Can You Mine Bitcoin On A Raspberry Pi?


In case it hasn’t been obvious for a long time, Bitcoin mining is a highly profitable business. Since the protocol is run in a decentralized manner with Proof of Work (POW) algorithm, miners contribute to the network by providing computational power to run and safeguard it. They are compensated and incentivized via block subsidies (BTCs released for solving block decreasing – every four years) and through transaction fees paid by users.

Total Revenue Raised From Bitcoin Mining 2010 To 2019 - Statista
Total Revenue Raised From Bitcoin Mining 2010 To 2019 – Statista

However, the parameters for mining haven’t stayed the same. In the beginning, it was possible to mine BTCs with personal computers and laptops, but they got overtaken by specially built Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) because of the rising difficulty and the need for more hash power. But, can Bitcoin be mined using a Raspberry Pi?

Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Over Time - Blockchain.com
Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Over Time – Blockchain.com

What’s A Raspberry Pi?

Launched in 2012, Raspberry Pi is a series of low-cost and modular but highly powerful computing machines in a single board design, which makes them highly compact and suitable for carry around. They have wide support for operating systems such as Ubuntu, Windows OS, Raspberry Pi OS, Linux etc. Pi’s also have many interfaces and offer powerful features. These versatile system on a chip computers are used in servers, robotics, programming, learning, science projects, monitoring, recreational purposes etc.

Anatomy Of A Raspberry Pi
Anatomy Of A Raspberry Pi

Can It Mine Bitcoin?

Technically, Raspberry Pi can mine Bitcoin by using special software and slightly higher specifications than normal. They would work like any other mining equipment, trying to find solutions to the mathematical puzzles and producing valid blocks. Now, these devices would have been capable enough for mining Bitcoin back then, when the difficulty was low and rewards were high, upto the point that a single PC or laptop could mine hundreds of BTCs per day.

Bitcoin ASIC Mining Machine
Bitcoin ASIC Mining Machine

But unfortunately, that’s not the case anymore. Bitcoin difficult has risen to a point, where devices like Raspberry Pi can’t practically and thus profitably mine BTCs anymore. For instance, Raspberry Pi can produce 30 H/s, referenced against modern Bitcoin ASIC miner equipment which can do 2-15 TH/s and still need to mine in tandem with dozens of other machines to make any difference. It would take a single Raspberry Pi hundreds of years to mine even a small part of Bitcoin.

Raspberry Pi Bitcoin mining
Raspberry Pi Bitcoin mining© Cryptoticker
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