Cryptocurrency mining was a great way to earn a passive income at the height of the craze around blockchain-based tokens, but growth has slowed since the prices of cryptocurrency normalised over the last year.
Whereas miners could previously pay off their rigs in a few months, buying cryptocurrency mining hardware is no longer an easy way to earn money.
Earlier this year, we compared the profitability of several cryptocurrency mining rigs, finding that the payback periods for the hardware had increased drastically as the prices of major digital currencies fell.
There are two main types of cryptocurrency mining machines – GPU mining rigs and Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) miners.
These different cryptocurrency miners provide varying levels of profitability depending on which tokens they are mining and the fluctuating prices of the tokens themselves.
To determine the potential earnings of a cryptocurrency miner today, MyBroadband compared the profitability of mining various cryptocurrencies to the prices of the required hardware.
We compared the pricing for five mining rigs available for purchase from Bitmart, comprising two GPU mining rigs and three ASICs.
The potential earnings for each mining rig was calculated using CryptoCompare’s profitability calculator tool and converting the result to South African rand.
We then used the price of the hardware and its daily earning potential to calculate the amount of time needed to recoup the cost of each mining rig.
Below are the five mining rigs we compared, along with their hash rates when mining the cryptocurrency they are most suited to:
- Avalon 821 – Bitcoin @ 11TH/s
- Antminer D3 – Dash @ 19.3GH/s
- Antminer V9 – Bitcoin @ 4TH/s
- Thorium 6x RX 570 Mining Rig – Ethereum @ 144MH/s
- Thorium 6x GTX 1060 Mining Rig – Ethereum @ 120MH/s
Major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum remain the most popular cryptocurrencies among miners, although it should be noted that users can use a service like NiceHash to dynamically alter what they mine depending on profitability.
Below are the prices, daily earnings, and payback periods calculated for each of these five mining rigs.
|Miner||Price||Daily Earnings||Payback Period|
|Avalon 821||R9,999||R36.11||277 days|
|Antminer D3||R11,999||R28.80||1 year 52 days|
|Antminer V9||R9,199||R13.12||1 year 336 days|
|6x GTX 1060 Mining Rig||R44,999||R27.91||4 years 152 days|
|6x RX 570 Mining Rig||R55,499||R33.28||4 years 208 days|
Don’t forget electricity
It should be noted that using powerful hardware to perform computationally-expensive tasks such as cryptocurrency mining can take a heavy toll on your electricity bill.
The earning potentials above were calculated without accounting for power costs, which can be significant.
For example, the cryptocurrency miner that MyBroadband used cost us R1,238 to run for a full month, which is equal to around R39 every day.
This means that if you are paying for your own power in South Africa, it is unprofitable to run a GPU mining operation, where the daily power costs currently outstrip daily earnings.
Providing the hardware with sufficient cooling is also a major consideration, as most mining rigs generate a lot of heat and noise.
Looking at the data above, it is apparent that while some users may be able to make a small profit mining digital currency, it is no longer profitable for the majority of users.