Throughout history, people have found many ways to measure the value of things or services. Shells and pearls, gold and banknotes, scarce goods and electronic money, which are now commonplace. The latest trend is computer cryptocurrencies.

Now they are easy to buy on foreign exchanges. But there is another way to acquire bitcoins, Ethereum and other currencies – mining; it was originally incorporated into the ideology of cryptocurrencies.

The popularity of mining in Russia has led to a shortage of computer video cards in Moscow stores. Due to the rush demand over the past month and a half, video cards have almost doubled in price: a device that cost 16,000-18,000 rubles in the spring is now more expensive than 30,000 times, said an employee of the IT distributor.

If the traditional currency has an emission center (for example, for the Russian ruble, this is the Bank of Russia), then popular cryptocurrencies can be mined independently. Only for this, serious computing power is needed – alas, it will not work to get the super popular Bitcoin or Ethereum on a regular home computer. The reason is in mathematics (see inset).

How the system works

The principles of creation and functioning of many cryptocurrencies are similar, most are based on the source code of bitcoin. This code is an anonymous payment network with built-in cryptographic protection, functioning without a single settlement center and controlling institution. “The basis of the network is an infrastructure of thousands of independent nodes (servers or individual personal computers with appropriate software), in which registers of all transactions are collected and stored in a special way. Information in one of them can be changed only with subsequent synchronization with all the others. The record of each transaction is necessarily confirmed by a network of miners distributed around the world. In fact, for a reward from the system in the form of a certain amount of bitcoins, they process random payments in cryptocurrency using personal computers that perform complex calculations for this, “describes Otkrytie Broker analyst Timur Nigmatullin. Each computer, thus participating in the processing of transactions and thus in the mining, is an integral part of this network.

Now one block of transaction records costs 12.5 bitcoins, but gradually the price will decrease, as will the income of miners.

The fact is that the volume of Bitcoin emission is initially limited: the maximum can be issued is 21 million bitcoins, and now there are about 16.4 million pieces in circulation, says Konstantin Vinogradov, senior investment manager of the Runa Capital fund. Unlike the first cryptocurrency, Ethereum has no emission restrictions.

It must be remembered that each new miner, adding its own power to the network, reduces the share of other miners – so they earn less and less cryptocurrency per unit of time, explains Vinogradov. According to entrepreneur Anar Babaev, the profitability of bitcoin is now lower, and it is more profitable to mine alternative coins on small volumes. If they are mined on an industrial scale, then there is a possibility that they will not be sold without shaking the market.

Profitable business

Vinogradov from Runa Capital took up Ethereum mining himself at the end of March. He invested about 125,000 rubles in the equipment, recouped it in a month and a half. Until mid-April, the installation brought him about $ 10 per day, over the last 24 hours it brought 0.095 ETH, which is equivalent to $ 32.81 at the time of writing, Vinogradov said. Now he plans to expand, for which he will invest several million rubles of his own funds in the new installation and intend to attract twice as much from partners. The Internet ombudsman and co-owner of the production of servers for mining, Dmitry Marinichev, have similar data: a computer that allows you to efficiently mine costs 120,000-140,000 rubles. and pays off in 12-14 months, depending on the price of electricity, the complexity of the network and the rate of the cryptocurrency. Ani Aslanyan, the founder of the Telegram channel about the blockchain, has slightly more optimistic data: by investing from $ 3000 to $ 5000 in equipment, you can recoup the costs in 3.5 months and then earn from $ 1000 to $ 2000 per month, she assures. One of the Russian miners anonymously announced that he began to mine cryptocurrencies at the beginning of 2016. According to him, to date, he has invested about $ 200,000 in mining. He claims that he earns about $ 90,000 a month, managing a portfolio of cryptocurrencies: about 50 % falls on bitcoin, from 20 to 30% – on Litecoin, from 10 to 20% – on Ethereum and the rest – on trifles. He advises the same distribution for beginners – according to him, now $ 1000 is enough to start. One of the Russian miners anonymously announced that he began to mine cryptocurrencies at the beginning of 2016. According to him, to date, he has invested about $ 200,000 in mining. He claims that he earns about $ 90,000 a month, managing a portfolio of cryptocurrencies: about 50 % falls on bitcoin, from 20 to 30% – on Litecoin, from 10 to 20% – on Ethereum and the rest – on trifles. He advises the same distribution for beginners – according to him, now $ 1000 is enough to start. One of the Russian miners anonymously announced that he began to mine cryptocurrencies at the beginning of 2016. According to him, to date, he has invested about $ 200,000 in mining. He claims that he earns about $ 90,000 a month, managing a portfolio of cryptocurrencies: about 50 % falls on bitcoin, from 20 to 30% – on Litecoin, from 10 to 20% – on Ethereum and the rest – on trifles. He advises the same distribution for beginners – according to him, now $ 1000 is enough to start.