The world of GPU mining is often very segregated from ASIC mining communities, but both types of cryptocurrency mining share many operational and strategic similarities. In this livestream, two GPU miners and YouTube personalities talk through the history, challenges, opportunities, and growth of GPU cryptocurrency mining.
This livestream is important for any miners that are curious about the differences and similarities between GPU and ASIC mining, how GPU miners plan their operational strategies, and the histories of GPU mining over previous market cycles.
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Watch previous livestreams here.
Guest introductions (timestamp)
- Michael Carter (BitsBeTrippin): He started mining in 2010, and started recording in 2013 before launching his channel later that year. He started mining bitcoin and Litecoin with Antminers s3 and s4. He showcases builds on his channel. He now has 2600 GPUs.
- Seth Estrada (MineYourBiz): He designs GPU mining rigs, talks markets on his youtube channel.
Why are you GPU mining? (timestamp)
- Michael: the barrier to entry is low for GPU mining. Any GPU can run many PoW (proof of work) networks.
- Michael: I considered ASICs, but the barriers to entry are higher with longer lead times.
- GPU and ASIC mining are complimentary, they both secure PoW networks.
- Seth: GPU and CPU mining are the gateway drugs into crypto, you can configure a miner just by downloading software on an old laptop.
- Seth: One CPU, one vote was a common expression in the early days of mining.
Historical trends of retail mining and GPU mining (timestamp)
- Seth: clients were less excited about GPU mining during the last bear market.
- Retail participation dropped during the bear market, and they sold their GPUs, serious miners went in and bought up that supply.
- Retail is generally less informed, causing them to get discouraged during bear markets.
- Miners should pay attention to GPU pricing to pick up GPUs during price drops.
- 2013-2014 is when some retail participants realized that they can mine with GPUs.
- Retail participation really accelerated after 2017, profitability after 2017 is higher than it was 2013-2014.
- Configuring software for GPU mining used to require Linux knowledge, now it is windows based and easy to download. GPU mining software even has built in wallets.
- GPU mining is permanent but it’s a matter of which networks stick around and go through price discovery.
How do you get started with GPU mining? (timestamp)
- Michael’s YouTube content is great for onboarding.
- See if you have any usable hardware (old laptops, etc.)
- Commit to GPU mining, it may take time to win a block reward.
- Calculate power requirements, check your home’s power distribution and delivery.
- Most projects will have steps outlining how to get started with solo or pool mining.
- There is a threshold for home mining, you can’t dedicate all your AMPs to mining
- Consider starting with a broker strategy, ex. nicehash. This will help you understand how to set up a wallet, receive coins, move those coins, and decide which coins to mine.
- Start researching GPU cards (AMD and Nvidia).
- Uunderstand how to optimize and maintain your GPU rig.
- GPU mining requires more maintenance than ASIC mining.
- GPU mining is permissionless, miners contribute to the network and the network pays them back.
Considerations for home GPU mining and ASICs combined (timestamp)
- Power: Having ASICs and GPUs in the same space requires 30 AMPs. A 30 AMP circuit is not in every home.
- Braiins OS has a calculator on their site, use it to check the consumption on each machine and check if your home’s circuit can handle it.
- ASIC placement: ASICs are a lot louder than GPU mining rigs.
- GPU mining rigs can be placed in the living room, it will heat the space without excess noise.
- Thermal: you need to build hot/cold lanes to move the heat and build in a ventilation solution.
How to choose which coins to mine (timestamp)
- Whattomine.com provides data that a miner can use to decide which coins to mine.
- Split mine coins: mine some coins to pay bills and mine coins that you want to hold.
- Miners should consider the longevity of the network before choosing a coin to mine.
- Unit bias is still present, miners are gravitating towards coins that are cheaper per unit.
- If one of these coins goes through higher price discovery, it becomes a popular coin to mine.
- A miner should understand a coin’s supply schedule or having cycle, this impacts the coin’s supply and demand.
- Miners should be able to map out the next quarter.
- Mid-scale or large-scale GPU miners should meet with the tokens founders to understand their objectives and gauge longevity of the project.
- Exit scamming risk is low if a miner follows the above steps.
- Miners can use data aggregators to build a portfolio and estimate profitability.
Are you worried about Nvidia? (timestamp)
- Seth: we can innovate faster, bring it on.
- Michael: No, the ability to participate will always win.
Gamers vs GPU miners (timestamp)
- Seth: It is real.
- Michael: It is real, gamers dislike some of my videos.
Will Ethereum be PoS (proof of stake) in one year from now? (timestamp)
- Seth: extremely unlikely. Even if it does, I personally think it won’t decrease fees or improve transactions.
- Michael: After Solana’s negative reaction, it will get delayed further. Ethereum hasn’t even started testing proof of stake yet.
- Unless there is a large development behind it, PoW supporters will just move to Ethereum Classic.
- Spinning off another chain would be difficult vs just moving to Ethereum Classic.