If you have ever dealt with Bitcoin or other digital assets (altcoins), you have probably heard of the crypto mining (CM) as a process of generating new tokens in a distributed ledger. As you know, the process of issuing digital money differs significantly from how national currencies called fiat money are produced. Because cryptocurrency circulates in a decentralized, distributed ledger blockchain, there is no central authority responsible for the issuance process. In the cryptocurrency world, mining is required both to issue new coins and to verify transactions placed into blocks. And CM requires powerful computing equipment capable of solving complex mathematical puzzles. So, is it possible to mine crypto on mobile devices? While today’s smartphones and tablets have become much more powerful devices, their processing power is probably not enough to solve complex crypto puzzles. However, mining crypto on your phone is still a viable concept under certain scenarios. So, read on to find out how to mine bitcoin on Android or iOS devices.
Basics of Cryptocurrency Mining
Mining is the process that PoW-based cryptocurrencies use to verify transactions entering the distributed ledger. As you know, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin circulate in a blockchain, which is a chain of blocks, where each one is a virtual container that stores records. Essentially, CM is a record-keeping process that is performed by special nodes in the network. Each such node contributes to the performance of the peer-to-peer network by confirming that it is a trustworthy and secure environment. So, here are some important things about mining Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies:
- Miners perform transaction verification to ensure the reliability of the crypto network. The main task of miners is to validate transactions before putting them into a new block that will later be added to the chain. Miners solve complex mathematical puzzles that require high-performance computing equipment consuming huge amounts of energy. There are cryptocurrencies that use a less resource-intensive PoS consensus mechanism. However, Bitcoin and some other major cryptocurrencies still operate on a PoW basis.
- Blockchain generates new tokens and awards them to the mining node that managed to solve the mathematical puzzle and add a new block to the chain. Initially, only a small number of virtual coins circulated on the Bitcoin network. With each new block of transactions, the number of tokens increases. Notably, as the network and the value of the crypto grows, the amount of the miner’s fee decreases (Bitcoin halving). That is, the number of coins issued when creating a new block with transactions has decreased several times and is now 6.25 Bitcoins versus 50 BTC in the early stages of the network. However, considering that 6.25 Bitcoins at the current exchange rate is around $150,000, such a reward is still impressive.
- By issuing new tokens, the network incentivizes miners to do their work. The opportunity to earn a nice fee of 6.25 Bitcoins is the main reason for miners to verify transaction blocks. While the mathematical puzzles computed by miners have become much more complex than at the start of Bitcoin, CM is still relevant to many large companies with significant computing power.
Interestingly, mining is so named because the process is similar to gold mining. You need to wash a huge amount of sand in a special machine to get a few grains of gold. CM works in much the same way, but instead of a washing machine, you need high-performance computing equipment. As the network has grown, the complexity of the algorithms computed by the mining nodes has increased dramatically. And so, it’s hard to imagine that mining crypto on your phone is a viable concept. However, there are several types of CM with those suitable for mining Bitcoin on Android or iOS mobile devices.
Types of Crypto Mining
In 2009, in the early days of the cryptocurrency space, CM was a relatively simple task that even an ordinary phone could handle. However, given that Bitcoin was only worth a few cents at the time, the reward for each new block was negligible. However, in 2013, when BTC crossed the $100 mark in value, CM became much more attractive to many. With a reward of 50 BTC per new block, miners were earning around $5,000 for each successfully verified transaction. Today, as the value of digital coins has risen dramatically (despite the current drop caused by the global economic crisis amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine), mining is an energy-intensive process. However, thousands of companies around the world still perform the operation. They have developed several principles and solutions for CM. So, let’s take a look at the types of CM that exist:
- Mining using CPUs. In simple terms, it is the process of verifying cryptocurrency transactions using ordinary computers such as home PCs or even laptops. This method of issuing tokens was relevant in the early days of cryptocurrencies when they had relatively little value and the computational mathematical puzzles were fairly simple. As the network scaled up, the complexity of the computable algorithms gradually increased to make transactions even more tamper-proof. Today, only a few people use this method because CPUs are too slow to perform complex cryptographic computations. If you are aiming to mine Bitcoin or other major cryptocurrencies based on the PoW consensus mechanism, then CPU mining is not the place to start.
- Mining using GPUs (video cards). As the most efficient in terms of performance and financial cost, this method of mining was considered one of the most viable some time ago. Unlike ordinary computer processors, video cards contain a huge number of graphics cores and are therefore better able to handle parallel computing. For years, miners have been building rigs incorporating multiple graphics cards to provide higher processing power. However, today you can see a huge number of advertisements for selling video cards because they have become useless for mining Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies. The final nail in the coffin of GPU mining is Ethereum. The crypto project recently made the switch to PoS, a new consensus mechanism. By some estimates, video card-based mining equipment now has a payback period of tens of years. So, if you want to try your hand as a crypto miner, you might want to forgo the GPUs option.
