The days of using smartphones and desktops to mine bitcoins are gone. The simpler algorithms, math problems solved by computers, and larger Bitcoin blocks have long been taken off the shelves by early birds that saw the beginning of Bitcoin, when the price of Bitcoin was still in its infancy.

This is no longer the case now. In 2012, the Bitcoin price skyrocketed to a whopping USD$1242, and that sparked the interest of millions. The number of miners increased sharply due to the novelty of earning easy money using excess computer storage space for free.

Avalon Miner - The First ASIC Miner
[Editors Note: Avalon was the first company to develop and introduce an ASIC based miner. Which amazingly, was less than 3 years ago. Avalon announced its ASIC development in mid 2012 and shipped the first batch around January 30th-ish of 2013. ASIC's have come a long way in a very short period of time since, Bitmain's Antminer has had an impressive evolution in the last 18 months]

Recent AntMiner Evolution
AntMiner S4+
AntMiner S5
AntMiner S5+
AntMiner S7
204x BM1382
60x BM1384
432x BM1384
162x BM1385
2570 GH/s
1155 GH/s
7722 GH/s
4860 GH/s
Power Draw
Power Efficiency
0.25 J/GH
Weight (boxed)
Bitmain AntMiner Series Comparison

The value of bitcoin blocks were halved every fortnight, and the difficulty of the algorithms increased over time. Gradually, the algorithms became too hard for normal computers to solve.

Today, only modern ASIC hardware costing between $1000 and $6000 each are able to mine bitcoins efficiently. However, those devices require a lot of power and storage to function, costing a heavy electricity bill. Furthermore, the amount of Bitcoin earned through mining may not be enough to offset the price of the ASIC hardware and the electricity costs, and the bills will only increase over time as the bitcoin blocks are halved into meager amounts.

2015 AntMiner S7 by Bitmain

Eventually, even the ASIC hardware will not be able to solve the algorithms and one will have to purchase supercomputers, which are sold at sky-high prices starting from $500,000, not inclusive of the electricity bills and the setup costs.

The only way one can actually earn a decent amount through mining is through a sudden sharp increase in the Bitcoin value. Of course, there are other ways of earning large amounts of Bitcoin. However, given the cryptocurrency's volatility, there is a small chance the price may just erupt again, for another virtual gold rush to occur.

Story by Jade Ow
Specs Courtesy Bitmain
Antminer Images by Bitmain
Banner Image by dinbits staff

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