Compare Bitcoin Mining.

The best ways to mine bitcoin.

Crypto mining is a great way to earn more coins. Whether you want to find the best cloud mining providers out there or the most reliable place to buy your own mining software and hardware, we've got it all here.

The best bitcoin mining options.


The top names in Bitcoin mining. Compare the competition to to get the best deal and start earning more Bitcoins.

1
Low
BTC
ETH
  • Instantly connect
  • Fixed fees
  • Pool allocation
2
Mid
BTC
ETH
LTC
  • Altcoins are available
  • Easy to start
  • Large number of users
3
Low
BTC
ETH
LTC
BCH
  • High quality products
  • ANTMINER available
  • Full featured app
4
Low
BTC
ETH
LTC
XRP
  • Get started from £7.50 ($10)
  • Over 2 million users
  • Faucet tools available
These are highly volatile investment products. Your capital is at risk.

Bitcoin mining in 2018.


What is Bitcoin mining?

Put simply, bitcoin mining is the process of verifying bitcoin transactions. It basically involves adding transaction records to the Bitcoin public ledger (the blockchain) to record the movement of bitcoins between wallets. The miners that do this job are rewarded for using their computer power to create new blocks on the blockchain with bitcoin.

Why is it called mining?

Because it’s a process that takes power to extract a finite resource, just like with physical mining. And the comparisons also do not end there. As a regular mine digs deeper, it becomes more difficult, requiring more energy and probably resources to extract more minerals. This is the case with Bitcoin. There is a finite amount of bitcoins (21 million), and the only way to extract these bitcoin is through ‘mining’.

How does mining work?

It all comes down to computer power. In the case of Bitcoin, the energy required for mining comes from a network of computers solving complex mathematical problems – a process called ‘hashing’. Large amounts of transactions are combined together in ‘blocks’, which then require miners to solve computational problems. This verifies all the transactions, and after it’s done the block is added to the chain of previous blocks (the ‘blockchain’). All miners get paid transaction fees for their work, and one of the miners who worked on the block is rewarded at random with some newly created bitcoin each time a block is solved.

What do I need in order to start Bitcoin mining?

If you want to start mining bitcoin, you have two main options: setting up your own mining rig, or buying a cloud mining contract. Here are what the two entail:

  • Mining using your own rig – You’ll need to buy specific hardware and maintain and run it specifically for mining. In the early days of Bitcoin, it was possible to mine with CPUs from your normal laptop or desktop computer. However, as the difficulty of mining increased, the PCs could not handle the job, and miners had to resort to GPUs and specialised mining rigs known as ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) and software to do the job. We have a page to guide you through it; so make sure to check it out.
  • Cloud Mining – You can earn bitcoins through mining without having to own a mining rig. All you need is to lease some hashing power from a company that has already set up mining rigs and get a percentage of the bitcoin income.

What is a mining pool?

A mining pool is a group of bitcoin miners working together and sharing the rewards. Mining pools combine resources and share all their miners’ processing power, splitting the income according to the amount of work each miner has contributed. By miners banding together in pools, they increase the odds of being rewarded for solving a block, allowing them to have more regular returns. Think of it as a large group of people playing betting on different horses in a race and agreeing to split the resulting winnings between them. The rewards may be smaller, but there’s a far greater chance of consistent income.

Is Bitcoin mining profitable?

Honestly, this is a complicated question for many reasons. Bitcoin mining is certainly not a get-rich-quick scheme any more (early on you could generate a lot of bitcoin using just a laptop, whereas now you need to invest in a lot of technology), and any investment will take at least a few months to repay itself. But in the long run, yes bitcoin mining can be profitable as long as you go about it correctly. Issues you need to consider are:

