How Long Does it Take to Mine 1 Bitcoin? (Updated 2020)
Although we tend to take it for granted, when Satoshi invented Proof of Work (POW) mining he truly created a revolutionary new technology. Thanks to his contribution we can now mine Bitcoin and hopefully earn a nice reward for securing the network.
One question people sometimes ask though is, how long does it take to mine 1 Bitcoin? It’s a good question but as we’ll see, there’s not necessarily a straightforward answer.
How Long Does it Take to Mine 1 Bitcoin? Understanding Bitcoin Block Rewards
It’s not really possible to mine just 1 Bitcoin because each block reward is 6.25 BTC. It used to be 12.5 BTC until May 2020 when there was the halving and the block reward was cut in half.
So there’s not a way to mine just 1 Bitcoin. You either win the block reward and receive 6.25 Bitcoin or you get nothing. In fact, getting nothing is what happens 99.99999% of the time when you’re a miner.
There are more than ~1 million ASIC miners (specialized devices built for mining BTC and other cryptos) securing the Bitcoin network, and only one ASIC at a time can win the block reward. So the odds of any single machine winning are one in a million.
That’s why large Bitcoin mining farms have so many ASICs, to improve those odds. Given that a new block is produced every 10 minutes (equal to 144 blocks per day) a mining farm with ten or twenty thousand miners stands a decent chance of winning a couple of blocks per 24 hour period.
However, most people don’t have $50 million worth of Bitcoin mining rigs lying around their backyard so winning block rewards are out of the question. That being the case, there is a way to win 1 Bitcoin over time.
How to Mine 1 Bitcoin Over Time
A Bitcoin mining pool is a collaborative effort whereby all of the miners in the pool combine their hash power and then split the reward. How this works is that no matter which ASIC miner in the pool actually wins the block reward, that reward is split up and distributed proportionally to all of the miners based on how much hash power (mining “power” from mining devices like ASICs) they’re contributing.
That’s why joining a mining pool is the best way to mine a Bitcoin. You won’t get a Bitcoin all at once, at least not without a huge number of ASICs, but you can gradually accumulate a Bitcoin over time.
For example, with five or ten ASICs you may be able to mine 0.01 BTC a day and then in 100 days you would have mined a full Bitcoin. Of course how much time it takes you to mine a Bitcoin will depend on a variety of factors.
Most notably, how difficult is mining at this moment? You can check Bitcoin’s hash rate to determine difficulty. The higher the hash rate, the more difficult it is to mine (more competition and less profit). However, the hash rate frequently changes as new miners join the network and old ones drop off.
How long it takes to mine one Bitcoin can also be affected by something as simple as maintenance. ASICs are typically run 24/7 with no downtime, meaning that they’re prone to failure. To maximize profits you’ll need to have a way to fix your machines and get them running again quickly.
Is Bitcoin Mining Profitable?
Whether Bitcoin mining is profitable or not depends largely on the cost of electricity where you live. For example, electricity in South Korea is extremely expensive so Bitcoin mining is not a viable option. Russia, on the other hand, has rather cheap electricity and so Bitcoin mining can be profitable there.
When considering profitability it’s important to realize that Bitcoin mining is dominated by large scale operations. These mining farms have tens of thousands of miners and benefit not only from a discount on ASICs due to their bulk orders, but also a discount on electricity due to their constant demand.
Competing with these mining farms is difficult unless you live somewhere with very cheap electricity. If you’re interested, we’ve written an entire article about the profitability of mining Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Mining Rig
Bitmain is one of the world’s leading Bitcoin mining rig manufacturers and they have a new ASIC coming out called the Antminer S19 Pro. At $2,600 the S19 Pro isn’t cheap but with a hash rate of 110TH/s it’s an absolute powerhouse.
Buying the latest Bitcoin mining equipment is important because it’s the most efficient. ASIC miners are constantly under development and old equipment quickly becomes inefficient.
For example, it’s possible to buy an old AntMiner V9 on Amazon for just $100. The V9 however has just 4TH/s compared to the 110TH/s for the S19 Pro. It would take twenty-eight V9 miners to equal the hash rate of just one S19 Pro but you’d be paying for electricity for twenty-eight ASICs versus just one!
That’s why buying the latest gear is worth it.
Bitcoin Mining Calculator
The NiceHash calculator won’t tell you directly how long it will take to mine 1 Bitcoin but there is an easy way to find out. Go to the calculator, select which mining rig you’re going to use and then increase the number of devices until you can see that you’re earning 1 Bitcoin per month.
For example, based on the current hash rate it would take fourteen S19 Pros to mine 1 Bitcoin per month. Or, put differently, one S19 Pro could mine 1 Bitcoin in 14 months (not accounting for a rise in hash rate over time).
This calculator is the easiest way to figure out how long it will take you to mine 1 Bitcoin.
How to Safely Store Your Mining Profits
Once you’ve begun mining and earning Bitcoin it’s very important to safely store your profits. One of the best ways to store your Bitcoin, as well as any other cryptocurrencies that you’re invested in, is with the Exodus Bitcoin wallet.
The Exodus wallet is one of the most well reviewed wallets in the cryptocurrency ecosystem thanks to some important features:
- It supports over 100 crypto assets
- The design team has managed to create a wallet both easy to use as well as visually appealing
- Exodus is the only cryptocurrency wallet that supports desktop, mobile, and hardware wallet (Trezor) integration
- Exodus allows you to exchange your Bitcoin for other cryptos (and vice versa) right from your wallet - without creating an account
- You can sync your wallet balances between desktop and mobile
- There is 24/7, fast human support if you ever need help
Information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Investing in crypto assets is speculative and carries a high degree of risk; you may lose some or all of the money that is invested. Past performance is not indicative of future results.