Raspi Bitcoin Miner May Just Pay For Itself Eventually

We’re sure a lot of people out there have a Raspberry Pi or two lying around waiting for a project to come to mind.  [Dave] has an interesting solution to this orphaned hardware – use it to mine Bitcoins and perhaps put a few extra bucks in your pocket at the end of the year.

[Dave] is using a Raspberry Pi, powered USB hub, and an ASICMiner Block Erupter to do Bitcoin mining at 330 Megahashes per second. There are a few ancillary items such as a case and USB fan, but if you already have a Raspberry Pi, you’re only looking at a $50 USD investment to have a dedicated Bitcoin miner.

According to this Bitcoin mining profitability calculator, with a $50 investment that can mine at 330 MH/s, you’re looking at a hardware break even point of about 120 days. You could cut that down to just a few months if you overclock your ASICMiner, but it’s still relatively late in the game for amateur Bitcoin miners to make a substantial amount of money. Think of Bitcoin mining as more of hobby, and you’ll hopefully be more realistic about your goals.

32 thoughts on “Raspi Bitcoin Miner May Just Pay For Itself Eventually

  1. According to this Bitcoin mining profitability calculator, with a $50 investment that can mine at 330 MH/s, you’re looking at a hardware break even point of about 120 days. You could cut that down to just a few months if you overclock your ASICMiner.

    Funny, cos I thought 4months was just a few months already?

    1. I was thinking that too. A couple is precisely two. A few is more than two, and somewhere under five? 120 days is four months… sooooo…. eh it passes.
      But I think three is the number you should account to. Four is a bit much. And five is RIGHT OUT!

  2. The problem with “120 days” is that by the time you make it to 120 days the difficulty has since doubled, by people throwing more hardware at Bitcoin mining, making it more like 240 days. Then by the time you make it to 240 days the difficulty has doubled yet again (but the value of the pool mined BTC’s has also increased).

    I stopped mining a few years ago,. I wish i had heard about Bitcoins earlier than I did. I was too late to the party for the 10,000 BTC pizzas.

      1. Indeed. And unsurprisingly; there are a finite number of remaining bitcoins, and the intent of the difficulty settings is to ensure that they will essentially never _all_ be mined.

    1. Indeed. Getting irritating.

      Its just running arbitrary calculations for no benefit. While I can see some academic interest in the very best, most optimized, way to do those calculations….it really isn’t remotely interesting as a hack.

      I also get mildly depressed I’ve never seen any “@Home” hardware builds. The implication being promise of easy money is more attractive then curing decease’s or even alien hunting.

      1. I agree this hack isn’t much of a hack, but there’s certainly benefit in having a convenient alternative medium for (international) trade of goods and services. Arguably, it would be better if this didn’t involve running arbitrary calculations, but it’s hard to come up with a distributed virtual currency that doesn’t involve them.

        1. People who complain that crypto-currencies run “arbitrary” code don’t know how cryptography works apparently. It would be extremely wasteful for the bitcoin network to do anything else than what it is already doing. The code isn’t entirely “arbitrary” either, this is a myth perpetuated by authors in the press who don’t really understand what they are writing about. The mining process not only spends time unlocking coins from the block-chain, they also facilitate the transactions and add more encryption to the block-chain. If they were also curing cancer at the same time or folding protein chains, it would actually be more wasteful than the service they are providing by making this extremely convenient monetary system possible.

          1. People like Nathaneal “don’t know how cryptography works apparently”. Bitcoins are not “unlocked” and transactions are not “faciliated” by the computations. Neither is “more encryption” added to the chain – whatever that was supposed to mean. Facts: 1. Bitcoin’s proof-of-work algorithm is quite simple and does not do *anything* of use, 2. There is *no* inherent difficulty in the Bitcoin algorithm; the “difficulty” of “mining” is purely artificial and defined by the majority of clients in the network. The whole Bitcoin network would function well even with an ever-constant difficulty of “1”. The decision to artificially introduce the difficulty factor was made by the inventors of Bitcoin and is purely based on economic considerations, i.e. to prevent almost infinite inflation rates. There is no cryptographic necessity for that. — I still can’t get over the “add more encryption” statement :) Sounds like a 5-year old said that. Sorry. — However, I had also appreciated an approach with some real value derived from the mining operations. If the guys from folding@home had promised a dollar for everyone who finds something “useful” the whole thing could have taken off like Bitcoin did. – Well, not quite, because the anomymity of Bitcoin attracts criminal organizations seeking to invest large amounts of looted capital and laundring the money by conceiling its origins. Poor fools are those who try to make a buck by investing $1000 of their savings in Bitcoin mining: How could they ever compete with a host of people each having $500000 to “spare” and who will gladly accept a loss of 25 or 30% of their investment for the sake of anonymity? — Just my BTC 0.02 …

  3. I’d like to invite everyone to check out my project for integrating an ATX power supply with a Raspberry Pi bitcoin setup. You can see more details at http://www.kd8ssf.com/atx-pi

    Video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMrWX3kyayo

    Overkill? Possibly, but this is designed more for Klondike miners or anything else where high current is desired. I’ll have the mounting plate design files up on the github soon. Thanks for checking it out!

  4. I ordered a mining rig from Butterfly labs almost a year ago, and it still hasn’t arrived.. At the time I was projected to make money, but now I’m just hoping to break even if it ever arrives.

    I’m a sucker.

  5. I’ve been working on a solar powered bitcoin miner using a raspi for months, waiting on my gear from BFL. Mostly come together and gear should arrive soon. Not really a hack per se but there is some napkin maths and other snippets people might find interesting… Check out the site if you’re bored, I never submitted it here due to not really being a hack. Might have some new projects soon though…

    1. I’m curious about the solar powering portion.. Have several solar cells here, ranging from tiny 1 in. x 1 in. up to a full panel that outputs like 53 watts. Been itching to do something useful with them, lacking the budget to get a marine battery though :( Didn’t see a site listed however..?

      1. The little baby panels are great for little projects or ultra low power devices that don’t mind not getting enough voltage at times, but 53w would be enough to keep a deep cycle battery charged. As for those, you can sometimes pick them up secondhand when they aren’t holding as much charge anymore. While it might be degradation that is hard to fix, the last lot I got were simply kept charged too long and never cycled, so after popping the “sealed” caps and refilling with distilled water, then gently nursing them back to health I now have some pretty good sealed lead acid batteries!

    2. How stupid are you that you think YOUR weather conditions are MINE. ROFL.. I live in the middle of sunny Arizona bud. We have 362 days of FULL, UNCLOUDED DIRECT sunlight.
      And aside of that, plenty of locations in the world have more than enough sunshine to make solar a viable option.

    3. You’re a happy one, aren’t you! I guess you’ve missed the point of anything hacking related. I know what I’ve built won’t be profitable, but that isn’t the point. The point for me was to see if I could do it. I had the first panel and batteries left over from a previous project, so I figured why not!

      Why not go actually read the pages I’ve written, the first is more about the idea and implementation while the other is about the numbers, and basically says that it actually isn’t really worth it. That said, zero variable costs, so again, why not!


  6. What if you create a big project with those ASICMiner Block Erupters and the USB hubs? Their cost an eletricity consume are a lot less than having a big project with those ASIC miners in my opinion. Far down the road shoud be more profitable (I didnt do the math and calcs to get ot this point!) And let’s consider I’m fairly new when the question is building a mini mining farm. (Or maybe not!)

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