Cryptocurrency Mining and Energy Consumption
As winter approaches, Kazakhstan’s power grid is under strain, leading to a shortage that affects the entire country. The fault belongs to the tens of thousands of bitcoin and other cryptocurrency miners, whose activity is very energy-consuming. So much so that blackouts have deprived several cities and villages of power last October and November.
Electricity consumption in this Central Asian country has exploded since the mass installation of cryptocurrency miners from China in the spring of this year. Remember that these virtual currencies are generated by a global network of computer servers that “mine” them using blockchain technology. The organizations that make their computers available are “miners,” who are paid to “mint” the virtual currency.
This activity consumes huge amounts of energy: according to experts from the University of Cambridge, the manufacture of bitcoins requires 2021, about 120 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, 4 times more than only 3 years ago. This is now equivalent to the annual consumption of countries like Argentina or the Netherlands. A single bitcoin transaction currently spends as much energy as a single house in a month.
Cryptocurrency Mining Machine
To start mining cryptocurrencies, it is essential to start with the hardware and software to be used. Currently, specific hardware has been designed to perform this task, called ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit), allowing faster blocks processing. Consequently, greater rewards are obtained. Likewise, GPUs (-) or CPUs can be used for mining cryptocurrencies. However, CPUs are hardly used for mining cryptocurrencies due to their slowness and generate practically no profits.
As for GPUs, it is necessary to note that some platforms do not support the use of ASICs. It is only possible to use GPUs or, in any case, CPUs. As for the software, Windows or Linux can be used, depending on the specifications of each platform. Whether Bitcoin/s, Litecoin/s, or Ethereum/Ether, each of these cryptocurrencies must be mined on a certain platform. So in order to mine cryptocurrencies, it is necessary to access the local platform. These platforms use the virtual wallet system, which can be provided by the platform itself or by other sites, which function as external wallets.
Cryptocurrency Mining GPU
The GPUs in the list below are among the most cost-effective for mining cryptocurrencies in 2022. An average electricity price of USD 0.20 was estimated to obtain these approximations, which would be similar to its cost in countries such as Chile, Argentina, Colombia, and Spain (according to some distributors). It also takes into account the current hash rate of networks such as Ethereum, which is currently above 1 PH/s, although this figure changes over time and varies with each cryptocurrency.
Best Cards for Cryptocurrency Mining
Currently, AMD and Nvidia are the world’s leading manufacturers of graphics cards or GPUs. In 2022, there are many GPU models on the market, but not all of them are suitable for mining cryptocurrencies profitably. The more the computing power of a network grows, the more powerful the hardware used to mine on it must be. This renders more modest hardware obsolete, while the most powerful and modern equipment is the one that manages to stay active in the mines. The GPUs listed below are among the most cost-effective for mining cryptocurrencies in 2022.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
- Frequency: 1400 MHz to 1700 MHz
- VRAM: GDDR6X – 24 GB
- Power consumption: 290 W
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 is the most powerful model of the latest generation of graphics cards from the green brand, built with Ampere architecture. Its 24 GB VRAM memory, the 10,496 CUDA cores it possesses, along with a performance per watt 1.9 times higher than the GeForce RTX 2080 ti, make it a spaceship. Its power consumption is one of the highest, and its price in today’s market is astronomical. This makes it an option with a high ROI (return on investment) of more than 360 days.
Nvidia GeForce RTX A5000 (new)
- Frequency: 1170 MHz – 1695 MHz
- VRAM: GDDR6 – 24 GB
- Power consumption: 222W
This graphics card belongs to Nvidia’s Quadro family of models, which you can tell by its physical presentation. Like the RTX 3090, the GeForce RTX A5000 features Ampere architecture and 24 GB of VRAM. Its processor, an 8nm GA102 model, and 28,300 transistors allow it to achieve optimal performance in graphics processing and Mining. In addition to this, its memory can work at a speed of 2000 MHz, which further favors Mining in networks such as Ethereum.
Fast cards for Mining
AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
- Frequency: up to 2015 MHz
- VRAM: GDDR6 – 16 GB
- Power consumption: 140 W
The AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT in a GPU that is on par with the most powerful on the market, competing even with several Nvidia models in the mid-high range, such as the GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3070. The chips in this graphics card are produced by the Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer TSMC in 7 nm. Compared to the previous generation, the RX 6800 XT has more stream processors (4068), compute units (72), and up to 26.8 billion graphics processor transistors, twice as many as the RX 5700.
AMD Radeon VII
- Frequency: 1400 MHz to 1800 MHz
- VRAM: HBM2 – 16 GB
- Power consumption: 195 W
Cryptocurrency Mining Rig
The feature of the Radeon VII that most captured the attention of technophiles when it was released was its 7 nm processor. It was the first GPU to use this technology at the time. To this, AMD added a 16 GB graphics memory. The combination of both qualities makes it an extremely powerful video card, both for processing graphics and Mining cryptocurrencies. A mining rig is nothing more than a computer identical to the one you are probably reading this article on. It is made of almost the same components as a computer. The only major difference between your computer and a rig is the number of GPUs (the main component of a mining rig). Indeed, in a mining rig, this component is the one that provides the necessary computing power. The more GPUs there are, the more power there is.
You have seen how difficult it is to set up your own mining rig, especially when you are a novice. Indeed, it is necessary to take care above all to choose the good components by taking into account the availability of electricity and its cost. Then, it will be necessary to calculate the profitability of the chosen components. Finally, there is the practical assembly phase. If you don’t know your way around, you may make mistakes that could be fatal to your investment. The solution to all these difficulties is to buy a complete mining rig. Indeed, to enable even the beginner in the cryptocurrency world to be able to mine cryptocurrencies, there are complete mining rigs. These ready-to-use rigs are reliable, depending on the brand. The best rigs are those with higher-quality components.
Just Mining offers you the best mining rigs (Bobs) that guarantee high profitability rates. Indeed, equipped with Artificial Intelligence, they detect and select the most profitable corners and then mine them. Between building your own mining rig and buying one, the best choice is the second one. Indeed, the self-built rig is more expensive than the complete rig purchased for the same qualities. Therefore, the profitability of a purchased complete mining rig is higher than that of a do-it-yourself rig. Of course, you decide on the computing power for a self-built mining rig. Finally, we would like to point out that you have the possibility to integrate a mining pool with your purchased mining rig.