- ASIC mining. While video cards have proven to be very effective cryptocurrency mining devices, computing hardware vendors have gone further and introduced Application-Specific Integrated Circuits designed specifically for miners. This has led to the fact that ASICs have taken over the crypto blanket, as they are much more efficient than mining farms based on CPUs and GPUs. Despite the scaling of large crypto networks and the significant increase in the complexity of computable math puzzles, ASIC CM is still a relevant option. However, ASIC-based hardware has several serious drawbacks. First, such integrated circuits are quite expensive, and not everyone can afford to buy a few. Secondly, they consume huge amounts of electricity, a resource that is not free.
- Mining pools. Essentially, it is a type of collective CM where an organization gathers a number of computer hardware owners around itself, allocating some of its processing power. By pooling computing resources to perform the process of verifying crypto transactions, the participants greatly increase the likelihood of being rewarded for the blocks created. This works much like lottery syndicates where people band together and buy lottery tickets for one particular drawing to increase the likelihood of hitting the right number. As the processing power requirements for mining equipment have increased significantly recently, so-called solo CM no longer provides a stable income. The total processing power available to large mining pools far exceeds what solo miners can afford, so the future is in mining pools. By joining a pool, you will receive a portion of the rewards received by the organization for generating new blocks of transactions. The rewards are paid to each participant proportionally based on their allocated processing/hash power. Notably, some pools also accept mobile device users and we will discuss this in more detail below.
- Cloud mining. Since not everyone can afford to spend a lot of money to buy special equipment, the option of renting computing power was invented. Thus, there are large data centers with huge computing resources that can rent some parts of them. Let’s say you rent several servers for a month. During this period, all the rewards received by the servers for verified transaction blocks will be transferred to your crypto wallet. In return, you have to pay the rent. Cloud mining is one of the options available to mobile users. As we know, smartphone manufacturers and mobile OS developers such as Google and Apple have banned the use of their devices for solo CM. However, as you can see, cloud mining works differently. You can download an app that allows you to keep track of how your rented equipment works. That is, such apps are not directly related to mining cryptocurrencies on phones and are therefore legal.
So, there are several types of CM. And due to the ever-increasing complexity of the mathematical puzzles computed by specialized equipment, some of them are already outdated and unviable. However, there are two options that will suit anyone with even an extremely limited budget. Rather than spend money on expensive – and power-hungry – ASIC-based hardware, you can rent computing power from major data centers. Alternatively, if you have high-performance computing hardware, you can connect with a pool to join forces and thereby increase the likelihood of building a new block.
Reasons Why You Should Try Crypto Mining
Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies utilize the revolutionary blockchain technology, which is a distributed ledger with immutable records. And it requires special nodes called miners to ensure that all information entered into the ledger is correct. Bitcoin allows financial transactions to be made from anywhere in the world without interference from regulators, intermediaries or third parties. And the first advantage that miners consider is the decentralization of the crypto network. However, the rewards paid for each new block of records (transactions) created are the main driving force behind many organizations engaging in mining. So, here are a few factors that determine the profitability of crypto mining:
- In order to compete with large organizations having colossal computing power, a miner must invest in equipment. Firstly, mining equipment costs a lot of money on its own. Secondly, it needs expensive maintenance. Thirdly, since in the cryptocurrency space, one trend replaces the other literally in the blink of an eye, the mining equipment quickly becomes obsolete and loses its effectiveness. Today, the latest installations based on high-performance ASICs start at $1,500 and up.
- Electricity bills. Any equipment is characterized by extremely low efficiency when it comes to power consumption. At last count, the profitability range of mining is $0.03 to $0.08 per kWh. This means that you need to choose a place with the lowest cost of power so that your electric bill does not cover your earnings.
- The value of a digital asset. As miners are remunerated with a certain number of tokens, the price of the latter affects their profitability. If you are mining Bitcoin, your reward for checking a transaction block is only BTC 6.25 at the moment. Since the token price has dropped significantly (there is now a persistent bearish trend in the market), for most small mining organizations, doing transaction verification on the network has become unprofitable and even loss-making.
Notably, the total number of tokens that can be issued into the Bitcoin network is limited to 21 million. While new token issuance is slowing due to halving, it is estimated that the last Bitcoin issuance operation will occur in approximately 120 years. As the supply of bitcoins declines, the demand for tokens and their value increases accordingly. Miners believe that the asset they mine will grow in the long term, and therefore are even willing to survive some periods of unprofitability in their business. It is interesting to know that mining will not lose its relevance even when all bitcoins are released into the network. When that happens, miners will receive rewards in the form of a portion of the transaction fee.
Mobile Crypto Mining
Although today’s smartphones have become much more powerful than the phones we used 5-10 years ago, they have only a fraction of the power of modern computers. And so, it is obvious that using smartphones for solo mining Bitcoin, Ethereum and any other cryptocurrency based on the computationally demanding PoW consensus mechanism is pointless. Moreover, in 2018, Google and Apple banned the publication of solo mining apps on their marketplaces. The fact is that special software puts a high strain on the CPU and some other components of smartphones, leading to their premature wear and tear and failure. So, here are some takeaways on how to mine crypto on iPhone or Android-powered device:
- It will be difficult for you to find a mining app for your smartphone or tablet, as such apps were banned from Google Play and App Store back in 2018, and the policies of the marketplaces have not changed since then
- While you are unlikely to find crypto mining apps for iPhone, Android is a more open system. This means that you have the option of downloading the mining app from a third-party source. If you do manage to find a mining app, be prepared for your smartphone to overheat, run significantly slower and generally have a much shorter lifespan.
