Is cryptocurrency mining profitable in Australia when you have to pay for your power usage? Let’s take a look. A proper look.

Many people I have spoken to appear to take great pride in discounting mining as something that isn’t worth doing in Australia. I’ve always been curious as to what they’re basing their confidence on as I’m almost certain these particular people haven’t tried it for themselves, or have tried in ways that were doomed to fail from the start due to lack of planning and research.

So, let’s do the maths. For real. With an actual mining rig sitting in front of me that I can measure.

How we tested - GPU Mining Rig

For these measurements I set up a worst-case least-efficient scenario (with a modern card) – one GTX1070 overclocked for maximum computational power. A more sincere effort towards efficiency would see a few key changes:

  • Multiple cards plugged into the same rig resulting in the power consumed by the CPU/Motherboard being a smaller percentage of your total power consumption.
  • Each card overclocked/undervolted for maximum efficiency, with thermal and power limits set.

Test Case - GPU Mining Rig

As seen in the results, even a poorly set up rig is profitable provided you’re using a modern/recent card. Sure, the predicted ROI might be two years for this poorly set up, minimum-effort rig, but that means that any effort at all towards optimising for efficiency will see that ROI period reduced. Furthermore, this calculation is based on electrical power being priced at $0.25/kWh. Lots of people have solar arrays these days – their government rebates are coming to an end or have already ended.

If a few people read this post and start up their own mining operations, awesome! More infrastructure for decentralised currency alternatives.

If no one reads this or believes it – cheaper cards for me on Gumtree, woo!

I always thought the following quote was quite arrogant – but I’ve come to see it as an expression of frustration with those who refuse to embrace positive change or update their beliefs when new evidence presents itself.

“Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throat.”

– Howard Aiken, IBM engineer

Lets now take a look at an ASIC mining rig

Now that we have run through the numbers on a GPU mining Rig, Lets take a quick look at an ASIC mining rig. The numbers do not look as great, but still profitable. In this test we used the EBIT E9 ASIC miner which is not he most efficient. If we were to switch to the Antminer S9, we would see these numbers jump up.

How we tested - ASIC Mining Rig

For these measurements we setup an EBIT E9 6.4T/H Asic Miner. Power usage comes in at a 1067.12W, which is not the most efficient ASIC miner, however it is still able to turn a profit. As stated earlier anything we can do to increase efficiency, be it power or hardware, will give us additional gains.

In Summary

At the moment the GPU mining for ‘Alternate’ Crypto (To Bitcoin) seems to be the most profitable way to get into Crypto currency.

If we look at how the Alts have also gone up in value over the year, then you could easily be within a winning position after 1 year of mining.

The key however is to keep an eye on the type of mining you choose, the difficulty of the mining and your returns during this period. Also Possibly look at the resale value of your hardware and take that into account.