Cryptocurrency has grown in success worldwide since the creation of Bitcoin in 2009 as the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency. Bitcoin, the first decentralized cryptocurrency, exploded in value in late 2017. It climbed from around $1,000 at the start of the year to a high of $19,000 in December.
Bitcoin mining is about using a computer to solve certain puzzles set by the code behind the cryptocurrency, which functions on the basis of blockchain technology. Blockchain technology is a very secure way of tracking the growth of the currency distributed across the machines of everyone who is mining the currency. Machines solving puzzles generate new coins.
When any technology goes mainstream, there’s always someone ready to sell a product that claims to be able to help you short-cut the knowledge and go straight to the benefits. Blockchain is no different. Three months ago, Kodak – who were once famous for making cameras – launched a product called KashMiner, and it’s not the only one out there. These commercial cryptocurrency mining machines are designed to mine bitcoins automatically. Some, like the KashMiner, rely on a lease basis, where you pay a fee, and a percentage of the coins you mine, to have access to a ready-built machine.
So should you consider buying a commercial cryptocurrency mining machine?
Here are a few things to think about.
Upsides of Commercial Cryptocurrency Mining Machines
The biggest upside of commercial cryptocurrency mining machines is simplicity. The normal way of mining cryptocurrency coins is to build a machine with a lot of processing power. This power includes, for example, several graphics-cards working in parallel and set to work at mining. For hardware specialists, this can be great. However, if you’re not an expert at getting maximum performance out of your processors, you could be mining with unseen inefficiencies that prevent you from maximizing your performance. Commercial machines allow you to sidestep this uncertainty because of optimized hardware.
Another benefit of commercial mining machines is allowing operators to keep their fantastic gaming computer for just that – gaming! Because graphics cards are a popular way of getting a lot of processors in a single machine, many people have repurposed their machines to mine coins instead of playing games.
Downsides of Commercial Cryptocurrency Mining Machines
The clearest downside of buying a commercial cryptocurrency mining machine is that hardware speed improves at an incredible rate. Any machine built a year ago will be considerably slower than a machine built today. If you can’t customize your commercial cryptocurrency mining machine, you’re locked into older, slower hardware, even as other people build faster computers and mine coins more quickly.
Cost is the other downside. The power-draw of any mining operation is very high. You will need to make sure that your mining set-up (whether it’s a commercial machine or a self-built one) remains profitable enough, after you’ve paid for the machine, the power, and any leasing fees, to be worth the time you put into it.
At the end of the day, you need to consider your resources, in terms of time, power draw and money. This includes whether you will optimize a mining rig or enter the economy without becoming a hardware expert.