ASICs will not save Dogecoin

With Dogecoin‘s hashrate dropping fast, the community is looking at ASIC miners to secure the coin’s future. ASICs are actively being marketed and the community has even started a fundraiser to buy a dedicated Dogecoin ASIC miner. But despite good intentions, the only ones to benefit from initiatives like this are businesses selling ASIC miners. Crowdfunding network security is a costly exercise, and therefore not a viable long-term solution to the current uncertainty surrounding Dogecoin’s mining.

Required investment amount

The cheapest Scrypt ASIC miner in terms of cost per MH/s is currently offered by Flower Technology. 300 MH/s has a price tag of $7,900. Assuming that this can actually be delivered, it would leave the cost of 1 GH/s at a little over $26,000. WafflePool, the biggest pool in the Dogecoin network, is capable of reaching a total hashrate of 35 GH/s. To compete with this, the community would have to spend over $900,000.

Recurring costs

The previous would not be a one-time investment. ASICs are rapidly improving. Just half a year ago, the same pricetag would only fetch one tenth of the currently promised hashrates. If this trend continues, ASICs will be a hundred times faster one year from now. An investment of $900,000 would then yield a hashrate of 3,500 GH/s, and the current investment would be equal to $9,000 worth of hashrate. This means that a recurring investment is required to keep security at about the same level.

Optimistic scenario

The cost could turn out to be even higher, as it is assumed that the ASIC miners are able to operate at zero additional costs. Running these machines will require a lot of energy, despite being relatively efficient. If the value of a single coin does not increase, it seems questionable whether they will be able to generate some profit at all. Overall, even the most optimistic scenario will still set the community back nearly one million USD annually. If every community member would buy their own 450 KH/s ASIC miner (currently priced at $75 each) to support network security, the total annual required community investment could be nearing six million USD. As Dogecoin is set to generate five billion new coins per year as of 2015, this would equal a total reward of roughly two million USD at current price levels not including energy costs. A bet on ASICs is therefore one with a pretty poor outlook, although it is good news if you happen to be selling them.

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Comments (2)

  1. stackingcans June 2, 2014
    • Dogeconomist June 2, 2014