- Since the processing power requirements of mining hardware have increased significantly recently, it will take months or even years before your smartphone or tablet can generate a new block of transactions.
So, solo cryptocurrency mining on a phone is an unviable concept that you should forget about. However, there are alternatives with which you cannot directly use your mobile devices to earn rewards from mining crypto.
Cloud Crypto Mining on Android or iOS
Cloud mining is a legitimate way to profit from token mining that is also available to mobile users. Cloud mining apps are available to users of Android and iOS mobile devices that do not use the processing power of smartphones or tablets for CM. Instead, they provide a user-friendly interface for managing rented computing equipment. In addition, cloud mining apps include analytics tools so that you can monitor the efficiency of the leased computing power. Here are some cloud mining applications that you can download from your platform’s marketplace:
- ECOS. Offering cloud mining services, ECOS is a multifunctional platform with a crypto exchange, crypto wallet and many other tools useful for crypto enthusiasts. ECOS has a native app that provides access to both trading tools and a cloud mining monitoring/tracking interface.
- Bitdeer. In addition to its cloud mining service, this platform also offers trading contracts for those who have their own mining equipment and are willing to rent it out. Thanks to the simple and intuitive user interface, with Bitdeer, anyone can start mining cryptocurrency on their phone in just a few taps.
- BeMine. Available only to users of Android devices, this cloud mining service offers several contract options, making it affordable even for those with a small initial budget.
So, since cloud mining apps have nothing to do with solo mining where the computing power of your smartphone or tablet is used, they are freely available on the main app marketplaces.
Crypto Mining Apps for iPhone and Android
While major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are too complex to mine on a phone, in recent years, several mobile-oriented tokens have emerged that can be mined on smartphones. To start mining crypto on a smartphone or tablet, you just need to install an app, register and tap a button. Moreover, by recommending such apps to your friends, you will earn even more through referrals. However, most of such mobile-oriented crypto projects have suspiciously similar roadmaps and generally carry very dubious value. We do not recommend installing such apps on your device and just provide a short list for evaluation purposes:
- Bee Network. With coins of essentially no value, this crypto project offers a mobile app where you can mine tokens simply by giving access to your smartphone’s hardware capabilities. There are also referral opportunities so you can earn more by recommending the app to your friends. According to the creator, as the crypto project develops, the app will be updated with new functionality.
- Pi Network. Available to Android and iOS device users, Pi Network is a crypto app offering you a gaming experience with the ability to earn native platform tokens. You have 4 roles to choose from, with captcha solving being a basic one. Among the many mobile-focused cryptocurrencies, Pi Network looks to be the most honest and transparent as its creators have revealed their identities.
- Ant Network. With a native ANC token, this mobile platform is a social advertising-oriented social sharing network useful for both creators and ordinary users. With anonymous developers and very vague wording in the technical document, this platform hardly deserves your attention.
Before downloading the apps in the list above and similar ones, read the details of the crypto projects behind them carefully. Also, it’s a good idea to read user reviews to avoid outright scammers who steal your personal data from mobile devices.
Summary: Mining Crypto on iPhone or Android
If you’re looking for an easy method of how to mine cryptocurrency on Android or iPhone, it simply doesn’t exist. That’s because solo mining on smartphones and tablets powered by iOS and Android was banned back in 2018. You can download apps to mine mobile-focused tokens, but by doing so, you put your personal data at risk. A better alternative is cloud mining as it does not use the processing power of your mobile device.
1. What is crypto mining?
This is the process of checking transactions before putting them into a new block. It is performed by the intermediate nodes on the crypto network that have special hardware and software.
2. Why engage in crypto mining?
The main reason why miners engage in transaction verification is to be rewarded with a specific number of tokens generated by the network. Looking at how to mine bitcoin on iPhone, you can expect to be paid BTC 6.25 for each new block added to the blockchain.
3. Can I mine individually?
So-called solo mining for major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum is hardly a viable concept as the requirements for computing hardware have increased too much recently.
4. How do I mine crypto on my phone?
You can install a cloud mining app that doesn’t use your device’s hardware to solve math puzzles. Instead, it offers a user-friendly interface for monitoring and managing the allocated resources that you rent.
5. Are there crypto mining apps for iPhone or Android?
All solo mining apps were removed from the marketplaces in 2018 when Google and Apple introduced a ban.
6. Why is solo mining prohibited on an Android or iPhone?
Being a resource-intensive process, mining leads to rapid wear and tear on the main components of a smartphone. Moreover, your smartphone’s processing power is not enough for you to earn anything significant in the short term, so it is a pointless endeavour.