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5 Best ASIC Miners For Bitcoin Mining in 2018

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Mon, 09/17/2018 - 17:25
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  • ASIC mining has become an extremely competitive multi-billion dollar industry, which gives us a lot to choose from

Cover image via www.123rf.com

ASIC miners represent the latest generation of cryptocurrency mining equipment that has effectively replaced graphics processors. Canada-based GPU manufacturing giant Nvidia has recently pulled out of mining due to its low revenue, which is inextricably connected to the dominance of ASIC chips. At the same time, ASIC chip manufacturers are aiming to raise billions of dollars after going public.

Bitmain, the biggest crypto-oriented company in the world, still enjoys a near-monopoly on the cryptocurrency market. However, its major competitors are already breathing down its neck. Therefore, we will try to find out the best cryptocurrency miner out there.

How to choose a Bitcoin miner?

Before we get down to our top five picks, it is worth mentioning the main factors that will help you to determine the best Bitcoin ASIC miner for your personal needs:

  1. Hash rate. Hash rate is measured in hashes per second. Obviously, the more powerful your miner is, the bigger block reward you get.

  2. Efficiency. Hash rate is not the definitive factor when it comes to picking the best Bitcoin miner since it also has to make the best use of the amount of electricity you consume. Your mining profitability greatly depends on your electricity expenses, so you want to get the maximum amount of Bitcoin.

  3. Price. At early stages of Bitcoin mining, it is all about offsetting your initial investment. You have to calculate the mining profitability and decide whether it’s worth purchasing a flagship miner, or you can simply stick around with less expensive one that will give you more efficiency.

Biggest ASIC chip producers

  • Bitmain. The Beijing-based company still controls the lion’s share of the market (85 percent) despite the reports that this multi-billion dollar behemoth is gradually losing its monopoly status due to the cutthroat competition in this niche of the cryptocurrency industry. Bitmain managed to grow so quickly because of the enormous success of their Antminer line (which includes the legendary miner Antminer S9). It’s also worth mentioning that Bitmain operates numerous mining pools (Antpool is the biggest one) that are responsible for more than 51 percent of the Bitcoin hashrate.  

  • Halong Mining. The fact that Bitmain is hell-bent on getting rid of any other mining companies on the market it doesn’t mean that there is no competition. Back in November 2017, another Chinese manufacturer introduced the world’s most efficient miner Halong DragonMint 16T, continuing an intense ASIC mining hardware race.

  • Canaan Creative. Canaan Creative is the second biggest Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer the world after Bitmain. Apart from a slew of its miners, the company has also recently introduced the first mining TV.

Now that we’ve covered all the basics, let us determine the best ASIC miner on the market.

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Antminer S9, or Antminer S9 Hydro?  

Antminer S9 has already became a legend among ASIC miners, but is this still good enough? You can currently buy 14 TH/s for less than $700. One of the drawbacks of this miner is that it is very sensitive to high temperature, so your primal task is to ensure that it gets proper cooling. The best choice is to have one specific room for mining (if you, of course, do not own a mining farm).

After the release of Antminer S9, Bitmain’s previous hit product Antminer S7 has drastically dropped in price, so you might as well consider purchasing a couple of used S7 miners.

Antminer S9
Antminer S9 image by Wikimedia Commons

At the end of August, a brand-new miner appeared on Bitmain’s official website named S9 Hydro. We are dealing with the good old Antminer S9, but they also added a hashing board that increases the total hashrate up to 18 THS. While there are no fundamental technological differences, S9 Hydro produces is not as noisy as other ASIC miners.  

Will Antminer Z9 and Antminer Z9 Mini be able to battle ASIC resistance?  

This is a relatively new miner by Bitmain (Bitmain announced the pre-order of this miner back on May 3). One of the specific features of this miner is that it supports the mining of Equihash-based coins, including ZCash (ZEC), Bitcoin Gold (BTG) and so on. In fact, this was first ASIC miner that is compatible with this specific algorithm, yet again serving a major blow to GPU mining.    

With hashrate of 10K Sol/s and power consumption of 300 Watts will set you back about $850 while Antminer Z9 costs a whopping $3,319, offering 40.8k sol/s. However, with the way Bitcoin hashrate is rising, you never know whether this hardware becomes obsolete in a few months.

If you plan to purchase this specific miner, there are certain things that you have to consider the rising mining difficulty. Yes, ASIC Bitcoin miners are much more powerful than ordinary GPUs, but you may as well read that as significantly higher mining difficulty of Equihash-based cryptocurrencies. On top of that, many such coins could become ASIC-resistant similarly to Bitcoin Gold, which would virtually eliminate the miner’s efficiency.

