What do Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Monero have in common? They are all cryptocurrencies, and you can mine them and make money. How you mine each coin varies. For example, did you know you could mine Bitcoin with your Android device? It’s true, mining Bitcoin with Android devices is legitimate. Should you do it?
Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency. It’s also the origin of using computing power to generate new coins. Since its launch in 2009, a lot of people have tried using numerous devices to mine Bitcoin. From USB miners to CPUs, Raspberry PI to GPUs, each of these devices has been involved with mining.
Somehow, all the devices mentioned above are no longer used to mine Bitcoin. While they have the capacity to solve the complex math algorithms needed to mine Bitcoin, it wouldn’t be profitable to use them. This same scenario applies to mine Bitcoin with your Android device.
How Mining Bitcoin Works
Bitcoin mining is all about confirming that a transaction has taken place and adding the appropriate data to the blockchain. Bitcoin’s founder, Satoshi Nakamoto, proposed the idea. Satoshi coded the Bitcoin protocol in such a way that a series of Bitcoin transactions would form a block-size of data.
One block is equal to 1MB. Every time one block of the transaction is verified, 12.5 Bitcoins are released. The Bitcoin reward is halved after every four years. Bitcoin miners are rewarded with the released Bitcoins plus all transaction fees involved in the process.
The process of verifying transactions involve solving complex puzzles in hashes per second. Satoshi coded the Bitcoin protocol to self-adjust and increase the mining difficulty as more people get involved in the mining business and as more powerful devices are used.
Androids’ Computing Speed
By today’s standards, solving one block-size of Bitcoin transactions requires trillion of hashes per second. By comparison, here is the computing speed of popular Android devices:
|Android Device||Hash Rate|
|Huawei Mate 9||50 H/s|
|Samsung Galaxy S9||50+H/s|
|Samsung Galaxy S7 & 8||45H/s|
|Google Pixel 2||40H/s|
|Xiaomi Redmi Note 3||35H/s|
The physical process of mining Bitcoin requires hardware such as your mobile device. However, mining can’t be completed without the use of applications to connect the hardware’s power to the blockchain.
Below we have highlighted some of these apps, but before then here is how Android devices compare with the latest mining devices that are actually profitable.
|Mining Hardware||Hash Rate|
|Antminer S9||14 TH/s|
|Antminer R4||8.6 TH/s|
|Antminer S7||4.73 TH/s|
Based on mining power alone, Android devices are too inferior to be used as Bitcoin mining devices. Android devices are better compared with USB miners, whose profitably is roughly $1 a year. However, people still use them, mainly as a hobby.
If you would love to have fun mining some Bitcoin with your Android device, here are the apps you will need.
MinerGate Mobile Miner
From the company that develops mining software for ASICs, MinerGate is tailored to support mining a variety of cryptocurrencies using any of your Android devices. The mobile app can be used to mine Bitcoin, Dash coin, Digital Note, Bytecoin, Monero and several other coins that use the same SHA-256 mining algorithm popular with Bitcoin.
When you download this app, it’s compulsory to create an account. With the account, the app connects to the blockchain and lets you have fun mining some coins. You can also customize your experience by using this app. You can set your Android to the only mine when it’s connected to the charger and the number of processing cores to be used in the process.
Crypto miner provides either a free version or a PRO option that costs $2.28. The app doesn’t look sleek and advanced as MinerGate, but it supports numerous coins besides Bitcoin. You can comfortably mine Litecoin, Monero, Helixcoin, Yacoin among other cryptos with the app.
Crypto miner makes it compulsory for its users to join a mining pool. You can’t solo mine with the app even if you are just a hobbyist. However, the app has some unique features that include optimizing the app for advanced Cortex-A processors.
This app is designed for Bitcoin, Litecoin and Vertcoin mining. Like Crypto Miner, you must join a pool to interact with it. Once connected, the app has a not so attractive interface where you can check your mining log. Neon Miner does not have numerous unique features, but it allows you to switch between mining pools and set the number of processors used by your Android devices.
Should your Consider Mining Bitcoin with your Android Device?
By now it should be clear that you can mine Bitcoin with an Android device. Some Androids actually have higher processing speeds than basic PC computers. And between 2009 and 2011, Bitcoin mining was primarily mined using PC computers, some of which had the same hash rate as modern smartphones.
With that in mind, it’s not advisable to use your Android for Bitcoin mining. The cons to doing by far outweigh any benefits you gain.
The Risks Involved with Android Bitcoin Mining
When set-up properly, it’s possible to mine Bitcoin on your Android device without damaging it. However, Bitcoin mining requires far too much power to mine. This has a damaging effect on the cell phone battery which you may need to replace after a few weeks. Additionally, the enormous computing speed needed to solve Bitcoin algorithms tends to damage the processors on your Android device.
Not every app advertised as an Android mining app is legitimate. Some contain malware which connected to your device forces it mine Bitcoin for the attackers. Worse, mining malware is designed to exploit your Android’s mining speed until it crashes. Usually, a powerful malware can crash your phone within a day.
This study showed that it took 14 million Android devices to complete one block of Bitcoin in 2014. Today, the mining difficulty is much more difficult and smartphones’ haven’t increased their processors that much. With a typical android miner of 50 H/s providing profitability of only $1 a year, it is not worth the hassle.
You can mine Bitcoins with any device with a processor. However, you can only mine Bitcoins profitably with a powerful enough machine. ASIC machines that deliver a hash rate of up to 16 TH/s are currently the best devices for professional miners. They cost more than a $1000 each, but they are the best in the business.
If you decide to setup your Android device for Bitcoin mining, keep in mind the risk involved. Preferably, use a spare smartphone for Bitcoin mining.