Nicehash Review: The Mining Power Marketplace
For anybody who has been involved in cryptocurrency mining for some time, you will no doubt have considered using NiceHash.
This is the premier crypto-mining marketplace in the world and it is where miners and blockchain projects go to source excess hashing and computing power. Through a combination of user friendly mining software and a strong infrastructure, NiceHash has built a formidable presence.
However, is NiceHash all that it cuts out to be?
In this comprehensive NiceHash review, we will give you everything you need to know about the marketplace. We will take a look at the costs, returns and competition. We will also show you how to use NiceHash as well as the the key considerations.
Let’s jump in.
- It’s very simple, quick and easy to setup;
- It puts your mining on autopilot;
- Profits are maximized by automatic switching to the most profitable algorithm;
- Payments are made in BTC daily;
- Can be configured to mine only when your PC is idle.
- You’re mining for someone else;
- If you have very expensive electricity;
- You worry about the hack of NiceHash that occurred in 2017;
- Using NiceHash will be slightly less profitable than directly mining coins;
- The fees for transferring your earned Bitcoin can be higher than with most other coins.
What is NiceHash?
NiceHash is an online marketplace for buying and selling your computer’s processing power. This processing power is known as hashing power in cryptocurrency terminology. It’s like an exchange service where you’re exchanging computing power for Bitcoin or one of many other cryptocurrencies that use proof of work mining.
Anyone can sell their hashing power, even if you only have a small gaming machine. And anyone can buy hashing power if they want to take advantage of mining without spending an exorbitant amount of money on mining hardware.
NiceHash has been in business since April 2014, so they know quite a bit about cryptocurrency mining and exchange. Since opening its virtual doors, NiceHash has become the largest hashpower marketplace in the world, with over 250,000 daily active miners, more than 3.3 million orders served, and over 181,000 BTC paid out.
Needless to say, over the course of seven years and so many served orders and payouts, NiceHash has gained the trust of cryptocurrency enthusiasts around the world. One other reason for the success of NiceHash is its low fees and ease of use, making it a good choice for first time miners just getting their feet wet.
NiceHash has servers located in east Europe, west Europe, the eastern U.S., and the western U.S. It uses cutting edge technology in its infrastructure and delivery. Each registered user also receives a secure and insured BitGo wallet for BTC deposits.
How NiceHash Works
NiceHash can be used by both sellers of hashing power and buyers of hashing power. This significantly increases it potential user base, and some sellers also become buyers and vice-versa. Buyers are able to begin ordering hashpower immediately following their initial registration, and sellers don’t need to register at all if they prefer to remain anonymous.
As a buyer you can choose which cryptocurrency to mine, with the service supporting 34 different algorithms, including SHA-256, Blake, Equihash, Scrypt, X11, X13, X15. You can mine whichever algorithm is most profitable at the time and payments are made in Bitcoin. To determine which coin is most profitable try using Whattomine.com.
You can also choose which mining pool you’d like to use. NiceHash currently has support for 23 different mining pools and says that they all work flawlessly with the service. This gives miners access to most minable coins.
After making the decision on which coin you’ll mine simply deposit some Bitcoin (minimum 0.01 BTC) and then go to the NiceHash marketplace to place your order. You can choose either the U.S. or EU marketplace and specify the maximum price you’re willing to pay. Note that all the prices are shown in Bitcoin, regardless of which cryptocurrency you’re mining.
If you’re looking to sell hashing power, NiceHash makes it very easy to do so, no matter what kind of rig you’ve got. You can sell hashing power from a CPU, GPU, and ASIC rig or an entire rig farm if you want. You can also choose your algorithm and the location of the servers you’re mining with.
NiceHash currently operates servers in eastern and western Europe as well as eastern and western USA. You should use the location that’s closest to your own location for the best performance.
Nicehash Profit Calculator
Of course your main objective when mining is profitability, and NiceHash wants you to be profitable as well. So, they’ve created this handy Mining Profitability Calculator that lets you plug in that type of hardware you have and your electricity cost and then tells you how much you can expect to make with the service over 1 day, 1 week and 1 month.
