Jan 15, 2019 · 5 min read. To understand how to quantify the cost and sustainability of Bitcoin, we must understand what makes a miner tick. The following is a 4-layers deep, overly-simplified, intro to Bitcoin mining Economics and miner decision-making. This piece will be completely unreferenced, with all data and references coming from my in-depth "Cost & Sustainability of Bitcoin (August 2018 Edition)" -- which was broken down in these 3 earlier medium posts: Layer 1 -- The Global (Legacy) Macroeconomy. Macroeconomics looks at the wide r economy at the national and global level, such as monetary policy, interest rates, taxes & duties, trade policies, inflation, unemployment and the like. Although a Bitcoin miner can't affect Macroeconomics, they can still benefit from it, or be jeopardized by it. Some examples of macroeconomics affecting CEO decision-making are offshoring for tax or regulatory reasons, moving to countries with high unemployment to benefit from cheaper labour, and so on. Bitcoin has its own self-regulating monetary policy which isolates it from the legacy macroeconomy. In this context, the "Macroeconomy" is all economic activity occurring on the planet. Layer 2 -- The Crypto Macroeconomy. The Crypto Macroeconomy is a subset of the Global Macroeconomy. This is the sum of all "crypto-economic" activity occurring globally. This includes all miners, product and service providers. In the highly competitive-yet-collaborative, largely open-sourced and decentralized crypto macroeconomy, anyone can collaborate with others or create new or copycat ECOSystems, ensuring evolution and adaption to changing market needs. Here, Bitcoin miners need to keep an eye towards alternative digital ECOSystems that are gaining traction in the wider free market, and whether their mining equipment can also mine these alternative digital currencies, or even potentially put them out of business. Layer 3 -Bitcoin Microeconomics. The theory of Perfect Competition is just that, a theory. Although it is not seen in the real world, it is taught in all introductory economics courses due to its intuitive, survival-of-the-fittest nature. If you understand nature and evolution, you understand perfect competition. The reason perfect competition hasn't been seen in the real world (yet) is because of rules, regulations and tangible and intangible externalities. I believe that Bitcoin mining's "end-game" microeconomic model will be the first real-world case of Perfect Competition. A perfectly competitive market can typically be defined by the following 9 conditions: Bitcoin is not perfectly competitive in its current state but is very close to becoming so. The first six of the above conditions are met in the short-term, with the last three destined to be met (if not already partially met). In Perfect Competition, economic profit tends to zero in long-term equilibrium, and the marginal cost of producing and the market price constantly oscillate around an equilibrium point, with cost and/or innovation leadership the only way to stay in business. Layer 4 -- Bitcoin Managerial Economics ( Or, Micro-microeconomics ) The Porter's Five (or Six) Forces framework is a mainstay of the MBA Curriculum. The forces within the Bitcoin mining market are illustrated below. Mapped out, prospects look quite daunting for a miner. They cannot easily protect themselves from new miners or substitute products such as other digital currencies. They are price takers with little power over their buyers (i.e. everyone), or suppliers (i.e. utilities, silicon fabs, shipping companies, etc.). In such competitive markets, there is also a natural tendency for the market to be dominated by three or four players. This is consistently reflected in the mining pool stats. In a perfectly competitive market, a firm's decisions are predictable. All firms need to decide to start up, how to run their business as cost-effectively as possible, and whether to stay in business or not. In the Bitcoin world, the decision-making process relies on market price of bitcoin, operating expenditure, and the network hash rate, i.e., how much competing mining power exists on the network. It also indirectly relies on the continued faith and investment of miners in the value of their commodity i.e. continued research, development, capital expenditure, and strategic partnerships with collaborators. The table below shows the relationship between hash rate and price and shows the outcomes for miners in six different scenarios. The above logic applies to the workings of physical commodity miners in traditional industries. The difference is that a Bitcoin firm's decisions take hours and days to implement, and days and weeks to take effect, instead of months and years. The same is true regarding the time taken to reach equilibrium after a price shock; "two-to-four times the duration of the production-to-storage cycle" (i.e. months to years) for commodities, 4 to 8 weeks for Bitcoin. Trends & the Future. Since the future appears full of opportunities for the digital macroeconomy, one