Revisiting Hardware Mining: A Cryptocurrency Miner’s Perspective
By Goodplanets on The Capital
Fundamentally, cryptocurrency mining is all about a ‘bottom line’.
Regardless of currency or method, miners will always face shifting guidelines that control the ends of cryptocurrency mining. These shifting guidelines are constant environmental factors that apply to miner’s machines and their product. Factors like temperature, energy costs, cryptocurrency mining network difficulty, and cryptocurrency market rates all govern the underlying outcome of hardware mining. These factors even determine whether a miner profits for his endeavor or not.
A miner’s job is to thrive within these guidelines.
Before I go any further, I want to quickly point out that Hardware Mining is much different from Virtual Machine Minting and debatably not a consistent means to profitably generate revenue so I won't be speaking to it here at all.
I believe hardware mining, on the other hand, in general, is very consistent and miners like myself have profitably mined cryptocurrencies that are designed to be minted with the Proof of Work algorithms and Proof of Capacity algorithms alike. After experiencing all that minting cryptocurrency has to offer me I have come to some conclusions regarding cryptocurrency mining with hardware that I’d like to share with you here.
Every miner tends to make notes of each of cryptocurrency mining system’s builds and specifications including statistics associated, like cost, revenue, the overall experience we have in general with a machine. After trial and error chasing the bottom line, I for one personally began to develop some opinions as to which method I believed to be best for me and my circumstances and I’m sure other miners do this as well.
So after trying my hand with ASICS in 2013, NVIDIA graphics cards in 2015, and HDD mining in 2016 it was clear to me which way I wanted to go in. With ASICS and Graphics cards the bottom line was fine but devices require copious amounts of electricity and cool air and what’s worse, after a while the “worker unit’s” become obsolete, this obsolescence brought a level of risk to many systems that I never intended to deal with.
On the other hand, there has been HDD mining. HDD mining is highly efficient and cost-effective and there’s this neat aspect to the technology that limits the advancements of the hardware as of yet. Because of this limit in HDD technology HDD mining has remained a very stable source of revenue while maintaining a very low overhead cost.
Anecdotally, I can not tell you how pleased I have been with HDD mining. Ignorance has been bliss. I can’t tell you how hot my cards run. I can’t tell you how many kilowatt-hours my cards require to run 24 hours a day. My HDD hardware devices just don’t require that much electricity and therefore don’t put off much heat compared to their more spun out graphical counterparts in the industry.
Also, I can’t tell you how much I sold my old disks for because I’m actually still using them to HDD mine. The first disk I ever formatted for mining I still mine with to this ever-loving day because it still competes with newer disks byte for byte, there is no difference.
For these reasons I think HDD mining has been so efficient that I allowed every other mining method I had employed in the past to fall by the wayside as I continued to progress as an HDD miner. I find pure joy in formatting disks and applying them to the network and watching my earning potential rise and stay fairly stable over what has been a long term.
Let me put this in perspective for you with some numbers.
To compete with the mining yield of a 2080TI top-end NVIDIA Graphics card these days one would need around 80tB of prepared disk space to generate the same profit after costs. Is that better or worse? Well in terms of initial cost the HDD was a bit more expensive(+20% ) but who really care’s about initial costs when the daily costs are virtually next nothing to run and maintain.
Additionally, after almost 5 years of HDD mining and I’ve never needed to upgrade my cards for any reason. I use the same cards I bought 4 years ago and I plan to use them for the life of the hardware. (FYI: HDD mining once prepared only reads the disk. This means usage is light despite being dedicated to network(s) day in and day out.)
So dollar for dollar HDD miners are highly competitive against other hardware systems and furthermore the barrier to entry is very low.
So basically, all one needs is a hard disk that’s accessible by an operating system that is also online. That’s it, who hasn’t already arrived at these qualifications who is reading this now? No one.
Think of how decentralized a system that is so easily supported can be. These simple yet robust systems can withstand some downright awful conditions and continually yield a profit. One doesn’t have to take my word for it one can test what I opine themselves quite easily.
So as proof of work mining is squeezed by a halving of BTC mining subsidy and other successful chains are moving away from hardware dedication, I believe it is worthwhile for hardware enthusiasts like myself to revisit HDD mining and possibly enjoy a similar experience as I.
To find more on Proof of Capacity Mining look here: