Bitcoin is the very first known cryptocurrency, which was created back in 2009. At first, Bitcoin mining was possible even on processors. However, with the increase in CPU mining popularity and its cost, the complexity of the mining calculations grew more and more. The high price and the demand led to the development of ASICs for mining, which perform calculations in the SHA-256 encryption algorithm in the Bitcoin code.
In this article, you will learn about Bitcoin mining history and decide whether or not to invest in Bitcoin equipment. We’ll give you a piece of advice on the overall mining process and show you the most profitable hardware to mine Bitcoin now. Let’s look at the most efficient, popular, and balanced models on the mining devices market. Spoiler: here they come:
- Bitmain Antminer T19
- Antminer S19 Pro
- MicroBT Whatsminer M30S++
- Canaan AvalonMiner 1166 Pro
What Is an ASIC Bitcoin Miner?
Once upon a time, crypto coins could be mined using an ordinary computer. With the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, the difficulty of mining has increased. The miners needed a device that would allow them to mine more coins in less time. This is how ASICs appeared.
As we already said, before the ASICs, coins were mined using video cards and computer processors. However, these methods became unprofitable due to the increase in capacity and high electricity bills. These problems were solved by introducing ASIC miners to the markets. By the way, ASIC stands for Application-Specific Integrated Circuit.
ASIC mining is the process of cryptocurrency mining using special equipment. ASICs are created specifically for mining certain coins on the same algorithm. The principles are the same as for a video card: ASICs are engaged in decoding the blockchain and creating new blocks. It differs in that calculations are carried out using special chips.
However, ASICs appeared long before cryptocurrencies. They were first used to speed up graphics in computers in the 1980s. Later, ASICs were used in many electronic devices to optimize and speed up work.
At the first sight, an ASIC is just a microcircuit that performs a certain work type. In the 21st century, these microcircuits allow decrypting algorithms at the heart of a particular blockchain. Each cryptocurrency operates based on a specific algorithm. These algorithms may or may not be the same for different cryptocurrencies. It is crucial to choose an ASIC that matches the exact cryptocurrency algorithm you are going to mine.
Due to its narrow focus, ASIC equipment is ten times more productive and energy-efficient than video cards for mining. With their help, finding a hash to create a new block, with the subsequent reward, is much faster. To get a modern ASIC computing power, you need to build a farm of at least a dozen top-end video cards. The energy consumption will be several times higher than that of an ASIC-type device (5–10 kW compared to 1–2 kW).
This combination of productivity, with low power consumption, makes ASICs more attractive to miners than other devices. For example, with Bitcoin, ASIC is the only way to make a profit from mining at the existing network complexity. Therefore, it is quite normal that ASICs are so widespread.
Even though mining on ASICs brings good profit, it has some disadvantages. One of these drawbacks is that each ASIC is created for 1 or 2 algorithms. It cannot be re-profiled for other currencies, and if you want to start mining another coin, you will have to purchase new equipment.
How to Find the Best Bitcoin Miner
Since the main goal of any miner is to make a good profit, the choice of an ASIC device must be taken seriously. The first step is to choose a hashing algorithm supported by the ASIC. It is SHA-256 for mining Bitcoin. Then, you need to pay attention to the ASIC miner’s computing power (hash rate) on which mining performance and overall profit depend.
The power consumption of the ASIC is also an important feature. Keep in mind that the ASIC miner will have to run almost non-stop to ensure the highest possible profit. This means that the more power the ASIC uses, the more expensive your electricity bills will be. Considering these costs, buying an ASIC may turn out to be unprofitable. If electricity is expensive, and the ASIC itself needs a lot of electricity, but the hash rate is already slightly outdated, the profit will be minimal (if at all).
You also need to decide on the amount of money that you can afford to spend since the price of an ASIC will directly affect its performance and energy efficiency. If your goal is to start mining cryptocurrency as soon as possible, you can buy from local online sellers. However, they usually overcharge the announced price by 20-30% or even 40%. It is better to pre-order the ASIC miners from the manufacturer with delivery in a few months. Unfortunately, the manufactures’ websites have their equipment sold out too fast right after the announcement, so you should keep an eye.