  • Electricity costs – these are one of the primary concerns if you are running your own mining rig. Since bitcoin mining requires a lot of energy, the mining rigs consumes a large amount of electricity, which translates to high cost of electric bills.
  • Cooling costs – The side effect of all the electrical energy used is a lot of heat, which needs to be cooled down. Achieving this is difficult and costly since you will need to set up your mining rigs in a cool area and purchase more tools such as extra fans to facilitate cooling.
  • Cloud mining fees – If you choose to get involved in cloud mining, then there will be additional fees to help maintain the mining hardware, transaction. These fees are charged at various rates according to the amount of hashes carried out by the system. Platforms such as Genesis charge around $0.00028 per GH/s, whereas other such as Hash flare charges $0.0035 per 10 GH/s.
  • Mining pool fees – Mining pools charge fees for being a part of them, so these will impact the level of profit you will make. Generally most of them will charge you around 1% – 3% of your profits.
  • Popularity of mining – Bitcoin mining is designed to become more difficult as more people do it. As more miners join the network, the block creation rate increases and so does the mining difficulty. This means that an upsurge in miners will lower profits of mining.
  • Bitcoins released per block – As the number of bitcoins approaches the 21 million cap, mining rewards fall. The block reward is halved after every 210,000 blocks, which is roughly 4 years. In 2009, the block reward began at 50 BTC, and in 2018 it’s come down to 12.5 BTC per block. This reward will be halved again in 2020 to 6.25 BTC.
  • Fluctuations in value of bitcoin – It is hard to measure profitability of mining because of the changing value of bitcoin itself. If the price of bitcoin rises, mining will become more profitable, but if it falls then profits will fall or be wiped out. Many people consider bitcoin mining hoping that prices will rise so that they can get considerable profits.

That’s a lot of factors, how do I figure out if it will be right for me?

There are many bitcoin mining profitability calculators around which you can use to get an idea if the venture is really worth it. You can put in all the information and they will give you estimates of how much money you’ll make. You will be asked to enter your hashing power (H/s, KH/s, MH/s, GH/s, or TH/S), power consumption, and the pool fees. For a more accurate figure, there are online bitcoin mining profitability calculators that will need you to enter extra details such as hardware cost and power cost.

Should I get involved in bitcoin mining?

It’s up to you. If you’re interested in the technology behind it and/or willing to see mining as a long-term investment, it can be a lot of fun and give you a steady income of bitcoins. As Bitcoin mining difficulty is always increasing and the rewards are reducing, it’s no longer a path to making loads of bitcoin quickly, but this in no way means it’s a waste of time. Consider what you’re looking for and think if hardware or cloud mining is the right option for you.

How do I get started?

That’s where we come in. Browse through our comparisons and find the right cloud or hardware mining service available. We’ve reviewed all the best options to ensure that you have a wide selection of ways to get into bitcoin mining.

Should I become a BTC miner?


Advantages

  • Mining allows you to earn more bitcoin
  • It can be lots of fun if you're into running the hardware
  • Mining makes you an active part of maintaining bitcoin
  • You can use hardware to mine many different cryptocurrencies

Drawbacks

  • Bitcoin mining uses a lot of electricity
  • Mining hardware and software is expensive
  • There is increasing competition as more people get involved in mining
  • You'll need hardware or access to cloud mining, or the process will damage your computer

Frequent questions.


What is cloud mining?

Cloud mining is when multiple people remotely use the same hardware to mine with shared processing power. People take out ‘cloud mining contracts’ and get a return on their investment as the mine generates bitcoins. You don’t have to buy and set up the hardware or take responsibility for managing the mine and the electricity costs.

How do I set up a mining rig?

Usually you don’t have to. Setting up all the components involved can be a complicated task, and that’s why mining hardware manufacturers usually deliver the hardware already set up so you can get mining as quickly as possible. You just need to plug it in and you’ll be ready to run. Depending on the mining rig you want to use, for instance Antminer S1, S2, and S3, you will be required to download the full Bitcoin client and bitcoin mining software, which could take hours to days, depending on your download speed.

Can I set up a Bitcoin mining rig in my house?

Technically yes, but a large rig is going to give you serious heat concerns. Bitcoin mining requires a lot of energy, and therefore generates a lot of heat. ASIC mining is also very loud because of all the fans running to help cool down the mining rig. Finding a cool room with direct air flow is a good step, but if you’ll be keeping your hardware in your house you’ll need to plan how to deal with both the heat and the noise.

