Bitcoin mining has started the cryptocurrency revolution. If you have never heard of bitcoin, it is the new digital currency that was introduced in 2009. Because of the popularity of bitcoin, many alternative cryptocurrencies were introduced. These alternate cryptocurrencies are now known as Altcoins. However, in spite of the presence of Altcoins, bitcoins remain as the leader in terms of both market capitalization and network size.
The hashing power of bitcoin miners is greater than all cryptocurrencies to date. The Bitcoin mining community has aggregated into a mining community with considerable influence and power than a single network. Processing power is contributed to be able to sustain a bitcoin network. With the necessary processing power from the contributions of miners, they are able to solve the complex cryptographic equations to find new blocks and confirm validity of transactions over a certain platform at the same time.
Most of the alternative cryptocurrencies to date have similarities with bitcoin particularly with the block chain aspect. There are different encryption protocols but when multiple cryptocurrencies are used on the same encryption protocol and share similarities, they can be mined together. This is referred to as merged mining. The concept of merged mining is not new because it was the creator of Bitcoin himself who was largely responsible for the concept.
Merged mining is being used today to be able to maintain multiple cryptocurrency networks more economically. The hashing power required for bitcoin mining is rather high but with merged mining, altcoins will gain much more mining power. Merged mining can supplement gains from bitcoin mining so that miners can get more than what they could take from just bitcoin mining. However, the security and stability of bitcoin mining is higher than any other cryptocurrency platform but if it is combined with merged mining, it can be used for multiple cryptocurrencies for different purposes aside from monetary transactions.
Another option is bitcoin cloud mining that allows user to buy their mining power from data centers located in remote locations. You avoid the hassle of managing of your own hardware because you can use the cloud to earn your bitcoin.