Our Ethereum mining rig – From riches to rags

When we bought our Ethereum mining rig, our plans for early retirement and yacht parties were drawn up that week.

Unfortunately, we may have overestimated our potential returns – and now our web developer has a beach house in Mexico he cannot afford to make repayments on.

Our rig sports six Aorus Radeon RX 580 4GB cards, which kicked serious butt when our operation started in June.

Our unit – which is running Windows 10 and Claymore – connects to the Ethermine.org mining pool. It achieves an average hash rate of between 140MH/s to 150MH/s.

This was great a few months ago, when the rig was earning 3.3 Ethereum per month – which worked out to $850.

Unfortunately, our returns have diminished somewhat in recent weeks – and we are currently sitting at 0.7 Ethereum per month (just over $200 at the time of writing).

The table below shows how long it takes for our rig to earn 1 Ethereum, and how the duration between payouts has increased since June.

Ethereum Payouts
Amount Date Duration
1 ETH 2017-06-07 N/A
1 ETH 2017-06-16 214.9 hours
1 ETH 2017-06-29 307.3 hours
1 ETH 2017-07-15 389.6 hours
1 ETH 2017-08-11 645.0 hours
1 ETH 2017-09-14 806.7 hours


Difficulty curve

Why have we gone from caviar and champagne to crackers and warm water, you ask? The issue lies in the design of the Ethereum blockchain.

There is work being done on Ethereum which aims to move it from a “proof of work” to a “proof of stake” setup.

This development has resulted in an exponential rise in block difficulty that will eventually make blocks virtually impossible to solve.

This “difficulty bomb” built into Ethereum has made mining a block increasingly difficult over time – which started from block 200,000.

This was done to encourage work towards a proof-of-stake solution.

The continual increase in difficulty was previously predicted to bring on an Ice Age for Ethereum, a point at which the network freezes up. This has not occurred, however.

Far from over

All is far from lost, however, as we plan to move our rig onto NiceHash.

NiceHash is a crypto-mining marketplace that “connects sellers of hashing power with buyers of hashing power”.

“Hashing power buyers select the cryptocurrency they want to mine, a pool on which they want to mine, set the price that they are willing to pay for it, and place the order,” states NiceHash.

“Miners” connect their hardware to NiceHash stratum servers and to the buyer’s order, and their hashing power is forwarded to the pool the buyer has chosen for mining.

For each valid share you submit, you get paid in Bitcoin for the price that is determined by a weighted average.

This can allow you to mine more profitably, with multiple offers available – as opposed to mining a single cryptocurrency.

And with these fresh hopes of super-wealth, we again head into the fray.

Now read: Ethereum will match Visa in scale – Founder

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Our Ethereum mining rig – From riches to rags