Today it is difficult to find a person who has not heard anything about cryptocurrencies. There is a lot of information about virtual coins, but the media and experts begin to write about them, even more, when the value of bitcoin (BTC), the main representative of the world of digital money, rises again. As of January 12, 2022, the first cryptocurrency is trading at $42,200, while it hit a historic high of $69,000 in November 2020.
Importantly, anyone can mine bitcoin for themselves – under certain conditions, of course. That’s why a lot of people on the planet think about mining – mining BTC with computers. But most of them have no idea how much time it takes to mine 1 bitcoin and how to do it in general. Let’s find out together.
What is mining?
Today we will not go into the principles of blockchain technology, which is the basis of almost every cryptocurrency. We only need to know the key information needed to understand the mining process and its profitability. This information is enough to answer the question of how much 1 bitcoin can be mined.
Mining is the process of mining new cryptocurrency units by selecting a certain value that meets predetermined conditions. Importantly, mining creates new bitcoins, rather than redistributing old ones. Thus, cryptocurrency miners are constantly increasing the number of existing BTC coins. But this process can’t last forever, as the creators of the network initially put a limit on the maximum number of coins – 21 million.
There are already more than 18.8 million BTCs mined in the world. But you don’t need to worry – you won’t be able to mine the rest of the coins in the next 10 years. Judging by all calculations, this significant event will not occur before 2040. A special algorithm within the network of the first cryptocurrency is responsible for the process. In particular, it controls the complexity of the task so that 1 block is mined on the average in 10 minutes. And already the block contains a reward for its miners – in the form of bitcoins.
The algorithm is set up to recalculate the complexity of the task roughly every 2 weeks. If during this time, the processing power increases, the complexity increases. If the power goes down, then the complexity goes down. The number of bitcoins inside a block, which the miner receives as a reward, is not constant. The same algorithm reduces the reward in 2 times – approximately every 4 years. Now it is 6.25 BTC per block found.
It turns out that, on average, a bit more than six coins are mined in the network every 10 minutes – that is, one BTC is “stamped” in less than 2 minutes.
Hence, the question “how much time to mine 1 bitcoin” for the next 3 years – till the next block reward reduction – can be answered as “less than 2 minutes”. But the important thing for a miner is not how much bitcoin is mined by the whole network, but how much time he can mine it in.
How long does it take to mine 1 bitcoin?
Let’s imagine that we are connected to one of the pools. How long will it take to mine 1 bitcoin? It all depends on the power of the equipment. Theoretically, it is possible to mine coins on such devices:
- video cards;
The first two options were relevant in the early stages of mining – when the network hash rate was low. Nowadays, mining crypto on these devices is unprofitable because of the weak computing power. This can be understood by comparing the hash rates of these three types of equipment:
- The processor has a few hundred kilohes;
- graphics cards – tens of megaches;
- for an async – tens of gigahes.
It turns out that one asic replaces thousands of video adapters in terms of computing power, and each of them, in turn, is equivalent to several thousand processors.
Therefore, it only makes sense to mine crypto directly on the Asics and only as part of a pool. To calculate how much you can mine 1 bitcoin, let’s use a mining calculator. These are sites on the Internet where you can enter the hash rate of your device or farm, and in response, you get the speed and profitability of mining the cryptocurrency at a given time.
Right now, the most powerful and potentially affordable on the market are the Antminer S19 line of Bitmain and the Whatsminer M30S from MicroBT. Their hash rate, depending on the model ranges from 100 to 110 Tx/s. For calculations, let’s take the maximum value. So, in the calculator we enter:
SHA-256 algorithm device hash rate (bitcoin and some other cryptocurrencies): 110,000 Gh/s (the same as 110 Tx/s).
Power cost: $0.06 (you can specify the tariff of your region).
Do not change anything else.
Click on “calculate”. The result is shown on the screen.
As it turns out, one ASIC provides only 0.000622 BTC per day with electricity costs taken into account. In a month there will be about 0,018 BTC, and in a year – 0,22 BTC. Accordingly, with constant conditions, we will be mining 1 bitcoin for 5 years.
Of course, you can reduce this period. To do that, you will have to buy a few more devices, increasing the total capacity of the mining farm. If you connect 5 devices, the period of mining the first cryptocurrency will be reduced to 1 year. Now it is clear why the question of how long to mine one bitcoin on a video card or processor automatically falls away.
It seemed to be easy – just buy some Asics and mine 10 bitcoins per day. But there are two main obstacles:
- The price of devices;
- their availability.
Regarding the price – both models of the most popular device for mining cryptocurrency on the websites of manufacturers are offered at a price of about $13,000. But even at such a high price, they are out of stock – almost all the Asics are bought out on pre-order by large companies, and operators of industrial mining farms even before they go on sale. Right now, only supplies from the end of 2022 are available for order. Of course, if you have a strong desire to buy the device can still be – for example, from resellers, overpaying 2-3 prices.
The most profitable alternative remains to mine Ethereum cryptocurrency on video cards. And already it can be exchanged for bitcoin, fiat money, or any other digital currency. If you connect two top-of-the-line RTX 3090 graphics cards today, mining one bitcoin will take one year. Of course, all these calculations are quite approximate. No one will give an exact answer to the question of how much to mine 1 bitcoin. The complexity of the network is changing unpredictably but steadily growing. Therefore, when planning a capital investment in cryptocurrency mining, serious calculations should be made.