Since its inception in 2008 by founder Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies have been growing in popularity and value. The inherent value of these digital currencies is determined by the factors of scarcity and demand. As we move forward and demand continued to grow, online retailers have begun to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin and Ethereum as alternative payment methods. Mining these valuable commodities isn't as hard as you think, but one would begin to wonder; is cryptocurrency mining worth it? Take a quick look below to find out.

How to start Cryptocurrency mining?

It is 2017 and mining these coins is easier than ever. What is needed are a few components to begin your gold rush from the comfort of home. Many of these components we have access to or already have. What is currently needed is a computer, access to the internet, and a program such as "Nicehash." It is recommended that current gamers or owners of powerful PCs start mining. As a mid-level to high-level GPU should already be installed.

Note: (It is not recommended that you invest the funds to acquire these components as smaller mining operations have driven up the cost of Graphics Cards and CPUs.)

On a Windows 10 enabled computer, install "Nicehash." It is a program derived from the Windows Store and will allow you to automate the mining process.

Keep in mind that Nicehash charges a 3% fee for using this service, but it is the easiest way to start mining with your mid-level gaming PC. Select that you want to sell your hashing power and begin the targeted download.

The program will install as a ".zip" file. Extract this to a folder and double click "NiceHashMiner.exe" This will automatically install the program.

Once installed, add your Bitcoin wallet, select your graphics card, and you can begin mining. To get a wallet, I suggest using Coinbase or any other free wallet on the internet.

The true cost of mining

What is convenient about Nicehash is that a compatibility and cost calculator is built into the website. On the bottom of the page after clicking "I want to sell my hashing power," you will see a link to the profitability calculator.

Selecting your GPU will then give an estimate of cost based on the amount of power to performance you could expect from you mining operation.

My current mining machine is using an AMD RX480 8GB. This means with the current trends; I am mining about $1.80 per day. This doesn't sound like much, but with the growing trends of Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum, the amounts could essentially double within a years time.

I bought my card for a deal at $280.00 USD. So within a year's time, my card would have paid for itself. That is if I'm running it 24/7.

Is it worth it?

This is not a straight forward answer. While I can make an estimated $800.00 per year with my setup. However, the cost of running my PC detracts from the overall profit.

After some basic calculations, running my PC at max load for a year would cost me close to $200.00 USD. Which means that I would only profit about $600.00. Not to mention that the lifespan of my graphics card would be reduced as well. It is not a straight forward answer as the cost of each coin fluctuates frequently. My suggestion would be to give it a try for a month, Check your profits and see if the value of the accumulated coins increases. Speculators say that Ethereum is the go to coin for value and growth. If you are living in a college dorm and are not charged electricity, this could be profitable for you. That is if you can deal with the sound of your PC on max load.

Why have cryptocurrencies become so popular?

The overall popularity of these coins has gained traction in recent years. However, it is not based solely on one factor. Speculators suggest that the amazing growth is due to its invest-ability, convenience, and assumed value. With the economy recovering, many people have turned away from traditional means of saving money. The inflation of our fiat currencies also attributes to cryptocurrencies appearing as a more attractive alternative for a means to store and convert funds. Whatever the reason is, it is safe to say, that cryptocurrencies aren't going away anytime soon. Will Bitcoin remain dominant? Only time will tell.