Crypto Mining

GPU mining dead, not profitable – Is this the end of GPU mining?

Looking to mine cryptocurrency with your graphics card? Don’t bother. GPU mining is dead! With the Ethereum Merge having taken place, not only Ethereum mining has reached its end. But GPU mining for all cryptocurrencies is now largely unprofitable.

A few days before the Ethereum Merge we posted What to GPU mine listing some alternate GPU mineable coins that were technically profitable. But after the Ethereum merge things have changed drastically. The profitability of GPU mining has collapsed completely. Those few Cryptocurrencies that were slightly profitable are no longer profitable. In short you lose money GPU mining now. Is GPU mining dead?

GPU mining dead – Mining not profitable

GPU mining is what got us into cryptocurrency space several years ago. If you were following us then you know we do a lot of GPU mining here. We love GPU mining and we’ve published several GPU mining guides since the early days. But its sad to say that GPU mining is officially dead. At least for now.

Since Ethereum moved to Proof of Stake (PoS), GPU mining profitability has hit an All Time Low! No one is profitable with mining anymore. Its not only that mining is not profitable. But actually you’ll lose money after paying for electricity bill.

The major question being posted on forums by GPU miners is “Is there any other coin that are profitable to mine now? Which cryptocurrency is most profitable to GPU mine as of today? Will GPU mining be profitable again? Is it still profitable to mine cryptocurrency with a GPU in 2022? Or is this the end of GPU mining?”.

Is GPU mining still profitable or will it ever be profitable again? If you asked this question back in 2018, 2019 then the answer would be yes. The profitability of mining mainly depends on the coin you mine. ETH was the second largest PoW altcoin and the first preferable choice for GPU miners. Ethereum is not the only coin that is mined with graphics card. There were many other coins that are equally profitable. But since Ethereum has switched to Proof of Stake, things have changed.

At present there is no coin that is profitable to mine with GPUs. Maybe momentarily in future bull market certain coins might become profitable. But only for a while. Once it gets profitable the crowd will rush again, hashrates will rise; soaring the network difficulty and diluting the profit.

When ETH mining stopped many assumed that miners will look for other coins to mine, hashrate will move to other coins and mining will continue. Sure, it did. But the profitability has tanked tremendously. There is an increased competition to mine these coins but there is no demand. As a result GPU based mining have become largely unprofitable.

Following the Ethereum Merge, many crypto miners have shut off their rigs and many started selling their GPUs. Also prices of new and used graphics cards and GPU mining rigs have dropping drastically. Many consider GPU mining a lost cause. Today here let’s look at the state of GPU mining. Why it’ll be no longer profitable and why you should avoid buying GPU for mining at all costs.

ETH Merge & ETH PoW fork

The number 1 cause that killed GPU mining is the ETH merge. Ethereum’s shift of its consensus from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS). With the shift to Proof of Stake GPUs are no longer needed to secure the Ethereum network.

Ethereum was one of the most profitable mineable cryptocurrencies. After phasing out GPU based mining the transition hit GPU miners whose main profit source is from Ethereum mining. Not only the merge event brought bad news for crypto miners killing all their stuff but it also hit the graphics card market. Ethereum’s switch to PoS have resulted in sizeable graphic card dump and it affected GPU manufacturers such as NVIDIA and AMD.

Everyone’s assumption was GPU miners after the merge will be looking elsewhere for profit opportunities like mining other cryptos that will continue to reward their work. To keep GPU based mining going they even created an ETH fork that was still GPU mineable. ETHPoW with a ETHW Fork coin. But its just another new worthless coin among hundreds of other worthless coins. You can expect the crypto community to come up with several new coins that can be mined with GPUs. But other than GPU miners no one cares about such coins. As the demand for them is very low it becomes completely uneconomical to mine them. There is simply no point mining it because you can’t even sell what nobody wants.

After the merge the network hashrate have exploded for some coins such as ETC, Raven etc. But as more miners switched to such coins the profits per invested hash also greatly shrank. Meaning, those altcoins that were close to ETH profitability before the merge are now barely mineable. They simply became abysmal. By mining such worthless coins all you do is run up on your electricity bill. Even if electricity is free it still makes no economic sense to mine such coins that no one cares about. For this reason many are selling their GPUs at a discounted rate while it still has some reasonable resale value.

