My Bitcoin Mining Experience
I want to preface this article with a disclaimer.
Crypto mining is not easy. If you think you can just plug in a machine, leave it running, and get rich quick, you are mistaken. Mining requires daily discipline, planning power requirements, regular temperature checks, noise considerations, managing heat output, tweaking to ensure optimal performance, maintenance of computer hardware, and technical knowledge for initial setup and mining pool configuration. This is not a comprehensive list of everything required to mine crypto, but these are some examples of things I do on a regular basis to ensure consistent mining revenue.
Crypto mining is also not investment advice, financial advice, or trading advice. Please conduct your own due diligence and research before making any investments. This article is covers one specific crypto mining example. It is not a comprehensive list or specific purchasing advice for any specific miner, company, manufacturer, or component. If you choose to invest in crypto mining equipment, please conduct your own thorough research to determine the best crypto mining solutions in order to meet your specific requirements. Please understand the risks involved before investing in crypto mining.
My Crypto Mining Experience
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s take a closer look at crypto mining! Using my first hand experience of building, configuring, and running crypto mining rigs, I want to share what I’ve learned and present the facts.
Crypto mining does require some technical know how and some maintenance. Over the last decade, I’ve been professionally maintaining servers, computers, and hardware at an enterprise level. Because of this experience, crypto mining came naturally for me.
I bought my first Bitcoin mining machine in March of 2021. I figured that a $636.00 investment was a small price to pay for a potentially profitable passive income stream. After days of painstaking research, I settled on the Bitmain Antminer S9 ASIC miner. Looks pretty wild right?
An ASIC Bitcoin miner will mine only Bitcoin and a handful of other crypto currencies that utilize the SHA-256 hashing algorithm.
SHA-256 is an industry standard cryptographic hashing function which was designed by the National Security Agency in 2001. SHA stands for Secure Hash Algorithm and the 256 denotes the number of bits in the hash. A hash refers to data that has been securely encoded making it next to impossible to decipher without the cryptographic key.
Bitcoin utilizes SHA-256 to securely encrypt blockchain data.
Now that we understand the basics about ASIC machines, what does it require to run a Bitcoin miner?
I knew there were many different factors at play to mine Bitcoin.
- Daily temperature and operability monitoring
- Electricity and power requirements
- Noise considerations
- Managing heat output
- Tweaking to ensure optimal performance
- Maintenance of computer and network hardware
- Stable internet connection
- Mining pool configuration and monitoring
Choosing a Bitcoin Mining Pool
After some research I decided to join a mining pool called Slushpool. Slushpool is headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic and accounts for about 2.9% of the total worldwide Bitcoin mining hash rate. It had decent reviews online compared to some of the other major mining pools. Another reason I chose Slushpool was the low payout threshold, 0.001 BTC which was paid within a few hours after achieving that threshold. From my research, smaller pools typically have lower fees and payout more often.
Setting up the Antminer S9 was pretty straightforward, especially if you have experience setting up routers, computers, or other networking equipment. I followed the guide on the Slushpool website and the manual from the Antminer manufacturer Bitmain. I’ve included links to both in the credits.
After connecting the Antminer to the mining pool, it was a waiting game until the payout threshold was met. Ten days later ~0.001 BTC was deposited to my Bitcoin payout wallet address. One thing to note, make sure the wallet payout address configured otherwise you won’t get paid!
Monitoring the Bitcoin Miner
In all honesty, Slushpool made it pretty easy to monitor the Bitcoin miner or “worker”, according to their website. You have the ability set email alerts if your miner went offline or fell below an optimal hashing range.
Slushpool also has a mobile app, which I utilized daily to monitor and check the overall mining progress. It was pretty cool to get push notifications when a new BTC block had been found.
A good location for mining
Mining Bitcoin takes a good deal of planning, especially when it comes to the physical location of the mining rig. The Antminer S9 poses many concerns, such as the noise and the heat output. If you run it inside your house, it will be audible even if it’s in the basement or garage.
Finding an ideal location to mine was essential long term. The back shed at my house was a perfect place because it had electricity and it was completely self contained. The miner wouldn’t bother anyone out there. Also, the window air conditioning was able to moderate the temperature so that the miner didn’t overheat.
Ten days after I setup and configured the Bitcoin miner, I was astounded that a small amount of Bitcoin was deposited to my Bitcoin wallet.
My little Bitcoin miner earned ~$60.00 worth of ₿itcoin in 10 days. The business cogs in my head started turning… How could I earn more Bitcoin? What would it take to scale this into a profitable business operation? How long would it take to pay back the $636.00 that I spent for the ASIC mining machine?
Sadly after running the Antminer S9 for three months, I have decided to pull the plug.
The Bitcoin reward amount was not enough to cover the high electricity cost.
Other reasons I decided to stop mining Bitcoin using the Antminer S9:
- Time that takes to constantly monitor or maintain the machine
- Amount of heat produced (Similar to running a 1500W electric heater)
- Amount of noise produced (around 80 decibels)
Bitmain Antminer S9 Install Guide
Crypto mining is also not investment advice, financial advice, or trading advice. Please conduct your own due diligence and research before making any investments. This article is covers some crypto mining examples. It is not a comprehensive list or specific purchasing advice for any specific miner, company, manufacturer, or component. If you choose to invest in crypto mining equipment, please conduct your own thorough research to determine the best crypto mining solutions in order to meet your specific requirements. Please understand the risks involved before investing in crypto mining.