Processing approved transaction blocks in the cryptocurrency blockchain requires a high level of power consumption. To process transactions and complete large-scale proof of work mining (PoW), cryptocurrency currency miners build professional computers that use a combination of software, hardware and processors to quickly solve complex mathematical problems and algorithms.
When cryptocurrency currencies first appeared, blockchain processing was done by a computer's CPU. However, as more people start to join cryptocurrency mining, it makes the process more difficult; Additional processors are needed to mine cryptocurrency currencies quickly and efficiently.
Application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) are the other major type of processor used for cryptocurrency currency mining. Built specifically for this purpose, they are generally considered by miners to be the best processor choice. GPU mining, in contrast, uses a graphics card or GPU to verify cryptocurrency currency transactions on a blockchain.
Originally designed to process visual information, Gpus and graphics cards can be reused to perform mathematical operations in parallel and were part of the first batch of devices upgraded from CPU-powered devices.
In addition, to solve the math of protecting cryptocurrency currency transactions, GPU systems use hashing algorithms. This algorithm maps data of any size to a fixed size hash to help the computer solve the problem. The most common hash algorithm used in GPU mining is SHA-256, which the computer converts into an output that is always 256 digits.
Other algorithms used in GPU mining include:
Scrypt: It runs on a password-based key function and has a block generation time of about 2.5 minutes.
X11: The most energy efficient algorithm, it uses 30% less wattages than the GPU and is designed to be ASIC resistant.
Ethash: Formerly known as DaggerHashimoto, this was also developed for ASIC resistance, primarily for Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and extended currency.
GPU mining has been increasing since May 2010, when Lazlo Hanyecz bought two Stick John's pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins. This has given cryptocurrencies inherent value as currencies and led to the growing popularity of bitcoin mining. In addition, the code enabling Bitcoin GPU mining was released to the public in October 2010.
This, the relatively affordable cost of Gpus and graphics cards and the ability of GPU mining machines to set up led to the development of this mining technology. In addition, building a device with a GPU doesn't require very sophisticated technical knowledge or huge computer power. Because this was a setup designed primarily for mining enthusiasts, it wasn't until the introduction of Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGAs) and ASICs that mining machines became powerful enough to turn cryptocurrency mining from a sideline into an industry.
So what is GPU mining? And when did GPU mining start? The answer to these two questions. In a nutshell, GPU mining uses one or more GPU cards to mine cryptocurrencies. A GPU can process hashes faster than a CPU, but not as fast as ASIC. Due to the high mining difficulty of bitcoin, GPU mining machines are usually reserved for mining altcoins.