Hobby Bitcoin mining can still be fun and even profitable if you have cheap electricity and get the best and most efficient Bitcoin mining hardware.
It’s important to remember that Bitcoin mining is competitive. It’s not ideal for the average person to mine since China’s cheap electricity has allowed it to dominate the mining market. If you want bitcoins then you are better off buying bitcoins.
Bitcoin Mining Hardware Comparison
|Dragonmint 16T||16.0 TH/s||$2,729|
|Antminer S7||4.73 TH/s||$489.99|
|Antminer S9||14.0 TH/s||$3,000|
|Avalon 6||3.50 TH/s||$559.95|
|Antminer R4||8.6 TH/s||$1,000|
What is an ASIC Bitcoin Miner?
Since it’s now impossible to profitably mine Bitcoin with your computer, you’ll need specialized hardware called ASICs.
Here’s what an ASIC miner looks like up close:
The Dragonmint 16T miner.
Originally, Bitcoin’s creator intended for Bitcoin to be mined on CPUs (your laptop or desktop computer). However, Bitcoin miners discovered they could get more hashing power from graphic cards. Graphic cards were then surpassed by ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits).
Think of a Bitcoin ASIC as specialized Bitcoin mining computers, Bitcoin mining machines, or “bitcoin generators”. Nowadays all serious Bitcoin mining is performed on dedicated Bitcoin mining hardware ASICs, usually in thermally-regulated data-centers with access to low-cost electricity.
Don’t Get Confused
There is Bitcoin mining hardware, which mines bitcoins.
There are also Bitcoin hardware wallets like the Ledger Nano S, which securebitcoins.
The Bitcoin price and the total network hash rate are the two main factors that will affect your profitability.
Our calculator is more accurate than most others because ours assumes the 0.4527678% daily increase in network hash rate. This has been the average daily increase over the past 6 months.
Most other calculators do NOT include this metric which makes mining appear way more profitable than it actually is.
The Bitcoin Price
Bitcoin mining is a booming industry, but the Bitcoin price increasing can help make up some of these losses.
The Bitcoin price is increasing at an average of 0.3403% per day over the past year. Try messing with the calculator using different prices.
Know your Competition
It may seem easy to just spin up a miner.
But you NEED to take a look at just how serious mining is.
The video below offers an inside look at one of China’s largest mines.
How to Find the Best Bitcoin Miner
There are some important factors to look at when determining which Bitcoin mining ASIC to buy:
Hash rate – How many hashes per second can the Bitcoin miner make? More hashes cost more, which is why efficiency is crucial.
Efficiency – You’ll want to buy the most efficient bitcoin mining hardware possible. Right now, this is the Halong Mining Dragonmint T1. Since miners use a large amount of electricity, you want to buy one that converts the most amount of electricity into bitcoins.
Price – How much does the bitcoin miner cost? Cheap mining hardware will mine less bitcoins, which is why efficiency and electricity usage are important. The fastest and more efficient mining hardware is going to cost more.
Don’t try to buy a miner based on only price or only hash rate. The best ASIC miner is the most efficient bitcoin miner. Aim for value.
Bitcoin Miners for Sale on eBay or Amazon
If you’re a hobby miner who wants to buy a couple rigs for your house, eBay and Amazon both have some decent deals on mining hardware.
Used Bitcoin Mining Hardware for Sale
Both new and used bitcoin mining rigs and ASICs are available on eBay. One may want to buy used ASIC mining hardware on eBay because you can get better prices.
eBay’s customer protection ensures you’ll get a working product. Other bundled equipment may be included with your purchase depending on the seller.
You can use a bitcoin mining profitability calculator to determine your estimated cost of return on your mining hardware.
Be sure to take electricity costs into account. Most mining hardware appears profitable until electricity costs are accounted for.
Most Efficient Bitcoin Miners
Good Bitcoin mining hardware needs to have a high hash rate. But, efficiency is just as important.
An efficient Bitcoin miner means that you pay less in electricity costs per hash.
To improve your efficiency, there are also companies that will let you order hardware to their warehouse and run the miners for you.
