If you have ever been to a crypto mining farm, particularly one working with ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit), you know how loud and hot it can get (especially if a proper ventilation system is not in place).
However, mining doesn’t necessarily have to be hot and loud. Goldshell, a reputable Chinese crypto-mining company, introduced several mini mining models earlier this year. These models are small, quiet and require substantially less power to run then your typical ASIC. In fact, they might be the perfect entry into the world of ASIC mining if you are looking to mine from your home, especially if you live in an apartment and/or can’t dedicate a special room just for mining.
Most of these mini models can net you between $2 – $5 per day in profits, while requiring some 200W-230W of power. They also don’t require any kind of rig or PC to run with them – you only need an Internet connection and you are set. In other words, these models are aimed at people who want to start mining, without necessarily having the technical know-how required for GPU mining or the resources to engage in traditional ASIC mining.
Goldshell Mini Doge Miner
The Goldshell Mini Doge miner works the Scrypt algorithm with a maximum hashrate of 185Mh/s and a power consumption of 233W. The Scrypt algorithm allows merged mining of Litecoin (LTC) and Dogecoin (Doge) cryptocurrencies. That means that you’ll be mining both coins at the same time and, depending on the pool you choose, you’ll be paid out in both coins.
Here are the specs:
|Size||150mm x 175mm x 84mm|
|Weight||2kg / 4.4lbs|
|Interface||Ethernet / WIFI|
|Temperature||5 – 35 °C|
|Humidity||5 – 85 %|
The best way to purchase the miner is through Goldshell’s official web shop. Note: this is NOT an affiliate link and we have no relation to Goldshell nor any kind of benefit from you purchasing through this link. There are a lot of scammers, so make sure you buy from the official website.
Here you can get the best price for the miner: $699, without PSU and they offer free shipping. The miners are sold in batches, so they are not always available. If you are not in a hurry, subscribe for their notifications and you’ll receive and email before the miners become available for ordering again.
Also note that the only way to purchase from the official website is using cryptocurrency – no other means (credits cards, PayPal) are available. You’ll most likely have to buy some USDC and transfer it to their wallet through a Coinbase payment system. If you have any kind of experience sending crypto, you should have no trouble with the process.
If you are not comfortable with paying in crypto, or don’t want to wait, you can find resellers on the net (you’ll have to pay more, though).
After paying, it takes about a week for the unit to arrive.
Setting Up and Profits
Please note that you only receive the miner in the box, there is no manual nor any kind of other documentation. Luckily, set-up is easy and there are a few YouTube videos that can guide you through the process. I recommend the VoskCoin and Jimmy Is Promo videos.
Basically, you have to connect the device to your network with an Ethernet cable and power it up. You can use Goldshell’s Custom PSU for 4 Box (mini miner) models that we reviewed, or any PC PSU you have lying around (Goldshell recommends 600W 80+ Gold standard). You will also have to select a mining pool. We went with f2pool, but there are other interesting pools, each with its own fees and rewards.
After everything is connected, check if you have the latest firmware on Goldshell’s github page. Our miners came with the 2.0.3 firmware which was buggy and would disconnect the miner from the network once every few days. After installing the 2.1.1 firmware, these issues were solved.
Once up and running, you can check the status of your miner by entering its IP address in your browser (you can use software like Advanced IP Scanner to find the IP address). It will look something like this:
On this page you can follow the work of your miner, from the hashrate to the fan speed and working temperature.
We currently have three Mini Doge miners in the office. In terms of hashrate, that comes about 555MH/s (3x 185MH/s), but real world figures can go between 540MH/s and 580MH/s, depending on the day. Here is what we are getting in terms of revenue:
The main profitability indicator on the dashboard above is the Daily Revenue Per G (GH/s), which tells you how much LTC (and it’s equivalent USD value) you can mine per day with 1GH/s hashrate. It’s calculated using the mining Difficulty rate and the current USD value of LTC. Since we have 0.54GH/s with three Mini Doge miners, it tells us we can expect about 0.012 LTC, or $2.2, per day. However, please keep in mind that this does not include Dogecoin merged mining revenues. Here are the real figures:
LTC revenues have been going between 0.012 and 0.014 Litecoin per day, depending on the mining difficulty for that day. Let’s make that an average of 0.013 LTC per day.
At the same time, we have been receiving between 22 and 26 Dogecoins per day. Let’s round that to 24 Doge per day.
When we combine the merged mining revenues of both coins and convert them into USD (using the 7 day average) we get something like: $2.34 of LTC + $7.20 worth of Doge = $9.54 per day with 3 Mini Doge miners, or $3.18 per day for a single Mini Doge miner.
Keep in mind that you have to calculate the electricity cost before you can calculate profits. This, of course, varies depending on where you live, but for us it comes about ~ $3 profit per day for each miner.
We paid $699 per unit with free shipping. With $3 per day in profits, the ROI comes at 233 days, or about 8 months. This is only if you keep selling the coins as you earn them. Now, it might be smarter to keep the coins and wait until they reach their all time highs to sell them. Or, if you expect another coin to perform better in the near future, you can sell them and buy that coin. For example, we have been selling the coins we earn and buying ADA, which has been pumping in response to the September, 12th Alonzo update.
If you wait for the coins to reach their all time highs and then sell them, you are in fact earning $1.8 of LTC and $6 worth of Doge, which combined amounts to $7.8 per day. And we are talking about top 20 coins here (Doge is 6th in market cap); there is a real chance they can reach their all time high, or come close (more likely for Doge, less likely for LTC).
These kind of strategies can cut your ROI in half or more.
