So, what is sha 256?
SHA-256 is a widely used and extremely popular hashing algorithm. It was developed by theNational Security Agency of the United States.
Other than cryptocurrencies SHA-256 is also used in various other technologies. Some widely used security applications and protocols like TLS, SSL, PGP, SSH also use SHA.
SHA stands for Secure Hash Algorithm. And the SHA-256 standard generates a 256-bit hash. This not only encrypts the data but it also standardizes the size.
Actually, this is a case for all of the hashing algorithms.
The hash rate for SHA-256 is usually computed in the Gigahash per second or GH/s unit.
Popularly known asbitcoin mining algorithm.
COINS THAT USE IT:
The father of all cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin uses SHA-256. Other than it many other cryptocurrencies likeBitcoinCash, Peercoin, Namecoin, Devcoin, Terracoin also use SHA-256.
HOW TO MINE:
When Bitcoin was first launched in 2009, the competition in mining was extremely low. Because only a handful of people used Bitcoin and even lesser mined it.
So back in those days, anyone with a computer could use their CPU to mine. But then some people realized the hash rate is even faster when mining with GPU.
After GPU mining became very competitive experts probed for more efficient hardware. And this is how FPGA miners came into existence. But they were not very efficient either.
So they were soon switched byASICs. ASICs are Application Specific Integrated Circuit. They are built for one task only; in this case, only mining a particular cryptocurrency.
Since then ASIC mining rigs have continued to dominate the Bitcoin mining space. So if you want to mine Bitcoin you will have to buy an ASIC mining rig. China-basedBitmainmakes the most efficient Bitcoin ASIC miners called Antminer.
You can also try buying cloud mining contracts from trusted companies like Hashflare, Genesis Mining, Hashnet etc.
SHOULD YOU MINE:
In my opinion, a newcomer in the mining industry should avoid mining cryptocurrencies that use SHA-256. Because the initial investment is overwhelming.
Plus the ASICs generate a lot of heat, so you will be needing proper cooling solutions. They also consume loads of electricity. So only get in this field if you can afford all these.
If you have the money to invest and don’t mind risking it, then buy a cloud mining contract instead. Because it will be a lot less hassle.