Must Read
Top Cryptocurrencies by Mining Revenue in 2019: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Zcash (ZEC), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) - READ MORE

Halong Mining DragonMint T1– the first miner to offer 16 TH/s

Halong Mining made an announcement about the release of Halong Mining DragonMint T1 in November 2017, marketing it as the most efficient machine out there. This ASIC miner really managed to pull off up to 16 TH/s, which is a visible improvement from 14 TH/s offered by Antminer S9s, our first entry on the list. DragonMint T1 has a tad higher efficiency compared to older Antminer S9s, but it didn’t even come close to the previously declared numbers. With that being said, it’s up to you to consider whether you want to pay $300 more for this miner.

One of the noticeable advantages of DragonMint T1 is its cooling solution which presented in the form of dual nine blade variable fans (they keep temperature just at 25 degrees).   

It is worth mentioning that this miner was developed with Samsung (the company confirmed the cooperation in April). After landing a deal with the South Korean tech giant, Halong Mining poses as a viable competitor to Bitmain.  

We want to ‘make SHA256 great again BtcDrak, Bitcoin core developer

AvalonMiner 821 – creating competition for Bitmain

Avalonminer 821
Avalonminer 821 image by Wikimedia Commons

AvalonMiner 821 was officially revealed by Canaan Creative last December to hold a candle to Bitmain’s dominance after the success of its previous-generation AvalonMiner 741. This miner has a hashrate of 11TH/s. Unlike DragonMint T1, AvalonMiner 821 only has one cooler, but it still provides the owner with a substantial level of cooling. Furthermore, the miner is resistant to different temperatures.

The miner is absolutely compatible with huge mining pools like Nicehash.com, Slushpool.com.

AvalonMiner 821 trails Antminer S9s by 10 percent in terms of mining efficiency (this comes in addition to the lower hashrate). However, it is still a viable option for those who want to save some cash. It currently costs around $700. While you still have to buy a $200 PSU for this miner, a total of roughly $900 is still less than Antminer S9.

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Top Cryptocurrencies by Mining Revenue in 2019: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Zcash (ZEC), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) - READ MORE

Whatsminer M10, Avalon A9 and more– new ASIC monsters are (almost) here

This flagship product of a Shenzhen-based company Shenzhen is also worthy of your attention. Pangolin only recently announced this miner on Twitter, and it is only available for pre-order for $1,888 (first buyers will already get this miner by Sept. 20). Whatsminer M10, while offering 33TH/s of hashrate, uses about 81W per 1 TH/s, which makes it more efficient than its closest competitor GMO B3. Some engineers behind Whatsminer M10 come from Bitmain, so it explains its high level of productivity. However, there is some criticism surrounding Whatsminer M10– from negative reviews about M3's slow preorders to speculations about whether the miner matches its description on paper in real-life conditions.

Back in August, Canaan Creative made an announcement about working on a new brand-new Avalon A9 that is 7nm chip technology that is able to reach 30 TH while it’s power consumption is only 1730W, thus ensuring a maximum level of efficiency. This technology definitely blows out of water even the newest Innosilicon Terminator 2. However, it is quite likely that every major ASIC manufacturer already has a new 7nm ASIC up its sleeve, so we have to wait and see whether Canaan will have a competitive advantage. Japanese tech giant GMO is also developing 7nm ASIC miners that are going to be launched as early as in 2018.   

Strictly numbers

ASIC Miner

Hashrate

Price

Antminer S9 Hydro

18 TH/s

$755

Antminer S9

14 TH/s

$695

DragonMint T1

16TH/s

$999

Antminer Z9

40.8k sol/s

$3319

Antminer Z9 Mini

10k sol/s

$850

AvalonMiner 821

11TH/s

$649.00

Pangolin Whatsminer M10

33TH/s

$1,888

Are there miners we don’t know about?

It has already been confirmed that there was a secret best ASIC miner that was specifically designed to mine Monero (it has been responsible for almost 50 percent of its hashrate for over a year). On top of that, there have been plenty of rumors about other super-powerful ASIC miners. ASIC mining is a huge global industry, so large mining farms are willing to pay millions in order to have a sneak peek of exclusive miners.

About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets.

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Top 10 Best Cloud Mining Sites in 2020

Cryptocurrency Mining
Wed, 03/11/2020 - 12:15
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  • Which cloud mining platform is the best for newbies and old hands? What are the ‘red flags’ that those who just started cloud mining should be aware of? Let’s discuss it!

