In a recent survey, Elite Fixtures took the time to examine 115 countries across the globe, to confirm which of them provides the greatest and the least profit when mining bitcoin. Essentially, it was a survey on energy costs, since the expense of mining a single bitcoin is ultimately determining the electricity spent operating a mining rig to do the necessary proof-of-work validations to add blocks to the blockchain. Therefore, this survey determines the most expensive and the cheapest countries for utilising that amount of energy.
With that criterion in mind, Venezuela was the cheapest country to mine altcoins by a large margin. Elite Fixtures’s data demonstrates that it costs a mere $531 to mine a single bitcoin in the South American country. Given the current market price of Bitcoin at around $11,000, that leads to a decent profit of $10,500 per coin. The reason? Venezuela benefits from a heavily subsidized electricity market, in order to encourage local industrial development. Whilst bitcoin mining can lead to huge profits, the Venezuelan government does not consider it to fall under those conditions. Indeed, bitcoin mining in Venezuela is not without its risks. Not only have local police been arresting anyone caught mining the digital currency, the country itself intends to launch its own altcoin (the Petro coin) in an effort to stabilise its volatile economy.
As far as the most expensive mining venue is concerned, that honour falls to South Korea, where the energy cost of mining a single bitcoin is currently $26,170, or over twice its market value. Again, there are reasons for this that have nothing to do with the altcoin scene. In South Korea, in an effort to curtail unnecessary energy consumption, they utilise a sliding scale when charging for electricity use. This means that companies and individuals that use more energy will pay disproportionately higher costs. This is meant to encourage users to optimise their electricity use, but the amount required to mine bitcoin will not change for local markets.
In short, the survey confirmed suppositions: namely that the cost of mining bitcoin is effectively the cost of the electricity you use to do so.
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