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Bitcoin mining not worth itBitcoin is now harder to mine than ever before - so is it still worth it? | TechRadar
After ASICs came into play, the game changed. Individuals were now competing against powerful mining rigs that had more computing power. Mining profits were getting chipped away by expenses like purchasing new computing equipment, paying higher energy costs for running the new equipment, and the continued difficulty in mining. As discussed above, the difficulty rate associated with mining bitcoin is variable and changes roughly every two weeks in order to maintain a stable production of verified blocks for the blockchain and, in turn, bitcoins introduced into circulation.
The higher the difficulty rate, the less likely that an individual miner is to successfully be able to solve the hash problem and earn bitcoin. In recent years, the mining difficulty rate has skyrocketed. When bitcoin was first launched, the difficulty was 1. As of May , it is more than 16 trillion.
The Bitcoin network will be capped at 21 million total bitcoin. This has been a key stipulation of the entire ecosystem since it was founded, and the limit is put in place to attempt to control for supply of the cryptocurrency.
Currently, over 18 million bitcoin have been mined. As a way of controlling the introduction of new bitcoin into circulation, the network protocol halves the number of bitcoin rewarded to miners for successfully completing a block about every four years.
In , this number was halved and the reward became In , it halved again to In May , the reward halved once again to 6. Bitcoin mining can still make sense and be profitable for some individuals. In an effort to stay competitive, some machines have adapted. For example, some hardware allows users to alter settings to lower energy requirements, thus lowering overall costs.
The variables needed to make this calculation are:. Profitability calculators differ slightly and some are more complex than others.
Run your analysis several times using different price levels for both the cost of power and value of bitcoins. Also, change the level of difficulty to see how that impacts the analysis.
Determine at what price level bitcoin mining becomes profitable for you—that is your breakeven price. Given a current reward of 6. Of course, as the price of bitcoin is highly variable, this reward figure is likely to change.
To compete against the mining mega centers, individuals can join a mining pool , which is a group of miners who work together and share the rewards.
This can increase the speed and reduce the difficulty in mining, putting profitability in reach. As difficulty and cost have increased, more and more individual miners have opted to participate in a pool.
While the overall reward decreases because it is shared among multiple participants, the combined computing power means that mining pools stand a much greater chance of actually completing a hashing problem first and receiving a reward in the first place. To answer the question of whether bitcoin mining is still profitable, use a web-based profitability calculator to run a cost-benefit analysis. You can plug in different numbers and find your breakeven point after which mining is profitable.
Determine if you are willing to lay out the necessary initial capital for the hardware, and estimate the future value of bitcoins as well as the level of difficulty.
When both bitcoin prices and mining difficulty decline, it usually indicates fewer miners and more ease in receiving bitcoins. When bitcoin prices and mining difficulty rise, expect the opposite—more miners competing for fewer bitcoins. Congressional Research Service. Accessed May 17, Your Money. Personal Finance. Your Practice.
Popular Courses. Part Of. Bitcoin Basics. Bitcoin Mining. This is why buying bitcoin on an exchange can be a simpler way to make a profit. However, when done efficiently it is possible to end up with more bitcoin from mining than from simply hodling. One of the most important variables for miners is the price of Bitcoin itself. If, like most people, you are paying for your mining hardware, and your electricity,- in dollars, then you will need to earn enough bitcoin from mining to cover your ongoing costs; and make back your original investment into the machine itself.
Bitcoin price, naturally, impacts all miners. However, there are three factors that separate profitable miners from the rest: cheap electricity, low cost and efficient hardware and a good mining pool. Electricity prices vary from country to country. Many countries also charge a lower price for industrial electricity in order to encourage economic growth. This means that a mining farm in Russia will pay half as much for the electricity you would mining at home in the USA.
In practical terms. These days there are several hardware manufacturers to choose from. The price of hardware varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and depends largely on how low the energy use is for the machine vs the amount of computing power it produces. The more computing power, the more bitcoin you will mine. The lower the energy consumption the lower your monthly costs.
Longevity is determined by the production quality of the machine. It makes no sense to buy cheaper or seemingly more efficient machines if they break down after a few months of running. One useful way to think about hardware is to consider what price BTC would have to fall to in order for the machines to stop being profitable. You want your machine to stay profitable for several years in order for you to earn more bitcoin from mining than you could have got by simply buying the cryptocurrency itself.
Unfortunately most older machines are now no longer profitable even in China. The Bitmain S9 has been operational since and interestingly enough they are still being used in Venezuela and Iran where electricity is so cheap that it outweighs the risk of confiscation.
There may, eventually, be more reputable sources of sub 2 cents electricity as the access to solar and wind improves in North America. For the individual miner, the only hope of competing with operations that have access to such cheap electricity is to send your machines to those farms themselves. Not many farms offer this as a service though. These days, every miner needs to mine through a mining pool. Whether you are mining with one machine, or several thousand, the network of Bitcoin mining machines is so large that your chances of regularly finding a block and therefore earning the block reward and transaction fees is very low.
With one block per 10 mins they may have to wait 16 years to mine that one block. The oldest two pools are Slush Pool and F2Pool. Here comes the science part…. Pool fees are normally 2. Choosing the right mining pool is very important, as you will receive your mined bitcoin sent from the pool payouts every day. An often overlooked facet of mining profitability is the fees one pays to sell the Bitcoin one mines. If you are a small time miner, you may have to sell your coins on a retail exchange like kraken or Binance.
Sometimes your fees are low but sometimes your fees are high - it really just depends on the fee structure of the exchange and the state of the orderbook at the moment. However, if you are a professional miner like F2 or Bitmain, you likely have really advantageous deals with OTC desks to sell your coins at little to no fees - depending on the state of the market.
Some miners are even paid above spot price for their coins. If you think you have what it takes be mine profitably, we suggest you make sure first by using our mining profitability calculator. Bitcoin farms that operate at scale use these advantages to maximize their returns. As the difficulty of mining bitcoin increases, and the price lags behind, it is becoming harder and harder for small miners to make a profit.
It all comes down to scale and access to cheaper prices. When people enter the space, without prior relationships, they struggle to compete with established mining operations.
Bitcoin mining is starting to resemble similar industries as more money flows in and people start to suit up. With increased leverage, margins are lower across the whole sector. Soon, large scale miners will be able to hedge their operations with financial tooling to lock in profits, whilst bringing in USD denominated investments like loans or for equity.
As mining becomes more professional , it will make things even harder for DIY miners. If you have put in the effort to learn about mining, and you have found a location with low cost electricity for your machines, then you still need to consider where to store the bitcoin that you mine. It is possible to mine direct from the pool to an exchange , but we recommend you keep your bitcoin in a wallet where you have access to the private keys.
No, and in the case of Bitcoin, it almost never was. There was a time where one could profitably mine Bitcoin with GPUs, but again…today, you really must have an ASIC and a deal witha power company to make any money mining Bitcoin in The average home miner is unlikely to recoup the cost of mining hardware and electricity. Profiting on your own is highly unlikely. The situation may improve in the future once ASIC mining hardware innovation reaches the point of diminishing returns.
That, coupled with cheap, hopefully sustainable power solutions that retail customers can access in some shape or form, may once again make Bitcoin mining profitable to small individual miners around the world.