The popularity of cryptocurrency has increased enormously in recent years, with more and more Dutch people investing in crypto or using it for online payments. People are also interested in mining crypto, but do you actually need a specialized PC for that?

The increased interest in cryptocurrency has also led to more and more people wanting to mine crypto to make money that way. Crypto mining boils down to verifying transactions and adding new blocks to the blockchain. This usually requires powerful computers to solve complex mathematical problems. The first in the world to solve the algorithm will receive cryptocurrency as a reward.
This can be extremely beneficial, but over the years more and more competition has emerged. Where a decade ago you could mine some Bitcoin in your basement with a normal computer and make a nice profit, today you have specialized crypto mining companies that have entire warehouses full of powerful “mining rigs” running 24/7.

Specialized PC?
So do you need a specialized PC for mining crypto? That depends on the situation. Which crypto coins do you want to mine? If you go for Bitcoin, the largest, most expensive and most popular crypto, the competition is far too strong and professional to make any profit on your own with a normal PC. But smaller, less popular crypto coins may be an option.
According to the best advice from Joren Verdoes, crypto expert at Bitcoin Magazine, smaller crypto coins are extremely interesting. After all, they have a low market capitalization, combined with great growth potential. And there are far fewer crypto miners who go for these coins, which offers opportunities for you.

The exact hardware you need depends on the algorithm of the cryptocurrency you want to mine. With a Proof-of-Work mechanism (such as Bitcoin) you almost always need very powerful computers with a lot of processing power. This type of mining rig must be equipped with powerful video cards (GPUs) and/or special mining chips (ASICs). The goal of this powerful hardware is to achieve a high “hashrate”, which increases the chance that you will be the first to solve the mathematical puzzle and receive the reward in the form of crypto.
You can also easily expand a specialized mining rig, simply by adding more GPUs or ASICs. With a normal PC this is not that simple. With a powerful mining rig you usually have much more efficiency than with a normal PC, which ensures lower energy consumption per hash.
But energy consumption is still extremely high, so keep this in mind! Mining rigs also often make a lot of noise and produce a lot of heat. So you almost always have to invest in a cooling system.
Another option is mining crypto coins with a Proof-of-Stake mechanism. You usually need much less powerful hardware for this (energy consumption is 99% lower), but you do need a certain amount of cryptocurrency before you can mine.

If you do not want or cannot invest in a mining rig, there are a number of alternatives. For example, you can do cloud mining, where you rent hash power from an external provider. Very simple and a lot cheaper, but with a lower profit margin. You can also download a mining app on your smartphone or tablet, but as you might guess, you won’t make much money from this and it can be harmful to your device.
Finally, you can also just use your own PCC to mine, especially if you have a strong GPU. In that case, go for the smaller, lesser-known crypto coins.

This article was produced in collaboration with Bitcoin Magazine