If you’re a bitcoin nerd, you’ll know that finding cheap, low-power mining hardware is pretty hard to do. USB “thumb drive” miners are traditionally woefully underpowered – the little mining rig under my desk right now is running three three BlockErupters and I’m essentially paying for the pleasure of mining bitcoin – but this 11GH/s unit seems to have what it takes to at least make a dent in the blockchain.
Confused as to what this does? Read my tutorial for a bit of context. Essentially this board runs the calculations that makes bitcoin work and, more importantly, runs them fast enough to earn you a little money.
It’s sold by ASICRunner and is in stock right now. At a little over $265, it’s affordable to the average miner and it can run on a standard USB hub and host machine, which seems to include the Raspberry Pi. It uses last year’s Bitfury chips, special ASIC designed for mining, on a “stick” board with a single USB jack. This means you can place a bunch of these on a hub and because they aren’t as power-hungry as a traditional ASIC you don’t have to worry about them overheating.
Will you make much money with this rig? Probably not. It’s essentially baby’s first bitcoin miner and you’ll max out at about $15 a month until the difficulty goes up too far for this device to even be effective. However it’s an exciting change in the mining landscape and well worth considering if you want to attach a few of these together and try to make your money back that way.