Given the staggering increase in BTC value over the last few months (nearly 600% in 12 months), I am kicking myself for not getting into the game earlier. I've been lurking around this for years but have been too risk-averse to dive in, and I haven't been paying attention lately. Now, looking into matters again, I am bound to ask: Where is the catch?
(This has been asked before, but the information is outdated.)
A cost/income calculation with present-day numbers (Aug'17) tells me that a dedicated mining device would pay for itself in 86 days and would generate in excess of $2500 per year. That sounds like free money!
- If this is really true, then why isn't the whole world up in arms about this new gold rush? Or is it true, and most people are just living under a rock?
- If this is true, then why not rush out and buy as many miners as I can afford? Or is it wiser to just buy a bunch of coins instead?
I've tried to take into account current values of:
- best hash rate (14Th/s)
- difficulty (860,221,984,436) as well as the expected increase
- block reward (12, halving to 6 expected in the year 2020)
- BTC exchange rate (currently 4162 USD per 1 BTC)
- purchase cost of miner ($1288)
- cost of miner's power consumption.
Using various online calculators (coinish, blockchained) I arrive at 16.35 USD/day or 2597.50 USD/year when taking difficulty and power cost into account. This still sounds like free money; what's the catch?
(edit: Due to a typo my initial calculation was one order of magnitude too high. These values are now corrected.)