You could also cloud mine bitcoins. But both options are a lot less fun than running your hardware!
Bitcoin Mining Hardware Companies
Halong Mining – Halong Mining is the newest mining hardware company. They have the best miner available. Unfortunately, they already sold out of their first batch but a new batch should be available for sale soon.
Bitmain – Bitmain makes the Antminer line of Bitcoin miners. Bitmain is based in China and also operates a mining pool.
BitFury – BitFury is one of the largest producers of Bitcoin mining hardware and chips. Its hardware is not available for purchase
Bitcoin Mining Equipment
In addition to a Bitcoin mining ASIC, you’ll need some other Bitcoin mining equipment:
Power Supply – Bitcoin rigs need special power supplies to funnel and use electricity efficiently.
Cooling Fans – Bitcoin hardware can easily overheat and stop working. Buy a sufficient amount of cooling fans to keep your hardware working.
Bitcoin Mining Without Hardware?
It’s still technically possible to mine bitcoins without dedicated mining hardware.
However, you’ll earn less than one penny per month. Mining bitcoins on your computer will do more damage to your computer and won’t earn a profit.
So, it’s not worth it unless you’re just interested to see how the mining process works. You’re best bet is to buy dedicated hardware like the Antminer S7 or Antminer S9.
USB Bitcoin Miners
Using a Bitcoin USB miner with your computer was once a profitable way to mine bitcoins. Today, however, USB miners don’t generate enough hashing power to mine profitably. If you just want to get a Bitcoin miner USB to learn, eBay is a good place to buy a cheap Bitcoin miner.
The world of crypto was in disbelief when Halong Mining, a new ASIC startup, announced their brand new Dragonmint T16. Halong claimed it to be the most powerful – and efficient – Bitcoin mining ASIC on the market. If they delivered on their promise, Bitmain’s reign as king of ASIC developers would come to an abrupt end.
Unsurprisingly, many prominent members of the Bitcoin community were in disbelief, as cryptocurrency in general has been plagued by fake startups and ICO scams.
In an effort to build trust with their potential buyers, Halong Mining released videos of their ASICs running as advertised. Moreover, they claimed that $30 million dollars was invested in research, development, and prototypes.
Their first batch of Dragonmint T16’s was set for shipment in March of 2018. As the deadline crept up, the world patiently waited for the much anticipated release.
If Halong Mining really did produce the most efficient SHA-256 miner to date, the startup would prove their skeptics wrong and dethrone Bitmain, a company only concerned with their monopoly on the market.
After prominent members of the Bitcoin community doubted Halong’s legitimacy, including Cøbra, the company proved them wrong. Miners shipped as described, and Halong delivered – quite literally – on their promises.
Slush, the creator of Slush Mining Pool and the TREZOR hardware wallet, claimed on Twitter the miners are legitimate. Halong Mining has earned their keep, finally viewed as a reputable company after months of speculation and debate.
Over 100 individuals took part in the development of the chip, including BtcDrak, one of the leading pseudonymous Bitcoin core developers. According to Bitcoin Magazine, BtcDrak remarked:
The project is motivated by, and driven to help facilitate greater decentralisation in Bitcoin mining at all levels, and make SHA-256 great again.
Dragonmint T16 vs. Antminer S9
The Dragonmint T16 was Halong Mining’s first ASIC to hit the market. Boasting 16 TH/s, it is the most powerful ASIC miner. Additionally, the T16 is remarkably power efficient, consuming a mere 0.075J/GH. Moreover, the Dragonmint T16 utilizes ASICBOOST, an exploit of Bitcoin’s algorithm which improves efficiency by 20%.
Compared to Bitmain’s Antminer S9, which consumes 0.098J/GH, the Dragonmint T16 is not only more powerful, but more efficient as well. The difference in power consumption seems small. However, when mining on a large scale, every bit of saved electricity counts.
What do you get when you combine power and efficiency? An incredibly profitable ASIC! The T16 is 30% more efficient than its competition.
Take a look at the projected mining profitability of a single Dragonmint:
Note that is appears profitable even with high electricity costs ($0.12 per KW/h). With $0.03 / KW/h it’s even more profitable:
The T16’s new DM8575 chip design is largely responsible for the ASIC’s notable improvements over Bitmain’s S9.
