The recent rise in the price of bitcoin has resulted in old Antminers becoming profitable again.
Bitmain’s Antminer ASICs for Bitcoin mining are most widely used
BTC has risen 30% in the last two weeks, returning to a price level only 13.4% below its all-time high in mid-April.
Considering that the reward in bitcoin for successfully mining a block is always the same, namely 6.25 BTC, this translates into a 30% increase in the miners’ revenue in dollars as well.
Probably the most widely used ASICs in the world for mining bitcoin are Bitmain’s Antminer, whose flagship product (S19), costing over $10,000, has a computing power of 100 TH/s.
When the value of BTC is low, it reduces revenue for all miners, and this is especially detrimental to those using older and less efficient equipment, with a higher energy cost per TH/s.
According to data published on ASIC miner value, with the new price of BTC, even the old Antminer miners, which used to reach a maximum of 11.5 TH/s, have become profitable. The Antminer S9 is reported to be making less than $3 per day per machine, while the older versions are reportedly still making a loss.
It is worth noting that the highest profit estimate for Antminer is that of the S19 Pro at 110 TH/s, which is slightly under $48 per day. So the $3/day of the old S9 is not negligible.
Obviously, these are estimates, because the cost of electricity varies from place to place, and from source to source, but they are used to compare the performance of the various models.
Old Antminer models make a comeback
The Antminer S9 is a model from 2016, i.e. the year before the last big speculative bubble formed on the price of bitcoin in 2017. Hence it is considered more than obsolete in this industry. In other words, with the current prices, practically all Antminers purchased in the last five years are now profitable again, the cost of many of which has probably already been largely recouped as well.
Given these figures, it is hardly surprising that the overall bitcoin hashrate is back above 160 EH/s, which is almost double what it was at the beginning of July when the price of bitcoin was just over half of what it is now.
The peaks of May, when the hashrate spiked above 190 EH/s, have not yet been reached, but the current level is only 15% lower in this respect.
During 2021, the hashrate level has often followed BTC price changes with a few days or weeks delay, and since the price of bitcoin has also increased by 17% in the last seven days, it is possible to imagine a further increase in hashrate.