Increasing Mining Costs and Lower Crypto Prices Pose Problems for Student Cryptocurrency MinersApril 20, 2018
Student cryptocurrency miners are facing higher mining costs and lower cryptocurrency prices. The electricity bill is already included in their room and board fees, allowing them to mine Bitcoins during their free time. However, the persistently low prices of cryptocurrencies lately have been reducing their profit margins.
Cryptocurrency mining is often associated with reliability, safety and a high amount of profit. Considering these benefits, interested individuals are more inclined towards Bitcoin mining even if it involves a large computing power. Altcoins can also give miners a fair gain due to their simpler algorithm. The potential gain and simplicity of mining, however, are not essentially proportional when it comes to Altcoins. Algorithms for Bitcoins have become tough to hash. Reliable hard disk drives and GPUs of massive power are needed to do the task. Several high-end GPUs running together can speed up block generation and payouts.
However, the increasing demand for GPUs has raised the prices of hardware needed to mine more cryptocurrencies. This has also left miners scrambling for graphic cards. The prices of graphic cards are too high for most students to pay. A senior student at Fairleigh Dickenson University who has been mining for 6 years said that the amount of money that one has to spend to get in has gotten ludicrous. This student invested thousands of dollars in his bitcoin mining business and found a way to keep his operation undetected by carefully placing GPUs to prevent a power outage. Cryptocurrency mining was not as electricity sapping as before. The FDU student mines bitcoins around the clock not only in his dorm room, but also back home. This has cost him around $200 to $1,000 every 8 weeks or so.
Another student at Fairleigh Dickenson University originally built his computer operation to play games, but ultimately started mining cryptocurrency in late 2017 when the price of Bitcoin was very high. The student used NiceHash to mine cryptocurrency, but he was only able to mine .00027 BTC daily. It was not a worthwhile endeavor.
Some student bitcoin miners don’t conduct their mining business on campus. A student at Northwest Missouri State University said that it’s immoral to use campus power. Most mining equipment uses more than 1kW per hour of power.
Bitcoin mining involves solving complex equations. The more blocks and transactions that are completed, the more complicated the puzzles become. The device that’s being used to mine Bitcoin has to consume more power to keep up with the demand. Cryptocurrency mining will be quite hard for students, especially now that the prices of cryptocurrency are not exactly going back to its former glory.
If universities decide to crack down on their bitcoin mining policy, students could very well lose an important advantage once the prices of cryptocurrency increase again. They would have to look for another source of power and their gains may not be enough to cover their electricity bill.
Fairleigh Dickenson University blocks cryptocurrency mining at the firewall level and will most likely add a certain language that prohibits such activities.