A look at the history of mining hardware, some example setups and the ever-important question of profitability! Mining is what makes Bitcoin tick. Bitcoin nodes verify transactions and record them in a public ledger (the blockchain). Mining requires CPU and GPU power, and miners have devised ingenious ways to improve their mining rigs.
Later, miners discovered that the GPUs used in gaming computers made excellent bitcoin mining hardware. Graphics cards were then surpassed by ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits), which are specially designed pieces of hardware for solving Bitcoin blocks. As a result, today’s top miner is a custom-made piece of hardware that doesn’t even look like a traditional mining rig.
Developing the modern Bitcoin miner
The first miners were straightforward devices that did one thing, and they did it well: mine Bitcoin. As technology progressed, so did the equipment used in mining. Today’s most potent miners are mining farms which are collections of thousands of mining rigs.
The first consumer-grade Bitcoin mining hardware appeared on the market in 2011 and was sold for USD 1,500 (included: a suite of other cryptocurrencies). The following year, miners released their second generation ASIC miners. This machine could generate over 900 million hashes per second while consuming half the energy that a typical 2011 miner used. Like this app, to learn more about bitcoin trading.
The speed race began, and miners created their third generation ASIC miners that could compute over 1 billion hashes per second while using only a fraction of the energy that a 2012 machine needed. This significant reduction in power consumption was achieved by moving from GPU mining to chips specially designed for Bitcoin mining.
There has been a shift from GPU mining to specially designed ASIC chips, which are more efficient at mining than GPUs. Miners have also created rigs that contain multiple ASICs to increase their hashing power.
Advancements in mining hardware and research have led to the development of AsicBoost, a technology built into chips that allow miners to gain up to a 30% efficiency boost.
New ways to mine Bitcoin
GPU miners no longer dominate Bitcoin mining. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. For example, Bitcoin Core developer Gregory Maxwell proposed Segregated Witness, which can reduce the size of Bitcoin transactions and increase security.
This proposed upgrade to Bitcoin’s protocol allows additional transactions to be added to blocks without changing the structure of current transactions or the blocks they are contained in. This enables miners to gain up to 4 times the number of transactions for a block, increasing fees and allowing more money to be earned with less work.
Bitcoin also sees upgrades in the form of specialised mining hardware. The future device, called the WhatsMiner M10, is a plug-and-play Bitcoin and Litecoin miner built on an ARM chip. It can be ordered as a standalone unit for USD 529 or as part of the ‘Plug & Play’ Miners Kit for $1,074.99.
The new device runs on WhatsMiner OS, a Linux-based system that allows mining coins with SHA256 and Scrypt algorithms. Just plug it in and watch it work!
A step further, Bitmain recently announced the launch of the AntMiner APW5 power supply specifically designed for use with Bitcoin miners based on their new 16nm BM1385 chip. The device is equipped with a 550-watt power supply unit and automatically adjust its voltage to give optimal performance.
The new ASIC chip boasts a computing power of over 6TH/s while only drawing 550watts, features J4105 connectivity, IP-67 waterproof rating, 0.113mm² chip size, integrated DC to DC converter, and a wide voltage range from 6 to 11 volts.
WhatsMiner is a new line of ASIC miners that can be plugged in and left alone to run. No additional software or knowledge is required. The company has established an ecosystem where all devices are supported with what miner cloud, WhatsMiner Monitor App, WhatsMiner Monitor Web, WhatsMiner Pool Service, etc.
now you can pre-order whatsminer M3, M10 and T1 devices. All of them are available with one year warranty, so did the equipment used in mining. Today’s most potent miners are mining farms which are collections of thousands of mining rigs.
The first consumer-grade Bitcoin mining hardware appeared in 2013. At that time, you could earn 50 BTC for the cost of purchasing and running a decent GPU ( Graphics Processing Unit – graphics cards were used to mine Bitcoin 3 years ago). As a result, the competition was low, and mining difficulty was also low.