In our Free crypto: the best sites to earn crypto article we continuously point you to the best ways to increase your cryptocurrency portfolio with no upfront financial costs.
In this article, we’ll expand on how to increase your earnings through low-grade mining hardware, the kind of miners that won’t surprise you with a five-figure electricity bill, and other accessible alternatives.
Long are the days when you could use your laptop or desktop PC to mine bitcoin on your own. With the ever increasing difficulty due to the ubiquitous use of powerful specialised hardware (ASIC miners) and huge mining pools, everyday users have been standing in the sideline for a while.
But that’s changing. With prices on the up and technological advances, it’s now easier than ever to get low-grade mining equipment to effortlessly turn in BTC earnings at a regular basis. Granted, most such miners would take a long-ish time to recoup (especially in countries where electricity is expensive), but to those betting on the long-term, it’s a great opportunity to invest.
And if you don’t want to have any overhead costs, we got you covered. Cloud mining is alive and kicking and more user-friendly by the day, with plenty of options for all pocket depths.
Cryptocurrency mining depends on a range of factors influenced by the mining difficulty, mining rig performance, mining pool fees, the conditions in which you are mining (electricity, noise & cooling), technical knowledge and the cryptocurrency price.
Cryptocurrency mining pools
It’s worth noting that, unless you have some industrial-grade ASICs, you should probably steer clear from solo mining (or mining on your own). Whichever path you choose, make sure you join a reputable mining pool so you have a realistic chance of getting a piece of the rewards.
Mining pools split block rewards between every participant that contributes with work. This dilutes prizes, but on the flipside everyone has a much greater chance to win. You generally need to pay a fee to the pool, deducted from your share of the proceeds.
Here’s a short video that explains how mining pools work:
Taking all these factors into account, we’ve put together a list of some interesting mining services and devices worth considering if you do want to become a crypto miner.
*Cloudbet does not endorse or take responsibility for any of the services featured below. Please use them at your own discretion.
Plug-and-Play Crypto Mining
If you prefer to have your mining rig at home and don’t want to trouble yourself with constantly monitoring performance then you might want to consider these lower grade rigs. Although returns are substantially lower than high-end ASICs, energy consumption is also much more manageable, making for a good drip-investment if you believe cryptocurrency prices will continue to rise.
Coinmine is a plug & play rig that will mine PoW coins such as ETH, XMR, GRIN and Zcash without any major input required. The miner also features a BTC lightning node and can be used to stake coins, all of which can be easily managed through its own app on a smartphone. The Xbox-like looking miner is just as silent as a gaming console and has a similar power consumption of 180 Watts.
The Coinmine is far from being a professional-grade miner for major cryptocurrencies. For comparison, Coinmine’s performance while mining Ethereum is 30.2Mh/s while Bitmain’s Antminer S17 Pro will generate 53Th/s, that’s over a thousand times more performance for the price of three Coinmine rigs!
Although it might not be the best alternative for mining major cryptocurrencies, it’s worth considering that it has a use case for less popular cryptocurrencies. Moreover, Coinmine does not require constant monitoring, it is easy to setup and use, and quiet enough to use in an urban environment.
Honeyminer aims to be the easiest way to mine cryptocurrencies for anyone with a computer. The platform allows its users to take advantage of their unused computational power by mining different cryptocurrencies and getting rewarded for it in bitcoin.
The process is fairly easy, users download the Honey Miner program, set up an account with their email address and they are ready to mine. The profitability of the mining will depend on the performance of the computer and the amount of time the program is allowed to mine.
Turning the mining function on and off is as easy as clicking a single button. While mining, the amount of resources being used doesn’t really affect most of the user’s tasks with the exception of intensive gaming or video editing.
Honeyminer’s program is available on Windows and will soon be available on Mac. The company also features a mobile app which allows users to monitor the mining of the computer or computers remotely.
Like any other investment in the crypto scene, you should be looking at it with a long term perspective: the platform’s current withdrawal fee is 0.00037500 BTC while the minimum transaction size is 0.00002500 BTC.
QC-1 Crypto Heater
The QC-1 crypto heater is a milestone in cryptocurrency mining as it tackles a major mining issue. Cryptocurrency mining has been long criticised for being a wasteful process that doesn’t generate any other product, while consuming a considerable amount of electricity.
The plug-and-play rig uses its two GPUs to mine cryptocurrencies and uses the heat, generated in the process, to warm up the room.
The big difference between this and every other miner in the market is that the QC-1 crypto heater is completely silent while mining at 60 Mh/s and slowly heating up the room. So if you live in colder regions, you might as well warm your winter up with some coins.
The Casa Node is a plug-and-play node for the bitcoin Lightning Network, a payments protocol that acts as a second layer on top of bitcoin for small transactions.
While the Casa Node won’t be mining bitcoin for you, it will be used to validate transactions on the lightning network, accruing a small fee in the process. Unlike bitcoin mining on the main chain, validating transactions on the lightning network is hardly lucrative and potential buyers should not expect a similar return on investment.
Getting a Casa Node will cost you around $300 and includes a year’s subscription to run the node, a Trezor cold wallet and a branded Faraday bag to protect it.
If you don’t want to worry about upfront costs and outdated hardware, then you might want to check out cloud mining. Just rent mining power from a provider for as long as you want - no more worrying about fluctuating energy costs.
Cloud mining providers usually offer annual, monthly, or even flexible hourly contracts. Profit margins are usually tight and depend on price changes, so in the short term you end up paying close to market prices - but it’s a good alternative to using exchanges to get from fiat to crypto if you have the patience to wait it out.
Genesis Mining offers cloud mining services, which essentially means that, customers can buy mining power (hash rate) without having to purchase expensive mining rigs in the first place.
Furthermore, cloud mining through a professional mining center has additional benefits such as cheap electricity costs, industrial grade cooling setup, 24/7 monitoring/optimisation and an overall dramatic reduction on the amount of time and knowledge required from the customer.
Although the platform offers several contract options to mine BTC, ETH, DASH, LTC, XMR and Zcash; prospective customers should go through the T&Cs to be aware of the variable costs involved.
Hosted Mining / Mining Hotels
All over the world, several companies offer mining rig buyers and owners, the chance of profiting from the perks of a large scale operation. For a fee, companies managing the mining facilities give average crypto miners direct access to cheap electricity, industrial grade cooling and 24/7 monitoring.
Cyberian Mine GmBH
Cyberian Mine GmbH is a German-Russian joint venture cryptocurrency mining company that offers hosting services in their mining center in Siberia. Cyberian Mine customers can choose to order mining rigs directly from the manufacturer to the mining center, purchasing already installed miners or even sending their own miners to Cyberian Mine for hosting.
The mining center’s location provides natural cooling due to the low temperatures and green hydro-power stations generate cheap electricity at €0.03/kWh - $0.033/kWh; likely the lowest electricity price in the world.