Although the Antminer S9 still yields a decent mining profit, it is no match for Halong Mining’s newest chip, the Dragonmint T16. Hashrate and power consumption are the primary factors in mining profitability, next to electricity cost – Halong Mining’s Dragonmint T16 is clearly superior to Bitmain’s best ASIC miner.
ASICs’ Impact on Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin is based on blockchain technology, a decentralized platform which takes power away from a central authority and gives it to the average person. Sensitive information is stored on the blockchain rather than large data centers, and is cryptographically secured. A vast amount of people, known as miners, all work together to validate the network, instead of just one person or government.
In the beginning, CPUs were used to solve cryptographic hash functions, until miners discovered that GPUs were far better equipped for mining. As block difficulty increased, miners turned primarily to GPUs.
Eventually, technology was developed solely for mining, known as ASICs, or Application Specific Integrated Circuits. Their hashrates are significantly higher than anything GPUs are capable of.
With stellar performance comes a high price tag – the best ASIC chips will run you a few thousand dollars each. Upon creation, Bitcoin blocks were confirmed by the average person using their desktop – once ASICs hit the market, things changed.
ASICs rendered GPUs useless. ASIC developers, including Bitmain, granted early access to large mining cartels rather than the average person. Nowadays, a large majority of Bitcoin mining takes place in China where electricity is cheap.
Thousands of ASICs all mine simultaneously in a mining farm (large warehouse). Evidently, most people can’t afford just one or two of ASICs, not to mention thousands of them.
When ASICs hit the market, the blockchain’s validation process became more centralized than decentralized, as the majority of validation is done by a single mining company, rather than being spread out amongst many miners. Unfortunately, Bitcoin is no longer as decentralized as it was once intended to be.
Spondoolies unfortunately shut down on May 4th 2016. In late 2014, they released the SP20. We are keeping the info here for historical purposes.
Spondoolies crammed a total of eight 28nm RockerBox ASIC mining chips onto 2 circuit boards within a compact form factor.
The SP20 is a neat miner, powerful for its low price with a size and noise level suitable for home miners.
The major drawback is its relative inefficiency. The SP20 draws a lot of power for its hashrate, which is low by modern standards.
Any ATX PSU of sufficient wattage (1200W+) will run the SP20 without problems.
In keeping with the SP20’s flexible design, you may also use dual lower wattage (750W+) PSUs to replace a single powerful PSU.
Bitcoins / Month (Profitability)
Unless you have free electricity, it’s highly unlikely the SP20 will ever pay for itself, never mind make a profit.
If we enter the SP20’s stats and some average costs into our mining profitability calculator :
the results are fairly poor:
Far less than a single BTC will be mined in a year, making the SP20 a waste of electricity.
The SP20 costs in the region of $110 from eBay.
The SP20 has a solid, rectangular metal housing which is easy to stack or store.
The SP20’s 120mm fan is quieter than the models in either the SP10 or SP30 models. Although it get noisier the faster and hotter the SP20 runs, it’s quiet enough to run in a home.
Spondoolies’ user interface provides all the configuration settings and monitoring information you’re likely to need.
The SP20 simplicity itself to setup. The GUI displays temperatures and hashrate for each individual chip, plus other vital info.
You can even use it to adjust voltages (within reason) on the board, to find that sweet spot between hashrate, power and heat.
The SP20 connects via Ethernet only.
This unit should be operated in environments below 35^C / 95^F. Due to its high power consumption, it generates a lot of heat.
At high processing speeds, the heat will cause the fan to become much louder.
The Spondoolies SP20 was a great mining device in its day. With the Bitcoin network’s current Difficulty, it no longer makes economic sense to run an SP20 given its low efficiency.
The AntMiner S5 is far more power-efficient and costs around the same.While more expensive, the Antminer S7 and Antminer S9 (or even the R4) both offer much more efficiency.
Unless there’s some specific hardware mod you’d like to perform with the SP20, it’s not a great purchase except as a piece of mining memorabilia (like USB miners).