Is Bitcoin Mining Profitable in 2018?

Last updated on February 11th, 2018 at 05:13 pm

Before we start, if you’re new to Bitcoin mining and don’t know what it is watch this short and simple explanation:

Is Bitcoin Mining Profitable in 2018?

The short answer would be “It depends on how much you’re willing to spend”. Each person asking himself this will get a slightly different answer since Bitcoin Mining profitability depends on many different factors. In order to find out Bitcoin mining profitability for different factors “mining profitability calculators” were invented.

These calculators take into account the different parameters such as electricity cost, the cost of your hardware and other variables and give you an estimate of your projected profit. Before I give you a short example of how this is calculated let’s make sure you are familiar with the different variables:

Bitcoin Mining terms you should get to know

Hash Rate – A Hash is the mathematical problem the miner’s computer needs to solve. The Hash Rate is the rate at which these problems are being solved. The more miners that join the Bitcoin network, the higher the network Hash Rate is.

The Hash Rate can also refer to your miner’s performance. Today Bitcoin miners (those super powerful computers talked about in the video) come with different Hash Rates. Miners’ performance is measured in MH/s (Mega hash per second), GH/s (Giga hash per second), TH/s (Terra hash per second) and even PH/s (Peta hash per second).

Bitcoins per Block – Each time a mathematical problem is solved, a constant amount of Bitcoins are created. The number of Bitcoins generated per block starts at 50 and is halved every 210,000 blocks (about four years). The current number of Bitcoins awarded per block is 12.5. The last block halving occurred on July 2016 and the next one will be in 2020.

Bitcoin Difficulty – Since the Bitcoin network is designed to produce a constant amount of Bitcoins every 10 minutes, the difficulty of solving the mathematical problems has to increase in order to adjust to the network’s Hash Rate increase. Basically this means that the more miners that join, the harder it gets to actually mine Bitcoins.

Electricity Rate – Operating a Bitcoin miner consumes a lot of electricity. You’ll need to find out your electricity rate in order to calculate profitability. This can usually be found on your monthly electricity bill.

Power consumption – Each miner consumes a different amount of energy. Make sure to find out the exact power consumption of your miner before calculating profitability. This can be found easily with a quick search on the Internet or through this list. Power consumption is measured in Watts.

Pool fees – In order to mine you’ll need to join a mining pool. A mining pool is a group of miners that join together in order to mine more effectively. The platform that brings them together is called a mining pool and it deducts some sort of a fee in order to maintain its operations. Once the pool manages to mine Bitcoins the profits are divided between the pool members depending on how much work each miner has done (i.e. their miner’s hash rate).

Time Frame – When calculating if Bitcoin mining is profitable you’ll have to define a time frame to relate to. Since the more time you mine, the more Bitcoins you’ll earn.

Profitability decline per year – This is probably the most important and elusive variable of them all. The idea is that since no one can actually predict the rate of miners joining the network no one can also predict how difficult it will be to mine in 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years from now. This is one of the two reasons no one will ever be able to answer you once and for all “is Bitcoin mining profitable ?”. The second reason is the conversion rate. In the case below, you can insert an annual profitability decline factor that will help you estimate the growing difficulty.

Conversion rate – Since no one knows what the BTC/USD exchange rate will be in the future it’s hard to predict if Bitcoin mining will be profitable. If you’re into mining in order to accumulate Bitcoins only then this doesn’t need to bother you. But if you are planning to convert these Bitcoins in the future to any other currency this factor will have a major impact of course.

Get a mining calculator

In order to calculate all of these parameters and get an answer to our question we will use a mining profitability calculator.  here’s a simple mining calculator from 99Bitcoins:

Difficulty Factor
Hash Rate
BTC/USD Exchange Rate
BTC/Block Reward
Pool Fees %
Hardware Cost (USD)
Power (Watts)
Power Cost (USD/kWh)

However, now let’s take a look at a more complex example where we include more factors:

Today one of the most advanced miners out there is the Antminer S9. It’s what is known as an ASIC mining rig.  It has a mining rate of 14 TH/s. If we use the simple Bitcoin mining calculator (shown above) you will see that at today’s difficulty you will earn around 0.03600399 Bitcoins a month.

But of course this doesn’t take into account the hardware cost, electricity cost, pool fees, etc. Let’s try to calculate all of these together.

mining profits

This data was taken from an advanced Bitcoin mining calculator using the following stats: 2% mining pool fees, 12.5 Bitcoins as a block reward, 14 TH/s hash rate, 1375W power consumption and $0.12 per KW. Date of calculation – February 2018

So after 12 months we should be making around $2,160. However we haven’t deducted the hardware cost yet, so it’s more like we’re breaking even or even losing some money. This is true for Bitcoin’s current exchange rate (around $8,500).

This result can change depending on your own electricity cost, the change in mining difficulty and most importantly the change in the price of Bitcoin.

So you’re probably not going to get rich by mining Bitcoins at home unless you buy some heavy duty equipment and have very low electricity costs. Here’s a list of the most efficient Bitcoin mining hardware out there today. There’s not a lot of variety to pick from since home mining is a dying art.

