Antminer D3 Dash Profitability (January 2018)

Over late 2017 the profitability for the Antminer D3 (for mining Dash) has dropped significantly. Approaching 2018 the profitability has begun to stabilise.

This guide will go through the current state of Dash mining with the Antminer D3 going into January 2018.


See an overview of the state in September 2017 here, and November 2017 here.


Antminer D3 Profitability in January 2018

In late December 2017, there are two important characteristics of Dash mining difficulty:

  • The rate it's increasing has slowed down significantly. Between October-December 2017, it increased by between 215-400% per month. Looking at the difficulty chart for the past month, this looks to be more like an 80-100% increase between December-January 2018; which although is still high, is much lower than previous months.
  • Dash mining difficulty is very unstable in late 2017, varying by as much as 15% each day. There are many potential causes of this, ranging from Bitmain (the creator of the D3) using these miners before shipping them to customers (so causing these sudden drops when they ship them) to your average user switching their miner off each time they see the difficulty go too high, and then turning them back on when it drops.

In general though, given power costs of around $0.12/kWh, the Antminer D3 will be generating around $1,000 per year at the current price and difficulty. Given the recent correction in price and potential future difficulty changes, optimistically users might see a return of around $600-700 over 2018; more skeptically if the difficulty continues increasing by 40%+ per month this could be much lower at around $100-200 over 2018.

This lower return has affected the resale price of the Antminer D3, where on Amazon it's currently going for $1,395 (this is an affiliate link, so we'll earn some money if you buy something using it). Back in September these were going for as much as $10,000. Comparing this price to the optimistic $530 yearly ROI, we'd recommend you wait for the price of these miners to go down before buying one. If they reach less than $1,000 per miner they would be a much safer investment, although still quite risky compared to say a Bitcoin miner. If you have very cheap electricity then the risk is much lower, as even with big difficulty increases the D3 will remain profitable.


How to Boost Antminer D3 Profitability?

Although the long-term doesn't look great for the D3, there are several ways to improve its profitability:

  • Dash's difficulty is very unstable, ranging as much as 15% each day (we go through this in the above section). Rather than running your miner 24/7, if you monitored these difficulty changes - you could turn it off when the difficulty peaks, allowing you to only mine on the slightly lower difficulty. Although not significant, this could be the difference between running the D3 at a profit/loss, and so is a good option for someone who's worried about mining this long-term. Keep in mind when turning your miner on, it may take a while to reach its peak hashrate - so this approach will require some trial and error balancing difficulty and hashrate.
  • Your mining reward is in cryptocurrency rather than fiat (e.g. USD). If you think cryptocurrencies will do well long-term, rather than selling straight away - you can just hold them. If you're mining Dash for example, if it doubles in price while holding it, you get double the return. This is risky though, as if it drops - you get less!
  • The Antminer D3 mines on the X11 algorithm. Although marketed as a Dash miner, many other coins run on this algorithm. Mining one of these instead may be more profitable. A search for 'x11 cryptocurrencies' will return a number of lists/comparisons of these coins.

Avoid Cloud Mining for Dash

In late 2017/early 2018, most cloud mining companies haven't updated their pricing for Dash mining based on the recent difficulty increases. The result is that when comparing the Antminer D3 to HashFlare or Genesis Mining, the cost for the equivalent hashpower is in the range of $60,000-$86,000. Both companies seem to have marked these contracts as 'out of stock', so this isn't an issue at the time of writing this - but you should be aware of this.

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