Does Crypto Mining Use A Lot Of Bandwidth?

internet connection

With crypto mining, you can take part in the crypto network and earn some extra coins. You get paid for your work. Depending on your machine power, you get paid more or less.

You connect your miner to mining pools or you can operate your own mining node. But, does the crypto mining process use a lot of bandwidth?

No, crypto mining itself doesn’t use a lot of bandwidth. One bitcoin block is on average 1MB big and mined every 10 minutes. It would be 144 MB per day if you operate a full node. A miner itself is just searching for a valid share and submits it to a mining pool.

Keep in mind, there is a difference between block size limit and actual block size. For instance, Bitcoin has a block size limit of 1MB. So, there can be transactions in a block up to 1MB.

It doesn’t mean that every block is 1MB big. Miners can pick the transactions with the highest transaction fees from the Mempool. The Mempool is the pool for unconfirmed transactions. If there are not enough transactions waiting in the Mempool, one block would be less than 1MB.

Block size and block time vary with every crypto project. So, you would need more or less bandwidth for different projects.

Does the mining process consume a lot of bandwidth?

No, your miner needs to be connected to a mining pool. The miner searches for a share and sends it to the mining pool if he found a valid share. If it is valid, the mining pool gives you a payout for it.

Depending on the payout mechanism, you can get payouts per share(PPSFPPS). You can also get payouts after the mining pool found a block (PPLNS), or at specific time slices (PPLNT).

Why you should have a fast and stable internet connection if you mine crypto

What is more important than bandwidth is how fast your internet connection is. Imagine one block is mined every 20 seconds. If you need 2 seconds to download the block from the network, you would mine 2 seconds for nothing. This also counts for miners that are connected to a mining pool. If they need 2 seconds to sync with the mining pool, they mine 2 seconds for nothing.

Why?

Because your mine on an old chain and the block would be rejected even if it would be valid afterward. Nodes usually accept the block they see first and follow the longest chain. They do this to prevent forks in the blockchain.

To solve this problem, mining pools have high-speed connections to other mining pools and miners. They connect to other miners through a high-speed network. They only need <500ms to sync the blockchain to the newest version. Doing that has two major advantages.

  • It prevents hard forks
  • It allows miners to be more efficient because they don’t mine on an old chain

If you operate your own mining node, have a fast and stable internet connection to other miners and nodes to sync the blockchain as fast as possible.

The downloading process from other nodes

If new nodes connect to a crypto network, they start to download the blockchain from the other nodes. This process could indeed consume a lot of bandwidth.

Imagine the blockchain is currently 100GB big. If the new nodes would download the blockchain only from you, you would end up transferring 100GB. In reality, they download blocks from 10-20 other nodes to make it faster.

Why other crypto networks need more bandwidth than others

Every transaction can have a different size. For instance, Bitcoins transaction size is on average 250 bytes. Ethereum has an average transaction size of 100 bytes.

As you can see, some protocols are more efficient than others. Especially the privacy coins have a bigger proof size (transaction size). They need it because they have extra algorithms to provide anonymity to the user. On the other side, this makes a transaction bigger.

Cryptocurrencies and bandwidth usage for full nodes

The chart below shows you how fast blockchains are growing daily. It represents the average bandwidth per day for newly mined blocks. Only full nodes have to share newly mined blocks with other nodes.

CryptocurrencyAverage bandwidth usage per day (for new blocks)
Bitcoin144 MB
Ethereum144 MB
Bitcoin Cash12.96 MB
Litecoin28.8 MB
Monero46.08 MB

Power

Power is the major challenge that arrives when you are mining or want to mine. The costs of electricity are also way higher compared to internet costs.

Here is a list sorted by the most important things when it comes to mining.

  1. Hashing power/electricity ratio
  2. Price / Hash power ratio
  3. Speed of the internet connection: Use a mining pool that is close to you
  4. Solid cooling: If you want to overclock your hardware and get more out of it, you need solid cooling mechanisms.
  5. Bandwith

Conclusion

Each mining algorithm of a cryptocurrency is different in how much bandwidth they use. 1MBps internet connection is more than enough for any mining algorithm. 10 MBps can handle 1000 miners without a problem.

Usually, bandwidth is not a problem and power is the major challenge. The costs of electricity are way higher than the cost of the internet connection.

FAQ

Does Bitcoin mining require fast internet?

Yes, because you don’t want to mine on an old chain. Imagine you need 2 minutes to sync a block. You would waste 2 out of 10 minutes to sync the block and mine on an old chain. Even if you find a valid block, it would be rejected.

If you connect to a mining pool, the mining pool takes care of that and runs the node. If you have a slow internet connection, it could be possible that valid shares are brought too late. This would make a share invalid.

Use mining pools that are close to your location. This helps to prevent that issue and have slower processing times.

Does Bitcoin mining use a lot of bandwidth?

If you connect your ASIC miner to a mining pool, you don’t need an internet connection with a lot of bandwidth. 1MBps is more than enough. It is more important that the miner could send valid shares as fast as possible to the mining pool. Also, internet connection should be stable.

Further Readings:

Maximilian Groß

I'm a software engineer. I'm the owner of FireStake.com and know the crypto space since 2016. Furthermore, I share everything I learn about crypto on this blog.

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