Bitcoin mining as a hobby can be fun and even profitable if you have cheap electricity and get the best and most efficient Bitcoin mining hardware.
Bitcoin mining is competitive. Until recently, it’s not been ideal for the average person to mine since China’s cheap electricity has allowed it to dominate the mining market.
But that has changed since China outlawed mining. Even with this recent change, if you want bitcoins then you are better off buying and not mining.
|Antminer S19||95.0 TH/s||$10k-12k|
|Antminer S19 Pro||110.0 TH/s||$15k-17k|
|WhatsMiner M30S+||100.0 TH/s||$8,500|
*BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com averages prices from various online sources. Actual prices may vary depending on seller.
Since it’s now impossible to profitably mine Bitcoin with a standard computer or laptop, you’ll need specialized hardware called ASICs.
Here’s what an ASIC miner looks like up close:
Originally, Bitcoin’s creator intended for Bitcoin to be mined on CPUs (like your laptop or desktop computer). However, Bitcoin miners discovered they could get more hashing power from graphic cards. Graphic cards were then surpassed by ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits).
Think of a Bitcoin ASIC as specialized Bitcoin mining computers, Bitcoin mining machines, or “bitcoin generators”.
Nowadays all serious Bitcoin mining is performed on dedicated Bitcoin mining hardware ASICs, usually in thermally-regulated data-centers with low-cost electricity.
➤ MORE: Is bitcoin mining profitable in 2023?
You can use our calculator below to check the mining hardware above. Input your expected electricity price and the hash rate of the miner for an estimate.
It may seem easy to just spin up a miner.
But you NEED to take a look at just how serious mining is.
The video below offers an inside look at what was one of China’s largest mines.
There are some important factors to look at when determining which Bitcoin mining ASIC to buy:
Hash rate – How many hashes per second can the Bitcoin miner make? More hashes cost more, which is why efficiency is crucial.
Efficiency – You’ll want to buy the most efficient bitcoin mining hardware possible. Right now, this is the Halong Mining Dragonmint T1. Since miners use a large amount of electricity, you want to buy one that converts the most amount of electricity into bitcoins.
Price – How much does the bitcoin miner cost? Cheap mining hardware will mine less bitcoins, which is why efficiency and electricity usage are important. The fastest and more efficient mining hardware is going to cost more.
Don’t try to buy a miner based on only price or only hash rate. The best ASIC miner is the most efficient bitcoin miner. Aim for value.
➤ MORE: Bitcoin mining profit calculator
If you’re a hobby miner who wants to buy a couple rigs for your house, eBay and Amazon both have some decent deals on mining hardware.
Both new and used bitcoin mining rigs and ASICs are available on eBay. One may want to buy used ASIC mining hardware on eBay because you can get better prices.
eBay’s customer protection ensures you’ll get a working product. Other bundled equipment may be included with your purchase depending on the seller.
We recommend purchasing the Dragonmint or the Antminer S9.
➤ MORE: Bitcoin mining pools & sites
You can use a bitcoin mining profitability calculator to determine your estimated cost of return on your mining hardware.
Don't forget to think about your tax obligation on the coins you buy or mine. There are some great tax software suites to make it easy! For instance, we have a great guide on how that software works to pay taxes on Coinbase buys.
Be sure to take electricity costs into account. Most mining hardware appears profitable until electricity costs are accounted for.
The best way to determine actual profitability is to figure out your electricity cost per hash. That is really what will make or break your operation.
While good Bitcoin mining hardware needs to have a high hash rate, efficiency is just as important.
An efficient Bitcoin miner means that you pay less in electricity costs per hash.
To improve your efficiency, there are also companies that will let you order hardware from their warehouse and run the miners for you.
You could also cloud mine bitcoins, though these deals are usually scams. Both options are also a lot less fun than running your hardware!
Bitmain – Bitmain makes the AntMiner line of Bitcoin miners. Bitmain is based in Beijing, China and also operates a mining pool.
MicroBT – MicroBT is another Chinese ASIC miner manufacturer, based out of Shenzhen. Their WhatsMiner series is a major competitor to Bitmain’s AntMiner line.
Canaan – Canaan put the very first commercial Bitcoin ASIC miner to market. In addition to making Bitcoin mining machines, Canaan also has a suite of blockchain tools and business solutions.
In addition to a Bitcoin mining ASIC, you’ll need some other Bitcoin mining equipment:
Power Supply – Bitcoin rigs need special power supplies to funnel and use electricity efficiently.
