Society is in the middle of a Bitcoin boom. The popular cryptocurrency has steadily increased in value, reaching a record value of over $8000 already this year and shows no signs of stopping.
While Bitcoin may be the highest profile example of this new phenomenon, what are the options available for would be cryptocurrency miners?
Cryptocurrency mining is a big opportunity for those with the right strategy. But with so many currencies to choose from, how can you find a currency that balances costs and revenue while maximising your chances of earning big?
The competitive mining markets
Before choosing a cryptocurrency to start mining, it’s worth brushing up on the competitive nature of cryptomining.
All cryptocurrencies are validated against a distributed, peer-to-peer blockchain ledger. Miners that discover new blocks can then add them to the chain, and receive some units of the cryptocurrency in return.
But only the first person to identify and add a new block gets the pay-out, making it a race between all miners to be the first. And for currencies like bitcoin with a finite amount – it means there is increasing competition in the mining space. This can make it very challenging to get started mining big cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum or Ripple.
Balancing competition, cost and risk
Lesser-known and upcoming currencies may not see the same level of competition found in Bitcoin mining – but they also potentially lack the longevity of more established currencies, and may not offer the same revenue opportunities.
More competitive mining environments, on the other hand, offer much bigger revenue potential – but much greater risk as well.
That’s because the cost to power a mining operation can be vast. Between the cost of dedicated hardware, the power and cooling needed to support it, and the connectivity needed to contact cryptocurrency networks, there’s a balance to find between the costs of mining and the potential gains.
The rising cost barrier
Due to the volatility of the cryptocurrency market, I can’t offer any concrete suggestions on what currency you should mine because what information is relevant this week might be out of date next week. But what I can do is offer a suggestion of how to balance cost and potential profit.
All cryptocurrency mining will require some kind of upfront investment. But as the mining environment becomes more complex and competitive, so the cost of entry rises.
If you choose to mine a lesser-known and less competitive cryptocurrency, for instance, you will be able to do so with fairly meagre processing power, and fairly meagre requirements for power and cooling.
On the other hand, for something like Bitcoin, your mining equipment will need to be significantly more powerful to keep up with large and powerful groups already mining, demanding much higher purchase, power and security costs.
Overcoming cost constraints
If you want to chase the high profit potential of better known cryptocurrencies, you have two options:
1. Get more investment capital together to overcome the high entry cost or
2. Find a way to bring the cost of entry down.
Option one may not be possible depending on your current circumstances, and may not be advisable depending on your appetite for risk. However, the second option is not only possible, but easier than ever with hosting options like colocation.
Embrace the cryptocurrency opportunity with colocation
Colocation involves hosting your mining hardware in a shared data centre managed by a third party. With dedicated facilities manned by expert engineers and maintenance teams, colocation offers several cost benefits over hosting hardware in your own facilities:
• Lower power costs – data centres are designed to handle massive energy requirements in the most efficient way possible.
>See also: Bitcoin’s next evolution
• Stable, low-latency networking for less – data centres offer enterprise-class internet with significantly higher uptimes as a standard part of their service.
• Comprehensive security as standard – data centres can provide a myriad of security measures, ranging from CCTV and guards, to comprehensive DDoS protection – often at no extra cost.
A colocation data centre can help you significantly reduce the power, cooling and security costs of your mining operation. By bringing the costs down, you can enter more competitive mining environments, and work on cryptocurrencies that can offer you the greatest revenue opportunities.
To find out more about more about cryptocurrency, and how colocation can transform mining profitability and risk, take a look at 4D Data Centres cryptocurrency mining white paper.
Sourced by Jack Bedell-Pearce, managing director at 4D Data Centres