According to crypto analyst Alex Kruger, the breakeven cost for efficient bitcoin mining operations currently hovers around $3,550 to $4,350, while the price of bitcoin is in the $5,500-plus range at the time of this writing. That ensures a $1,000-plus profit for each bitcoin mined and a substantial profit for bitcoin miners considering the uptick momentum in bitcoin price continues.
Kruger said that the breakeven cost was calculated based on an electricity rate of 5.5 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). While electricity costs vary in different regions, the breakeven cost could vary in line with that.
“[The] exact number is heavily dependent on electricity cost,” Kruger said. “E.g., last December Coingeek reported an electricity cost (inclusive of all operational expenses) of $0.073. I am using $0.055.”
Given that the electricity rate in China is much lower — 3.5 cents kWh as some mining farms have claimed — when the wet season in Sichuan started, miners in China can make more than $2,000 in profit for each bitcoin mined. Over the second half of 2018, however, the breakeven cost dropped below the BTC price, leading to inefficient bitcoin mining and losses, with some miners even shutting down their operations and selling off their hardware.
Together with the rise of mining profitability, the hashrate of the whole Bitcoin network has also been climbing. That means more miners have been coming back or freshly entering the market. As BTC.com shows, Bitcoin hash power has seen a 25 percent increase, from 36.55 Exa hashes per second (Eh/s) in mid-December 2018, to 45.76 Eh/s in mid-April 2018.
The ASIC miner market has also been waking up, rolling out faster, new-gen mining devices. In late March, Canaan rolled out its Avalonminer 10 which delivers a hashrate of 31 terahashes per second (TH/s) at 1,736 watts (W). Days later, Bitmain revealed its Antminer 17 series, delivering a hashrate ranging from 50 TH/s to 56 TH/s, operating at 42 watts per terahash (W/Th) to 45 W/Th. And MicroBT released a whopping 72 TH/s bitcoin ASIC M20S recently.
These figures suggest that the market is showing signs of life after coming off of some of its worst months. Bitcoin mining is finally profitable for miners and getting its prospects back after the year-long sluggish market.