What is Crypto Mining and Is it Profitable?

macro miner figurines digging ground to uncover big shiny bitcoin

Cryptocurrency is all the rage these days. 

Not many years ago, the price of one Bitcoin was just a few hundred dollars. In April of 2021, it hit an all-time high north of $63,000. And there are predictions that the value of a single Bitcoin will hit $100,000 as early as 2022, and perhaps even $1 million later in the decade. 

And the Bitcoin alternatives, like Ethereum and Litecoin, though not nearly as expensive, are steadily rising in the prices as well. That’s why many are wondering whether it’s time to consider crypto mining. So let’s take a look at what crypto mining consists of, and whether it’s a profitable enterprise. 

What is Crypto Mining?

You may have heard about cryptocurrency mining, but what is it? 

Crypto mining is basically the process whereby new cryptocurrency—whether Bitcoin, Ether (the cryptocurrency on the Ethereum Blockchain), etc.—is entered into circulation. 

But the process is much more involved than the minting of currency that occurs in the real world. Crypto miners are responsible for verifying the legitimacy of cryptocurrency transactions. 

Since cryptocurrencies are decentralized, however, pretty much anyone with a sufficient mining rig is able to do the necessary work. And that work involves having a lot of computer power and raw processing muscle. 

It also means racking up pretty serious electricity bills—which can cut into crypto mining profitability, but more on that later. 

Here’s a breakdown of the crypto mining process:

  1. Transaction Records: A crypto miner is required to verify new transactions, which are added to the Blockchain. These records are the lifeblood of crypto mining: they verify the legitimacy of each transaction. 
  2. Proof-of-Work: Each miner must solve a complex, energy-intensive puzzle to add a new “block” to the Blockchain. 
  3. Reward: The crypto miner who is first to solve the puzzle is rewarded with cryptocurrency. For Bitcoin, the reward is currently 6.25 Bitcoins; this amount halves approximately once every four years. 

Keep in mind that there’s a great deal of competition for these rewards—actually earning one requires a great deal of computer power and no little amount of luck. 

Is Crypto Mining Profitable?

There’s a lot that goes into crypto mining, from the cost of a mining rig to electricity expenses. 

First, you have to invest in expensive graphics processing units (GPUs) or application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for your rig. These accessories can set you back several hundred dollars.

A basic rig for some of the lesser-known cryptocurrencies can cost you around $3,000. For the more popular cryptocurrencies, you could invest as much as $10,000. 

The electricity costs for mining a single Bitcoin can vary from country to country and state to state. The most expensive state to mine Bitcoin was Hawaii, with an average cost-per-BTC of over $9,000. 

Still, with Bitcoin prices hovering around $55,000, that’s a small price to pay for a big payout! And this is why the investment opportunities for cryptocurrencies have never been better. 

Learn More About Mining Cryptocurrency

Crypto mining involves a great deal of risk for an uncertain reward. 

But with cryptocurrencies reaching record highs, the reward potential is higher than it’s ever been. So consider how much you’re willing to invest in a mining rig and electricity costs before getting involved in the crypto mining craze. 

If you enjoyed this article, please check out the rest of the site to learn more about all things crypto. 

About Crypto Ryan 47 Articles
Hi, I'm Ryan. I started investing in cryptocurrency in early 2015. Naturally, I want everyone to have the chance to learn about the crypto world so I created this blog! I hope my articles help you understand blockchain and cryptocurrency. Cheers!