Crypto started pretty small, but it gathered around a community of over 400 million users, and since 2009, when Bitcoin was launched, there have been thousands of cryptocurrencies developed. While some of them work based on consensus mechanisms such as PoS (Proof-of-Stake), PoA (Proof-of-Authority), or PoC (Proof-of-Capacity), others stick to Bitcoin’s consensus mechanism, PoW (Proof-of-Work).
Proof-of-work cryptocurrencies require users to mine the specific coin or token in order to secure the network. And the mining process usually requires specialized hardware, such as CPUs, GPUs, or a newer type of mining hardware called ASIC.
In this article, we will talk about how USB ASIC miners work and how profitable they are compared to other types of crypto mining hardware.
USB ASIC Miners at a Glance
USB ASIC miners are compact and specialized devices designed to mine cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. With their small form factor, they connect directly to a computer’s USB port, making them convenient and easy to set up. These miners utilize Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) technology, which ensures efficient mining performance with low power consumption.
Despite its small size, a USB Bitcoin miner can still generate a modest amount of hashing power, contributing to the overall network’s computational strength. While they may not compete with larger mining rigs in terms of output, USB Bitcoin miners serve as an excellent entry point for beginners and enthusiasts interested in crypto mining without significant investments.
How Does USB Mining Work?
The USB Bitcoin mining process implies validating new transactions and releasing new coins into circulation.
A USB ASIC miner connects to the computer’s USB port and, with the appropriate software, executes the computing process required to do the mining. To get a better hashing output, multiple ASIC miners can be connected to the same PC.
As a computer usually has anywhere from 2 to 4 USB ports, you can use the ports to connect multiple USB miners, as this will increase the overall performance of the computer by increasing the computational power.
Then, the USB hub assembly connects with the mining software capable installed on the PC that manages the mining operations of the USB ASIC miner. The software allows you to monitor in real-time the mining performance of the ASIC miner.
The USV ASIC miner can also be connected to a laptop or to smaller devices, such as a Raspberry Pi.
What Advantages Does a USB ASIC Miner Have?
While a regular ASIC mining rig ranges between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, a USB ASIC miner usually costs under $50. This can increase your winnings when you mine Bitcoin.
Furthermore, USB miners are fairly easy to set up and configure, as opposed to regular ASIC mining rigs, which require technical knowledge and time. Thus, mining Bitcoin can suddenly become more straightforward, and you can start earning crypto quicker.
While a small mining operation can end up taking up a lot of space, a USB ASIC miner can be easily stored or moved to a new laptop or PC. This enables you to mine on the go from wherever you are located.
Is a USB ASIC Miner Profitable with Other Cryptocurrencies?
In the world of cryptocurrency mining, the hash rate is the quintessential factor that determines how much profit you make. A lower hash rate means that you have a significantly lower chance of mining the next block and getting the mining reward. If you compete against other miners that have a regular ASIC miner or a mining rig, a simple USB ASIC miner will not be able to withstand its processing power, regardless of the crypto mined.
Because of its low performance, a USB ASIC miner brings lower profits. The owners of such ASIC miners have stated that achieving a good ROI with such units is impossible or the mining results aren’t worth the investment. With a lower hash rate, you will have to wait much longer to mine 1 block and hence receive the crypto reward, especially if the difficulty increases regularly.
If you consider the money and time you have to invest in order to mine a specific cryptocurrency, then it is probably not worth investing in a USB ASIC miner to diversify your portfolio. However, if you aim to mine crypto with the help of a USB ASIC miner, research the options available and find a product that can offer much with less.
Crypto mining has become extremely popular over the years, and while there also are other consensus mechanisms, Proof of Work is still the one that built the base bricks of the crypto industry.
Mining requires specialized hardware, such as CPUs, GPUs, ASIC miners, or USB ASIC miners. Each type of mining hardware provides a specific hash rate and leads to various earnings.
In terms of profitability, it is recommended that you use traditional hardware mining, such as an ASIC or a performant GPU. But if you are just looking to get familiar with crypto mining and not invest significant amounts, then a USB ASIC miner might be right for you.