How Retail Miners Are Changing Bitcoin

The Bitcoin mining industry is targeting retail miners more than ever before, and the mining market is fundamentally changing to serve this demographic.

Part disruptive trend, part return to tradition, the focus on small-scale mining is an echo of Bitcoin’s early years when transactions were mined at home (or in offices and dorms) with personal computers. But the ongoing surge in retail and hobbyist mining isn’t limited to activity on online forums or social media. Home mining is now more sophisticated than ever, with dozens of companies building products and selling services to onboard more retail customers to mining.

How Retail Mining Is Changing Hardware Offerings

One constant throughout almost every bitcoin market cycle is the introduction of new mining hardware designed for and marketed to home miners. In the past, miners saw Coinmine’s home mining machine launch in November 2018 and a similar device from Hands Free Bitcoin came to market the same year. Even though the past two years saw significant changes in the mining market — including record activity from retail customers — the trend of new retail-focused boutique hardware offerings continued.

One piece of new mining hardware that entered the market this cycle was a USB stick device designed and marketed by Los Angeles resident Idan Abada. Currently sold out at about $874 per unit, the customer receives 10 USB sticks and a 10-port USB hub. Abada’s website claims that each stick generates 90-plus gigahashes per second (GH/s), giving the device a combined hash rate of nearly 1 terahash (TH). For comparison, an at-home miner would need at least 15 of these devices to match the hash rate of Antminer S9 (140 TH), one of the least-efficient Bitcoin ASIC machines still widely used around the world.

Source link Bitcoin Magazine

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