Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) are created using a distributed computing process called mining. Miners (the network participants) undertake mining to verify the legitimacy of transactions on the blockchain and ensure network security by preventing double-spending. In return for their efforts, miners are rewarded with a certain amount of BTC.
There are various ways to mine cryptocurrencies, and this article will discuss how to get started with mobile crypto mining from the comfort of your home.
What is crypto mining?
Mining, a resource-intensive activity that often demands enormous computing power to solve a computational problem and add the next valid block to a blockchain, is a crucial component of cryptocurrencies.
Typically, graphics processing units (GPUs) or high-performance hardware are used for cryptocurrency mining. However, unlike GPU mining rigs, an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) mining equipment is explicitly made for mining cryptocurrencies, making an ASIC miner more powerful and energy-efficient than a comparable GPU miner.
Being application-specific, ASICs can be used exclusively for one purpose, such as to mine a specific coin. Nonetheless, the risk of mining just one coin is high due to the enormous volatility of the cryptocurrency market. For instance, the ASIC equipment will be useless if the coin’s value declines over time or the developers decide to alter the hashing algorithm.
Alternatively, can you mine cryptocurrency on your phone? Proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrencies like BTC can be mined using smartphones. Small-scale miners can join mining pools to combine their computer power to raise the likelihood of mining a block successfully. However, the computing power offered using smartphones will be little compared to ASICs, and miners’ payouts will be roughly equal to their contribution.
What is mobile crypto mining, and how does it work?
Mining cryptocurrencies using the processing capacity of smartphones powered by iOS and Android systems is called mobile crypto mining. As mentioned before, in mobile mining, rewards will be approximately the same percentage as computing power offered by miners. But, overall, is mining cryptocurrency on your phone free?
Cryptocurrency mining on the phone requires one to invest in a smartphone, download a cryptocurrency mining app and get a stable internet connection. However, the incentive for crypto miners may be substantially smaller and may not cover the cost of the electricity used to mine. Additionally, the smartphone will experience extreme strain from mining, reducing its lifespan and perhaps destroying its hardware, making it worthless to use for another purpose.
Many apps are available for iOS and Android operating systems to mine cryptocurrencies. However, most apps are only available on third-party crypto mining sites, whose legitimacy must be carefully investigated before use. For instance, according to Google’s developer policy, mobile mining apps are not allowed on Play Store. However, it enables developers to create applications that let them control mining taking place somewhere else, like on cloud computing platforms. The possible reasons behind such restrictions include the quick depletion of batteries; the smartphone will overheat if mining is done “on device” because of the intensive processing.
How to mine cryptocurrency on an Android smartphone
To mine Bitcoin on mobile, miners can either go for Android solo mining or join mining pools like AntPool, Poolin, BTC.com, F2Pool and ViaBTC. However, not every smartphone user can opt for solo mining as it is a computationally intensive task, and it may take decades before you can mine cryptocurrencies using your phone, even if you use one of the newest flagship models.
Alternatively, miners can join cryptocurrency mining pools using apps like the Bitcoin miner or MinerGate Mobile Miner to generate adequate computational processing power and share rewards with contributing stakeholders. However, miners’ pay, payment frequency and incentive options depend on the pool size. Also, be aware that each mining pool follows a different payment system and rewards may vary accordingly.
For instance, in a pay-per-share system, miners receive a specific payout rate for each share they successfully mine, each worth a particular amount of mineable cryptocurrency. On the contrary, the block reward and the mining service fee are settled according to the theoretical profit. Miners also receive a portion of the transaction fees under the full pay-per-share system.
How to mine cryptocurrency on an iPhone
Miners can download mining apps on iPhones to mine cryptocurrencies without investing in expensive hardware equipment. However, regardless of the mining app miners choose, mobile crypto mining may result in high wear and tear without reasonably rewarding their time and effort.
For instance, it may cost miners a lot to run the iPhone on high energy. However, the quantity of BTC or other altcoins they can mine is minimal. Moreover, mobile mining may result in iPhone’s low performance due to the excessive computing power required and the constant need to charge the phone.
Is mobile crypto mining profitable?
Mining profitability depends upon the computational power and efficient hardware used during the crypto-mining process. That said, the more advanced equipment one uses to mine cryptocurrencies, the more likely one will earn more profit than those using smartphones. Moreover, some cyber criminals use the cryptojacking method to secretly use the computing power of unprotected devices to mine cryptocurrencies, making them inefficient for mining in case the original owner wants to mine cryptocurrencies.
Nonetheless, crypto miners often perform a cost-benefit analysis (the advantages of a choice or action less the expenses involved with that choice or activity) to ascertain the mining profitability before making any investments. But, is mobile mining legal? The legality of mining on smartphones, ASICs or any hardware equipment depends upon the jurisdiction of residence, as some countries restrict cryptocurrencies. That said, mining using any hardware equipment will be rendered illegal if cryptocurrencies are restricted in a particular country.
Above all, one should determine their mining goals and prepare their budget before choosing any mining equipment. Before making any investments, it is also important to take environmental issues related to crypto mining into account.
The future of mobile crypto mining
Despite the surge in popularity of cryptocurrency mining, it has been criticized for being economically and environmentally harmful, causing PoW cryptocurrencies like Ethereum to move to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. Additionally, the legal status of mining cryptocurrency is unclear in some jurisdictions, which puts doubt on the viability of a mining strategy. Furthermore, over time, mining apps begin to degrade the smartphone’s functionality, making them inefficient for cryptocurrency mining.
On the contrary, while the evolution of mining hardware equipment enabled miners to run their rigs profitably, the struggle for sustainable mining rewards will keep driving technological advancement. Nonetheless, what the next significant innovation in mobile mining technology will look like is not yet known.
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