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Cryptocurrency Knowledgebase – Mining

How Does Cryptocurrency Mining Work?

Chapter 4.1

Cryptocurrency mining is the process of securing cryptocurrency networks by solving cryptographic problems.

In layman’s terms, cryptocurrency mining involves using your computer’s processing power to decipher a math problem. By solving these mathematical problems, cryptocurrency “miners” create cryptographic proofs. Miners compete to provide the first cryptographic proof to a specific problem. Then, the first person to provide cryptographic proof will receive a reward.

Confused? That’s okay. To put things in even more basic terms, crypto mining involves dedicating your computer’s resources to solving really hard math problems. The first computer to solve that problem will get a reward in the form of bitcoin.

Mining Increases in Difficulty Over Time

In the early days of cryptocurrency mining, the math problems were relatively easy to solve. They still took an enormous amount of computing power to solve – but anyone with a high-powered gaming PC could compete for block rewards. You didn’t need to have a specialized mining rig.

Today, bitcoin mining is significantly harder. The difficulty of the bitcoin network has increased over time. That means the math problems are harder to solve than ever before. Today, bitcoin mining is virtually impossible for a single user with a gaming PC. Instead, most individual users will join a mining pool with dozens or hundreds of other users, then agree to split the reward.

Difficulty increases in the bitcoin network are deliberate. The difficulty increases approximately every two weeks. That means every two weeks, it gets even harder to mine bitcoin. That may seem silly – but the reason is simple: computing power has steadily increased over time (remember Moore’s Law?). The bitcoin network raises its difficulty to keep pace with the growing processing power.

Mining Hardware Has Changed Over Time

The equipment we use to mine has also changed over the years. In the early days, miners used gaming PCs and high-powered PCs to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Today, we have specialized “miners” – like the popular Antminer S9.

These miners are special chips devoted specifically to mining cryptocurrencies. They’re hundreds of times more efficient than an average gaming PC because they’re devoted exclusively to that task.

Today’s mining often takes place in enormous warehouses in countries like China, which has cheap electricity and easy access to mining hardware.

Someone – like a corporation – will purchase dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of bitcoin miners, then dedicate the entire space to cryptocurrency mining. Today, approximately 80% of bitcoin mining capacity comes from China. The Czech Republic (10%), Iceland (2%), Japan (2%), Georgia (2%), and Russia (1%) are the other major sources of bitcoin mining operations.

Is Centralized Mining Good for Bitcoin?

When you look for information about mining pools online, you’ll find the same names popping up frequently, including, Antpool, ViaBTC, Slush, and F2pool. All of these, with the exception of Slush, are Chinese-based bitcoin mining pools. They’re the top 5 biggest mining pools in the bitcoin network. They control a huge proportion of bitcoin mining capacity.

The bitcoin community struggles with the idea of centralized mining.

If you read the original bitcoin whitepaper written by Satoshi Nakamoto, you’ll learn that the bitcoin network was designed so one node = one vote. The vision, in the eyes of Satoshi, was to create a network of computers worldwide that contribute to the bitcoin network for rewards, then participate in a democratic voting system.

Today, the bitcoin network still works on a one node = one vote system. However, centralized corporations like Bitmain (which runs Antpool and mines 25% of all bitcoin blocks) control thousands of nodes. This concentrates power in the hands of a few privately-run corporations.

Projects like Ethereum have countered this problem (somewhat) by introducing ASIC-resistant features. It remains to be seen how centralized bitcoin mining capacity will become.

How Does Bitcoin Mining Work?

Approximately every ten minutes, mining computers – or miners – collect a few hundred pending bitcoin transactions together. This collection of transactions is called a block.

Your mining software turns this block into a mathematical puzzle.

The first miner to solve this mathematical puzzle will announce the solution to other miners on the bitcoin network. At this point, the other miners will check the solution and then plug it into the puzzle to verify that the solution is correct. These puzzles are designed to be incredibly difficult to solve – but very easy to verify.

If the majority of blocks on the network grant their approval and verify the solution, then the block of transactions is cryptographically added to the ledger. The miners then move onto the next set of transactions.

The miner who processed the block – the miner who found the solution – will receive 12.5 BTC as a block reward.

What is Hashrate? Why Do We Use Hashrate to Measure Mining Capacity?

Some people describe bitcoin mining like it’s a computer solving a really complicated math problem.

That’s sort of true. Up to this point, we’ve told you that bitcoin miners are solving complex math problems to compete for rewards.

However, there isn’t really a math problem involved in bitcoin mining. There’s no math or computation involved in the process. Instead, miners are trying to be the first to create the correct 64-digit hexadecimal number. This is called a “hash”. Essentially, it’s guesswork.

Basically, the goal of bitcoin mining is to come up with a 64 digit hexadecimal number. That number will look like this:


When you compare different mining hardware, you’ll probably notice people talking about “hashrate”.

Hashrate is simply a measure of a bitcoin miner’s power. The higher the hashrate is, the more mining power a bitcoin rig has, the better it will be at mining bitcoins.

Hashrate is measured in terms of megahashes per second (MH/s), gigahashes per second (GH/s), and terahashes per second (TH/s).

Each of these numbers refers to the number of hashes your computer can input each second. The more numbers the bitcoin miner is inputting, the more likely you are to earn a block reward. The miner that enters more numbers more quickly than other machines is more likely to earn a block reward.

Why Do We Need Bitcoin Mining? What’s the Point of Bitcoin Mining?

Bitcoin mining secures the network. The bitcoin network – and most other cryptocurrency networks – is secured with cryptography. Cryptography is basically just a really complicated math problem. It takes an enormous amount of computing resources to solve that math problem. A computer needs to try millions of numbers each second before finally arriving at the correct solution. The miner that solves the problem first will receive a bitcoin block reward.

Once a miner discovers the cryptographic hash, and that hash is verified by other nodes, that hash is used to secure the block of transactions being added to the blockchain. The hash is added to the block, and the block is added to the blockchain.

Why do miners do this? Why would someone contribute their PC’s valuable resources and electricity towards mining bitcoin? They do so because of the block reward.

Today, the bitcoin block reward is 12.5 BTC per block. That means the miner that solves the block will receive 12.5 BTC delivered directly to their bitcoin wallet. The block reward has gradually decreased over time. When bitcoin first launched, the block reward was set at 50 BTC. The reward gets cut in half approximately every four years.

By 2020, the number of bitcoins rewarded to miners for each block will drop to 6.25 bitcoins, before dropping to 3.125 bitcoins in 2024.

These bitcoins aren’t sent from one bitcoin user to another.

Instead, these bitcoins are released from the bitcoin network itself. Picture the bitcoin network like an ordinary coal mine. You’ve already extracted, say, 17 tons of coal from the coal mine – but you know there’s still 4 tons of coal remaining inside that mine. You continue mining until all the coal has been extracted.

The bitcoin network works in a similar way. There’s a total supply of 21 million bitcoins. As of 2018, approximately 17 million bitcoins have been mined. That means there are just 4 million bitcoins remaining.

Miners earn more than just the block reward. Bitcoin miners also receive the sum of all transaction fees within the block of transactions. So your reward includes the 12.5 BTC block reward in addition to the small transaction fees of every transaction within your block.

What Happens When All the Bitcoins Are Mined?

What happens when all of the bitcoins are mined?

Well, everyone reading this will be dead by then. The bitcoin blockchain will likely mine the last bitcoin over 120 years from now – all the way in 2140.

Yes, 80% of the world’s bitcoins have already been mined and just 20% of the total supply of bitcoins remain to be mined. However, since the block rewards continue to decrease over time, the emission of blockchains continually decreases. Based on current trends, the last bitcoin will be mined in 2140.

The bitcoin network won’t suddenly crash when the last bitcoin is mined. At this point, the network will still require miners to process transactions. The only difference is that miners will not receive a block reward for mining. Instead, they’ll exclusively receive transaction fees. Transaction fees would likely rise to cover the costs of mining.

Today, miners who successfully mine a block will receive two rewards bundled together, including the block reward (12.5 BTC) and every transaction fee within the block. Once the last bitcoin is mined, miners will only receive the transaction fees.

  • We understand bitcoin mining is a bit confusing, so here’s a summary of everything we learned above:
  • Bitcoin mining used to be a profitable way for hobbyists – like gamers with high-end graphics card – to make money from their machines
  • Today, bitcoin mining is dominated by industry giants like Bitmain that control thousands of specialized “miners”
  • Bitcoin “miners” include rigs like the Antminer S9, a high-end computer built specifically to mine cryptocurrencies
  • By running these bitcoin miners next to a cheap, renewable source of electricity, you can still generate enormous profits through bitcoin mining
  • In the early days of bitcoin, miners received 50 BTC every time they processed a block (which occurred every 10 minutes)
  • The block reward drops every 4 years; since the bitcoin network launched in 2013, the block reward has dropped to 25 BTC every 10 minutes and then to 12.5 BTC every 10 minutes
  • There’s a total of only 21 million bitcoins that can ever be created
  • 80% of the world’s bitcoins (17 million bitcoins) have already been mined
  • The last bitcoin will be mined in the year 2140

That’s a basic overview of how bitcoin mining works and why we need it. Next, we’ll look at how someone like you can mine bitcoins.

How to Mine Ethereum?

Chapter 4.3

In the previous chapter, we explained how bitcoin mining works. We explained that bitcoin miners buy ultra-powerful, specialized computers. They run bitcoin mining software on their computers, leave their computers running, then generate a small amount of bitcoin every few days.

In this chapter, we’re explaining everything you need to know about Ethereum mining, including how Ethereum mining works, how it’s different from bitcoin mining, and how you can start mining Ethereum today using any ordinary PC.

How Does Ethereum Mining Work?

Ethereum, like bitcoin, uses the proof of work (PoW) consensus mechanism. At the most basic level, this means Ethereum, like bitcoin, requires significant computer processing power to verify transactions. That means the Ethereum mining process is very similar to bitcoin mining: people run Ethereum mining software on their computers, and that software uses the computer’s processing power to verify transactions while cryptographically securing the Ethereum network.

Ethereum miners, like bitcoin miners, use their computer’s GPUs to mine the blockchain. However, as you’ll learn below, there are several major differences between the two mineable cryptocurrencies.

What’s the Difference Between Ethereum and Bitcoin Mining?

The first and most obvious difference between mining Ethereum and mining bitcoin is the reward. Instead of earning bitcoin as a reward, Ethereum miners earn Ether, or ETH. Ether is the digital token fueling the Ethereum network. It’s also important to note that the total supply of ETH is indefinite. Unlike bitcoin, there’s no cap of 21 million tokens. ETH will be emitted every year as long as miners continue to mine ETH.

Another difference is the fact that you can use dedicated mining hardware to mine bitcoins – but you can’t use dedicated mining hardware to mine Ether. That’s because Ethereum is built with an “ASIC Resistant Framework”. This prevents users from using Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) to dominate the Ethereum mining space. Ethereum did this on purpose to ensure no miners had an unfair advantage. We’ve seen bitcoin mining power concentrated in the hands of a few people with bitcoin. Ethereum wanted to avoid that problem.

Of course, someone with a higher-end GPU or multi-GPU configuration is inevitably going to mine more ETH than someone using a laptop or low-end rig. As mentioned above, the vast majority of Ethereum mining, like original bitcoin mining, is performed using GPUs.

Another major difference is the fact that Ethereum mining continues to be accessible for hobby miners. If you have a high-end gaming PC, then you should be able to generate a small profit with Ethereum mining. Bitcoin mining via your GPU is virtually impossible today. With Ethereum, it’s still accessible.

What You Need to Mine Ethereum

If you want to start mining Ethereum, then you’ll need the same basic supplies as you would when mining bitcoin, including all of the following:

  • Ethereum mining hardware (i.e. a PC with a strong graphics card or GPU)
  • Ethereum mining software
  • An Ethereum wallet
  • An Ethereum mining pool

All of these things can easily be found or purchased.

Ethereum Mining Hardware

Ethereum mining hardware isn’t like bitcoin mining hardware. You don’t need to purchase special ASICs like the Antminer S9. Instead, you can simply buy a high-powered PC with a strong GPU.

Ideally, your GPU has at least 3GB of RAM. When it comes to GPUs, you have two basic options: Nvidia or AMD. AMD tends to be the preferred choice for Ethereum miners.

Beyond the AMD versus Nvidia debate, you can compare GPUs based on performance (their hashrate), power consumption, and price.

We’ll explain more in our Ethereum mining hardware chapter.

Ethereum Mining Software

Ethereum mining software is the connection between the hardware and the user. The software performs the actual mining process using your hardware. You can also use the software to get valuable statistics on your mining operation – like your GPU temperature.

Just like with bitcoin mining software, there are plenty of Ethereum mining software options available. You can download Ethereum mining software for Windows or Linux.

There’s nothing stopping you from downloading Ethereum mining software on your Mac. However, you’ll find that Ethereum mining is very inefficient even on high-end Macs. That’s why you’ll rarely see anyone mining Ethereum outside of Linux and Microsoft setups.

An Ethereum Wallet

You’ll need to setup an Ethereum wallet to begin mining Ethereum. We explained more details about Ethereum wallets in our previous chapter. However, suffice to say that there are plenty of different Ethereum wallets from which to choose, including MyEtherWallet, Mist, and others.

Your wallet allows you to store your Ether – including any Ether you’ve mined.

Ethereum Mining Pools

Like bitcoin, Ethereum has become virtually impossible for individual miners to mine. That’s why most Ethereum miners join a mining pool.

Like other pools, an Ethereum pool will distribute mining profits based on your contribution to the pool. The more processing power (hashrate) you contribute to the pool, the greater your reward will be.

A quick Google Search for Ethereum mining pools will reveal hundreds of options. Enter your pool details into your Ethereum mining software, then start mining Ethereum.

That’s it! Once you’ve got these four components, you can begin mining Ethereum.

How to Mine Monero?

Chapter 4.4

Monero is one of the world’s largest and best-known altcoins. Today, many people – including hobby miners and big mining farms – mine Monero to generate a consistent profit.

Do you want to mine Monero (XMR)? Whether you’ve got a high-powered PC at home or an entire server farm, we’re going to explain everything you need to know about mining Monero.

How Does Monero Mining Work?

Monero is a popular privacy-focused cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency is famous for its anonymity. Unlike bitcoin, you can’t track Monero coins during transactions. However, Monero still allows the two trading parties to easily verify details of the trade. Over the years, many dark web services have migrated to using Monero. Of course, Monero can also be used by any privacy-focused individuals for legitimate, legal purposes.

Monero, like bitcoin and Ethereum, is built on a cryptographically-secured PoW blockchain. That means you can mine Monero using your computer’s resources to compete for a block reward and transaction fees.

Monero, like Ethereum, has special ASIC-resistant features built into it. This was done on purpose to ensure someone with a bunch of ASICs couldn’t grab control of the network – similar to what we’ve seen with bitcoin’s network and the concentration of mining power.

The fact that Monero is ASIC-resistant is great news for anyone with a high-powered GPU – or multiple high-powered GPUs. Anyone with a CPU or GPU can mine Monero.

What You Need to Mine Monero?

If you want to mine Monero, then you need the same four basic things you need with any crypto mining operation, including:

  • Monero mining hardware
  • Monero mining software
  • A Monero mining pool
  • A Monero wallet address

Once you have these four things, you can begin mining Monero – and hopefully start generating positive ROI.

Monero Mining Hardware

Monero doesn’t require any special hardware. It’s not like bitcoin mining, which pretty much exclusively takes place on ASICs. Instead, anyone with a CPU or GPU can mine Monero.

Just like Ethereum mining, Monero mining works best with AMD cards. However, anyone with one or more high-powered GPUs should be able to successfully mine Monero. Certain software also works best with Nvidia cards – so whether you’re using AMD or Nvidia, you should have no trouble mining Monero.

Monero Mining Software

There are a variety of different Monero mining software programs available today. The most popular software programs include:

  • XMR Stak
  • Wolf’s Miner
  • CC Miner
  • Monero Spelunker

XMR Stak and Wolf’s Miner are ideal for those with AMD cards. However, you’ll pay a 2% fee to the developers when using XMR Stak (unless you’re compiling it yourself). Meanwhile, Nvidia card users can use XMR STak (they’ll pay the same 2% fee) or CC Miner.

Finally, those mining via a CPU can use Monero Spelunker, XMR Stak, or Wolf’s Miner.

Most of the software above is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. You download the software for free online, unzip to your desired location, then run the executable file inside to fire up your Monero mining software. Your antivirus software will likely trigger an alert when you download the Monero miner – so make sure you’re downloading the mining software from the correct source.

Join a Mining Pool

Most Monero miners will join a mining pool. You enter the details of the mining pool into your mining software, then receive the pool address. For most people mining Monero with high-powered gaming PCs, joining a mining pool is your best option. You pay a small fee, but you’ll typically come out ahead in the long run because you have a higher chance of earning block rewards.

There are several major Monero mining pools available to be joined today, including:

  • MineXMR
  • Moneropool
  • Nanopool
  • Dwarfpool

Check these Monero mining pools and others to find one that meets your needs. These pools have different fees, payout restrictions, and locations. MineXMR, for example, only has servers available in France, Germany, and Canada, while Nanopool has multiple US-based servers.

A Monero Wallet

You’ll need a Monero wallet to store your mining profits. Once you’ve setup a Monero wallet, you enter the public address of that wallet into your mining software or pool.

The most popular Monero wallet is the MyMonero web wallet. The official Monero GUI wallet is also easy to use. You can view the official Monero wallets for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux here:

Alternatively, more advanced users will want to use the command line interface (CLI) wallet for Monero or a cold storage solution for maximum security.

Once you’ve setup all of these things, you’re officially ready to begin mining Monero!

How to Mine Litecoin?

Chapter 4.5

Litecoin was one of the first major altcoins to challenge the dominance of bitcoin. Unlike Dogecoin, Litecoin was built as a serious competitor to bitcoin when it launched in 2011.

Litecoin was actually built on the original bitcoin code. The developers expanded, improved, and modified that code to create a new cryptocurrency. Some of the key improvements with Litecoin included a faster block time: Litecoin reduced transaction time (block time) from 10 minutes to 2.5 minutes. They also quadrupled the total supply of coins.

Today, hobby miners and large bitcoin mining corporations continue to mine Litecoin using popular ASIC rigs like the Antminer L3+. Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about Litecoin mining.

How Does Litecoin Mining Work?

Litecoin is a decentralized, peer-to-peer, blockchain-based, cryptographically-secured currency. Litecoin was designed with the goal of facilitating payments between individuals. Overall, Litecoin is very similar to bitcoin. The name is a reference to the fact that Litecoin is a “lighter weight” and “faster” version of bitcoin.

Just like bitcoin, there’s no central organization that verifies Litecoin transactions. Instead, the Litecoin network is secured by a group of nodes called miners.

Another important difference between Litecoin and bitcoin is the total supply. Just like there’s a fixed supply of 21 million bitcoins, there’s a fixed supply of 84 million Litecoins.

One final major difference is the algorithm. Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 algorithm, while Litecoin uses Scrypt for proof of work (PoW) hashing. Both blockchains are based on PoW algorithms, but the algorithms work in different ways.

Ultimately, Litecoin has been around since 2011, making it one of the oldest altcoins available today. It was originally called blockchain 2.0 due to its improvements over bitcoin’s code. However, many people have begun using blockchain 2.0 to refer to Ethereum – although Litecoin mining continues to be popular.

What Do You Need to Start Mining Litecoins?