Cooling Fans – Bitcoin hardware can easily overheat and stop working. Buy a sufficient amount of cooling fans to keep your hardware working.
Backup generators – You may want generators as a backup in case your main source of electricity goes down.
It’s still technically possible to mine bitcoins without dedicated mining hardware.
However, you’ll earn less than one penny per month. Mining bitcoins on your computer will do more damage to your computer and won’t earn a profit.
So, it’s not worth it unless you’re just interested to see how the mining process works. You’re best bet is to buy dedicated hardware like the Antminer S19.
Bitcoin is based on blockchain technology, a decentralized platform which takes power away from a central authority and gives it to the average person. Sensitive information is stored on the blockchain rather than large data centers, and is cryptographically secured. A vast amount of people, known as miners, all work together to validate the network, instead of just one person or government.
In the beginning, CPUs were used to solve cryptographic hash functions, until miners discovered that GPUs were far better equipped for mining. As block difficulty increased, miners turned primarily to GPUs.
Some GPUs were made solely for mining Bitcoin.
The GTX1060 has no output because it is a GPU designed solely for mining and is sort of a halfway point to an ASIC because while it is technically a graphics card, it is dedicated mining hardware.
ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) however are far more powerful. They were developed from top to bottom to be used solely for mining. Their hashrates are significantly higher than anything GPUs are capable of.
With stellar performance comes a high price tag – the best ASIC chips will run you a few thousand dollars each. Upon creation, Bitcoin blocks were confirmed by the average person using their desktop – once ASICs hit the market, things changed.
ASICs rendered GPUs useless. ASIC developers, including Bitmain, granted early access to large mining cartels rather than the average person.
Thousands of ASICs all mine simultaneously in a mining farm (large warehouse). Evidently, most people can’t afford even one or two of ASICs so thousands of them would be out of the question.
When ASICs hit the market, the blockchain’s validation process became more centralized as more and more hashing power was consolidated into a handful of mining companies, rather than being spread out amongst many miners. Unfortunately, Bitcoin is no longer as decentralized as it was once intended to be.
Bitmain’s AntMiner S7 proved so popular since its release in mid-2015 that it reached 19 batches of production.
Now, Bitmain has released a new series: the AntMiner S19.
The S19 is the latest and greatest Bitcoin ASIC miner from Bitmain. It comes in three models: the Antminer T19, Antminer S19, and Antminer S19 Pro.
The T19 puts out 84 TH/s, the S19 95 TH/s, while the S19 Pro boasts up to 110 TH/s of hashing power.
Prices start at $2,118 for the T19 and run to $3,769 for the S19 Pro.
The S19 Antminers require 3250W of power, ± 5%.
The power supply units (PSUs) are included with the miners themselves, meaning you won’t need a separate piece of hardware.
The S19 draws an average of 3250 Watts at a room temperature of 25^C / 77^F. Naturally, the hotter the environment, the more energy the fan(s) will consume to cool the unit.
Setting up an S19 via the MinerLink GUI is a simple process, requiring only your mining pool credentials to begin mining.
The units will automatically begin hashing upon powering up, which can be helpful in the event of power failure. S19 connectivity is via Ethernet only.
The S19 series miners operate best within a temperature range of 5-40 degrees Celsius (40-105 Fahrenheit).
Keeping the room in which they’re placed cool and dry will extend the life of these miners. A dry basement is an ideal location.
Note: Before you buy an Antminer S19 make sure you already have Bitcoin mining software and a Bitcoin mining pool.
On the Bitmain website as of January 2022, the S19j Pro 104TH/s is available on a spot order basis and the S19 XP 140TH/s currently shows shipping availability starting in July 2022. Both models list between $11,000 and $12,000 .
The latest Antminers, Antminer S19XP and L7, was released in during 2022. As these new models are released and commercial miners upgrade, you can expect the price of the S19 series to drop.
Mining difficulty on the Bitcoin network has been steadily rising at a rate of almost 0.5% per day. Combine that with the fact that the block reward was halved in May 2020, and you can see why there’s fierce competition between miners to successfully validate blocks and remain profitable.
Let’s take a look at how profitable you can expect your mining to be using an AntMiner S19.
We’ll use the most accurate Bitcoin mining calculator out there, which takes into account a number of dynamic variables (such as mining difficulty) to give the best idea of projected returns.
