There are several reasons why mining continues to be on the to-do list. For one, BTC is still the market giant; altcoins have lost their popularity. Currently, none of the leading ones which include Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH), and ZCash (ZEC), which might be added to Coinbase, pose any threat to BTC, as their mining has remained relatively flat. Litecoin has lost 30% of its hashing power in the past three months; only Ethereum has seen a steady climb.
Besides that, out of all cryptocurrencies available on the market BTC is the only one which is being institutionalized and accepted in the top-tier business circles, for example, at Goldman Sachs, which has recently appointed a new CEO, David Solomon. The latter seems to be high on crypto.
To mine or not to mine?
On the one hand, the mining rate rise shows that the interest is still there. Thus, a revival in prices is possible. On the other, there is a great chance that most of the miners want an immediate return so any price that is above break-even point is sufficient for the mining business to continue.
The cloud mining, however, will most likely remain unprofitable. For instance, Hashflare has recently announced that it terminates its cloud mining BTC contracts. The company has stated that the venture will not be able to turn into a truly profitable unless BTC is worth $9000 at the very least. For the miners to break even the sum should be $8900.
Besides, the rewards for individual miners decline due to high difficulty and electricity cost. Mining farms that over consume might also be out of business, not least because blocks become more complex to solve. But while cloud mining may indeed be unlucrative, the companies are still investing in the market. Thus, a new app Honeyminer offers individual miners ways of earning without needing to buy super powerful equipment. At the same time, Canaan has decided to launch a TV set which will allow average consumers to mine while watching movies and shows.
However, there is a mining-related concern which is not solely about profits. According to Dr. Jon Truby, the director of the Centre for Law and Development at Qatar University, the electricity that BTC mining is currently so high that it could “threaten to reverse the efforts and gains made so far in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.”