If you want to start mining Litecoins, then you’ll need the same basic ingredients as any other bitcoin mining operation, including:

  • Litecoin mining hardware
  • Litecoin mining software
  • A Litecoin mining pool
  • A Litecoin wallet

Litecoin Mining Hardware

Litecoin mining hardware has evolved like bitcoin mining hardware. Originally, you could mine Litecoin with either a GPU or CPU. Over time, the power of GPUs made them the preferred choice for Litecoin mining. Today, virtually all Litecoin mining is performed by dedicated ASIC devices.

Bitcoin and Litecoin are built on the same basic code. However, they use different PoW algorithms. You shouldn’t use bitcoin ASICs to mine Litecoin. If you have a bitcoin ASIC, it will likely be more profitable to mine bitcoin, although your mileage may vary.

There’s only one major ASIC available for Litecoin mining, and that’s the Antminer L3+. The L3+ hit the market in 2017. It provides 504 MH/s of hashing power. At launch, the Antminer L3+ was generating returns as high as 0.5 LTC per day for some miners.

Alternatively, if you can’t find an L3+, or if you want a dual-purpose miner, then you may want to buy the Antminer S9, which can be used to mine bitcoins or Litecoins. In general, however, Litecoin mining is performed exclusively with the Antminer L3+.

The L3+ can be used to mine other Scrypt coins as well – so if you’re not making as much profit mining Litecoins, then you can switch to other Scrypt-based cryptocurrencies. Other popular cryptocurrencies based on Scrypt include Verge (XVG), Gulden (NLG), and Dogecoin (DOGE).

Litecoin Mining Software

Litecoin mining software isn’t as widespread as other cryptocurrency mining software. However, you can find several popular programs dedicated specifically to mining Litecoin.

The most popular Litecoin mining software is CGMiner, although GUIMiner is another popular option. Other major names in the Litecoin mining software community include SGMiner, CPUMiner, CudaMiner, BFGMiner, and MultiMiner.

Most Litecoin mining software is available for Windows and Linux. All of the above software is available as a free download online. Certain software is designed specifically for CPU and GPU mining, while other software can do both.

Litecoin Mining Pools

The best way to make a positive ROI with Litecoin mining is to join a Litecoin mining pool. Litecoin mining pools vary in terms of credibility, reward payments, pool fees, and geographic location.

The most popular Litecoin mining pools include,, GiveMeCoins, OzCoin, LitecoinRain, CoinRelay, and WeMineLTC, among others. Make sure you compare Litecoin mining pools carefully before you sign up. Some pools charge fees of 0%, while others charge fees of 2%.

Litecoin Mining Wallet

You’ll need a Litecoin mining wallet to store your Litecoin mining proceeds. There are a number of popular Litecoin wallets available for users, including desktop software, mobile apps, and cold storage solutions.

You can store your Litecoin in a hardware wallet like the Trezor or Ledger Nano S.

Alternatively, software wallets like Jaxx, Exodus, and LitecoinWallet have always been popular.

Once you have your Litecoin wallet, just input that wallet address into your LTC mining pool or LTC mining software. Then, you’ll receive your block rewards directly into your Litecoin wallet.

That’s it! Once you have Litecoin mining hardware, software, a pool, and a wallet address, you can begin mining Litecoin. Litecoin mining remains profitable and popular for those with the Antminer L3+ and other miners.

How to Mine Siacoin?

Chapter 4.6

SiaCoin is the cryptocurrency that powers Sia, a decentralized cloud storage-style system. Today, SiaCoin is a popular cryptocurrency to mine. Its difficulty is low compared to larger cryptocurrencies. Sia is also one of the most promising cryptocurrency projects in the space – which means many investors expect the value of SiaCoin to continue rising.

No matter why you want to mine SiaCoin, we’re here to explain everything you need to know about the popular storage system and its cryptocurrency.

How Does SiaCoin Mining Work?

SiaCoin exists because of Sia, a blockchain-based, decentralized storage network. Sia works in a similar way to cloud storage service providers. However, instead of storing data in centralized servers, Sia chops up the data and spreads it across its decentralized, blockchain-based network.

People who store data on the SiaCoin network receive SiaCoins as a reward. Meanwhile, anyone can pay money – in SiaCoins – to store data on the network.

Why would you use SiaCoin instead of a traditional cloud storage service provider? The two main advantages are uptime and price.

Sia is cheaper than virtually any other storage option available today. You can get 1TB of storage space for approximately $2 per month. Similar storage space from Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and other major cloud storage providers is priced at $10 to $25 per month.

Sia also offers better security and uptime. Since your data is stored across a decentralized network, your data is always accessible. Centralized cloud storage services can periodically go offline, causing chaos across the network. The only way your data on Sia becomes inaccessible, meanwhile, is if there’s a global or regionwide internet outage.

Privacy, price, uptime, and security are all good reasons to use Sia as your storage provider. However, why does SiaCoin need to be mined? How does mining work on Sia?

Sia’s network is based on the Sia blockchain. Anyone who rents storage space in Sia will pay with SiaCoins. You can get SiaCoins from the open market – buying them at market prices from cryptocurrency exchanges – or mine SiaCoins from the Sia blockchain.

Sia launched its own currency to ensure the network isn’t dependent on any other digital currency or blockchain. The developers have avoided bitcoin and Ethereum due to fears of network congestion. By launching their own SiaCoin currency, they maintain full control over their network.

SiaCoin is primarily mined with GPUs. Anyone with a high-end graphics card can mine SiaCoin.

You don’t need to be interested in the Sia platform to mine SiaCoins. Many miners simply mine SiaCoin because it’s a simple way to diversify your crypto investments. They have no interest in using the Sia platform, and they can sell the coins on cryptocurrency markets at any time. Of course, other miners mine SiaCoins specifically because they want to use the Sia platform. It’s up to you to decide how you want to spend your mined SiaCoins.

What You Need to Mine SiaCoins

Mining SiaCoins requires the same four basic components as other cryptocurrencies, including:

  • SiaCoin mining hardware
  • SiaCoin mining software
  • A SiaCoin wallet
  • A SiaCoin mining pool

SiaCoin Mining Hardware

SiaCoin mining hardware typically consists of high-end graphics card. However, in late 2017, an ASIC device was developed for SiaCoins, so future SiaCoin mining may be dominated by ASIC. The SiaCoin ASIC chip can mine the equivalent power of 100 GPUs – so the difference is significant.

That ASIC was created by Obelisk. It’s called the SC1. The Obelisk SC1 mines at a hashrate of 300 GH/s and runs on the Blake2b algorithm while consuming a maximum of 500W of electricity. One of the unique advantages of the SC1 ASIC miner is that you don’t need external cooling. Instead, the ASIC operates perfectly fine at room temperatures.

If you’re serious about mining SiaCoins, and you believe the currency and platform has a future, then the SC1 may be a worthwhile investment. It’s priced at around $2500.

Nevertheless, you can still mine SiaCoin using ordinary GPUs. The Nvidia GTX 1080 series is particularly popular for SiaCoin mining.

SiaCoin Mining Software

SiaCoin mining software comes in two broad forms. If you’re using an Nvidia GPU, then you’ll need to install CUDA. If you’re using an AMD GPU, then you need to install OpenCL. Both of these are full-featured SiaCoin mining software programs that will run on your GPUs.

Marlin is another popular option for SiaCoin mining software.

SiaCoin Mining Pool

Joining a SiaCoin mining pool is typically the best way to maximize mining profits. As with other pools, SiaCoin mining pools consist of a group of users who collectively contribute processing power to increase the chances of earning block rewards.

There are a number of popular SiaCoin mining pools. However, the two most popular mining pools tend to be Nanopool and Siamining.

Make sure you understand the terms of each mining pool before you join. SiaCoin mining pools have different terms, conditions, withdrawal limits, and other requirements.

SiaCoin Wallet

Once you have all three of the items listed above, it’s time to get your SiaCoin wallet.

There aren’t as many wallet options as you have with Ethereum, bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies.

Typically, SiaCoin users hold their coins in an exchange or in the Sia-UI wallet. Exchanges like Bittrex let you receive SiaCoins at your address, which means you can input your public address into the mining software or pool to get your block rewards delivered to your wallet.

Alternatively, you can download the Sia-UI Wallet, which was created by the main Sia developers. It’s the only Windows wallet available for Sia.

Now that you have your SiaCoin mining software, hardware , a wallet, and a pool, you can begin mining SiaCoin! Whether you’re using GPUs or the SiaCoin ASIC (SC1), you may be able to earn consistent profits by mining SiaCoin. At the very least, it’s an easy way to diversify your investment and mining activities across multiple cryptocurrencies.

How to Mine ZCash?

Chapter 4.7

Zcash is one of the world’s most popular cryptocurrencies to mine. Listed under the acronym ZEC, Zcash was originally based on the same code as bitcoin, but with added anonymity features. Today, Zcash has a similar reputation to Monero: it’s a privacy-centric cryptocurrency where you can make secure transactions without disclosing the balance of your wallet.

Zcash was introduced in 2016. Today, Zcash continues to be one of the more popular cryptocurrencies to mine. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about mining Zcash.

How Does Zcash Mining Work?

Zcash is similar to bitcoin, but uses zk-snarks to ensure that no information regarding user transaction can be leaked. All user transaction information is securely encrypted. The two users completing a transaction can decrypt transaction details, but these details are private to everyone else involved.

Thanks to zk-snarks, Zcash allows for secure cryptocurrency transfers with no risk of double spending. Zk-snarks relies on zero knowledge proofs and the Equihash hashing algorithm, a PoW algorithm.

The entire Zcash protocol is very innovative. The project was funded by major venture capital firms worldwide. The Zcash protocol relies heavily on the research of the Zerocoin Electronic Coin Company, which developed the Zerocoin cryptographic protocol in 2014. That protocol was designed to create a privacy-centric but secure cryptocurrency. Top cryptographers from MIT, Tel Aviv University, and the Israel Institute of Technology all contributed to the project.

Zcash’s unique protocol relies on a unique transfer mechanism. When you transfer funds using Zcash, your coins are first converted into the project’s original currency, Zerocoins. Then, the Zerocoins are transferred to the recipient, then transferred back into Zcash. This might seem like a convoluted process, but it creates secure and anonymous transactions between Zcash users without significant added cost.

How does Zcash mining differ from other cryptocurrency mining? Well, Zcash mining is much more RAM-dependent than other types of PoW mining. Another difference is that there’s no GUI miner available for Zcash, which means mining Zcash can be less user-friendly than mining other cryptocurrencies that have existing software.

Fortunately, anyone can follow a guide online to start mining Zcash – so even if you have limited cryptocurrency mining experience, you can mine Zcash with an ordinary GPU and CPU. In fact, Zcash is one of the easiest currencies to mine. If you have basic computer skills and can follow an online tutorial, you can start mining Zcash in about 20 or 30 minutes.

Zcash is particularly popular among hobby miners – including anyone who has a high-end PC or gaming PC that wants to mine cryptocurrencies. That’s because Zcash is an ASIC-resistant cryptocurrency. There are no ASICs available for Zcash, which means ordinary GPU mining is the most profitable way to mine Zcash.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what you need to start mining Zcash.

What You Need for Zcash Mining

Mining Zcash is straightforward. You’ll need the four basic components:

  • Zcash mining hardware (your PC)
  • Zcash mining software
  • A Zcash wallet
  • A Zcash mining pool

Zcash Mining Hardware

Zcash mining is performed with CPUs or GPUs. There are no ASICs available for Zcash, and the Zcash blockchain is purposely ASIC-resistant.

Unlike Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies where AMD GPUs dominate, Zcash is best mined using Nvidia GPUs. The reason is that Ethereum is based on the Ethash algorithm while Zcash is powered by Equihash. Nvidia tends to be the superior card for mining all Equihash cryptocurrencies.

Another major difference is that you don’t need a massive 3GB video card to mine Zcash. Instead, you can mine Zcash with as little as 1GB of memory on your GPU. Obviously, the more powerful your card is, the more successful you’ll be while mining Zcash.

Some of the specific popular GPUs for mining Zcash include the Nvidia GTX 1060, 1070, and 1080 series (including the 6GB Nvidia GTX 1060 card), as well as the AMD RX 470, 480, 570, 580, R9 series, HD 7990, and HD 7950.

Zcash Mining Software

One of the more popular Zcash mining software programs is the EWBF Cuda miner, available as a free download from the Bitcointalk forums here.

However, many Zcash users continue to use Zcash 1.0, created by the official Zcash team. That software lets you run a full Zcash node and mine with your CPU. The software also includes a built-in wallet that lets you send and receive Zcash.

The biggest limitation of the Zcash 1.0 software (and it’s an important limitation) is that you can only use your CPU to mine. If you’ve created a GPU-based miner, then download the Zcash 1.0 software is pointless. Nevertheless, CPU miners can install the software from the Zcash Github page here.

Other miners available for Zcash include Optiminer, Claymore, and the Genesis SGminer, all of which are built for AMD GPU mining, as well as EWBF Cuda, Nicehash EQM, and NEHQ, all of which are built for Nvidia GPU mining.

Zcash Mining Pool

A Zcash mining pool gives you the best possible chance of winning a Zcash block reward. The more resources you contribute to the mining pool, the larger your reward will be. Don’t expect to see as many Zcash mining pools as you see bitcoin and Ethereum mining pools. However, you can still find various options available.

Popular Zcash mining pools include Flypool and Nanopool, which are the two biggest names in the space.

Bitcoin Mining Hardware

Chapter 4.8

Bitcoin mining can be extremely profitable – or extremely expensive. Today, many inexperienced people dive into bitcoin mining with little knowledge. These people can end up losing a significant amount of money – especially if they purchased dozens or hundreds of ASICs at $2,500 apiece.

The most important aspect of bitcoin mining is the hardware. Your hardware determines whether or not you’re going to generate a profit.

In the early days of bitcoin mining, bitcoin was mined using CPUs or GPUs – two basic hardware components that are inside any PC. Your CPU or GPU used its processing power to compete for a block reward, and you received a reward whenever you successfully mined a block.

Today, things are vastly different than they were during the early days of bitcoin in 2009. Bitcoin’s difficulty increases every two weeks. This is done on purpose to ensure the network is secure. Otherwise, computer processing power would continue to grow while the difficulty remained stable.

As bitcoin’s difficulty grew, miners started to migrate to specialized mining rigs called Field Programmable Gate Arrays, or FPGAs. Initially FPGAs seemed destined to be the future of bitcoin mining. They delivered similar hashrates to GPU-powered rigs, but at a significantly lower electricity cost.

Eventually, FPGAs fell out of fashion when the industry created Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) devices. ASICs are chips designed specifically to mine bitcoins. They can’t be used for any other purpose.

Today, ASICs blow GPU-based bitcoin miners out of the water. ASICs provide up to 100 times the hashing power of a GPU. That’s why the vast majority of bitcoin mining today is done using ASICs.

There’s nothing stopping you from buying one or more ASICs to use as your own bitcoin mining hardware. They’re freely available for purchase online from companies like Bitmain. However, even with one or more ASICs, you’re still going to have to join a mining pool if you want to compete for block rewards. Otherwise, you’re unlikely going to make much money mining bitcoin.

Here’s what we’ve learned: bitcoin mining has changed significantly over the years. Today, anyone who is serious about bitcoin mining will purchase an ASIC. Next, we’ll talk about the specific ASIC options available today.

Bitcoin Mining Hardware Companies

There are three major bitcoin mining hardware companies available today, including:

Bitmain: Bitmain makes the popular Antminer line of bitcoin miners. The China-based bitcoin hardware manufacturer also runs one of the world’s largest bitcoin mining pools.

Halong Mining: Halong Mining is a new and popular bitcoin mining hardware company. The company quickly sold out of its first batch of miners on release. Halong is best-known for its Dragonmint T16 ASIC, advertised as the world’s most powerful and efficient bitcoin mining ASIC.

BitFury: BitFury, along with Bitmain, is one of the best-known names in the mining space. They produce bitcoin mining hardware and chips, but their hardware is not available for purchase.

Bitcoin Mining Equipment: What Do You Need to Mine Bitcoin?

You need three basic hardware components in order to start mining bitcoin, including:

  • A Bitcoin Mining ASIC
  • A Power Supply
  • Cooling Fans

ASICs can use 1300W of electricity and more, which typically means you need a high-end power supply. The ordinary 500W or 1000W power supply on your gaming PC isn’t likely to get the job done. Meanwhile, all of that processing power is going to generate a lot of heat, which is why you need cooling fans or some other type of cooling equipment.

The Best Bitcoin Mining Hardware

Here’s our list of the most popular bitcoin mining hardware – including ASICs:

Antminer S9 Bitcoin Miner

This is the most popular and best-known ASIC bitcoin miner available today. The S9, at one point, was delivering a positive ROI within just 90 to 120 days of purchase. In fact, some miners were earning about 1 BTC every two months with their S9. Some key stats behind the S9 include:

  • Release Date: June 2016
  • Power Consumption: 1375W
  • Power Efficiency: 0.098 J/GH
  • Hashrate: 12.93 TH/s
  • Price: $2,000

Dragonmint T16

The cryptocurrency mining community was shocked in late 2017 / early 2018 when new startup Halong Mining claimed to have created the world’s most efficient bitcoin mining ASIC. Halong Mining backed up that claim with proof and a successful launch. Today, the Dragonmint T16 is the most powerful ASIC miner for bitcoin, producing an incredible 16 TH/s of hashing power.

The T16 is also remarkably power-efficient, consuming just 0.075 J/GH, significantly lower than the Antminer S9.

Another advantage of the Dragonmint T16 miner is that it uses ASICBOOST, a bitcoin algorithm exploit that can boost efficiency by as much as 20%.

Ultimately, the Antminer S9 has been the most popular ASIC for a long period of time. However, the Dragonmint T16 is quickly making a name for itself with incredible performance results.

  • Release Date: March 2018
  • Power Consumption: 1480W
  • Power Efficiency: 0.075 J/GH
  • Hashrate: 16.0 TH/s
  • Price: $2,700

Other Bitcoin Mining ASICs

The two ASIC miners listed above are the cream of the crop. If you want to mine bitcoin at maximum efficiency with a legitimate bitcoin mining operation, then you’ll need to purchase either the Dragonmint 16T or the Antminer S9.

However, there are other options available. These options are cheaper and come with lower hashrates and worse efficiency. Nevertheless, some miners use these to complement their existing mining operations or to try bitcoin mining for the first time. Other popular bitcoin miners include:

  • Antminer S7 (4.7 TH/s for around $500)
  • Avalon 6 (3.5 TH/s for around $600)
  • Antminer R4 (8.6 TH/s for around $1,000)

What to Consider Before Buying Bitcoin Mining Hardware

If you’re shopping for bitcoin mining hardware, then it’s crucial you consider a number of different things before you buy. Here are some of the important things to consider when comparing different ASICs:

Hardware Costs:

If you spend $20,000 on an ASIC, then you’re going to have to mine significantly more bitcoin to ever make a profit than if you spent $2,000. The cost of hardware obviously plays an important role in profitability. Hardware costs are so important that serious mining companies will buy hundreds or thousands of ASICs in bulk to lower the cost-per-unit.

Hashrate and Efficiency:

The primary way to measure the power of bitcoin mining hardware is by looking at the hashrate and efficiency. The top miners have hashrates of 13 to 16 TH/s. No other ASICs come close to the Antminer S9 and the Dragonmint 16T. However, efficiency is nearly as important. How much power does the ASIC use to achieve its hashrate? The less power spent, the better. The top ASICs have power efficiency rates of 0.075 J/GH (on the Dragonmint 16T) and 0.098 J/GH (on the Antminer S9).

