If you’re going to be a cryptocurrency miner, the hardware you use is probably the most crucial piece of the puzzle. Without the right mining gear, you can end up burning electricity to no effect.
Cryptocurrency mining has come a long way since its flagship implementation in Bitcoin. The practice advanced as GPUs were found to be more efficient than a CPU at the repetitive task of calculating hash values. Similarly, using GPUs to push massive amounts of data through machine learning algorithms led to breakthroughs in ML\AI, and resulted in the technique known as Deep Learning.
Today, the most powerful way to mine cryptocurrency is with an Application-Specific Integrated Circuit(ASIC). The CPU is designed to be useful for a variety of tasks, and not as fast as specific repetitive tasks as the GPU. ASIC takes this specialization even further. These units are made to operate on only one specific function, which allows them to perform incredibly well at that task. The downside is that they are entirely useless for any other purpose. Their efficiency is so great that it becomes nearly impossible to earn anything with a GPU based rig, once an ASIC is released for an algorithm.
The Right Hardware for You
When deciding between the different models of miners, there are two essential qualities that you’ll need to keep in mind. Hash Rate and Energy Consumption. Hash rate is the number of calculations that your chip can perform every second. The higher your hash rate, the better chance you have of solving the cryptographic challenge, and collecting a block reward.
Energy consumption is also essential to consider. To calculate how much a unit will cost you in electricity, multiply the number of watts it uses with the number of hours you plan to use it in a day. Take that number, divide it by 1000, and you’ve got your kilowatt hours for the day. Next, you can pull up your electricity bill and find out how much you are charged per kilowatt hour(kWh). Multiply your electric rate with your kilowatt hours, and you know your energy costs for the day.
Another critical consideration is the algorithm you’ll be working on. As we mentioned before, ASIC miners are made to perform one task, and one task only. More of them are being developed for different algorithms all of the time. Bitmain leads the pack in the number of algorithms they’ve released ASICs for. They have units available for SHA-256, Scrypt, X11, Blake(2b), CryptoNight, Equihash, and one for Ethash is coming soon.
Currently, we carry ASIC units serving five different algorithms: SHA-256, Scrypt, X11, Blake(2b), and Tensority.
The original cryptocurrency hash algorithm is Bitcoin’s SHA-256. The ASICs we carry for mining this algorithm are Avalon 821, Avalon 841, and the Antminer S9 Series. Besides Bitcoin, this algorithm can be used for mining a number of other coins, including:
Litecoin popularized using the Scrypt algorithm for cryptocurrency in 2011, and Dogecoin adopted it in 2013. Currently, we stock the Antminer L3+ for Scrypt mining. Besides Litecoin and Dogecoin, Scrypt is also in use by the following coins and others:
The X11 uses 11 different algorithms, hashes incredibly fast, and requires less processing power compared to other popular algorithms. We carry the Antminer D3 for mining X11 cryptocurrencies, including: