All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
Primecoin (XPM) is a fairly new alternative cryptocurrency that introduces a new type of proof-of-work in peer-to-peer cryptocurrency designs based on searching for prime numbers. Up until now most alternative crypto currencies rely either on SHA-256 like Bitcoin or Scrypt like Litecon for their proof-of-work design and Primecoin brings something new and interesting on the table making it a potential contended for the third place in popularity among coins, though it is currently more like the last one in the top 10. Primecoin’s Prime Number Proof-of-Work has been designed less than a year ago by Sunny King who tried to make a new and interesting alternative crypto coin and he did very well. Primecoin is the first cryptocurrency on the market with non-hashcash proof-of-work, generating additional potential scientific value from the mining work. This research is meant to pave the way for other proof-of-work types with diverse scientific computing values to emerge.
What is interesting about Primecoin is that the currently available miners are only CPU-based, so there is room for improvement going to GPU and then to specialized hardware mining hardware. That is if Primecoin is to follow the path that Bitcoin has already paved and that Litecoin is already following. The fact that Primecoin (XPM) uses different proof-of-work method means that you are not able to mine it the same way as Bitcoin or Litecoin and if there are going to be ASIC miners made for Primecoin they are going to take some time. Not to mention the fact that at the moment you can combine Litecoin and Primecoin mining on a single system – the CPU will mine XPM and the GPU will mine LTC, good combination for some extra profit and full utilization of the hardware you might already have.
Litecoin (LTC) is the second most popular peer-to-peer digital crypto currency released as an open source software project after Bitcoin has gained quite a lot of popularity. Similar to Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin generation and transfer is based on cryptographic proof-of-work scheme and is not managed by any central authority and is relaying on a P2P network consisting of the users that are mining the crypto currency. Litecoin is intended by its developers to improve upon Bitcoin, offering new improvements and relying on a different crypto algorithm that made it a popular alternative to Bitcoin. Litecoin was released in 2011 by Charles Lee, a former Google employee, who used the Bitcoin-Qt client as a basis, bud modified it in order for the Litecoin to have a decreased block generation time, increased maximum number of coins, different hashing algorithm, and a slightly modified GUI.
What made the Litecoin very popular and the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization at the moment is the fact that it was one of the earlier alternative crypto currencies that offered both differences and new things that set it apart from the competition. But the most important thing was the fact that it is a Scrypt based and not SHA-256, making it ASIC-proof or with other words not being able to mine LTCs with the already available Bitcoin ASIC miners. This brought back the GPUs as the primary mining solution for generating Litecoins, something that has been left in the past by Bitcoin, so you can say that Litecoin is following in the footsteps of Bitcoin. Another way to look at the to crypto currencies is if we compare the Bitcoin to Gold and the Litecoin as Silver.
Much like with Bitcoin, Litecoin also has a lot of alternative crypto currencies based around its basic code and concept, in fact LTC has much more alternatives that cannot be mined with Bitcoin ASIC. And the fact that Bitcoin ASIC miners are so powerful nowadays there is not much point in releasing SHA-256 based alternative crypt currency similar to Bitcoin, it is better to have it based around Litecoin and scrypt, though lately we are seeing announcements for upcoming Litecoin ASIC miners later that year already. Some of the more interesting and notable alternatives to Litecoin that are also Scrypt-based are: FeatherCoin, WorldCoin, DogeCoin, Lottocoin and many others appearing all the time, though a lot of these don’t get much attention from the users and die quickly.
Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer digital crypto currency introduced as open source software back in 2009 by a developer referred as to Satoshi Nakamoto, though it seems that nobody knows the real developer’s name. Bitcoin is called a cryptocurrency, because it uses cryptography algorithms to control the creation and transfer of the digital money. Users send payments by broadcasting digitally signed messages to the P2P network and participants in the decentralized network known as miners verify and timestamp transactions into a shared public database called the block chain. Bitcoins can be obtained by the process of the so called mining or in exchange for products, services, or other real currencies. There are multiple Bitcoin exchanges where you can trade BTC for other crypto currencies or real money, both buying and selling.
Commercial use of Bitcoin is still very small in the form of goods or services that you can purchase for bitcoins compared to its use by speculators on exchanges, which has fueled price volatility. The fact that the exchange rate of a single BTC can greatly vary not only form day to day, but it can also change very quickly in just a minute is one of the most serious concern to merchants that are considering of accepting bitcoins as a means of payment, but still the high exchange rate that is currently over $800 USD for 1 BTC makes it attractive alternative to real money, especially when you also consider the very minor taxes you need to pay for a Bitcoin transaction as compared to credid card processing taxes for example.
Bitcoin is the biggest and most widely known crypto currency nowadays, in fact it is the crypto that started it all and since it generated so much attention many other crypto currencies have appeared. Nowadays it is hard to just mine bitcoins with your computer and in order to actually mine bitcoins at a good rate per day you need a specialized hardware called Bitcoin ASIC or Bitcoin Miner. In the earlier days you could mine with just the processor of your computer, then it was possible to use your video card, but nowadays the network difficulty has gotten so high that mining Bitcoins with your computer you would not be able to just cover the electricity bill with what you earn. Bitcoin uses SHA-256 as its proof-of-work scheme, but there are a few other major alternatives of Bitcoin that use SHA-256 and can be mined the same way as Bitcoin and with the same hardware including the specialized Bitcoin ASIC hardware miners. These are Namecoin, Devcoin, IXCoin, Freicoin, Peercoin, Terracoin, Zetacoin and others. You can mine these coins and then trade them at crypto currency exchanges for Bitcoins and sometimes mining an alternative crypto currency and then trading it for BTC can yield a better profit than mining Bitcoins directly, especially if you have dedicated powerful hardware for that. And one of the latest trends is not buying directly the hardware, but renting it instead and as you can expect it is called cloud mining.