After the halving, bitcoin mining became half as profitable. This and other reasons are forcing Russian miners to look for an alternative to the main digital coin.
Russian miners are increasingly paying attention to the mining of altcoins using video cards. The low cost of equipment, the relatively low hash rate of the mined cryptocurrencies and the hopes for an increase in their price due to the halving of bitcoin are the main reasons why crypto enthusiasts are returning to mining on video cards.
In Russia, crypto enthusiasts started mining cryptocurrencies on video cards in 2015-16. The hash rate was relatively low, and the pioneers skimmed the cream: the video card paid off in 3-4 months. Rumors about new earnings spread rapidly, already in 2017 the devices were sold out instantly, which led to their rise in price. The profitability of mining decreased due to the increase in the hash rate.
In December 2017, there was a major scandal on the Nicehash cloud service intended for the purchase and sale of mining capacities. About $ 50 million was stolen from user accounts. At that time, Nicehash was one of the most popular mining pools in Russia, and the theft of money alienated many users.
In 2018, there was a rapid decline in the price of cryptocurrencies. Thus, the most popular altcoin Ethereum fell from a maximum of $ 1448 to $ 90 in December. This made the mining of altcoins much less profitable: the payback period of the cards reached two years.
Now GPU mining is making a comeback for several reasons. For example, the hash rate has decreased by 38% compared to July 2018, the price at the time of publication is $ 200. For mining, both modern models of video cards and relatively old ones, starting with Nvidia 1050ti and Radeon RX580, are used. Prices for the penultimate generation cards also dropped after the release of top-end devices, which was one of the reasons for the return of altcoin mining on video cards. Another argument is not rational, but rather psychological: many miners believe that altcoins will flourish soon, the Ethereum rate will return to maximum values, and then the mining of cryptocurrencies will again become a gold business.
How to calculate?
To calculate the profitability of devices, it is worth using calculators. The two most popular and convenient ones are whattomine.com and nicehash.com . Profitability forecasts for calculators vary, and the run-up can reach 30-40%. Also, according to the experience of miners, the nicehash calculator gives a profit that is 15-20% higher than the actual one. And the monthly profit forecast is based on the production results for the previous 30 days. Therefore, now, a few days after the halving, the forecast for the month does not correspond to current realities.
To date, the TOP-10 video cards for cryptocurrency mining, according to the whattomine calculator, looks like this:
But high daily profit does not mean that the video card is really profitable for mining. The cost of devices in the GeForce RTX line is still high. For example, the top-end NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti will bring its owner 3380 rubles. per month. The cost of such a card, according to Yandex.market data, starts at 86,094 rubles. It is easy to calculate that the card will pay off, provided that it works around the clock, excluding electricity costs, in 25 months.
In terms of payback speed, the three leaders of AMD cards look like this: RX 580 8Gb RX Vega 56 and RX Vega 64 and is about 8 months (excluding the cost of electricity and the cost of setting up a mining rig). GeForce has the optimal models for mining – GTX 1050ti, 1060 and 1070, their payback, at the current altcoin price and market value of devices, is about 7 months. The market price for these video cards varies. So, the cost of RX 580 8Gb, according to the Yandex.market service, is from 11,139 rubles, on the Avito ad service the same card is sold from 8 thousand rubles. According to the Nicehash calculator, the RX 580 8Gb will bring its owner 1,307 rubles. per month.
In addition, the cost of electricity must be deducted. After all, she needs to provide not only the video card itself, but the entire rig. According to Maxim Tsvetkov, the founder of the largest altcoin mining community "ProTON", at this point in time the price of electricity is very important, because at the moment the cost is 3.53 rubles. per kW, is 35% of the share in the profitability of miners on video cards, and electricity 5.5 rubles per kW – already more than 55%. “At 7 rubles. (let's say abroad) the point is already coming when 90-95% of the mined will go to pay bills, the interlocutor believes. “In my opinion, if electricity is more than 4 rubles per kW, then you shouldn't start mining now, even with used equipment.”
Profitability of video cards, according to the Nicehash calculator:
For comparison, this is how the payback of the top ASICs for Bitcoin mining looks like:
As you can see from the table, after halving, the payback period for ASICs has grown significantly and is comparable to the yield from video cards.
What and how to get it?
The most popular altcoins for GPU mining are Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Grin (GRIN), Zcoin (XZC), RVN, BEAM. However, it happens that the mining program automatically determines which coin is more profitable to mine at the moment. There are quite a few such programs for mining today, here is a list of the 10 most popular:
● Awesome Miner;
● RPC Miner.