should expect digital microeconomies to become more perfectly competitive as time passes. Should long amounts of time, say, 50 years pass, when all bitcoins have effectively been mined, and the ECOSystem is still healthy and has entered the redistribution stage, microeconomies such as the Bitcoin mining market will start to resemble the textbook examples of perfect competition. In time, miners will vertically integrate backwards by acquiring data centres, chip fabricators, research-and-development teams, and renewable power plants; and integrate forwards by acquiring exchanges, brokers, and other places to sell what they have mined. They can horizontally integrate by acquiring entities that enrich the value of their commodity such as wallet hardware and other product manufacturers, financial services companies, and media outlets. 80% of the market will be controlled by the 20% of the largest and most integrated market participants, with the other 80% providing the niche and evolving needs of the market. As time goes on, the makeup of the microeconomy will evolve until its extinction and replacement. Now that you have a very thorough understanding of the introductory economics and what is going through a miner's mind, you're ready to analyse cost and sustainability! Some simple bitcoin economics ☆ Highlights. We provide a model of an endowment economy with two competing, but intrinsically worthless currencies (Dollar, Bitcoin) serving as medium of exchange. We show a fundamental pricing equation, which in its simplest form implies that Bitcoin prices form a martingale. "Mutual impatience" rules out Bitcoin speculation. Price volatility does not invalidate the medium-of-exchange function. The Bitcoin block rewards are not a tax on Bitcoin holders: they are financed with a Dollar tax. We discuss monetary policy implications, Bitcoin production via the proof-of-work competition, taxation of Bitcoin production, welfare implications and entry of new cryptocurrencies. We characterize the range of equilibria and provides specific examples. We provide a model of an endowment economy with two competing, but intrinsically worthless currencies (Dollar, Bitcoin). Dollars are supplied by a central bank to achieve its inflation target, while the Bitcoin supply grows deterministically. Our fundamental pricing equation implies in its simplest form that Bitcoin prices form a martingale. "Mutual impatience" implies absence of speculation. Price volatility therefore does not invalidate the medium-of-exchange function. Bitcoin block rewards are not a tax on Bitcoin holders: they are financed with a Dollar tax. We discuss monetary policy implications, Bitcoin production, taxation, welfare and entry, and characterize the range of equilibria.
Cheap labour. In spite of all the hype about how machines will replace humans, people play an indispensable role in maintaining the upkeep of mining operations. These workers are in charge of ensuring that ASICs work to their full capacity around the clock. Some of their responsibilities include fixing ASICs, upgrading them to more energy efficient models, and ensuring they keep cool to optimize their efficiency. China has low labour costs and low costs of living, but this is rapidly changing as workers are more skilled and have been demanding more pay from their employees. Cheap Chips. China is also the producer of some of these chips. One of the biggest mining ASIC producers is BitMain, which produces Antminers. As it is shipped out from China, Chinese miners have the advantage of getting faster new miners first before miners from other countries have finished dealing with shipping their ASIC miners. Of course, Chinese miners also benefit from china's fast and efficient courier delivery services. Another factor is how fast a mining chip can be delivered to the miner. As Bitcoin mining is a competitive process, getting a chip delivered earlier means more profits to the miner. As many of these chips are manufactured in China, Chinese miners have the advantage of getting hold of these chips faster and upgrading their facilities faster than their competitors. Cool Climate. This is more applicable to the temperate climates in northern China than the subtropical climates further south. Electronics work better in cooler temperatures, because electrical conductivity is better when the components are cooler. This means that an ASIC would work closer to its full capacity given the same power input. Just like how your computer can overheat if you overwork it, ASICs can get very hot since they work all day and night. To mitigate temperature issues, ASIC miner units come with its own fan, which is one of its distinguishing features when you look at it from the outside. Miners also keep their ASICs cool by installing them in the shade, and using big fans the circulate air in the rooms they are kept in. However, cooling is aided by favorable environmental temperatures. With cooler temperatures, ASICs stay cooler more easily, and so they work better. This is the reason why miners such as Bitfury and