The bitcoin (BTC) halving is completed and many bitcoin miners start to see the impact of the third halving event. Especially older mining rigs are having a hard time generating any profits now that the block rewards have been sliced in halve. In case you have an older bitcoin miner such as the Bitmain Antminer S9, there might still be some hope to extend the lifetime of your older miner just a little bit more.
Why older bitcoin miners became unprofitable
If you are a bitcoin miner with experience, the answer to the question of why older bitcoin miners became unprofitable might be simple. But to make sure we all understand what we will discuss later on in this article, we will explain the basics of generating profits with bitcoin mining.
To be able to generate profits we will need to, of course, mine bitcoin. Since the popularity of bitcoin mining is huge, mining a bitcoin is easier said than done. It takes a lot of energy for a bitcoin mining rig to even have a chance and often it is smartest to join a bitcoin mining pool.
What it all comes down to is the price you pay for your electricity. Electricity prices differ from country to country, with countries that have an abundance of electricity often having the cheapest electricity. An example of a country with cheap electricity is China. Unsurprisingly, a huge share of the total Bitcoin hash rate originates from China.
When the electricity costs of your mining operation are higher than the revenue you generate by block rewards and transaction costs, your operation runs at a loss. You’ll need to upgrade to newer models that are more efficient, or you can also try to find cheaper electricity of course.
Getting the last juice out of your older miner
Now that the halving is done, older miners often run at a loss. However, if you mine in a country that has relatively low electricity costs, you still have an option to extend the life of your older miners. As ASIC miners are essentially computers, there are many tweakers that tweak the software of these miners to optimize them.
Some miners use these tweaks to overclock their rigs, something that was very common just before the halving. However, by downclocking your rig you might be able to make your miner more efficient. This way you will generate a lower hash rate, but you will higher the efficiency, making your rig maybe to a tad more profitable.
Keep in mind that tweaking the firmware may cause problems or even damage. Doing this is at your own risk.