- Matthew Hopkins, widely known as Son of a Tech, is a crypto mining influencer.
- He has his own farm where he mines several cryptocurrencies including dogecoin.
- He explains merge pooling, electricity costs, and which ASICs works for doge.
Matthew Hopkins, widely known as Son of a Tech on YouTube and Twitter, is an avid crypto miner both in the ASIC and GPU space. His platforms act as technical guides for mining different types of cryptocurrencies, the process of using computers to solve mathematical problems and helping maintain blockchains in exchange for crypto.
He started off in 2016 by mining ethereum. But earlier this year, he added a few dogecoin miners after Elon Musk began pumping the crypto up on social media. He told Insider he got lucky with the timing because he was able to get his hands on specialized scrypt ASIC miners while they were readily available and at a great price.
The global chip shortages combined with the growing popularity of the mining sector have caused a chokepoint in mining equipment supplies. Interested buyers often resort to a waiting list that spans months, or purchase the equipment on the secondary market at higher prices.
And the hype isn’t expected to die down anytime soon. The global cryptocurrency mining hardware market (ASIC hardware and GPUs) is estimated to increase by $2.80 billion at a compounded annual rate of over 7% from 2020-2024, according to Technavio, a global market-research firm.
Hopkins managed to secure two Bitmain L3+s, and got a Goldshell Mini Doge Miner for free. In an interview with Insider, he breaks down how he maximizes his dogecoin gains while decreasing his costs.
Timing is of the essence
Many moving targets determine a miner’s profitability, especially because the ASIC’s price can fluctuate drastically depending on availability.
Hopkins told Insider he was able to secure his first Bitmain for about $175. The return on his investment was “insane,” he said, since he paid so little for the miner.
But by the time he purchased his second Bitmain, the price had climbed to $689. In hindsight, it was still a great price. Today, that same miner can retail anywhere between $1,200 to $1,500.
ASIC owners who are early to the game can even resell their hardware at a much higher price than they initially purchased it for and move onto the next model up.
Based on what’s currently in the market, Hopkins believes that the best return on investment or performance per watt is going to be an overclocked Bitman L3+. Overclocking simply means the ASIC was manually adjusted to increase the hardware’s capability beyond its manufacturing rate.
However, he warns that this model may soon become obsolete or have its capabilities drastically reduced once an upgraded model arrives.
He’s referring to the new Bitmain Antminer L7 model, which he has his eye on. Although this ASIC is pricey, it can rake in profits of about $4,380.59 a month, while only costing $147.96 in monthly electricity charges according to ASICMinerValue.
Daily profitability heavily depends on the price of electricity. Hopkins moved to a new home so he could secure a rate of $0.055 per kilowatt-hour. The average residential rate nationally sits at about $0.14, according to eia.gov.
“You really want to try to find a location that has renewable energy and that you can negotiate power directly off the grid on,” Hopkins said.
Many individual miners don’t have the option of low rates depending on where they live. They choose to have their miners hosted at a farm. These farms often have access to rates as low as $0.04 per kilowatt-hour and will pass the savings on to their clients, at $0.05 to $0.07 per kilowatt-hour, depending on the provider.
Hopkin’s Bitmain L3+ model earns approximately 23.47 dogecoins in 24 hours, or 704 dogecoins every 30 days, according to WhatToMine.com. At doge’s current trading price of $0.28, that equates to about $197 a month.
As for his electricity bill, at $0.055 per kilowatt-hour, it tags on an additional $31.50 a month. This means his overall monthly profits are potentially about $166.
One great feature about the Bitman is that it can be plugged into a pool that can merge mine. This means the ASIC can mine two or more cryptocurrencies at the same time, without impacting doge gains.
This means Hopkin’s simultaneously earns Litecoin, which is another crypto on the scrypt algorithm. Rewards earned in 24 hours amount to 0.0131 LTC or $2.35. That’s about $70.50 a month at LTC’s current trading price of $179.68. The pool Hopkins recommends checking out for merge mining is Poolin.
As for his Goldshell Mini-Doge Miner, Hopkins told Insider he received the gadget for free. It currently retails for about $699 from the manufacturer.
However, this ASIC’s earnings are substantially lower than the Bitman, bringing in about $76.63 worth of dogecoin a month, according to ASICMinerValue.com. It tags on an additional $10.07 a month in electricity, at a rate of $.055 per kilowatt-hour.
Hosting this mini at home for the average national rate of $0.14 per kilowatt-hour would tack on $65.44 a month in electricity costs, while its profits would be about $785.34 for the entire year.
“I don’t necessarily have a ton of faith in dogecoin necessarily primarily because of the distribution seems to be very heavily at the top wallets, meaning that they control the majority of it,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins will typically trade his earned doge for bitcoin or use it to pay off the electricity bill for his crypto farm.