Genesis mining have operations in Iceland, where average annual temperatures are only at 11C, among the coldest among any country. In China, colder regions in the north are preferred, such as Liaoning province in northern China, although there are miners everywhere throughout China. Factors that may make miners quit. Some factors that affect mining profitability include: Halving events. Although miners also profit from transaction costs collected from users, block reward is currently the biggest source of income. With the decrease of the block reward, mining revenue is halved and this can make mining unprofitable for miners with higher marginal costs. The last bitcoin halving saw a major Bitcoin mining pool, KnCminer, drop out of the game. Each halving represents a drastic drop revenues, and can result in miners dropping out because it is no longer profitable for them. Drops in Bitcoin market price. The costs of mining are in fiat currencies, but revenues are in Bitcoin. Should the price of bitcoin drop precipitously with little hope of rebounding, it can be difficult for some miners to have a positive profit from their operations. Without the financial incentive, miners will shut down their operations to avoid losing money. This leads to a high difficulty with low hashing power. This hypothetical event can leave the infrastructure crippled as it will take very long to mine each block, and reduce confidence in the infrastructure, causing further drops in price. Changes in market price can be due to various factors, from macroeconomic factors, financial crises, hacking events etc. Investors should be constantly aware of the news to be able to anticipate these sudden changes. Genesis mining, for example, cites a production cost of around USD200 at current hashing rates and difficulty levels. If the price of bitcoin decreases, it would decrease profit margins of the mining operation. Many amateur investors might be interested in investing into bitcoin through mining. However, it is now very difficult for investors to see returns from mining. One of the ways to invest in mining is through schemes called "cloud mining". Cloud mining refers to contracts for mining. You can purchase a contract from reputable cloud mining firms such as Genesis mining and Hashnest by BitMain. As a purchaser of the contract, you put in money to set up a mining set up. This mining setup will mine Bitcoins, or your selected altcoins, and the profits will go to you. However, contract owners do not usually see their actual set up, and there are usually long breakeven times regardless of the cloud mining provider. Hence, there is a high chance of fraud. Contract owners also have less freedom over how the setup is run and optimized. Some mining platform have a secondary contract market for investors to sell their contracts when they decide to exit, but many platforms do not have such markets. Cloud mining companies other than these 2 are likely scam operations, and we advise our users to do thorough research before committing their money in it. Even if you put your money into a reputable cloud mining company, we advise you to do your own profit & loss projections. It can be difficult to earn a profit from it, and many investors have suffered losses in their investments into cloud mining, even if they are legitimate operations. Internet speed. Reliable internet speeds are also a necessary factor in Bitcoin mining. Fast internet means that a mining operation can obtain the necessary transaction data to mine the next block promptly. This data includes the hash of the block that was just mined, as this is an input to the hash of the next block. China is by no means the fastest internet. In fact, internet speeds in China are lower than the global average. However, the Great Firewall of China might have given them an unfair advantage despite the slow internet speed. Miners outside China have complained that the firewall has limited outgoing bandwidth. This slows data download and mining by miners outside China, with little impact to miners within China. This causes delay between obtaining the block data in and outside China. Every second lost is time lost for mining the next block, and gives miners outside China a disadvantage. Due to the large number of miners within China, this delay is non-trivial: Bitcoin Core contributor Pieter Wuille estimated that this delay results in an** 8%** advantage to Chinese miners. In the foreseeable future, China is likely to continue leading in Bitcoin and altcoin mining. The factors of production are unlikely to change dramatically for China. We can also foresee that mining equipment will continue to improve rapidly, and difficulty level will be higher than ever. However, market conditions change all the time, and there are upcoming developments to Bitcoin. Any changes to the block size limit, which can be expected soon, will also have an impact on miners' incomes. Major world events can also affect Bitcoin's price. These events many have drastic effects on the incentives to miners, and affect their operations. CoinHako is a friendly, safe and easy to use Bitcoin wallet in Asia! We offer BTC trading in SGD and MYR, and you can get your bitcoins instantly. Sign up for a wallet today! Bitcoin mining Competitive Economics 101 -- The Oversimplified Version. Hass McCook.
