Is Bitcoin Mining Profitable in 2018?

Last updated on November 24th, 2017 at 08:12 am

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 2017?

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:

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 0.11 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.

Bitcoin 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 – August 2017

So after 12 months we should be making around $4,032. However we haven’t deducted the hardware cost yet, so it’s more like $ 2,032. However this is true for Bitcoin’s current exchange rate (around $4,000). If you calculate this with the exchange rate of 1 month ago you’ll only be breaking even.

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.

Ofir Beigel

Owner at 99 Coins ltd.
Blogger and owner of 99Bitcoins. I've been dealing with Bitcoin since the beginning of 2013 and it taught me a lesson in finance that I couldn't get anywhere else on the planet. I'm not a techie, I don't understand "Hashes" and "Protocols", I designed this website with people like myself in mind. My expertise is online marketing and I've dedicated a large portion of 99Bitcoins to Bitcoin marketing.

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

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Mark
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Mark

even at over $16,000 per B.C. is it profitable?
At home if you bought the best available hard/ware software what can you expect to make?

Steven Hay
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Member
Steven Hay

Hi Mark,

Difficulty tends to move along with price. So the more profitable it becomes, the more mining competition moves in. You can calculate the current profitability via this site:

https://www.coinwarz.com/calculators/bitcoin-mining-calculator

You won’t need to change the Bitcoin Difficulty, Block Reward and Bitcoin to Dollar (USD) fields but the other ones must be completed based on your situation.

CryptoInvestor
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CryptoInvestor

Guys check out the profitability of the BTC contracts on Hashflare, with the enormous rise of btc the returns are very high!
Hashflare had to do maintenance due to the increasing traffic on Hashflare, a lot of people are buying these contracts now so get in before they’re sold out.
Hasflare website: **affiliate link removed**

Guest
Guest
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Guest

Hashflare is absolutly profitible right now! at the time of this writing you will get roi after 2 months, and then the rest of the 10 months is pure profitability, but you cant how ever know how much the difficulty will increase, but since you still have 10 months of profitible mining I say go for it! **affiliate link removed**

Holly
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Holly
Question – is there any value in buying a miner and NOT entering a pool? Or is it like buying a lottery ticket – you spend money with no guarantee of ever mining a bitcoin? It seems like it might make sense (on a small scale) to have a miner (or several) and just eat the operating costs if the likelihood of a payoff in a year or three is there. Assuming the currency doesn’t completely devalue in the meantime. It wouldn’t be millions of dollars, but potentially 10’s of thousands isn’t a bad return, either… unless it’s all just… Read more »
Steven Hay
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Member
Steven Hay
Hi Holly, Well, it all depends on your hashrate. If you have enough hashpower as a share of the total hashrate, then solo mining and hoping for good luck might work out. However, with only a single or a handful of miners, your odds of getting a return are much better by joining a pool. As the current hashrates of pools, mining devices and the total network are known (or at least, can be estimated with fair accuracy), this problem is amenable to calculation. It only gets complicated when trying to project future returns because, as you say, variables like… Read more »
Gee
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Gee

Funny I rented 3.5 TH/s from Hashflare a year ago for 624.00 USD. At the time the contracts were for two years. The balance as of 12/8/17 is .43105134 BTC or $6828 USD for a total so far of 1000% profit with 9 months left on the contract. Just saying it was pretty d**n profitable for me 🤑🤑🤑

Alec
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Alec

The price of one bitcoin when you invested in Hashflare was between $600 and $700. So, you could have purchased one bitcoin with your investment then and you would have one bitcoin now. Instead, your investment returned only .43105134 BTC. Doesn’t this mean that it would be more than twice as profitable to just buy the coin and hold?

Jimmy
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Jimmy

lol Alec well said, i read the original comment thinking that , oh what a genius, then read yours and was like … oh – what a genius …

jay
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jay

I wanna start mining, is it worth now?

Steven Hay
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Member
Steven Hay

Hi Jay,

In most cases, no. The article does a pretty good job of explaining why. Still, you will learn a lot by mining even if you don’t earn a lot.

David
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David

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**

josh
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josh

what do you guys think about hashflare?!?!

Gee
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Gee

Hashflare I’d frisking awesome

ezzat2900
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ezzat2900

Hi,

I am using hashflare and it is much more profitable that genesis mining, you can easily subscribe with below link having many advantages over others, best of luck!
**affiliate link removed**

Steven Hay
Member
Member
Steven Hay

Hi Josh,

First of all, you should check out our article on cloud mining:

Cloud Mining – Profitable or an Evolution of a Scam?

I don’t know Hashflare specifically, just heard that recently they changed their terms in a way which many of their clients were unhappy with. As the cloudmining space is absolutely rife with scams, my view is that it’s safer to avoid it entirely and just buy and hold bitcoins instead.

matt
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matt

**affiliate link removed**
Mine bitcoin here for great returns and a great price. If you use this link you receive a bonus! 350% returns per year!

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Hi Everyone,

Great article! I do have a question that I am trying to figure out myself but I do terrible Calculus! Currently I run about 45 TH/s of BTC mining. I am investing 100% of what I mine back into more mining equipment. What I am trying to figure out is when will we reach “peak bitcoin”? That is to say when will it no longer be advantageous to put 100% of my profits into mining due to diminishing returns of difficulty?

Basically how big should I build my rig and stop to collect my profits?

Steven Hay
Member
Member
Steven Hay

Hi Jeremy,

Well, difficulty is almost always rising. I’m not sure about the maths but what I’d do in your position is to wait for all your investment into equipment to be paid back. Once you’ve paid yourself back, you can’t lose and everything is profit.

From that point, just decide on a percentage to take each month as profit. Keep reinvesting the rest into new equipment (have you checked out DragonMint ASICs yet? 30% more efficient than the S9!) until you reach the limits of your available space and management capabilities.

Yinka
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Yinka

Hi Steven do you mean to say dragon mint or dragon mine?

Steven Hay
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Member
Steven Hay

Hi Yinka,

Definitely DragonMINT. It’s a new type of miner manufactured by the HalongMining company. We hope that it will be released soon and we can review it!

James
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James

Where can I buy DragonMint ASIC?

Steven Hay
Member
Member
Steven Hay

Hi James,

From their official site, but you’ll need to order a minimum of 5:

Announcing the DragonMint miner series

Daryl
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Daryl

Do you have any knowledge of the Ebit E9 Plus 9T 14nm Asic Miner from Yunhui. They claim it’s better than the S9?
Thanks

Steven Hay
Member
Member
Steven Hay

Hi Daryl,

Sorry but I’ve never heard of it. I looked it up and saw mixed reports… I can’t give you any clarity on this device unfortunately.

What I do feel comfortable recommending as better than an S9, based on the involvement of Core dev btcdrak and the recommendation of Adam Back, is the DragonMint miner. That should be available soon and it looks very promising.