There are two ways to get cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), or Litecoin (LTC) – you can either buy them or mine them.
By using the mining process to get crypto, you’re getting them without paying for them. The crypto mining process is done by miners who, in order to get crypto as a reward, have to complete blocks of confirmed transactions that are added to the blockchain. This reward is called a block reward.
Simply put, if the cryptocurrency miners want to earn Bitcoin or other altcoins, they have to solve a complex mathematical puzzle, and as a reward, they get a small cut of the newly mined Bitcoin. The catch is that in order to become a miner and successfully mine crypto, you need good mining hardware, such as a CPU (Central Processing Unit), GPU (Graphic Processing Unit), or ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits).
But for now, we’ll focus on ASICs. What is an ASIC miner? ASICs are specialized mining hardware programmed to mine a specific crpyto. It’s programmed to do only one thing, which is mining.
In this article, we’ll explain in-depth what’s ASIC mining and its advantages and disadvantages. In a few steps, we’ll tell you how to mine BTC using an ASIC miner and why an ASIC miner is better than other general-purpose hardware. Finally, we’ll present you with the best ASIC miners that you can buy.
ASIC miners use ASICs, which is an abbreviation of Application-Specific Integrated Circuits. This is specially designed hardware mining equipment for performing only one particular operation, unlike most of your computer hardware like the circuitry in your PC or smartphone which are used to perform numerous different operations.
For example, when you open multiple applications on your laptop like a text editor or web browser, your laptop has to run multiple tasks and in order to do this, it needs hardware that will be able to manage all these tasks simultaneously, such as a CPU. An ASIC, on the other hand, won’t be able to do this.
The problem here is that the hardware that is built to run multiple operations at the same time won’t be the best choice if you want to run only one operation extremely well. And this is where ASICs come in, which, by definition and name, are built to run only one particular type of operation. Much of the computing power which is needed to manage the blockchain network’s transactions account security, and links are often limited to a smaller number of power-intensive operations.
The mining of digital currencies supports the blockchain network which works by using a Proof-of-Work (PoW) scheme. If you think that the mining process is very complex, you couldn’t be more wrong. It’s quite a simple process that usually utilizes a power supply, one software program, mining hardware, and, of course, a little bit of your time. And this is precisely why ASIC mining hardware becomes very useful for mining cryptocurrencies developed using blockchain technology.
You need to stay mindful of one thing, however – every ASIC miner is designed for mining a specific cryptocurrency, or rather, a specific algorithm, meaning a BTC ASIC miner can only be used for Bitcoin mining, while LTC ASIC miner mines only Litecoin. Due to the fact that every cryptocurrency is developed using a specific cryptographic hash algorithm, each ASIC miner is designed to match that algorithm, for example, BTC uses SHA-256, LTC uses Scrypt, and ETH uses Ethash.
Advantages and Disadvantages of ASIC Mining
Advantages of ASIC Mining
ASIC mining might cost you more than all of the other types of mining when it comes to hardware equipment, but it has its own advantages, such as:
- Easy to set up. Due to the fact that ASIC miners are specialized only for mining a particular coin, you only have to plug them in, set the mining options, and start mining.
- Very high financial gains. With an ASIC miner, you can be pretty sure that you’ll earn your rewards quicker than by using another type of mining hardware.
- High effectiveness. In comparison to the other mining hardware, such as GPU, CPU, and FPGA, ASIC miners have higher efficiency and computing power.
- Low power usage. Thanks to the mining hardware evolution in the past few years, nowadays, ASIC miners are designed to use less energy consumption relative to their computation power, in comparison to other types of mining hardware.
Disadvantages of ASIC Mining
- Centralization of mining. When several companies have almost all of the control over the distribution rights to the hash power for a digital currency using the provision of incomparable ASIC technology, the mining process becomes centralized.
- Startup costs a lot. Due to the fact that ASIC miners are hardware equipment specialized only for cryptocurrency mining, they can be rather expensive devices.
- Difficulty of buying. They’re sold out too quickly, so it’s very hard to buy a new one or a second-hand one.
- Monopoly. Nowadays, Bitmain has control over 90% of the ASIC market, which allows them to put out new ASIC hardware when they want and to put the price tag they want too. That means that if Bitmain is mining with superior ASIC hardware not available to the rest of the world, no one will know.
- Temporality. Due to the fast evolution of mining hardware, ASIC might become outdated in the near future. That’s why they are not only considered an expensive option but a temporary one too.
How to Mine Bitcoin With an ASIC Miner?
Due to the fact that Bitcoin mining is a business and you certainly want to turn a profit, it’s better to use a Bitcoin mining profitability calculator before you start shopping for an ASIC miner in order to estimate the return of investment ranges.
This calculator takes into consideration the crucial metrics you need, such as the hash rate of your mining rig, the current price of Bitcoin, the power usage of your mining rig, electricity costs, and the mining pool fee. When you run the calculator, it will show you the daily, monthly, and yearly profits based on these parameters. CryptoCompare is the most reliable calculator that you can use.
