The rush for GPUs to mine cryptocurrencies seems to have slowed down. The advent of specialized Bitcoin mining ASICs completely eliminated the need for GPU Bitcoin miners. They can still be used to mine less popular cryptos, but if you are after mining Bitcoins profitably, you only have 3 viable options.
Why can’t you use GPU Miners?
The Bitcoin mining process works in a fairly simple way. It consists of a digitized public ledger that stores data related to Bitcoin transactions permanently. Transactions are added to the public ledger (blockchain) in blocks. Each block consists of thousands of transactions.
Computers are used to verify that each transaction is legitimate. However, the process involved in Bitcoin verification follows a random system where a computer has to guess the right transaction from a series of random data.
Bitcoin’s founder, Satoshi Nakamoto, programmed the blockchain to release a block after every 10 minutes. And to keep the timing standard, the Bitcoin verification process is made more difficult or less difficult automatically depending on the number of miners available.
Back in 2009, there was little competition to mine Bitcoins. The mining difficulty was simple, and CPUs could be used to mine Bitcoin profitably. In 2012, powerful GPUs overtook CPUs as the best Bitcoin miners. They had higher hash rates and mined Bitcoins faster. But as Bitcoin became more valuable, interest in crypto mining increased. This led to the self-adjusting of the blockchain to become a lot more difficult to mine with GPUs.
The Reign of ASICs
ASICs stands for Application Specific Integrated Circuits. They have hundreds of chips designed for the sole purpose of solving Bitcoin’s complex math puzzles. ASIC machines have been around since 2013, and for each, there is always a supreme leader.
Between 2013 and 2015, any ASIC that had a mining hash rate of between 500 MH/s and 2 TH/s could easily mine Bitcoins profitably. Between 2016 and early 2017, ASICs with hash rates of between 2 TH/s and 5 TH/s were still being used for profitable Bitcoin mining.
By today’s standards, any ASIC machine with a hash rate of less than 5 TH/s is probably not worth it unless you have free electricity. If you have affordable electricity, here are the best 3 crypto mining ASICs to buy in 2018.
The Dragonmint T16 is arguably the most powerful Bitcoin mining machine in 2018. With a hash rate of 16 TH/s, there is no ASIC more powerful in the industry. The monster device utilizes a DM8575 chip design to mine efficiently.
Halong Mining, the company behind Dragonmint, claims that they spent more than $30 million researching about development, prototypes and how to improve efficiency. Once produced, Halong utilized ASIC boost, an innovation that exploits Bitcoin’s algorithm to improve mining efficiency by 20%.
The Bitcoin miner is designed to consume an average of 0.075 joules per Giga hash rate or 1480 watts. Compared to its biggest competitor, Antminer S9, the T16 is 30% more energy efficient. However, energy consumption does not remain constant as changes in power supply unit can affect consumption and efficiency.
On the official Halong Mining website, the T16 is listed as out of stock. Honestly, no one is surprised that the ASICs are unavailable. Halong began advertising the ASICs in November last year. By the time they were launched in early March, all available machines were purchased.
When it was still available, the T16 was selling at $2,729. This is more than $double the current price of the Antminer S9, which is only 2 TH/slower in terms of hash rate.
Power Supply Unit
The Dragonmint’s hefty price does not include a power supply unit. You have to shell nearly $200 for the Dragonmint 1600W PSU. As earlier mentioned, the ASIC consumes about 1400W on the wall.
Fortunately, the 1600W PSU is Gold certified to have a power efficiency of 90%. If you come to the US, you will probably need a 110V PSU with the same wattage as the Dragonmint machine.
Ultimately, the goal of buying an ASIC is to mine crypto profitably. When using Crypto compare’s mining calculator, a mining fee of 1% and electricity cost of 0.1KWh, the T1 produces $102.97 per month. At the time of this calculation, Bitcoin was valued at $7,552.29. To learn more about the T1, read this t1 review.
Bitmain Antminer S9
Before Dragonmint finally availed their ASICs, Bitmain’s Antminer S9 was the undisputed king of Bitcoin mining. Packing a hash rate of 14 TH/s, there was no better machine to mine Bitcoins than the S9.
Today, the Antminer S9 is still popular thanks to the fact that it’s a profitable yet affordable ASIC.
The ASIC machine consists of some of the most energy efficient mining chips in the industry. The machine’s chip uses 16-nanometer semiconductor chips to optimize power efficiency while maintaining the hash rate. On top of that, Bitmain is currently selling the S9 for as low as $974.
Power Supply and Consumption
The Antminer S9 consumes just 0.1 joules per Gigahertz, slightly less efficient than the T1. This translates to an average of 1350 watts on the wall. To supply this kind of power, you need a PSU that can handle up to 1400 watts. Bitmain’s PSU for the S9 costs $200 and can handle up to 1600 watts.
Like the Dragonmint T1, Bitmain’s Antminer is also profitable. When using the Nice Hash mining calculator, the S9 produces profitability of $92.56. This calculation assumes you have electricity costs of 0.1 KWH and that Bitcoin maintains its $7500 price.
Bitmain Antminer T9 10.5 TH/s
For a price of $600, Bitmain offers a less powerful Antminer S9. The ASIC packs a hash rate of 10.4 TH/s and a power efficiency rate of 93%. Weighing just over 4KG, this machine is ultra-light and operates at room temperatures.
Is it profitable? The Antminer T9 has mining profitability of approximately $40 every month. Considering that it costs $800 including a PSU, it would take you nearly 2 years to break even.
If you are considering mining Bitcoin professionally, the three mentioned ASICs might be your best options. However, Bitmain also lists a variety of other available ASICs that offer hash rates of between 10 TH/s and 13.5 TH/s.
Lastly, make sure that you compare your electricity costs versus the profitability of an ASIC before purchasing one. If a device seems unprofitable, don’t purchase it.