Can I Mine Bitcoin on my Phone?

3 min read

You may have heard of Bitcoin mining, the process of using computer power to secure the Bitcoin network. Miners are rewarded for their service with new bitcoin. Smartphones are computers too, so is it possible to mine on a mobile phone with an app? And is it profitable?

Learn more about Bitcoin mining.

Does Bitcoin Mining Work on a Smartphone?

It is possible to mine Bitcoin on a smartphone, both on an Android device or an iPhone. Phones are computers, and any computer can be set to the task of computing hashes. A hash is a one-way transformation of data. Computing the right hash, as requested by the Bitcoin software, is the “puzzle” that miners try to solve.

In practice, smartphones aren’t the best tool for the job. It’s a bit like asking if you could hammer a nail into something with a screwdriver. In theory, it can be done; in practice, you’d struggle to nail more than one or two nails.

Smartphones today have significantly more power than the first computer that took people to the moon, but there are far more advanced and specialized computers for mining.

Competing Against ASICs

In the early days of Bitcoin, you could mine from a personal computer or laptop and earn bitcoin. Its value was low at the time, but you could occasionally be the first one to create a valid block and earn the reward. As time progressed, competition increased. Miners started looking for ways to beat the competition, such as working together in mining pools and improving their equipment.

In 2013, ASICs emerged in Bitcoin mining for the first time. These are specialized computers built for a single purpose: for ASICs mining Bitcoin, that purpose is to calculate as many hashes as possible, with the best energy efficiency. There are also ASICs built for digital voice recorders which are specifically designed chips that excel at this task.

Since your profitability as a miner depends on your costs, you want your tools to be as cost-efficient as possible. If your equipment is inefficient or your energy costs are too high, you risk becoming unprofitable. For the same reason that personal computers and laptops aren’t competitive at mining anymore, neither is a smartphone.

While you cannot profitably mine bitcoin using your smartphone hardware, you can set up and monitor a bitcoin mining operation from your phone.

Monitoring Bitcoin Mining From Your Phone

Running and maintaining a professional mining operation 24/7 requires a wide range of skills, alongside a sizable investment. If you’re still eager to get started with mining but don’t want all of the hassle, take a look at River Mining.

Monitoring and buying Bitcoin miners from the River app

You buy the ASICs, we take care of the setup and maintenance. Through our River app you can monitor your progress and watch your ASIC mine bitcoin directly into your account.

Key Takeaways

  • It is possible but not profitable to use a phone as a mining device, as they are not the best tool for the job.
  • Meaningful competition against specialized mining computers called ASICs is not feasible, due to their high energy efficiency and calculation speed.
  • Block rewards are critical to incentivizing miners in the early years, but as the block reward shrinks in size, miners will need to draw revenue from transaction fees.
  • You can use a smartphone to remotely monitor mining machines.