Working in a crypto mine

I’ve been a crypto currency enthusiast for a few years. This past Christmas, I decided to do more than dabble with investment and take a try at mining. Mining the premier crypto coin directly, bitcoin, is out of the question for the hobby miner without investing in ASICS which mostly (completely?) come from Chinese manufacturers that seem to use them themselves to mine for a few months before selling them on the open market. Rather than jump in there, I decided to try my hand at GPU based mining which can be used to mine for coins like Etherium, Zclassic and Zen-cash.

I ordered

  • a motherboard off of alibaba (which was an experience) that can support up to 8 GPUs directly not he board and in theory 4 more through risers (I say in theory since the PCI Express slots are all blocked by the cards in the main slots)
  • 5 EVGA 1070ti hybrid GPUs from Amazon and 2 from Newegg. I must have just slipped in before the great GPU shortage of 2017/2018 as I ended up with 4 of the 5 cards from Amazon and none of the Newegg cards. I feel lucky to have any of them given the prices and availability since then.
  • the most crazy expensive 1500W Platinum power supply I could find
  • An open air frame that has the capacity (that I probably won’t use) to hold up to 12 cards
  • A few extra fans…mostly for the lights.

I put everything together in a few hours, downloaded simplemining os and was up and running in 4 hours. I made one mistake of not configuring my miner to point my account on suprnova (don’t yell at me…I’ve since switched to so the first few hours of mining went out into the ether (or more likely the suprnova wallet of the smos developer).

I’ve had the rig offline a few times for a total of maybe 4 hours, once to install the fans and once to move it from the bench where I built it to the shelf where it’s going to live, but otherwise it’s been running for 4 weeks straight. I am getting about 2,000 Sol/S mining Zencash (not the most profitable, but I like the project) and have mined a bit short of 8 zencash in a little over 4 weeks. At current prices (admittedly depressed) that’s worth around $280 with total electricity costs of $28, for a net profit of $252, which puts the payback on what I have invested so far on the rig at around 10 months.

I’d like to add some more cards to get to a full 8, but not at the current prices. Otherwise, I think I will just let it run, HODL my coins and see what happens the next few months.

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