Purchasing new vs. used miners
ASICs can either be purchased brand new directly from the manufacturer or they can be purchased used.
There is a thriving peer-to-peer market for used miners. However, they are not easily found on the web.
Rather, they often take place in Telegram groups or other chat messaging platforms. You should also be
aware that these secondary markets for miners can contain fraudsters, so it is strongly recommended to
only purchase from verified sellers.
3 important ASIC specifications
There are 3 main considerations before purchasing your miner:
Unit Prices The newer the ASIC miner, the more efficient and expensive it is. Don’t
forget to add other costs such as shipping, import fees, duties, and taxes which are not usually included
but should be factored into the retail price.
Hash Rate: Measured in TH/s (Tera hashes per second). This metric measures how powerful
the miner is. The higher the hash rate, the more BTC you could earn.
Power Consumption: Measured in Watts (W), this is the amount of energy the miner will
consume. The more power a miner consumes, the higher the electricity cost incurred. Converting to Kilowatt
hours (kWh) and finding the electricity rate (usually quoted in kWh) from the electricity provider will
determine your operating costs.
Largest ASIC manufacturers
Bitmain and MicroBT are the two largest miner manufacturers on the market today.
The Antminer S9 from Bitmain has thus far been the most dependable ASIC, with many still operating today
after the original release in 2016. However, the lead engineer who designed the S9, Yang Zuoxing, later
left Bitmain to start and run MicroBT. He designed the Whatsminer M20S, which is widely regarded as the
next-in-line for the title of most dependable ASIC model long-term.
As of 2020, 5 out of the 10 most profitable ASIC machines are MicroBT's
Other manufacturers exist such as Canaan, Innosilicon, and Ebang. However, they are considered lower
quality than Bitmain and MicroBT. This means models produced by these other manufacturers will not be as
powerful but will come at a much lower price point.
What is mining software?
Mining software is just as important as the hardware. The main function of the software is to deliver the
mining hardware’s output to the rest of the blockchain. Bitcoin mining software oversees the input and
output of your mining hardware while also displaying statistics such as hash rate, temperature, fan speed
and tempo of your miner.
If you are an individual miner, bitcoin mining software connects your hardware to the Bitcoin network. If
you are mining with a pool, the mining software will connect you to a mining pool.
Once you have your mining rigs and facility setup, you have the option of using custom software to
control your miner. Using a custom third party software to control your miner can allow you to optimize
its performance. This means you can effectively overclock your miner to make it operate faster then what
the manufacturer claims.
Once of the most well known custom miner software currently on the market is the Braiins OS+. This
software will run on your miner to automatically test different frequencies and voltages for your miner to
find the settings that will mine most efficiently.
Braiins OS+ also implemented Stratum V2 which is a protocol focused on making data transfers more
efficient, reducing physical infrastructure requirements for mining operations, and increasing security.
Below are other recommended and popular Bitcoin mining software, each coming with varying features such
as remote interface capabilities, multi-GPU support, self-detection of new blocks, fan speed control, and