The reason why ETH mining was so profitable is because it had actual demand. The high usage of the Ethereum blockchain, the network activity resulted in high transaction fees for miners + the price of the ETH. This we cannot see in other coins.

Energy Prices

Profitable mining depends on these three factors: decrease in difficulty, increase in coins price and lower energy costs. But now it happens the other way round. The ever increasing energy prices in some places along with dramatic decline in cryptocurrency price has made GPU mining unprofitable. Either the energy prices should drop along with the network difficulty or the price of the coin should go up.

Electricity costs at certain parts of the United States and Europe are higher. At some places its 14.5 cents a KWh and is going up. In some other regions like California its $0.24 kwh. In some European countries like UK, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Denmark its way higher than the highest price of the US. Its way above $0.25kwh. With such high electricity costs it would likely result in a net loss.

mining profits negative

Ignore those high electricity costs. Using whattomine with standard electricity rate of $0.10 KWh still yields negative results for all graphic cards including the top ones such as GeForce RTX 3090. 3080Ti, 3070 and Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT. At present none of the cards are showing even slightly net positive results after power costs. Ravencoin, Flux, Ethereum Classic, Neoxa, Kaspa, Ergo, Firo are considered to be some of the contenders for GPU hashrate after Ethereum PoS. But none of them appear profitable.

With increased mining difficulty and high electricity cost combined with lower price of the tokens have made GPU mining unprofitable across the world. Even if you live in states with $0.10 per kWh or lower the profitability is going to be only in pennies and you’ll earn few coins. This is the current data from WhatToMine and NiceHash. You can use it to calculate for all the latest generation graphics cards from the NVIDIA RTX30 and AMD RX 6000 series. Its all RED.

With most showing losses even with $0.10 kWh many have declared “GPU mining as dead”. Across the world many miners have turned off their rigs. At this point its actually more cost effective to turn off the rigs and buy the coins directly if your intention is to acquiring it.

Currently there are only two types of miners still mining. 1 Mining using free electricity. It could be company electricity, their parent’s electricity or a socket where they can plug in their rigs and don’t have to personally pay for the power bill and 2. Those spec mining at a loss hoping that the number goes up in the future. If you are person mining at loss then you can buy and hold instead. It is easier that way. Anyways other than these two categories GPU mining on a large scale looks dead.

Other options to mine

Sure, there are plenty of cryptocurrencies that you can mine using your GPUs. Initially after the merge many miners switched to alternative cryptocurrencies that can be mined with graphics cards. But they all are considerably down so don’t expect any profits.

As we said profitable mining depends on the following parameters: “Market value of the coin”, “network difficulty” and “power costs”. Other than this you have hardware costs to cover, you need to factor in the wear and tear of your graphics card, factor in the cost of PC power etc. Considering all this if you still wish to mine then it’ll end up being a loss making venture. You can try mining any coins using any graphic cards. There is simply no profitable mining anywhere at the moment.

The more cards you have, the bigger your mining farm, the more money you lose. Even if it yields slight positive net result at some point then it would take several years for you to atleast break even. This is such a volatile space that nobody can predict the market a month from now, so forget about years.

There are lots of mining groups trying to figure out how to make GPU mining profitable again. Also on YouTube you’ll come across several YouTubers making a video on how they’re still mining crypto after the Ethereum merge. How they are profitably GPU mining and earning a passive income from home as a cryptocurrency miner. Its mostly click bite videos.

asic profitability

The best GPU in the market makes negative. As we said its un-mineable nowadays. If you are still searching for good profitable coins, that you can mine with graphic cards then forget. You need ASIC miners for this. Only few ASICs are profitable at the moment and you can still make money with it. If you own a GPU mining rig then its better to shut them all down unless you live in a cold region and wish to keep your house warm. You won’t be profitable but can save money on heating while earning some useless coins.

The bottom line is no one should be using their GPUs for mining cryptocurrencies. And certainly you should not buy anymore GPUs for mining purpose. Sure, you can speculate and wait for the coin prices to go back up again at some point in the future. But that doesn’t justify the current mining scenario. If you believe the coins would become successful in the future then your best best is investing in it directly instead of investing in PC hardware and mining them at loss.

What’s next?

