CPU mining is the process of using a central processing unit (CPU) to help complete a block during the mining process. CPU mining is done using a single-core processor typically found inside a personal computer. When mining with a CPU, you will need to join a mining pool, as mining solo would likely take a very long time with a CPU set up.
Once you have joined a mining pool, your CPU will be used for specific calculations and returned a hashrate, which contributes to the overall mining pool’s success. The main benefit of CPU mining is that it does not require any expensive hardware and can be done from any desktop or laptop computer with a functioning CPU.
This allows anyone with access to a computer with the necessary hardware to easily participate in the mining process. Additionally, the hash rate produced by the CPU is usually lower than what you can achieve through more expensive hardware such GPU or ASIC miners.
CPU miners can still be very useful as they can work in tandem with GPU and ASIC miners to provide a computer’s total hashrate. This type of set-up can often result in a higher overall hashrate as different hardware has different strengths which can complement each other.
However, the bottom line is that CPUs are generally not the best choice when it comes to mining cryptocurrencies due to their relatively low hash rate and the fact that they require a lot of electricity to power them.