Cover image via 123rf.com

Cloud mining usually refers to the process of Proof-of-Work mining (Bitcoin mining, Ethereum mining, Litecoin mining, etc.) via a remote data center that hosts and operates mining rigs. The customer needs to just ink a contract and get his/her share of the mining rewards. It's the best low-entry alternative to traditional mining as you don’t need to purchase expensive mining gear. 

Typically, the user is asked to sign a contract for one month, three months, six months or a year, though lifetime cloud mining contracts are also available. Additionally, the user can customize the hashrate (performance indicator) he would like to borrow. In turn, he/she pays an initial payment and some periodic fees.

In this text, U.Today will explain the process of cloud mining and describe the best cloud mining sites as well as give you some basic advice on how to avoid scams in the shady sphere of cloud mining.

Before you start reading this text,

While reading the following article, please, keep in mind that every cloud mining service described below can be a high-risk investment option that may result in loss of part or all of your investments. The crypto market is still in its infancy, and many dramatic crashes occur here and there.

Always do your own research or contact a licensed financial advisor. Please, don't spend funds on cloud mining, the loss of which you can not absorb.

The information in this article is provided for educational use only and is not intended to act as investment advice in any form.

Introduction: What is cloud mining and why might it be profitable in 2020?

Most commonly, people try to guess what mining is (also ‘hash-mining’, ‘traditional Bitcoin mining’, ‘Ethereum mining’ etc.), what makes cloud mining special and whether it's profitable to start mining (or cloud mining) in 2020.

What is mining?

In a nutshell, mining refers to the calculation of hashes (transactional secrets) when adding new blocks to the blockchain. In turn, every transaction in a network is validated within these blocks. As a result, Bitcoin mining is required to maintain the performance and integrity of the Bitcoin network. 

The quantity of hashes calculated (mined) during a particular period of time is also called the hash-rate. The overall hash-rate of the network is called network difficulty.

What is cloud mining?

Traditional mining is carried out via sophisticated hardware devices or mining rigs. E.g. one of the most widespread mining computers, Antminer S17, now costs $1,200, though you need at least a dozen of them to mine profitably. 

Instead, you can sign a mining contract and borrow some mining devices from a high-end mining entity. Typically, such mining giants are established by engineers and developers in areas with very cheap electricity (Far East, Northern China, Georgia, Abkhazia, etc.) and tolerant legislation. Borrowing a share of mining capacity for a prescribed period of time is called cloud mining.

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Cloud mining in 2020: Is it profitable?

Bitcoin mining is profitable because every new block and every validated transaction is rewarded with a predetermined sum in Bitcoin. As such, Bitcoin miners are incentivized economically to support the existence and development of the network. But after every 210,000 blocks, the mining reward decreases by 50%. This type of event is hard-coded into the Bitcoin network software and, therefore, occurs every 4 years.

This decrease, namely ‘halving’ or ‘halvening’, is of crucial importance to the Bitcoin network. The next (third) halving will occur in the early days of May 2020. Many analysts believe the Bitcoin price, after halving, will rise significantly. As such, it may be very profitable to start mining in 2020.

And it may be even more profitable to start cloud mining in 2020 because, in this case, you won’t need to purchase new mining equipment and customize it and, therefore, heavily invest in mining.

Is this cloud mining website a scam?

A cloud mining website is typically the site of a provider of cloud mining services. It offers various tariffs, shows the customer agreement form and informs visitors of their fee policy. Also, you can find up-to-date information about promo campaigns and regularly track the income you receive from cloud mining.

Firstly: how to avoid cloud mining scams

As the contractor typically is not able to physically access the mining rig he/she is receiving passive income from, the sphere of cloud mining is a true bonanza for all types of brazen fraudsters.

Two types of scams are the most common in cloud mining: Ponzi schemes and exit scams. Within the framework of the Ponzi scheme, cloud mining rewards for early contractors are generated only from the payments of new contractors. Mining rigs are not necessary here and can be non-existent. With exit scams, nobody receives any rewards besides the fraudster behind the scheme.

Two basic tips to avoid cloud mining scams

  • Transparency first. Never invest in cloud mining from a ‘secret project’ whose mining gear works in a ‘hidden’ location. Verify all documents: contracts, licenses, etc. Don’t hesitate to contact the cloud mining team and ask them any questions. Many secrets shill many scams.

  • There's no ‘free lunch’ in this world. Avoid free cloud mining sites. If someone offers you a cloud mining share for free (for review, as a promo, etc.), he/she is a scammer.

Top 3 cloud mining sites in 2020

U.Today offers you an unbiased analysis of the top cloud mining platforms in 2020. Look through it but always conduct your own research.