What are the main mining hardware companies?

If you’re looking at buying mining hardware, then head over to our page that guides you through all the best options available. The biggest companies include names such as Bitmain, Avalon, GMO, and RMC.

Is Bitcoin mining an environmental concern?

This is a growing concern. The SHA-256 hash that bitcoin uses requires a lot energy to solve, which is why it’s constantly racing against electricity costs to remain profitable. It is estimated that if bitcoin miners were a country, they’d be the 61st most energy hungry nation in the world. There is hope that interest in verifying cryptocurrency fuels investment in green technology, which in turn will increase the profitability of mining by cutting electricity costs.

Is bitcoin mining legal?

It depends if bitcoin is legal or not in your country. In the UK, bitcoin mining is legal and also in the vast majority of countries, including the US, Australia and other nations. Mining is usually only illegal in countries in which owning bitcoin is illegal. Check the law in your country before you start mining.

Why should I mine rather than buy bitcoin?

Mining can seem a roundabout way to get bitcoin when you can just buy it on an exchange. In the short term, it is possible that it won’t be a viable option, but in the long-term mining can be a more sustainable. Also it’s much more fun for those who love technology, and as a miner you have the knowledge that you’re actually part of the bitcoin network. Also if the price of bitcoin rockets up, your mining rig will become more profitable as bitcoin becomes more expensive to buy.

What is a hash rate?

This is simply rate at which a miner works. The hashing power is measured in measured in H/s (hashes per second), KH/s (kilohashes per second), Mh/s (megahash per second), Gh/s (gigahash per second), and TH/S (terahashes per second). The higher the hash rate, the more powerful a miner is. When it comes to energy consumption, W/Gh (watts per gigahash) and W/Th (watts per terahash) are measurements of how energy efficient a miner is. A great miner is one that puts out a lot of processing power but doesn’t need too much electricity, as this makes it the most profitable.

What do GPU, ASIC, and FPGA stand for?

They stand for Graphics Processing Unit, Application-Specific Integrated Circuit, and Field-Programmable Gate Array respectively.

GPUs (graphic cards) were once the dominant units of mining bitcoin and are still sparingly used today, but with the increase of difficulty in mining, they are inefficient for those who want to make decent profits. Companies such as Nvidia, however, are still working on bringing out more powerful GPUs for mining - but it’s likely they will be used to mine other cryptos that are not as difficult to mine as bitcoin.

ASICs are especially designed for mining a particular cryptocurrency and are currently the top of the line units, able to generate more hashes per watt of power than the competition. However, they have limited resale value as they’re specifically geared to mine bitcoin. If mining bitcoin were to become unprofitable for any reason, it would be very hard to sell a bitcoin mining ASIC.

FPGA was the former king in the bitcoin mining world. The units comprised of an integrated circuit whose function is easily programmed and changed, making it more versatile even compared to the ASIC. However, FPGA units are less efficient than ASICs and have largely been phased out.

What happens when all 21 million bitcoins have been released?

There are as yet no firm plans in place because of how far in the future it will happen (the 21 million cap will be hit in the year 2140). Since all bitcoins will have been produced, miners will be paid from the transaction fees on the bitcoin network. It is likely that the transaction fees generated by miners will be enough to keep the process of mining worthwhile by that point.

How does mining make Bitcoin secure?

Mining is what allows Bitcoin to be completely decentralized and keep payments secure. When you make a payment and it’s confirmed by miners, the transaction is included in a ‘block’, which then gets attached to the previous one. This is where the phrase ‘blockchain’ comes from - it’s literally a chain of these blocks. The details of any transaction can’t be tampered with or changed at a later date, because that would require changing all the blocks that came after it. Also because mining is a decentralised group effort, if any one miner tries to change a past transaction or make up one that hasn’t happened to enrich themselves, the other miners will all see it is false and reject that addition to the blockchain. In this way, mining keeps bitcoin secure through democracy among its miners.

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