Cryptocurrency mining is not something that’s going to go away any time soon. With blockchain technology looking to disrupt several industries in the coming years, computing power spread across the globe in a decentralised network will be one of the ways that it will operate via the proof-of-work method.

Have a look at our best gaming graphics cards for 2018.

There are other ways for cryptocurrency transactions to be validated, such as the proof-of-stake method, which is seen as a more green alternative as it doesn’t require such a large amount of energy to operate, as well as being more resilient against attacks.

While proof-of-work may lose ground to proof-of-stake at some point, there will always be projects that deal in the commodity of decentralised computing power – such as DeepBrainChain, which will use nodes all over the world to help AI startups process the massive amount of data required when researching, without having to shoulder the massive upfront cost of buying all the hardware themselves.

It is these projects that mean there will always be a requirement for mining rigs, so it’s certainly still a solid investment if you know what you’re doing.

Proof-of-work vs. Proof-of-stake

The proof-of-work method requires your hardware to solve difficult maths problems (algorithms) in competition with other miners across the world. The fastest miner to solve the problem will gain the reward and encrypt the block of information into the chain.

The proof-of-stake method will allow nodes that hold an amount of the currency to validate each transaction. This means that ‘miners’ aren’t doing the work, and the task falls to ‘forgers’ who validate the transaction, the idea being that nodes who hold larger amounts of the currency have an inherent interest to uphold its integrity.

How much should I spend on a graphics card to mine cryptocurrency?

While more powerful cards will complete the algorithms at a faster rate due to their faster speed, larger amounts of ram and better IPC (instructions per cycle), they will also be more expensive and draw more power to function – increasing both the upfront and running costs.

If you’re looking to mine as efficiently as possible, which is usually the best way if you’re concerned about making a profit, then you’re going to want a card that gives a good amount of PPA (performance per watt). This is the measurement of the amount of computation that your computer can deliver per watt of power consumed, and is a very important metric to consider when creating a system specifically for mining.

We’ve put together the best cards for cryptocurrency mining. Some are fast, and some are more efficient, but any of them are an excellent choice for mining.

MSI GeForce GTX 1070 GAMING X 8G

AMD RX 480

AMD RX 480

AMD RX 580

AMD RX 580

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition

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