You’ll see that not all hardware is profitable, but since that’s based on current Bitcoin prices it might be that the future price will be high enough to make selling your hashing power now profitable in the future.
NiceHash Plans & Pricing
There are no fixed subscription plans at NiceHash and you can start with as little as 0.001 BTC. While prices are quoted on a BTC/day basis you can create a contract for less than a day or longer than a day. And the prices fluctuate based on the market prices of coins and the total hashing power directed at a given algorithm. NiceHash refreshes the price list every 10 seconds based on the real-time information they are getting from various networks and exchanges.
Buyers have two options for purchasing hashrates:
- Standard bidding – With standard bidding you can place an order with a lower price, but there’s a chance you’ll eventually be outbid and need to increase your bid. Still, this is the cheapest method for bidding on hashing power.
- Fixed – This is a good option for those who want to know their cost basis, and don’t want to mess about changing their bids and orders. Your initial price will be higher, but it is fixed for the life of the contract, so if prices for standard bidding go up later you could end up with quite a good deal. Fixed orders are limited to 24 hour duration, and are also limited to 50% of the total hashing power available to ensure there is still hashing power available for standard bids.
Note that all payments to NiceHash must be made in Bitcoins.
Of course there are fees to consider when using NiceHash. Some of the fees you’ll encounter are as follows:
Buying Hashing Power
- Non-Refundable New Order Fee: 0.00001 BTC
- Amount Spend on Orders for Buying Hashing Power: 3% (unspent amount on cancelled orders is not subject to this fee)
Selling Hashing Power
- Payouts for Balances Greater Than or Equal to 0.00001 BTC (1000 satoshi) to NiceHash Wallet: 2%
Withdrawals and Deposits
- Withdrawals and deposits are subject to fees that vary based on the coin being used and the amount. If you establish a direct connection to the NiceHash Lightning Network node, you will not pay any fees for Bitcoin (BTC) transactions.
You can view the full NiceHash fee structure here.
How to Buy on NiceHash
If you choose to buy your hashing power from NiceHash you can buy it for any algorithm they support and start mining any coin you like almost immediately. Here are the easy steps to follow:
- Register an account at NiceHash.
- Deposit a minimum of 0.001 BTC to your NiceHash wallet. Don’t forget to account for the transaction fee.
- Decide which coin you want to mine and which pool you’ll be using.
- Register at the pool you’ll be using if necessary, and create a new worker.
- Save the pool to your NiceHash list of pools. This includes the algorithm, Stratum server, port (some pools have special NiceHash port), worker username, and worker password (usually the worker password is x).
- Verify the pool with the NiceHash Pool Verifier. Please note that some pools have the option to custom set the worker’s difficulty. Usually, that is the worker’s password. In that case, you need to enter d=16383 in the password window if the pool verificator shows you that the minimum pool difficulty is 16383. Example:
"Pool difficulty too low (provided=2048, minimum=16383)" Worker = nicehashminer Workers password: d=16383
- Place a new order on the marketplace and be sure to use the correct algorithm for the coin you want to mine. You will be able to select the EU marketplace or the U.S. marketplace when placing your order. Each has its own pricing for standard and fixed orders. Once you decide how much you’re willing to pay the order begins, with your Bitcoins being withdrawn as you mine and unspent coins remaining in your wallet.
- Finally, go to your pool and check your earnings. Note that NiceHash is only responsible for delivering hashing power to the mining pool, they are not responsible for the amount of rewards received from the pool or the payouts.
- For a more detailed NiceHash buying guide you can see this pdf created by the NiceHash team.
How to Sell on NiceHash
Those selling their hashing power are sometimes called miners, even though this isn’t technically correct. A seller at NiceHash can be anyone who owns computer hardware that can be used for mining, and who wants to earn some Bitcoin by using that hardware to mine through NiceHash. Getting started as a seller takes little more than 15 minutes.
