Hobbyists and Do-It-Yourself enthusiasts who love folding their sleeves to engage in hands-on exploration will find Raspberry Pi mining their best option. The primary motive is not mining profitability per se, but the reward of having built their crypto project and make it work.
The low hash power characterized by an average hash rate of about 100 KH/s limits the types of coins that can be mined and the method of crypto mining.
At the time of writing this article, Raspberry PI 4B is the most ideal of the Raspberry Pi devices in terms of hash power and other specs. Hence, we are going to use it as the basis for this discussion.
Best cryptocurrency to mine with USB miner
Those crypto coins that require higher computational power for their mining process will need the addition of a USB miner.
The USB miner is a dedicated mining hardware that serves as a substitute for graphics cards in ordinary mining rigs.
While coins based on the SHA256 proof-of-work consensus algorithm are often mined using an ASIC miner, they can still be mined profitably using Raspberry Pi 4B combined with a USB miner. In this case, the USB miner acts as a lightweight alternative to the ASIC miner.
The following are some of the coins that can be profitably mined using USB Miner:
Topping the list of Raspberry Pi coins to mine using USB Miner is Bitcoin. Being the priciest asset on the cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitcoin mining is the most profitable cryptocurrency mining venture.
While USB mining rigs may not be as powerful as ASIC Bitcoin miners, this being the most profitable coin, you can still turn profitable by leveraging your small budget and low hash rate through pool mining. Solo mining isn’t the best way to optimize profit when it comes to USB miners. Nonetheless, you can boost your profitability by having a large number of Bitcoin nodes as each USB miner becomes a node. However, this setup is only ideal for advanced users.
2. Bitcoin Cash
Another member of Bitcoin’s SHA256 family is Bitcoin Cash. Mining this coin may not be as profitable as mining a new bitcoin, but it is still rewarding. The advantage is that the network difficulty factor is not as high as that of Bitcoin. Thus, a low hash rate may be more profitable with it than with Bitcoin.
The last member of Bitcoin’s SHA256 family on this list is BitcoinSV. Its profitability is based on a much lower hash power requirement compared to the above two. Thus, the setup budget for the Raspberry Pi mining process is less costly.
Best cryptocurrency to mine without a USB miner
Those crypto coins that can be profitably mined using the CPU can also be mined without the need for a USB miner. All this is in theory. In practice don’ expect to make any big gains this way. If you want to mine altcoins property check out my article on how to mine altcoins.
The following are some of these coins:
1. Monero coin
Topping the list of those new coins that you can mine without a USB miner is Monero. By policy, Monero mining discourages the use of an ASIC miner while encouraging CPU miners. Monero coin offers the best market rates of any existing anonymous virtual currency.
2. Storj coin
If you’ve ever used Google Cloud, Amazon Cloud, Azure Cloud, or other centralized cloud storage systems, then you will easily understand the Storj concept. Storj is a decentralized digital file storage system where members contribute a portion of their storage space (HDD or SSD) for renting and are rewarded with Storj coin based on how much of availed storage space is actually used.
Storj operates more or less the same as File Coin. The difference is that File Coin has its own network while Storj relies on the Ethereum network.
Raspberry Pi mining makes it the best use-case for Storj since one can start small and gradually scale as the demand for storage space increases.
Since Storj demands an uptime requirement of at least 93%, Raspberry Pi becomes the best low-energy consumption option. Unlike a PC that will consume 75W in idle mode, Raspberry Pi 4B will just consume 2.7W in idle mode. Furthermore, going off-grid by using low-power solar panels makes economic sense in terms of power backup and low electricity costs.
Like Monero, Bytecoin is another anonymous coin that doesn’t require sophisticated mining rigs. Bytecoin boasts of being the first private untraceable crypto. While its exchange rate quote on the cryptocurrency market is just a tiny fraction of Monero, it is still worth mining on a piece of low-budget equipment such as Raspberry Pi.
4. Magi coin
Probably the most ideal coin for Raspberry Pi network mining is the Magi coin. This peer-to-peer coin employs a network-dependent reward system that makes it compatible with the Raspberry Pi network ecosystem.
By policy, Magi encourages energy efficiency making it profitable to mine new coins using low-power, low hash rate gadgets such as a mobile phone and Raspberry Pi 4B. It requires a very low difficulty level for mining on its network.
5. Duino Coin (DUCO)
Based on the DUCO-1 algorithm, Duino Coin is the friendliest coin to mine using Raspberry Pi. As the name suggests, it targets Arduino and other small gadgets, especially IoT gadgets.
Duino-Coin has many convertible cryptocurrency tickers such as bscDUCO, wDUCO, celoDUCO, and maticDUCO, among others. These are wrappers that enable the Duino-Coin to be exchanged on other blockchain networks and also make it a great way to convert DUCO to fiat currency and to your local currency for real money.
You can mine Duino-Coin very low power-consuming gadgets such as Raspberry Pi Pico, ESP8266, Wi-Fi Routers, Smart TVs, any such electronic mobile device, etc. You don’t need an ASIC miner or a GPU miner. However, currently, the coin’s profitability margin is extremely slim.
Raspberry Pi Mining Overview
Let’s have an overview of Raspberry Pi Mining in terms of the rationale, setup, process, and optimization.
