Bitcoin Mining Hardware: A Glance

Bitcoin Mining Hardware: A Glance


‘One crypto to rule them all, one crypto to buy them. In Satoshi we trust and Bitcoin, we mine them’- This is probably the unofficial motto of Bitcoin Miners. With the advent of so many cryptocurrency exchanges in the markets, people are converting into traders more than miners of decentralized currency.

The one true king of the cryptocurrency world is Bitcoin. There now exists an elite group of individuals who would go the extra mile to mine a Bitcoin and not walk down to block to buy Bitcoin to their heart’s content. These miners are held in high regards in the community but, for every mining legend, there is a history of hardware failures, compatibility issues, high logistic costs and the worst of all, the delayed transaction time involved. To overcome these issues, many either choose to mine Ether or deal in an Alt Coin.

Bitcoin Mining: More Than a Hobby

Bitcoin Mining isn’t easy. For multiple reasons people do not pursue it. It all began when Satoshi Nakamoto released his white paper on Blockchain technology. Way back in 2009, he followed it by releasing his paper about a decentralized currency which could avail the multiple options that this innovative technology offered.

Bitcoin mining is explained as the processing of transactions on a Bitcoin network. These transactions are then held on to a Blockchain.  Every transaction that is processed is known as a Block or Node. It is these transactions that miners secure and eventually verify. For the verification of any transaction, miners create a unique hash based on the transactions in the Block or Node. This unique hash is now a part of the Block or Node. The next transaction will now have to access the previous Block or Node’s hash to verify if it is legitimate.

Once this verification is completed, the miner creates a new Block or Node which contains the current transaction and new hash. The miner needs to compile this as soon as possible and way before any other miner does so.

See Also: Bitcoin Mining: All You Need to Know

At that time of its launch in 2009, there were very few miners who were willing to put in the effort and the time to mine this so called virtual money. It was because of this hesitation, that the mining rewards were high.

The reward started at 50 BTC (Bitcoin) in Block #1 and halves every 210,000 Blocks. Hence, until Block #210,000 rewards 50 BTC, while block 210,001 rewards 25.

Since blocks are mined on average every 10 minutes, on an average 144 blocks are mined per day. So logically, at the rate of 144 blocks per day, 210,000 blocks take on average four years to mine.

Bitcoin Mining Hardware: The Options Available.

Originally, Bitcoin were supposed to be mined on one’s PC or Laptops. In doing so, the miner suffered high computing and electrical costs. It was over a period of time recognized that they got more hashing power with the help of Graphic Cards.

As unbelievable as it sounds, Graphic cards too were surpassed by ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits). These circuits, are now the primary Bitcoin mining apparatuses. Bitcoin mining with ASIC is usually conducted in thermally regulated data centers (similar to a large-scale mining pool). As more hash take more electricity to process, China, Iceland and New Zealand are preferred locations for serious Bitcoin miners due to the access of low cost electricity.

Keeping in mind the factors involved in Bitcoin mining with ASIC one needs to be sure before making any investment. Easily available with EBay, Amazon, and other online portals, we have mentioned 3 of the different and most popular ASIC that are used by Bitcoin miners worldwide.

1. The AntMiner S9:

the antminer

  • Hash Rate per Miner: 14 TH/s (TeraHash per second)
  • Cost: 6,700 USD
  • Network Connection: Ethernet port
  • Miner power consumption: 1450 W
  • Mines: Bitcoin

This is one of the most popular ASIC Bitcoin mining devices that is being used by miners worldwide. A total of 189 chips, that are spread over 3 circuit boards, are combined to achieve phenomenal hash rate. In a reasonable timeframe, this device shall end up paying for itself. All you need is lower electricity rate. The AntMiner S9 is a self-contained unit and fairly easy to maintain and service. A profitable investment irrespective if one wants to create an entire pool or mine Bitcoin simply as a single unit.

2. The Avalon 6:

the avalon 6

  • Hash Rate per Miner: 7.3 TH/s (TeraHash per second)
  • Cost: 880 USD
  • Network Connection: Ethernet port
  • Miner power consumption: 1150 W
  • Mines: Bitcoin 

The quiet and budget friendly miner in the sea of Bitcoin Mining ASIC, the Avalon 6 is favorite for hobby miners. This device requires either a Raspberry Pi (B / B+) or a TP-Link TL-WR703N as a controller. This unit shall earn back its users its value in Bitcoin depending on the low cost of electricity. It boasts of 80 chips to achieve 3.5 TH/s hashrate. Perfect for anyone who wants to start Bitcoin mining and continuing it into a large-scale pool.

3. DragonMint 16T:
dragon mint

  • Hash Rate per Miner: 16 TH/s
  • Cost: 2,729 USD
  • Network: Ethernet port
  • Miner power consumption: 1205W ± 6%
  • Mines: Bitcoin

Aiming to surpass BitMain’s sales is Halong Mining’s DragonMint 16T ASIC. Individual power supply is necessary, but with the high power that it is offering its users, there is a good chance that this ASIC is the new technological step of advancement in this selective pool of miners. Bitcoin mining shall grow leaps and bounds with this device but alas, the company behind it, Halong Mining, has run out of all the stocks of this unit from their first batch. The waiting list is long but worth the wait.

Verdict and Observations:

The Bitcoin community has been plagued by many fake companies who claim to have created the perfect device for mining. While being energy efficient, ASIC’S are application specific integrated circuits that facilitate faster Bitcoin mining. Bitcoin mining has become a high-powered race. The winner that verifies a Block or a Node gets a share of the Bitcoin Block reward. No matter if the rewards are getting lower, the miner shall still rule the Blockchain. To the brave souls who Bitcoin Mine, we salute you!

Next Read: Cloud: An Efficient Cryptomining Platform

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