Grin is one of the newest entrants on the cryptocurrency block, having just launched its mainnet on January 15. The privacy coin, which is based on the trendy Mimblewimble blockchain protocol that’s aimed at being faster and cheaper than Bitcoin, has generated a lot of interest from investors, and particularly from the mining community. Its mining forums are remarkably active for a coin that just launched a week ago.
Whether you can actually make money mining Grin depends on its fluctuating price, of course. But this article aims to answer a different question: Which GPU is best for miners that are aiming to mine Grin at home?
First, let’s understand the mining situation. Grin’s launch was relatively free of strange ICO splits, coin reserves, and pre-mining, so everyone’s starting from essentially the same place. The network alternates between two different proof-of-work mining algorithms. One, Cuckatoo31, is ASIC friendly and requires a high-end GPU with at least 11GB of memory to mine. The other, Cuckatoo29, is ASIC-resistant and compatible with many consumer GPUs. For the moment, the network is mining about 90% of its blocks through Cuckatoo29, and the remaining 10% through Cuckatoo31.
Grin is mined at the rate of one block per minute, with a per-block mining reward of 60 Grin. This means that each day, 86,400 Grin are up for grabs mining on the Grin network.
To determine which GPU is best for mining Grin, we do need to make a few assumptions so that we can generalize factors like electricity costs. For our purposes, we’re assuming an electricity cost of USD$0.05 per kWh. Our calculations factor in only the costs of electricity and of purchasing the GPU, so additional costs like other parts, rental of a mining space if necessary, and maintenance and cooling costs, could drive the price up further, depending on a miner’s individual situation.
For the mining numbers, we’ve used real-time hashing power data from MinerBabe, and network hashing power data from GrinMint. GPU prices were taken from TechSpot, and GPU power consumption numbers come from NiceHash.
The results of our analysis suggest that the 10 series NVIDIA cards are the most optimal choices, as they had the lowest net cost per Grin mined.
In general, though, the differences between the NVIDIA cards are not very significant, and all of them enjoy an advantage over the AMD cards.
Of course, whether mining Grin with any machine is a financially sound idea depends on its market price. As of this writing, the price has been on a downward trend. Current prices are available here. Given the price trend, now probably isn’t the best time to buy a new GPU and go all-in on Grin mining, but if you’ve already got a machine with a 10 series NVIDIA GPU, and have reasonably low electricity costs, it could be possible to turn a profit.
Zhehao Chen is senior investment analyst at Evaluape.