Cryptocurrency mining was all the rage in 2017, with gamers converting their PCs into mining rigs and investors buying multiple ASICs due to the great returns promised by the price of various cryptocurrencies.
While the craze has died down somewhat, there is still money to be made in mining cryptocurrency, whether you are mining Ethereum using your graphics card or have a dedicated machine for mining Bitcoin.
We shut down our Ethereum mining earlier this year following a big drop in the price of Ethereum, but there are still other ways to mine cryptocurrency.
Users without the capital to purchase a mining rig can rent compute power via cloud mining services, although users must beware of the large number of scams plaguing this industry.
Another way to possibly make some money mining cryptocurrency is to use a mobile cryptocurrency miner.
Since we currently have a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and Huawei P20 at the office, we thought we would put these devices to work by mining cryptocurrency.
Mining on mobile
While Android cryptocurrency miners were once relatively common on the Google Play Store, all of them have since been removed due to security reasons.
This meant that we would need to download an older APK through unofficial channels to start mining cryptocurrency using our smartphones’ chipsets.
We opted to download the MinerGate mobile miner APK and install it on the devices. Please note that none of these applications are confirmed to be secure and many can be dangerous to the security and health of your device.
Installing apps from external sources requires explicit permission from the device owner, whereas approved apps can be seamlessly downloaded from the Google Play Store.
After downloading and installing the application, we were presented with the choice of which cryptocurrency to mine on our smartphones—we chose Monero.
Following this, we simply started the miners on each device and monitored them using the MinerGate dashboard to determine how much we were making.
The mining software was run during work hours over three days, with the total amount of Monero mined recorded at the end of the test.
The first thing we noticed after we placed the phones on charge and started mining Monero was the amount of heat emitted by the devices.
Their hashing power was greatly throttled shortly after their processing power ramped up, and we needed to elevate their chassis above the desk they were on to provide sufficient cooling.
Once we managed to balance the Galaxy Note 9 and Huawei P20 between two elevated boxes, they performed a lot better, averaging around 29H/s and 22H/s under constant load.
Altogether, monitoring the smartphones’ mining performances via the online dashboard reflected a combined 55H/s of mining power, peaking at around 70H/s.
Despite their overheating issues and constant mining for hours on end, the two smartphones yielded a total return of only 0.00013708 Monero (XMR) over the three-day period.
This equates to around R0.20 worth of cryptocurrency, meaning that it costs far more to simply keep the devices charged.
The minimum withdrawal amount on the MinerGate platform is 0.005 XMR, or around R8.20. It would have taken us around 41 days of mining using the Note 9 and Huawei P20 to reach this figure and withdraw our “earnings”.
The fact is, when it comes to mining major cryptocurrencies such as Monero, Ethereum, or Bitcoin on your mobile device, it is simply not worth it.
Additionally, there are no secure mining applications available through official app store channels and you could easily compromise the security of your device by installing software from external sources.
The processors in the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and Huawei P20 are powerful smartphone chipsets, capable of handling any task on a modern handset, but they are not built for mining cryptocurrency.