As a miner, there are literally thousands of POW cryptocurrencies to choose from. However, not all cryptocurrencies are built the same. Therefore, as a miner it is essential to carry out a multifaceted analysis of the different factors that will likely affect your bottom line. As with most businesses, your goal as a miner is to generate a return, net of costs. In order to be able to successfully mine cryptocurrencies, there are several factors that you need to consider. These factors are likely to affect how profitable, if at all, your mining operation will be.
1. Hardware considerations
One of the key areas of competition between miners is computing power/hash power. This is because cryptocurrency mining is inherently competitive by nature. Miners compete to solve cryptographic puzzles and whoever’s successful receives the block reward. Therefore, the higher your computing power, the higher your chances of actually validating blocks and being rewarded. When it comes to choosing which crypto to mine, your mining hardware should be an essential consideration. It goes without saying, you cannot mine a cryptocurrency that is not suited for your hardware. If you are using a GPU or a personal computer, you can't compete against miners using ASICs. This is especially true when mining the likes of bitcoin and ethereum that have some of the highest computing power dedicated to mining them. It is also vital to consider the fact that most ASIC miners might only be calibrated to mine a specific cryptocurrency. So you might need to acquire several ASIC miners if you wish to mine multiple cryptocurrencies. You should conduct some online research to find out what works best for other miners with the same mining hardware as you.
In order to remain competitive as a miner, it is essential to have the latest hardware that is relatively affordable, energy efficient and with a relatively high hash power.
2. Cryptocurrency-specific factors
These are factors that are unique in every cryptocurrency and do not cut across. They therefore need to be considered on a coin by coin basis.
Block reward and market price of the coin
Block rewards are paid in bitcoin (or whatever crypto you are mining), it is therefore a no-brainer that the market price of the crypto is a key consideration for miners. Since the block reward halves approximately every four years for bitcoin, it makes sense to want bitcoin (or whatever crypto you are mining) to be worth as much as possible.
Given the current block reward of 6.25 bitcoin, a market price of $4000 would likely mean that your mining operation would be unprofitable. A market price of $65,000 as was the case in November 2021 would likely mean that you are operating at a healthy profitability. It therefore makes economic sense to mine a coin like bitcoin that has shown its ability to store value.
Difficulty is a measure of how difficult it is to solve the cryptographic puzzle required to validate transactions by a miner. For bitcoin, the difficulty is adjusted every 2016 blocks or approximately every 2 weeks. A higher difficulty implies that more hash/computing power is required to mine the crypto. This makes it less profitable to mine such a cryptocurrency, especially for individual miners.
3. Electricity Cost
Electricity costs constitute a significant chunk of most miners’ fixed operating costs. Therefore, when choosing which cryptocurrency to mine, it is vital to first of all ensure that the electricity cost is low enough to maintain profitability. As a rule of thumb, the higher the difficulty, the more computing power is needed to mine, the more likely you are to consume more electricity.
Electricity cost is measured per kilowatt hour(kWh), that is, the units of electricity (kilowatts) consumed per hour. It is widely accepted that a cost of $0.12 per kWh and below is ideal for maintaining profitability as a miner. It is also vital to note that electricity rates are not static, they do change from time to time. You should therefore keep up with all aspects of your operating costs to ensure you protect your margins.
The relatively lower cost of electricity is the main reason why revolution mining has its mining operation in North America. Countries such as Kazakhstan, Canada, USA, Russia and China (before the ban) host a majority of miners precisely due to this reason.
Finding the right mixture of the above factors is vital to establish a profitable venture. To get a rough idea of how your mix of the above factors will affect your profits, you can use a profitability calculator. Profitability calculators are online calculators that you can use to perform cost-benefit analysis of your mining operation. There are numerous online profitability calculators where you can input all the above factors and it computes for you the likely profitability. You can adjust each of the inputs to see your likely profitability under different conditions. This can be done for almost any proof of work cryptocurrency imaginable. However, the results are just estimates rather than precise predictions. They should therefore be taken with a grain of salt. Actual profits will likely vary from the estimates.
There are several crypto mining profitability calculators such as WhatToMine, CryptoCompare and NiceHash. These calculators vary in complexity, you can therefore sample as many as you need to until you find one that suits your needs.
Join a mining pool
As more miners join the bitcoin network, the difficulty rises. It therefore takes more hash/computing power to validate blocks. This makes it harder for individual miners to stay competitive due to the clear disadvantage in computing power.
To solve this challenge, a group of miners can decide to combine their computing power and mine bitcoin (or whatever pow crypto) collectively. The pool collectively validates blocks, after which, all the miners in the pool share the block reward in proportion to the computing power they contributed. A mining pool is essentially a chance for individual miners to compete against the larger, more established miners.
If one or more of the above considerations lower your chances of mining crypto profitably, you might want to consider joining a mining pool. If this is the case, we have just the solution you need here at revolution mining. Our combined hashing power massively improves the chances of validating blocks and getting a ‘piece of the action’. The utility is pretty clear.
Antony Sure Research Analyst - Revolution Mining