TL;DR: submitted by
don't assume the average return from mining RandomX will be higher than the current CryptonightR algorithm. Hold back your excitement for now
I think we all need to bring something to our attention. Over the last month, there have been so many topics and comments here on MoneroMining
about the new 'RandomX' algorithm. This algorithm is supposed to be launched a couple of months from now.
There are many questions like "is this a good hashrate for my CPU"? "What's your power usage on RandomX"? "How can I tune my CPU for RandomX"? "How would the algorithm perform on this hardware"? I think these are great constructive comments that are at the heart of what miners stand for. We miners love optimizing our rigs and educating ourselves on technological trends.
But I've noticed many questions such as "what parts should I buy for a RandomX mining rig"? "Is an AMD Ryzen 9 3900x a good investment"? "What parts will give me the most profit when RandomX launches"? Many of these questions are asked with very little research.
I think there's a gold fever brewing behind some of these comments. The kind of motives that have bankrupted many miners in the past bubbles.
As we have seen in 2014 and 2018, anybody who enters the crypto industry with an 'I want easy profit' attitude almost always goes bankrupt. They buy coins or hardware at the peak of the bubble. Sometimes they get lucky and sell their coins or rigs right before the crash (only to get burned in a future bubble later). But most of the time, these new users lose most of their investment.
As a veteran miner, a lot of alarm bells ring in my head when I read these kinds of RandomX hype posts. I have no reason to think CPU mining will be more profitable on RandomX than on the current CryptonightR.
- If the new AMD CPUs are very efficient on RandomX, that just means more people will buy them, driving up the difficulty. Your shiny R9 3900x's profit will start falling because it's no longer as competitive against the other hardware on the network.
- If the profits on day 1 of the RandomX launch are indeed high, more people will start adding rigs to the network. If the average miner's profit is above the equilibrium of the market, it will start going down. That equilibrium is largely set by botnets, large scale farms in China/Russia/Niagara Falls/Georgia, and datacenters with spare capacity. So if your R9 3900x earns $10/day on day 1, you can count on that golden streak ending soon.
- CPU mining as a market is never stable. Your CPU rig is limited to
just 1 or 2 coins: Monero and Veruscoin. Edit: there are a few more CPU coins than these. AMD GPUs can at least mine 3 or 4 coins well, while nVidia GPUs are the best at 5-10 different algorithms. GPU mining is a safer, less risky investment. GPU mining is like playing blackjack. Building a rig specifically for CPU mining is like tossing a coin. You're locked into one coin by building a CPU rig. Yes, it has resale value to gamers, but it's much harder to resell a MOBO combo than a bunch of GPUs at any price. Trust me, I've sold hundreds of GPUs and dozens of MOBOs before!
- I don't know what the market share of CPUs vs. GPUs on CryptonightR is right now. But if most of the current nethash is made up of CPUs, these CPUs will have no choice but to switch to RandomX when it is out. There's no other coin for them to mine, unless they have some work to do outside of mining. So almost all of them will get onto the RandomX network, too, along with your expensive new CPU rig. I think this'll be the biggest factor driving up difficulty. Yes, the older CPUs might not be as efficient as the new Ryzens, but many of them are already paid for in terms of capital (like in a datacenter) or have free power (like in a botnet or apartment with free power).
- You might say that Monero will always be profitable enough because it has survived so long, or the developers are better, or they're taking action against ASICs. But that doesn't necessarily guarantee profit. Monero might be a successful coin and overtake ETH, but that has nothing to do with profit on the network. Even though Bitcoin's really successful, you're guaranteed to lose money if you buy the latest Antminer and run it at residential power rates. Meanwhile, Dogecoin back in the day had awesome profits even though it was a blatant fork of LTC with few improvements.
- Your new RandomX rig might look like it has decent "ROI" to you, but that doesn't mean it was the best investment. You might have been better off building a GPU rig and mining Grincoin or Ravencoin. I.E. if you build a RandomX rig, you're earning less profit for the same amount of capital invested. And even if you earn the same return, you still took a higher risk than if you built a GPU rig (see the point above).
In the GPU mining community, I have the feeling that there's a lot of resentment over the 2018 crypto recession and the whole 'ASIC miner invasion'. I think people here are feeling burned over their losses last year and the evil ASIC takeover, and want an opportunity for the little guy to start mining again. So we're falsely seeing the RandomX ray of hope as a floodlight, and getting overexcited.
And in general, the ordinary person cannot
make a significant, steady profit in the crypto mining industry. The guy who wrote that thread is very rich and even 100 GTX 1080 Ti's cost nothing to him. The reason he became wealthy is because he avoided get-rich-quick gimmicks back in the day (like the dotcom sites) and focused on learning technology for the future. Mining will not make you rich, and especially not RandomX coin tossing.
If you love RandomX, build your rig now, keep benchmarking and undervolting and have fun at it. But if you just want profit, wait until RandomX is up and running. And consider all the risks involved with a new algorithm and commercial mining in general.
So I hope we can all reconsider whether we're excited about RandomX for the right reasons. Let's try to avoid jumping to conclusions about profitability and hold off on the Newegg 'checkout' button. Even though 12 cores at 70 watts sounds awesome. Happy mining!
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