The crypto market has been flourishing over the past few decades, with many getting their noses into investing and trading with various different cryptocurrencies. However, there is a lesser-known side where you can profit from crypto that not many have ventured into yet, crypto mining.
Ether is one of the most popular crypto tokens in today’s market, just second behind Bitcoin. Many may only know Ether to be the native cryptocurrency and resource for using the blockchain-based decentralised platform Ethereum. However, did you know that there is a group of people profiting and earning Ether coins from processing these transactions and creating new blockchain nodes on the Ethereum network itself? In other words, they are profiting from running and securing the blockchain as more and more data is added to it.
Crypto mining can be a highly profitable side hustle, given that you know what you are doing and have the necessary initial capital to execute it. With that being said, many of you are wondering how long it will take to mine one of these Ether coins. Well, there is no easy answer to this question as there are too many independent variables in play, including your method of mining, which we will touch on further down below.
Understanding Ether Mining
To be able to estimate how long it would take to mine one Ether, one first has to understand what crypto mining is and how it works.
To put it simply, crypto mining is a way of earning rewards, usually in the form of a crypto coin, for carrying out a process known as a consensus mechanism. This process is essentially the act of either validating, synchronising, or processing data and transactions on the cryptocurrency’s blockchain network — in the case of Ether this network would be the Ethereum network.
Mining Ether can be done in two distinct ways, proof-of-work (PoW) and proof-of-stake (PoS). The former is commonly associated with Bitcoin and is the most common way of mining crypto. The latter, however, is a newer process that isn’t conventionally crypto mining per se but serves the same purpose. These two systems yield different results and there are other factors within each method as well.
What Is Proof-Of-Work?
A person participating in a PoW process is known as a miner, due to the complex computational work that goes behind the consensus mechanism process. This process can be further simplified as being said to be creating a block in the blockchain.
In order to create a block, these miners have to solve a cryptographic puzzle known as a hash. Once the correct number is solved, a block can be generated and added to the other chain of blocks generated by other miners. The result of creating this block is a reward for the user, most commonly in the form of the native crypto token of the network.
How Much Ether Can Be Generated By PoW Mining?
The PoW process on the Ethereum network is known as Ethash, and the reward for generating a successful block is two Ether. However, the time taken to solve a hash through computational calculations differs based on a number of different things.
Proof-of-work is a very equipment-dependent process due to the complex calculations that have to be run in real time. This means that a miner often has to invest initial capital into obtaining the right equipment, and the most important of them all, graphic cards or GPUs for short.
The power of the GPUs used by miners is directly correlated to what is known as a hash rate, a measure of the computational power in a PoW process. The higher the hash rate, the faster you can carry out complex calculations and the faster you can generate a block. Take for example an Nvidia GTX 3090 against a GTX 1070, of which the former is a more powerful GPU. The 3090 has a hash rate of around 500 MH/s, whilst 1070 has a rate of around 28 MH/s. With the 3090, it takes around seven and a half days to mine one Ether. With 1070, it will take a significantly longer amount of time.
However, that’s not all. The time needed to generate a block is also affected by mining difficulty, the measure of how hard it is to solve a hash. The greater the difficulty, the longer it would take to solve a hash, and hence the longer it would take to generate a block and mine one Ether.
What Is Proof-Of-Stake?
How Long Does It Take To Earn One Ether From PoS?
Proof-of-stake or PoW for short is a newly developed process used to generate blocks on a blockchain network and has been adopted by a few cryptocurrencies, including Ether on its Ethereum network.
This process is much more energy efficient as it requires less computational power due to how it works, and hence is often not referred to as mining but rather as staking, hence the name. In fact, PoS block generators are referred to as validators instead of miners.
PoS requires a user to stake ETH in order to earn rewards in the form of more ETH coins to carry out the process of generating a block. This way, less computational power is needed as compared to traditional Crypto mining done in a PoW system.
PoS requires participants to Stake their already owned crypto in order to generate more crypto tokens as a reward. Different blockchain networks have their own systems, and Ethereum’s system requires participants to stake at least 32 Ether to become a validator.
However, there is no set amount that you can stake, and this means that there can be a difference in the amount of Ether generated from generating a block. The more Ether staked, the more can be generated. Furthermore, one technique does not have to stake 32 Ether to be a validator as there are shared staking pools where each participant has a right to a share of the reward generated from a combined stake pool based on how much Either he or she contributes.
This makes it very hard to estimate how long it takes to earn one Ether through the PoS method as there are too many variables in play.
There is no set amount of time it takes to mine one Ether due to the many factors involved. However, there are certain trends that you can make out when certain variables are changed. Hence, understanding roughly how long it would take you to mine one Ether depends on how well you understand the different ways that it can be done.