Bitcoin Miners for Sale on eBay or Amazon
At the moment, the number of available models from different manufacturers allows you to choose an ASIC to your taste and financial capabilities. As we already mentioned, you can buy ASICs on the official websites of manufacturers and all kinds of online stores, including thematic ones dedicated to mining equipment.
The price of ASIC miners on the web resources may differ significantly from the original manufacturer’s price. So, you have to choose what is more important for you – to get the ASIC within a few days after ordering, or in weeks, or even months.
It’s easy to buy mining equipment on eBay. However, the miners can be quite outdated. The hash rate won’t be as high as you want it to be like on the new miner, but it can be a good way to try mining cryptocurrencies.
Amazon marketplace is a similar thing to eBay. Here you can buy both new and used cryptocurrency miners at any price.
Used Bitcoin Mining Hardware for Sale
The growth of the rate, interest in mining returns, and the unsuccessful period in the market left many used devices in the secondary market. In China, electricity cost did not cover the minimum profitability, so thousands of inexpensive devices appeared on the secondary market.
The miners’ warranty (for example, the popular Antminer S9 from Bitmain) never exceeds three months. Typically, an ASIC on a secondary market has been used non-stop. If any problems occur with a new device, users are protected by a warranty. When buying used equipment, it may well be necessary to repair it.
The guarantee is not universal, especially when the intensity of exploitation is high, and the conditions are poor. In any case, this is temporary protection against possible problems in the early stages of using the ASIC.
Cooling problems and severe damages to chips in new miners occur four times less often than in used ones. In this case, a new ASIC can be returned under warranty. A used one will require investments in repairs.
Here is a checklist to follow when you are buying ASIC miner:
- Check the serial numbers from the device board;
- Exclude devices with suspiciously low prices;
- Test the real hash rate;
- Examine for dust (especially in places where it is difficult to remove it). Dust is unacceptable in a new device and undesirable in an old one;
- Check the mechanical performance, the correct operation of the cooling, thermal indicators (the noise of the fan, even of a used miner, should not exceed the declared value, the temperature of the device should also be stable and within limits specified in the features).
An important factor when using ASICs for mining cryptocurrencies is their payback. It means the period of time when the ASIC covers the costs of its acquisition and begins to make a profit. This parameter will be different for each ASIC since it depends on its cost, processing power, and supported hashing algorithm.
As a rule, the payback of an ASIC takes at least six months (in case of the cheap electricity and an increase in the mined coin rate). In reality, this period more often reaches 1.5 years.
Most Efficient Bitcoin Miners
We’ll talk about the efficiency of every miner in the list down below. However, don’t consider the high price of the miner the only efficiency indicator. Even the best ASIC for mining has its advantages and disadvantages. There are some common pros and cons that indicate the overall ASIC mining process.
- High performance of the equipment;
- There is no need for frequent software updates;
- High reliability;
- The system does not require additional components;
- Easy to set up;
- Easy transportation.
- Difficulties in case of breakdowns;
- Algorithm restrictions;
- Noisy operation and generation of heat, which makes it difficult to use at home.
Bitcoin Mining Hardware Companies
The leading supplier of ASIC equipment in the world is China. The reason is the fact that the first ASICs were invented in this country and the first mining equipment companies appeared. China has inexpensive components and cheap labor.
There are also ASIC manufacturers in other countries, but the production volumes are smaller. In Europe, the Swedish company creates KnC Miner. In the USA – Coin Terra, Innosilicon Technology, and NVMINER. Also, a TSMC semiconductor chip plant from Taiwan is working on the creation of mining chips.
All in all, more than 30 different manufacturers from around the world now offer their ASIC equipment to miners. However, when choosing an ASIC for mining, it is better to stick to the latest models from the most famous and reliable suppliers.
Bitmain is the largest ASIC manufacturer in China. The company was founded in 2013 and, in a fairly short time became the leader in the mining equipment industry. Bitmain remains a leader till this day, occupying about 70% of the entire market. In addition, it owns the two largest mining pools BTC.com and Antpool.
Bitmain is primarily known in the world for its line of Antminer Bitcoin ASIC miners, which are considered one of the best devices in terms of productivity and return on investment.
Canaan Creative is another Chinese company founded in 2013. It has a significant share of the ASIC miners market (2nd place in the world and 20% of the industry).
