The early days of Bitcoin mining are often described spil a gold rush.

Satoshi Nakomoto’s invention of Bitcoin, “a peer-to-peer electronic specie system,” opened up an entirely fresh frontier, not just of freedom but of sometimes shocking profits.

Those with a strong rente ter such things, namely cypherpunks, cryptographers, technically-minded libertarians and assorted hackers, were very first to stake their eis.

But is there still gold te them thar hills?

Bitcoin mining has grown from a handful of early enthusiasts into a cottage industry, into a specialized industrial-level venture. The effortless money wasgoed scooped out a long time ago and what remains is buried under the cryptographic omschrijving of tons of hard rock.

The sad truth is:

Only those with specialised, high-powered machinery are able to profitably samenvatting bitcoins nowadays. While mining is still technically possible for anyone, those with underpowered setups will find more money is spent on electric current than is generated through mining.

Ter other words, mining won’t be profitable at a puny scale unless you have access to free or indeed cheap electriciy.

We’ll explain this situation te depth but very first, you need to know a few basic technical terms from the world of Bitcoin mining:


A group of Bitcoin transactions, chosen from the mempool (the list of all presently pending transactions) and recorded by a miner into the ever-growing record of blocks known spil “the blockchain.”

A fresh block is created on average every ten minutes.

Proof of Work Hashing:

This is the cryptographic work which miners perform ter order to find the solution which permits them to define a fresh block.

PoW hashing ensures the zindelijk function of the Bitcoin blockchain. Miners rival to solve a cryptographic “puzzle,” known spil a hash.

There are no shortcuts te this process, which can only be solved with raw computational power.

By correctly hashing the current block, miners prove their investment of work and are rewarded with a certain number of newly-created bitcoins.

Block Prize:

The number of newly-created bitcoins, awarded to whichever miner creates a block.

This number wasgoed primarily set to 50, halved to 25 ter late-2012, and halved again to 12.Five te mid-2016. The next halving event expected is around mid-2020.

This halving process will proceed ter this style, halving the block prize approximately every four years / 210,000 blocks, until all 21 million bitcoins are created.

Achieving the block prize is the only valid way te which fresh bitcoins can be created, by miners according to the code’s rate and limit.


Hashrate is the measure of a miner’s computational power.

The higher their relative power, the more solutions (and hence, block prizes) a miner is likely to find.

Originally measured te hash vanaf 2nd (H/s), due to the enhancing speed of mining hardware. H/s wasgoed soon commonly pre-fixed with SI units spil goes after:

Te early 2018, Bitcoin’s collective hashrate reached almost Four Exahash. This represents a tremendous investment into mining hardware, the R&,D of such hardware, and electrical expenditure.


With hashrate shooting up overheen the years, it would seem blocks would be found by miners everzwijn more rapidly.

Bitcoin’s Difficulty measure is what prevents this from happening. It adjusts to hashrate to ensure that blocks are found harshly every Ten minutes.

Note how closely Difficulty matches Hashrate ter the Two charts above.

When total hashrate rises, the Difficulty of POW hashing adjusts upwards – and the inverse also applies.

Difficulty auto-adjusts every two weeks (or 2016 blocks).

BTC / XBT exchange rate:


Watts vanaf hashrate vanaf 2nd. Electrical play is the major on-going cost of Bitcoin mining. The price paid vanaf Watt will greatly influence profitability.

Mining Pool:

Unless you instruction a tremendous hashrate, your odds of solving a block by yourself (i.e. “solo-mining”) are enormously low.

By banding together with other miners ter a so-called pool, your combined odds of solving a block rise proportional to the pool’s total hashrate.

Whenever they solve blocks, pools prize individual miners according to their contributed hashrate (minus commissions and the like).

Calculating Mining Profitability

With thesis terms ter mind, it’s possible to calculate the current profitability (omstreeks March 2018) of Bitcoin mining for your circumstances.

The future profitability of mining cannot be reliably predicted.

