Handheld Bitcoin Mining: Affordable Trend or Futile Lotto Mining Endeavor?

Intricate steampunk handheld device mining bitcoin, warm hues dominating the scene, dark workshop illuminated by antique lanterns, dramatic chiaroscuro emphasizing the gadget's detailed cogs and gears, curiosity and determination filling the air, symbolizing the blend of old-world craftsmanship and modern technology in micro-scale cryptocurrency mining.

Bitcoin mining is quickly evolving into a substantial industry, with major operations deploying entire racks of rigs and personal power plants to solve blocks. However, on the other side of the spectrum, handheld bitcoin miners are making waves, attracting interest with their low price point of just under $400.

By ordering a few components, such as the single-board computer “Raspberry Pi Zero W 2,” a heatsink case, and a USB-based bitcoin miner built on Antminer’s BM1397 ASIC chip, one could theoretically mine bitcoin from their pocket. This ASIC chip, which offers up to 350 gigahashes per second (GH/s), is also featured in Bitmain’s well-known Antminer S17 and S17 Pro.

However, mining bitcoin with such small devices is referred to as “lotto mining,” due to the incredibly slim chance of successfully mining Bitcoin blocks with micro setups at home. With a hash rate of 350 GH/s, solo miners could potentially take up to 21,400 years to hit the jackpot. It is also vital to note that the Bitcoin network’s “halving” events, which occur every four years and reduce issuance, are expected to result in a complete depletion of bitcoin block rewards by around 2140.

Massive companies like Marathon Digital, which earned 2,195 BTC ($60 million) in the first quarter of the year, average around 24 BTC ($656,300) per day by operating tens of thousands of ASICs simultaneously. This dramatically enhances their chances of solving blocks compared to solo miners, who can still improve their odds by joining mining pools. Major mining pools such as Foundry, AntPool, and F2Pool presently mine over 70% of all Bitcoin blocks, with participants teaming up to share their hash power and gain a portion of the pool’s block rewards.

While solo mining is rare, it can be successful. Two solo Bitcoin miners managed to mine their respective Bitcoin blocks within two days of one another last year using just a handful of mining chips. Utilizing solo mining software Solo CK Pool, they claimed 98% of all rewards, giving the remaining 2% to the administrator for maintenance, code iteration, and other necessities.

Though the probability of winning a Bitcoin block reward with a single rig is approximately one in 1.1 billion, small miners are definitely valuable as an entry point for those interested in working with blockchain technology. Besides, owning a nearly infinite lottery ticket could be considered an additional perk.

Source: Blockworks

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