Cryptocurrency mining has seen a marked decline in popularity in recent months as the value of currencies fell.
Many people continue to mine and earn a profit, however, and if the price of cryptocurrency rises again they could be set to cash in big returns.
Buying a mining rig now may be a big mistake, though, as it will take extremely long to pay off at current market values.
Ethereum remains one of the most popular cryptocurrencies to mine, thanks to the ability to mine using consumer graphics cards.
At one point, it was almost impossible to find a graphics card in South Africa due to massive demand for the hardware – but this situation has started to correct itself as mining profitability fell.
Ethereum miners should also take note of upcoming changes to the blockchain and its mining composition, which could affect the viability of mining using consumer GPUs.
Problems for ETH miners
In 2018, one of the biggest topics within the Ethereum community has been the development of an ASIC miner for Ethereum by Bitmain.
This hardware promises higher efficiency than graphics card rigs at a lower price, and could upset the profitability of mining rigs made from consumer GPUs.
Additionally, Ethereum is continuing its move towards a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus system, which involves validators staking currency to vote on blocks instead of hardware-backed verification.
It will be a long time before this solution is fully implemented, but the Ethereum blockchain may see incremental changes which could decrease the profitability of mining as it moves towards PoS.
To see what the returns are for a GPU-based mining rig right now, we have compared the profitability of Ethereum mining rigs.
Also included in the comparison is the Bitmain Antminer E3, which boasts greatly increased efficiency over traditional rigs.
We used CryptoCompare’s profitability calculator to calculate the estimated returns of the mining rigs, with hardware and cryptocurrency prices valid on 17 April 2018.
As shown below, Bitmain’s Antminer and the lower price of Ethereum means miners will now take much longer to pay off their rigs – indicated by the “payback period” figure.
It must be noted that electricity costs are excluded from the calculations.
|Payback Period||117 days|
8x Radeon RX 470 Mining Rig
|8x Radeon RX 470 Mining Rig|
|Payback Period||634 days|
6x Radeon RX 570 Mining Rig
|6x Radeon RX 570 Mining Rig|
|Payback Period||877 days|
6x Radeon RX 580 Mining Rig
|6x Radeon RX 580 Mining Rig|
|Payback Period||939 days|
8x Radeon RX 460 Mining Rig
|8x Radeon RX 460 Mining Rig|
|Payback Period||1,006 days|
6x GeForce GTX 1060 Mining Rig
|6x GeForce GTX 1060 Mining Rig|
|Payback Period||1,020 days|