Updated: Aug 9
My computer has a pretty powerful GPU in my custom water cooling loop, and because I'm generally too busy to play video games, this power is massively under-utilized outside my tinkering in VR. Even my experiments in deep learning run largely on the CPU (inefficient, but allows me greater flexibility to use my machine while it is chugging away at a problem).
Bitcoin has seen bubble-like growth (I recently exited my play investment with a 30x return) now reaching a price of over $18K each. Other cryptocurrencies have seen similar explosive growth and can be mined reasonably on a GPU without losing out too much to ASIC miners. I decided it would be fun to experiment just how long it would take for me to earn a few bucks via crypto mining. Given the complexity of most mining software, and the fact that I would like the freedom to use my computer while mining, I decided to install NiceHash since it had a large pool and would automatically select the most profitable currency to mine based on the current prices, and then pay me out in Bitcoin. Simple and easy (although technically multi-coin mining, not Bitcoin mining). The project worked, and I am making about $3/day while mining, but it will take a few days for me to reach my minimum Bitcoin payout.
Unfortunately, NiceHash experienced a large DDoS attack during my experiment, and had over $64M stolen from their accounts, before I could be given a payout. Now that the NiceHash service is back online, I plan to mine until my first payout. Afterwards, I am not sure if I should continue to mine or not. Although the current cost of electricity makes mining profitable, mining puts a lot of stress on my computer and I'm not sure the few dollars a day I can make is worth the hassle. Further, the latest hack on NiceHash's servers proves that mining can be a complicated (and at times frustrating) experience.
Mining on NiceHash post-hack. Unfortunately, my balance was reset.