Mining prospects for the coming years
Throughout 2017, alarmists and dubious-looking experts argued that mining was about to cease to exist, cease to be cost-effective, and all the equipment used by the “miners" would turn into a pile of rubbish. However, another year has passed, and mining continues to exist and bring profit to those who decided to take risks and invest in this business. The rest can only continue the hysteria about this.
What promises miners in 2018?
Last year, the army of miners was replenished with tens of thousands more "recruits", the extraction of cryptocurrencies became more complicated, and then a reasonable question naturally arises – will mining exist in the new 2018? More and more people are getting to know about this crypto business. Does it make sense to discover this case for yourself in 2018, if you have not even heard of it before?
Problems of modern mining
Mining is currently undergoing evolutionary changes. Previously, it was possible to “dig” simply using a home computer, then more and more power was required. And this process continues. Cryptocurrencies that appeared first (we include Bitcoin, Litecoin here) can only be mined at home by owners of the most powerful farms and modern ASICs. It turns out that only relatively young and not so stable and quoted cryptocurrencies remain available. However, some of them (especially Ether and Dash) show excellent liquidity and are happy to be mined by homegrown diggers.
By the end of 2017, Bitcoin reached heights that were hard to imagine when it first appeared among exchange instruments. At the same time, he showed his characteristic volatility of quotes. Against the background of various news, the rate either sharply rushed up, then fell rapidly. Of course, this could not but worry the miners. After all, even those who mine non-bitcoins clearly understand that the viability and quotes of most cryptocurrencies largely depend on the “health” of the first and largest currency.
You can’t fool the statistics
According to Jon Peddie Research, sales of discrete graphics cards increased by 31% in Q2 2017 (compared to Q1 2017). There has not been such a demand for 20 years. Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2016, growth increased by 35%.
In Q3 2017, total GPU shipments were up 9.3% QoQ. AMD’s total shipments increased by 7.63%, Intel increased by 5.01% QoQ, and Nvidia’s share increased by 29.53% QoQ. Total discrete GPUs for industry grew 23.3% quarter-on-quarter and up 11.7% year-over-year.
In addition to the growth in the market, AMD and Nvidia have begun releasing Mining Edition graphics cards that do not have monitor connectors and have an optimized power management profile and BIOS tuned to give better hash performance.
Quotes and choosing the right equipment
It turns out that the profitability of mining next year will directly depend on the exchange rates of cryptocurrencies. Can you be sure that the rate will continue to grow at the momentum? No one will give you such a guarantee. However, there are several important indicators that allow us to hope for this:
- Bitcoin has been taken seriously for a long time. It has become a means of payment in which billions are willingly invested. Therefore, fewer people are interested in the collapse of the cryptocurrency market.
- It is known that the production of bitcoins is limited, and there is not much time ahead until the last coin is found. This will spur interest in mining in the future.
- Mining is becoming profitable for manufacturers of video cards and ASICs, since they have never seen such a demand for their products. This year, in some places, there was a shortage of modern video cards suitable for the search for cryptocurrency. The situation, to put it bluntly, is comical.
It turns out that it is not too late to start mining. It is quite possible to expect favorable conditions for this business in the coming year. Let the equipment now pay off a little longer, but the return on investment will still be many times greater than the profit that, say, a bank deposit brings. And this means that such an opportunity to earn money cannot be overlooked.
To facilitate the calculation of currency volatility and potential profits, I have developed a calculator for the cryptocurrency exchange.
It should be noted that now more attention should be paid to the choice of equipment for mining. We had the opportunity to observe how the once powerful video cards literally became inefficient right before our eyes due to high power consumption and an increasingly complex calculation algorithm.
Now a similar fate has befallen even the first generations of ASICs, which can now be bought cheaply on Aliexpress. These devices can no longer compete even with modern video adapters. When choosing equipment, you need to look to the future. You need to buy such iron that can not only pay for itself, but also serve you as long as possible before turning into a pile of junk. With a sufficient budget, it is better to give preference to a modern powerful ASIC, but farms will remain effective for some time. Only video cards need to be taken with a power reserve – at least GTX1050 Ti, but better, of course, GTX1080 Ti (or their equivalents from Radeon).
It is likely that the future of mining is in mega-farms, real "agricultural enterprises". It will turn into a high-tech process, available only to large companies. But this will definitely not happen in 2018. And this means that everyone still has the opportunity to make money on this interesting and not troublesome type of virtual business.