We’re assuming an average household Power Cost of 12c per kWh, a Pool Fee of 2.5% (as charged by AntPool) and a Block Reward of 6.25 BTC per block mined:
As you can see, the S19 is actually a great investment. You’ll almost recoup your entire initial investment in under a year - if paying full price for the S19 from Bitmain - and easily mine your way into the black if you get a discount on the hardware when purchasing.
There is of course the big brother to the S19, the S19 Pro!
The S19 Pro boasts up to 110 TH/s of hashing power.
The S19 Pro power supply is the same as the S19 Pro - 3250W of power, ± 5%.
The S19 Pro generates an average of 81.4 dB while operating.
Setup for the S19 Pro is the same as the S19. MinerLink GUI is easy, requiring only your mining pool credentials.
The units will automatically begin hashing upon powering up, which can be helpful in the event of power failure. S19 Pro connectivity is also via Ethernet only.
Temperature is the same as the S19 - between 5-40 degrees Celsius (40-105 Fahrenheit).
Note: Before you buy an Antminer S19 make sure you already have Bitcoin mining software and a Bitcoin mining pool.
The S19 and S19 Pro can be difficult to purchase since chip supplies are limited for manufacturers. Currently, there are listings for new AntMiner Bitmain S19 Pros for between $15,00 - $25,000. However, used and second-hand models can be had for around $13,000.
Using all the same assumptions that we did for the S19, you can expect a nice profit around $2,000 a year.
The S19 is one of the most advanced mining units on the market today. Bitmain has consistently been at the top of the game when it comes to ASIC miners.
While supply is limited, and the relatively high initial cost may be a deterrent, if you have access to cheap electricity, you really can’t do much better than the S19 series.
The S19 strikes a good balance between power and affordability, while if money is no object the S19 Pro will churn you out an awesome 115 TH/s.
The WhatsMiner M30S+ and M30S++ are Shenzhen-based MicroBT’s answer to the Bitmain AntMiner S19 and S19 Pro. The M30S++ puts out 112TH/s ±5%, pushing it a hair above the S19’s maximum output.
Let’s take a look at how they compares.
The M30S+, whose 100 TH/s hashing power is comparable to the S19. Unfortunately, its no longer for sale on MicroBT’s site so you’ll need to get it second hand.
Let’s take a look at how profitable you can expect your mining to be using a WhatsMiner M30S+.
We’ll again use our Bitcoin mining calculator, which takes into account a number of dynamic variables (such as mining difficulty) to give the best idea of projected returns.
We’re assuming an average household Power Cost of 12c per kWh and a Block Reward of 6.25 BTC per block mined:
The WhatsMiner M30S+ consumes slightly more power than the AntMiner S19 series, and is slightly less efficient at turning electricity into Bitcoins.
It has an efficiency of 34 J/TH..
The M30S+ generates around 83.0 dB of noise while operating.
The WhatsMiner M30S+ operates best between -5 and 35 degrees Celsius (23-95 Fahrenheit). This is a wider range than the AntMiner S19 series, and the lower temperatures it can operate at means you may see slightly improved efficiency.
The M30S++ comes in at $3,250 on MicroBT’s online store, making it quite a bit cheaper than the S19 Pro.
We’ll use the same assumptions here that we have with the other miners to keep things consistent.
While you’ll spend nearly $3,600 per year on electricity, the WhatsMiner M30S++’s 112 TH/2 will make you a profit of $3,611 per year. This means that you’ll need to mine for a little under a year to recoup your initial investment.
The M30S++ requires 3472W and runs at an efficiency of 38 J/TH.
The WhatsMiner M30S++ again operates best between -5 and 35 degrees Celsius (23-95 Fahrenheit).
The top-of-the-line M30S++ model’s 112 TH/s means it competes directly with the AntMiner S19 Pro.
However, the M30S series models put out less hashing power than the AntMiner equivalents. They consume more power, and are a little less efficient at turning this into terahashes.
Despite this, you get more hashing power per dollar invested with MicroBT’s WhatsMiner offerings. And AntMiners are incredibly sought-after by the biggest miners in the world, making it hard to get your hands on one.
Overall, the WhatsMiner M30S series is a phenomenal Bitcoin miner, with hashing power rivalling the AntMiners.
If you can get a good deal on a WhatsMiner M30S, use our calculator to see how long it will take you to make a profit in your investment.
Canaan was the first company to produce commercial ASIC Bitcoin miners. Safe to say, they have some expertise in the field.
So how does their latest offering - the AvalonMiner 1246, released in January 2021 - stack up to the competition?
