Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Bitcoin breaks the $1500 mark for the first time in its history

I've been around Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for a long time. I missed the initial wave by a year or so, starting in June 2011, but I've been doing it ever since. Bitcoin first hit $30 back then, before quickly falling to around $20. A single HD 5870 card was able to generate about 2BTC per day, which might seem crazy in today's market, but at the time it was 'only' worth about $40.

There were naysayers and 'to the moon' people way then as well. You know what? I thought the naysayers were right. $20 per BTC when a single GPU could generate a couple per day was nuts! And the price crashed over the next six months until it hit $2 again. "Bitcoin is dead!"

But like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, Bitcoin came back, and it came back with a vengeance. I was there when Bitcoin broke $200 for the first time, and I sold every BTC I owned at the time. I don't feel too bad about it either, as it paid some bills and bought me some new mining PCs. I just didn't have the confidence to say Bitcoin was going to stay at $200, let alone get up four digits!

But this time I was smart enough to keep mining. I started holding onto my coins, other than selling some to pay for power bills and new hardware. When Bitcoin broke $1000 the first time in 2013, I again sold all my holding, but it was for a good cause: I put a down payment on a house. We've been living there quite happily every since.

For the next couple of years, Bitcoin stagnated in the sub-$500 range. All the people that got excited and bought in at $750 or even $1200 probably lost faith. Others managed to play the market, buying low and selling high, and making a lot of money in the process. But today, as Bitcoin continues to creep upward toward the $2000 mark, I'm not even remotely surprised. Happy? You bet! But not surprised.

At the current rate, my modest mining farm will help me pay off all of my debts -- student loans, a car, and a few other tidbits -- within the next year. And after that, I expect to finish paying for my house within the next 5-10 years. At that point, I'll be truly debt free. Do you know how awesome that will be, to only have expenses like utilities and taxes to worry about? And it's all thanks to Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies.

Basic 3-way budget miner:
Pentium G4560: $78
MSI Z270 SLI Plus motherboard: $136
8GB DDR4-2400 memory: $60
240GB SSD: $70 (don't get a hard drive, please!)
750W 80 Plus Platinum PSU: $130  (don't skimp here!)
PCIe Risers: $50 (for six -- you'll have extras!)
3x Radeon RX 570 4GB: $570 (the heart of your mining operation)

If you've been afraid to get into the mining scene for whatever reason, now is a good time to put those fears behind you. Start small, with a single 3-way miner, and watch it pay for itself in the next year. Then kick yourself for not investing more heavily into multiple 6-way miners. But it's still 'early' relatively speaking. Most people still have no idea what Bitcoin is, but within the next decade, it's going to end up as ubiquitous as the Internet.

The above budget mining PC will generate about $6.90 per day in cryptocurrency, with a power cost of around $0.75. Let's be conservative and call it $6.00 per day in net income. That means in six months, it will pay for itself, but you'll see the pattern long before then. Get hopping, get mining, and get saving for the future of Bitcoin. If you're smart, you'll sell no more than half of the Bitcoins you mine, so that when Bitcoin eventually hits $10,000+ per BTC (AND IT WILL!), you'll be ready.


  1. Hi Jarred, I'm thinking now with BTC price being as high as it is, if it would be worth it for me to mine.

    Current equipment is a rig with 4 MSI R9 290X cards, could you help me calculate how much I could stand to make daily.

    Current electricity costs here in Alberta Canada are about $0.065/kWh.

    In fact I know there are some good websites out there that help me calculate this, but I can't remember what those websites are, suggestions?

    1. Hi Pedro, your performance with 290X will be somewhat similar to the R9 390 -- somewhere between $2.50 to $3.00 USD per day in BTC, with a power draw of around 250W per card. So four cards would use 1000W, which would mean $1.50 per day in power. But you'd get $10-$12 in BTC, for a net gain of $8.50-10.50. Give or take. Hope that helps.

    2. Thanks for the prompt reply Jarred! Very helpful!