What would you do with your money, buy bitcoins or buy miners?
If you are considering buying miners, you have also probably thought about buying a mining contract. So, which of the three is best for you?
This is not an easy question and is one that almost all Bitcoiner’s face.
It depends on a lot of factors: how much you want to spend, where you live and what are your interests.
So, let’s say you have $500 and we will compare options.
BITMAIN AntMiner S1
$2.41 per gh/s + PSU & power
180 gh/s (.866 BTC ~$433)
Breakeven: 70 days, 80 days with PSU
This is the best way to acquire the most bitcoins for your money if you do it right. Halfway the third through month of mining you will breakeven and it is all profit from there. Mining is a fun and frustrating experience, you want to squeeze out every hash to be the most profitable, keep the chips cool and just knowing that you have a constant inflow of BTC is pretty awesome. Mining is what ultimately got me into bitcoin, it forces you to learn so much and is quite rewarding. After three months the one bitcoin spent for the miner should be 1.1 BTC, not to mention you can continue mining or sell your miner and yield better than a 10% ROI in just 3 months.
Although mining is theoretically more profitable, there are several reasons why it may not be for you. Mining bitcoins is not the most difficult task, many free tutorials can be found online but if you have trouble with simple technology, mining is not for you; however, once set-up miners can run easily just by opening a program. High energy costs can be a prohibitive factor, so this is important to consider, also you need to have the free space to place the miners. You need a space that is preferable out-of-site because miners create a lot of heat, noise and need to run 24/7 to be profitable.
*I choose BITMAIN because they ship within days. This is important because a gigahash tomorrow is not the same as a gigahash today. Since bitcoin difficulty has been going up exponentially miners get outdated fast.
It is also important that your miner be reliable, and BITMAIN offers a 90 day warranty, the most crucial time frame to have covered, any less and you may be out of luck, if you can find a better warranty, more power to you.
If you do not want to spend $500 dollars you can buy a USB miner for under $30 dollars, this is perfect for people who want to see how mining works and may be a great starter kit for beginners since you do not have to worry about space or heat.
Mining also gives you flexibility, this is true for the following contract too, you can choose to hold the bitcoins you make or immediately sell them to take profits now and not worry about the risk of price fluctuations. Selling bitcoins as you mine them also helps you avoid the risk of losing any BTC from hackers.
This can be a good tactic if you think the price will go down because when you get your profits but if the price does indeed rise this usually is reflected in the price of miners and contracts, otherwise if you think the price will go up both your BTC and miner value will go up.
105 ghs = ~$500
Breakeven: 145 days+
You may think that a mining contract would ease the hassle of setting-up, storing and tweaking miners but it is not really profitable. CEX.IO may be nice for short-term mining because you can mine for a period of time and sell your contract in an open marketplace where the price per gh/s fluctuates. This provides a lot of flexibility and may be good for getting your feet wet.
Beware, contracts vary greatly, some cloud mining operations charge over $9 per gh/s, which is quite ridiculous. Some offer reinvestment options but one can argue if this is just a strategy to get customers to lock-in more money. Remember, when you get a mining contract you are paying for maintenance, storage, electricity and the overhead of the company.
But do you even want bitcoins?
Do you want AltCoins, or no coins? How long you want to hold onto your coins? Do you think they will be worth a lot, nothing or you think it’s just a bubble that you can make some money off of, these are usually other questions you have to answer. I personally go with the advice most financial planners do, diversify your portfolio, it’s good to have a little of everything because we can’t predict the future.
Finally, there is the traditional way, just buying bitcoin. If you are less adventurous and want to hedge the risk the of bitcoin difficulty, buying bitcoin is for you. You do not have to worry about if your miners are up or if you will ever make your money back on that contract. You don’t get that I mined these feeling but having any BTC is better than having no BTC.
So, Do You Mine Bro?
By John Scianna
John Scianna is from Miami, Florida and like his city he is very international. John has studied abroad at Manchester Business School where he actually found out about Bitcoin in Fall 2012. John also studied abroad at University College Utrecht where he followed the Cyprus banking crisis in his International Economics coursework and bitcoins implications at the time. But John really got hooked when he came back to the States and was introduced to someone who taught him how to mine. Ever since John has been on his path to Bitcoin enlightenment while attending the University of Florida for marketing. @jay_sci
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