Can You Still Make Money Mining Monero in 2023?
Monero (XMR) is an interesting cryptocurrency that sits at the very heart and ethos of what a true decentralized, trustless, and private cryptocurrency is meant to be. It is the largest privacy coin in the industry and one of the most popular coins for miners, but, can you still make money mining Monero in 2023?
That is what this article is going to explore today. If you want to dive deeper down the Monero rabbit hole, feel free to check out our articles:
Guy also released a video on Monero’s potential in 2022:
The State of Monero in 2023
Monero is the largest privacy coin in the industry, beloved for its private and untraceable features. Monero's market cap is $2.8 billion at the time of writing with a 24-hour trading volume of $87 million. XMR enjoyed an all-time high of $517.62 on May 7, 2021, during the 2021 bull market that resulted in many coins hitting their all-time highs.
Monero was launched in 2014 with the intention of being a privacy-preserving payment network, providing users with anonymity as the sender and receiver cannot trace or track transactions. XMR is currently ranked #28 on CoinGecko.
Due to privacy concerns and regulatory crackdowns, Monero has been delisted or has never been listed on many major exchanges over unjust fears and assumptions that privacy coins are only used by criminals and for money laundering. The truth is, financial privacy is a basic right that everyone deserves. You don’t give your employer, friends and family access to your banking history and spending habits, so why should crypto work any differently?
To drive the point home further, an annual report on crypto usage from Chainalysis found that just 0.15% of all crypto transactions are used for illicit purposes. Saying that privacy coins and privacy-preserving protocols are only used by criminals is such a ridiculous narrative as we know that suitcases full of cash changing hands has been the motive behind some of the most heinous crimes in history, yet cash isn’t banned, so why the unfair targeting of private and untraceable crypto projects?
Anyway, I digress. The fact that Monero has become somewhat difficult to buy on exchanges and thanks to strict KYC requirements, which results in XMR purchases no longer being anonymous, crypto enthusiasts have turned to mining the privacy token in droves.
Monero is one of the easiest tokens for mining as it can be done with CPUs and GPUs, and the community has ensured that the protocol remains ASIC and centralized mining resistant to keep the network within the true spirit of a decentralized peer-to-peer system where anyone can contribute to the network and mine the token.
Mining Monero (XMR)
Thanks to the ease of mining and support of a large Monero community, XMR is highly decentralized. Every transaction requires a miner to validate a transaction, and when miners complete this task they earn block rewards in the form of Monero XMR tokens.
Just as 100 cents make up 1 dollar and 100 million Satoshis make up 1 Bitcoin, Monero has 12 decimal places and block rewards/transactions can be broken down into piconeros, nanoneros, microneros, millineros, centineros, or decineros, so amounts smaller than 1 full XMR can be transferred.
If the miner is successful in validating a transaction, the transaction will be recorded and the info will be added to a newly created block, hence the term, “blockchain.” New blocks are created using the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism, similar to coins like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum prior to the Ethereum merge to Proof-of-Stake (PoS).
Validating transactions is done by miners who set up and run computer GPUs and CPUs along with Monero mining software which work to solve complex cryptographic puzzles. The chances of a solo miner solving a block on their own is quite slim as they do not have enough hash power to adequately compete with the larger mining pools, which is why most miners join mining pools. You can find out the best mining pools for Monero and the benefits of joining them in our Top Monero Mining Pools article.
So, now that you know a basic high-level overview of Monero mining without the complex jargon, that begs the question:
Is Mining Monero Profitable in 2023?
The short answer that I am assuming you want to hear, as you are interested in mining Monero, is yes, Monero mining can be profitable in 2023.
However, there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration before determining if mining will be profitable for your individual circumstances.
Miners who choose to mine solo are taking a lottery-style game of chance approach as solo mining can be lucrative *if* you successfully mine a block. Most miners will choose to join pools where the block rewards are split among a group of miners. This results in fewer rewards per miner, but a higher likelihood of successfully mining blocks for more regular rewards.
As of 2023, miners receive 0.6 XMR for every block that gets added to the Monero blockchain, with a new block being mined approximately every 2 minutes. On average, miners are currently making around $0.45 to $1 in profitability per day per mining system, though these figures vary greatly and are dependent on the factors that I will outline below.
Be sure to crunch some numbers and do some homework to be sure that you will be able to make a profit before investing in mining equipment and going through the trouble of mining. Here are some of the tools you can use and factors to consider:
How Many Exchanges List XMR?
Because regulators evidently hate privacy and individual freedom, many exchanges have delisted and no longer offer XMR to traders. The reason this is important is that there are only two ways to obtain Monero: Buy it, or mine it.
