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A 25-year-old earns about $1,118 per month mining Ethereum from his home. He breaks down the graphics card he bought, how much he paid, and the main lessons learned.

A 25-year-old earns about $1,118 per month mining Ethereum from his home. He breaks down the graphics card he bought, how much he paid, and the main lessons learned.
 
    Lance Wright first heard about Bitcoin in 2010. At 14, he helped his uncle assemble a mining rig using a central processing unit. Together they used it to mine Bitcoin for about a year.
 
    "He's a network engineer, so he's always been passionate about this technology," Wright said. "He thought it was really neat. In the end, he just said, 'Oh, that's a ridiculous amount of money. It's not real. I'm going to give it up.'" He added: "None of us want to talk about our wallets. How much could have been lost.” A few years later, Wright returned to mining with graphics processing units. He built various rigs in the garage outside his house in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

 
 
    These rigs allow him to mine Ethereum and power the cryptocurrency’s blockchain by processing sets of transactions called blocks. In exchange for supporting the network, miners are rewarded in ether. It's an expensive project, but when done right, it can ultimately be profitable.
 
    Building a profitable rig was Wright's hobby because he liked working on computers. His day job is as a software engineer, especially as a system integration developer.
 
    "The app you make is connected to the app. So it can really change," Wright said. "I've helped warehouses. I've helped build AI for NATO. I've also helped build battleship software. In development, I'm all over the place." He's also the founder of Sayou, a single-member LLC that develops software to support employment with disabilities People company and recruiter.
 
    why mine?
 
    Wright has long been interested in computers and their components and program development. So building mining rigs is his passion, especially since he wants to own cryptocurrency but has had a terrible experience investing in it.
 
    During the 2017 bull market, when cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum hit record highs, Wright poured $200 in cash to buy bitcoin, ethereum and a cryptocurrency called quantum. He was a 21-year-old college student, so he was spending a lot of money.
 
    "I basically lost everything," Wright said. "I remember the money going further and further, but surprisingly I didn't sell it. I think also because I didn't invest much, so it didn't hurt as much. But I wanted to put more into it. So that’s when I actually started getting into cryptocurrency mining.” He said he believes the cryptocurrency price boom experienced in 2017 was driven by hype, a factor that will soon be followed by real-world adoption. So he wants to continue building his position in the crypto space.
 
    In January 2018, Wright decided to pursue mining as a way to buy at an average dollar cost or on a regular basis.
 
    "One of the few ways I actually made money in college was when I would sell gaming computers," Wright said. “So I always have a ton of extra PCs or graphics cards. I think it’s a great way for me to invest more by using these computers I already have and start mining on them .” Because he had a bad experience buying an unknown altcoin, Wright decided it was best to stick with blue-chip cryptocurrencies, with Ethereum at the top of his list.
 
    Between December and February, he earned an average of 0.36 ether per month from Ethermine. Based on ether prices as of April 19 and screenshots from histax-software, this equates to about $1,118 per month
 
    Account viewed by Insider CoinTracker. At that rate, even if he started from zero, it would take more than nine months to break even, based on the costs he shows below.
 
build rig
 
    He started using extra PCs around him and started adding multiple graphics cards until he built four separate rigs consisting of different types of graphics cards.
 
    "I'm also testing with equipment that's getting cheaper and cheaper. And I have no problem buying used equipment or even things that seem a little sketchy," Wright said. "I'll try it out. It's a hobby for me, I love it, and it does start a couple of fires." For all four rigs, Wright told Insider he spent about $10,400. Below is a breakdown of Wright's graphics cards and the average price he pays per card. For used cards, he goes to eBay and Facebook Marketplace to buy a few cards every three to four months.
 
    With many graphics cards at his disposal, he quickly discovered that pushing the rig beyond its capacity was a bad idea. The culprit of the fire is cheap power. Lessons he learned? Buy one of good quality, even if it costs more.
 
    "My biggest mistake was when I decided to actually build an existing rig and I had 12. At the time I didn't understand how the circuit breaker worked," Wright said on Aim4kingship, sharing his TikTok insights . "I put too many graphics cards on one circuit and it kept burning the circuit and I had to go outside and flip a switch." The second lesson he learned was putting graphics cards from different manufacturers in the same device may cause the operating system to crash.
 
    He realized it was easier and more cost-effective to get a smaller and cheaper motherboard, so he started dividing the gear. At the time of his purchase, the cost difference between a motherboard with a higher capacity was about $200 (12 sockets) and $20 (6 sockets used).
 
    As for the accumulation of graphics cards, he started with three AMD RX 580s, and the profit was not high. But once he activated the gear, he realized he liked the cards.
 
    Many miners ignore AMD RX 580s because they are not the best, he said. But that's because they focus on overall profits. Instead, they should focus on their return on investment, which affects the price of the card and power usage, he added.
 
    "When I did the math, it was one of the best graphics cards you could get at that price at the time," Wright said.
 
    He added that the cards became especially lucrative when the price of ether began to rise.
 
    Here's a breakdown of his four rigs:
 
    Gear 1: Holds 12 AMD RX 580s.
 
    Gear Two: Holds two Nvidia GTX 1070s and one Nvidia GTX 1080.
 
    Gear Three: Holds an AMD RX 580 and RX 6600.
 
    Gear Four: Holds three Nvidia RTX 3090s.
 
    As for the main takeaway from using the different cards, Wright says AMD 580 cards will give you better value for money, but they require more setup work. They may also need additional software for better results.
 
    On the other hand, GTX 1070s cost more than RX 580s, but they have slightly less hash or processing than the latter, he said. But they require zero upfront work to start mining. Nvidia also works out of the box. It's very effective, but very expensive, Wright said. They can also have memory fever problems, he added.
 
    Based on a rate of $0.10 per kilowatt-hour, the average electricity bill for the four rigs is about $229 per month. The environmental cost of mining electricity consumption is a long-standing issue, and some nonprofits are advocating for greener ways to run the cause.
 
    This cost eats into miners’ profits, which also fluctuate based on the trading price of a given cryptocurrency.
 
    Mining cryptocurrency is like trying to catch a moving target. Profits depend on the trading price of the cryptocurrency. The cost of equipment may also vary based on supply and demand.

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