Electricity Costs:

A Dragonmint 16T will generate approximately $10 per month in profit if you’re paying 12 cents per kWh for electricity. This number rises as high as $100 per month, however, in areas where you’re paying 3 or 5 cents per kWh for electricity. The cost of electricity should play a big role in your bitcoin mining hardware purchase decision.

Cost of Other Equipment:

You’ve spent $2,000 to $3,000 on an ASIC bitcoin miner. However, the costs don’t stop there. There’s other equipment you need to purchase, including some type of cooling system.

The Risk of Bitcoin Price Volatility:

You need to consider the risk of bitcoin price volatility before you buy an ASIC miner. Bitcoin’s price is very volatile. Periodically, the price will plummet and thousands of ASIC miners will go on sale. Mining companies that invested millions of dollars in ASICs will try to offload supply to generate cashflow. Are you prepared to deal with bitcoin price volatility? Make sure you consider the price of bitcoin before you buy.

Block Rewards:

Originally, bitcoin block rewards were set at 50 BTC per block. At $10,000 per BTC, that means one miner was making $500,000 in revenue every 10 minutes. Over time, the block reward gets cut in half. It dropped to 25 BTC, for example, before settling at today’s 12.5 BTC. The block reward will be cut in half again to 6.25 BTC per block in 2020. Miners need to prepare for this.

By considering all of the factors above, you can make an informed decision on your next bitcoin mining hardware purchase.

Bitcoin Mining Software

Chapter 4.9

Bitcoin mining software is a crucial element of mining bitcoins. You can have the greatest bitcoin mining hardware in the world – but it’s going to be restricted if you’re using bad mining software.

The hardware – like your GPU, CPU, or ASIC – does the actual mining. The bitcoin software, however, connects your hardware to the blockchain and to the mining pool. Without the software, your hardware has no way to connect to the blockchain.

When people talk about bitcoin software, they can refer to one of several different things:

In this chapter, we’re specifically dealing with the final component – bitcoin mining software. However, some of our bitcoin mining software functions as a wallet and full node as well.

Obviously, you know the importance of bitcoin mining software. Now, let’s take a closer look at how bitcoin mining software works – and which software is the best choice for you.

How Does Bitcoin Mining Software Work?

Bitcoin mining software acts as a link between your mining rig, the blockchain, and your pool.

Your hardware provides the processing power, but the software organizes that processing power in a meaningful way. The software is the brains of the operation, so to speak, and the hardware is the muscle.

Some bitcoin mining software is as simple as a command line interface, or CLI. CLI mining software was common in the early days of bitcoin mining – although it’s still used by plenty of miners today. In fact, two of the most popular bitcoin mining software programs available today, BFGminer and CGminer, use basic command line interfaces.

We also have graphical user interface (GUI) miners, which build a complete interface or dashboard on top of a command line miner. These miners are more user-friendly. They’re the preferred choice for most beginner or intermediate miners.

Depending on which type of mining software you have, it might display statistics about your mining operation. Some software displays the temperature of your video card, for example, your current hashrate, your fan speed, and other crucial information about your bitcoin mining hardware.

You can use the software to tweak these things. Some software tweaks these settings automatically, while other software requires manual input.

Typically, bitcoin mining software on this list runs on Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS. However, some bitcoin mining software is unavailable for Mac OS (virtually all software is available for Linux and Windows).

Certain software is also available for less popular operating systems. Some developers have ported bitcoin mining software to Raspberry Pi, for example. You can also find bitcoin mining software on mobile operating systems like iOS and Android.

A Word of Caution: Make Sure the Software Supports ASIC Mining

Certain older bitcoin software doesn’t support ASIC mining. If you’re serious about bitcoin mining, then you need to only use software that supports an ASIC miner. In 2018 and beyond, it’s virtually impossible to make money mining bitcoin without an ASIC miner.

Make sure the software you choose supports ASIC mining. Some software – particularly older programs and mining software that hasn’t been updated in a while – will only support CPU, GPU, or FPGA mining.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the top bitcoin mining software available today.

The Best Bitcoin Mining Software


CGminer is a popular bitcoin mining software that supports GPU, FPGA, and ASIC mining. It’s an open source mining software written in C.

You can download CGminer for all major desktop platforms, including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

One of the reasons why CGminer is so popular is because it’s based on the original CPU Miner, one of the best miners from the early days of bitcoin. CGminer has been expanded to support modern bitcoin mining machines like ASIC devices.

Key features of CGminer include overclocking, monitoring, fan speed control, and remote interface capabilities. You’ll also access features like self-detection of new blocks with a mini database, binary loading of kernels, multi-GPU support, and CPU mining support (although you’ll most likely want to stick to ASIC mining, as mentioned above).

Don’t expect a flashy interface on CGminer. This is a CLI-style bitcoin mining software. The UI is straightforward, but all commands are entered through a command line interface.

You can download CGminer from the development team’s official Github page here.


BFGminer is an offshoot of CGminer, the software we just mentioned above. The main difference with BFGminer is that it’s specifically designed for FPGA and ASIC mining – the software doesn’t bother optimizing for GPU or CPU mining.

BFGminer dates back to the early days of bitcoin. The software has always been popular for features like vector support, integrated overclocking and fan control, ADL device reordering by PCI bus ID, and more. Although BFGminer doesn’t specialize in CPU or GPU mining, the software does support CPU mining and GPU mining via OpenCL.

One thing to note with BFGminer is that you may need to download certain “bitstreams” to make sure BFGMiner 3.0 and higher works with your device.

BFGminer and its official bitstreams can be downloaded from the official website here. As of May 2018, the software is on version 5.5.0.

Like CGminer, you won’t get a flashy interface with BFGminer. It’s a blue and white command line interface.


BTCMiner is open source bitcoin mining software available for Windows and Linux. The software is designed to work with FPGA boards, including Spartan 6 USB-FPGA modules (Modules 1.15b, 1.15d, 1.15x, and 1.15y).

The software has a simple goal: to communicate and program via a USB interface while allowing users to build low-cost FPGA clusters using standard USB hubs.

If you decide to mine via USB, then BTCMiner may be the right choice for you. However, for most users interested in using ASIC devices, this software is outdated.

You can download BTCMiner today here. Be careful when searching for BTCMiner online. A number of scammy cloud bitcoin mining companies have tried to adopt the name and convince users they’re the real software.


EasyMiner is a GUI-based bitcoin mining software that acts as a wrapper for CGminer and BFGminer. If you found the command line interfaces of CGminer and BFGminer too complicated, then EasyMiner might be the right choice for you.

EasyMiner can be used for both solo and pooled mining. One of the helpful features with this software is the performance graph that lets you easily visualize your mining activity.

EasyMiner is available for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.


Bitminter is a bitcoin mining software program available for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. This cross-platform software, unlike the two miners at the top of our list, comes with a user-friendly GUI.

The main drawback with Bitminer is that it only works with the Bitminter bitcoin mining pool. So if you’re trying to mine any pool aside from Bitminter, then you should skip this one.

However, if you are mining with the Bitminter pool, then you’ll find that this software offers a user-friendly and convenient experience. The software has a helpful stats section that lists information like the number of proofs of work that were accepted or rejected by the serer. You can also view the amount of time spent mining.

Bitminter is available online today at


MultiMiner is simply a wrapper for BFGminer – similar to EasyMiner. If you don’t like working within the command line interface of BFGminer, then you may want to use MultiMiner.

MultiMiner has an easy setup process. The software displays helpful tooltips that walk you through the process. If you’re a beginner or intermediate bitcoin miner, then this information can be very helpful.

Once setup is complete, MultiMiner will automatically scan for mining devices, then list their details in a helpful table – including the pool used and the average hashpower. You can also see your daily projected profit based on your current mining activity.

Another unique thing about MultiMiner is that the software comes with an optional 1% donation option. You can choose to donate 1% of your mining profits to the developer as a “thank you” for creating the software. This fee is voluntary, and you can enable or disable it at any time within the “Perks” section. Plenty of other developers do not make this fee optional, so it’s refreshing to see a developer take a different approach.

MultiMiner is available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

Your Antivirus May Flag Bitcoin Mining Software

Bitcoin mining software can often trigger your antivirus software. Your antivirus software sees you downloading a suspicious .exe file from a shady website and assumes it’s going to harm your computer.

If your antivirus software flags your bitcoin mining software download, then don’t be alarmed. Double check to make sure you downloaded the bitcoin mining software from a legitimate developer and the legitimate developer’s official website. Then, ignore your antivirus software and proceed with the installation.

Ultimately, there are dozens of major bitcoin mining software programs available today. The software listed above tends to be the most popular software available, although your mileage may vary.

What to Look for When Comparing Bitcoin Mining Software

Not such which bitcoin mining software to download? Here are some of the most important features to look for when comparing software:

Operating System Compatibility:

First, make sure the software is compatible with your current operating system. Most software is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS, but this isn’t always the case.

Hardware Compatibility:

Some bitcoin mining software – particularly older software – can’t handle modern ASIC mining. That’s a huge problem because ASIC mining is the only real profitable option today. Check to make sure your software is compatible with your hardware before you download it. If the software only supports, GPU, CPU, or FPGA mining, then it probably won’t support your brand new $2500 ASIC chip.

Coin Support:

Some software allows you mine a diverse set of cryptocurrencies from within a single interface. If you just want to mine bitcoin, then you can ignore this feature. If you want to diversify your crypto holdings, however, then you may want to choose software capable of mining multiple coins.

Mobile and Web Support:

Some bitcoin mining software comes with an optional web app or mobile app. You can check the status of your miner at any time by checking the app or web dashboard.


Graphical user interface (GUI) software and command line interface (CLI) perform the same basic job but in different ways. GUI provides you with a user-friendly interface to interact with the software and its primary commands, while CLI software requires you to enter all commands via a command line. Neither software requires programming knowledge or advanced tech skills to use, but beginner and intermediate users typically prefer GUI bitcoin mining software.

Additional Features:

Some bitcoin mining software comes with an additional wallet. In most cases, the bitcoin mining software we listed above just mines bitcoins for you – but more advanced software might come with more advanced functions.

Ultimately, bitcoin mining doesn’t work without good bitcoin mining software. Download some of the bitcoin mining software listed above today to start your journey into bitcoin mining.

Ethereum Mining Hardware

Chapter 4.10

Ethereum is the world’s second best-known cryptocurrency behind only bitcoin. Built as more of a development environment than a currency, Ethereum is a popular digital asset among miners.

Ethereum has several unique features that make it an attractive option for miners. First, Ethereum is ASIC-resistant, which means hobbyists like you can mine cryptocurrencies at home without needing to buy expensive ASICs.

The lack of ASIC support means that Ethereum mining hardware doesn’t have to consist of highly-specialized chips that can only be using for mining; instead, Ethereum mining hardware consists of ordinary GPUs.

These GPUs can be used to mine Ethereum one day, then switch to high-end PC gaming or video editing the next day. ASICs, on the other hand, are only useful for mining cryptocurrencies.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at Ethereum mining hardware.

The Importance of Buying the Right GPU

Your Ethereum mining efficiency depends largely on your GPU. The GPU is your graphics processing unit or video card. Before cryptocurrencies, high-end GPUs were used for high-end gaming or video editing. Today, high-end GPUs are in huge demand because of the cryptocurrency mining boom.

Some gamers – or anyone else in need of a pricey GPU – will offset the costs of their GPU by mining cryptocurrencies. You might not be able to justify spending $1500 on three video cards for gaming, for example. However, if you can recapture that $1500 investment with 6 months of Ethereum mining, then the cost is justified.

When Ethereum first launched, most mining took place via CPU. Then, as mining became more difficult, miners increasingly began using GPUs. GPUs provided significantly more power – but with steeper power consumption and higher electricity costs.

Today, most Ethereum mining continues to take place using GPUs. As mentioned above, Ethereum is an ASIC-resistant network. There are no Ethereum ASIC devices. Today’s high-end GPUs are approximately 200 times more effective at mining Ethereum compared to high-end CPUs.

How to Choose the Best GPU for Mining Ethereum

Today, the best GPUs for mining Ethereum have between 6GB and 8GB of video RAM (VRAM). Most professional miners, however, would never be caught mining Ethereum with a single GPU. Instead, they build rigs with multiple GPUs running together.

You can find Ethereum mining rigs equipped with as many as 6 or 8 GPUs inside. This provides maximum power and efficiency for Ethereum mining – although the startup costs are obviously higher.

There are three important things you need to consider when shopping for GPUs, including hashing power, power consumption, and price. By carefully balancing all three of these things, you can purchase the best GPU for mining Ethereum:

Hashing Power (Hashrate):

Different GPUs mine Ethereum at different hashrates. Sometimes, the most expensive GPU isn’t the best option for mining Ethereum. Check the hashrate of a GPU before you buy. The higher the hashrate, the better mining power the GPU has.

Power Consumption:

If your GPUs consume too much power, then any profits you make from Ethereum mining might be negated by your electricity bill. When comparing GPUs online, you might find a stat that says something like “power consumption cost per day.” This is the cost of mining Ethereum over a 24 hour period based on a specific cost per kWh.


Most people don’t mine Ethereum for fun. Most people mine Ethereum to generate a profit. If you spend a lot of money on Ethereum mining GPUs, then you might never make your money back.

Another thing to consider is whether you want an AMD or Nvidia card. In most cases, AMD cards are the superior option for mining Ethereum. However, if you find a good deal on Nvidia cards, or use specific mining software, then you might be able to get better performance from an Nvidia card.

Got it? Good! Now, lets take a look at some of the best GPUs for Ethereum mining in 2018 and 2019.

The Best GPUs for Mining Ethereum

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64

Typically, AMD cards are better for mining Ethereum. The Radeon RX Vega 64 might be the most popular Ethereum mining GPU on the market. At stock settings, the GPU can mine Ethereum at around 33 MH/s while consuming 200 watts of electricity. However, with tweaking and cooling, you can increase hashrate to as much as 41 MH/s while dropping electricity consumption down to 135 watts.

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56

The AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 is slightly less efficient than the Vega 64, but it’s still a great option for many Ethereum miners. You can expect to get hashrates of approximately 31 MH/s using 190 watts of electricity.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

Up until the release of the 1060, 1070, and 1080, AMD dominated the Ethereum mining space. Nvidia, however, managed to capture a slice of the market with its phenomenal performance on the GTX 1080 Ti. The GTX 1080 Ti keeps up with leading AMD cards by providing 32 MH/s of hashrate while consuming 200 watts of electricity. That puts it just behind the Vega 56 and Vega 64 in terms of Ethereum mining efficiency, but significantly ahead of the next options on our list.

AMD Radeon Rx 580

The AMD Radeon Rx 580 is a significant step down from the top three cards on our list. It uses slightly less electricity (175 watts), although it also produces a hashrate of just 25 MH/s.

AMD Radeon Rx 480

The Rx 480 delivers a hashrate of 24 MH/s while consuming 170 watts of electricity. Like the Rx 580, it’s a decent mid-range option, but you’re a step below the top miners listed above.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070


The GeForce GTX 1070 is the second Nvidia option on our list. The 1070 uses too much electricity and delivers too little hashrate to place it at the top of our list. However, the performance difference isn’t as significant as you might think. The 1070 consumes 200 watts of electricity while delivering 27 MH/s of hashing power.

Other Popular Ethereum Mining GPUs

New GPUs are being released every year. Both AMD and Nvidia have seen a surge in sales and demand due to cryptocurrency mining. They’re now designing cards with cryptocurrency mining in mind. While the Vega 64 and Vega 56 remain at the top of the list of best Ethereum mining GPUs for now, this list could be totally different before long.

  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
  • Radeon Rx 570
  • Radeon Rx 470
  • Radeon R9 290x

Ultimately, Ethereum mining hardware is an understandably important part of mining Ethereum. Using the GPUs listed above, you may be able to mine Ethereum to earn big profits – or at least enough to offset the cost of your next gaming PC.

Bitcoin Cloud Mining

Chapter 4.11

Over the last 10 chapters, we’ve explained how to buy your own cryptocurrency mining hardware and begin mining different cryptocurrencies. We’ve explained how to choose the best mining hardware, how to download the right software, and how to make sure your mining operation is profitable.

But what if you don’t want to do any of that? What if you’d prefer paying someone else to mine bitcoin for you?

That’s sort of how bitcoin cloud mining works.

Bitcoin cloud mining takes place over the internet. Essentially, someone has a server full of bitcoin miners, then rents these miners out over the cloud. You might be able to purchase different cloud mining packages. Each package could guarantee a specific hashrate for a 2 or 3 year period. You pay a lump sum upfront along with ongoing maintenance fees. Then, you sit back and wait for the profits to roll in.

Of course, bitcoin cloud mining isn’t quite that easy. Profit is never guaranteed. Cloud mining companies can cancel your contract. Some cloud mining companies don’t even operate real bitcoin mining farms: they’re just online scams designed to steal investors’ money and disappear.

Today, the bitcoin cloud mining industry is filled with plenty of scams. However, there are several major companies that run legitimate bitcoin cloud mining operations – including Genesis Mining, Hashnest, and Hashflare. Keep reading to discover which bitcoin cloud mining service might be right for you.

How Does Bitcoin Cloud Mining Work?

Today, a number of companies offer bitcoin cloud mining, Ethereum cloud mining, Litecoin cloud mining, and other cloud mining services.

Typically, these cloud mining services work in a similar way:

  • You pay “rent” on your bitcoin mining hardware
  • That rent covers the costs of the hardware and the electricity
  • Someone else is responsible for maintaining and running that equipment at their own location; some bitcoin cloud mining companies charge an ongoing maintenance fee to cover these expenses, while others bundle the fee with their rent
  • As long as you continue paying your fixed rent, you’ll be able to access any profits collected by that bitcoin mining hardware during the period of your cloud mining contract
  • Some companies offer month-to-month contracts while others offer 1 year, 2, year, or longer contracts
  • In most cases, the mining service reserves the right to cancel your contract if it becomes unprofitable; the company can’t be expected to run mining equipment at a loss
  • As the user, you don’t need to worry about maintenance, cooling, electricity, upgrades, or anything else; all you need to do is keep paying your cloud mining “rent”

Do you want to participate in bitcoin mining with none of the hassle? Cloud mining might be the right choice for you. However, it comes with some major downsides. We’ll talk about those downsides next.

Bitcoin Cloud Mining Can Be Risky

A handful of major companies offer legitimate and trustworthy cloud mining services. However, for every 1 legitimate cloud mining company, there are 10 scam services trying to steal your money.

Scams are prevalent across the cloud mining industry, to say the least.

It’s obvious why scams are so common: there are plenty of people who want to get involved in bitcoin mining because they’ve heard about people getting rich. However, many of these people have no idea or desire to maintain their own mining rigs. Then, they stumble upon a website that promises huge ROIs with no risk: all you need to do is pay the company a bunch of money upfront, and they’ll do all the hard work. You get the profits sent to you.

Sometimes, that company doesn’t operate any mining farms in the real world. The company might just be taking money from users and then investing it in marketing. The cycle continues until customers get suspicious, at which point the scammers shut down the website.

In other cases, the bitcoin cloud mining scam could take the form of a pyramid scheme. Users might be asked to refer friends to the platform in exchange for big rewards. At some point, the entire scheme collapses and everyone loses their money.

Bitcoin Cloud Mining Can Be Unprofitable

At best, you’re going to make a small ROI with bitcoin cloud mining. Remember: someone else is doing all the hard work for you. You’re just providing the funding. You can’t expect to earn massive ROIs through such a process.

In most cases, your 2 year bitcoin mining contract might pay you 10% returns per year. Some companies advertise ROIs of 14%, although returns any higher than that will look suspicious.