This is due to the ever-changing nature of the Difficulty modifier and the BTC price, te particular.

To start, wij voorwaarde select a suitable ASIC mining equipment. To aid ter selection, the Bitcoin Wiki provides a handy mining hardware comparison :

Albeit Bitcoin Wiki doesn’t list many models spil presently shipping on from their manufacturers, all thesis mining equipments (and more) are available for resale spil fresh or used.

The AntMiner S9 is a modern mining equipment which offers a good hashrate for its power consumption.

It’s pretty much the cutting edge of mining tech so we’ll select it for our example.

The S9 is available for harshly $1800 up to $2400 from Amazon, or about $1365 from BitMain, shipping excluded. Power supply units will add another $120 or so to the price.

Next, wij need to inject the S9’s specs and cost, spil well spil other informatie such spil power cost and pool fees, into a suitable number-cruncher. offers a good mining profitability zakjapanner, which automatically fills ter the current BTC price, Difficulty and block prize informatie. Note that the Hardware Costs field does not seem to influence the final calculation.

Screenplay 1: Big Chinese Miners

Wij are using the default power cost of 5c (USD), a likely rate for a Chinese industrial area or one te which violet wand is subsidized.

To determine your own power cost, check worldwide electrical play prices or your utility bill for the precies price.

The 0% Pool Toverfee assumes a mining farm large enough to run its own pool. Smaller pools will generally opoffering lower or even no fees, but keep te mind they will seldom find blocks.

The fees and prize structures of various pools are compared te this list.

Once all the necessary informatie is entered, klapper Calculate for the profitability result:

An excellent result! At this rate, the S9 unit would pay for itself within a year spil well spil make about $600 ter profit! Spil a large miner would be able to negotiate a lower unit price on each S9, wij can assume they’ll research profit even sooner.

Screenplay Two: An American Hobby Miner

Before getting too excited about your potential mining profits, let’s recalculate them using the average residential Power cost vanaf kWh te the USA (

12.5c) and a typical pool toverfee of 1%.

It’s not looking so superb now.

At a Bitcoin price around $1150, it shows up that the average American huis miner makes only $1348 a year, assuming difficulty and price hold stable. Ter other words, the unit will pay for itself within a year.

This is a dangerous assumption! Bitcoin’s total hashrate – and thus its difficulty, has bot consistently rising since the early years, sometimes leaping by dual digit percentages within a month!

Therefore, any calculations should be regarded skeptically, spil likely best-case screenplays.

Sources of Unexpected Profit Loss:

Difficulty Spikes, Price Crashes, Equipment Failures, Power Cuts, Shipping Delays &, More!

At times, Bitcoin hashrate spikes spil a big fresh mining pool comes online. This happened ter early 2016:

It’s fairly possible that even some big, corporate miners found their profit margins under threat from the resulting steep spike te competition. Indeed, ter mid-2016, Swedish Bitcoin mining rigid KnCMiner proclaimed bankruptcy.

The huis miner indeed has no chance to challenge te such a challenging environment, unless they have access to free or utterly low-cost electricity…

Also bear ter mind that the rate of obsolescence te Bitcoin mining hardware is fairly prompt! Fresh, more efficient mining hardware may be released at any time, albeit wij are reaching the technological thresholds of improved efficiencies.

If (pre-)ordering any such equipment, be aware that potential manufacturing, shipping, customs or other delays could end up being very costly spil difficulty rises or price falls during the interim.

There are slew of other things which can wrong, for example:

Such downside risks voorwaarde always be factored into any sound business project.


The average huis miner will fight to be profitable or recoup the cost of mining hardware and electro-stimulation.

Profitability is very unlikely given the current circumstances.

The situation may improve te future once ASIC mining hardware innovation reaches the point of diminishing comebacks.

That, coupled with cheap, hopefully sustainable power solutions may once again make Bitcoin mining profitable to petite individual miners around the world.

This would also greatly improve the decentralization of the Bitcoin network, hardening it against legislative risk.

Related movie: Explaining \

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