While you can sell hashing power on NiceHash from ASIC rigs and even mining farms, I’m fairly certain most of you reading this only want to sell the hashing power of your CPU or GPU. You can do this with both AMD and Nvidia cards, and the easiest way to do so is to use the free NiceHash Miner software.
This will require you to register an account at NiceHash so you can use the NiceHash wallet to deposit your mining profits. The NiceHash miner makes it very easy to connect the software with your NiceHash account by allowing you to use the email used for your NiceHash account to link the two, rather than needing a long, hard to remember wallet address.
The NiceHash miner will also automatically select the most profitable algorithm and mine with that algorithm, so you don’t have to worry about the time consuming process of checking coin prices or algorithm difficulties yourself.
If you already use some other software such as CCMiner you can connect directly to the NiceHash Stratum servers to sell your hashing power.
Those few of you who are reading this and own ASIC rigs can follow the special instructions created by NiceHash for ASICs here.
Payouts at NiceHash
NiceHash uses a Pay Per Share (PPS) system to pay sellers, so you can expect automatic daily payouts as long as you meet minimums as set out below:
- Daily payouts for unpaid balances in NiceHash wallets greater than 0.001 BTC
- Daily payouts for unpaid balances in external wallets greater than 0.1 BTC
- Weekly payouts for unpaid balances in external wallets greater than 0.001 BTC
NiceHash QuickMiner is a next-generation miner developed by NiceHash.
NiceHash QuickMiner uses only Excavator for GPU mining and XMRig for CPU mining. Excavator is an in-house developed miner and is 100% free of any malware, and XMRig is an open-source CPU miner. There are some more open-source C# libraries used. Code running as NiceHash QuickMiner is either developed by NiceHash or used from public repositories, which means it is 100% safe, and you do not have to worry about exposing your PC's sensitive data or getting infected with malware. NiceHash QuickMiner will (in the future) NEVER use any closed source software, software of unknown or unverified origin.
NiceHash QuickMiner has all the following features:
- Autotune - Automatically find the best core clock for your memory clock thus lowering your power consumption.
- OCtune - No need for 3rd party tools! OCTune allows you to use alternative overclocking methods not available in common overclocking tools.
- Auto Optimize - Auto optimize your GPUs with Rig Manager with a click of a button.
- Memory Timings - Change memory timings on 1000 series GPUs and increase GPU performance by up to 50%.
- Game Mode - Want to game? No problem, simply press a button and apply stock or gaming overclocks while you game.
- Auto Recovery - QuickMiner will perform various recover actions in order to keep on mining even after driver crash or other issues.
- Auto-Update - Stay up to date! User must confirm the update.
- Auto Location Picker - Will pick the closest location to you based on the share latency.
- Auto Location Switcher - In case the location is unreachable.
- Start with Windows - Start QuickMiner automatically after Windows boot.
What is the difference between NiceHash Miner and NiceHash QuickMiner?
For NiceHash Miner to fully work, it relies on 3rd party plugins and miners. In most cases, these are programs of unverified and unknown origin. The real names of the authors of these programs are not known, or no company stands behind the software. Why the developers of these programs keep their identity so private is unknown to us. There could be various reasons. The reasons are most likely not to harm miners because they charge developer fees for using their miners. But we cannot be entirely sure that they have no intention of ever putting anything harmful inside their programs. Trusting them blindly would be a big mistake.
That is why, if you want to use NiceHash Miner, you need to agree with that, confirm and acknowledge that, and if these unknown developers really do something stupid one day, NiceHash cannot be held liable. That means, if you use your PC for serious business, have important information on it, or even coins or money, it is best NOT to use 3rd party miners of unknown origin. Luckily, NiceHash has created its own miner in the past called Excavator. The code running it was entirely developed in-house, and NiceHash can vouch that there is nothing harmful inside. Another lucky factor is that the speeds Excavator reaches in Daggerhashimoto (Ethereum mining) are completely comparable to other miners with developer fees. When you also calculate in developer fees, Excavator can be, in most cases, even more profitable than 3rd party miners.