If a bitcoin cloud mining company is offering suspiciously high returns – like ROIs of 0.5% to 1.0% per day, then it’s likely you’re being scammed. There are few legitimate businesses capable of guaranteeing such returns – especially in an industry as volatile as bitcoin.

Ultimately, bitcoin cloud mining is rarely the gold mine people expect it to be. It’s a fun way to dip your toes into the waters of bitcoin mining, but it’s far from a guaranteed income source.

And, as mentioned above, most bitcoin cloud mining companies will simply shut down your account if mining becomes unprofitable.

Even Legitimate Bitcoin Cloud Mining Companies Don’t Disclose their Farm Locations

One thing that makes bitcoin cloud mining difficult is the fact that legitimate companies rarely disclose the location of their bitcoin mining farms.

This is done for security reasons. These farms are home to millions of dollars’ worth of mining equipment. These locations might also hold enormous amounts of funds in cold storage.

We list a number of legitimate cloud mining providers below. However, even with these companies, you won’t see specific addresses or location information for their global mining centers. This is on purpose. The company is trying to protect itself. However, it also makes it easier for scammers to trick people into thinking they’re running a legitimate mining farm.

The Best Cloud Bitcoin Mining Companies

The list of good, legitimate cloud bitcoin mining companies is very short. At best, there are five legitimate companies in the space. The best-known company, Genesis, is a well-established and highly-popular firm. The other companies on this list don’t have the same strong reputation, but they do have a multi-year track record of providing cloud bitcoin mining to clients:

Genesis Mining

Genesis Mining is the best-known cloud bitcoin mining company available today. Genesis was founded in 2013 and maintains large cloud mining centers worldwide. At their official website, you can view a live feed of some of the company’s Iceland-based data centers. The company has based its operations in Iceland due to the cheap geothermal electricity.

When you buy a Genesis Mining cloud mining plan, you can choose to focus on one or more cryptocurrencies. You might choose to split your hash power between bitcoin and Litecoin, for example, and go 40% bitcoin and 60% Litecoin. You can actually customize your hash power on-the-go through your Genesis Mining dashboard.

Unlike other providers, Genesis Mining doesn’t exaggerate about how much money users can expect to make. They don’t fill customers’ heads with grandiose claims about getting rich quick. Instead, they provide a legitimate cloud-based crypto mining service.

Genesis Mining has frequently sold out of cloud mining contracts. In many cases, you’ll visit the Genesis Mining website and find no contracts are available to purchase. This is the only real downside of Genesis Mining: they’re so popular that it can be hard to buy a cloud mining contract for your desired cryptocurrency.


Hashnest is made by Bitmain, the well-known bitcoin ASIC hardware manufacturer. Bitmain is a China-based company responsible for Antpool, one of the world’s largest bitcoin mining pools.

Hashnest is newer than Genesis Mining, although the company has proven itself to be legitimate. Unlike Bitmain, Hashnest is not exclusively based in China. The company has mining farms worldwide in regions with low electricity.

Hashnest is well-known for its Payout Accelerated Cloud Mining Contract or PACMiC. PACMiC is a type of electronic contract structured in a way that Bitmain pays the maintenance costs of mining rigs (like electricity) while all mining revenue is used to pay back the owner of the PACMiC contract. If the principal is not paid back fully, then Bitmain will share profit with buyers.

With Hashnest, you can purchase hash power directly frm Antminer devices like the S9, which has a rate of around 125 TH/s. You can then pay a fixed maintenance fee depending on the device. If you’re renting an entire S9 from the company, for example, then you’ll pay a maintenance fee of $0.19/TH/day.

Like Genesis Mining, Hashnest lets you customize mining plans extensively based on your desired power and price.


Hashlare is another legitimate cloud bitcoin mining company. The company was launched by Hashcoins, a bitcoin mining equipment manufacturer founded in 2013. At the website, you’ll find a complete rundown of the firm’s data center, including pictures of the miners in operation.

Hashflare sells cloud mining contracts for a variety of different cryptocurrencies. You can choose to buy SHA-256 and Scrypt mining contracts, for example, that allow you to mine all SHA-256 and Scrypt coins. Hashflare also lets you choose your own mining pool.

Like the other two providers listed above, Hashflare is open and honest about its maintenance fees. They only offer 12 month contracts (although they used to offer unlimited-length contracts).


You’ll find plenty of bitcoin cloud mining companies available online today, but few of them are legitimate. The three companies listed above – Genesis Mining, Hashnest, and Hashflare, are all operated by legitimate companies who provide transparent information about their rates and contracts. We don’t recommend straying outside of these three major names because the cloud bitcoin mining industry is filled with scams.

That concludes our chapter on cryptocurrency mining. In Chapter 5, we’ll talk about cryptocurrency mining pools.

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Although other digital coins have at times diversified mining protocols from the original Bitcoin chain’s architecture, Bitcoin itself certainly exists and remains promising and viable as a currency, solely due to its miners. Energy costs deflated retail enthusiasm substantially during 2017, yet mining operations remain profitable with a bit of refined ingenuity, epitomized by standard model home mining kits.

Great strides have been made in factoring in all relevant metrics by ASIC mining rig suppliers, to aim at profitability for the retail user. Bitcoin mining remains an energy-intensive operation, with the bulk of the chain’s mining happening in China, but it both validates other users’ transaction as well as producing new bitcoin.

In a nutshell, mining is the backbone of the Bitcoin network, without which money supply issues would become immediately relevant while Bitcoin’s current digital asset status would be decidedly affected too. With that being said, for a moment in time during 2017 – before it became default behavior for individuals to pick up a prefabricated mining rig or two and commence mining – it seemed that mining would be co-opted by giant corporates looking for easy profits.

Larger corporations found it far easier to surmount the substantial barrier to entry presented by the cost of mining rigs. Although now largely resolved in terms of the better performance and affordability of modern mining rigs, these are still relative terms, as the high-volume mining houses remain earning the biggest rewards.

As the Bitcoin network has grown in numbers and overall popularity, the process of mining has made greater and greater demands on home miners’ performance and profitability. The Bitcoin network has come to be an increasingly demanding one in terms of its need for intense computing power in order to mine successfully.

In a simple-sum arena, where the more computing power an entity has, the more they earn in BTC rewards, many retail users appraise home mining with a single unit or two as less profitable than joining a mining pool.

Against this backdrop, many ASIC manufacturers and other companies have established crypto mining pools. These decentralized mining operations enable a community of global users to process transactions on the Bitcoin network, thus pulling new satoshis out of the digital chain. For anyone looking at joining a mining pool, below are some of the most reputable and worthwhile to investigate.



Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency ever created has indeed become the most widely used digital currency on earth. Ever since the existence of Bitcoin in 2009, it has witnessed unprecedented growth across the world. The reason for its worldwide acceptance is no other than its ability to changed the way transactions are conducted in many electronic platforms. Conventionally, electronic card transactions take approximately three business days to get confirmation. On the other hand, Bitcoin transactions take few minutes to be confirmed on the blockchain.

Unlike ever before, the world is now able to transfer and receive funds locally and internationally at low costs, and the potential is increased given that a significant number of people in developing countries do not have access to the formal financial system, and compared to the developed countries where the competition is fierce in the financial institutions, little number of banks available in the under-developed countries imposed very high fees during international transactions.

Being universal and decentralized with low remittance, it’s gradually drawing in more users in such countries. Unlike the centralized fiat payment systems, Bitcoin is fully open-source and decentralized. Transactions can be verified independently at any time, and payments can be made instantly and directly without an intermediary.

Due to the widespread proliferation of the internet and mobile devices, more people in the developing world now have access to web services. It therefore follows that the number of Bitcoin users should increase as a result. Citizens who find it inconvenient to access traditional banking services will seek out virtual systems such as Bitcoin, and as internet usage increases within the developing world, one can only predict that the adoption of Bitcoin (and cryptocurrencies generally) will go viral.

Bitcoin’s distributed confirmation model gets around the expensive and time-consuming system by using peer-to-peer technology to operate without a central authority or banking institution.

Being a distributed system with no central point of failure, have you've ever wondered where Bitcoin comes from?
and how it goes into circulation?
The answer is that it gets “mined” into existence.

What is Bitcoin Mining?

Bitcoin operates as a peer-to-peer platform. This peer-to-peer platform generates Bitcoins through Bitcoin mining.

Why do we need Bitcoin mining? We need it because there’s no central government managing Bitcoin. Typically, a central government issues new coins for a currency. The U.S. Mint issues U.S. dollars, for example. With Bitcoin, there’s no Bitcoin mint. There’s just Bitcoin users. That’s what makes it a peer-to-peer currency. Bitcoin users generate new Bitcoins by running specialized software on their computers. This software solves math problems (Bitcoin algorithms).

The more math problems that computer can solve, the more Bitcoins that user will generate. Computers solve these problems using their processing power: the more processing power you have (like in your GPU and CPU), the more Bitcoins you’ll be able to mine. As more and more Bitcoin users run their mining software, the math problems become harder and harder to solve. This keeps the growth of Bitcoins at a steady pace – which means the currency won’t suddenly collapse if a million people downloaded and install Bitcoin mining software.

The difficulty of Bitcoin mining doesn’t change on-the-fly. Instead, it changes about every 2 weeks based on the changing computational power of the Bitcoin network. Now that you got a brief overview of what it is. Lets jump in-depth and see how it works.

Bitcoin mining is the process by which the transaction information distributed within the Bitcoin network is validated and stored on the blockchain. Bitcoin mining serves to both add transactions to the block chain and to release new Bitcoin. The concept of Bitcoin mining is simply the process of generating additional Bitcoins until the supply cap of 21 million coins has been reached.  What makes the validation process for Bitcoin different from traditional electronic payment networks is the absence of middle man in the architecture. The process of validating transactions and committing them to the blockchain involves solving a series of specialized math puzzles. In the process of adding transactions to the network and securing them into the blockchain, each set of transactions that are processed is called block, and multiple chains of blocks is referred to as the blockchain.

Technically, during mining, the Bitcoin mining software runs two rounds of SHA256 cryptographic hashing function on the block header. The mining software uses different numbers called the nonce as the random element of the block header for each new hash that is tried. Depending on the nonce and what else is in the block the hashing function will yield a hash of a 64-bit hexadecimal number.  To create a valid block, the mining software has to find a hash that is below the difficulty target.

The difficulty is a number that regulates how long it takes for miners to add new blocks of transactions to the blockchain. Because the target is such an unwieldy number with tons of digits, people generally use a simpler number to express the current target. This number is called the mining difficulty.  This difficulty value updates every 2 weeks to ensure that it takes 10 minutes (on average) to add a new block to the blockchain. The difficulty is so important because, it ensures that blocks of transactions are added to the blockchain at regular intervals, even as more miners join the network. If the difficulty remained the same, it would take less time between adding new blocks to the blockchain as new miners join the network. The difficulty adjusts every 2016 blocks. At this interval, each node takes the expected time for these 2016 blocks to be mined (2016 x 10 minutes), and divides it by the actual time it took. It can be calculated as follows:

Expected / Actual

20160 / Actual

If miners were able to solve each block more quickly than expected; say 9 minutes per block for example, you’d get a number like this:

20160 / 18144 = 1.11

Each node then uses this number (1.11) to adjust the difficulty for the next 2016 blocks:

difficulty x 1.11 = new difficulty

If the number is greater than 1 (i.e. blocks were mined quicker than expected), the difficulty increases. If the number is less than 1 (i.e. blocks were mined slower than expected) the difficulty decreases. Every miner on the Bitcoin network now works with this new difficulty for the next 2016 blocks. At most, the difficulty will only adjust by a factor of 4, to prevent abrupt changes from one difficulty to the next. The mining difficulty expresses how much harder the current block is to generate compared to the first block. So, a difficulty of 20160 means to generate the current block you have to do 20160 times more work than the work done in generating the first block.

Who Are Miners?

The blocks chain is secured by the miners. Miners secure the block by creating a hash that is created from the transactions in the block. This cryptographic hash is then added to the block. The next block of transactions will look to the previous block’s hash to verify it is legitimate. Then the miner will attempt to create a new block that contains current transactions and new hash before any other miner does.

In the process of mining, each Bitcoin miner is competing with all the other miners on the network to be the first one to correctly assemble the outstanding transactions into a block by solving those specialized math puzzles. In exchange for validating the transactions and solving these problems. Miners also hold the strength and security of the Bitcoin network. This is very important for security because in order to attack the network, an attacker would need to have over half of the total computational power of the network. This attack is referred to as the 51% attack. The more decentralized the miners mining Bitcoin, the more difficult and expensive it becomes to perform this attack.

Rewards For Mining

As specified by the Bitcoin protocol, each miner is rewarded by each block mined.  Currently, that reward is 12.5 new Bitcoins for each block mined. The Bitcoin block mining reward halves every 210,000 blocks, when the coin reward will decrease from 12.5 to 6.25 coins.  Currently, the total number of Bitcoins left to be mined amounts to 4,293,388. This means that 16,706,613 Bitcoins are in circulation, and that the total number of blocks available until mining reward is halved is 133,471 blocks till 11:58:04 12th Jun, 2020 When the mining reward will be halved.

I addition to the block reward, Bitcoin miners are rewarded for all of the transactions they process. They receive fees attached to all of the transactions that they successfully validate and include in a block.

Because the reward for mining blocks is so high (currently at 12.5 BTC), the competition to win that reward is also fierce among miners. At any moment, hundreds of thousands of supercomputers all around the world are competing to mine the next block and win that reward. In fact, according to, ” the total power of all the computers mining Bitcoin is over 1000 times more powerful than the world’s top 500 supercomputers combined”.

What’s the Point of Bitcoin Mining?

Bitcoin mining is an essential part of the world’s largest cryptocurrency. Bitcoin help keep the Bitcoin network safe, stable, and secure. How does Bitcoin mining keep the network safe, stable, and secure? Mining Bitcoins does two things.

First, it adds transactions to the block chain.

Second, it releases new Bitcoins.

When you mine Bitcoins, you’re compiling all recent Bitcoin transactions into blocks and trying to solve a difficult puzzle (the Bitcoin algorithm). Whichever miner solves the puzzle first gets to place the next block on the block chain and claim their rewards. Those rewards include the newly released Bitcoin as well as transaction fees from the Bitcoin transaction that just got added to the block chain. Not all Bitcoin transactions have transaction fees.

The reward for mining Bitcoins has diminished over time. This is done on purpose to slow the release of Bitcoins over time. There will only be 21 million Bitcoins released over the entire course of the project. The reward for mining is cut in half every 210,000 blocks, or about every 4 years. In 2009, the block reward was 50 Bitcoins. In 2014, it was reduced to 25 Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Mining Requirements

Anyone who can run the mining program on the specially designed hardware can participate in mining. Over the years, many computer hardware manufacturers have designed specialized Bitcoin mining hardware that can process transactions and build blocks much more quickly and efficiently than regular computers, since the faster the hardware can guess at random, the higher its chances of solving the puzzle, therefore mining a block.

Hardcore Bitcoin miners invest tens of thousands of dollars into their computers (or multiple computers). Early in the days of Bitcoin, miners realized that graphics cards were much better suited to solving Bitcoin algorithms than traditional CPUs. As a result, Bitcoin mining computers often have two or three GPUs.

There are also specialized Bitcoin mining computers anyone can buy. These computers are specially built for just one task. They mine Bitcoins using Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chips. We’ll discuss the two basic mining requirements below:


Over the years, due to the advancement in technology and need for more efficient hardware, there have been four major types of hardware used by miners.


In order to have an edge in the mining competition, the hardware used for Bitcoin mining has undergone various developments, starting with the use the CPU. The CPU can perform many different types of calculations including Bitcoin mining. In the beginning, mining with a CPU was the only way to mine Bitcoins and was done using the original Satoshi client. Unfortunately, with the nature of most CPU in terms of multi-tasking, and its optimization for task switching, miners innovated on many fronts and for years now, CPU mining has been relatively futile.


After some months later, after the network started, it was discovered that high end graphics cards were much more efficient at Bitcoin mining. The Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) handles complex 3D imaging algorithms, therefore, CPU Bitcoin mining gave way to the GPU. The massively parallel nature of some GPUs allowed for a 50x to 100x increase in Bitcoin mining power while using far less power per unit of work. But this still wasn’t the most power-efficient option, as both CPUs and GPUs were very efficient at completing many tasks simultaneously, and consumed significant power to do so, whereas Bitcoin in essence just needed a processor that performed its cryptographic hash function ultra-efficiently.


A few years ago, CPU and GPU mining became completely obsolete when FPGAs came around. An FPGA is a Field Programmable Gate Array, which can produce computational power similar to most GPUs, while being far more energy‐efficient than graphics cards. Due to its mining efficiency, and ability to consume relatively lesser energy, many miners shifted to the use of FPGAs.

Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) was capable of doing just that with vastly less demand for power. Its real virtue was the fact that the reduced power consumption meant many more of the chips, once turned into mining devices, could be used alongside each other on a standard household power circuit.


An ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) is a microchip designed for a special application, such as a particular kind of transmission protocol or a hand-held computer.  An ASIC is a chip designed specifically to do only one task. Unlike FPGAs, an ASIC cannot be repurposed to perform other tasks. An ASIC designed to mine Bitcoins can only mine Bitcoins and will only ever mine Bitcoins. The inflexibility of an ASIC is offset by the fact that it offers a 100x increase in hashing power compared to the CPU and GPUs, while reducing power consumption compared to all the previous technologies.

As Bitcoin’s adoption and value grew, the justification to produce more powerful, power-efficient and economical devices warranted the significant engineering investments in order to develop the final and current iteration of Bitcoin mining semiconductors. ASICs are super-efficient chips whose hashing power is multiple orders of magnitude greater than the GPUs and FPGAs that came before them. Succinctly, it’s a custom Bitcoin engine capable of securing the network far more effectively than before.

It is conceivable that an ASIC device purchased today would still be mining in two years if the device is power efficient enough and the cost of electricity does not exceed its output. Mining profitability is also dictated by the exchange rate, but under all circumstances the more power efficient the mining device, the more profitable it is.

Unfortunately, as good as the ASICS there are some downsides associated with Bitcoin ASIC mining. Although the energy consumption is far lower than graphics cards, the noise production goes up exponentially, as these machines are far from quiet. Additionally, ASIC Bitcoin miners produce a ton of heat and are all air‐cooled, with temperatures exceeding 150 degrees F. Also, Bitcoin ASICs can only produce so much computational power until they hit an invisible wall. Most devices are not capable of producing more than 1.5 TH/s (terrahash) of computational power, forcing customers to buy these machines in bulk if they want to start a somewhat serious Bitcoin mining business.


While the actual process of Bitcoin mining is handled by the mining hardware itself, special Bitcoin mining software is needed to connect the Bitcoin miners to the blockchain.

The software delivers the work to the miners and receives the completed work from the miners and relays that information back to the blockchain. The best Bitcoin mining software can run on almost any desktop operating systems, such as OSX, Windows, Linux, and has even been ported to work on a Raspberry Pi with some modifications for drivers depending on the platform.

Not only does the Bitcoin mining software relay the input and output of the Bitcoin miners (hardware) to the blockchain, but it also monitors them and displays general physical statistics such as the temperature, hash rate, fan speed, and average speed of the mining hardware.

Cloud Mining

Managing mining hardware at home can be hectic, considering electricity costs, hardware maintenance, and the noise/heat generated by dedicated hardware that has to be run in data centers. Because of the high energy costs for running a powerful Bitcoin miner, many operators have chosen to build data centers known as mining farms in locations with cheap electricity. To ease the stress of mining, these operators dedicated to renting out their mining hardware for a service called Bitcoin cloud mining.