IQ mining

IQ Mining is a service for cloud mining launched back in 2016. It is incorporated by IQ mining Corp. in Seychelles. With five years of operation, it has acquired a stellar reputation in the cloud mining sphere. It offers three types of classic cloud mining algorithms (SHA-256, SHA-256 Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum) as well as two cutting-edge offers - SHA-256 Pro Mining and USDT Stablecoin Mining.

IQ Mining has a very low minimum price contract of $6. Diamond Club offers are available for prominent investors with a minimum of $50K invested in cloud mining.

IQ Mining launched an exciting referral program and constantly conducts giveaways with brilliant gifts.

IQ Mining interface
Image by IQ Mining

IQ Mining: Contracts

Сontract

Minimum Price*, USD

Payouts

Potential Income Per Year, up to, %

Maintenance Fee, USD/24h

USDT

0.098 per 1 GH/s

Daily in USDT

125

0.0001 per 1 GH/s

SHA-256

- 0.063 per 10 GH/s

Daily in BTC

125

0.001 per 10 GH/s

SHA-256 Pro

- 0.042 per 10 GH/s

Daily in BTC

145

0.001 per 10 GH/s

SHA-256 BCH

- 0.042 per 10 GH/s

Daily in BCH

145

0.001 per 10 GH/s

Ethereum

0.237 per 1 MH/s

Daily in ETH

151

No

*Prices as of 13th of March

Nota bene: USDT contract with guaranteed income is available for 1 year only while the rest of the contracts are available for 1, 2 and 5 years as well as lifetime.

Maintenance Fee

The maintenance fee is a price that the user pays for support from the cloud mining system functionality. It is derived from the hash-rate the user orders as well as from his/her plan and the term of the contract.

Customers can be charged a maintenance fee periodically or when signing the contract.

Crypto Universe

The Crypto Universe cloud mining project launched in February 2018. It's registered in Estonia, which has one of the most attractive legislations of the European blockchain projects. This cloud mining platform has a great advantage as it operates mining capacities in Northern regions of the Russian Federation where electricity rates are really low.

Crypto Universe offers two types of contracts: ‘BTC Mining’ and ‘Cloud Miners’. The first one looks classic: you borrow a share in the company’s hash-rate in exchange for periodic fees. With the ‘Cloud Miners’ option, you can borrow your own mining computer for a period of time. The ‘Beginner’ tariff plan with ‘BTC Mining’ starts at $9.

With the most profitable tariff plan, you can earn up to 0.1 BTC/month with a high-end AvalonMiner 1066 mining machine.

Crypto Universe interface
Image by Crypto Universe

CryptoUniverse Cloud Mining BTC Contracts

Сontract

Minimum Price*, USD

Term

Potential Income Per Day, USD

Cloud Mining BTC 2025

18.90 per 1 TH/s

Until January 1, 2025

0.01

Cloud Mining BTC HODL

49.90 per 1 TH/s

365 Days

0.08

*Prices as of 13th of March

Nota Bene: Cloud Mining BTC 2025 contract includes a maintenance fee of $0.07 per 1 TH/s per day.

CryptoUniverse Cloud Miners Contracts

Сontract

Minimum Price*, USD

Term

Potential Income Per Day, USD

Maintenance Fee per Day, USD

Antminer S9k

79 per 13.5 TH/s

Until January 1, 2025

0.23

1.36

AvalonMiner 1146

1,399 per 56 TH/s

Until January 1, 2025

0.79

3.73

Antminer T17+

995 per 55 TH/s

Until January 1, 2025 (available from April 25, 2020)

0.78

3.66

Antminer S17+

1,729 per 67 TH/s

Until January 1, 2025 (available from April 15, 2020)

1.61

3.80

*Prices as of 13th of March

Genesis Mining

Genesis Mining is a cloud mining operator that uses the geothermal energy of Iceland. It is incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. This firm is a true veteran of the industry as it has been in operation since February 2014.

Formerly, they offered Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Monero and ZCash cloud mining but now only Bitcoin (BTC) and Dash (DASH) cloud mining options are available.

The prices for Genesis Mining cloud mining tariffs start at $208.

