The Duration Required to Mine 1 Bitcoin: An Analysis by

Theoretically, it is possible to mine 1 Bitcoin in approximately 10 minutes. This is due to the fact that the Bitcoin blockchain adds a new block (and releases the associated block reward) about every 10 minutes. However, in reality, a significant investment in ASIC miners is required to mine 1 Bitcoin within a reasonable timeframe.
At the moment, the Bitcoin block reward stands at 3.25 BTC. If you were to set up a solo Bitcoin miner and have an extremely lucky streak, you could potentially earn 3.25 BTC in around 10 minutes of starting to mine. Nevertheless, it is crucial to note that this kind of scenario is highly improbable unless you have made a substantial investment in Bitcoin mining hardware.
Given the intense competition in Bitcoin mining and the fact that the Bitcoin protocol allocates 100% of the block reward to a single miner, most miners would not earn any BTC if they did not join a mining pool.
When a miner within a specific mining pool receives a block reward, that reward is divided among all miners in the pool based on the amount of hashrate they contribute. For instance, if you contribute 10% of the pool’s hashrate and another miner in the pool finds a block, you would receive 10% of the 3.125 BTC reward (0.3125 BTC).
So, what is the realistic timeframe for mining 1 Bitcoin?
The Bitcoin blockchain is entirely public, allowing us to access all the necessary information to estimate how long it would take to mine 1 Bitcoin under different scenarios.
By understanding a mining pool’s average hashrate within a specific period and the number of Bitcoin blocks they mined during that period, we can estimate the amount of hashrate required to mine 1 BTC in that timeframe.
For example, let’s calculate the necessary hashrate to mine 1 BTC in 1 day on average.
Foundry, currently the largest Bitcoin mining pool globally, mined 306 blocks in the last 7 days, resulting in 956 BTC in rewards. By dividing this figure by 7, we see that they earned an average of 136.6 BTC per day in the past week.
Hence, you would need 1/136.6 (equivalent to 0.7%) of Foundry’s hashrate to mine 1 BTC per day on average. The average hashrate of the Foundry mining pool in the last 7 days was 187.9 EH/s, with 0.7% of that figure amounting to 1.31 EH/s. This is the required hashrate to mine 1 BTC per day on average.
Reaching this level of hashrate necessitates a substantial investment. For instance, using the Bitmain Antminer S21 ASIC miner, which produces 200 TH/s and is priced at $5,400 by the manufacturer, you would need 6,550 Antminer S21 miners to achieve the current required hashrate of 1.31 EH/s, requiring an investment of $35 million.
Your computing power determines the time it takes to mine 1 Bitcoin
Let’s take a quick glance at the table below to understand how quickly you can mine Bitcoin with varying investment amounts into ASIC miners:
Amount of Bitmain Antminer S21 ASIC minersHashrateInvestment amountTime to mine 1 Bitcoin51,000 TH/s$27,0001,310 days 102,000 TH/s$54,000655 days 5010,000 TH/s$270,000131 days10020,000 TH/s$540,00065 days500100,000 TH/s$2.7 million13 days1,000200,000 TH/s$5.4 million6.5 days5,0001 EH/s$27 million1.3 days10,0002 EH/s$54 million0.65 days
These calculations are based on the difficulty of mining Bitcoin as of May 15, 2024, and the assumption that the Antminer S21 miner is used, producing 200 TH/s and priced at $5,400 by the manufacturer.
It is important to note that the calculations above do not include other costs associated with mining Bitcoin, such as electricity, maintenance, cooling, and the space for housing the miners. Accounting for these costs would significantly increase the investment amount required to mine 1 BTC within a specific timeframe.
The Bitcoin mining landscape has become increasingly competitive following the recent Bitcoin halving on April 19, 2024. The halving reduced the block reward from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC.
Despite the recent drop in the Bitcoin mining difficulty, it remains at levels comparable to those observed in March. This means that mining a Bitcoin block still demands a similar level of resources as in March, but with half the rewards, putting pressure on less efficient Bitcoin mining operations.
Why do Bitcoin miners join mining pools?
Without specialized Bitcoin mining hardware, mining 1 Bitcoin within a reasonable timeframe is nearly impossible. For instance, attempting to mine Bitcoin with a standard gaming GPU is futile due to the intense competition in Bitcoin mining.
Solo mining (mining Bitcoin without joining a mining pool) is akin to gambling in a lottery rather than a reliable source of income, unless you operate a large-scale mining farm with hundreds or thousands of rigs. Joining a mining pool is the most practical way to earn through Bitcoin mining, but it does require a significant investment in proper mining hardware to be financially viable.
The difficulty in making profits with solo mining lies in the fact that the Bitcoin protocol allocates each block reward to only one miner. For instance, if you control just 0.0001% of the total Bitcoin network’s hashrate, you would have only a 0.0001% chance of receiving a reward when each block is added to the Bitcoin blockchain.
Joining a mining pool offers a more consistent revenue stream. When any miner in your pool successfully mines a block, you would receive a share of the Bitcoin reward based on the amount of hashrate you contribute.
In summary
With the price of Bitcoin exceeding $60,000 at the time of writing, mining 1 Bitcoin is certainly no easy task.
The recent Bitcoin halving has intensified competition in the Bitcoin mining industry, making mining financially feasible only for miners who can achieve high efficiency levels through low electricity costs, effective cooling solutions, or other competitive advantages.
If you are unwilling to make a significant investment of both money and time into Bitcoin mining, it is likely to result in a financial loss. However, if you view mining as a hobby rather than a financial venture, the financial aspect may be less significant.
For those interested in an alternative approach to investing in Bitcoin mining, consider exploring our list of the best Bitcoin mining companies to invest in for 2024.

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