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Author : Bitconnect
Bitcoin Exchange Rate. Cloud mining provider failure/mining hardware failure. Electricity costs (does not apply to cloud mining). Upfront hardware cost. Hardware delivery time for pre-orders. Hardware becoming obsolete. The above factors are key working out if mining will be a profitable venture and each will be explained in more detail below. The difficulty typically rises and rarely falls by a significant value apart from under rare circumstances, which will be discussed below. What is difficulty? The bitcoin difficulty at https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Difficulty is how hard bitcoins are to mine. The bitcoin protocol is designed to, on average produce a new block every 10 minutes. All mining hardware is attempting to find a random hash value that meets the required difficulty, when someone finds it the block can be constructed. To keep the average block time at 10 minutes, the bitcoin network raises the required difficulty of the solved hash such that it keeps the average time a hash is found at 10 minutes. If more miners join the network, the higher the difficulty, if miners leave the network the difficulty will fall. When knowledge of bitcoin increased with the wider public in 2012/2013 the difficulty skyrocketed, further increasing with the development of ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) at https://www.bitcoinmining.com/bitcoin-mining-hardware/ which can perform the simple mining hashing function much faster than general purpose hardware can.
The difficulty increased to a point where mining with general purpose computer hardware cannot produce a return anymore. In theory, as a single solution can solve a block there is a chance that one could solo mine 12.5 bitcoins on general purpose hardware, but the probability is many times worse than winning any lottery on earth. As new more efficient ASICs at https://www.bitcoinmining.com/bitcoin-mining-hardware/ are developed, the difficulty has been increasing. There has been a couple of drops in difficulty, a notable rare occasion was when a massive mining farm in Thailand caught fire at http://www.coindesk.com/gallery-fire-destroys-thai-bitcoin-mining-facility/ due to lack of fire safety, this caused a significant drop in difficulty at the time. Every two weeks on average the difficulty level is recalculated. As difficulty increases older hardware profits begin to drop to a point where it is no longer viable to run them, unless as a hobby. The difficulty is not something to worry about too much if you buy bitcoin, although higher prices of bitcoin mean older hardware is sometimes turned back on as it becomes profitable once more, increasing the difficulty, at https://bitcoinwisdom.com/bitcoin/difficulty and vice versa. See the below bitcoin wisdom graph for the difficulty from January 2016 - August 2016: Minus the occasional drop, the average difficulty has been rising, network mining power at https://blockchain.info/pools has more than doubled in 9 months, meaning earnings would have dropped by more than half in that time.
Bitcoin Exchange Rate. The bitcoin exchange rate is the value of bitcoins in relation to hard currency such as the U.S Dollar. If you are looking to hold what you mine long term, or buy and sell at the ‘right’ times a profit can be had although there is a risk that the value could drop and not recover. The exchange rate varies wildly, it peaked at nearly 1,000 USD in 2014, before sharply dropping to less than half that in a short time, as shown by the below graph: The price of mining hardware also is adjusted according to the exchange rate of bitcoin, so buying hardware during a price peak to then have the price fall and difficulty continuing to rise can render it difficult to return your investment. Provider/Hardware failure. Due to the nature of cloud mining services, a provider becoming insolvent can cause the investor to lose what they have invested minus what they have withdrawn, and unless the investor stored their earnings outside of the provider’s internal wallet, that could also be lost. If purchasing hardware which typically has a 90-day warranty in the case of most new hardware out today with a projected ROI time of 350 days on the average UK electricity bill from personal experience at the current difficulty (which is rising continually), failure of the hardware after the 90-day mark would mean a loss is made.
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