Ethereum has been developed with awareness of the ASIC-mining monopoly that Bitcoin has suffered from. The Ethash requires miners to work with a big amount of data subsets, ruling out ASICs from the equation. The data subset is called a DAC. The DAC is few GBs big and newly generated every 30,000 blocks (which is a 100+ hour window, called an epoch).
Therefore, it is best to use a graphic card with a large video memory for mining (GPU mining). CPU mining is possible too, but less efficient compared to GPU mining.
Pool mining is a possibility too, and probably a wise one with the ever-increasing mining difficulty, but most pools don’t pay out rewards for uncle blocks (stale blocks not on the longest chain, but still included on the side to neutralize the effect of network lag on the dispersion of mining rewards, thereby increasing security).
- Exactly 5.0 Ether for the ‘winning’ block
- Cost of the gas expended within the block – an amount of ether that depends on the current gas price
- An extra reward for including uncles as part of the block, in the form of an extra 1/32 per uncle included