Thinking of ordering an ASIC? There is most likely nothing you can order right now that will earn you more BTC than you can buy right now. In fact, there is not really anything you can order right now that will ROI, even using generous figures.
Disclaimer: I am a miner and have ASICs, so there is a conflict of interest in posting this. But I'm not just trying to talk potential competition out of mining. If you think you'd enjoy it and aren't driven solely by making a profit, I've always recommended it when asked. Disclaimer 2: You will likely see much better ROI on buying Bitcoins than mining them. Some already understand this and want to mine anyway, and I am one of those (although I had bought coins along with ordering ASICs). I'm sure this point will be echoed repeatedly. Disclaimer 3: This is based on the mining calculator and ASIC info currently listed on TGB (using default 117% monthly increase in difficulty). This is only a guess based on past performance, which many consider to be too low of a guess. But for the sake of this post, I'd rather take a conservative (low) guess to present a best-case scenario. Disclaimer 4: I'm tired. I apologize for the disclaimers, but I've used reddit enough to know I need to qualify every sentence before I write it. After receiving the ASICs I ordered 7+ months ago, I wanted to compare my investment with the new miners that have appeared since I ordered. It turns out that anything you were to order right now will most likely lose money, it's just a matter of how much you want to lose. If anything is incorrect here feel free to prove otherwise. I'd appreciate any corrections. My reason for posting is because I was honestly surprised by what I found, but maybe my math is wrong or maybe TGB's data is wrong. The lowest cost-per-Gh/s available to pre-order right now is $3, but those miners won't be shipping until January 2014 (Cointerra). The next option would be $4 shipping in December (Bitmine). Even at these low prices-per-Gh/s, that is too late. The lowest cost-per-Gh/s shipping in November is $9.10 (KnC) but even if you start mining November 1st, that is not enough. This is all assuming these companies ship and ship on time. KnC has started shipping, but if you were to order today you definitely won't be mining all of November. Take these figures with a grain of salt. You'll want to make your own calculations before making any investment decision, but these are rough estimates.
If you start mining at the beginning of November, you'll need to have paid less than $8/Gh/s to see ROI (less than 0.15 BTC profit).
If you start mining at the beginning of December, you'll need to have paid less than $3/Gh/s to see ROI (less than 0.4 BTC profit).
If you start mining at the beginning of January, you'll need to have paid less than $1/Gh/s to see ROI (less than 0.4 BTC profit).
These calculations are based on a 100Gh/s miner running at 50W (0.5W/Gh which is below what any listed miner is capable of achieving: lowest is 0.6W/Gh). If you scale it up to a 1Th/s miner running at 500W, you get about $0.60 extra to spend per Gh/s and still get the same ROI. So unless you have free electricity or you're an Electrical Engineer that dabbles in the black arts, your ROI will be even less likely. This is also using a $0.10/kWh rate, which I think is also low for many people. There are a lot of variables here, so this is in no way a guaranteed outcome. To determine ROI I used BTC instead of USD, so the future price of Bitcoin is not a factor here. If you're buying a miner in USD (or other fiat) and are basing ROI on that same currency, then the future BTC price when you sell your mined coins would matter. This also doesn't account for "miner protection plans" which we have yet to see in action so it's difficult to say how well they'll work. The way I personally look at it: most hobbies don't ROI and if you think mining is valid hobby and can take a loss then go for it. There can be more to mining than "plugging it in and watching it" as is usually the argument of people who don't mine. Again, please feel free to correct any mistakes. It's very late here and I did this quickly. This is as much of a question asking if my thinking is correct as it is a notice to potential ASIC buyers. I'll edit this post as necessary. TL;DR - If profit is your only goal, don't buy an ASIC right now.
Have we not built up the bitmain monopoly buy supporting their hardware so heavily ? No one seems to use anything else and there are no other viable bitcoin miners on the market - in a market where its not that hard to design, print and produce mining chips ? A next-gen USB chip that does 1TH would easily put the market back where it needs to be... and make a ton of cash as well. Where are BitFury and Spondoolies when you need them. Even a simple USB miner based on the BitFury 16nm chip at 100GH/s would be awesome and the market would eat it up... and I am sure they have new hardware by now thats faster and better than this http://bitfury.com/products#16nm-asic
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