It’s been a blessing for the last few years for the GPU miners with ETH where all they had to do was set their rigs and forget it. Back in 2013 there was no ETH. Miners had to do the profit switching game quite often. It was mostly scrypt mining where they had to flip between coins such as Litecoin, Dogecoin, Feathercoin, Fedora etc to chase profits.

Anyways will anything ever recapture the highs of Ethereum mining again? It may happen or may not. For now GPU miners are taking a wait and see approach for the profitable mining days to take a come back. You have to patiently wait until the market turns green and coins become profitable to mine again. Meanwhile you can clean your rigs and start selling your older generation graphic cards as many are doing the same.

Many think GPU mining still works out for a few years. Its possible that some coins could explode in value in the future making it worth-wile to GPU mine again. All you have do is wait and see.

Future of GPU mining?

We started mining in late 2016 and stopped mining very recently until the ETHs switch to PoS. All our older gen GPUs such as AMD RX 580 4GB and 8GB and a couple of 1070 Tis, 1080 cards has worn out. Back then it was only those gamers and geeks who are interested in crypto were mining. Today there are several x more miners, you name it. Everybody is mining and let’s understand what happen to the mining profitability.

Close to 95% of the GPU miners were Ethereum miners mining ETH and only the remaining ones were mining other coins. Ethereum miners even recently after the massive price drop were getting more than $20,000,000 in daily revenue. But now all of the other remaining coins combined only bring over $1,000,000 in daily revenue. That is GPU miners are only left out with $1 million a day instead of $20 million in profits.

None of the coins yield profits close to Ethereum before the merge and after the merge. Even Ethereum Classic only gives about $700,000 in daily profits to GPU miners. However all of the GPUs that were used to mine Ethereum are now used to mine other coins. After the merge and Ethereum become no longer mineable look at the hashrate spike on ethereum classic. As a result profitability of individual miners dropped drastically.

mining hashrate spike

What to mine after Ethereum Merge? Many thought that most miners will switch over to other GPU coins such as ETC, RVN, ERGO, FLUX, NEOXA etc. When everybody starts to mine these coins their price will go up and so does it mining profitability. But the problem is a coin does not simply gain in value until unless the demand for the coin grows.

Miners think they have significant impact on the coins price but in reality it’s the investors who decide that. Miners are just sellers who increase supply and not demand. The problem is before the merge those coins where there were only few hundred miners; now there are more than 10000 miners. Only the amount of miners increased. Where there were 100 miners selling their coins everyday now there are thousands and investors show no interest in such shit coins. How would its price grow? The overall profitability won’t change unless price go up and the price won’t go up unless there is demand for these coins.

When mining makes you lose you simply stop mining. Since profitability dropped so much that is not even enough to cover electricity costs and expenses many miners have disconnected their equipment forever. Its not the first time miners have switched off their rigs but this time they’ve disconnected it on a larger scale than ever before. This event will be remembered by GPU miners all over the world.

The Future of GPU Mining: Is there a chance the situation will get better? As we said, maybe. But for now only people with free electricity are mining and majority of them have disconnected. There are few coins still where you can find short lived mining opportunity but they’re never permanent. Remember that the coins that shows slight profitability have no market cap nor liquidity so the profit is not real.

GPU Market

What do you think miners are going to do with all their graphic cards as mining is no longer profitable? Since mining is dead expect a bunch load of used graphics cards to show up on market. Miners have already started selling their idle PC graphics cards on secondhand markets like eBay for cheap prices. Maybe its time for gamers and video editors to buy GPUs for a reasonable prices again.

If you are a gamer and wish to buy GPU for a cheaper price then you can buy from secondhand markets where you’ll get a bargain. But remember that these cards have been running 24 / 7 on 100% load and would have been overclocked as well. Don’t expect any warranty. If you are going to buy an used graphics card then only buy it from a reputable seller on market like eBay.

This is all great news for gamers who were waiting for the GPU prices to drop. If you are looking to upgrade your existing graphics card or build a new gaming PC this is the time. You can also wait a little longer. Newer stuff like RTX 4090 and RX7900 XT will soon drop below the launch MSRPs just like how the price drop happened with 3090 TI and RX 6950 XT.

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We are crypto enthusiasts and our main intention with Coin Guides is to educate people about Cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology. We regularly publish content about Bitcoin, Ethereum, Altcoins, wallet guides, mining tutorials and trading tips.

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