If you had told people in 2008 that their home computers would soon be able to contribute to climate change research, play mind-bendingly complicated 3D games, and also turn a profit then few people would have been convinced. But computers have moved on and thanks to the paper written by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto on block chain technology, cryptocurrency made GPU mining for cash possible.
If you look at the crypto industry these days then you’ll see that the prices of Bitcoin, Dash, Ether and others are in a state of constant flux. Greed and the desire to get rich quick has driven up prices, while the daily news has sometimes driven them down, creating a seesaw effect.
The value of many cryptocurrencies was artificially inflated by unrealistic expectations, and as time went on and mining difficulty increased, the expense of mining the coins went up too.
It became obvious that greater processing power was going to be needed to deal with the escalating difficulty of mining. One solution seemed to be GPU Mining. The graphics processing units, or GPUs in modern computers were able to handle hashing algorithms like the fairly common SHA-256 at greater speed than CPUs could manage. This meant that they could provide more Proof of Work (PoW) results and so lay claim to more of the cryptocurrency mining rewards.
As well as being able to perform more floating-point operations every second (known as flops), GPUs have an advantage over run-of-the-mill CPUs thanks to their greater thermal efficiency and lower power consumption. These factors make GPU mining very attractive to miners and have prompted their widespread adoption.