And let’s be honest, mining isn’t for everyone and isn’t even profitable for many of us, leaving the only option to get our hands on some is by buying it. Basic supply and demand economics come into play, the more demand there is, the higher the price. If no exchanges list the token, people cannot buy or sell it, resulting in plummeting demand and a high likelihood that the price will decrease or remain suppressed as well.
That could result in all those coins held by miners being worth much less over time. Monero is becoming harder and harder to buy and sell, making investors unwilling to figure out how to acquire it, and equally as hesitant to purchase, as they fear not being able to sell it.
Currently, Monero is available on Binance, KuCoin, Huobi, Gate.io, OKX, and Bitfinex, which is good as those are among the largest exchanges in the world, but does the refusal to list the token from exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken delisting the token for UK customers act as a canary in a coal mine and tell of troubled regulatory crackdowns ahead?
If Binance chooses to appease regulators and delist XMR, that would likely have a significant impact on the price and could reduce the profitability of Monero mining.
Rewards per Block for Mining Monero
Another important consideration is the number of rewards that can be earned from each block. You can refer to sites like Bitinfocharts.com to find plenty of useful information about coins that can be mined, including the rewards per block, hash rate, difficulty, and profitability. At the moment, the reward for each block is 0.6000 + 0.00484 XMR which equates to about $93
This site will give you most of the information you need to use a Monero mining calculator like the one found on coinwarz.com to figure out how profitable Monero mining will be for you.
Just punch in the info from Bitinfocharts along with the electricity cost for your area to get your profit or loss numbers.
This is one of the largest considerations that need to be factored in. Miners often set up in places that have the cheapest electricity, and with inflation and the increased cost of living across the board in 2023, cheap electricity is getting harder to come by.
We had started mining Monero in our London office in 2021, but as the cost of energy continually increased, we ended up shutting our Monero miner down in 2022 as it was becoming too expensive to keep it running. Here is a video of our foray into Monero mining:
Before running a miner, be sure to use that mining calculator above as I have heard some horror stories of miners setting up without doing their research only to receive energy bills in the thousands. If you live in a place with bills included, I would check with the landlord first as the last thing you want is for the landlord to receive a 6 figure energy bill and put you on the hook for it, or evict you.
Here is a look at average electricity costs per KWh in different countries around the world:
Power consumption of Monero mining depends on the amount of hash power from your device and the price of electricity per KWh. Higher hash power can produce high hash rates but also consume energy faster than Elon Musk fires off savage Tweets.
The choice of mining equipment is also important. The more efficient the equipment, the more hash power you can benefit from with less energy consumption. The higher the hash rate, the better, as that will provide more power to solve those cryptographic puzzles faster.
While some miners will use a basic PC or laptop, other miners go the extra step as you can see with this 6 GPU Monero mining rig:
What is a Good Hash Rate for Mining Monero?
The hash rate is important for miners to pay attention to as it will determine the number of calculations a mining device can perform.
The higher the hash rate, the more chances the device has to successfully mine a block. Hash rate is also an indicator that shows the health of the Monero network. To hijack the blockchain network, a miner would need to control at least 51% of the network, which is often referred to as a 51% attack.
The higher the total network hash rate is, the more difficult it is to achieve control of 51% of the network. Interestingly, the most popular mining pool MineXMR recently announced that they would be shutting down as they reached 48% of the entire hash rate, so by shutting down, the miners were forced to disperse and keep the network sufficiently decentralized and secure. An honourable move that shows the honesty and combined vision of the Monero community.
The current hash rate can be found on sites like 2miners.com. at the time of writing, the hash rate is 2.87 GH/s
Since 2020, hash rate has fluctuated between 1-3.5 GH/s which is a healthy range.
Keep an eye on the growth of global Monero usage. There is no point in mining a dead token that nobody uses and nobody wants. Fortunately, Monero usage has seen a steady increase since its inception as it has become the #6 coin in the transactional cryptocurrencies category, and the #1 privacy coin according to Messari.
Mining Monero Difficulty
Mining difficulty refers to how difficult a block will be to solve once it is identified. The mining difficulty level will increase if there is an increase in the number of miners.
The mining difficulty level shows the average number of times a miner has to calculate a hash function to find the block. Mining difficulty is constantly fluctuating over time and is related to the hash rate. If the number of miners increases, the mining difficulty increases, the fewer miners, the lower the difficulty.
Network difficulty is a value, it shows how many times on average miners should calculate a hash function to find a cryptocurrency block. Notice the letter “G” in the image above?
