Mobile phones have advanced considerably over the past two decades. The majority of people now walk around with the equivalent of a computer in their pocket. This is why it is not unusual to wonder if it is possible to mine Bitcoin on a mobile phone and whether it's profitable. This article will explore the different ways to mine crypto using an iPhone or Android device and the risks involved.
- It's technically possible to mine small amounts of Bitcoin using a mobile device.
- The amount of power required does not match the potential mining rewards.
- Methods to mine Bitcoin on a phone include cloud mining apps, play-2-earn games, and manual mining via mining pools.
- Mobile crypto mining apps can be risky and can cause potential damage to the phone.
Can You Mine Bitcoin Using A Smart Phone?
Bitcoin mining is technically achievable using a smartphone, however, miners need to be mindful of the amount of power required for the potential rewards received and risks such as malware, scams, and damage to the phone. That is, mining Bitcoin through an iOS or Android device can be highly uneconomic due to the lack of processing power on mobile phones.
Google Play Store and the Apple App Store have also restricted the distribution of crypto mining apps which limits the options down to cloud mining, learn-to-earn, or play-to-earn applications, and manual crypto mining.
How To Mine Bitcoin Using A Phone?
Mining Bitcoin with a mobile phone requires two things: (1) software applications (2) and hardware. Hardware requirements are heavily dependent on the method by which Bitcoin is being mined; which is dependent on the software application chosen. Each method will involve either solo mining Bitcoin or joining a Bitcoin mining pool.
To mine Bitcoin using a mobile phone, follow these steps:
- Install a cloud mining app such as MinerGate
- Create an account and set up a passcode
- Select Bitcoin (BTC) from the mining list
- Check the hash rate and profitability
- Start mining Bitcoin
What Does Mining Bitcoin Mean?
Bitcoin mining is a core process behind how Bitcoins are created. The network uses a consensus mechanism called proof-of-work, where miners solve complex mathematical equations to verify and add new transactions to the blockchain. Solving these math problems allows the miners to earn a reward of 6.25 BTC per block. The greater the computing power to solve the equations, the increased chance of receiving the miner's reward.
Ways To Mine Bitcoin on a Phone
1. Cloud Mining
There are two types of applications grouped under the umbrella of ‘cloud mining’. The first are companies and organizations that allow users to lease hardware and, therefore, hash rate produced from an operational Bitcoin mining farm. Some of these organizations have mobile applications where users can monitor progress. By leasing hash rate and supporting a crypto mining farm, users are rewarded with a share of all BTC block rewards.
The second type of cloud mining app often requires users to ‘check in’ to a server once every day or requires access to phone data, such as location services. For checking in or allowing access to data, users are rewarded with cryptocurrencies which can then be converted to Bitcoin. For either option, there should be no requirement for a phone to be connected to the internet at all times and there should be no need to keep an application open and running.
Some of the best cloud mining websites for crypto include:
- Binance - Best Cloud Mining Platform for Beginners
- KuCoin - Good Cloud Miner For Electricity Costs
- Hashing24 - Solid Bitcoin Cloud Mining Platform
- StormGain - Popular BTC Cloud Mining Platform with Trades
2. Learn-to-earn or play-to-earn
The second type of mobile application that allows users to earn either Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies is grouped under the terms ‘learn-to-earn’ or ‘play-to-earn’. These applications come in a range of different packages but typically offer users the opportunity to earn cryptocurrencies by completing tasks or playing games.
If rewards are distributed in Bitcoin, rewards can be transferred to a personal cryptocurrency wallet. Alternatively, if rewards are distributed in another cryptocurrency, that cryptocurrency can be swapped for Bitcoin via a cryptocurrency exchange.
Learn-to-earn or play-to-earn mobile apps for crypto mining include:
3. Manually mine
For those that are technically minded and own an Android phone, a smartphone crypto mining application can be manually ‘sideloaded’ onto a device. This process involves downloading and installing an APK package associated with an application that may have been previously removed from the Google Play store.
With Bitcoin, the direct mining application can then be connected to a Bitcoin mining pool. For other cryptocurrencies, the crypto mining application may be able to connect directly with the associated blockchain. The power produced by the mobile device can then be used to secure and validate the associated network.
Although an option, this is not recommended by HedgewithCrypto due to the risks associated with sideloading applications and the capacity placed on the mobile device. Sideloading older applications can lead to malware and, ultimately, the power required to mine cryptocurrencies will excessively drain a phone’s battery and lead to burnout of the device. Moreover, the time it takes to mine a full 1 Bitcoin will be many years due to the low processing power.
