Researchers from the University of California San Diego have concluded that it pays better to mine cryptocurrencies than to speculate on them.
Danny Huang, lead author of the study report, said that people who mine a cryptocurrency after it is listed on exchanges have higher income potential than speculators who start trading shortly after the digital currency is listed.
"It's also important to point out that we show the altcoin market is highly volatile, whether you're mining or speculating.”
Huang and his team of computer scientists analyzed the income potential of mining versus speculating for at least 18 digital currencies other than Bitcoin and Litecoin.
The researchers found that income from mining a random altcoin is at less risk than earnings from speculation.
For this study, the team used real-world trade data and blockchain to compare speculating for 18 altcoins and mining operations against Litecoin and Bitcoin. The researchers using opportunity cost to determine the earning potential for speculators and miners.
To arrive at a more definitive conclusion, they simulated the daily return for every $1 investment using speculating or mining under different conditions. During the seven-day controlled research, the team found that the average daily return for mining was between 7% and 18% while speculating generated between -1% and 0.5% income.
"Altcoins have attracted enthusiasts who enter the market by mining or buying them, but the risks and rewards can potentially be significant, especially when the market is volatile," Huang said.
Crypto mining provides boon to Asian hardware resellers
The flourishing digital currency market, buoyed by the exponential growth of the original cryptocurrency Bitcoin, has sparked demand for computer rigs and hardware in Asia.
Crypto miners from around the world are pouring into Hong Kong and Singapore to buy low-cost mining rigs that are assembled right in front of them and according to their specifications. Others come to buy computer parts such as motherboards, graphics processing units (GPUs), displace cards, memory cards, and power adapters.
But not everybody is happy with the growth of digital currency mining.
Scientists at the University of Barkley’s SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project are complaining they now have to compete with crypto miners for vital computer parts, and this is interfering with their search for extraterrestrial life.