Is Solar-Powered Cryptocurrency Mining the Next Big Thing?
- Humanity is currently in the middle of the era of the Internet. The World Wide Web, digital media and globalization have all but transformed the very existence we are a part of. Everyday scenarios and situations have gained digital counterparts, and things that would once require significant effort are now available at the touch of a finger.
Such is the case of currency and it has gone virtual.
Since the past few years, cryptocurrency has taken flight and is a vital tool in making transactions over the Internet. Cryptocurrency is a form of a virtual or digital currency, as the name suggests, with strong cryptography to make online buying and selling more secure. These currencies are unregulated and have been converted into trading for profit avenues, this leads to speculations by investors and the global market driving their prices skyward and giving them immense unfathomable valuation.
In the terms that are associated with Cryptocurrency, mining is a very common phrase. Crypto-mining basically is the process of gaining cryptocurrencies and earning them by solving complex cryptographs and equations through massive decoding activities in computers. This mining is often very costly, since it is immensely difficult. The people who undergo this mining, the ‘miners’, have to invest in rigs. These rigs are sets of computers with significant power of processing, and they in-turn require even more electrical power to run them. Crypto-mining is a process of analyzing the gains over the losses, and auditing whether the investment can provide enough profit to overcome the costs of running the operation. It is a careful balance, and most of the time it is can be fruitful.
Renewability and Mining
Ethereum is an example of a renown digital currency. Let us take the example of its mining process, the operation requires the same electricity share as would be equivalent to that of a small country. This makes it crucial that miners evaluate whether they aren’t investing more than they are gaining via profit. In order to combat this issue, and to reduce the costs so that the profit margin exceeds expectations, the investors and miners have started looking at renewable sources of energy and electricity production. Solar-powered rigs and stations that are made in deserts, for the purpose of this mining are alternatives that the miners have begun to look at and actually set up. The issue with these rigs is also that the immense heat of the desert can no doubt produce lots of electricity via the solar modules, but it also increases the risk of the rigs computer breaking down due to the temperatures.
If the tools and investment is available to garner the resources required to set up these solar powered mining grids, then it can be easily observed that the investment is definitely profitable. From miners that are already using desert-based solar stations, the claims are that apart from the payment of the solar panel system, the mining costs are approximately zero. This is because after getting rid of the immense electricity bill that comes with traditional mining, there is a lot more space for profit and these greater margins allow for more earning.
Merkle Reports on Solar Mining Rigs
A report by the Merkle, a customer experience management based in the United States, documented a Bitcoin mining operation that ran on a similar solar strategy. The grid had been running effortlessly for more than a year, and has managed to power 25 separate computer rigs. In fact, the profit margins continue to grow and the miners aim to incorporate more computer rigs by the end of the year, bringing the grand total to a 1000 or more.
For this bitcoin desert mining operation, the costs for a rig which contains solar panels, power controls, batteries, charge controllers and of course the computing system itself (The Antminer S9 ASIC Processor for its high efficiency and processing potential) is around 8000$. When one mining rig in this setup is fully functional, the daily revenue generated is around 18$ per processor.
Now, a mining process is only as profitable as the price of the cryptocurrency that is being mined. In this equation, if the cryptocurrency retains or even gains in valuation then the profit is tidy and significant, but if it starts dropping then it could pose issues. The Merkle suggested that for the bitcoin mining operation that was being reported, the price of the cryptocurrency should be stay above 2000$ for the mining operation to remain profitable.
In the realm of mining, the fact that crypto values are highly volatile is something that all operations have to get accustomed to as prices can often drop by tremendous amounts. However, when it comes to adding renewable energy to the operation, it tends to be safer for the investors. It seems likely that more mining operations are going to make the switch to solar powered electricity production.