How to Mine Ethereum: Complete Guide for Beginners

Ethereum depends on mining or “proof-of-work,” meaning that individual users competitively contribute computing power to validate blocks and transactions. They also earn ETH in the process.

Though Bitcoin originally introduced mining, it is increasingly hard to profit from Bitcoin mining. As a result, Ethereum mining has become a compelling alternative for crypto users, especially for mainstream computer components.

Before getting started, it’s important to consider costs, profits, and requirements.

Ethereum’s Mining Algorithm

Ethereum currently uses a mining algorithm called Ethash.

For practical purposes, this simply means that Ethereum is moderately ASIC-resistant. ASICs built specifically for Ethereum mining will not perform much better than high-end, general purpose GPUs. This also means that ASICs built for Bitcoin mining will not mine Ethereum efficiently.

Ethereum’s mining algorithm may change in the future. Developers are debating whether to introduce ProgPOW, which could give Ethereum ASICs less of an advantage over GPUs. Whether you plan to mine with a GPU or an ASIC, you’ll need to purchase a device before you start.

Device Profitability

Efficient mining devices have a high hashrate (MH/s), meaning that they will solve calculations quickly and earn more ETH. Energy efficiency (W) is also important, as power bills cut into profits.

Several high performance GPUs are commonly used right now:

  • GTX TitanV 8, 656 MH/s, 2150W, selling at ~$3000
  • RTX 2080 8, 552 MH/s, 2430W, selling at ~$800
  • GTX 1080Ti 8, 440 MH/s, 2150W, selling at ~$1000
RTX 2080 Nvidia GPU

There are also a few high-performance Ethereum ASICs on the market, including:

  • Innosilicon A10 Ethmaster, 485 MH/s, 850W, ~$5650.00
  • Innosilicon A10 Ethmaster, 365 MH/s, 650W, price unknown
  • Bitmain Antminer E3, 180MH/s, 760W, ~$1260, may become obsolete in Oct. 2020
A10 Ethereum ASIC by Innosilicon
A10 ETH miner by Innosilicon

Upcoming ASIC models include:

  • Zhejiang Microcomputer V10, 2200 MH/s, 1500W, price unknown
  • Linzhi, 1400 MH/s, 1000W, price…

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