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52

Generally, it's not worth your time and effort to mine at home! (Some exceptions may apply.) Age of ASIC mining CPU mining has been unprofitable since 2011, GPU mining just slightly later. Today, ASICs rule mining. The Bitcoin network has more than 1.7 Ehash/s (Oct 2016) now which is 1,700,000,000,000 Mhash/s. Your graphics card will be running full ...


26

EDIT: My original answer may have made sense back when the question was asked, but now it is clear that Butterfly Labs cannot be trusted. As they say, "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me". After all the delays and controversies with their FPGA line, they have given their word that with the experience gained they really will be able to ...


26

A typical USB block erupter will get 333MH/s under realistic conditions. Today, a share is worth about 1/156 of a penny and 333MH/s will get you a share every 13 seconds. That comes out to 43 cents per day per erupter, not counting the cost of electricity. Difficulty is going up, and thus profitability going down, around 25% per month. So you can figure ...


25

TLDR; forget about it. The ASICs are optimized for bitcoin mining. Not just Sha256(Sha256(x)) hashing, but very specifically bitcoin mining. You can't even use them for the Sha256(Sha256(x)) hashing in the rest of the bitcoin system, like hashing transactions. The ASICs are made for hashing 80 bytes, where you give them the midstate from hashing the first ...


25

There's a factor called Difficulty, the more hashing power exists on the network the more difficulty exists, therefore it's harder to mine coins. Right now The difficulty factor would let you recover your money fast because almost no one has ASIC chips, when they ship in bulk the difficulty factor will rise to 30-120 million during the year. To know by how ...


21

It means that there will be no significant speedup by implementing the algorithm in an ASIC, as compared to a CPU based implementation. This is usually achieved by requiring a lot of memory, which when implementing this on an ASIC, translates to needing lots of physical area on the chip. ASIC implementations derive their power from having many physically ...


20

I co-founded LargeCoin, Inc., and we really are developing an ASIC for Bitcoin mining. As earlier replies pointed out, the unit cost of ASICs is far lower than FPGAs once you get beyond a few hundred units. The up-front cost of ASIC production varies widely depending on the process you use. On the cheap side, there is so-called "wafer sharing," where your ...


19

Introduction AsicBoost speeds up Bitcoin mining in general (for ASICs and CPUs alike) by reducing the frequency of computing one part of the SHA-256 calculation. A Bitcoin block header is 80 bytes long. It fits in 2 blocks for SHA-256 hashing. It gets hashed into a 32-byte value, then hashed again (1 block) to get the final value that is compared to the ...


18

An FPGA is cheap in quantity one ($100-$300) but expensive in quantity 1,000 ($50,000-$3,000,000). They can mine decently (200MHash/s or so), but are not cost effective yet. (They do, however, consume much less power than GPUs.) An ASIC is expensive in quantity one ($2,000,000) but cheap in quantity 100,000 ($5,000,000). They can mine unbelievably well (...


16

I think the simple answer is that a company doesn't have to be a "Bitcoin believer" in order to manufacture Bitcoin mining hardware. The companies that produce ASIC chips also produce other products for other industries. They are perfectly profitable just selling their chips to mining equipment manufactures, and probably don't feel the need to enter the ...


15

From trying to design my own ASIC---I got as far as having a simulated but not completely debugged Verilog implementation---I can tell you how mine would have worked. Whilst I have not checked, the design choices seem so obvious to me that I doubt anyone would do it differently. The inner loop of the mining process is a double SHA-256 hash of data where ...


13

Yes. The ASICs themselves only perform the SHA256 calculations, they do not deal with anything protocol related and as such can merged-mine exactly the same as existing GPU and FPGA implementations. In other words, merged mining is part of the protocol, ASICs just do the math. The standard rules of merged mining still apply, of course. The alternate ...


13

Companies that manufacture mining equipment don't just mine with their own hardware for a variety of reasons: They may not be able to obtain low prices on electricity, making it more profitable for others to mine than for them to mine. They may not be able to make use of the heat generated, making it more profitable for others to mine than for them to mine. ...


13

Not if you don't have one already. The trouble is that you don't know when you'll receive your device and, as @user3418 says, the difficulty will be rising in the meantime. Butterfly Labs (who manufactures the device you're talking about) has only just started delivering devices, and already has a large number of pre-orders. You probably wouldn't receive ...


