I recently open Bitcoin Pie, a site that compares crypto-currencies.

Given the exchange rate in BTC, I would like to add another column that tells "relative mining profitability", regardless of the hardware used.

So, if at a given moment, BTC mines at difficulty X, NMC at Y, and FooCoin at Z, with the conversion rates to BTC being 1, N_BTC, and F_BTC respectively, just comparing X, Y*N_BTC, and Z*F_BTC should give an indication of which one a rational miner should mine.

What is a good number to use in the difficulty column? Where are the APIs for it? Is it just plain "difficulty", or is it some other number?

I'm not sure how to take merged Namecoin mining into account here. Any ideas?

CPU and GPU coins should not be measured on the same scale.

  • This might be very related, I wouldn't call it an exact duplicate though: bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/118/…
    – ripper234
    Oct 9, 2011 at 17:48
  • its a cool idea
    – osmosis
    Oct 10, 2011 at 0:13
  • Note that the comparison doesn't work for Tenebrix because it uses scrypt. I like the idea, but it will only be useful until merged mining is available
    – nmat
    Oct 10, 2011 at 3:28
  • @namt - merged mining of NMC & BTC is available. I added a separation between "CPU coins" and "GPU coins".
    – ripper234
    Oct 10, 2011 at 5:09
  • The comparison would still work for Tenebrix, actually, it's just that we can't compare hashrates on a 1:1 basis since a good hashrate for TBX is still in KH/s. Even though it's GPU-hostile we could compile for OpenCL anyway, pick a stock "reference card" (I vote for the venerable 5830) and run all the miners on that card to find their hashrates. If we did it this way then we could use Profit per 5830 per day as a metric. Oct 10, 2011 at 16:07

2 Answers 2


The standard formula to determine the average profit per day for a given MH/s miner on a given blockchain is as follows:


Where S is the speed in MH/s rating of the miner, D is the difficulty rating, R is the reward (50 BTC/block for Bitcoin) and P is the price in USD of a single coin.

That I know of there is no standard profitability measure but it would be easy enough to create one given standard values of S. If for example we define the standard as S=100 MH/s then we could easily compare the profitability of mining various blockchains in the resultant USD calculation.

  • To add on to David's answer difficulty isn't a standardized between cyrpto currencies. Some cryptocurrencies use equivelent difficulty but others have difficulty based on other starting values. The best solution would be to devise a formula for each currency. You then could pick a standard piece of hardware (say 5870 GPU and 2500K CPU) and show revenue per piece of hardware. Oct 10, 2011 at 13:29
  • Which Bitcoin fork doesn't use standard difficulty? Even Tenebrix uses Bitcoin's difficulty calculations, it's just that the expected hashrate is so low that the difficulty is often < 1 Oct 10, 2011 at 14:32
  • 1
    I was just wondering where the 4295 comes from. It looks like it might be a typo for 4095 (212-1). But in fact it's an approximation for (216-1)*2**16 / 1e6 = 4294.90176. Just in case anyone else was wondering... Jul 20, 2012 at 5:35

http://bitcoinx.com/charts/ does something similar to what you ask for in the title.

They calculate (and chart) a profitability estimate in USD for 24 hours of mining with 100 Mh/s, so you could multiply their number by 1/24

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