My budget for mining hardware is $600. Would there be an ASIC miner that I could buy for this that would return this and also net a decent amount of profit within a month or so? Is it even worth it for beginners without tons of money to invest in it now?

  • 5
    The economics of mining guarantee that the answer to this question will always be "no". If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it, raising the difficulty until it was no longer that easy. Nov 24 '13 at 7:02

Is it even worth it for beginners without tons of money to invest in it now?

Short answer


Longer answer

I spent over $2400 in ASIC mining equipment from butterfly labs. I started out churning an impressive 120GH/s. I've been running 24x7 and am a little over a month in... I've mined ฿0.78

Last night my rig crashed. When it came back on I was down to 100 GH/s. I can only assume that one of the on board chips failed. There is apparently no recourse to this loss.

Couple things to note... The difficulty rate is increasing exponentially, at the start I was earning ฿0.03 ($33) per day today I'm done to ฿0.02 ($19) for the same rig and the same approximate contribution to the mining pool. In March, the new 600 GH/s miners come out, at the same price range as the rig I'm running now. I expect that my earnings with the current rig will tank, and at that point be less than the electricity I'm burning to stay hashing.

My expectations / hope is to recover the ฿2.5 necessary to break even before the rig's mining rate becomes a negative investment... it's unlikely.

Note that In my recovery cost calculation, I'm considering the 700w of power used to operate the ASIC chips only... my 'computer' is a raspberry pi and has a negligible power consumption rate.

So to answer your question directly... No, even with a large budget, the hamster wheel will keep you in the roughly same spot. It's likely a better investment to simply buy the btc on speculation through coinbase or mtgox than to waste your time setting up a rig that requires you to be a relatively competent system admin just to get started. What I mean by that, is that I had to 'flash' a unix system onto the pi and download / compile bfg miner just to get started. Additionally it makes ALLOT of noise, and finding a place to keep it from bugging the family was hard (and I have a large 2800 sqft house).

  • Bitcoin mining is almost a text-book example of a perfect competition market! You need to run ever faster just to stay in the same place - the only way to actually make money is thru continuous innovation.
    – Joe Pineda
    Feb 27 '14 at 22:04

It's impossible to predict the income from mining a month out, but it is extremely unlikely that anything on the market would break-even. This is mostly due to the laws of supply and demand - there is significant demand from people who either don't care about breaking even or don't understand the risks. As long as these people are buying miners, anything at a reasonable price is likely to sell out very fast.


I have with a similar budget and bought ASICMiner Block Erupters (US$16/per, pre US$400 BTC). My goal was to learn about Bitcoin and cover the electricity cost of running a production server. My setup is earning about US$30 per month (at the present Bitcoin value) and the server consumes about 145 - 155 kWh per month. But then my objectives are modest, and I'm not expecting to contribute to my 401(k)... Good luck.

  • How much does the electricity cost you? Dec 26 '13 at 10:56
  • My states (OH) electricity cost is US$0.12/per KWh. Update: My small setup is netting between US$12 and US$20 a month in Bitcoin (.01BTC). And it's getting harder to mine as the hashing difficulty goes up and more people get in. Started mining in November at .00008900 proofs per block (at 1Ghs) but now down to .00006900 proofs per block.
    – rwhite
    Jan 4 '14 at 18:23

I am not an expert, but according to your budget, it would not be cost effective.

For instance, for you to make enough coins to break even, you need to invest at least US$3000. But the problem is that there isn't any ASIC machine now that costs that much. You can try CoinTerra. They have a 2 THash/s miner that can make you a good amount of money, but you will have to expend about US$6000 dollars for that unit.


Your best bet is to just buy a Bitcoin (a full one while you can) and either: a) wait until the price rises and sell for a profit b) buy/sell daily for a profit/loss c) invest money in an alt coin that you feel will succeed in the long run

Mining right now is really just a profit loss for anyone coming in that can't afford a couple thousand dollar miners

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