Let’s dive in.
The AvalonMiner 1246 puts out 90 TH/s. This makes it comparable to the AntMiner S19 and the WhatsMiner M30S.
It retails for around $5,500, making it quite a bit more expensive than the offerings from Bitmain and MicroBT.
The Canaan AvalonMiner 1246 should make you a profit, providing you have access to electricity at or around the median price in the U.S. of $0.12/kWh.
It’ll take you about two years of mining to make back your initial investment.
The AvalonMiner 1246 draws 3420W at the wall.
Compared to the AvalonMiner 1146, the 1246’s energy efficiency has improved by 37%: from 52 J/TH to 38 J/TH.
It generates a maximum of 75 dB while operating, making it noticeably quieter than either the WhatsMiner M30S or the AntMiner S19.
The AvalonMiner 1246 operates best between -5 and 35 degrees Celsius (23-95 Fahrenheit). This is a wider range than the AntMiner S19 series, and equal to that of the WhatsMiner M30S.
With Canaan, you know you’re getting a battle-tested product.
That said, the AvalonMiner 1246 doesn’t offer the most terahashes per dollar spent. If you’re looking for the most hashing power, Bitmain’s S19 series and MicroBT’s M30S have it beat.
Bitcoin’s Difficulty has recorded several strong and often consecutive monthly increases since its creation. The network has seen a massive increase in hashrate since the July 2016 halving.
In the nearly five years since, total network hashrate has climbed more than 100-fold from ~1.5 EH/s (exahashes per second) to 168 EH/s.
The current all-time-high occurred on February 8, 2020, when Bitcoin miners collectively contributed 175 EH/s of hashing power to the network.
Such tremendous growth has been spurred by major investment into Bitcoin mining technology and operations.
While such growth is impressive, making Bitcoin the world’s most powerful computing network by far, one unintended consequence of such rapid growth has been increased centralization.
Profits have accumulated where mining is most profitable (China), with the result that several competing operations (eg. KNC) have been forced out of the industry.
We have tried to calculate the amount of money that the Chinese have invested in mining, we estimate it to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Even with free electricity we cannot see how they will ever get this money back. Either they don’t know what they are doing, but that is not very likely at this scale or they have some secret advantage that we don’t know about. – Sam Cole, KNC CEO
The same Chinese competitive advantage has been doubly effective at squeezing the profit-dependent hobbyist miner from the market.
At this stage, most home or office miners aren’t hashing to earn money but rather to support the network, aid decentralization and possibly even to heat space.
With the block reward halving looming, the profitability of all but the most efficient operations will likely be challenged.
Profits derived from the current generation of mining hardware are dwindling and will likely reach negative returns when the next halving rolls around.
CompassMining is what is known as a ‘colocation mining company’.
Basically, regular people who can’t afford to start a mining farm or source dozens of ASIC miners can partner with a company like CompassMining.
With Compass, you simply make an account and then go through a purchasing process.
You’ll choose some ASICS to buy.
Then you’ll choose a hosting package at one of CompassMining’s many state of the art facilities.
Each facility comes with its own power costs and security features. For instance, the Colorado, USA location requires biometric access for all personal.
And then you checkout using card, bank wire, or (for a slight discount) crypto.
If you want to pay via bank wire, choose 'Pay with Stripe' and then choose 'Bank Wire' from the pop-up.
After you make your purchase, your hardware will be delivered to your specified hosting location where it will be installed and maintained by CompassMining staff.
You will be able to monitor and control all of your mining activities from the comfort of your own home without any of the headache of running a mining farm by yourself.
And best of all, you get to leverage CompassMining’s fantastic electricity prices without having to strike up a deal with a large power company on your own.
In exchange, Compass makes money on the hosting fees and the hardware you buy through them.
Mining bitcoins at home has almost become an impossible task these days.
Not only are the devices expensive but they also generate a lot of heat and noise, not to mention the amount of electricity they consume.
This makes it uncomfortable and almost impossible to make any profit!
Unlike with the Antminer S9, S7, or Antminer S5, with Antminer R4, Bitmain is targeting the home Bitcoin miner market.
It is a home Bitcoin miner that may actually turn a profit, unlike Bitcoin USB miners.
Some of these problems mentioned above have been addressed and as a miner you can do it as a hobby while also making some money.
This home Bitcoin miner is not only a good fit for hobby miners but also helps to improve the decentralization of Bitcoin mining as a whole.
The more distributed the hash power, the stronger the Bitcoin network!