It produces ASICs for mining Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies based on the SHA-256 algorithm under the ASIC brand named AvalonMiner. ASIC Canaan miners are popular due to their ergonomic design, high-quality assembly, low noise levels, advanced cooling technologies, and a reasonably democratic pricing policy.
Bitcoin Mining Equipment
A modern ASIC miner is a block device consisting of:
- Boards with hundreds of microcircuits responsible for computing;
- A block of random-access memory that provides software functioning of the ASIC;
- Cooling systems (coolers, radiators, etc.);
- Connectors to link the external devices;
- The case in which all the elements are installed.
Bitcoin Mining Without Hardware?
There is a way to mine Bitcoin without ASIC miners or any other hardware. Cloud mining or remote mining is a model for mining cryptocurrency using remote hardware power. Cloud mining allows users to launch cryptocurrency mining without large investments and any technical skills.
At the moment, there are two options for cloud mining:
- Through remote hosting. This cryptocurrency mining method is suitable for those who have been in the industry for a long time. Such users should be versed in the field of mining and want to have complete control over the equipment. The main essence of cloud mining through remote hosting is that the user rents a full set of equipment, puts it in a convenient place, and turns it on. However, large financial investments are required since the cost of equipment can exceed several thousand dollars.
- Cloud mining through the remote purchase of equipment power from a hosting company. It places ASICs in a special room with the necessary conditions, where the thermal regime is observed, safety is ensured, and maintenance is carried out by blockchain technology professionals. The technical center specialists choose the necessary place, equip a mining farm there, and maintain the equipment operability 24/7.
ASICs’ Impact on Cryptocurrency
It is believed that the use of ACIS miners harms the entire crypto industry. The capacity of the ASIC is enough to create new blocks in a fairly short time. Many entrepreneurs create ASIC mining farms with huge profits. This leads to the fact that most of the coins belong to a narrow circle of people and, therefore, centralization.
The main principle of cryptocurrencies and blockchain implies the following fact – the more people own a particular coin, the more decentralized it is. So, the more this decentralization is, the more stable and efficient is the whole system.
In order to prevent centralization, many blockchains are creating hashing algorithms that are resistant to the ASIC hardware. For example, the developers of the anonymous cryptocurrency Monero make changes to the algorithm every six months.
Bitmain Antminer T19 Review
Traditionally, the announcement took place on Twitter of the Antminer line. In the publication, the manufacturer showed the device, key characteristics, and the slogan – the future of mining. Also, the company employees noted that this is the third model in the 19 series based on a 7-nanometer chip.
The T19 turned out to be the third most powerful device among Bitmain ASICs – after the Antminer S19 and S19 Pro with 95Th/s and 110 Th/s respectively. T19 is built with the same generation of customized chips as in S19. At the same time, S19 models are not available now, so in fact, the Antminer T19 is the most productive device from the models officially available on the market at the moment.
Antminer T19 is not available on the official website anymore because it’s sold out (the price was $1,590). However, there are resellers on the market who are setting their own prices. For instance, if you already have this miner but it’s not so young, you can buy the T19 miner’s control board on eBay for avg. $100:
The miner is available in the Antminer Distribution Shop for $3,099. However, the buyer will wait at least a month to get the equipment.
Compared to the previous model T17, T19 has higher efficiency and earnings. If electricity costs 0.05 kWh and a current Bitcoin price is $19,283, Antminer T19’s profit is $8 per day. Thus, the payback period for the device is less than a year – 313 days.
In terms of energy efficiency and hashrate, the new device is slightly weaker than the Antminer S19 but costs almost the same. Antminer T19 has a hash rate of 84 Th/s with consumption of 3150W or 37.5 J/Th. It comes with a built-in power supply, like other high power miners.
First step is to connect a power supply unit to mining equipment. Next, connect the Ethernet cable to the switch device, and enter the miner’s IP address using the scanning tool, configure the mining software. Now you are ready to get connected to the mining pool.
The good conditions for the equipment are a max temperature of 40℃ and max 95% humidity. The noise level is 75 DB.
