There are more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies in the world now, and there are new ones starting up every week, but bitcoin — one of the oldest among the lot — still leads the pack when it comes to popularity and price. However, the high cost associated with it, in terms of both transaction and confirmation fees, as well as mining new bitcoin, may be costing it some of its popularity.
While the transaction and confirmation fees are dependent on external factors, decided by the exchanges and the miners, how much does it cost to mine the cryptocurrency for, and by, yourself? Depending on where you are in the world, you could still make a tidy profit or incur a substantial loss.
Given the differences in the price of electricity, Venezuela is the cheapest place in the world to mine bitcoin, the process costing only about $530. And that is less than half of what it costs in the second-cheapest country on that list — Trinidad and Tobago, where it costs $1,190. Uzbekistan is on third place, with a significantly higher cost at almost $1,790 to mine a single bitcoin.
A lot of Asian countries, including China and India, and a few from Eastern Europe feature in the cheapest 20 countries in the list that was put together by Elite Fixtures, a website selling lighting and home décor furnishings.
Bitcoin was trading at over $11,000 at the end of Friday, and there were 91 countries in the list where it costs less than $10,000 to mine a bitcoin. Including other incidental costs, it might still be a profitable activity in those countries.
However, it was another country from Asia which was at the other extreme, where bitcoin is extremely popular but mining one would certainly be loss-making enterprise. The most expensive country in the world for mining bitcoin is South Korea, where it costs a whopping $26,170. That is more than twice the present-day price of a bitcoin.
Almost all the countries among the 20 with the most expensive electricity were in Western Europe or were island nations in the Pacific. Other than South Korea, the only exceptions were Curaçao and Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean, Sri Lanka and Bahrain in Asia. It costs over $11,100 to mine a single bitcoin in all these countries.
The United States was in the 41st place in the list of 115 countries, with $4,760 spent on mining a bitcoin.
A list of countries, in alphabetical order, showing how much it costs to mine bitcoin there, based on average residential electricity prices. Photo: Elite Fixtures
The electricity prices for different countries were taken from data provided by the government, utility companies and organizations like the International Energy Agency. The average price of residential electricity in countries was used for compiling the list.
The power consumption required to mine a bitcoin was also averaged from three different mining rigs — the AntMiner S7, the AntMiner S9, and the Avalon 6. The three rigs were specifically chosen for their general popularity, performance and user reviews. The mining cost from all three rigs was averaged to arrive at the country-wise list.