Given the difficulty of Bitcoin mining nowadays, coupled with the fact that successfully mining a bitcoin depends on chance, few people mine bitcoins by themselves. Instead, they spread out their earnings by joining mining pools, aggregations of bitcoin miners which connect to the same bitcoin node. This allows them to work on the same problem at the same time, greatly increasing the chances that the pool will solve the block. If a miner in a pool mines a block, the rewards are shared according to hashing contribution. There various methods used to calculate earning distribution. Each mining pool has a slightly different distribution model. This kind of reward sharing allows miners earn a steady income over time. Instead of earning 12.5 bitcoin with a very low probability very infrequently, miners in mining pools can get a steady stream of a fraction of the block reward by participating in the pool, when some another miner manages to mine a block, by pure chance. However, the formation of a pool also causes centralization of mining power. It is more likely for a new miner today to join an existing big mining pool than to go on his/her own. Hence, the mining pools have an oversized influence over decision on the Bitcoin blockchain. This centralization has resulted in a reduction in mining nodes over time. Furthermore, this creates a problem of trust. When mining nodes are fewer and mining is more centralized, it is more likely that these nodes can have greater market power over transaction fees. They will also have greater voting power over hard forks. Financial contracts. Bitcoin prices can fluctuate unpredictably, and miners have come up with ways to ensure that they continue to profit and can find funds to expand their mining operations. Bitcoin miners may use futures contracts with some big exchanges in order to lock down the prices to sell bitcoin at in the near future. Doing this can provide certainty of prices of bitcoin when they sell in the future, so that they can ensure that they can cover their operational costs regardless of the volatility in Bitcoin prices. Bitcoin miners also go crowdfunding for loans to raise funds to increase their hashing capacity. Platforms such as Bitbank offer bitcoin loans that are paid back in BTC, especially for these loans to finance mining operations. There are also cloud mining contracts, which allow investors to mine for bitcoin without having to deal with hardware at all. Buying a cloud mining contract, this is analogous to owning equity in a mining operation. The investor puts in funds to a cloud mining company, which uses the funds to buy mining equipment, rent space, pay salaries etc. Any bitcoins mined will go towards paying the expenses, and if there are additional bitcoins left over, it will go to the investor. Block size debate. Block size refers to the maximum size of a block as measured in megabytes. Today, the block size stands at 1Mb. This can process a maximum of around 3000 transactions per block on the network. This translates to around 5 transactions per second. However, as compared to the volumes processed by transaction settlement networks such as major credit card companies, this is just a fraction of what would be required to create a global settlement network. As the bitcoin community grows, the number of transactions on the network has been increasing. This means that a larger percentage of the block size limit has been filled in recent months. This has resulted in congestion, and increasing transaction fees as users have to pay more to get their transactions confirmed earlier. As the block size limit is coded into the bitcoin protocol, a hard fork by the miners is required to apply a change in the block size. These changes are proposed in several proposals. Read our post on the block size debate to learn more. Technologies. The age when bitcoins can be mined with your laptop CPU and GPU are long gone. Bitcoins are mined today with state-of-the-art Application specific integrated chips (ASICs), whose sole purpose of existence is to mine bitcoins. Since mining is a competitive process, and the mining difficulty keeps on increasing, there is a constant arms race to produce faster and more energy efficient miners. Although many miners find cheap electricity, not everyone does. Hence miners are always looking to upgrade their hardware. According to Jihan Wu, CEO of BitMain, 80% of hashing power today comes from 28mm and 16mm chips, which are miners that are less than 2 years old. The market for older mining rigs is still liquid, because there are miners with various factors of production which could mean that mining with old rigs is still profitable. The latest generation ASIC miner (as of August 2016) is the Antminer S9. Learn more about how mining technology has