly. It establishes ownership through a peer-to-peer network, which keeps track of who owns what, known as a “Blockchain”.
For those of you not familiar with the mining process, here’s a simple explanation of how it works: All cryptographic coin networks structure themselves around blocks, which contain hashes. A hash is an encrypted chunk of information that, when successfully solved, or decrypted, awards the cracker a number of coins – the exact amount varies by the type of cryptocurrency. The network registers coin ownership through the Blockchain, which records all transactions on the network. You can then trade these coins for other currencies or goods. On the downside, Bitcoin alternatives are not universally accepted at all exchanges, so mining an unpopular currency may simply waste your time and money.
For those of you willing to take a risk, continue reading.