Using Excavator on its own is not so simple - you need to configure command files and prepare everything for your machine to work properly. That is why we created another product for end-users called NiceHash QuickMiner, which does all the hard and tricky configuration automatically. Hence, you click buttons and don't have to worry about too deep technical stuff. Because NiceHash makes all the Excavator plus wrapper (QuickMiner) code, there is no risk involved with anything harmful being put in.
NiceHash Private Endpoints
The NiceHash Private Endpoint solution is designed for medium-sized and large mining farms that want to optimize their connection to NiceHash and secure maximum performance and earnings.
NiceHash Private Endpoint is a network interface that connects you privately and securely to NiceHash Stratum servers. Private Endpoint uses a private IP address and avoids the additional latency caused by DDOS protection.
Users enjoy the following benefits and service:
- The lowest possible latency when connecting to NiceHash.
- Dedicated hardware infrastructure that gives you the edge when submitting shares.
- All NiceHash Private Mining Proxy servers are managed by the NiceHash team.
- Private endpoint functional in less than 24 hours.
- Payment for this service is available in Bitcoin or Euro.
- Starting from €200 + VAT/mo. (for each location).
The NiceHash Exchange
One of the newer additions over at NiceHash is an exchange platform that they’ve made available in a simple view for newcomers to the crypto space, and a trade view for those that are more experienced and looking for more in-depth trading tools.
The Simple View platform offers users a quick and easy way to buy and sell crypto. It’s best suited for beginners. To trade on the Simple View platform users just choose the trading pair and amounts. All orders are set at market rates and the trade is instantaneous.
Trade View is a complex trading platform suited for experienced traders, or for those looking for more powerful features and flexibility. It uses an order book, giving users access to both price charts and market depth.
With Trade View the trader is in complete control. This allows for advanced order types that give more control and better fills. There are also a number of trading tools and analytics available for determining the best entry and exits from trades.
Both the Simple and Trade View platforms are linked to the same NiceHash wallet. That’s the same wallet used for NiceHash mining, meaning users are able to immediately begin trading with all their mining profits. Already more than 50 coins are supported, with more being added regularly.
Fees are comparable with other popular exchanges. And they decrease over the lifetime of your trading activity. So at the beginning the fee is 0.5% up to €1000 in trade activity. Once you pass that threshold it reduces to 0.4%.
It remains at 0.4% until your account reaches €10,000 in trade volume, and then reduces to 0.3% until you reach €100,000 in trade volume, where it drops to 0.2%.
This continues until the fees reach 0.01% at €100,000,000,000. While that seems massive, it is a lifetime total, so who knows in 20 years you might actually reach that volume of trades!
In reality most users will find their fees range from 0.5% down to 0.3%. Very active traders might get below that in a fairly short time span. And given that the trading volume continues to accrue over the life of the account, rather than resetting monthly, over the long term this can work out quite well.
The NiceHash Mobile App
The NiceHash mobile app is an app for managing your NiceHash account and activities. Note that this app is not a mobile mining app. You don't use your smartphone processing power for mining with the NiceHash mobile app.
The NiceHash mobile app has five main sections:
- Rig Manager - allows the users to remotely manage their mining rigs and check the mining status on the go.
- Wallet - gives the option to deposit or withdraw different cryptocurrencies and check all wallet activities. Please note that this is not a mobile cryptocurrency wallet, no seeds are stored on your device.
- Hash-power Marketplace - check the status of your hash-power orders, place new orders and manage or cancel existing orders.
- Notifications - users can enable push notifications and get instant information about their NiceHash activities.
- User profile - mange your NiceHash profile or your organization profile.
It’s quick and easy to see how you like NiceHash since the software can be downloaded and configured within 15 minutes. And if you’re considering using NiceHash as a buyer it can be even faster to secure a lot of hashing power. This can be very useful when you come across a situation where a certain algorithm or coin becomes more profitable than usual.
At the end of the day it’s your decision. I’ve mined directly before, and I’ve tried NiceHash and honestly the simplicity of NiceHash was refreshing. And I didn’t notice a huge difference in earnings.
If you’re just getting started, or are a casual miner, then NiceHash might be a perfect solution for you.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.