evolved. Factors for profitable Bitcoin mining. Electricity is a major input to ASICs, so reducing electricity bills is vital for a mining operation to stay profitable. China, with her size, has plenty of natural resources. Coal is the major source of electricity generation in China, contributing to over 78% of China's total energy production. This has been driven by falling coal prices. China has also been building these coal-powered power plants to drive local job creation, even though this is not cost effective. This has led to overproduction of electricity in China. Due to the additional plants, the surplus was over 20%. This may be bad news for electricity producers, but for bitcoin miners and other electricity users, this means electricity costs will be lower. Some miners are able to get electricity from private generators away from the grid. These generators include small-scale hydroelectricity generators, who find it difficult to sell their power to the grid, especially in Summer. If this excess electricity is not used, it is usually wasted. Hence some miners are able to put this electricity to use at a cheaply and still support these small generators. Iceland is another popular location for bitcoin miners. Mining companies such as Bitfury and Genesis mining have taken advantage of their cheap hydroelectric and geothermal electricity for mining. Electricity prices in Iceland are around USD0.05/kWh, which is much lower than USD 0.1427/kWh in Singapore or in Malaysia. At the scale these mining firms are operating, their cost savings are significant in Iceland. However, even if electricity costs were not an issue, newer mining setups have advantages such as faster hashing per unit (less labour costs to maintain) and reduced need for cooling, which is why electricity consumption is still a concern for Bitcoin miners.
Total Miners: 193,483 Online Miners: 6,869. Free Bitcoin mining is the free mining platform you can do. A complete web frontend for your Bitcoin mining devices. Install. You can download the image file for Raspberry ready to use as miner controller or choose for a manual install on your preferred Debian based system. Just plug your devices in the controller and connect via your browser to your brand new Minera system. Easy, fast, and reliable mining. Minera is ready to mine for you. Tune up the settings, choose your preffered miner software and relax while it mines for you! If you need help, just drop a line. Still not sure? Check out why Minera is considered the best Bitcoin mining dashboard. Plug & Mine. It"s really simple, trust me, just plug your devices to your brand new Minera controller and start mine as fast as you can! Full of Details. Device and pool tables, history charts, system monitor, crypto currencies rates and much much more. Complete Control. You control almost everything, take the full advantage of your controller and mining devices. Stable & Reliable. Minera has only the best miner softwares to mine, making ROI fast is the main goal within security and reliability. Do you want to see each great feature it has? Look below. Widgets. The widgets in the top of the dashboard keep you always informed about your miner with a glance. Detailed Tables. The really detailed tables for devices and pools are useful to have everything under control. Charts. Who don"t love charts? We are full of them. History charts and graphical tree devices are cool. Currencies rates. Never leave the Minera tab, just look at the top, you have your preferred currencies with current rates. System monitor. With the temperature widget and the sysload graphical charts you know when your controller needs you. Web terminal. No more Putty or SSH, now you have a shiny web terminal connected directly to your system. Click and login. MobileMiner support. Yes, we have MobileMiner support too! Enable it and you could do everything from your smarphone. Guided settings. Select a guided configuration for your miner, easy to use with checkboxes and sliders to find your perfect setup. Switch pools. Adding pools is easy but you can also switch them on the fly, while miner is mining and you're drinking a beer. Autorestart. It's hard to find your miner isn't mining anymore with the autorestart option. Enabled it and relax. Autorecover. Miner went down unexpectedly? The autorecover option will try to recover it in one minute or less. Scheduled event. A bit paranoid? Schedule a miner restart or a controller reboot and have sweet dreams. If your download didn't start, please click below. While you are waiting for the download to finish, please read about how to flash your SD Card with the new Minera image you got. After that you'll need only to put your SD Card in your Raspberry/ARM controller and you are done! Flashing the SD Card with Minera. If you are on Windows you can use Win32DiskImager. If you are on a Mac OS X you can use ApplePi-Baker. If you are on Linux you can use ImageWriter or the command line below. Remember to uncompress the zip file before trying to flash it. Prepare. You can simply install Minera on your