Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, & AntMiner Hash Rates

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Earlier this year I become interested in the cryptocurrency scene, particularly bitcoin. In addition to buying some bitcoin on Coinbase, I also bought an AntMiner S3 on eBay. I was using the AntMiner via the NiceHash service, but after the recent hack, I decided to move to an actual pool. After a very short amount of research, I decided to go with SlushPool, which is one of the older pools.

So how much do I make with my AntMiner? Not much, really. In fact, I probably spend more on electricity than I make. To make things confusing, I get paid for mining with bitcoins, whereas the electric company bills me in US dollars.

My AntMiner S3 My AntMiner S3

I’m not sure exactly how NiceHash worked. I only got paid twice via their service, and I was close to another payout before they got hacked. SlushPool seems to be more straightforward on how much they pay.

Miners get paid for every block the entire pool verifies by the following equation:

\[miner-reward = block value×(1 − pool fee )×{miner-hash-rate \over pool-hash-rate}\]

The pool’s fee is 2%, and the average block value is about 16 bitcoins (12.5 bitcoins for a block reward plus transaction fees). So the equation could be simplified to:

\[miner-reward = 16×(0.98)×{miner-hash-rate \over pool-hash-rate}\]

According to SlushPool, my miner has averaged about 450 gigahashes a second (Gh/s). The entire pool’s hash rate has averaged an astonishing 1.3 exahashes a second (Eh/s).

We’re all familiar with “giga” from “gigabyte.” There’s one billion - 1,000,000,000 or a one followed by nine zeroes - in a giga-something. Exa is basically a giga-giga. There are one billion giga-somethings in an exa-something. That’s one billion gigabytes in an exabyte, or one billion gigahashes in an exahash.

Put it together and an exahash is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 hashes. A one followed by eighteen zeroes. The word for this many zeroes is quintillion, or sometimes “billion billion.”

I know the numbers million (six zeroes), billion (nine zeroes), trillion (twelve zeroes), quadrillion

Okay, back to how much I make. Let’s continue to plug the numbers into the previous equation:

\[miner-reward = 16×(0.98)×{450,000,000,000 \over 1,300,000,000,000,000,000}\]

Although we can just plug that into a calculator, let’s factor out the extra zeroes on the division (let’s keep my hash rate at the hundred’s place, though):

\[miner-reward = 16×(0.98)×{450 \over 1,300,000,000}\]

Just using Google as a calculator shows that my reward is about 0.00000542769 bitcoins.

How often do I get a reward? It varies greatly - as little as a minute and many as several hours. However, it averages to about once an hour.

This means in a 24-hour day I’ll make 0.00013026456 bitcoins.

How much this is in US dollars is left as an exercise for the reader.

Finally, I was curious how much of the different AntMiner S-units would make, so I made the following table:

Version Gh/s reward / block reward / day watts kWh / day buy
AntMiner S1 180 0.00000282 0.0000677 360 8.64 on Amazon or eBay
AntMiner S2 1,000 0.00001568 0.0003763 1100 26.4 on Amazon or eBay
AntMiner S3 441 0.00000691 0.0001660 340 8.16 on Amazon or eBay
AntMiner S4 2,000 0.00003136 0.0007526 1400 33.6 on Amazon or eBay
AntMiner S5 1,155 0.00001811 0.0004346 590 14.16 on Amazon or eBay
AntMiner S5+ 7,722 0.00012108 0.0029059 3,436 82.464 on Amazon or eBay
AntMiner S7 4,860 0.00007620 0.0018289 1,210 29.04 on Amazon or eBay
AntMiner S9 14,000 0.00021952 0.0052685 1,375 33 on Amazon or eBay

Remember that Gh/s = Gigahashes / second and kWh = kilowatt-hour. The reward is in bitcoins. The source of the hash rate and watts is from the bitcoin wiki.

11 comments for Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, & AntMiner Hash Rates

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  • Nice post about Bitcoin mining. I am not too interested in mining or earning bitcoin, but I am curious to see where bitcoins go as more people start to use them. If more online stores accepted cryptocurrencies, especially the big ones that would be huge for me.

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  • This is a great write up and a very interested read. I am interested in bitcoin and see where the technology goes, although I don’t intend to buy any myself. I think I have a lot more research to do before buying any.

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  • avatar for Gary W Gary W

    Nice explanation and breakdown you have given to us, i am just curious on the number in based on different antminer you listed. How to you derived the numbers there?

    • The Gh/s and the watts columns are just from the bitcoin wiki here ->

      Those are basically the advertised rates.

      The reward / block column is just plugging in the Gh/s column into equation shown earlier on the post (but I’ll repeat it here):

      \[reward = 16×(0.98)×{Gh/s \over 1,300,000,000}\]

      reward / day is just the reward / block column multiplied by 24

      kWh / day is the watts column multiplied by 24 and divided by 1000

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  • Pretty interesting. Have you looked at the transaction time/fees for each crypto? I was looking into mining, but it only seems to work in a bull crypto market. I’d rather just be long the crypto instead of owning hardware too!

    • Depending on your electrical rates, mining is hard to even break even with electrical costs. I think I’m breaking even at 10¢ a kilowatt-hour. All the pools I’ve been using have “withdrawal” or “cash-out” fees which cover any transaction fees. Time is normally near-instant, except for bitcoin, which right now seems to be backlogged - but they’re working on a “lightning” network which should speed things up.

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  • avatar for KarlJay KarlJay

    I’m trying to get a handle on the numbers. Based on what you say, the rewards per day on the S9 would be about $34.23

    Based on that, you’d pay for the S9 in about 1 month without counting for electricity (34.23 X 30 = $1,026)

    So that would mean if your electricity bill were < $1,026 month, you’d make a profit. So if you’re paying $0.10/Kwhr and using 33/day… 33X0.10 = $3.30/day which is $99/month. So you should have made about $925/month. Am I right or am I missing something?

    • seems right. keep in mind you’ll have to differentiate between the electricity your miner uses, and the electricity everything else on the bill uses.

      also, the reward isn’t constant (despite it being the same for each block) since the amount of people on the pool fluctuates.

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