Goldshell Mini Doge Miner vs Bitmain Antminer L3+
We can’t really review the Mini Doge here, without talking about its place in the overall mining market and the competition it faces.
Obviously, being a mini miner provides an additional flexibility that no other Scrypt Algorithm miner can provide. The Mini Doge is small and quiet and you don’t need to run it on a PC or a special cooling system. We have three of them in the office and it’s really no bother having them here. In fact, they are just 3 feet (1m) away from me as I type this. I can easily imagine placing them in my apartment and be OK with it. That is not something that you can do with the Antminer L3+ (we have one) or other conventional miners.
Speaking of the Antminer L3+, it’s no coincidence we bought 3 Mini Dogies. Three of them provide a similar hashrate per watt as a single L3+: 555MH/s at 700W for the mini miners vs 504MH/s at 800W for the L3+. Comparing them was the main idea behind this article.
In order to have a better understanding of their efficiency, let’s also bring down the power consumption of the L3+ to 700W and compare. If we lower both consumption and hashrate by 12.5 percent, we get 443MH/s at 700W vs 555MH/s at 700W for three Mini Doge miners. That’s a 26 percent higher hashrate for the 3 mini miners at the same power draw. You might ask, what about the Bitmain Antminer L3++? The L3++ is just an ‘overclocked’ version of the L3+ and even less efficient if we compare hashrate per watt spent. We’ll come back to why this efficiency is important later when talking about the incoming L7.
While the Mini Doge is a more efficient machine, three of them also cost more than a single L3+. Three mini miners will set you back by $2100, while you can get the L3+ for around $1000 on the used market and it will provide you with 85% of the profit of the mini miners. Keep in mind thought that you are getting older and used hardware with the L3+. While you might save some money in the beginning, it will cost you more to run and maintain in the long run.
Furthermore, the noise and heat levels between the miners are very different. The Doge Mini sits at 35db, while the L3+ will scream at you at 70db. That is not just double, but because of the way acoustics work, 70db is actually 12 times louder than 35db! Trust me when I say, you cannot keep L3+ in your apartment. You’ll want a special room (as far away from your living quarters as possible) and a ventilation system.
In a perfect world, there would be place for both of these miners. The Mini Doge will be perfect for people starting with ASIC mining for the first time, or anyone who wants to mine from an apartment, an office or cannot really spare a special room just for mining. The Mini Doge is also great if you are limited in how much electricity you can spend for mining. One Mini Doge consumes something like a modern GPU.
On the other hand, if you can equip your garage or basement for mining, provide the necessary cooling and power consumption, the Antminer L3+ is also a valid option. Especially if you don’t pay for electricity, so you don’t care about the better efficiency of the Mini Doge. I have a friend who has free electricity and keeps 6 L3+ units in his basement. For him, that’s a winning combination. He paid $1k per unit and added a proper cooling in his basement, all for $8,000. If he went for the Mini Doge miners, he would have needed at least 16 units for a similar hashrate, which would have cost him $11,200 and taken much longer to set up.
Unfortunately, both of these miners will suffer from November, 2021 onward. One will, however, have an advantage in surviving the slaughter.
The Imminent Arrival of Bitmain Antminer L7
I am, of course, talking about the Antminer L7 coming to market this November. This beast will overpower AND over-economize anything else on the Scrypt Algorithm market.
The L7 will provide a hashrate of 9.5GH/s with a power consumption of 3425W. That’s the hashrate equivalent of nineteen (19!) L3+, while consuming the power of only four L3+. In terms of the Mini Doge, its the equivalent of fifty one (51!) miners, while spending the power of only fifteen.
There is no question that the L7 is going to change the market. It’s efficiency is such that it’s going to make a lot of older hardware obsolete. This is why there are so many L3+ on the second hand market right now. Depending on how many L7 units enter the mining pools in November and the increase in mining difficulty that will entail, we may soon see the L3+ and L3++ becoming unprofitable. Or close enough that many people will prefer to use their electricity with other more profitable miners.
This is where I think that the Mini Doge will have an advantage over the L3+. The 26 percent higher efficiency and its flexibility will help the Mini Doge in the tough times ahead. Having three mini miners gives you options vs owning one L3+. Even if profitability lowers by half in the following year, they will still be profitable and you can easily put them somewhere and forget them. You don’t have to keep them together. You can have one in the office, one in your home and set up one at your uncle Bob’s attic. They will continue to bring small profits and spend minimum of electricity. They also have newer hardware and should last you longer than an L3+.
The Goldshell Mini Doge miner is a well thought-out product that fills a gap in the market. It’s ideal as a first miner, it’s ideal if you want something small and quiet and really the only choice if you live in a small apartment and can’t dedicate a room just to mining. It’s the perfect ‘urban’ miner. Or it would have been, had the Antminer L7 not existed.
Even so, it remains a good option and the flexibility it offers as an urban miner cannot be touched, even by the L7 (which is more like an industrial miner in comparison). We prefer it over the L3+ and we think it has a better shot to thrive post L7 than the L3+ does. If you are looking for an apartment/office friendly miner and have a chance to pick it up at $699, we think it’s a good buy.
Update: I see that some resellers are selling the Mini Doge for $1200 or more. This is an entirely different proposition and a much harder sell. At this price it would take you more than a year to break even, which is too long in crypto. Some projects, like PlanetWatch, have return of investment periods of less than two months. I would ONLY recommend the Mini Doge at $699.
- Small & quiet
- Merged mining (LTC & Doge)
- More efficient than Antminer L3+
- Antminer L7 coming to the market will lower the profitability of all other Scrypt miners