So, I recently told you of my adventures of getting into the cryptocurrency world. So now, I want to get into my 2nd adventure of mining. Before you ask, no, not like mining gold or diamonds, but cryptocurrency mining. The idea behind cryptocurrency mining is that you are solving very complicated math problems to get the next block in the chain and then possibly get some coin in the process. Basically, you are running the transactions that are being requested by users at that time, that are in the queue. This is just a very high level broad overview, but you get the idea. Just like Visa/Mastercard has to have something process the payment for businesses, so does cryptocurrency and currently that is a network of computers doing that, around the world. If you want a great rundown, then I suggest reading “Ethereum Mining 101: Your Complete Guide” by Ameer Rosic at Huffington Post.
Mining from Home
Now, that I have given you a basic idea of what mining is, I wanted to let you know that shortly after I jumped into the bitcoin world, I also wanted to try mining out for myself. So I went out and bought a graphics card that could do so. Mining can actually be done by really any graphics card, but the more powerful you get, the more you can mine and get more $$$! So, with that being said, I did little to no research and went out and bought the XFX Radeon RX 580 8GB graphics card from my local Bestbuy. After making my purchase, I went and downloaded the appropriate software and signed up for a pool and got everything setup and began mining. Now mind you, the biggest cost to mining any cryptocurrency is the cost per kWh (aka the electricity you spend). For this particular story, I am going to remove that variable, due to the fact I am just trying to get you a baseline before adding in all the extras of cost of ownership. So, this card, currently runs $269.99 as I write this, but at the time it was $299.99, so basically , $330 after taxes for initial cost (I am headed back to get my $30 back, since it has been less than a month when I purchased the card).
Unbeknownst to me, the machine that I was putting this into, was not going to have enough power, so unfortunately, I had to spend another $70 to get the power supply a few days later, so now my up front cost is $400 to get started.
With that being said, I got my mining “rig”, as the cryptocurrency community calls it, up and running that night, on 11/6/17. I basically just left it as is and let it run and tried a few different things to tweak the settings. I setup a web remote control software, so that I can see it, or control it from anywhere, which is great, because I won’t always be at home. After getting it up setup and letting it run for a day or so, my first couple of days were slow to say. Here, you can see the app reports to me how much I was making in the first few days of operation. It started out like basically just a $1 a day. This can change as the price of Ethereum goes up, so you will see this in the screenshots below.
In the pictures above, you can see the price went from $1.10 to $1.33 a day. As of this writing, I am getting in between $1.50 and $1.70 USD a day. This can change due to the amount of trading going on with Ethereum, so a better way of looking at this is, how many megahashes I am doing. This is a term of measurement in which my graphics card is doing calculations per second. Now currently, that averages between 17 and all the way up to 24, but I can not get it much higher. I have been doing some research online, on my specific card and I can get this higher, but so far, to no avail. Now you can see, this is going to take me roughly, a little less than a year to make my money back. I am taking an average of $1.50 a day and dividing the cost of the equipment, $400 and getting ~266 days of operation. The fun part about this is, I can always see where I am at, as far as pay out that is due to me. I can go directly to my pool and they setup a page, so you can see the work going on. On that page, you can see, I just recently cashed out on 12/2, under the payouts/rounds tab at the top.
Now, with that being said, I can set the settings as to when I cash out, but the pool decided to start doing weekly cash-outs with no transactions costs to me. This is awesome! So, I started on 11/6 and then cashed out my first “earnings” on 12/2. So I was only running 26 days and what was my cash out? Let’s take a look at that see what happened.
So as the math works out, in those 26 days, I ended up with 0.07880366 ETH. When translated at the cost of ETH currently, in which, the higher the better, I ended up getting ~$35.80 for the first 26 days. Which is fun, because as the price of ETH goes up, so does this piece of ETH that I have. If my math works out, I ended up with an average of ~$1.38 USD a day. This will obviously slow down my previous projection of getting this card paid for in 266 days, but you get the idea. Now also remember, I am NOT FIGURING IN THE COST OF ELECTRICITY. So this will make the profit go down even more, but I just wanted you to get an idea of what mining might cost someone. Electricity is something that is different in different regions of the world, but currently we are running ~$0.10 per kWh where I am. I unfortunately do not have a power monitor plugged into my machine, so I cannot accurately report on that. So before you complain that I didn’t factor that in, please DO take this into account, if you are going to do a similar venture. I will continue to report back on my earnings as I find this intriguing, but now I want to move on to cloud mining!
Moving on to cloud mining, if you don’t have the money to purchase a graphics card or you don’t have a desktop machine to put a graphics card, your best bet is cloud mining. This is the idea that someone else does the mining for you and they are paying for all the infrastructure and you are basically bank rolling their efforts and you get your profit from whatever contract you sign with them. The best and most known one in cloud mining is Genesis Mining. They have videos all over the web of their facilities, so you can see what they are doing and what they are doing it with. This is a lot less to invest, but will require at least a 2 year contract with them. Now, you can see my profits above in the first 26 days of having my own mining rig, so now I want to show you what I have since I started with Genesis. I did not start with Genesis until 11/17, so the time is a little different, but you will see what I have so far, since I started.
With Genesis, you are buying hash power. Your power is allotted over different altcoins. I specifically did 1 megahash of Ethereum and 25 hashes with zCash. You can see a quick description of megahash here, but basically it is the amount of mathematical power I am buying into that a graphics card can do and they will give me that amount of Ethereum or zCash that was processed out of that card. I put in roughly $80 USD to get started and now I have both Ethereum(ETH) and zCash! So let’s take a look and see what I have in Ethereum first. (The only bad thing I don’t like, is that Genesis doesn’t really have a great way of seeing it all in one place, just each individual transaction, ugggghhh!)
|Mining day||Currency||Net payout|
If I look at this table, I didn’t start getting paid by Genesis until 11/20, which was 3 days after I started. So be aware of that for ETH, specifically. Each altcoin mining is different. So since the 20th, I have been mining for 11 days and have received (well put in an account until I reach the minimum) a total of 0.00204327 ETH. As of this current writing, ETH is worth $458.77 USD[click the link for most up-to-date cost], so I have $0.9373909779 USD. As you can tell, this is much slower. I have to point out though, I only put in 1 megahash of ETH hashing power. That isn’t really a lot. Remember, my at home rig is doing anywhere between 17 and 24 times that, but I only had to do a fraction of the cost to get this up and going and didn’t have to have any technical know how. If I divide out the 11 days, I am getting roughly $0.09 USD a day, with current trading costs of ETH. I could absolutely buy more power and get more per day, but right now, that is all i wanted to try out. You do not have to buy a card, or own a computer or pay for the electricity either! You are basically renting someone else’s power to get money out of their efforts. I reckon it to buying or renting a house or a car.
Let’s look at my zCash efforts with Genesis and we will see where we are in the 11 days since I got started. Now, the current cost of zCash is about $325.36[click the link for most up-to-date cost], so this is the base price I will be using for my calculations.
|Mining day||Currency||Net payout|
If I take the current cost of zCash and multiply that out to USD, I have $1.9124693336 for the last 11 days. So for my zCash efforts, I have been getting, roughly $0.17 USD a day! Again, you have to remember, I only put in about $80 USD to get these 2 contracts started and I didn’t have to have any technical know how or have to build any machines to do it. So, this is just a quick and dirty overview of cloud mining. I could go more into detail, but I am still learning this as I write this article! I plan on learning more and more as the days go on. If you have any questions, feel free to ask or leave comments below!