As innovative as the idea may sound, it is essential to know that there are both advantages and disadvantages to Bitcoin cloud mining.

Some of the advantages include:

  • It removes cloud factors such as investing in Bitcoin mining hardware, having it shipped to your door for a fee, and running the risk of paying VAT on top of all that.
  • There are no settings to worry about, as nearly every Bitcoin cloud mining provider will automatically point your rented hardware to a Bitcoin mining pool.
  • No shipping costs and VAT risk to take into account, Bitcoin cloud mining seems to be a safe bet when it comes to entering the mining scene.

Also, some disadvantages of cloud mining may include the following:

  • No full control over the mining equipment: As a customer, with cloud mining you’re never in full control of the hardware you rent, because you cannot physically or remotely access the miner itself.
  • You are forced to trust a third party with your assets. You’ll have to rely on a centralized third‐party service provider to be honest with you and not to pocket a share of earnings for itself.
  • Unexpected charges for maintenance costs.

What Are Bitcoin Mining Pools?

Early in the days of Bitcoin, it was possible for one miner to mine a steady number of Bitcoins on his or her own. As Bitcoin has become more popular, however, the algorithm has proven too difficult for single miners to handle. That’s why miners have started joining Bitcoin mining pools. Bitcoin mining pools push the processing power of multiple computers together to solve Bitcoin algorithms. Each miner in the pool receives a share of the Bitcoins being mined. That share is proportionate to the amount of processing power input into the pool.

Another advancement in mining technology was the creation of the mining pool, which is a way for individual miners to work together to solve blocks even faster. As a result of mining in a pool with others, the group solves many more blocks than each miner would on his own. Bitcoin mining pools exist because the computational power required to mine Bitcoins on a regular basis is so vast that it is beyond the financial and technical means of most people. Rather than investing a huge amount of money in mining equipment that will (hopefully) give you a return over a period of decades, a mining pool allows the individual to accumulate smaller amounts of Bitcoin more frequently.

When deciding which mining pool to join, one needs to weigh up how each pool shares out its payments and what fees it deducts. There are many schemes by which pools can divide payments. Most of which concentrate of the number of shares which a miner has submitted to the pool as proof of work.

A mining pool sets a difficulty level between 1 and the currency’s difficulty. If a miner returns a block which scores a difficulty level between the pool’s difficulty level and the currency’s difficulty level, the block is recorded as a ‘share’. There is no use whatsoever for these share blocks, but they are recorded as proof of work to show that miners are trying to solve blocks. They also indicate how much processing power they are contributing to the pool the better the hardware, the more shares are generated.

The other factor to consider is how much the pool will deduct from your mining payments. Typical values range from 1% to 10%. However, some pools do not deduct anything.

It is important to note that mining pool should not exceed over 50% of the hashing power of the network as this could lead to 51% attack for the Bitcoin network. If a single entity ends up controlling more than 50% of a cryptocurrency network’s computing power, it could wreak havoc on the whole network.

Commonly Used Pool Payment Methods

Major schemes invented in calculating the share(s) of each member include:

Pay-per-Share (PPS):

This is the most basic version of dividing payments. This method shifts the risk to the pool, guaranteeing payment for each share that’s contributed. Thus, each miner is guaranteed an instant payout. Miners are paid out from the pool’s existing balance, allowing for the least possible variance in payment. However, for this type of model to work, it requires a very large reserve of 10,000 BTC to cover any unexpected streaks of bad luck.

Double Geometric Method (DGM):

The DGM model is a hybrid approach that enables the operator to absorb some of the risk. Here, the operator receives a portion of payouts during short rounds and then returns it during longer rounds to normalize payments for pool participants.

Bitcoin Pooled Mining (BPM):

BPM is a payment model where older shares from the beginning of a block round are given less weight than more recent shares. One of the biggest benefits of BPM is that its design inherently reduces the ability to cheat the mining pool system by switching pools during a round. This model is also known as “SLUSH’S POOL

How to Start Bitcoin Mining

Anyone with an internet connection and basic computer hardware can participate in Bitcoin mining. Unfortunately, “participating” in Bitcoin mining isn’t the same thing as actually making money from it. The new ASIC chips on the market today are specifically designed for mining Bitcoin. They’re really good at Bitcoin mining, and every time someone adds a new ASIC-powered computer to the Bitcoin network, it makes Bitcoin mining that much more difficult.

Another thing to consider before mining Bitcoins is that you’ll need to pay for electricity and hardware. Those are the only two real costs associated with Bitcoin mining.Some people have purposely based their Bitcoin mining operations near cheap sources of electricity. By relocating to these areas and operating large Bitcoin mining networks, you can mine Bitcoins at the cheapest possible rate.

North America’s largest Bitcoin mining operation, for example, is run by MegaBigPower and is located on the Columbia River in Washington State. The Columbia River provides an abundance of hydroelectric power to the surrounding area, making that part of Washington State the cheapest source of electricity in the nation. Electricity is used not only to power the computers, but also to keep them cool. Just like people base their Bitcoin mining operations near sources of cheap electricity, some people have purposely placed their Bitcoin mining operations in places with cool climates.

In any case, here’s a basic step by step guide you’ll need to go through to start mining Bitcoin:

Step 1) Go to and download the Bitcoin client for your OS

Step 2) Install the client and let it download the Bitcoin block chain. That block chain is about 6GB in size. You can also order the Bitcoin block chain on a DVD if you don’t want to burn through that much data.

Step 3) Once your client has fully updated, you’ll need to click “New” in the Bitcoin client to get a new Bitcoin wallet. Your wallet is just a long alphanumeric sequence. Make sure you keep a copy of your wallet.dat file on a thumb drive. Print a copy out and keep it in a safe location. Put a copy in cloud storage. You do this because if your computer crashes, then you’ll lose all your Bitcoins if you can’t access the wallet.dat file.

Step 4) Join a Bitcoin mining pool. There are thousands of Bitcoin mining pools on the internet today. If you don’t join a pool, then you’re probably never going to make any money from Bitcoin mining. The algorithms are just too difficult for single users to solve and you’re unlikely to be awarded

Conclusion: Should You Start Bitcoin Mining?

Ultimately, Bitcoin mining is becoming an arms race. In the early days, anyone with a decent PC could generate Bitcoins through Bitcoin mining. Today, you need to collaborate with other Bitcoin miners in pools, strategically choose the location of your Bitcoin mining operation, and purchase ASIC-powered computers that are specially designed to handle Bitcoin mining. Unless you’re prepared to do all of those steps, Bitcoin mining will be a frustrating and unprofitable operation.



Everything you need to know about the differences between the most popular consensus mechanisms used by blockchain-based cryptocurrencies today.What’s the difference between PoW and PoS? How is DPoS better – if at all? Today, we’re explaining.

What are we talking about here? Why do we need consensus mechanisms?

First, let’s clarify what we’re talking about. Proof of Work (PoW), Proof of Stake (PoS), and Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) are all consensus mechanisms. In other words, they’re a way for participants on a network to agree with one another. The unique thing about blockchains and cryptocurrencies is that network participants can agree with one another – they can come to consensus – without trusting each other. It’s a trustless system.

Blockchain-based cryptocurrencies need consensus mechanisms for one simple reason: because there’s no centralized authority in charge of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies. We need a way to reach consensus without having a trusted, centralized entity in charge of everything. There are many different ways to reach consensus on a blockchain network.

Bitcoin first proposed a system called Proof of Work, where participants on the network provide “proof” that they did “work”. Others have expanded on that concept with Proof of Stake and Delegated Proof of Stake, among others. Let’s take a closer look at the three most popular consensus mechanisms.


Proof of Work, or PoW, is the first consensus mechanism used in the world of crypto. Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto integrated PoW into the bitcoin blockchain, although Satoshi was not the first to propose such a system. In fact, Proof of Work dates all the way back to the 1990s. Back then, researchers suggested using Proof of Work to reduce spam: if computers had to solve a cryptographic puzzle before sending an email, then it could reduce spam.

Proof of Work is based on the idea that your computer needs to provide “proof of work”. Your computer needs to demonstrate that it performed a complex mathematical calculation. Today’s cryptocurrencies are based on incredibly difficult cryptographic puzzles. Your computer will try millions of different “hashes” or solutions per second to try to solve the puzzle.

Proof of Work doesn’t technically involve solving a math problem, contrary to what some people believe. Instead, Proof of Work involves trying different passwords millions of times. It’s like trying to find the right key for the lock out of millions of options. Your computer tries to find the right key before anyone else on the bitcoin network.

Bitcoin is the biggest and best-known Proof of Work cryptocurrency. Other popular cryptocurrencies that use Proof of Work, however, including Litecoin, Dash, and Bitcoin Cash. Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency, has also been running on PoW since launch, although it’s gradually switching to a hybrid PoW/PoS system with the Casper upgrade before fully adopting PoS.

Downsides of Proof of Work

Proof of Work is very effective at securing networks. Anyone who wants to compete for block rewards will need to expend considerable work to do so. Unfortunately, this leads to a major problem: Proof of Work networks are huge energy consumers. Bitcoin mining uses more electricity in a year than most countries in the world, for example. If bitcoin was a country, it would be among the top 50 energy consumers in the world today.

That means Proof of Work networks like bitcoin are unsustainable in their current form. The only way PoW can be effective moving forward is if technology can become more efficient and if we can continue to develop cheaper, renewable sources of electricity. Fortunately, we’ve been able to do both of those things over the last few years. Proof of Work’s high energy consumption is one reason why cryptocurrencies like Ethereum are making the switch to Proof of Stake.


Proof of Stake works in a much different way than Proof of Work. Supporters of Proof of Stake (PoS) argue that it achieves the same outcome as PoW but with significantly less work and wasted energy consumption. Detractors, meanwhile, argue that PoS is much less secure than PoW.

Proof of Stake removes the need for the mining process because there are no math puzzles to solve. Instead, Proof of Stake allows miners to participate in the mining process by “staking” tokens. You buy tokens, download a wallet for those tokens, and then stake those tokens within the wallet. The more tokens you lock away, the better chance you have of earning a reward.

Under the PoS system, miners are replaced with validators. You’re not technically “mining”. You’re “validating” transactions on the network. Validators are awarded tokens proportionately based on the number of tokens they stake. Someone holding 1% of Ethereum, for example, will be able to mine 1% of the Proof of Stake blocks on the network. Today, major cryptocurrencies like PIVX, Qtum, and Reddcoin use Proof of Stake. Ethereum is also expected to adopt Proof of Stake in the future.

Downsides of Proof of Stake

Proof of Stake is undoubtedly more environmentally-friendly than Proof of Work. Users also like PoS because it gives you a way of earning “interest” on cryptocurrency holdings. Instead of your bitcoin just sitting in a wallet, for example, you would be able to stake your bitcoins and earn a steady return. The problem with PoS is security. In PoS systems, a validator can “bet” on two different chains and can win on either side with no punishments. This is called the “nothing at stake” problem, and it’s the main reason why PoS hasn’t totally taken off.

Proof of Work networks are secured because miners need to spend money to secure the network. Miners are spending energy to generate processing power while competing for block rewards. If someone wanted to maliciously target the network, they would need to spend a considerable amount of money to do so. No Proof of Stake networks, someone can attack the network without losing anything. They’re not losing anything by attacking the network.

Fortunately, Ethereum claims to have solved that problem. Ethereum developers claim to have eliminated the nothing at stake problem. Ethereum’s Casper Protocol introduces a punishment mechanism that negates the nothing at stake problem. If validators try to launch a nothing at stake attack, the tokens they’re holding as stake will be taken away from them. Ultimately, Ethereum’s Casper protocol is promising for future Proof of Stake networks, but it has not yet been proven. Casper may prove us all wrong, however, as it rolls out over the coming year.


Delegated Proof of Stake, or DPoS, was invented by Dan Larimer as an improvement on Proof of Stake. Delegated Proof of Stake works in a similar way to PoS, but it “delegates” certain participants to have more power over the network. With DPoS, producers are chosen at the beginning of each block’s production. The entire network delegates their decision-making power to these producers. Producers are chosen at random. In order to stay eligible for continued consideration, these producers must participate within the network.

DPoS block time can be as little as three seconds, allowing the networks using DPOS to scale easily. DPoS is also recognized for its forking ability. The DPoS system is seen as robust because it’s impossible to fork the chain. Producers must co-operate to reach consensus. If someone attempts a hard fork on a DPoS system, then the network automatically switches to the longest chain. Today, a number of major blockchain networks use Delegated Proof of Stake, including EOS, Bitshares, and Steemit.

Downsides of Delegated Proof of Stake

DPoS is prized for being energy efficient, fast, and scalable. Supporters claim it’s the most secure version of proof of stake. The main problem, of course, is that you’re trading these advantages for some degree of centralization. Certain participants on the network are delegated higher power than others. DPoS isn’t a problem if you trust the people in charge. EOS, for example, uses a voting process to select Block Producers (BPs), and those BPs are delegated responsibility for securing the network. BPs that act in bad faith are voted out.

However, voting is fickle. EOS BPs have been caught colluding for votes. Earlier this month, EOS BP Huobi was accused of colluding with Chinese BPs to maintain their supernode status on the network. There’s another problem: even if you 100% trust the delegated participants on the DPoS network, this centralization will make it easier for ISPs and governments to shut down the network. ISPs and governments can target the supernodes in BPs that have been delegated by the network.

With bitcoin, governments can’t shut down the network because there are nodes worldwide, and no node has more power than the others. With DPoS, that’s not the case.


Ultimately, the consensus mechanism wars continue to rage across the bitcoin community. Some believe that Proof of Work will reign supreme despite the high energy consumption. PoW supporters claim technology will become more efficient and renewable energy sources are inevitably the cheapest sources of energy, allowing PoW to become more sustainable moving forward.

Others believe Proof of Stake is the best way forward. PoS trades some security in exchange for vastly more efficient consensus. Others expand on the concept with DPoS, which trades a significant amount of centralization for higher speed and scalability. All of these consensus mechanisms have pros and cons. It remains to be seen, however, which consensus mechanism will reign supreme.


TOP 10 OF 2019

When looking to become a bitcoin miner, there is no more important question than considering what the best kind of hardware. But before delving into the world of hardware, it's important to fully understand the kind of terminology that is commonplace in the world of mining.

Touching on Terminology

Hash Rate – This refers to the number of associated complex calculations that are uncovered and subsequently solved by the hardware. Just how effective the hardware is, or can be: hardware can complete these calculations in seconds.

Just how this works into the world of mining is pretty simple – the higher the hash rate of your chosen hardware, the higher the chances are that your rig will be able to solve complex calculations and complete them faster. Meaning that you're more likely to earn Bitcoin as an associated reward for your work.

In terms of metrics, hash rates are measured in the volumes of Megahashes, Giga and Terahashes per second (M/G/TH/s). It's interesting to mention that some of the first mining hardware created included a hash rate range of anywhere from 340 to even 14,000,000 Megahash per second.

Now when we take into consideration the fact that in regions of the world like the United States, Bitcoin itself is an investment, the whole mining industry that people often delve into is, by extention, a serious investment. With this in mind, people have to be aware of the kinds of challenges that come with undertaking this kind of investment.

Consequently, you will have to keep in mind the kind of costs . that are associated with creating  a long-lasting and profitble mining process, with expenditures like energy proving to be costs that will fluctuate depending on where you are.

One of the plus sides that comes with entering the bitcoin mining world is that there are now mining calculator programs and price calculation websites which allow you to take into account the kind of expenditures you can rack up when working into mining hardware. The more elaborate and powerful kind of hardware, the more electricity you stand to consume on a daily basis.

So before delving into the hardware, it's worth considering the kind of energy consumption rating in watts on an annual basis. Once you're able to hammer out the expenditures, especially electricity, you can find out just how viable it is to get started with something like Bitcoin mining using the kind of hardware you had in mind.

With both the hash rate and energy consumption numbers fresh in your mind, these can help you to create a workable ratio of energy to hash ratio that you can reasonably maintain while turning a profit with the kind of hardware that you choose.

If you're looking at delving into the world of mining hardware and need a tool to do these calculations: Nice Miner is a good place to start. It operates as a free BTC miner which can be made use of by newcomers to the industry, and is a highly . popular tool for Bitcoin mining pools and Bitcoin mining websites out there.

So, now with the terminology all sorted. let's take a look at the

Number 1 – BitMain AntMiner S5

While the S5 is not the latest version available in this extensively used line like the newer S7 and 9 as examples. The Antminer S5 is still a formidable piece of hardware for miners to use, especially if they value a robust hash rate to energy output.

This model offers a power suppy labelled at around 115 volts, which means that this version is capable of drawing approximately 560 Watts. What this means is that the energy demands of this model are much lower than other pieces of hardware out there. Meaning . that those running computers geared towards bitcoin mining will be able to accomodate this model with relative ease.

With this small energy expenditure level in mind, the Antminer S5 is capable of producing 1 Gigahash per second from 0.51 watts that are consumed by it. Comparing the S5 to its older counterparts such as the S3, BitMain has successfully provided a highly efficient piece of mining hardware, especially when considering this hash to energy ratio. Making this the best Bitcoin miner to buy for 2019.

Number 2 – BitMain AntMiner S7

Since BitMain successfully introduced this new . model back in 2015, the AntMiner S7 has since gained a very strong reputation among cryptocurrency miners, especially those involved in Bitcoin. The reason that it's managed to successfully gain this reputation is because of its efficiency when it comes to the factor of power consumption.

BitMain recommends that for those using S7, should have a power supply unit of 1600 watts APW3 when utilizing it, making it one of the best you can get hold of on the market. The added advantage to this particular piece is that it is one of the best on a market specifically targetting bitcoin miners.

One of the factors that miners do have to bear in mind is the fact that the AntMiner S7's efficiency is dependent, to some extent, by the overall ambient temperature of wherever you house it, along with the kind of power supply that's being used.

For example, if you were to house this in an area that has an overall ambient temperature of around 25 degrees centigrade, an AntMiner S7 is capable of producing approximately 1300 watts, and is capable of delivering 4.73 Terahashes per second when consuming 1.29 watts of electricity.

Number 3 – BitMain AntMiner S9

As of the Bitcoin mining place of right now, it is officially BitMain that dominates the top three, with its own AntMiner S9 as its latest and also the best piece of Bitcoin mining hardware that is available on the market.

Compared to its older siblings like the S7 and S5, the S9 is capable of delivering the largest hash rate, capable of delivering 14 Terahashes per second. What makes this kind of hash rate possible is the fact that the S9 boasts a total of three circuit boards, meaning that users have access to an extensive 189 chips whenever mining.

What makes this hashrate even more appealing to serious miners is that it offers a great deal of efficiency where this amount of hash power is concerned. While it does consumer a total of 300 watts more than the older S7 model, which makes it two times more efficient with 0.1 joules consumer per Gigahash produced.

Number 4 – AntMiner T9

When we compare the AntMiner T9 to its newer counterpart such as the S9, we see that the former has a considerably more expensive price tag attached to it. With the T9 itself consuming a total of 1450 watts and being capable of generating a total of 11.5 Terahashes per second on that, meaning that it has an underlying efficiency of 0.126 Joules per GigaHash.

In terms of the opinion of the mining community, as well as when considering the energy efficiency, hashrate and cost, the AntMiner S9 is a far better choice than the T9. One way in which the T9 model has an advantage is the fact that the S9's chips are of lower quality, meaning that there is a greater likelihood that these will become unstable and less reliable over time.

This is an issue that the T9 has since managed to fix, providing less chips than the S9 (136 compared to 189) but with far greater durability over time.

