Yes… and no. The days where anyone could make money mining Bitcoin with a desktop computer or GPU cards are unfortunately long gone. The total computing (or “hashing”) power of the network has risen exponentially since the introduction of application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), or machines designed specifically to solve Bitcoin’s mining proof-of-work algorithm and nothing else.

For a brief introduction to Bitcoin mining and some basic options, see’s guide here.

It is still possible for individual miners to make some money by purchasing their own ASIC-based equipment – however, most mining takes place in large factory-like environments with hundreds of machines, in places where energy is cheap (such as China and above the Arctic Circle). And once your machine is superseded by a newer model a few months after purchase, its ability to compete on the network (and thus its earning potential) is greatly diminished, along with its resale value.

You also need to consider energy costs where you live. Bitcoin-mining ASIC machines run very hot and consume large amounts of electricity. You’ll need to subtract the costs of electricity and cooling from the profits you make.

However, if you have access to cheap electricity, don’t mind (a lot of) extra heat and you think the Bitcoin price is going to increase exponentially in future, try mining for yourself. You’ll learn a lot about how the Bitcoin network works, and the network needs more individual miners to keep it secure and decentralized. In fact, a large number of individuals mine Bitcoin to contribute back to the network in this way, as well as just for the fun of it. There’s also always the possibility, though increasingly remote, that an individual miner will mine the next block and receive the full 12.5 Bitcoin reward for doing so.

If you still want to mine and don’t want to own or manage your own devices, various “cloud mining” companies exist. These are large operations located in data centers around the world. Users buy a share of the mining power available and receive rewards in proportion to their shares. Like all Bitcoin services, there are trustworthy and untrustworthy operators, and cloud mining is subject to the same risks and price fluctuations as managing your own equipment – so be sure to do your research and ask questions before parting with any money.


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