Today, millions of people around the world are making money through cryptocurrency mining. Not only are you securing blockchain networks through mining, but you can earn a steady stream of income. While ASICs and GPUs are typically used to mine cryptocurrency, other hardware harbors similar capabilities. But can your smartphone mine cryptocurrency? And, if so, is it a good idea?
Crypto Mining Requirements
Two key elements are required in crypto mining: specialized software and a hardware device.
To mine cryptocurrency, you’ll need hardware that can provide something known as “hash power.” Hash power is what miners need to solve complex computational programs so that they can successfully mine a block and receive the block reward. “Hash rate” is the term used to measure the amount of power a given device can contribute to the mining process.
In general, the higher the hash rate, the higher the chance you have of mining a block. Therefore, high-hash rate devices like ASICs and GPU rigs are often used in cryptocurrency mining instead of less powerful hardware. The software required to mine cryptocurrency can also be very demanding on your device if it is not suited to such tasks.
But can less powerful hardware, like smartphones, still be used to mine crypto, or is it not worth the effort?
Mining Crypto on a Smartphone
Mining cryptocurrency on a smartphone is actually possible. There are various crypto mining apps that you can use to mine crypto directly through your smartphone hardware. These apps often allow you to join mining pools that use some of your phone’s power in the mining process. This is because mining cryptocurrency individually using just a smartphone will likely not be profitable.
But even if you were to join a crypto mining pool using your smartphone, you shouldn’t expect huge profits. Don’t forget that smartphones are not as powerful as typical mining devices, meaning that you can’t contribute as much hash power to the pool. Mining pools often pay in proportion to how much power a user contributes. So, if you’ve dedicated a very small amount of power, your reward will be small, too.
But small rewards are better than no rewards. Using a smartphone is possible if you’re just using crypto mining to generate a small side income. But is this really a good idea for your device?
Crypto Mining Will Damage Your Phone
Of course, your smartphone is not designed to mine cryptocurrency. Because of this, you may run into operational issues if you use your smartphone in this way. Crypto mining is an intense process and requires a lot of electricity. So, if you’re using a mining app on your phone while using it for day-to-day activities, you may notice that the overall performance speeds are lacking.
Mining crypto on your smartphone can also have a negative effect on its lifespan. The more stress you put on your phone, the more the hardware degrades. This is far more the case for solo mining than pool mining, but the rule can apply to both.
It’s also worth noting that crypto-mining apps are used to spread malware. The crypto industry is rife with malicious actors looking to exploit victims, and the case is no different in the mining realm. Even if a mining app isn’t designed to infect your device, the app’s operators may steal your profit without your knowledge. In addition, sketchy apps are commonplace in crypto, so you’ll need to ensure your prospective mining app is reputable and trustworthy before installation.
There are also cryptocurrencies out there that are designed to be mined on smartphones, but many of these are pretty suspicious. Such cryptocurrencies are often not supported by most exchanges and, therefore, cannot be traded or sold for a cash profit. These cryptos also have little to no value, so mining them won’t be very profitable, anyway.
Overall, using a smartphone to mine cryptocurrency isn’t very profitable. So while it may seem convenient and low-cost, your focus should be on the rewards you can earn from the process. After all, that’s why most people mine cryptocurrency.
But if smartphones aren’t a great idea for crypto mining, are there other cheaper alternatives to typical mining hardware?
Cheap Mining Alternatives
In crypto mining, people are constantly looking for cheaper ways to carry out the process. While crypto mining can certainly be profitable, these profits are often eaten into by upfront and maintenance costs. Specialized mining hardware is pricey and often consumes high amounts of energy, meaning your energy bills will take a hit, too. So, is there a cheap alternative to crypto mining?
This all depends on the kind of cryptocurrency you want to mine. If you’re looking to mine a hugely popular asset like Bitcoin, there isn’t really a way to do it successfully on a low budget. Furthermore, Bitcoin is now incredibly difficult to mine, meaning powerful hardware like an ASIC miner is required if you want to stand a chance.
On the other hand, there are smaller cryptocurrencies out there that can be mined with single GPUs or even CPUs. Some cryptocurrencies are even ASIC-resistant, meaning their mining algorithms favor GPUs and CPUs and make the use of ASICs pretty unprofitable. Examples of ASIC-resistant cryptos include Ravencoin, Vertcoin, and Haven Protocol.
Crypto mining is also theoretically possible using a simple USB “rig.” USB Bitcoin mining received a brief wave of popularity in early 2022 when a miner allegedly raked in a profit of $215,000 in BTC rewards via a USB. But it’s worth noting that this method isn’t a great option for high profits, as USB sticks simply cannot offer the high levels of power provided by ASIC miners. Generally, USB mining rigs don’t surpass a hash rate of 10 Th/s, while ASICs can exceed a hash rate of 110 Th/s.
You could always consider using your computer’s CPU to mine cryptocurrency, which lets you avoid upfront hardware costs. But note that crypto mining is an energy-intensive process, so you likely won’t be able to use your computer as you normally would while the mining software runs.
Smartphone Crypto Mining Is Not Profitable and Will Destroy Your Device
While you can technically mine cryptocurrencies using your smartphone, this will likely not be worth the effort. If you can’t generate a solid profit in this venture, you’re tiring your smartphone out for little to no benefit. On top of this, crypto mining apps can be malicious. So, before you delve into smartphone crypto mining, consider the various drawbacks and risks first.