Antminer S19 Pro
Antminer S19 Pro was released in May 2020 by the Chinese company Bitmain. The S19 hardware line was represented with two models – S19 and S19 Pro. The company announced new hardware for SHA-256 based coins back in February:
The Bitmain Antminer S19 line took the honorable first place among Bitcoin mining machines, displacing its predecessors S17 (67 Th/s) and T17 (with 55 Th/s). The productivity of new mining machines is higher than that of its predecessors. Antminer S19 line has a new generation of chips with an upgraded architecture. New high-conversion efficiency power supplies APW12 are used. Bitmain Antminer S19 Pro ASICs have a new firmware version installed to run more dynamically and work more stable.
The price in the Bitmain official online shop is $2684.00. However, all the devices are sold out. There are also many resellers on the market. For instance, you can buy the new Antminer S19 Pro for $5,995 or $5,800 on Amazon.
As you can see, resellers are selling equipment at twice the price. Miners.eu offers this hardware device for €4,000.00. It is necessary to mention the cost of delivery, which is paid separately. A used S19 Pro miner can cost you about $2,000.
S19 Pro Compared to Other Bitmain Hardware
Let’s compare Bitmain Antminer S19 Pro with some older models made by Bitmain company.
By the way, Bitmex Research claimed that the flagship model of the Bitcoin miner Antminer S19 Pro from Bitmain is slightly superior in its characteristics to the competitor Whatsminer M30S+ from MicroBT.
Bitcoins / Month (Profitability)
It is almost impossible to say exactly how long it will take to get the money spent on ASIC back in the current situation on the digital asset market. The online calculators of the mining profitability will help you to determine the daily profitability of the Antminer S19 Pro approximately. The services make calculations based on the currently known characteristics of the new S19 models, the current rate, and the complexity of mining cryptocurrencies available for mining on this device. We provide you with the table with estimated profits down below.
Antminer S19 Pro has a great energy efficiency of 29,5 J/TH. The maximum hash rate of 110 Th/s for the power consumption of 3,250 W.
The manufacturer has not yet published instructions for launching the miner, it is only known that the Antminer S19 Pro setting is working in the Secure Boot mode, and the Root Authority function is deactivated. This excludes the possibility of installing custom firmware and any manipulation of hardware parameters. For all questions regarding the customization of Bitmain products, including Antminer S19 pro, you can contact the support.
The normal condition for the mining work is the temperature from 5℃ to 40℃.
MicroBT Whatsminer M30S++
MicroBT is an ASIC manufacturing company born in 2016 and headquartered in Shenzhen, China. MicroBT has already sold approximately 600,000 units of WhatsMiner-branded equipment.
MicroBT has announced new models of ASIС miners for SHA-256 algorithm coins mining. MicroBT WhatsMiner M30S+ offers a hash rate of 100 Th/s and M30S++ with a hash rate of 112 Th/s. MicroBT has added competition with the Bitmain Antminer S19 and S19 Pro devices previously announced by Bitmain.
The 100 Th/s WhatsMiner M30S+ has an energy efficiency of 36 J/Th while consuming 4300 W. The higher in price and improved energy efficiency model with a 112 Th/s hash rate – the WhatsMiner M30S++ is showing the efficiency of 31 J/Th and 3472 W energy consumption.
Vincent Zhang, head of sales in MicroBT, mentioned during the presentation that the prices for the new products, M30S+ and M30S++, would be $2740 and $3899 per unit, respectively. The M30S+; was available on the official website for $3,900; however, all the devices were sold out.
There are some items on eBay, but there is only the M30S+ version.
According to the specifications, the M30S++ is ready to operate at a hash rate of 110 Th/s and an efficiency of 3,472 W.
According to the miner calculator, M30S++ can get its owner a good profit.
Canaan AvalonMiner 1166 Pro
In summer 2020, Nasdaq-listed mining giant Canaan has unveiled two Bitcoin mining devices. The characteristics of new products are significantly inferior to similar models from competitors.
Hash Rate, Power Consumption, and Efficiency
The AvalonMiner 1166 Pro has a hashrate of 68 Th/s, power consumption of 3196 W, and energy efficiency of 47 J/Th. However, if we compare this figure to the miners’ above, the Avalon Miner efficiency is not that impressive.
PriceThe only item we found on the net is new hardware on eBay, which costs $2,590. There are no available miners on the official website or any other reseller website.