Number 5 – AvalonMiner 741

The AvalonMiner 741 has obtained a reputation as one of the more affordable pieces of hardware geared for Bitcoin mining, and is developed by the cryptocurrency mining company – Canaan.

Compared to other mining systems, the AvalonMiner provides a solid hash rate of approximately 7.3 Terahashes per second, in conjunction with an efficiency level of 0.16 Joules per GigaHash. One of the ways that it is capable of providing a high level of efficiency is thanks to its in-built air cooling systems, which means that it can maintain the steady operation of all 88 of its chips, all functioning as a single unit.

This internal cooling system means that this miner can run any kind of time.

Number 6 – AntMiner L3+

Boasting a total of four circuit boards, containing a grand total of 288 chips, BitMain's AntMiner L3+ offers would-be buyers twice the processing power of its earlier predecessor.

Boasting a reputation as a very easy to use piece of mining hardware, the AntMiner L3+ provides a great deal of hashing power, meaning that it is capable of generating a total of 504 MegaHash per second while using up approximately 800 watts in order to accomplish this.

What this means is that users of the L3+ will have a piece of hardware that offers an energy efficiency rating of 1.6 Joules per MegaHashes.

Number 7 – BitMain AntMiner D3

While this list is generally targetted at those miners interested in extracting Bitcoin from their hardware. One of the products that is a strong candidate looking to extract Dash is the AntMiner D3. One of the common practices of those mining Dash, for example, is to use their mining hardware in order to mine the crypto, before converting it over to Bitcoin in order to turn a higher profit.

So what makes BitMain's AntMiner D3 such an effective tool for this process is that it offers a typical hash rate of 15 GigaHash per second in exchange for consuming a total of 1200 Watts.

With a total measurement range of 320 by 130 by 190mm, this means that it can be arranged pretty easily for those looking to run multiple pieces of mining hardware together.

Number 8 – Dragonmint T16

While it has since fallen behind other brands such as BitMain and its AntMiner series, DragonMint and its T16 model made history in the Bitcoin mining world, thanks to it successfully achieving a hash rate of 16 TeraHashes per second, which truly set it apart from its rivals.

While the DragonMint T16 has a power supply requirement of about 1600 Watts, it has a great deal of efficiency to boot: consuming only 0.075 joules per Giga Hash, which makes its a great competitor when placed next to the AntMiner S9, which has a consumption level of 0.098 Joules per GigaHash.

One of the added advantages to the DragonMint T6 is that it has access to the ASCIBOOST algorithm, meaning that its underlying efficiency can get a comfortable efficiency boost of 20 percent, making it one of the outstanding model ASIC Miners around this year.

Number 9 – Pagolin Miner M3X

While not offering the same level of efficiency when it comes to energy expenditure to hash rate, or offering as much effectiveness when compared to its market counterparts that we've previously mentioned. The Pagolin Miner M3X offers miners a much bigger unit for mining, thanks to its embedded ASIC chips.

This high level of access to ASIC chips does mean that it is a pretty demanding piece of mining equipment in terms of power, drawing in around 1.8 Kilowatts and even 2 under certain conditions. One of the ways in which it makes up for this lower efficiency rates is that it offers a higher hash rate of 13 TeraHash per second.

Number 10 – Avalon6

For those that are newcomers to the world of cryptocurrency mining, especially for Bitcoin – the Avalon6 is one of the best around for this purpose. Compared to other systems out there, getting the Avalon6 set up is relatively straight forward, and is a very profitable piece of hardware that can get beginners started.

With the Avalon6 drawing in a total of 1050 Watts, it is only capable of drawing in 3.5 TeraHash per second. Along with this, the Avalon6 has the additional drawback of not having its own in-built power supply, meaning that users will need to purchase these separately.

For those that are interested in starting up a mining rig in their office or at home, the Avalon 6 is a pretty decent unit for making a debut into the world of mining.





In crypto mining, rig manufacturers can employ various algorithms with which miners approach the process. One manufacturer that has made it their mission to offer diversity in the arena is Baikal. Indeed, Baikal was one of the first companies to create the X11 ASIC, and is now also one of the first to bring Cryptonight ASICs to the retail market.Seen by many as a fine balance of technical inputs, the company’s Giant N rig is such an ASIC, and runs at 20 KH while pulling only 60 watts. In comparison, a GPU-style rig would need several GPUs and draw around 2,500 watts or even more, based on the settings.

Baikal is a Chinese ASIC rig supplier and is developing a name among miners as an extremely technically savvy outfit. Many miners find that the rig diversity on offer from the company enables them to optimize profitable mining in their unique circumstances.

With its inwardly-focused drive of rig refinement, it’s perhaps no surprise that Bitmain and others have captured the bulk of the retail mining market to date. With that being said, the Baikal rigs often land at a very competitive prices and are slowly being recognized for their affordability, as well as great statistics on energy consumption.

Baikal ASIC Miner Metrics

The most popular Baikal rigs are the BK range, sporting various algorithmic approaches, including the Giant N version. All are Cryptonight ASICS, and many more experienced miners who favor a home setup are gravitating towards the company’s machines, as they allow miners to refine their approach better than limited, one-size-fits-all offers.

Baikal Power consumption

Miners can enjoy a low pull across the range of available rigs, and anything from 60 – 630 watts at the top end remains an average rating.

Baikal Hash rate

The company machines come with a detailed extrapolation of inbuilt hashing algorithms, as follows:

· Starting with the biggest consumer, the X11 algorithm will give miners a 10GH hash rate, pulling 630 watts under typical conditions.
· The Quark algorithm gives the same hash rate but pulls only 360 watts of power.
· Likewise Qubit grants a miner the same rate, but at 390 watts.
· The Myriad-Groesll algorithm likewise allows for 10GH, but at 150 watts.
· The company’s inbuilt Skein algorithm gives but 5 GH, but pulls at only 120 watts; and
· The X11Gost algorithm gives a hashrate of 1.35GH, pulling 200 watts.

Baikal Energy Efficiency

Still confusing for newcomers, the relatively diverse range on offer from Baikal means that an online efficiency calculator is essential for retail miners to determine exactly what their monthly costs will be, while also deciding on how exactly they want to go about mining. User reviews appear to have moved beyond debate on profitability, but many point to the necessity of a careful calculation of individual circumstances to determine true profitability for miners.\

Broad consensus, however, is that the machines are light and savvy, also being relatively small in construction, and that miners need to appreciate a low power consumption with perhaps a longer term approach to mining for profitability.

Baikal Price

Although listed at $999 on the company site, the Giant N, for example, can fetch between $3000 and $4000, depending on where miners obtain the rigs.

Baikal Availability

The company’s rigs are available through the company site, and buying directly ensures users can access the limited but welcome 45-day warranty given by the company. Baikal also has a paid repair service, although this might be of negligible value to far-flung clients.

Baikal ASIC Miner Nutshell

Many buying Baikal rigs for the first time are impressed with the detailed firmware that makes initial setup a simple affair. Establishing or joining a pool is made easy, along with algorithm selection and various tweaks and touches a miner can choose when first establishing their mining protocol(s).

Those in the know maintain that in spite of a warranty, after-sales service is modest at best, and new users should note that once paid for, a rig purchase can be canceled, but without a refund.

Trading largely on the Asian market, Baikal has yet to become a household name elsewhere across the world. Globally, dedicated miners are however fast coming to appreciate the low electrical pull and finely balanced approach of the company’s machines. It remains to be seen whether by incorporating diversity, relevant technical savvy and a lightweight build, Baikal machines come to dominate a sizeable percentage of the mining market. Favored by Monero miners to some extent, the company will face a modest challenge on that front in the coming months, as that chain attempts to fork away from the possibility of being ASIC mined.



Marketing the rather dramatically named Snow Panther B1+ miner, Bitfily has generated a reputation for consistently great mining rigs that are also cost-effective to purchase. The company’s machines vary from around $900 to $2,200 in price, and although not a common name for many global miners, the firm has established a following in the highly competitive Chinese market.

With above-average onsite intel and demo videos, the company may well lag behind fellow makers Bitmain and Innosilicon on market presence, for example, but nonetheless offer machines that were focused at the outset on both hashrate and energy consumption, making for overall profitable rigs.

The B1+ rig is compact and eminently comparable to many others out there in terms of size, weight, price and performance. That said, the company has a more involved and engaging attitude towards clients, and being part of the HIGGS Group means that a corporate service culture is carried cross platforms. Miners can expect better response times and overall support from the company, as well as sleek, profitable mining machines. Focused on becoming a “one-stop supercomputing service,” the company has incorporated blockchain development into its business model, including its current range of mining rigs. With many former Huawei, Samsung and Sony employees on the team, the company’s miners are highly competitive and geared for genuinely profitable global application.

Bitfily ASIC Miner Metrics

Although in Ether quarters the Snow Panther E3 is more popular, the company’s flagship rig remains the B1+.

Not known in the crypto mining community as having introduced giant leaps forward in hashrate versus energy-efficiency, the rigs are slowly becoming known for a very technically capable balance of all needed inputs. Operating temperatures and other means of gauging the rigs’ effectiveness present a quietly polished machine that deserves better recognition.

Bitfily Power Consumption

The company has opted for an aggressive miner that is rated at 2100W, being far from the lower-end watt ratings of many other machines. That said, the overall profitability of the rig is the prime consideration for many users.

Bitfily Hashrate

The B1+ miner runs at a punchy 24.5T hashrate. In contrast, the company’s Ether miner the E3 runs at some 230Mh, although the Bitfily’s closest competitors are similarly rated to the B1+.

Bitfily Energy Efficiency

The rig pans out to be comparably energy-efficient in spite of its watt rating, posting 0.082J/GH.

Bitfily Price

For newcomers and seasoned miners alike, the price tag of $899 direct from the company comes as a moderately pleasant surprise. Although still higher than many rigs on the market, many users find the price manageable, especially when factoring in the term to profit.

Bitfily Availability

The Bitfily company rigs are typically always available and there are seldom short-supply issues. This may well change going into 2019, as demand increases, although the Shenzhen facility also has extensive factory floor space elsewhere in China, enabling the company to theoretically keep up to speed with market demands.

Used models are available online, but with the guarantee of decent supply and service, most miners find that the company site remains the best place to buy new machines.

Bitfily ASIC Miner Nutshell

Not sporting a diverse range of rigs, Bitfily has rather spent time on R&D before rolling out a well-balanced offer in the B1+. Users are well-advised to employ any one of dozens of online efficiency calculators prior to purchase, although the machines have been in operation for a short while now and post genuine profits within an acceptable time frame.

The company’s Snow Leopard A1 Bitcoin miner with a 49T algorithm 49T is a collaboration with American Bitfury, known to be a big-hitter focused less on energy considerations than bulk mining capacity. This model was released to Shanghai consumers earlier in February 2018. for all intents and purposes, the A1 is an industrially-sized machine, capable of forming large banks of mining power. The A1 does ask a lot from retail miners, however, rated as it is at 5400W.

Highly competitive machines, the company’s B1+ does seem lost among more visible competitors’ offers, although this is a shame as many testify in online chat rooms that, although not producing radically superior statistics, the rigs are producing very good returns at a fair efficiency, something that broadly encapsulates miners’ demands of any machine. The company also issues a standard 180-day warranty on all machines, and complaints about both performance and supply issues are uncommon online.



Bitcoin mining started out and indeed was always imagined as a home-based activity, with millions envisaged logging on more or less frequently to mine the chain. In 2018, however, powerful ASIC mining rigs have come to dominate the landscape. For most enthusiasts, it’s no longer viable to practice DIY mining from a home PC, as ASIC mining rigs have become highly focused and efficient aids to mining cryptocurrency rewards. Nowadays, enthusiasts either purchase a mining rig or rigs, or join a mining pool where computing power is shared and applied to mining cryptocurrency.

Among the several dozen rigs available globally, the Bitfury ASIC mining rig has a large and dedicated following, not only in its US home market. The rig is widely seen as a technically savvy and very reliable chunk of hardware, optimized for mining by blockchain developers who are passionate mining enthusiasts themselves. The company also mines as a standalone operation, with the proceeds further testament to the effectiveness of their hardware.

Bitfury ASIC Miner Metrics

Bitfury’s BlockBox is a large square device that comprises 176 individual miners, pushing a dynamic 8 PH mining rate. The company’s rigs typically find employment with much larger, commercial set ups, although there’s nothing stopping retail rental or home use if desired.

Bitfury Power Consumption

Power consumption is a measure of how much electricity the mining rig is going to consume. This is a critical metric to gauge, as electricity bills have become a prime determinant for many individual miners especially. Consumption is measured in watts and the lower the number of watts (W), the better.

Watts in turn are a measure of joules per second, but the point is that the Bitfury rig is rated at 1.2MW (megawatts) and is a large, combination “block” of a rig that eats a large amount of electricity.

Bitfury Hashrate

A mining rig’s hashrate is a measure of how much power a miner has available to solve digital mining’s mathematical problems in order to release rewards. Essentially, a rig’s hashrate is the rate of the number of guesses the rig makes at solving the problem every second. Not too long ago, more powerful home PCs were seen as rapid, making several million guesses per second.

Nowadays, dedicated mining rigs can make 10 to the power of 12 guesses a second, a massive uptick from previous mining abilities! Unlike watts, which should be lower, not higher, a rig’s hashrate should be higher, and Bitfury’s BlockBox comes in at 8 PH.

When one considers that 1 petahash (PH) is 1,000,000,000,000,000 hashes per second, the Bitfury kit starts to appear as an extremely powerful rig.

Bitfury Energy Efficiency

A derivative from the first metric of power consumption, where one watt of power is equal to one joule per second, a rig’s efficiency can be measured. For example, a miner’s rig might produce a very high hashrate, but if it isn’t particularly efficient, the generated mining rewards will cost more to capture. Online efficiency calculators abound and it remains the task of a buyer to do a basic calculation, based on their personal circumstances, to determine any rig’s efficiency level.

Bitfury Price

Unlike small, individual rigs, Bitfury’s BlockBox is a commercial tank, designed to enable major ambitions. An outright purchase will cost $1 million, while renting a BlockBox on a monthly basis costs some $70,000. Mining proceeds are also shared with the company as part of the deal.

Bitfury Availability

The process of renting mining power is fairly quick and uncomplicated with Bitfury, although taking physical delivery of a rig or rigs might take several days, or even weeks, depending on geographies. The best place to rent or buy Bitfury is from the company itself.

Bitfury ASIC Miner Nutshell

As a veteran blockchain software and hardware company that was formed way back in 2011, miners recognize the intuitive drive inbuilt into Bitfury’s rigs. Miners also have the assurance that Bitfury rigs are competitive, as the company is heavily involved in constant mining with their own rigs.

Bitfury in fact accounts for a sizeable percentage of overall Bitcoin mining globally, and has developed a loyal following. Many insist that the Bitfury rig is the most profitable to employ, however, as this does depend to a limited extent on a country’s national electricity costs and other variables, no one mining rig can claim to be streets ahead of any other. The Bitfury rig is a “gas guzzler,” but a very effective, professional offer.

The company has datacenter operations in Iceland, Norway, the Republic of Georgia and Canada. As the rigs are modular, miners can employ a greater or lesser portion of available power to mine on a daily basis. Importantly, the architecture allows for potentially endless banks of rigs installed for commercial mining purposes, something that appeals to bulk mining setups as well as dedicated individual miners looking to grow.



A Chinese giant occasionally lambasted by diehard enthusiasts for taking mining away from the population at large, Bitmain is almost synonymous with ASIC mining for millions in the industry. Founded in 2013, the company has mass-produced their Antminer rigs to satisfy world demand ever since. Bitmain is arguably the largest and certainly one of the best-known ASIC rig suppliers in the world, and Antminer rigs remain globally very popular as a mining rig option.

While electricity costs vary from country to country, the company’s Antminer rigs are generally seen as one of the most energy-efficient rigs available today. Other ASIC miners are often measured against Bitmain’s rigs. Historically, users had to purchase a separate PSU along with the mining rig, but now there is also an inbuilt option available for an extra $90, on the Antminer S9i model.

Bitmain has been evaluated as an ASIC miner supplier against the same metrics as others although, with far higher volumes, the noise has been far greater. All said, the consensus remains that Antminer rigs are largely energy-efficient and profitable to run.

These welcome attributes don’t come with a rock-bottom price, and Antminers are not the cheapest ASIC rigs available. Hastened by China’s draconian stance on crypto, the company has established offices around the world, and their flagship Antminer S9 was launched in 2016. Mining Bitcoin, Dash and Litecoin, the company also runs the Antpool and mining pools.

Bitmain ASIC Miner Metrics

Very much like Apple and other brands are a part of the fabric of certain tech spheres, so too are Bitmain Antminer rigs a part of the furniture in the cryptosphere. At the outset, the company picked a clear direction on the technical capabilities of their rigs and their production volume, but it would be unfair to suggest that Antminers have succeeded simply by being the most commonly available rigs.

In the case of Bitmain, volume has not been employed as a model with which to dominate mining, nor has it compromised quality. Rather, the Antminer rigs are genuinely good mining kit.

Bitmain ASIC Miner Power consumption

The Antminer S9 power consumption specs rate the machines at 1300 – 1350 watts. This is already a good point of departure, below competitive offers, even if not by much.

Bitmain ASIC Miner Hashrate

The Antminer S9, for example, has a hashrate of around 12.93 – 14.0TH. This extrapolates into the effective mining of around 0.5BTC in a month.

Bitmain ASIC Miner Energy Efficiency

This is where the Antminer is hard to beat, as even when another competing rig might rate lower on another metric, the overall composition of a Bitmain machine ultimately makes for a higher energy efficiency, with relatively low consumption. Antminer rigs are broadly known and valued as being low-demand rigs, inexpensive to run, and suitable for all on that basis alone.

Bitmain ASIC Miner Price

Antminer rigs might be comparably inexpensive to run, but a single Antminer S9 unit will set users back by $3000. Although not an outrageous price, the machines are priced higher than some others in the market.

Bitmain ASIC Miner Availability

Not only does Bitmain frequently improve the S9 unit specs, the rigs are not in short supply either, whether users are buying new or secondhand. Because of the frequent model upgrades, miners buying a used rig should check to see exactly what hash power is offered by the unit. There is seldom a warranty on used machines either, and most find that the best place to buy a rig – or several – is directly from Bitmain

Bitmain ASIC Miner Nutshell

Equally famous and infamous for its mining rigs, Bitmain has become the poster child for those who bemoan the centralization of crypto mining. For many, it’s also a poster child for mining success. The company also picked up loads of varying press in its support for Bitcoin Cash, mostly due to accusations of manipulation of its mining pools to generate sublime support for the coin.

Apart from the often intense emotions the company seems to provoke on either side of any crypto divide, users broadly acknowledge that the Antminer rigs are good, cost-effective mining machines. The company has a reputation for technical and support excellence too, especially as regards its approach to prompt shipping of orders.

Some commentators note that the overwhelming success of Bitmain has come at the expense of an egalitarian global mining community, as it has the tech power to usurp smaller-scale mining efforts, centralizing profits in an unpalatable way. In spite of its potential to eliminate widespread, realistic opposition in the cryptosphere, Antminers S7 to S9 remain some of the most affordable and effective options open for users looking to take their mining efforts to the
next level. The S7, for example, is in its nineteenth production run, testament to the value users find in Bitmain rigs.



