Become an Ethereum (ETH) miner: Is this realistic with a laptop?

On the Golem network, a new app called Thorg advertises that it makes it easy to mine Ethereum (ETH) using a laptop. But does the calculation really work?

In the crypto scene, instructions and offers keep circulating on how to make an easy extra income by mining currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH). The latest example of this is the app Thorg, which is being touted by the Golem Network via blog post. Through Thorg, the computing power of one’s laptop is contributed to an Ethereum miner pool and rewarded with Golem Network’s token, GLM. So far it all sounds good, but let’s look at the details.

Thorg runs on Windows 10 and above, there are no versions for Linux or MacOs. Installation is quick and the app displays its status clearly. The prerequisite for Thorg is a graphics card with at least 6 GB of memory. The graphics card is also a priority for other Ethereum mining projects, as their processors are best suited for the cryptographic puzzles that need to be solved. With these specifications, we now put the financial outcome to the test, such as with the Ethereum Mining Calculator from Coinwarz.

According to the data sheet, a commercially available graphics card with 6 GB, such as the NVIDIA GTX 1660 SUPER, delivers a hashrate of 26 MH/s for Ethereum mining and already consumes 125 watts. In addition, the laptop itself consumes around 60 W, which makes 185 watts. In Germany, an electricity price of 0.30 Euros is to be applied, which corresponds to 0.35 US dollars. Fed with this info, the Ethereum Mining Calculator delivers red numbers, i.e. loss for the miner at the current market prices for Ethereum.

Ethereum mining not profitable in Germany

You can spin this any way you want and run the price simulation with different hardware and/or different electricity prices. In our example, not even the acquisition costs for hardware were taken into account and, in addition, not usual levies to the Ethereum mining pool. With German electricity prices, Ethereum mining simply cannot be run at a profit. Only those who have access to free electricity sources in this country may be able to book profits with Ethereum mining.

In the case of Thorg from Golem Network, the situation is even worse, because here shares are paid out precisely in GLM, a not very successful token from beyond the number 100 in the list of major cryptocurrencies. So, in reality, you would only ever pay on top when using Thorg.

Conclusion: Ethereum mining in Germany not attractive

In the advertising for Ethereum mining and the sample calculations presented there, a favorable electricity price of just $0.10 is often used, which also applies in some regions in the US. In our model calculation, this would result in a daily profit of almost 1 US dollar for Ethereum mining, which would have covered the acquisition costs for the graphics card after about two years. But once again, 0.10 euros per kilowatt hour of electricity is completely unrealistic in Germany. By the way, this important constant also leads to the realization in Bitcoin mining: Mining ETH or BTC is more of an expensive hobby than a chance to earn money on the side with little effort at the usual electricity prices in the EU.

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