As you know, cryptocurrencies can be mined not only on video cards, but also on special devices – ASICs. Pros of mining on video cards: hardware warranty, low power consumption, lack of noise and the ability to mine various altcoins. The disadvantages include the complexity of setting and the requirements for overclocking video cards, the volatility of altcoins: coins mined recently may depreciate, as happened two years ago. However, the prompt transfer of mined coins to fiat or bitcoin will solve this problem.
Maxim Tsvetkov stated that AMD cards have the best payback periods, usually 1-2 months faster, based on the price and the issued hash rate. “But there are a number of disadvantages, namely: they are less universal, that is, in fact, they are effective only on one algorithm (Ethash, aka DaggerHashimoto), which produces the most popular of the altcoins, Ethereum,” the expert said. – On other algorithms, “red cards” (AMD brands – editor's note) are not effective at all. The advantage of cards from GeForce is that they are more versatile and have 4-5 different algorithms at their disposal, on which they have comparable profitability, and in the event of a drop in profitability on one, the miner always has the opportunity to choose an alternative, without a special "drawdown" in profitability … Also an obvious advantage of the "green" is their demand in the secondary market, since the main consumer of video cards are not miners, but gamers and designers. "
“My choice is for the“ green ”cards, and if we talk about models, it is GTX 1070 or GTX 1080ti, since they have the maximum coverage by possible algorithms, are very liquid in the secondary market and will remain relevant and in demand for a long time to come”, – added by Maxim Tsvetkov.
A separate category is the so-called "video cards for mining", for example P104-100, this is an analogue of GTX 1070 1080, but they do not have video outputs, which makes it impossible to use them for anything other than mining digital money, the source said. “They are often more attractive to miners, whose main goal is the fastest return on investment, but I see a number of shortcomings in such cards, namely, a small guarantee, illiquidity in the secondary market, as well as the fact that these cards are essentially a“ rejection ”from ordinary cards that have not passed quality control at the manufacturers' factories, ”added Maxim Tsvetkov.
The plasticity and versatility of video cards are also noted by other crypto enthusiasts. “On ASICs, you can mine only one algorithm, they have a different architecture,” comments the entrepreneur Eugene. M., engaged in the extraction of altcoins. – Video cards are more flexible, you can upgrade to new coins that are easy to mine and shoot. I remember once I earned $ 400 per night, as the price soared for one unknown coin, and the difficulty had not yet tightened. Then she began to bring 50 a day. By the way, after the collapse of altcoins, many were selling cards and just buying bitcoin, hoping for growth. "
However, the profitability from mining most of all depends on the current rate of cryptocurrencies. The founder of mirocoin Dmitry Mitronin recalled that Bitcoin halving took place on May 11, and many traders expect further growth in the value of digital assets in connection with this event.
“Halving should once again become a catalyst for the growth of bitcoin, as well as altcoins, which often repeat the dynamics of the main cryptocurrency,” the source said. – There is another opinion that halving is already included in the current price of bitcoin. A number of altcoins move with multidirectional dynamics in comparison with bitcoin, which makes them more attractive for investment. Growth for individual altcoins can be 60% per day. The main problem of altcoins: due to low liquidity, only a small amount of investment can be invested in them, "the expert emphasized.
So far, halving has caused only a heated discussion on the network, but did not particularly affect the value of digital assets. Major altcoins showed a slight increase, from 3 to 10%. So, for example, Ethereum at the time of halving cost $ 187, now its price is $ 200. However, most analysts agree that halving will affect the price of bitcoin – it will go up, which will also lead to an increase in the cost of altcoins. This is also the hope of investors who are ready to invest in equipping a farm with several video cards.
The risks for the miner are as follows:
● If a potential miner incurs additional costs for renting premises, cooling, and wages (applies to large miners, with an investment of 10 million rubles or more), then it is possible that the cost of maintaining equipment, not counting the cost of electricity, will become so high that the economic sense to continue activities will be lost.
● It is very difficult to predict the price of one or another altcoin in the future, and given the constant growth in the complexity of the network of coins, profitability over time can decrease quite significantly. For example, in the full year of 2017, miners could recoup their equipment costs 3-4 times, and in 2018, the payback was approximately 50% of the costs.
● Possibility of equipment breakdown, but often this is a very rare occurrence, and the percentage of defects does not exceed 1-2%.