After you’re through with the step we described above, you are ready for ASIC miner shopping. Try to find an ASIC miner with a high hashing power, one that’s energy-efficient, and of course, one that is affordable (or within your budget).
We’ll get into the ASIC miners we recommend, but let’s first quickly go over how to mine with an ASIC miner:
- First, pick an ASIC mining rig and Bitcoin mining hardware;
- Then decide on the mining software you’ll use;
- The next thing you have to do is join in a good mining pool;
- Now it’s time to run a calculator to see if your current setup is going to be profitable;
- And last, create a BTC wallet (or use your existing one if you have one) for collecting your block rewards. The wallet you’ll use can be a hardware or software wallet; it’s up to you which one you pick.
There are three things that you have to take into consideration before you start with ASIC mining:
- selecting the right ASIC mining rig,
- selecting the best mining pool, and
- selecting the suitable mining software.
What Makes an ASIC Miner Better
The main thing that is really important when it comes to digital currency mining is that the crypto asset that you intend to mine is more worthy than the hardware you have to buy and the power that you have to spend.
However, you have to keep in mind that the mining process will cost you a lot of money because you’ll have to buy the computing power you’ll use upfront and, at the same time, you’ll have to spend thousands of dollars on electricity in just one year.
Therefore, it’s very important to choose hardware equipment that has a cost-effective system, and this is where ASIC miners come in.
Due to the dedication to only one task, ASIC miners are:
- highly powerful, which means they offer very good hash rate,
- energy efficient – ASIC uses much less energy than CPU or graphics cards, and
- incredibly effective.
The low use of electricity and their high performance is what makes ASIC miners more low-cost to use than your commercial laptop or PC.
The Best Cryptocurrency ASIC Miners
Antminer S19 Pro
Antminer S19 Pro is produced by the Bitmain company, and it has a power usage of 3.25 kW, a hash rate power of 110 TH per second, and gives you 29.5 J/YH efficiency.
The updated firmware and the drastically improved boot time make this Bitmain ASIC miner the best Bitcoin miner at the time being. This ASIC miner uses a 7nm TSMC chipset, which means that the miner will have higher processing power; and the smaller chip size means higher processing power.
It only has one downside and that is its price. It’s too expensive in comparison to the other ASIC miners on the crypto market.
WhatsMiner M30S++ is an ASIC miner produced by Chinese MicroBT, and known as a BTC mining machine beast due to the very high hash rate power of 112 TH/s – the best hash rate on the market. The high hash rate might lead you to think that it isn’t energy-efficient, but you’re wrong, its power usage is only 3.472 kW, which is quite low.
Moreover, its efficiency is 31 J/TH which makes it one of the most efficient BTC ASIC miners.
But, like everything else, this ASIC miner has a downside too, and it’s the same as the downside of Antminer S19 Pro. MicroBT also manufactures the following ASIC miners: WhatsMiner M31S, WhatsMiner M32 66T, etc.
Ebang EBIT E11++
Ebang EBIT E11++ is produced by the Chinese Ebang company which is considered one of the best BTC ASIC manufacturers. Its power usage is 2 kW, its hash rate power is 44 TH/s, and unlike the previous two, it’s very affordable, Meaning it doesn’t cost too much, yes, but at the same time, you don’t get the same high hash rate. Ebang EBIT E11++ has a tubular, compact, and classic design, and it’s based on 10nm ASIC chips, meaning it has pretty solid processing power.
AvalonMiner 1166 Pro
AvalonMiner 1166 Pro is designed by the Canaan company for ASIC miners, and it offers you a hash rate of 81 TH/s and power usage of 3.4 kW – and you can get all of this at a great price. Avalonminer 1166 Pro has a very high hash rate efficiency of 42 J/TH.
Its downside is that it comes with only a 180-day warranty, and all of the other ASIC miners manufacturers offer at least a one-year warranty. Canaan produces many other ASIC miners, such as AvalonMiner 1126 Pro, AvalonMiner 1246, etc.
Antminer S9 is another Bitcoin ASIC miner produced by Bitmain. It uses an SHA-256 algorithm for the mining process, it has a hash power of 14 TH/s, and power consumption of 1.3 kW.
Each Antminer S9 uses 189 ASIC chips in order to deliver better hash rate and efficiency than any other BTC miner ever made. It has a user-friendly interface – once you’re in, you only need to enter your wallet address and mining pool settings and you’re good to go. Bitmain also produces ASIC miners for Litecoin/Scrypt (Antminer L7) and X11/Dash ASIC miners (Antminer D7).
Frequently Asked Questions
A Few Words Before You Go…
Hopefully, you now have an idea about what the mining process using ASIC miners entails. You’ve learned what an ASIC miner is and its advantages and disadvantages. So, if you choose to try your hand at mining cryptocurrencies by using an ASIC miner, you’ll be able to choose the right ASIC hardware.