In 2015 Bitcoin Magazine referred to BW as an “unknown giant,” and the company today has survived Chinese bans and the waxing and waning of their cheap hydroelectric supply, to remain one of the most silent yet powerful mining pools in the world. Online company information once interpreted says that the “B” in BW stands for “Bit” and the “W” for “World” or “Wealth,” and the company is a prominent Asian enthusiast of a blockchain economy.

The company website goes on to depict their aim of creating a “diverse and self-governing community through production, appreciation and circulation of digital assets.” To this end, BW is less of a rig supplier and more a mining pool – one of the oldest, in fact, at least in Asia – and also something of an “exchange,” as the pool encourages the use of a native token and active circulation by “trading” through mining.

Although previously focused on Bitcoin, Litecoin enthusiasts rate the company pool as one of the best and the company has a powerful mining bank, insistent participation benefits and a far broader approach to cryptocurrencies than merely selling mining rigs. Already in 2015, the company boasted some eight percent of global crypto mining power.

More a “cryptocurrency network” than a machine maker, the company’s overall crypto output sits at well over $1 million daily. Much of this does come from individual miners, although with the company’s acquisition in 2017 by Australian Collinstar Holdings, BW today is the first POS mining pool. It also acts as a digital asset exchange dealing in mining pool contracts. To this end, the company has the support of ZB, a large digital exchange.

BW ASIC Miner Metrics

More a Chinese outfit focused on the Asian markets, BW nonetheless attracts users worldwide, although wading through the extensive Chinese language onsite is something that the company will need to streamline if it wishes to be a truly global pool.

BW Miner Power Consumption

Power consumption considerations are best extrapolated through mining pool costs with BW, through “mining by deposit” that involves employing the company’s native token BWB. For standalone miners typically employing the company’s BW-L21 rig, the rigs are rated as 950 watts.

BW Miner Hashrate

The prevailing hashrate when pool mining becomes another extrapolation from persistent participation, although individual miners can expect a 550MH as standard from the L21 machine.

BW Miner Energy Efficiency

With statistics of 1.727 J/MH, the company’s machines are seen as broadly energy-efficient, something that when combined with the original build’s incorporation of extremely cheap Chinese hydroelectric power, has also built the mining pool so successfully over the last three years. Individual retail miners are encouraged to employ an online efficiency calculator to pinpoint exact metrics for BW rigs.

BW Miner Price

A BW-L21 mining rig will cost around $2690, although miners are considered lucky to simply log on and place an order, as the rigs are seldom readily available.

BW Miner Availability

The BW site is broadly geared for pool miners and assumes a certain familiarity with Asian pool mining. It doesn’t host a shop where rigs can be ordered. The best place to source a machine for home use is from the official distributor of BW machines, HyperBit. That said, the site currently lists the item as “out of stock,” and a large reason behind the company’s shallow presence as a rig supplier, as opposed to a company like Bitmain, for example, has been it’s pooled mining focus, with retail rig sales a secondary consideration. Although partnering with HyperBit was an attempt to streamline supply, the fundamental focus on pool mining has meant that availability is still poor. Users can access secondhand rigs relatively easily via enthusiast chat rooms, but buying new typically involves lots of patience.

BW ASIC Miner Nutshell

A hybrid crypto company, looking to generate funds through pooled mining and the implementation of its native token, supplying rigs appears as a lesser consideration for BW. That said, as a direct extrapolation of its mining pool results, the company’s machines are seen as technically accomplished and one of the best of energy consumption and profitability metrics combined.

There is a large camp that still questions BW rigs’ profitability over the medium term, however, but it seems demonstrable that the machines turn a good profit with competitive base inputs. The reason that they have yet to be employed far wider by individual miners, is simply that machines are in short supply.

For users who favor more detailed involvement in the cryptosphere and wish to combine mining, trading and investing while accumulating an exchange-specific token, BW strikes the ideal chord. For standalone miners too, BW machines present as highly efficient rigs that can accumulate legitimate profits over the medium term, when rigs are available.



Another Chinese giant, comparatively unknown outside of Asia, Canaan is nevertheless a massive contributor to crypto mining, being the second-largest ASIC producer in the world. From inception in 2013 in Beijing, the company concentrated on producing FPGAs, the mining hardware that was the forerunner to modern ASIC domination.

Canaan thus has a hale and also dynamic history in the industry, as well as diverse electronic communications and other legacy expertise. This is currently being exploited by the company’s ambitious new project, as Canaan seeks to combine TV with a home ASIC miner running at 2.8TH. The product is a 43-inch TV known as the “AvalonMiner Inside,” and doubles as a bitcoin mining rig, a crypto-centric omen of the looming IoT.

Earlier in 2018, observers noted that during Canaan’s submission for listing by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, documents showed a quietly huge and highly profitable company, responsible for around 20 percent of Bitcoin’s hashrate. The listing itself was seen as a bold move by a company developing big crypto plans for the future and has helped the company fund its medium-term plans.

Alternatively referred to as the “Avalon miner” or “Canaan miner,” the company’s rigs are widely held to be cutting-edge technology, and preferred by many to other offers, including rivaling more mainstream and hugely popular Bitmain’s Antminer machines. The parent company is Canaan, whereas the mining rigs are typically referred to as Avalon mining rigs.

Canaan ASIC Miner Metrics

Compact and relatively lightweight, Avalon miners are also amenable to modular assembly. While this is not unique to Canaan, the company does present an extremely tech-savvy range of products, all geared towards a logical expansion on the back of profitability, especially for retail, individual miners.

Although models like the AvalonMiner 831 have a slightly greater touch of glamour to them, it appears the company’s Avalon 761 is emerging as the unit capable of bringing home a faster return on investment, which is probably why users can expect to pay up to three times the retail price when buying it secondhand from enthusiast forums.

Canaan Power Consumption

Power consumption on the AvalonMiner 831, for example, one of the company’s currently popular machines, is rated at 1250 watts.

Canaan Hash rate

Although a rig’s hash rate remains the measure of just how much power miners have to solve crypto mining’s mathematical problems, users insist the 12.5TH rate on the Avalon 831 makes for dynamic mining, no matter that the watt rating is higher than superficially comparable machines. Manufacturers have limited room to toggle the fundamental metrics of a mining rig and stay competitive, but this is something Canaan seems to have gotten spot on.

Canaan Energy Efficiency

The company has been mindful of energy costs and all-round efficiency from the word go when building their mining rigs, and the Avalon 831, for example, posts a 0.109J/GH efficiency metric. As with any supplier, users can employ one of many great online efficiency calculators to do a rough extrapolation before buying a Canaan rig.

Canaan Price

The company prices their machines very reasonably, from around $350 through to $450 for minimum orders, although varying supply makes it sometimes difficult to cost purchases, as various models or other components often need to be sourced elsewhere.

Canaan Availability

There is a minimum order for visitors to the site, as the company depicts prices based on 60 or more units, although users can sometimes tweak a deal in terms of its volume and cost. Overall, availability is generally high – an unusual feature for many other Asian rig makers – and secondhand machines are also readily available.

Canaan ASIC Miner Nutshell

With slightly reduced upfront layout and an ostensibly better-enabled ROI, at least in comparison to Bitmain’s Antminer rigs, Canaan’s new publicity drive could well see the company shifting positions at the top end of Asian ASIC miners. The company was one of the first to both decide upon the legitimacy of ASIC mining and commence wholesale manufacture, and this proactive attitude has resulted in some highly cost-effective, efficient mining rigs.

Overall, a reputable supplier, online support is on a par for the industry – typically absent or poor. Newcomers especially will need to acquaint themselves with mining’s dictates and satisfy themselves first when buying a Canaan rig, as even in chat rooms, there is little online help available. Users seeking but a unit or two will be directed to one of many official distributors, although they will then have to field higher retail prices at times.

As with its predecessor, the AvalonMiner 6, the newer series 7 machines have been applauded by users who point especially to the innovation of Canaan’s A3212 16nm chips utilized in the 7 series, as well the relative silence with which the units run, something no doubt to be incorporated in the Avalon Inside TV.



In December 2017, at the height of bitcoin mania, Chinese Ebang released its Ebit E9 and E10 mining rigs. Although not a darling of the Western press, the company has previously made headlines with the 14nm E9 miner, and now incorporates DW1228 chips made using the Samsung 10nm process, boosting newer models’ hashrate, or at least, their overall efficiency.

Having been focused on the home market, Ebang manifested a spurt of competitiveness when it aimed at beating Bitmain’s more mainstream AntMiner S9 that has a hashrate of 13.5.TH, building their E10 to run at a rate of 18TH. The company’s flagship rig is the Ebit E9i 13.5T, a machine that adds further detailed options to the mining equipment arena and one that presents as a compact, profitable rig for retail miners.

Ebang has in the past demonstrated the differences in regional markets, upping its profile and production just as Nvidia and other US companies were gearing up for a crypto mining slump. Users point to the company’s tailored build that is focused on discernible mid-term profits – a highly accentuated and more insistent demand in Asia than elsewhere.

They also claim that the company’s rigs don’t need to be run on any particular country’s cheaper electricity. Loyal users maintain that the machines produce consistent results and can be profitably utilized anywhere in the world.

All rig makers had to factor in the waxing and waning mining costs of Bitcoin and others over the last year, something that gave rise to a large and disgruntled retail mining population some months ago, when there was strong debate around the ultimate profitability of a lone retail miner. ASIC chips have largely resolved the issue, and Ebang has emerged as an extremely savvy manufacturer that was at the forefront of addressing mining profitability, and whose machines allow many in Asia and elsewhere to mine profitably.

Ebang ASIC Miner Metrics

Ebang offers a range of rigs, and although initially appearing as the new kid on the block behind Bitmain and Avalon, the company has also benefited from bitcoin’s upswing since mid-2017 too.

Ebang Power Consumption

Power consumption as a measure of the quantity of electricity a mining rig consumes has become the dominant consideration for retail miners, as crypto mining is demanding and thus expensive in terms of electrical consumption. The company’s E9 and E10 rigs are rated at 95W and 90W respectively.

Ebang Hash rate

Users can expect to employ a hashrate of between 13.5TH and 18TH, depending on which machine they use.

Ebang Energy Efficiency

A watt of power being equal to a joule per second, Ebang rigs are rated fairly efficient overall, although individual miners will need a medium-term run to determine actual historical figures that demonstrate this.

Officially, the Ebit E9.2 models runs at 0.11 j/GH. Online efficiency calculators aid in determining initial potential viability, and miners are advised to do the maths both before ordering from Ebang and also during extended use, in order to verify the exact level of efficiency they’re experiencing.

Ebang Miner Price

The E9i 13.5TH sells for $745, and other models hover around the same level, although as the units are frequently sold out, prices fluctuate or remain unknown for periods of time, making accurate, average new and secondhand prices difficult to determine.

Ebang Miner Availability

The best place for new rigs is the Ebang company itself, although frustrated users do buy from a readily available secondhand stock holding, sourced via community chat rooms and other ecommerce venues.

Ebang ASIC Miner Nutshell

Although not as popular nor as well-known as rival Bitmain, it’s clear that Ebang has diligently attempted to avoid any technical or profitability quibbles experienced by their peers. The company’s machines are lightweight with manageable running costs, while still producing a hashrate that users find leads to clear profitability within an acceptable time frame.

A diverse outfit, Ebang is in fact an “electronics, communications, software development, machining, mold design and manufacturing” company, according to its website. While this might seem irrelevant to many miners, the fact that the company has a reputation in the electronic communications industry bodes well for the nature of their mining tech, something a growing number of retail miners are realizing.

Ebang presents as a professional, determined rig maker, although support levels are typically poor, a persistent theme in both the digital exchange and rig supply arenas. That said, the price of the company’s machines is for many the opportunity to avail themselves of rigs comparable to Antminers and others available at similarly low prices, while also benefiting from the overall efficiency of the E9i and others.


[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]HALONG MINING

Very much like digital exchanges, ASIC miners in the cryptosphere keep evolving and competing on tech, methodology and price. Toss in an association with giant Samsung, and it becomes apparent why the Dragonmint rig from Chinese Halong Mining is sought after by many. Known as a persistently efficient and easy mining rig, demand has outstripped supply, although used rigs can be found on social media.

Officially called the Dragonmint 16T 16.0 TH/s, the latest offer from a very anonymous and young company has demonstrably superlative performance over others in some areas. Apart from having their chips made by Samsung, the company also has a modest claim to endorsement by the cypherpunk legend, Adam Back.

Referred to by Satoshi Nakamoto in Bitcoin’s original white paper, Back built the hashcash proof-of-work system that in its present form underpins Bitcoin mining. A very new kid on the block, Halong Mining might be young and unknown, but all reports from the industry indicate that their most powerful DragonMint T1 rigs were performing as claimed.

Halong Mining ASIC Miner Metrics

The Dragonmint mining rigs have proven more popular than production allows for, as supplies of the rigs are way behind demand. The company still takes orders, it just takes a while for them to be processed. Halong’s rigs are relatively portable, extremely tech-savvy and also energy efficient.

Halong Dragonmint Power consumption

Power consumption contributes to an overall saving for many used to Antminer or other mining rigs, and the Dragonmint rigs are rated at 1480W. Although globally variant, electricity costs have been a bugbear for miners, and to date Halong Mining’s rigs present as a vast improvement on previous offers.

Halong Dragonmint Hash rate

The DragonMint T1 is an ASIC SHA256 miner and runs at 16TH with what is called ASICBoost technology inbuilt, for enhanced power efficiency.

Halong Dragonmint Energy efficiency

Measuring the Dragonmint rig’s efficiency points to a smart balance of hashing ability and power consumption. As various suppliers attempt to juggle their rigs’ build to arrive at the most cost-effective final total for miners, Dragonmint rigs have found something of a sweet spot, as they use only 0.075J/GH, noticeably less than its nearest rival, the Antminer S9.

Halong Dragonmint Price

Not only great tech and high performance make the Dragonmint rig desirable, as at a price of some $2,700.00, the majority of miners find this a fair balance of all inputs. Although the mining rig fraternity has had some bad press on overblown claims, Halong Mining rigs walk the talk and returns are neither drawn out nor negligible over time. The company only accepts orders for a minimum of five units, hence individuals will have a sizeable initial outlay.

Halong Dragonmint Availability

The Halong rigs remain hard to come by quickly, although the used rig market on eBay and elsewhere is populated with offers. The best place to buy a Dragonmint rig with a warranty remains Halong Mining itself.

Halong Mining ASIC Miner Nutshell

Having thrown some $30 million at research before building their final products, Halong Mining epitomizes a new breed of rig maker. There are decided improvements in using the company’s rigs for many miners, most notably electricity cost reduction and an enhanced overall profitability. The Dragonmint’s ASICBoost protocol claims an average of 20 percent efficiency improvement for the average miner, and has so far largely fulfilled the promise.

Although young, there has been no allegations of any fickle or otherwise untrustworthy behavior by the company, and on their minimal yet business-oriented website, it’s straight to business. Ambivalent users need to be sure of a purchase, as the company doesn’t entertain refunds willy-nilly, but the rigs do come with a warranty and some of the best current ASIC mining tech inside.



Another powerful rig, a machine from iBeLink takes a similar approach to hashrate mining as some of its peers, like ASICminer and Pangolin. The company’s manifestation of that approach, however, ends all broad similarities, as its mining rigs are robust, sleek black boxes that carry a substantial hashing capability.

While many competitors can beat them on price and energy consumption, iBeLink’s clincher comes in the form of powerful, persistent mining. Still relatively unknown outside of the USA, and nowhere near as popular as Bitmain’s Antminers, for example, iBeLink was one of the first makers to incorporate X11 ASICs. The company is also one of the better at support in the arena, making much of its inbound funnel and after-sales service, albeit only in comparison to typically vague peers.

Users will encounter a varied choice in the fair range of iBeLink rigs on offer. The American manufacturer punts its DSM6T and DSM7T Blake256 rigs, as well as the three X11 Dash mining rigs, the DM11G, DM22G and DM56G. The company has frequent shortages in supply, something typical of the highly dynamic crypto mining arena, where enthusiasm still sometimes outstrips supply. The latest company offering, the iBeLink DSM7T, is now also available online. Able to mine Blake256 or Blake2b, the iBeLink DSM7T can be thus employed using a simple configuration setting.

Servicing a largely American market, the company’s pricing at times appears out of sync with Asian competitors, although this counts both against and in favor of users at times. With that said, prices and other metrics are generally comparable and the iBeLink DM56G, for example, is similar in consumption and hash power to some Bitmain Antminer models, and not quite the Grizzly Bear on power and price that fellow citizen Bitfury’s BlockBox is.

iBeLink Mining ASIC Miner Metrics

iBeLink rigs are not all about power at any cost, and energy considerations are in line with other suppliers, while hash rate tends towards the top end of mining rigs designed for the retail mining enthusiast. US residents should note that the supplied PSU is geared for 190v to 240v, and a typical residence will have to buy a step-up converter from 120v to 190 – 240v.

iBeLink Power consumption

Power consumption on the iBeLink DM56G, for example, is rated at 2100W. Although higher than many machines that keep things to just above 1200W by design, many competitors also have machines with the same rating.

iBeLink Hashrate

The DM56G has a hash rate defined in its name – 56 GH – and the company’s machines all depict the hash rate in their model numbers.

iBeLink Energy Efficiency

In spite of having earned a reputation as heavy machines to run, the DM56G lists figures of 0.037 J per MH, completely acceptable as a efficiency statistic.

iBeLink Price

The DSM56G model sells new for $1800, and secondhand models vary from $500 – $2500, depending on individual circumstances and demands. The iBeLink DSM7T Miner sells for $3,800, and with more than half of the offered range currently sold out, users will encounter varying prices on second-hand machines.

iBeLink Availability

iBeLink rigs are definitely best sourced from the company website, although poor availability at times makes for a healthy secondhand market, where a fair percentage of users obtain their machines. Used machines typically lack the manufacturer’s 180-day warranty.

iBeLink Mining ASIC Miner Nutshell

Some of the company’s machines have earned a reputation as noisy and unsuited to home use, such as the model DM384M X11. User perceptions vary wildly, however, and one miner’s noise is another’s contented hum, but it would be fair to say that iBeLink machines are not the quietest on the market.

Inspired by and initially catering for the American market, it appears that hash power and secondly sale price have governed development of iBeLink’s rigs. With that said, consumption costs pan out well across the globe, and the company’s reputation for making hungry, noisy rigs seems completely unjustified upon close inspection.

Current trends in the offered range denote an upward movement – in line with other rig makers who are also ensuring the inclusion of more powerful miners in their lineup – and much like American automakers of the previous century, the USA ethos of big and powerful seems to shine through iBeLink’s range of machines. All told, the machines are technically savvy, profitable miners, and the company’s genuinely good support services attract not only US residents, but miners from across the globe.



Producing extremely technically accomplished miners, Innosilicon is a Chinese ASIC mining rig maker that stands out above the rest for a few reasons. For one, the company has perfectly straddled the divide between home miners who may or may not have extensive technical expertise, and the depiction and architecture of their machines.

Another good reason for the company experiencing a growing uptake is that their existing business model on other pursuits is strongly geared for great service. Although presenting as the lesser of concerns, service levels are beginning to take their rightful place as a serious consideration for new buyers, particularly with crypto mining’s global reach.

A semiconductor producer, Innosilicon is based in Wuhan, China, and manufactures some 30 million ASIC chips per annum. Already well-known in some circles for its BTC and LTC miners, the company commenced operations in 2006. The firm has since become something of a specialist producer, even among its peers, in the production of cryptography ASICs. The company’s most popular mining rigs are the A4 and A5 models, although almost a dozen machines complete the company range. The firm’s latest offering is the A9, a dynamic machine that intensifies competition in the arena of profitable mining.

