A standard ASIC Bitcoin miner is a shoebox-sized piece of equipment, which consumes more electricity than most desktop computers. Because such devices cram a lot of mining chips (which includes several circuit boards) into one case, they end up being big, hot, noisy, and heavy.
Although economic efficiency supports this design, Bitcoin miners are not necessarily built this way. Each USB Bitcoin Miner is about the size of a memory stick; this is proof that a mining chip or two (contained in a compact device) is all you need to mine cryptocurrencies.
USB Bitcoin miners can also mine 13 other SHA-256 coins, including Bitcoin Cash, Peercoin, and Namecoin. You can see the full list on CoinWarz, which also lets you calculate the USB miner’s hashrate profitability for each coin.
Good from USB Miner.
- The advantage of USB miners is that they don’t need a separate power supply or their own internet connection. They connect directly to any desktop or laptop computer, and share their resources.
- USB miners don’t generate a lot of heat, so they usually don’t require cooling from an internal or external fan, or air conditioner.
- Ordinary mining hardware produces a loud whining sound. But since the USB miner doesn’t have a built-in fan, you can mine at home or in the office, without causing any noise pollution.
- The small size of the USB miner means no rack or storage solution is required.
- These miners are also easy to transport. So unlike ASIC units, they are very cheap to ship.
USB miners are pretty cheap. You can easily find them for under $100 on Minerst Company, whereas regular miners sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
- Multiple USB miners can be plugged into different ports on a computer or into a multiport USB hub.
Not Good USB Miner
- The main drawback of USB miners is the relatively low hashrate. Most USB miners only feature one outdated ASIC mining chip.
- To match the hashrate of modern standalone ASIC miners, you need to spend more money on miners and USB devices, to run them.
Use Case for USB Miner
Don’t expect big money — or even small money — from a USB miner. Profits like this are a thing of the past.
So USB miners are definitely not an economical option for miners. You are almost guaranteed to lose money running a USB miner, unless the price of Bitcoin really spikes. But even so, you’ll make more money running regular mining hardware.
However, the USB miner is a fun educational device. This is a good way to learn about aspects of mining that involve software and hardware — or even electronics in general — without investing hundreds of dollars. USB miners can also be an interesting tool to teach others about this field.
If you want to experiment with overclocking or underclocking ASIC miners, USB sticks are a great choice. Better to blow up a $50 Stickminer than a full $1000+ ASIC miner! Many experts recommend getting a USB hub for overclocking, which can supply enough power for USB miners.
The last use of USB miners is to collect them as Bitcoin memorabilia, much like physical Bitcoins. They can be an interesting piece of conversation, especially for those who have stories to tell about Bitcoin’s early days.
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The Best USB Miner Available Today
If you’re looking to pick up a cheap USB miner for educational purposes, a used Block Erupter Sapphire is available on Minerst, and it’s a fair choice. It has a hash of 333 MH/s, and a new one sells on Minerst for about $35. A used one will be about half the price.
6 Block Eraser and fans6 Block Erupters in USB hub, along with positionable fan
The USB Antminer U1 Bitmain reaches 1.6 GH/s. A new Antminer sells for $33, and a used one sells for around $12.50. In terms of advantages, it is a slightly better choice than ancient Sapphire.
Antminer U1Antminer U1 Bitmain
Stickminer GekkoScience 2Pac
Are you looking for something that can earn you more coins? Maybe a small number of SHA256 altcoins? Then we recommend the GekkoScience 2Pac Stickminer. Bear in mind that it will not generate Bitcoin.
This miner contains two Bitmain BM1384 chips, which are the same chips used in the Antminer S5. Mining device with a maximum hashrate of 15 GH/s, which makes it the most powerful USB miner available.
Since the 2Pac is about the same price as the Sapphire or U1, it offers the best value for money, as well as the most power efficiency. So you really can’t go wrong. However to achieve maximum mining speed, you will have to manually adjust the frequency and power of the device.
Although this Stickminer contains a Bitmain chip, it is manufactured by GekkoScience, a hobby electronics company. 2Pac is the successor to GekkoScience Compac, which reaches a hashrate of 8 GH/s.
You can buy a 2Pac from a recommended reseller, or maybe another retailer in the official forum thread. Currently on sale on forums for a minimum price of $32, plus $10 shipping in the US. Plus, you can find them on Amazon, eBay or Minerst .
In the forums, you can find more information or ask support questions. Since these USB miners still enjoy a lot of community support, they are probably the best choice for learning purposes. So, chances are, someone will be able to offer to help if you run into a deadlock.
Writer : Nurainun / Minerst.com