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My points:

  1. Using the Bitcoin mining profitability calculator and mining hardware comparisons, we see that with most of the hardware (GPUs, FPGAs) you can't generate enough bitcoins to compensate for their cost. In some cases, you can return your investment in 3 years or so (if you are lucky). I didn't even consider electricity cost. You can try it yourself.

  2. However, there is ASIC technology, but nobody has seen it and it sounds too good to not be a scam.

I see only a few ways to mine bitcoins profitably:

  1. Being an administrator of a computer network and using computers' idle time
  2. Organizing mining pools and earning a commission
  3. Using a virus to create mining botnet.

Can mining be profitable on currently available hardware?

  • Hello and welcome to the StackExchange. When asking questions, please make sure to clearly ask an answerable question. A good example would be "Is GPU mining still profitable?" or "Is ASIC mining profitable?". – ThePiachu Oct 30 '12 at 11:24
  • Hi, I've updated the question. I wonder if anyone can earn by buying mining hardware in current situation. – defhlt Oct 30 '12 at 11:57
  • And I removed everything that was not necessary, for the question to be asked on Stack Exchange. – Stephen Gornick Oct 30 '12 at 16:15
  • 1
    Now, with Q&A format, feel free to provide your answer as to why you believe that no, mining would not be profitable. – Stephen Gornick Oct 30 '12 at 16:18
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    possible duplicate of Is mining still profitable? – Highly Irregular Oct 30 '12 at 20:43
4

Mining profitability for any piece of hardware will depend on the future exchange rate and the future difficulty rate.

Those are not known and thus your question cannot be answered. Mining is a form of speculation.

The hardware cost is known and the operating costs (electricity) are known. Also the block subsidy amount is known (50 BTC per block currently, 25 BTC beginning block 210,000).

Nobody knows how much ASIC capacity will be shipping, nor when. So there is no way to know with certainty the future difficulty.

And, of course, nobody can say what the future exchange rate will be.

What is a safe projection is that ASICs will be coming, possibly in a matter of weeks, but several months from for sure.

So making today an investment in GPUs or FGPAs is not likely going to "pay for itself" anytime soon, unless the acquisition cost is really really cheap.

But a $1,000 investment in ASICs could very easily return $1,000 or more worth of bitcoins over the next year or two. But that is just an educated guess, or speculation. Nobody can honestly say.

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