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Bitcoin Mining Insights

Cost to Mine 1 Bitcoin Calculator [User Guide]

A quick guide explaining how to use the Advanced Options in our new Cost to Mine 1 BTC calculator and where to find data on all the popular hardware models.

Published on Nov 03, 2020
Published on Nov 03, 2020

Table of Contents

Although there are dozens of variables that can impact a Bitcoin mining operation’s bottom line, the viability of a mining business can ultimately be determined with just one simple statistic: the cost to mine 1 BTC — aka the “Cost of Production for Bitcoin.”

The Braiins Cost to Mine 1 BTC calculator is meant to make it quick and easy for you to determine your cost of production for any ASIC hardware model or even for a mix of different hardware devices. By comparing your cost of production with the actual Bitcoin price, you can see your profit margin and better understand which hardware models will best suit your mining operation.

How to Calculate Your Cost of Production

Let’s start by quickly explaining each of the inputs and how they work.

  • Bitcoin Price and Network Difficulty are both pulled from an API in real-time, so you don’t need to do anything if you want to use current values.
  • Select Hardware allows you to autofill the hashrate and consumption by choosing a specific ASIC device from our database. The models are sorted by hardware manufacturer (Bitmain, MicroBT, Innosilicon, and Canaan) and then further subcategorized by model family (e.g. Antminer S9, S17, and S19 variations are all grouped together).

Alternatively, you can select the Custom option to input your own hashrate and power consumption values rather than using preloaded values from the ASIC database, which is best if you use a performance boosting firmware like Braiins OS+ to improve your device’s efficiency. 

  • Electricity Price is your all-in cost per kWh of electricity, which is used to calculate your cost of production for mining 1 Bitcoin given your mining efficiency (W/TH). 
  • Pool Fee is the percentage of your BTC mined that is kept by your mining pool.

If you toggle on the Advanced Options, you’ll also see these inputs:

  • Other Fees factors in additional costs such as downtime of your ASICs (e.g. 1-2% for regular maintenance or perhaps much higher if you cycle on/off due to climate), or perhaps fees for firmware and management solutions.
  • Difficulty Change allows you to change the current value for difficulty by any percentage you want, in case you would like to project your cost to mine in a future difficulty epoch.
  • Avg. Transaction Fees (BTC) is used to factor in extra revenue from transaction fees instead of only including the fixed block subsidy of 6.25 BTC. Although this is highly variable depending on network activity, it has averaged out to about 0.3 BTC per block (or 5% of total mining revenue) since the 2020 halving. As a result, true Cost to Mine 1 BTC is lower than if you only factor in the block subsidy.
Average % of the total block reward made up by transaction fees over time.

Cost to Mine 1 BTC Example

To give you an example of how this tool can be used, we’ll compare a stock Antminer S9 with a custom S9 running Braiins OS+ autotuning firmware.

Antminer S9 with stock firmware compared to an S9 with Braiins OS+

You can see that improving the efficiency of the S9 by running Braiins OS+ firmware brings the cost to mine 1 BTC down from $9293 to $7787 and the break-even electricity price from $0.043 to $0.052 per kWh. The S9 on stock firmware has a 2% pool fee, while the S9 on Braiins OS+ has a 2% devfee but 0% pool fees on Slush Pool. In other words, the same machine with essentially the same external conditions was made significantly more economical by upgrading the firmware.

Sharing and Embedding

If you think this tool can be useful to others in the mining industry, please share it! The Share button right above the chart allows you to share a URL with all of your user inputs, or you can select the embed option and embed an iframe of the tool in English, Russian, Spanish, Farsi, or Chinese.

This is also just the first of many tools and stats for Bitcoin miners that we will be releasing in Braiins Mining Insights over the following months, so check back soon to see what else we’re publishing!

You can view the changelog also in our documentation.
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About Braiins

Bitcoin mining software company: Slush Pool, Braiins OS+ & Stratum V2.

By miners, for miners.

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