As you learn more about cryptocurrencies, you’ll quickly discover a whole world of words, abbreviations, and phrases that seem alien at first. One of those is ASIC, and while its acronym gives little away, its role in mining digital currencies is critical.
If you’re unsure about what an ASIC is and whether or not it’s useful for anything other than mining, you’ve come to the right place. This article will cover both of these, along with giving you pointers as to where you can obtain one.
What Is an ASIC?
ASIC stands for “application-specific integrated circuit.” As you can probably gather from its name, this kind of circuit is designed for something in particular.
When you’re new to cryptocurrencies, it might seem like they magically appear out of nowhere. However, that is not the case—and using an ASIC is mandatory if you’re interested in mining these forms of money.
One of the biggest reasons people want to mine cryptocurrencies is that they might feel like they can generate bigger profits than would be the case if they buy crypto with fiat currencies.
Explaining how ASICs work is impossible in a single section. We recommend reading our article about how ASIC links with blockchains, plus its pros and cons, to get a better understanding.
Does an ASIC Have Any Use Beyond Mining?
No—you can’t use an ASIC miner for anything other than mining digital currencies.
You also cannot mine more than one form of cryptocurrency with an individual piece of hardware. If you buy one specifically for Ethereum, you can only mine Ethereum. The same is true for Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and so on, although it depends on the hashing algorithm each crypto uses.
For example, an ASIC miner programmed to mine the Scrypt algorithm could theoretically switch between different cryptos using the same algorithm.
What Should I Know Before Buying an ASIC Miner?
If you’ve decided that you want to give ASIC mining a try, you’ll need to get a hold of the necessary hardware. If you do a quick search online, you’ll find miners for the major cryptocurrencies and discover both new and used versions.
Of course, not all ASIC miners are equal. So, you’ll need to do your research to ensure that you’re getting a good deal.
Speaking of deals, you’ll notice within your first few searches that ASIC miners are far from budget-friendly. The majority of those you see, especially for Bitcoin, will cost thousands of dollars. So, you need to have a serious think about whether or not you’re better off buying cryptocurrencies online instead.
While you can mine digital currencies without an ASIC miner, several cryptos are only accessible with specialized hardware, such as Bitcoin. Not forgetting that you will also need a computer capable of handling the process, so expect to spend even more if your existing hardware doesn’t fit the bill.
Finally, ASIC mining (and cryptocurrency mining in general) uses a huge amount of energy. That’s another outlay for you to consider, let alone the environmental cost of the energy.
Knowing How ASIC Miners Work Doesn’t Need to Be Difficult
So, there you have it. Now you know what ASIC means and how these miners work.
Although investing in an ASIC miner and the necessary accompanying technology costs a lot, you might find that it’s profitable for you. If you buy one, though, try to leave as little of an impact on the environment as possible—and understand that your profitability chances are not guaranteed.
If you don’t want to get an ASIC miner, buying and selling crypto online might be a better option. Just keep in mind that these currencies are volatile, and you must do your research beforehand.
Looking to keep your cryptocurrency secure? You need a cryptocurrency wallet.
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