As a supplier of chips that can mine proof-of-work blockchains such as Bitcoin, Decred, Litecoin and ZCash, many miners opt to buy a legitimate manufacturer’s machine, from the source, believing it to be the best option. As a company prized for its “system on a chip” (SoC) manufacturing capabilities, it’s clear that the firm wants to extend that technical legitimacy and superiority to crypto mining too, and their mining rigs are seen by many as state of the crypto mining art.

Innosilicon ASIC Miner Metrics

Innosilicon’s mining rigs have a much wider recognition in Asia than elsewhere, although the company has offices in North America, and user uptake is becoming more copious and more global. The company’s machines have presented as finely-tuned, and expectations from the hi-tech Asian market have permeated the design and build of Innosilicon’s machines, to good effect.

Innosilicon Miner Power Consumption

The power consumption on Innosilicon miners has always been area of focus for the company, and miner rigs are typically lightweight, compact and powerful. The A9 Zmaster machines are rated at 620W.

Innosilicon Miner Hashrate

The A9 miner runs at a hashrate of 50ksol/s and, for all intents and purposes, is a direct competitor to Bitmain’s Antminer top end rigs.

Innosilicon Miner Energy Efficiency

The A9, for one, is an extremely energy-efficient machine, due largely to the company’s persistent focus on rendering rigs as light consumers, no doubt also spurred by the Antminer Z0 Mini’s rating of 270W. That said, although Bitmain has “lighter” machines, Innosilicon’s machines have a better initial “balance” for many, while longer term profitability is often far better too.

Innosilicon Miner Price

For many newcomers, the $9,999 price tag on an A9 is too high. A relatively short yet honest demo run comparison between Bitmain’s Z9 and Innosilicon’s A9 shows that, while it might take longer to recoup the purchase price, rewards from the sixth month onwards are almost 4 x what an Antminer can bring in.

Innosilicon Miner Availability

The Innosilicon rigs are generally far more available than many competitors, although the A9 is, for example, listed as “limited supply” onsite. Catering as it does for the vast Asian market, stock-holding and especially despatch and support are typically far better than many of the company’s rivals.

The easiest place to purchase an A9 miner or any of the company’s other rigs is on the Innosilicon site itself. Second-hand machines can be easily found in user chat rooms, at varying prices.

Innosilicon ASIC Miner Nutshell

Innosilicon is accruing a deserved reputation for technical excellence and good supply, two essential factors that will decide many future sales of mining rigs around the world. The company is innovative, focused on energy-efficiency and cost, as well as competing robustly on the profitability and durability of their machines.

With massive exposure to all things electronic, as Innosilicon’s IP is found in millions of electronic consumer devices, the company is an astute crowd-pleaser with its consumer gadgets. The firm’s mining rigs seem no exception.

The A9 Zmaster needs very little in the way of external components, is simple to use and lends itself to banking rigs, while maintaining manageable costs. The upfront costs, however, can dim newcomer enthusiasm, yet few other miners will so consistently give such high returns on such low energy inputs.



All Obelisk mining rigs began life as an offshoot developed by the Siacoin team, and although much-anticipated (machines are still in slow-release mode, with pre-sale orders the only kind of purchase currently possible), some commentators have noted that this kind of offer does more harm than good.

Any company offering “pending” mining rigs for sale is worrying to the industry. Although this development team has huge legitimacy, and indeed, might even fork the Sia blockchain to ensure that rival Bitmain’s machines cannot mine the network, leaving only Obelisk machines able to do so, the fact remains that Obelisk rigs are largely untested in practical application on a mass scale.

Ostensibly focused on the construction of “high-quality ASIC mining hardware for Decred and Siacoin,” it remains to be seen whether Obelisk mining rigs carry the to-date applause that Sia has generated as a cryptocurrency.

Aside from personal politics and preferences, any untested machine needs to rack up several thousand hours in operation, preferably several thousand times, before any claims can be made about performance. To this end, while the North American Obelisk is touting machines that seem destined to be some of the most economical and successful at mining a number of networks, this is all still theoretical.

The company has years in the cryptosphere and strong technical expertise on the team, yet many commentators – even those fond of Siacoin and the company behind it – note that it’s simply not good sense to buy untested mining rigs, as long-term costs typically edge retail miners out, quite apart from ultimate profitability.Therefore, they assert, these metrics need to be recorded, and right now the Obelisk machines appear more as an exercise in unseemly haste, rather than anything to be unduly excited about. Onsite intel indicates that the company is looking forward to “shipping [their] first batch of Obelisk SC1 and DCR1 miners!” To be fair, Obelisk the company is simply an extension of a highly dynamic, proven blockchain project. But with potential mining margins critical to calculate before buying a rig, assuming that the rigs will be as beneficial as the project’s coin, is currently still a leap of faith.

Obelisk ASIC Miner Metrics

Currently punting two rigs as the best options for a wide swathe of mining enthusiasts, the company’s DCR1 and SCI target the networks from which they derive their model numbers. And while Bitfury has come to epitomize the heavy-consumption, American powerhouse approach to machines, a look at the metrics on Obelisk’s machines does engender the hope that they will be low-cost to run yet be profitable miners on a daily basis.

Obelisk Power Consumption

The watt rating on both the Obelisk DCR1 and SC1 rigs sits at a maximum of 500W or less.

Obelisk Hashrate

The DCR1 rig will hash at 1200GH, while the SC1 chips away for profits at a rate of 550GH/s.

Obelisk Energy Efficiency

Measuring the efficiency of the barely sampled Obelisk machines can only be a listing of the company’s given specs on consumption, and to this end it is surmised that Obelisk’s SC1, for example, will post stats of 0.001j/Mh and the rigs do seem competitively built in terms of just how energy-efficient they are. Apart from Bitmain, Innosilicon rigs also present as head-on competitors, hence the company has had to incorporate the best energy-efficiency it could formulate into its machines, in order to be globally competitive.

Obelisk Price

The Obelisk SC1 is pitched at $1.699, while the DCR1 miners can be ordered for $1,999.

Obelisk Availability

The Obelisk rigs remain available on backorder only, and any secondhand rigs encountered in chat rooms and the like are typically offered at an inflated would appear that any enthusiasts intent on putting an Obelisk rig to work for them, can do no better than to order online from Obelisk and join the queue.

Obelisk ASIC Miner Nutshell

With a market cap of some $270,887,850, Siacoin is the 37th most valuable cryptocurrency in the world. This is no small feat, and it is presumed that the developers of such an eloquent digital currency will do more than simply produce an incestuously capable rig, but rather carry their excellence to date further into their mining rigs. All remains speculation, however, as mining rigs are the kind of thing only hours at the coalface can qualify.

With that being said, the machines are box-compact and present as neat, tapered units with a large front grill. Since the watt rating and other technical specifications typically apply within fairly narrow margins, it is safe to assume that the cost-efficiency and profitability Obelisk is aiming at will become demonstrably true, however any user buying a new model Obelisk rig at this stage has to accept that they remain a participant in what will essentially be Beta testing of the company’s latest offers.


[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]PANDA MINER

Chinese rig maker PandaMiner does perhaps lack rivals’ experience or at least time in the market, yet the principal criticism of the company seems to rather be that they are offering a low-tech rig for sale, one that anyone can compile with components from Amazon.

Nonetheless, the harshest online critics appear as those who panned the idea before the machines were ever trialed, and furthermore, that the rigs have indeed proven to be cost-effective miners with the passage of a little time. Profitability remains nuanced, largely on the back of individual blockchain’s waxing and waning, and while some value the simplicity inherent in the machines, others debate whether they are worthwhile over the longer term.

Although monthly profits can seem low in comparison with other ASIC mining rigs, Chinese PandaMiner has found fertile soil in its home market. Many either opt for the rigs because they present as relatively simple tech that is easy to predict, while other more technically-minded users simply insist on a classic GPU mining rig, according to their own preferences.

This remains a fraught debate, however, as some reputable voices like CryptoCompare, for example, openly state that return on Pandaminer’s rigs can “never” be expected! As the mining community upgrades to the latest tech to optimize profits, far bigger consistent returns are becoming available, and often in a shorter time span nowadays, in comparison to PandaMiner rigs’ performance. The fact that modern ASIC machines are available at a far cheaper price also doesn’t encourage users to support the PandaMiner cause.

PandaMiner GPU Miner Metrics

There is another camp of loyal users, who point out that PandaMiner machines might appear as “dated” on paper, the fact that they can still mine for a profit and with relative energy-efficiency, is testament to the rigs’ savvy build and ultimate functionality. Indeed, it does appear that the company’s rigs are comparable to many others in performance, except that profits can be disappointingly low after months of mining.

PandaMiner Power Consumption

Looking at the PandaMiner B3 Pro as an example, the power consumption is rated at 1250W, eminently comparable so far to many mining rigs on the market.

PandaMiner Hash rate

The B3 model posts various hashrates per chain, with 230Mh/s for Ether, a 5520H/s on Monero and 2050H/s for Zcash.

PandaMiner Energy Efficiency

Measuring the PandaMiner B3 Pro for efficiency does illuminate a fair balance of hashrate and power consumption. For whatever reason, local electricity costs seem to feature prominently in any evaluation of PandaMiner’s rigs, although energy-efficiency can be largely predicted from a rig’s watt rating, and the B3 presents as comparably efficient overall.

PandaMiner Price

Although simple in construct, the rigs command a price of $2,399, bought directly from the company. This is the price for a single unit – something the company happily manages, as opposed to many others with minimum order stipulations. Being geared towards individual users, some point out that for the convenience, the Panda price is competitive.

Many more, however, feel that the price for a GPU miner should always fall below modern ASIC kits and, combined with comparatively low monthly returns, avoid the units as dated or unprofitable.

PandaMiner Availability

The rigs are readily available, both as new machines from PandaMiner itself, or as used models freely available at varying prices online.

PandaMiner GPU Miner Nutshell

It is unlikely that with such an extensive user base, PandaMiner is incapable of turning a profit, as some allege. That said, the company does seem stuck in a holding pattern on profitability, with newer models introducing no great leaps forward on that front. A more positive appraisal from, in contrast, lists profits attained and rates the rigs as five-star in an online review.

All told, it appears users will definitely have to employ a good online calculator before buying a PandaMiner box, as the mining community understand that margins are there, but slim, and slimmer at some times than at others. With consistent results now attainable from various manufacturers’ rigs, PandaMiner will have to quash questions about its profitability if the company wishes to rise in the arena.

The PandaMiner machines constitute a range of elegantly simple miners, capable of competing with peers, and users should remember that Chinese mining rig manufacturer’s have an incredibly strong baseline expectation, established by Bitmain, Innosilicon and a few other giant manufacturers.

It therefore seems largely improbable that PandaMiner’s B3, for example, can be gaining adoption yet returning zero profit. It remains to be seen exactly how content users remain with their existing PandaMiner rigs, should noticeable efficiencies emerge with newer machines, from other makers.

Still, there are those who swear by the pace, cost and returns of a PandaMiner machine. As the company is still growing market share, only time will tell if the architecture and ultimate profitability of the machines keep the company high in the crypto mining game.



Tech maker Pangolin is another dedicated Chinese ASIC miner, and also a company with superior presentation and support levels in the arena. Although that’s not saying much, onsite intel is perhaps better than average, with tutorial videos that welcome even newcomers to the game. Essentially a higher-priced yet powerhouse offering for individual miners, the rigs are also proving very suitable to bank for commercial collective power.

Although perhaps best known for their WhatsMiner M3, the company’s M10 model is featured on the company site, with detailed specs available. Presenting as a rig piggy-backing a second tier of computing power, the company machines are reminiscent of ASIC miner’s rigs, being less concerned with a delicate power consumption and more focused on hash power.

The M model miners from Pangolin have provoked heated debate among miners, with some alleging that the promise of a faster accumulation of daily profits is merely marketing copy for overpriced rigs.

It is true that the machines are more robust and aggressive power consumers, and decibel levels are also comparatively higher than some other rigs, as the machines are not particularly silent. For many, however, the appeal of a higher hashrate and potentially higher returns makes a good entry point for their strategy, and the rigs are gaining in global popularity.

Pangolin ASIC Miner Metrics

Pangolin’s M3X miner is currently the most available from the company, along with the M10, and the M3X has a daily estimated ROI of some $901. Understandings around price and performance vary, depending on an individual miner’s cash flow and desired outcomes, but many users see the Pangolin machines as nearly-as-powerful Antminer alternatives, producing similar results but offered for sale at a vastly lesser price.

Pangolin Miner Power Consumption

Power consumption on Pangolin machines is typically higher than many competitive rigs, and miners will need to accommodate relatively high running costs when starting out, a factor to consider for those thus constrained. That said, the rigs are still finely tuned and not outrageously costly to run, with the M3X model rated around 2000W, while the M10 is rated at 2200W.

Pangolin Miner Hashrate

The Pangolin hash rate is known to be robust, as the M3X model runs at 12.5TH, with the M10 running at a whopping 33TH.

Pangolin Miner Energy Efficiency

A single watt of power adds to the bills, and the Pangolin machines are known to be gas guzzlers, where miners need to accept and offset a lower energy efficiency in exchange for greater ROI. Definitely a rig to analyze via any good online efficiency calculator, the machines nonetheless appeal to many who find the whole energy-efficiency debate less important, and favor a more aggressive pursuit of mining’s rewards.

Pangolin Miner Price

The MX3 will set miners back anything from $250 – $1500, a wide variance current in the markets, while the M10 model is currently selling at $1888 direct from the company’s online store. Pangolin also recently made it known that wire transfers are now an acceptable form of payment on orders.

Pangolin Miner Availability

The M10 rigs are still on backorder, due for shipment in October 2018, but other models like the M3X is available new or used, either from the company itself or from assorted private sellers encountered in enthusiast forums.

Pangolin ASIC Miner Nutshell

The Pangolin M3X model’s hash rate is only slightly less than an Antminer S9, but the rig is much cheaper than Bitmain’s comparable model. Although relatively heavy power consumers, ROI closely matches employment of an Antminer S9, and so many miners offset purchase price, running costs and term to profit and opt for a Pangolin mining rig.

Although not quiet as a mouse, the rigs are also remarkably silent to some, and individual user understandings mean that the debate around Pangolin machines’ silence continues. The company has equipped its machines with excellent fan cooling technology and, although robust miners, overheating downtime is never a problem with these rigs.

Occasionally suffering the same shortages as many other rig makers, Pangolin does aim at higher service levels and supply, although the M3 is currently unavailable new, limiting user options. Essentially pitbulls of the mining arena, Pangolin rigs take a no-nonsense approach to mining and, all things considered, are not exorbitantly more expensive to run, considering their hash rate and returns.

After taking collection of a new machine, users have a factory warranty in place, one the company makes more effort to service than many competitors. Warranty periods depend on the product, and vary between 30 to 180 days.



Posting that the company has “Just released the best X11, Dash ASIC miner in the world!” on its homepage, Spondoolies is a reborn Israeli mining rig maker. The company has developed a very powerful rig, reminiscent of Bitfury and others who opt for giant-sized power to tackle mining. Further to their no-nonsense approach to aggressive Dash mining, the company’s SPx36 rig requires minimal setup and allows those with a healthy cash flow – one that can field a substantial electricity bill – to supercharge into mining almost overnight.

Spondoolies might win awards for being the oddest-named company in the cryptosphere, but they were also responsible as Spondoolies-Tech for the SP Bitcoin miners. At one stage those rigs accounted for around 5 percent of the global hash-mining activity at the time. Aiming at delivering big-hitting mining solutions for all mining requirements, the company’s rigs are robust, less concerned with the average retail miner’s cost-sensitivities, and more focused on measurable profitability.

Although facing stiff competition from America and China, the company’s rigs can be found employed in many mining pools, as well as private homes. The company itself doesn’t mine, rather concentrating on manufacturing mining rigs that can equip all miners on an equal footing.

Priced at $15,500, the SPx36 may well enable an equal mining power footing for all, but it’s a price the average retail miner cannot afford. That said, many minor “pools” have formed to allow a handful of miners to collectively purchase the machine and share dividends. The company name is a play on a 19th-century slang term for cash, “spondulix” or “spondulicks,” and the term spondoolies is still current in vernacular today.Having been a promising player as Spondoolies-Tech, that company closed circa 2016 and it is the core team that have reconstituted to form Spondoolies, the rig maker. With the current market obsessed with efficiencies and long-term running costs, it’s unlikely that such a powerful rig so highly priced will be affordable or even attractive to the average retail miner.

With that said, a rough calculation factoring in hashrate and overall performance would mean that the $15,500 cost is offset by a current ability to mine around 10 Dash coins monthly, equivalent to about 10 percent of the rig’s price. That equation clearly appeals to many as, in spite of the lull in productivity between companies, many do find the offer appealing, and the company’s supply line is growing. Far more retail miners, however, simply can’t afford the steep entrance price to equip themselves with a Spondoolies rig.

Spondoolies ASIC Miner Metrics

The Spondoolies SPx36 mining rigs don’t try to compete with lighter-weight, consumption-sensitive rigs, but a look at the overall profitability shows that once payback threshold is reached, a miner can expect greater than average returns, at least in comparison to any rig showing $1000 or less on a monthly basis.

Spondoolies Power Consumption

The power consumption on the Spondoolies SPx36 machines is rated at a blistering 4400W.

Spondoolies Hashrate

Presenting as a thin, flat box construction, the SPx36 is heavy on electricity, but runs a 540 GH/s hashrate, something smaller machine users can only imagine.

Spondoolies Energy Efficiency

All things considered, Spondoolies’ flagship machine might be heavy on electricity, but its overall energy-efficiency based on its 8.1 J/Gh/s rating pans out fairly equivalent to others, when size is factored in. The machine remains costly to run on a daily basis, however, and until such time as a miner enters profit, intimidatingly expensive overall.

Spondoolies Price

For average newcomers, the $15,500 price tag for an SPx36 is simply unmanageable. Certainly those who prefer standalone mining that doesn’t involve others typically end up buying something else. Some commentators note that an extrapolation of the components makes the price justifiable, although a little cheeky about it too.

Spondoolies Availability

Spondoolies’ latest giant rigs are pending availability in October 2018, and at this time remain unavailable, except for back-order. Certainly the best place to buy would be from the company site, as it appears that the more expensive mining machines, when sold used, are accompanied by typically overblown claims and an opportunistically premium price online.

As such, the SPx36 is likely to attract that kind of secondhand attention too, once in circulation. In addition, at a substantial initial outlay, such items are best bought within a warranty, although the company site fails to make such information readily available.

Spondoolies ASIC Miner Nutshell

All in all, the Spondoolies monster rig is aimed at the cusp between aggressive retail miners and mining banks that hire mining for those thus inclined. For those who can find the money to buy one, they at least have the reassurance that the company has produced great tech so far, and that their purchase will grant them consistent monthly profits well in excess of $1,000, under current conditions.

Having steered clear of a prolific lighter miner with more global appeal than the SPx36 – such as Bitmain and others have made their mainstay – it remains to be seen how large the market is for the particularly designed SPx36.

The rig is professionally presented and technically savvy and sound, eliminating any tedious setup periods or other complications. It remains a comparatively expensive rig for the average retail miner, however, and is more a high-yield product for the company, rather than a high-volume-low-margin offer such as many other rig makers push.

Most importantly, based on their previous expertise and listed specs, it is believed that the company’s current offer will accrue the most important determinant of a great rig – pleasing monthly profits over the longer term. The rig might be a different take on mining and priced accordingly, yet returns against efficiency remain comparable once scaled and there are many other rigs out there that fail to post consistently moderate to high returns with such surety.