The meteoric rise in the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in 2020 has investors flocking to accumulate coins at sky-high prices. Cryptocurrency miners, on the other hand, prefer to get their coins for free.
But any savvy investor knows there’s no such thing as free when it comes to investing, and cryptocurrency mining is a pricey endeavor. Attempting to mine bitcoin on a computer without specialized bitcoin mining hardware will only get you about 1 cent worth of bitcoin per month, according to Buy Bitcoin Worldwide. That specialized equipment, such as the Antminer S7 or the Antminer S9, can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
Once a miner has forked over big bucks for mining hardware, any successful mining profits will be at least partially offset by the cost of electricity required to operate the devices. According to the website CryptoCompare, mining bitcoin at a rate of 4,730 GH/s and a cost of power of 12 cents per KW/h would consume $111.72 of electricity every month, or $1,359.20 each year.
Crescent Electric estimates that bitcoin is by far the most expensive cryptocurrency to mine, with an average mining cost of $4,161 per bitcoin.
Bitcoin mining is getting more difficult, and more expensive, by the day. The difficulty in mining bitcoin automatically adjusts for the hashrate of the miners to ensure a rate of one block every 10 minutes. With so many industrial-grade miners competing for a limited number of bitcoin, it can be very difficult for a non-professional individual miner to accomplish much of anything.
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