13

An ASIC is another way of running a program or calculation or what have you (in our case mining) using a PCB/Hardware instead of Software running on a general purpose computer. GPUs are technically ASICs, their application being graphics processing and output. ASIC resistance means your crypto is more fairly distributed because their is no centralization ...


12

It is not guaranteed that purchasing mining equipment will generate in its lifetime more than it cost to purchase. That depends on the future of BTC price and the difficulty, both of which are hard to predict. Those who believe, for whatever reason, that it will indeed be profitable, will purchase devices. But most companies selling mining hardware are in ...


12

Well, the ASICs machines would probably be more and more refined over the years (like processors), they can get bigger and so forth. So that will probably be the progress for a long while. Asides that, we have the quantum computers that might be the next big leap forward for all fields of computer science, but for now they can only do really small ...


11

ASIC or Application-specific integrated circuit is a type of circuit that has become very popular in the Bitcoin mining community. wikipedia defines it as "An application-specific integrated circuit, or ASIC /ˈeɪsɪk/, is an integrated circuit (IC) customized for a particular use, rather than intended for general-purpose use." Traditionally computer ...


10

Disclaimer: At the time of this writing, I am a shareholder with ASICMiner. Also be aware that the Bitcoin stock market is, like Bitcoin, very immature and not regulated. The risks involved are far greater than for a traditional stock market. Like @Steven Roose just wrote, you can buy Pass-Through (PT) shares through two separate stock exchanges, BTC-TC ...


9

Beyond the concerns about BL's ability to deliver, should they be successful it's very questionable what kind of return you'll be able to get as an individual user even with the substantial increases in efficiency they promise. With Bitcoin mining, the number of coins dispensed in a given time period is fixed and self adjusting to the relative strength ...


9

I can't really answer this without speculation, since I'm not an ASIC developer myself. Please keep that in mind when you're reading this! There are a two paths that ASIC miner manufacturers have to make a profit. Expend fiat to produce mining equipment Use mining equipment to mine bitcoin Sell bitcoin for profit Profit Accept fiat or bitcoin in ...


9

Similarly, what's the incentive for millers to sell flour? They could just keep the flour, bake bread, and sell the bread themselves. Or why does the farmer sell wheat to the mill? He could just mill it himself, bake bread, and sell that! The answer is that different people have different abilities and specialities. The ASIC manufacturers are good at ...


9

There's 2 versions of ASICBOOST: Overt where miners use bits in the version number as extra nonce space Covert where miners "mine" merkle trees with 4 bytes collisions The overt version is very easily detectable, whereas the covert one isn't. To mine these merkle trees for the overt version, miners need to shuffle the transactions in the block. Without ...


8

Regarding quantum computers: If a scalable quantum computer were built, the Bitcoin protocol would become insecure. Bitcoin addresses are derived from the public key in an elliptic curve cryptography system. The whole system depends on the owner keeping his/her secret key indeed secret. Quantum computers could solve efficiently not only the factoring ...


8

ASICminer did decide to keep the hardware and mine. They're selling shares with intent to payout the dividends from whatever profit is made. However, Avalon and BFL didn't choose the same path. As to why, some people believe it's far better to "sell the shovel" than "dig for gold". No one knows what the exchange rate or mining difficulty will be in 3 months ...


8

I think you misunderstand the problem. The reason mining is becoming impractical is because there's too much of it. It's like a restaurant that's too crowded. It means you can't get a table, but the restaurant is not going to go out of business.


7

Investing in expensive mining equipment hedges a bet that the return on investment, in the form of Bitcoin, will eventually pay off the initial investment and continue paying a return for some time before becoming obsolete (like CPU mining has and GPU mining shortly will) or breaking down. It may be possible operate this as a business, writing off expenses ...


7

For anyone coming across this and wondering if USB miners are still profitable. Try this site. But short answer is not anymore. Bitcoin mining has become a big game for big players. Rather invest in big group buys, or convert to scrypt. Scrypt mining is mining alt-coins (Litecoin, Feathercoin, WorldCoin, etc). You cant scrypt mine with the Bitcoin Asic ...


7

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7

Litecoin uses a different proof of work than Bitcoin, so that hardware won't be compatible(it won't be solving the right problems). One of the motivations of Litecoin was to make CPU mining viable by making it difficult to create efficient GPU/FPGA/ASIC miners, so it's unlikely that you can find specialized hardware for this purpose. I think that some GPUs ...


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