Mining Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is not necessarily profitable. It all comes down to having good internet, cheap electricity, and a colder climate to keep hardware cool. In the hopes of maximizing profits, we see some very unusual mining operations pop up now and then. Few think to mine Bitcoin in a desert, but apparently it can work.
Desert Mining and Solar Power is a Lucrative Mix
Not everyone has the tools or money to mine in the desert right now, but some are in a better position to do so. One Reddit user documented his venture into the world of desert-based Bitcoin mining. His entire operation runs on solar energy, which means he has access to virtually free electricity [minus the original investment for solar panels]. The electricity bill usually is the largest concern for potential miners.
The mining operation itself consists of 25 Antminer S9 ASICS, all of which mine Bitcoin. According to the user, this operation has been running for nearly a year. He is even considering to increase the number of ASIC miners by 1,000 come September because of the operations initial success. It is an ambitious plan, but shows how an entrepreneurial spirit can turn almost any situation into a profitable endeavor.
To put this into numbers, every individual miner for this operation costs around $8,000, thanks to some off-market purchases in China. This does include buying the solar panels, batteries, power control system, and the ASIC itself. Each miner is earning a revenue of close to US$18 per day. He even sells previous generations of hardware as new versions are announced by Bitmain. All units continue to mine until they are sold and are shipped out for maximum profits.
This story certainly goes to show one can achieve magnificent things when you put your mind to it. The miner in the desert admits he needs Bitcoin to stay above $2,000 to be profitable, but the current market keeps him in the black. However, the Bitcoin market remains volatile. Any significant downward trends could spell disaster for the desert-based operation.
This is not the first time we see Bitcoin miners show up in places where renewable energy is plentiful. Iceland is quite a popular country for Bitcoin mining, due to its renewable energy sources and colder climate. Their internet is fast and -virtually- unlimited. Both beneficial to Bitcoin miners, since better internet reduces latency to the mining pool and improves overall earnings.
The operation is not without risk. The hot weather does not lend itself to Bitcoin mining, as the hardware required generates a lot of heat on its own. However, the greenhouses help regulate the temperature before it becomes problematic. Just because this user is relatively successful in his venture so far, does not mean everyone with access to the desert should go out and mine Bitcoin. Relying on having to resell hardware and have Bitcoin stay above a certain price is a risky business model. Fortune favors the brave and the bold, but your luck -or the market- can turn at any given moment.