  • Select miner

  • Released
  • How much electricity does your miner consume?Power consumption
  • Power efficiency
  • How "fast" can your miner mine BitcoinsHash rate
  • Dimensions
  • Weight
  • This does not include hardware cost, electricity cost, or changes in BTC rate and mining difficultyRevenue in vacum*
  • Price
  • Our rating of the miner taking into account all specifications aboveOverall rating
  • Antminer R4

  • Antminer R4
  • August 2016
  • 845W±9%
  • 0.1 J/GH +9%
  • 8.6TH/s±5%
  • 20 x 3.9 x 8.7 inches
  • unknown
  • Based on BTC rate and mining difficulty on August 28th 20160.29 BTC/month
  • Estiamted $1000
  • 88%
  • Read review
  • AntMiner S9

  • antminer s9
  • June 2016
  • 1375W ±7%
  • 0.098 J/GH
  • 12.93 TH/s
  • 13.7 x 5.3 x 6.2 inches
  • 10 lbs
  • Based on BTC rate and mining difficulty on July 1st 20160.5 BTC/month
  • ~$2000
  • 95%
  • Read review
  • Avalon 7

  • Avalon 7
  • November 2016
  • 850W-1000W
  • 0.29 J/GH
  • 6 TH/s
  • 13.4 x 5.3x 5.9
  • 9.5 lbs
  • 0.14 BTC/month
  • $880
  • 81%
  • Read review
  • AntMiner S7

  • Antminer s7
  • August 2015
  • 1293W
  • 0.25 J/GH
  • 4.73 TH/s
  • 11.8 x 6.1 x 4.8 inches
  • 7.5 lbs
  • Based on BTC rate and mining difficulty on July 1st 20160.15 BTC/month
  • $599
  • 83%
  • Read review
  • AntMiner S5

  • antminer s5
  • December 2014
  • 590W
  • 0.51 J/GH
  • 1.155 TH/s
  • 11.7 x 5.3 x 6.1 inches
  • 6.6 lbs
  • Based on BTC rate and mining difficulty on July 1st 20160.05 BTC/month
  • $199
  • 79%
  • Read review
  • Avalon 6

  • Avalon 6
  • August 2015
  • 1100W
  • 0.29 J/GH
  • 3.5 TH/s
  • 13.9 x 5.1 x 5.9 inches
  • 9.5 lbs
  • Based on BTC rate and mining difficulty on July 1st 20160.12 BTC/month
  • $700
  • 76%
  • Read review
  • Antrouter R1

  • Avalon 6
  • September 2015
  • This miner barely takes up any powerNegligible
  • Negligible
  • 5.5 GH/s
  • 3.3 x 2.2 x 1.1 inches
  • 0.2 lbs
  • This miner is a solo miner. It has a small chance of mining a block but does not generate monthly revenue.Probably nothing
  • $39
  • 70%
  • Read review

So even though home mining is an expensive business there are still other option that may be relevant for you to get into the mining game at a lower cost.

How to mine Bitcoins with cloud mining

There a new concept called “cloud mining“. This means that you do not buy a physical mining rig but rather rent computing power from a different company and get paid according to how much power you own. At first this sounds like a really good idea, since you don’t have all of the hassle of buying expensive equipment, storing it, cooling it, etc.

However, when you do the math it seems that none of these cloud mining sites are profitable in the long run. Those that do seems profitable are usually scams that don’t even own any mining equipment, they are just elaborate Ponzi schemes.

If you do want to take a look at cloud mining I suggest using Genesis Mining – the only cloud mining company that has been around long enough to prove it’s not a scam. But make sure to do the math before putting your money into any of these plans.

Mining Altcoins as an alternative to Bitcoin

One more option you can consider is mining Altcoins instead of Bitcions. Today there are hundreds of Altcoins available on the market and some of them are still real easy to mine. The problem is that because there are so many Altcoins it’s hard to tell which ones are worth investing your time in. Some good examples for Altcoins are Litecoin, Dogecoin and Peercoin.

In order to understand which Altcoins are profitable you can find website indexes such as CoinChoose that give you a complete Altcoin breakdown. On CoinChoose you can see the difficulty for each Altocoin, where can you exchange them and what are the chances to profit Bitcoins by mining each specific Altcoin. 

So is Bitcoin Mining Profitable ?

My guess is that in the long run you could make a profit from Bitcoin mining but only if you invest a considerable amount of money in a good mining rig (e.g. Antminer s9). If you don’t have the time or the money – stay away from mining and just invest in buying Bitcoins for the long run.

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233 Comments on "Is Bitcoin Mining Profitable in 2018?"

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chris
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chris

Great Article!

Be very careful people as thre are a lot of scams out there.

People will give fake reviews just for affiliate commissions!

Chris
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chris
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chris

You must really be careful as there are so many scams out there! Then you can’t trust most people giving reviews on Youtube either cuz they are just trying to get you to sign up thru their affiliate ink so they get money, they can care less if you get ripped off!

