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Alternatives for bitcoin mining

Image: Flickr / PerfectHue

Bitcoin mining was the first known way of creating cryptocurrencies. It is, however, becoming very expensive and at times ends up becoming an unprofitable venture. This is because as more miners gain entry, the speed of creating bitcoin blocks increases.

With the increase, more and more specialized hardware is required to cope with increased energy requirements. This then swiftly removes an ordinary miner with an average computer on the queue as mining becomes a preserve of a few professional miners.

For this reason, alternatives to bitcoin mining have been sought and fortunately, there are a whole lot of options available.

Top 3 alternatives to bitcoin mining

Besides the increased difficulty in mining, the bitcoin mining process presented two glaring problems. These were the need for more privacy as the nature of transactions was open to the public across the network and secondly, the increased energy requirements slowed down the speeds of completing a transaction immensely. It is on this premise that Dash was created.


Dash, short for digital cash, was launched in January 2014 first as Xcoin then as Darkcoin. It is both a coin and mining process. It is mined using the XII algorithm with the market cap set at $18 million. Bitcoin’s mining cap is 21 million bitcoins. So far, about $8 million of Dash has been realized. Dash has adequately solved the privacy and speeds problem posed by bitcoin mining by having a transaction process that is shuffled with other anonymous transactions using the PrivateSend feature it comes with to make a transaction untraceable in reference to its origin and its destination. That means both the sender and receiver of a crypto transaction cannot be identified.

While it takes about 10 minutes to complete a bitcoin transaction, it is almost instantaneous with a Dash transaction which takes a second to complete.

How Dash works

  • Dash is founded on a two-tier network basically the nodes and master nodes.
  • Nodes. This is where computers on the network share information with each other to verify transactions and create new Dash coins.
  • Master nodes. These are rule-enforcers on the network and although they are not involved with the actual mining, they

Dash offers the advantages of a peer-to-peer network due to its decentralized nature. If you’d like to get started with this coin, find more by visiting


This is a digital coin whose creation is founded on the SAFE Network. Safecoins are a completely different aspect in that each safecoin comes with a unique identity from any other coin within the network.

How it works

Only 4.3 billion unique coins can be in circulation at one given time. So the need for shuffling data to give it privacy is not necessary. This means that all data across the network are self-encrypted before storage and except for the owner; no other person can decrypt it as they have no means of determining the specific data stored.

Algorithms within the SAFE Network are responsible for the distribution of safecoins across the network bypassing the need for any human assistance.

This creates what is referred to as ‘closed group consensus’ where each data is checked through the computers or computers within the network and there is no data that is superior over the other. However, this makes it difficult to derive data at the source.

There are no subsets to work with as all data is chain-linked to each other making it anonymous. Safecoins can never run out of supply as they are recycled once the users exchange them for services within the network.


This is a social platform that is blockchain based. It is a peer-to-peer network that enjoys decentralization and the fact that it is uncensored makes it unstoppable. Steem comes in three currencies:-

  • Steem. This is the base currency of the system and can be exchanged for bitcoins.
  • SteemPower. This is an investment made into the Steem network as equity and is referred to as powering up. It can also be powered down by converting it back to Steem.
  • SteemDollars. These are holdings of Steem in the network at the rate of 1:1, that is, one Steem dollar is equal to one US dollar. This holding is deemed as a lending to the network as it provides liquidity and attracts a certain percentage of interest earned from this short-term debt.

How it works

  1. Go to which is the Steem blockchain interface.
  2. Register an account and ensure you have an account with either Facebook or Reddit for authenticating your registration.
  3. Sign up and pick a well-considered username as it is irreversible and also a password that is easy to recall as it has no recovery process. Remember one of the features of blockchain is the un-alterable transactions.
  4. Click on ‘Create an account’ and you are done as you are now on your blog page that you have been re-directed to.
  5. While on your blog, write content and start making dollars by powering up your Steem through up votes and flags. This is no different from what happens on Facebook when you ‘like’ a posting.
  6. The more the up votes you have, the more the earnings, and similarly for the flags. When you are up-voting, you are in essence determining who will get paid and in the process get yourself paid too. Flagging is like not liking a blog because it is negative or abusive. You also get paid for this.

Other alternatives

There are a host of many other alternatives among which are:-

  • Litecoin
  • Peercoin
  • Namecoin
  • Prime coin
  • Novacoin
  • Feathercoin
  • Ethereum classic.

This is not an exhaustive list and there are many others in existence with more being created to compete for the crypto space and each presenting improvements on security and ease of usage.

As a final word, crypto technology is no longer the future, it is a present reality and only the early birds will catch the biggest worm. It is time to get started in information acquisition with the aim of making an informed choice on which methods and coins to invest in. Bitcoin mining can be a profitable venture if you invest in the right coin.

Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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