1. Why Raspberry Pi Mining?
Raspberry Pi mining is preferred because of:
- Low budget – you need less money to get started. For a $50 budget, you can profitably carry out Monero mining.
- Low power consumption – electricity costs have become exorbitant and thus an equipment’s energy consumption is a big factor. Raspberry Pi 4B can be run on a 5V battery consuming just 2.7W in idle mode.
- Off-grid efficiency – no need for a complicated backup system to run Raspberry Pi 4B. Having a 9V or 12V backup battery is just enough. This can also be powered by cheap solar panels.
- Portability – Raspberry Pi 4B is highly portable. Thus, you can easily set up portable mining rigs based on your requirements. You can also use Raspberry Pi Zero W to build a portable mining rig.
- DIY Crypto projects – if you want to have experimental crypto projects or simple hobby projects, Raspberry Pi is the best option.
- Scalability – With Raspberry Pi mining, you can start small and then scale up as the need arises. This helps to avoid idle capital investment. This is especially the case if you are mining Storj coins or other coins based on the same modality.
2. Raspberry Pi Mining Setup requirements
To successfully set up Raspberry Pi mining operations, you need the following:
(a) Raspberry Pi mining hardware
The following are the key components that you should consider for effective Raspberry Pi Mining:
- Storage disk – there are three types of storage disks that you can use – MicroSD card, Hard Drive (HD), and/or SSD. In most cases, MicroSD will work but if you are mining Storj coin, you will need a higher storage capacity such as an external HD or SSD connected via a USB port.
- RAM – RAM for Raspberry Pi devices is soldered on the board. Choose a hardware type that has the right amount of RAM, e.g., 8GB RAM.
- Network access – network access can be via RJ45 port for wired access and/or Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi for remote access.
- USB ports – USB ports are essential for power supply (USB-C) and for connecting peripheral devices such as USB Miners, external Hard drives, etc. The more USB ports, the better the support for peripheral devices. Most importantly, go for USB 3.0 support as it is almost 10x faster and more efficient compared to USB 2.0.
- HDMI ports – these are important for graphic display and user-interface interaction. Make sure that there is compatibility between the HDMI ports and your display unit.
(b) Raspberry Pi OS
You can choose to natively install Raspberry Pi OS (for desktop) or Raspberry Pi OS lite (for Pico). However, the most widely used Raspberry Pi OS for crypto mining is Ubuntu. Choose depending on your mining software requirements and the ease of use.
(c) Mining software
Some coins require specific mining software. Also, some USB miners do require specific mining software. Make sure that your mining software has a simple interface that promotes ease of use. Some of the popular free software for mining include:
- PiMP OS
Peripherals enhance the functionality of your Raspberry Pi crypto miner. The following are some of the peripheral devices you need to consider having:
- USB Miner – GekkoScience NEWPAC USB Miner, Antminer, etc.
- Powered USB hub – to create a mining rig by connecting USB Miners and other Raspberry Pi devices.
- Heat Fan – to cool the CPU and the USB miners in the case of heavy mining
- Solar panel power bank – to have a portable backup supply
- Regulated power supply – to prevent power fluctuations
3. The Raspberry Pi mining process
The Raspberry Pi mining process involves the following key steps:
(i) Set the hardware ready
(ii) Install your preferred OS
(iii) Install the mining software
(iv) Choose the cryptocurrency that you want to mine
(v) Run the miner
(vi) Monitor the mining process
4. How to optimize Raspberry Pi Mining profitability
The following are important tips to optimize your mining profitability:
(a) Join a mining pool
There are very few profitable options for solo mining when using Raspberry Pi. Thus, the best way to have a viable mining operation is to join a mining pool. However, you don’t need pool mining for Storj Coin and Duino Coin.
Some of the best mining pools that support Raspberry Pi mining include:
- Minergate – with a user base of more than 3.5 million, this is the most popular mining pool. It supports Monero, Zcash, Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, etc. It is easy to open a Minergate account plus it has a very rich graphical user interface.
- Slush Pool
(b) Choose the most profitable coins
Select the most profitable coin based on your hardware capability. Even though Bitcoin block rewards are several hundred times higher, it may not be economically viable to mine on the Bitcoin blockchain using a low-power device such as Raspberry Pi devices, especially if you don’t have a sufficient budget to build a powerful mining rig. Also, the high energy consumption demand necessitated by the high hash power requirement to satisfy the Bitcoin network difficulty level may push the cost of electricity beyond the profit spectrum. Monero and Storj could be more profitable on a low budget.
Nonetheless, using a profit calculator is important in helping you choose the most profitable coin.
(c) Scale up your mining operations
To increase your hash power and thus profitability, you need more powerful hardware. The advantage of Raspberry Pi mining is that you can start small and scale up as you grow. You can easily develop several mining rigs to cater to different coins.
While Raspberry Pi mining is not a get-rich-quick scheme, it is highly rewarding for hobbyists and technology enthusiasts who want to get token earnings for their Do-It-Yourself cryptocurrency projects. Instead of building Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and other IoT projects just for fun, you get a monetary reward on top. This is a big psychological incentive. However, the biggest rewards are from the lessons learned and the fulfillment that you get in accomplishing your own project.
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