Since this line by MicroBT is not so powerful, the profitability is not so impressive too.
6 More Bitcoin Miners
Bitmain Antminer S9
Antminer S9, one of the flagship models of a well-known mining equipment brand Bitmain. It has an impressive 14 Th/s hash rate, and it’s quite affordable. The 189 microchips are based on 16-nm FinFET technology. This ASIC has a fast processor and an efficient heat removal system. Antminer S9 consumes 1320 W of energy and is relatively small and easy to use. It is a popular option for at-home use. The price is around $2,000.
Ebang Ebit E10.1
This ASIC is the most powerful mining rig for Bitcoin in 2020. Along with the 18 Th/s hash rate, it has DW1228 Samsung 10nm chips, power consumption of 1650 W, and a full automatic cluster management software system that provides intelligent monitoring of mine operating status. Ebit has an excellent cooling system and a cutting-edge processor. It is no cheap equipment, though: you can buy it online for $4,800-5,000.
Pangolin Whatsminer M3X
Moving on, Pangolin Whatsminer M3X is a perfectly balanced option for those who are looking for good power output, decent price, and adequate energy consumption at the same time. It provides 12-13 TH per second and consumes 1800-2100 W. Whatsminer M3X is much lighter and more space-saving than other ASICs similar in terms of hash rate. It has 28-nm chips, but its cooling system is far from perfect: Whatsminer can get pretty hot very quickly. Overall it is an excellent rig for semi-professional miners that can easily bring profit if used properly.
Halong Mining DragonMint T1
DragonMintT1 is the newest mining rig from the Chinese tech company Halong Mining. It is quite an impressive example of a mid-segment ASIC. DragonMint T1 carries 189 integrated circuits, two powerful cooling fans, and boasts a 16 TH per second hash rate. It produces only 75 dB, which is surprisingly quiet compared to other rigs. You can find it online for around $2,000. Most miners agree that DragonMint T1 is good as it guarantees a positive ROI.
Canaan AvalonMiner 841
Now let’s talk about AvalonMiner 841, a new development of a well-known mining equipment company Canaan. The model offers top quality materials and an efficient heat removal system, providing 13-14.3 TH per second hash rate. It has 104 type A3210 16-nm microchips and consumes 1290 W. Interestingly, one can connect up to five miners to AvalonMiner 841 using a special Avalon controller and a USB-converter. Experts call Canaan AvalonMiner 841 a strong competition to Bitmain mining equipment, which is currently believed to dominate the market.
Bitmain Antminer R4
Last but not least, Antminer R4 is almost as efficient as Antminer S9, just a bit more modest. It has 8.7 TH per second hash rate and consumes only 845 W. Compared to its elder brother, Antminer R4 is larger, but a great deal less noisy with 52 dB noise level. 126 integrated 16-nm microchips BM1387 are installed on its frame. It looks slightly bulky and awkward but does the job perfectly.
The active spread of ASICs has negative consequences since centralization is harmful to the entire industry and can lead to its collapse. However, ASIC farms motivate developers to create new and more reliable algorithms. ASICs push the system towards development, speed up the block creation process, and help mine more coins.
It’s your choice how exactly to treat ASICs. However, all opinions agree on one thing – ASICs have a massive impact on the entire cryptocurrency industry, and it is difficult for us to do something about it.
Most Profitable Bitcoin Miners – Q&A
Here we have answered to the most common questions regarding the Bitcoin miners.
Which Bitcoin miner is most profitable?
According to the ASIC Miner Value website, the most profitable bitcoin miner in 2021 is Bitmain Antminer S19 Pro (110Th) released in May 2020. It works with the SHA-256 algorithm and can get you more than $20 per day.
What hardware is needed to mine Bitcoins?
To successfully mine Bitcoin users need one of the ASIC miners stated above.
How long does it take to mine 1 Bitcoin?
It takes about 10 minutes to mine 1 Bitcoin and create a new block.
How much does Bitcoin mining hardware cost?
It depends. The new ASIC equipment price starts from about $2,000 and reaches $6,000.
Where to house bitcoin mining hardware?
There are special hosters for storing equipment. Getting cryptocurrency at home is not a good idea. Overloaded networks, flying out traffic jams and constant noise lead to the fact that miners are kicked out of apartments and offices.