What Is The Most Cost Effective Miner?
Well, that depends on your definition of cost effective. Are you looking for good hash-rates at a low entry cost or are you looking at the long term efficiency and considering the energy cost?
If you are just entering the world of crypto mining you may find the cost of higher end equipment daunting, and rightfully so. As bigger and better machines come into the market and the price of Bitcoin rises, it can become astronomical. You might wonder how it's even realistic to consider such an investment.
Good Purchase Cost Value:
There are decent cost effective miners that can get you making money right away while you save up for that energy efficient one you have your eye on. The key aspect here is how quickly you will make your initial investment cost back. This can be a difficult metric to evaluate given the dramatic fluctuations in crypto prices but it will give you a baseline to evaluate what a given hashrate is worth. you can check out our page on miner comparisons for a better view of this.
Ideally you want to get the latest hardware available because it will have the latest chips with the highest energy efficiency for it's processing power. The catch to that though, is that generally the better the performance of the machine, the more it will cost. However, this relationship is inversely related to the size of the machine. Meaning that for a give version of chips, the larger the machine, the more cost effective it will be compared to a smaller and cheaper model.
Another factor to consider is time frame. If you're buying your mining hardware at the peak of a crypto cycle, you will likely be paying a premium to obtain it. this is a factor that is driven by demand. As the price of the coin being mined goes up, the profitability of the machines mining it increases and as such people will be more inclined to buy those machines. Chip manufacturing is a limited process, so there are only so many machines available, if a lot of people are trying to buy certain equipment, the perceived value of that equipment will go up. On the other hand, if the market is down, less people will be buying miners and because of the lower demand the prices to obtain the same equipment can be significantly lower.
This is really the key metric, except for the steep entry cost, it should be the main thing you consider when buying a miner. The thing to keep in mind though is that this is a long term play and ultimately the cost of electricity is what you will be looking to overcome. You'll want to find a machine that has higher efficiency at an affordable price. you'll find this is often shown in Joules per given hashrate (30J/Th, .02J/Gh). This is a misleading metric and should actually be viewed as Watts/ hashrate. Joules are measured in seconds and watts are measured in hours, it is a technicality but one to keep in mind, in case you're wondering why our values don't match how efficiency is referenced industry wide. Luckily, even though it's an incorrect unit, the calculations are still accurate for a W/Th reference.
You should also be aware, comparing data based on hashrates only cross references accurately between other miners who operate on the same algorithm. different algorithms will have different total network hashrates and difficulties, making is so the hashrate of a given machine will have a very different level of performance from one coin being mined to another.
It's also a good time to note that while the idea of running several smaller miners may sound like a great plan, you will hit a limitation on how many you can fit on the electrical service in your house before breakers start tripping on you.
Or even worse, overload a circuit beyond the recommended 80% of it's rated capacity and if the wires are not sized correctly you could be looking at a fire. Please get a professional involved with any upgrades to your home electrical service.
That being said, as you grow you'll want to add more machines and use more of your electrical capacity, so upgrading your mining equipment will become necessary as well as cost effective.
As with any technology, crypto mining hardware is constantly improving. This can be frustrating, but with the right strategy, you can use it to improve your position over time. There are a couple ways you can go about cycling out your miners, thinking long term will help you to make your mining operation as effective as possible. Often people will look to get a better deal by buying miners that are a little older and running them until they can no longer make a profit. While this works for getting into mining, it's not necessarily ideal for maximum returns. In a perfect world, you would have funds set aside for when the market is in a crypto winter, to buy the latest and most powerful ASIC hardware. Often this would be by pre-ordering it or waiting very patiently for it to become available. Not only does this timing allow you to get into mining at a lower price point per hashrate, you'll be setup and running before the market starts going back up, allowing you to see more significant gains over time.
The next phase of this strategy is to be smart about taking profits, there are a lot of different ways manage your invested funds and I would recommend discussing with an accountant how to optimize that for yourself. One method I do like is the concept of selling a fraction of your coins out of the market whenever there is a large spike. How much and when to pull it out is something you'll need to analyze, but a decent guideline would be to sell off 20% at regular intervals of upward market trends. Timing the market is next to impossible, so this allows you to take profit without completely pulling out, in case there is an even larger spike right after.
As time goes by miners becoming more efficient will cause older ones with less hashing power to not be profitable to run any longer. Usually you'll be able to get a couple cycles out of a machine, meaning 3-5 years of run time at least, before you really need to upgrade. You could wait for a crypto winter and sell the miner for a small gain, having made your investment back and then some over the previous cycles. Or you can try to time the markets and sell the miner at the last peak of a cycle, this is next to impossible, but it would optimize your profits in theory. At which point you hold everything you've earned until the next crypto winter to enter again at an even better position than the first time. perhaps even requiring increasing your electrical capacity at the same time to be able to scale up to more miners for the next couple cycles.
Oh, one more thing, this is all extremely hypothetical and speculative. The price volatility can drastically change how profitable a machine is. while it sounds great, it is an investment that you need to make on your own terms and within your own budget. there are risks involved that you will need to study and understand for yourself.
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