Bitcoin Mining Using Phone Software
Over the years, there have been several mobile apps developed specifically to mine digital cryptocurrencies. Unfortunately, these apps are now much harder to find due to the 2018 restrictions put in place by both Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. As a consequence of the excessive power output required for mining operations, restrictions were introduced to maintain the performance of native devices.
All new mining apps must now pass either Google’s or Apple’s regulations. As a result, the majority of crypto mining apps only allow users to either connect to an external cloud mining service or earn cryptocurrencies for completing minor tasks. Neither option directly mines Bitcoin but both processes are still typically referred to as ‘mining’ by mobile application developers.
Due to the restrictions on the iOS and Android marketplaces, these are the best ways to mine Bitcoin on a mobile device:
- Mine Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency via cloud mining operators
- Earn Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency through learn-to-earn or play-to-earn applications
- Manually sideload an older mining app that will attempt to mine Bitcoin directly
Hardware Requirements For Bitcoin Mining Using A Mobile
The hardware requirements for mining Bitcoin through a phone will depend upon the quality of the Bitcoin mining software application chosen. For cloud crypto mining or learn-to-earn/play-to-earn options, standard smartphones will be able to handle most tasks and potentially generate a low, but steady, return.
Problems only begin to occur when a user wishes to participate in real blockchain-based mining. When it comes to mining cryptocurrency directly, a smartphone must be able to harness enough power that it can both mine and simultaneously serve all of the operations required from it by the owner.
Even for the most powerful smartphones that have been built with a cryptocurrency focus, such as the HTC Exodus 1S, the returns generated from mining cryptocurrencies directly are likely to be small. In addition to a powerful smartphone, a Bitcoin mobile miner would also need to utilize the services of a trusted Bitcoin mining pool to stand a chance of competing.
What Are The Risks of Mining Bitcoin Using a Phone?
Mining Bitcoin with a phone should be carefully considered as there are several risks. To help decide whether mining Bitcoin via a phone is right for you, here is a brief list of the key risks involved:
- Damage to the phone. If a phone is being used to solve the complex mining algorithm required to mine cryptocurrency, there is a high likelihood that the phone may suffer from excessive battery drainage and overheating. When this is performed consistently it may lead to permanent damage to a phone.
- Malware. The only way to mine cryptocurrency directly involves sideloading old applications onto an Android device. Unfortunately, by doing so, there is a high risk of introducing unwanted malware onto the phone. This malware may interfere with other applications or utilize the phone’s power output to mine other cryptocurrencies without a user knowing.
- Fraudulent or scam applications. There is a high volume of mobile applications that involve either cloud mining, learn-to-earn, or play-to-earn opportunities. Unfortunately, not all of the applications listed within app marketplaces are legitimate with several Bitcoin scams in the past. A user needs to be extremely careful and thoroughly research an application before it is used.
- Small return for the effort. After the efforts involved with mining Bitcoin through a phone, returns are likely to be small in comparison to other methods. Even for miners that utilize specialized components and equipment to build their own ASIC mining rigs, others may opt to simply invest and purchase BTC rather than competing to earn BTC block rewards. This is particularly the case for hobby mining where the rig is not running 24/7.
Frequently Asked Questions
The demanding power requirements can also place stress on the device's battery and cause overheating which can shorten the life of the smartphone.
Crypto and Bitcoin mining apps are notorious for containing malware, viruses, and scams which can damage the devices' operation or create security risks for other crypto-related activities.
Although the difficulty of mining Bitcoin has increased exponentially, it is still possible to earn BTC block rewards from a mobile device. As a result of the restrictions from both the Google Play and Apple App stores, users are now limited to either cloud mining, learn-to-earn, or play-to-earn applications.
For true Bitcoin mining, the only method available is to sideload an old application. However, this process is littered with risks and will likely damage a phone with time. For those looking to earn cryptocurrencies in an ‘almost’ passive way, we would recommend sticking with regulated mobile applications.
There are now multiple applications that allow users to earn extra income for completing small tasks or utilizing external cloud mining servers. Remember to thoroughly research the company behind the application and, if rewards are distributed in a cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin, check to see if that cryptocurrency can be exchanged for Bitcoin via a leading trading platform. If mining Bitcoin doesn't appeal, the simpler way would be to just buy Bitcoin itself and find other ways to earn crypto.