To Mine or Buy Ethereum/Zcash/Monero in 2018

Updated: 27 January, 2022 seen 19,632

Since the beginning of the second half of 2017, I call myself a proud crypto investor - currently investing in the 4 major cryptocurrencies - bitcoin, ethreum, litecoin and ripple.

Starting July 2017, using dollar cost averaging I keep buying crypto coins once in the month. So far, the total crypto portfolio shows an awesome 132.98% year to date value growth.

Update, lately I've been playing with bitcoin cloud mining contracts from HashFlare, see Should You Invest in Hashflare Ethereum Cloud Mining Contract or Build Your Own GPU Mining Rig (Affiliate link here - if you will click, register and decide to invest, I might earn 10% commission from that)

A couple of days ago I decided to give it a try and set up a 12 GPU ethreuem mining rig, for that I headed to and ordered goodies (motherboard, graphics card, risers, processor and so on)

Now, in total, I spent $960 for a bare minimum, just one GPU, which I'm planning to extend during 2018, by adding a new card once in the month. 

I decided to compare/forecast/predict - should I rather had invested $960 directly purchasing ethereum, zcash or monero, instead of building a mining rig.

From money invested in mining rig ($960), I could buy  2.03 ETH.

By knowing approximate hashing power (22.5MH/s) and electric costs ($0.08) I calculated how much I could earn with just 1 GPU in one year. The result is not at all impressive - just 1.23 ETH.

Apparently, if you are deciding to invest in mining rig - one GPU might be too short to get back your investment in a foreseen future.

Ethreuem calculator

Ethreuem calculator

As I'm planning to run a full 12 GPU Ethreum mining rig, the cost for it would be, if all parts bought at once - $3,880.93.

For that money, I could buy 8.21 ETH. 

Let's see how much ETH a 12 GPU mining rig could theoretically produce in a year: 

Ethereum calculator for 12 GPU

Ethereum calculator for 12 GPU

14.73 ETH - Now, that already seems as a nice result. If converted back to the USD using today's ETH pricing (which is wrong, as we have no clue what will be the price for ETH at the end of 2018) we could get $6959.33, or profit at $3,079. Nice.

These calculations are just for the illustration as we don't have any clue what will be the ETH price in a year - it could go to the moon or it could dip.

It's still like a gambling to me. Also, there is a huge possibility Ethereum switching from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake, putting miners in unclear future. 

On the other hand, there are other coins we could mine with GPU in 2018, Zcash or Monero for example.

Let's apply the same maths for Monero (XMR)

  • 1 GPU $960 = 3.77XMR
  • Mined in a year = 1.57 XMR

Monero Calculator 1 GPU

Monero Calculator 1 GPU

Let's see what happens with 12 GPU Monero mining rig:

  • 12 GPU $3,880.93 = 15.26 XMR
  • Mined in a year: 18.89 XMR

Monero calculator 12 GPU

Monero calculator 12 GPU

Profitable, but not as lucrative as mining ether. Mining Monero would break even after a year of operations.

Zcash (ZEC)

  • 1 GPU $960 = 3.09 ZEC
  • Mined in a year = 1.6 ZEC

Zcash calculator 1 GPU

Zcash calculator 1 GPU

Again, let's calculate 12 GPU Zcash mining rig

  • 12 GPU $3,880.93 = 12.51 ZEC
  • Mined in a year: 19.24 ZEC

Zcash 12 GPU calculator

Zcash 12 GPU calculator

Now, better than Monero, but worse than Ethereum. Well, it's clear where most GPU power will go in case Ethereum implements  PoS protocol in 2018/

The Bottom Line

Nothing is certain for sure, but if looking from the perspective of December 2017, then it seems it's worth invest in mining if you have at least $2,000 to invest.

For smaller amounts - it's easier, faster and simpler just to buy and hold. 

Affiliate link here: If you are just planning to acquire your first bitcoin, ethereum or litecoin, consider to register at with this link, once you buy or sell $100 (€85) of digital currency or more, we will both get $10 (€8) of free bitcoin.

And remember, your capital is at risk - you could lose some or all of your money.

I believe a 6 GPU mining rig could be built for about $2,000 and seems that 6 GPU is a break-even point when mining seems at least an option to consider. 

For 2018 I'm planning both to buy and mine coins. What about you? Are you a seasoned miner? Leave a comment - readers and I would love to hear!


Hi! My name is Reinis Fischer (38), a proud dad and devoted husband. CEO and Founder of Terramatris crypto hedge fund, drone enthusiast, world traveler, photographer, and passionate lover of Georgian cuisine (vegetarian).

An ex-pat living in Georgia since 2011, I trade stocks, take photographs, work out at the gym, and many more. Here I write about travel, finance, and other things that might interest me.