Good Luck people, be weary. Investigate. I have heard Hashflare and Genesis are trustworthy. Only ones I know for sure.

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Jason Orn
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Jason Orn

It could still be profitable. Hashflare raised their prices recently but Hashzone, based out of Amsterdam Netherlands, has cheaper mining contracts compared to Hashflare and for a limited time they’re giving away 20 GH/s free with new sign-ups. Also, they have a great support team. Been happy with them.

Check them out here: **affiliate link removed**

Omer
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Omer

I was planning to bulk a rig on 6 x GTX 1060 6GB cards, is this enough for mining BTC with a profit?

Please guide

Steven Hay
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Steven Hay
Hi Omer, Nope, Bitcoin can only be mined with any kind of profit using ASIC mining hardware. These are specialised devices which can only be used for mining specific algorithms. However, you could use those cards for GPU mineable coins. Like in my answer to Daniel just below, there are sites where you can check out the most profitable coins to mine and also places to calculate your profits. Here’s a site with suitable coins for GPU mining: https://btcgo.org/coin/mining/Gpu/ This will help you calculate your likely profits, but you’ll need to know your cards’ hashrate, power costs and some other… Read more »
daniel eriksen
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daniel eriksen

Anyone have any idea if the new GTX Titan V from Nvidia will be profitable for bitcoin mining?

Kilo1
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Kilo1

If you can’t figure this out for yourself then you shouldn’t be mining bitcoin. 1x graphics card is nowhere near powerful enough to be able to mine bitcoin. Asic based machines only.

Steven Hay
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Member
Steven Hay

Hey Daniel.

I just finished writing an article on Ethereum mining for this site and I covered the Titan V. It won’t be profitable for Bitcoin mining (only ASIC miners are profitable for Bitcoin) but it will mine Ethereum and other GPU-mineable coins with amazing efficiency. The problem is that it costs $3,000 and so it’ll take a very long time for it earn back its purchase price and become profitable… I believe it will get around 70 MH/s at 200 W mining Ethereum, so if you plug that into a mining calculator it should give you some idea.

T. Morrissey
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T. Morrissey

Great information but I still can’t decide. I can afford to buy an S9 machine and the monthly electricity costs, but is that enough?? How long is an S9 expected to be the best machine? 2 years or 6 months? And what’s the typical share from a pool? If 12.5 pts. of a coin is earned in say a month, do 10, 50, 200 miners share in it??

Steven Hay
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Member
Steven Hay
Hi T. It’s really hard to make any definite claims about the profitability of mining, as it depends on how Bitcoin price and difficulty will move in the medium term… Try out the calculators with various price / difficulty scenarios which you consider likely. It seems China is clamping down on mining so difficulty might drop for a while until other countries can pick up the slack… but that’s just a guess. It seems to me that the S9 will soon be eclipsed by the DragonMint miner, which claims to be 30% more efficient. However, we’re still waiting for the… Read more »
T. Morrissey
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T. Morrissey

Thanks, Steven, very helpful. Not too sure about the DragonMint machine (lots of negative press out there) but Slush does sound reputable. Think my partner and I will jump in and mine Bitcoin and LiteCoin with one machine each.

Vincent
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Vincent

its very nice post to see here, lot of good information. i just started to trade btc and altcoin since december 2017, i’ve been thinking about mining some altcoin which maybe profitable for me. i just want to ask how do i mine a coin ? does it required some premium software or is free. also does it process consume both gpu and cpu usage and shorten those ages? i really need to know what i really need and what things to change on my pc if im doing it. its just for killing some time rather than doing nothing.

Steven Hay
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Member
Steven Hay
Hi Vincent, Well, I would suggest that the best place to start is GPU mining. Check out our Mining Guides section for articles on mining Ethereum and Zcash as these are both good coins to mine with a GPU. A good coin to mine with CPU is Monero, although we don’t currently have a guide to doing that directly (we do have one for mining it through websites but this isn’t as efficient). Only free software and free membership to a pool is required to start mining. GPU mining will lead to wear and tear on your card, yes, the… Read more »
Toyo Man
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Toyo Man
I can see some people put money and never reinvest in more hashpower .. and they expect to have a return in investment .. really dude ? you know that BTC difficulty raises almost every week … so if you stay at your same hashpower .. you will start losing money … the best way is to reinvest everyday for 6 months ( hashpower ) … and then start withdrawing your money after 6 months .. and you will thank me for it anyway .. i have just invested $2700 for 18 TH/s ( Bitcoin ) will add more details… Read more »
Eric
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Eric

hey sir, thanks for the info, how did you get started or do i just clink on the link?

jhon titor
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jhon titor

Great tips! Joining a top mining pool will help you earn even faster.

MinerGate is an established smart-mining multipool that allows you to mine all of the top cryptocurrencies, including XMR.

Join now to start earning:
**affiliate link removed**

Emmanuel
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Emmanuel

Hello please can I have a contact need to know more about setting up a mining rig

Zsofia Elek
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Zsofia Elek

Hi Emmanuel, please post your question here or in our Ask Me Anything section: https://99bitcoins.com/bitcoin-questions-and-answers/