Genesis Mining interface
Image by Genesis Mining

Genesis Mining Bitcoin (BTC) Cloud Mining Plans

Сontract

Price*, USD

Period

Maintenance Fee, USD/24h

Gold

225 per 3 GH/s

24 Months

No

Platinum

974 per 13 GH/s

24 Months

No

Diamond

3,972 per 53 GH/s

24 Months

No

Custom

Starting at 225 per 3 GH/s

24 Months

No

*Prices as of 13th of March

Genesis Mining Dash (DASH) Cloud Mining Plans

Сontract

Price, USD

Period

Maintenance Fee, USD/24h

Gemini

208 per 21,000 MH/s

24 Months

No

Ferox

1,385 per 140,000 MH/s

24 Months

No

Graviton

3,956 per 400,000 MH/s

24 Months

No

Custom

Starting at 208 per 21,000 MH/s

24 Months

No

*Prices as of 13th of March

Top 10 cloud mining sites in 2020: Continued

IQ mining

IQ Mining is one of the most popular cloud mining environments designed to mine Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH) and even the U.S. Dollar Tether (USDT). IQ Mining is a veteran in this sector as it has been in operation since 2016. That said, programs based on SHA-256 and Ethash mining algorithms are available. Its contract price is among the lowest in the market, starting at $6.

The Diamond Club Program for premium investors starts at $50,000. An impressive referral program is also offered.

Crypto Universe

The CryptoUniverse cloud mining platform was registered in Estonia in 2018. It operates mining capacities in the Russian Federation. Unlike its competitors, it offers both mining program and mining computer borrowing. This means you can borrow a certain amount of hashrate or a mining rig (e.g. an Antminer S9k) for a certain period of time.

At the moment, CryptoUniverse offers long-term mining contracts.

Genesis Mining

Genesis Mining is a platform whose mining capacities explore the geo-thermal energy of Iceland. It is the oldest cloud mining provider: its history began in February, 2014. It offers two-year Bitcoin (BTC) and Dash (DASH) cloud mining contracts. Four offers with various hash-rate amounts are available for each cryptocurrency. The price of the contract starts at $208.

Hashflare

Hashflare is a well-known cloud mining operator and ASIC-miner producer located in Scotland. It has been in operation since 2015 and offers cloud mining contracts for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, DASH and ZCash. Their cloud mining contracts are for one year.

BitDeer

BitDeer is a relatively new cloud mining platform launched in 2018. It is incorporated in Singapore, a place well-known for high regulatory demands. It offers a wide range of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, DASH, Monero, Litecoin and Decred. Bitcoin cloud mining prices start at $243.

RHY

RHY is a young cloud mining platform that was launched in 2019 in the P.R.C. It offers only Bitcoin cloud mining contracts. Prices start at $9. Also, their service offers Bitcoin, Ethereum and USDT crypto loans.

Nuvoo

Nuvoo is a Cyprus-based Bitcoin cloud mining company that has been operating Canadian mining capacities since 2016. The company offers only a two-year-contract with prices starting at $45. Also, Nuvvoo acts as a whole-seller of ASIC mining equipment for corporate clients.

Ultra Miner

Ultra Miner is a new cloud mining platform that launched only half a year ago. It is located in Great Britain. Ultra Miner offers four Bitcoin cloud mining tariffs. It uses a special manner of pricing as all tariffs are settled in Bitcoin. Ultra Miner has the lowest minimum investment of 0.0005 BTC, or $4.25.

Must Read
How Does Cloud Mining Work? - READ MORE

Cloud mining websites in 2020: unbiased comparison

N

Platform

Currencies

Minimum contract price (USD)

Contract duration (months)

Extras

1

IQ Mining

BTC, BCH, ETH, USDT

6

12, 24, 60, lifetime

Giveaways, seasonal 30% sales, referral program, private investor club

2

Crypto Universe

BTC

9

6, 12, 24, 36, 60

15% cashback, affiliate program

3

Genesis Mining

BTC

208

6, 24

Referral program, cloud computing options

4

Nuvoo

BTC

45

24

None

5

Hashflare

BTC, ETH, LTC, XMR, DASH, ZCASH

220

12

Referral program, test mode

Cloud mining in 2020: Highlights

  1. Cloud mining is the process of borrowing a share of mining facilities to receive passive income from powerful mining gear.

  2. It's highly likely that Bitcoin cloud mining will be profitable in 2020 due to the Bitcoin halving and the following price fluctuations it creates.

  3. The cloud mining sphere is saturated in scams. Ponzi schemes and exit scams are the two most common threats for newbies.

  4. Cloud Mining contracts include initial payments and periodic payments. Typically, the minimum investment amount starts at $10.

  5. IQ Mining and Crypto Universe are top cloud mining providers in 2020 with low pricing and a rich toolkit of contracts.

About the author

 Blockchain Analyst & Writer with scientific background. 5+ years in IT-analytics, 2+ years in blockhain. Worked in independent analysis (Crypto Briefing) as well as in start-ups (Swap.online, Monoreto, Attic Lab etc.)

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