current Linux controller. Check if it's a debian based one otherwise download and install a right distribution like Ubuntu. When you have your system ready, ssh into it and install Minera. The installer will configure the system requirements and will tell you the URL to connect to. Important : minera system user has password "minera", you should change it if your system is a public host with SSH access. This isn't the web password, to change the web password, login into the web interface and go to Miner -> Settings. Miner binaries. The miner command binary path is: They are pre-compiled for Raspberry (ARM) with the latest version available. To ensure you have every libraries installed I strongly recommend you to recompile the miner you need, Minera has a utility script to do this, please look below. Build miners. Please follow the commands below to recompile/build your miner softwares (bfgminer, cpuminer, cgminer, cgminer-dmaxl): Ready. Now you are ready to mine with your brand new Minera controller, if you need help configuring it follow the link below. Bitcoin mining dashboard. In order to do transactions, bitcoin network requires the aggregation of the processing of computers. The operation in which the transactions are processed is called mining and the computers that perform the processing are called miners. Start Mining Right Now With Your Own Device! The condition of Bitcoin Network. Bitcoin rate is constantly updated Also, the active hash rate in the network has a direct relation with the active miners in the network. Bitcoin Price ($) Network Hash Rate (EH) 588 M. Total BTC transactions. 311 K. BTC Transactions Per Day. What Is Hash-Range? the measure of processing power is hash per second. the transactions of bitcoins are done through the processing of hashes. Depending on their power, the mining devices can process a definite number of hashes per second. For example, when the power of a device is 1 th/s, it can process 1,000,000,000,000 hashes per second. if the miner processes more hashes, it receives more commission. 10 th/s can mine 0.002 BTC per month or 0.05 BTC in 2 year period. How to Trust? Trustpilot, the most validated cryptocurrency evaluation system, provides the opportunity to share users' reviews without manipulation and is the most validated source to determine the genuineness of the product. Economics of Bitcoin mining. Tracing the source. Just like your phone and your computer, the production of Bitcoins is driven by economics. This article aims to break down the various factors so you understand Bitcoin better. Like many things you own, most of the bitcoin in your wallet was probably made in China. In fact, more than half of the world's hashing power is concentrated in China, held by the biggest mining pools in the world, such as F2pool, Antpool, BTCC and BW. Mining share on 5 Aug hash rate, source. We usually attribute Chinese manufacturing success to their cheap, skilled labour. However, unlike most manufacturing jobs, production of Bitcoin is done by computers. So why is China still the top Bitcoin miner? Which other factors affect the production of Bitcoins? This blog post is all about the economic forces which drive mining pools to create these bitcoins that end up in your wallet. This article assumes you understand the bASICs about mining. If you are a complete newbie, we recommend that you learn more about mining by reading up about the evolution of Bitcoin mining, bitcoin block reward halving or the Bitcoin Wiki. How do miners make money? Miners make money as long as they can earn more from selling bitcoin than spending on hardware and electricity costs incurred to create the bitcoins. Their source of funds includes block reward and transaction fees, a dynamic fee paid by users of the network. Both of which are awarded when a new block is mined. A miner can choose to include transactions based on transaction fees to optimize his fee earnings. The block reward is the reward they get for successfully mining a block. This reward is currently 12.5 bitcoins per block. However, this block reward will halve every 4 years or so. The last halving occurred on 9 July 2016, and reduced the block reward from 25 to 12.5. Learn more about block halving on our blog post about block reward halving. In addition to block reward, a transaction fee is paid every time a transaction is made. This is an additional fee to incentivize miners to provide the service of confirming blocks to bitcoin users. This price has been on the rise, because of the congestion of the network due to the block size limit and the concentration of mining power as the arms war continues to escalate. Hence, the block size can be seen as a quota, and mining centralization is the strengthening of monopoly pricing power. Block size limit has been seen to be an issue since 2015, as the increasing congestion of the 1mb block limit led to concerns about the functionality of Bitcoin as a payment network. There has been a lot of discussion about this. Read more about this on our blog post: Organization - mining pools.