The G value is equal to 1,000 M, and the mining difficulty is measured as such:
- 1 K = 1 000
- 1 M = 1 000 K = 1 000 000
- 1 G = 1 000 M = 1 000 000 K = 1 000 000 000
- 1 T = 1 000 G = 1 000 000 M = 1 000 000 000 K = 1 000 000 000 000
Difficulty and hash rate are closely related, if you divide network difficulty by network hash rate, you will get the average block find time.
What is the Future Outlook of Monero Mining?
This is a tricky question that nobody can answer and requires an enormous amount of individual speculation and faith in a project. Many miners choose to mine Monero at a break-even profit, or even at a loss as they believe that the future price of XMR will be considerably higher than it is now, so they treat it as a long-term investment.
Many Monero miners don’t mind operating at a loss for now, as they may have their own personal biases about the future. They may feel that they are only spending their “worthless,” fiat dollars which are devaluing and going to become obsolete to fund Monero mining, simply swapping fiat for a future currency that will have a higher value.
Many Monero hodlers are also looking to protect themselves from a draconian future where the government has full control and insight into the monetary system and individual spending habits. Some Monero enthusiasts are terrified (as they should be), about the concept of an authoritarian style CBDC, and feel the Monero blockchain will be a life raft to preserve financial freedom and are willing to operate at a loss to protect themselves from that dire future.
If you are just coming across the concept of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) now, feel free to check out Guy’s video on the subject and why many are fearful about it:
Once you have mined or purchased your coins you are going to need a Monero wallet to store your XMR. I won't go into much detail about the best Monero wallets here, as we have a dedicated Analysis of the Best Monero Wallets.
The TL;DR from that article is that our favourite Monero wallets are:
Monero Mining 2023: Conclusion
Monero mining is a good way to not only get your hands on some XMR without needing to purchase it from an exchange, but also contribute to the Monero network and preserve the future of decentralized peer-to-peer payment systems, which was the vision of Satoshi when he published the Bitcoin whitepaper all those years ago.
Whether or not Monero mining is profitable depends on all the factors outlined above. It is important to do your own research before piling in as results certainly vary.
While Monero mining isn’t going to make you rich overnight, there is no telling what the future price of Monero may be, and if you work out your energy costs and can make even a bit of profit, it is a great way to support the crypto ecosystem and the very ethos of why cryptocurrency was created in the first place.
If you want to learn how to get started mining Monero, you can find that info in our handy Monero Mining Guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Similar to other Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litcoin, Dogecoin, and others, transactions are completed through validation that is performed by miners who run computing equipment with specialized software that solves algorithmic puzzles.
Monero used to use the CryptoNight PoW hashing algorithm which was dependent on RAM latency. Late in 2019, Monero switched to the RandomX algorithm, creating a virtual machine which required only RAM and CPU usage. By using RandomX, Monero avoids the need for expensive mining equipment like the equipment needed to mine Bitcoin, making it easily achievable by average mining enthusiasts.
Mining Monero can be done by downloading mining software and running it on a computer. GPU processors can be installed in a computer for more mining power as well. A computer should have a powerful CPU and at least 2GB of RAM to mine.
Mining Monero can also be done on a Raspberry pi, and even from a smartphone if it has at least 4GB of RAM and a memory card with a large capacity. I was not able to find much about mobile phone mining with regards to efficiency.
Power consumption of Monero mining depends on the amount of power from the mining device and the price of electricity per kWh. Devices with high power can produce high hashrates but consume more power.
Monero mining is done through GPUs/CPUs and not ASIC miners, making them significantly less resource intensive than Bitcoin mining machines. Monero mining uses a similar amount of energy as running a high-end gaming PC.
ASICS are special computers created for the purpose of mining Bitcoin and other Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies aside from Monero. The problem is that these devices are expensive to own and operate, and only affordable by a few people, risking mining centralization.
This leads to large amounts of hashrate being controlled by a few entities, which is a threat to the security and decentralization of a network.
Monero saw this as an issue as Bitcoin mining has become an enterprise-level operation, conducted by businesses and corporations, certainly not what was intended when Satoshi Nakamoto first created Bitcoin as a “peer-to-peer” system. Profitable Bitcoin mining is no longer attainable for average individuals.
Monero fixes this issue by being ASIC-resistant. It uses an Algorithm called RandomX that strongly reduces the efficiency of ASICs, making them not profitable for miners. Miners can use common consumer hardware which allows them to compete fairly. This results in a network that is more decentralized and harder to attack as no miners have significant advantages over other miners.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.