The reason why you get different hash rates for different cryptocurrency when mining is attributed to the fact that different cryptocurrency uses different hashing algorithms. For example, Bitcoin uses SHA-256 while Ethereum uses Ethash. The amount of hash power you get is limited by the hashing algorithm as well as the hardware you are using to mine. If you are mining Ethereum and you get around 80 Mh/s, it does not mean you will also get 80 Mh/s when mining bitcoin. Before you start mining, you must understand what hash power really means.
What is Hash Power?
Hash power or hash rate measures the computational power of a miner. It is the number of hashes that can be produced by the mining machine in a second. Mining involves finding blocks. Blocks are found by complex computations. These blocks are similar to puzzles. To successfully find/generate blocks, a miner needs to make many guesses, sometimes millions of guesses. These guesses are made to solve the block. To successfully mine a block, a miner needs to hash the block’s header in a specific way. In a way, such that hash is equal or less than the target. The target changes when miners enter or leave the network. The hash is calculated by altering the “Nonce”.
Hash power is also referred to as the amount of computational power needed for a network such as Bitcoin to operate continuously. This is different from miner’s hash power. It is the amount of power, a network such as Bitcoin is consuming at a given moment to generate a block within 10 minutes. As new miners join or leave the Bitcoin network, the total hash power of the network can change. When it changes, the Bitcoin network’s difficulty adjusts itself in a way that, the time needed to produce a new block is 10 minutes.
Commonly Used Mining Algorithms
SHA-256 or short for Secure hashing algorithm generates a unique 256-bit string. It processes a block in less than 10 minutes. It’s hash rate is measure in Gigahashes per second. Major cryptocurrency that uses SHA-256 include:
- Bitcoin Cash
Popular ASICs (Applications Specific Integrated Circuits) like Antminer s9 and s7 uses SHA-256 to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Another popular algorithm is the Scrypt Algorithm. It uses a lot of memory compared to other algorithms. It’s hash rate is measure in Kilohashes per second (KH/s). Popular cryptocurrency that uses Scrypt algorithm include. Scrypt algorithm is used in CPUs, GPU’s and ASICs.
X11 algorithm is popular for its energy efficiency. It uses far less energy when hashing compared to other algorithms. X11 was created by DarkCoin developer Evan Duffield, that was later renamed to DASH. X11 combines 11 different hash functions to one algorithm; hence X11. At the time of development, the X11 algorithm had properties that would make an ASIC incapable of mining efficiently; so miners with CPUs and GPUs can compete for the reward. X11 measures hash rate in Megahashes (MH/s). Popular cryptocurrency that uses X11 algorithm includes:
Cryptonight algorithm is a proof of work algorithm designed specifically to mine with CPUs and GPUs. Cryptonight is made to be ASIC resistant at the time. CPUs and GPUs have memory functions built in. Cryptonight requires 2MB of memory each time memory is accessed in a GPU or CPU. This is problematic for ASICs as they don’t access memory. However, ASICs have combated this and now able to mine efficiently. Cryptonight measures hash power in hashes (H/s). Popular cryptocurrencies that use Cryptonight algorithm includes:
- Original Monero (XMR)
Ethash is an upgraded version of Dagger-Hashimoto algorithm. It is a proof of work algorithm used by Ethereum and Ethreum based cryptocurrency. Ethas measures hash power is Megahashes (MH/s). Popular cryptocurrency that uses Ethash algorithm includes:
- Ethereum Classic
The complete list of algorithms here.
Getting back to the question “Why do I get Different Hash Rates for Different Cryptocurrencies”; it is because of the algorithm they use. Some algorithms are difficult and limited by the miner’s machine. Some hardware is efficient for some algorithms while others aren’t. For example, ASICs are capable of generating SHA256 hashes efficiently than a GPU or CPU. More powerful the ASIC, more hashes it can produce.
Popular ASICs and their hash rate:
- Antminer S17 Pro – 53 Th/s
- Antminer S15 – 28TH/s
- Antminer T15 – 23TH/s
- Antminer S11 – 20TH/s
- Antminer S9 – 14.0 TH/s
Mining With a GPU
At this point, it is impracticable to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that uses SHA-256 with a GPU or CPU. You will make an enormous loss. Don’t lose hope yet. You can still mine coins that uses Scrypt, Cryptonight algorithms profitably if you have a powerful GPU or CPU. ASICs for these algorithms exist but, mining with a GPU or CPU is still profitable as the ASICs haven’t dominated the network yet. Monero is very popular among GPU and CPU miners.
Buying Hash Power
ASICs are expensive and incurs a cost to maintain. If you cannot afford an ASIC, you can always buy hash power. Services like Nicehash allows you to purchase hash power and use it to mine cryptocurrency. Nicehash has all the major mining algorithms for you to choose from. All you have to do is purchase hash power and allocate it to mining in a pool. You can use a calculator to estimate profits. The best thing about buying hash power is you do not need to worry about maintaining and configuring your mining rig.
You can signup to Nicehash here.
Another way to avoid the strenuous process of setting up and configuring your mining rig is to invest in cloud mining. The best thing about cloud mining is, you do not have to invest a big amount to start mining. Services like Eobot allows you to start mining with just $10 investment. You purchase hash power and they take care of maintaining and electricity cost for your rig and send your earnings directly to your wallet. Of course, they charge for electricity and maintenance; but this is a worthwhile investment. The top cloud mining services include: