That’s my first Ether payout. .05218873 Ether. At the time of this writing, that’s $15.70 USD¹
That’s two weeks of hashing on an AMD RX570. Fifteen dolllars and seventy cents. I haven’t factored electrical costs into this yet.
Obviously, nobody is getting rich off of this (except maybe the GPU manufacturers) but as a hobby miner… it feels awfully good to see a payout. Even $15.70. The chart below shows the work done to get to there. The green line is the hashing rate that my computer is reporting. The yellow is the average rate, and the blue is a representation of how many actual shares are being mined in the last hour. Sometimes it’s way above the green line, sometimes way below. Hence the yellow line that shows average hash rate. Each point on the line is ten minutes.
You can see on the left half of the screen that my reported rate and my average rate are pretty close to the same. That’s to be expected. If you poke around in Ethermine statistics you’ll see most people average close to or slightly below their reported hash. That blue line swings wildly. Sometimes the shares hit bang bang bang, and sometimes you see none for awhile. As long as your average is what you expect it to be, you’re golden.
So what happens in the middle of the chart there? The speed jumps up (doubles, actually) and then stops for awhile, then it picks back up and my shares go way up too. Well… there’s the rub. That big jump is where I added a second GPU. The break is when I took the whole thing offline to solve an overheating issue. (You can see the commensurate drop in the number of shares averaged over the that time period). Then it resumes and you can see my hash rate go way up,² and I get across the .05 ETH threshold for a payout. And it happens a good eight or ten hours ahead of when I would have had I left it churning at about 24 Mh/s.
It’s really easy as a hobbyist to say “If I just add a GPU, I’ll double my hash and halve the time it takes me to make that fifteen bucks.” Let’s be serious for a minute though… at today’s average of about $30 a month per card that I’m using, that’s hardly an instant return on investment. That’s not even counting the electric or the cooling. Fortunately as well, I’m a reasonably tech-savvy guy so getting the rig up and running and solving the overheating issue wasn’t a terribly big deal to me. For someone who hasn’t spent years working in the IT industry and/or been a hardware hobbyist for awhile, it could be a somewhat daunting task. Not impossible, not Worst. Day. Ever. type of stuff, but challenging. It required some use of Google and probably half a dozen unnecessary reboots. But there it is in its dusty, messy glory. A dual GPU Ether mining machine. Look out November, I’m shooting for $60 this month now.
Luckily for me, I get to justify the expense. I can rationalize it. I can say to myself “How can you try to run a blog about home mining and cryptocurrency if you’ve never set up a multi GPU rig?” And I would be right. At least, that’s what I tell myself as the credit card comes out of my wallet. The fact of the matter is, you’re probably better off just buying the ETH and holding on to it. It’s faster, it’s easier, the ROI is almost certainly going to be better. BUT… you don’t get that feeling of “I just created $15.70 out of thin air, and it only took two weeks”
For me, that’s the gambler’s high. Watching the charts, tweaking the GPU bios, keeping an eye on the fans. I enjoy it. I’m just not going to make much transactional money off of it. What do I mean by transactional money? Seriously, I just made a little under sixteen bucks and that’s only IF I converted that to fiat currency. I can’t even take my kids out for fast food for sixteen bucks.
But if I hold it, if ETH goes the way of BTC, if that sixteen bucks turns into sixteen hundred bucks… Boy will I be glad I doubled my capacity.
¹ I can’t tell you how much I hope that someday I’ll come back and look at that .05 number and laugh like crazy that it was only fifteen bucks today. If that were .05 BTC it would be worth almost $400. I think every miner is hoping for something similar to happen to ETH… and it may. C’mon baby… to the moon!
² My hashrate drops off at the end there because I wanted future deposits to go to a different wallet. So what you’re seeing is where I changed wallets and essentially became a different user to the system. If you look closely you can see that the green line (reported hash) stops a couple of ticks before the blue line does. That’s just the one hour average falling off.