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Bitcoin Mining: Is There Still Money to Be Made?


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It’s no secret that Bitcoin mining isn’t nearly as profitable as it once was. With that being said, does it make sense to spend money on buying mining gear and set up your mining rigs? Let’s find out.

Is Mining Still Profitable?

For the early adopters of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, mining was a way to generate a passive income. Until December of last year, Bitcoin mining was quite profitable, with monthly returns as high as 20-40% depending upon whether you set up your own rigs or used one of the many available cloud-mining services.

However, as the cryptocurrency market took a plunge in late January, mining profitability also dropped drastically. What is also impacting the mining profitability is the rise in mining difficulty because of more miners joining onto the network.

Different Ways to Mine

There are primarily two types of equipment used for mining – the GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) based miners and the ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) based miners. The early miners could even mine using their laptops or desktops (which have CPUs – Central Processing Units), but with rising difficulty more powerful chips like the ASIC were designed and deployed for Bitcoin mining.

Over the last few years, as the demand for mining grew, companies like Bitmain and Genesis mining started selling cloud-mining contracts. Buying a cloud-mining deal was convenient and a hassle-free way to start mining and earning a passive income.

Different Ways to Mine

Should You Get into Mining Now?

MyBroadband, a South Africa based online IT publication recently compared the profitability of several different mining setups. The rigs that they used with their hash rate and the cryptos mined were:

  • Avalon 821 – Bitcoin @ 11TH/s
  • Antminer D3 – Dash @ 19.3GH/s
  • Antminer V9 – Bitcoin @ 4TH/s
  • Thorium 6x RX 570 Mining Rig – Ethereum @ 144MH/s
  • Thorium 6x GTX 1060 Mining Rig – Ethereum @ 120MH/s

The payback period for these machines came out as listed below:

  • 277 days for Avalon 821
  • 1 year 52 days for Antminer D3
  • 1 year 336 days for Antminer V9
  • 4 years 152 days for Thorium 6x RX 570
  • 4 years 208 days for Thorium 6x GTX 1060

The actual profitability would be lower as the miners also incur the cost of electricity as these machines generate a lot of heat and need to be kept cool using air conditioning. Also, keep in mind that the above numbers only provide a snapshot as at a certain date and time. As the two variables, cryptocurrency prices and mining difficulty, change in either direction, the profitability and payback period will also change accordingly. You could even check the profitability yourself using online calculators.

The above comparison clearly shows that mining is currently not profitable, and it doesn’t make sense to buy mining rigs unless you live in a cold location like Iceland or Canada (where the power requirement will be less). However, a rally in cryptocurrency prices like late last year may change the equation.

Do you think that Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency mining can still be profitable? Let us know in the comments below. 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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