Dennis Y.Wed, Sep 8, 2021 7:15 PM
Minefield: Litecoin Mining Fundamentals
In the next article in this series on mining, we talk about Litecoin mining: pools, solo, GPUs, CPUs, difficulty, profitability, and calculators. Let's find out what it is and is it real to be mined.
What is Litecoin
Litecoin (LTC) is a Bitcoin fork created in October 2011 by former Google developer Charlie Lee and is the 14th most capitalized cryptocurrency in the CoinMarketCap ranking. How profitable is mining this digital currency nowadays?
The consensus type of Litecoin is Proof-of-Work, and the mining algorithm is scrypt.
What's The Best Way to Mine Litecoin?
The most fitting operating system for mining is the Windows (Win7 at least). You will also need Litecoin mining software and a wallet for storing cryptocurrencies. It can be opened on the official website of the project.
In general, mining Litecoin is possible on the CPU and graphics processor. But the more efficient option is the use of ASIC devices (for example, Bitmain Antminer). The minimum RAM requirement is 2 GB. But even for ASIC, LTC mining profitability can hardly be called very high.
For example, the Innosilicon A6 LTCMaster (provides up to 1.23 GH/s) device costs over $4,000 and its payback period is several years.
You can find a good comparison of mining devices on the f2pool service.
Mining Litecoin on CPU
Right after the release of Litecoin, it was quite possible to mine on CPU pretty effectively. At that time, the power of the network was not yet so high. But the appearance of numerous ASICs in the LTC network has done its job: its processing power has reached the level when mining on CPU became almost unprofitable. Despite the large variety of software for Litecoin mining on CPUs, it makes no sense to mine this cryptocurrency on a CPU today. The miner will spend more money on electricity bills.
Litecoin Mining on Mac: Is It Really Possible?
It's possible, but makes no sense. MacBooks are pretty great hardware, but they are not powerful enough to mine LTC with some profit.
You can try a Mac Desktop (or a MacBook) running OSX. But all said about the low efficiency of mining on CPUs and GPUs compared to ASICs is fully applicable to Macs as well.
Litecoin Mining With GPU
A graphics card is much cheaper than the ASIC chip. On this basis, beginner miners are sure that they can earn good money by mining LTC using a powerful gaming card. But this is not the case: the power of Litecoin network is so high that a single video card can generate earnings measured just in cents.
And yet, the difference between the performance of graphics adapters and CPUs is quite significant. A modern video card like NVIDIA 1060 or 1070 is faster than a CPU, but it is expensive and you often have to wait for months after ordering it. The shortage of video cards is precisely caused by the high demand on the part of miners.
How to Mine Litecoin Solo
You will need to build a farm of ASICs, which will cost several tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
LTC Mining Pool Monitor
Choosing the right pool for mining Litecoin now is not a problem, there are hundreds of such services. They are mainly located in the USA, Germany, France, and Netherlands. Litecoin Pool provides quite a good monitoring service of these pools.
LTC Cloud Mining
In this method of mining, the miner uses the power of special online platforms, rather than his own equipment.
Usually, companies that offer this service combine several large pools under their brand. Examples of such companies: GenesisMining, MiningRigRentals, NiceHash.
Once again, we remind you: carefully analyze cloud mining offers, especially lists like "best free Litecoin mining sites" and promises of free Litecoin mining. There are a lot of scams and companies that suddenly suspend their activities.
Litecoin Mining Difficulty
As you remember, mining difficulty is the hash rate needed to mine a block in the network. According to bitinfocharts.com, the Litecoin network complexity is 9.705 M. Historically, it is not maximal, as it temporarily exceeded 16.5 M in summer 2019 (see Litecoin mining difficulty chart).
Litecoin is a popular cryptocurrency, but with the current exchange rate and complexity of the network, it has become unprofitable to mine it. Special mining equipment is really expensive. Maybe in the future, the situation will change, but at the moment it is almost unprofitable to mine it on CPU or GPU. Whether to use ASIC is up to you.