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Hashpro(phet)

Post-halving mining has been extremely challenging for many of us small-scale miners. Many have shut down their machines to weather the storm, hoping that BTCUSD will rise and drive up the hash price. However, things look bleak as we are in peak summer, with no signs of a significant hash price increase. We are left with the old question we’ve likely answered before: how can I keep the machines running?

To address this question, we will model various hash profit scenarios for our standardized S19j Pro 96t machine. We’ll examine how overclocking and underclocking affect profitability and determine if there is a scenario where it makes sense to adjust the hash rate up or down.

Modeling Hashcost

First, we need to calculate the hashcost, which is (Efficiency * kWh * 24 hours). This provides a baseline for what hashcost looks like for our S19j Pro 96t machine in factory, overclocked, and underclocked settings1.

ModelTH/sWattsEfficiency (W/TH/s)Hashcost
S19j Pro Overclocked105310029.52$0.053
S19j Pro Factory96285029.69$0.053
S19j Pro Underclocked74.5190525.57$0.046
This is modeling S19j Pro 96t @ $0.075 kWh

Findings

  • Efficiency Difference: The S19j Pro Underclocked has significantly better efficiency (25.57 W/TH/s) compared to both the Factory (29.69 W/TH/s) and Overclocked (29.52 W/TH/s) settings. This means that when underclocked, the machine uses less power per terahash, making it more energy-efficient.
  • Hashcost Impact: Despite the higher efficiency when underclocked, the hashcost is slightly lower at $0.046 compared to the $0.053 for both factory and overclocked settings. This indicates that running the machine underclocked not only improves efficiency but also reduces the operational cost per terahash, potentially making it a more cost-effective option in certain scenarios.
  • Percentage Hashcost Difference: The hashcost of the underclocked setting ($0.046) is approximately 13.21% cheaper than the factory setting ($0.053). This reduction in hashcost could be significant for small-scale miners looking to optimize their expenses.

Running The Numbers

Now that we have our hashcost, we can subtract it from the daily hash price to model various scenarios for our three miner configurations.

Hashprofit at $65k

In our first scenario, we will examine the hash profit for our machines with a fixed BTCUSD price of $65,383, which is the current price at the time of writing. We will explore how the hash profit changes as the network hashrate increases.

Findings

  • Profitability Trends: The daily hashprofit decreases for all three models as the network hashrate increases.
  • Comparison of Settings: At lower network hashrate levels (around 600 TH/s), the S19j Pro Underclocked (red line) is profitable compared to both the S19j Pro 96 (black line) and the S19j Pro Overclocked (green line). As the network hashrate increases, the underclocked setting maintains a profitability advantage which becomes unprofitable around network hashrate 640 eh/s.
  • Steepest Decline: The S19j Pro Overclocked (green line) shows the steepest decline in profitability with increasing network hashrate.

Hashprofit at 572 eh/s

Next we look at what happens to hashprofit in an environment with fixed hashrate (yes, this is unlikely) and increasing BTCUSD. This scenario is modeled at 572 eh/s which is the current 24 hour hashrate2.

Findings

  • Breakeven Points: The graph starts with all models at a negative daily hashprofit at $60,000 but quickly moves into positive territory as the BTC price rises. This indicates that even slight increases in BTC prices can shift the profitability into the positive range for miners.
  • Profitability Increase: As the BTCUSD price increases, the daily hashprofit for all three models shows a positive trend.
  • Consistent Trends: The S19j Pro Underclocked (red line) consistently yields better daily hashprofit than the S19j Pro 96 (black line), even though it has a lower hash rate. This highlights the efficiency benefits of underclocking, particularly at lower BTC prices.
  • Profitability Shift: The S19j Pro Underclocked becomes less profitable than the other models at higher BTCUSD prices, specifically around the $90,000 mark. At this point, the efficiency advantage of underclocking is outweighed by the higher hash rate of the overclocked and factory settings, making them more profitable as BTC prices continue to rise.

Final Thoughts

Bitcoin mining in the fifth epoch has become incredibly challenging. The current economics favor only the most efficient miners, leaving small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and home miners struggling. Personally, I question whether it’s all worth it. Should I liquidate everything now, or is it worth keeping the machines running?

This analysis was based on a single machine, and scaling it to my small farm didn’t provide much reassurance. The mining landscape is no longer easy; it’s cutthroat. Underclocking appears to be the best strategy for now, given its 13% increase in efficiency. However, the potential earnings must be weighed against the risk of a BTCUSD price drop, which could push profits into the negative. The pressing question remains: Is this worth it?


Footnotes
  1. These numbers were gathered via actual readings from S19j Pro 96 in overclocked and underclocked modes. Don’t trust, verify. ↩︎
  2. I prefer 30 day moving average for things like this but I am unable to find a network hashrate that I can plug into google sheets besides Bitbo.io. ↩︎