ASIC in Crypto Mining: A Powerful Tool
ASIC is an abbreviation for application-specific integrated circuit – a device designed exclusively for cryptocurrency mining.
What is ASIC?
Application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) can be thought of as “cryptocurrency mining machines”.
In the early days of cryptocurrency development, mining was done mainly on central processing units and graphics processors – moreover, bitcoin was designed specifically for mining on regular computers.
By the mid-2010s, however, it had become impossible to conduct profitable mining operations using conventional devices due to the limitations of processing power and the costs associated with power consumption.
Today, all large-scale cryptocurrency mining is done with ASICs, often in carefully controlled data centers. They are usually located in countries where electricity is relatively cheap.
The potential profitability of a particular ASIC is determined by several key factors. These include:
- The number of hashes the equipment can generate per second
- Total hash ratio of the network
- Cost of a mined coin
- Energy consumption per hash generated
- Initial cost of the hardware itself
Specialized directories, such as ASIC Miner Value, publish real-time tables of the most efficient ASICs currently available. They also include a break-even point for each ASIC model – that is, the time it will take for the ASIC to generate enough revenue to cover the cost of the equipment. Popular ASIC manufacturers include Bitmain, Innosilicon, ASICminer and MicroBT. The most efficient ASICs currently on the market can cost several thousand dollars.