by Dave Carlson
Updated Aug 4
Your mining rigs are hashing away, stable as a stone 24×7 for weeks – you have built a money making machine. You really have done it, so congratulations! Don’t get complacent – remember how you used to watch your stats so closely, refreshing every few minutes? Its important to keep vigilant watch over your gear – a spike in temps can indicate a failing cooling fan. A slow subtle decline in hashrate can go unnoticed for days, potentially producing hashes at a financial loss. Power outages, storms and outright neglect can seriously impact your Bitcoin producing capacity.
In any case, you are creating a base of ownership in Bitcoin without spending a ton of time, or taking the easy route and just buying them at market rates. Manage your business seriously, and it will pay dividends day after day – while you sleep and while you play. You can easily keep tabs on your miners even while you work your day job, using remote desktop programs, and by logging into your pool’s stats page.
What do you want to do with your earned coins? Should you hoard your coins or reinvest them? Once you have some serious hashing power, you can even issue a bond of your own, raising funds for additional hardware, or some other business strategy. You can even rent out your hashing power to the highest bidder. This decision depends a lot on your business goals and philosophy. You’ll want to at least have a plan for making back your initial hardware investment. At that point, you own the hardware outright, and any coin you make will be pure profit, minus power and management costs. Maybe you built a huge rig and want to expand as soon as possible. Maybe you bought a couple nice GPUs to play Diablo3 with, and want to pay for them with their own hashing power.
One way to look at the question of keeping your coins is this: let’s say you mined 10 coins during the last 2 weeks. BTC was at $6.50 USD/BTC. These coins would have been worth $65 if you had sold them immediately for US dollars. In the following two weeks you are pleasantly surprised to see BTC rise to $8.50 USD/BTC. Now, the old BTC is worth $85 as well as each coin you are currently mining, which takes you 30% closer to your goal, whether that is recovering your US dollar costs on the hardware, or saving up a certain amount of value before converting it to cash. The opposite of course, is true – you could be mining for months, and then see the value of all that coin drop by half. You have to be able to ride out the volatility, and know when your operating at a loss.
Remember that as prices go higher, more miners are attracted to the business, and the more hashing power the network sees, the higher difficulty will rise. As difficulty rises, the amount of BTC you will mine for the same hashing power will start to decline. As long as the value of BTC rises appropriately, your mining Return On Investment will stay in check. Always keep your ROI formula handy so you’ll always know if you are operating at a profit. Many GPU miners have a cutoff point below which it makes sense for them to simply shut down their rigs and wait.
What goes into making your ROI analysis? Well there are a lot of factors, most are fairly specific to you. The primary variables you want to be concerned with are:
These costs are balanced against the rate of BTC at any particular time. Simple ROI calculators can be found online, but they are forced to do their entire calculation at a single difficulty and BTC price. Your actual results will depend on your results over time, and too many unpredictable factors, such as the cost of BTC. The best you can do sometimes is just hang on for the ride!
Next Section: Conclusion