You Can Mine Bitcoin From Your Pocket for Less Than $400

Handheld bitcoin miners might not be the most powerful rigs on the market, but the price is right


whitehoune/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Bitcoin mining is big business these days. Major operations run racks of rigs and even their own power plants to solve blocks — but you can spin the wheel and hope for a BTC payoff for less than the cost of a midrange smartphone or gaming console.

It just takes ordering a few parts, which together come in just under $400.

That includes the single-board computer “Raspberry Pi Zero W 2,” a heatsink case and a USB-based bitcoin miner built on Antminer’s BM1397 ASIC chip promising up to 350 gigahashes per second (GH/s).

That’s the same chip used in Bitmain’s famous Antminer S17 and S17 Pro.

  • Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W: $22
  • Bitcoin USB stick miner: $325
  • Heatsink case: $19

Attaching a heatsink helps absorb and disperse the heat generated by the components ensuring the entire thing doesn’t pop. It would be especially helpful if actually planning to mine bitcoin from your pocket.

Mining bitcoin with tiny devices is known as “lotto mining,” on account of how little chance one has of successfully mining Bitcoin blocks with micro setups at home.

At 350 GH/s hash rate, solo miners would need to run for an average of up to 21,400 years to strike it big. Bitcoin block rewards are expected to run out by around 2140, due to the network’s “halving” events every four years, which slash issuance.

For scale, Marathon Digital — one of the world’s largest publicly-listed bitcoin miners — generated 2,195 BTC ($60 million) in the year’s first quarter, averaging around 24 BTC ($656,300) per day.

Firms like Marathon run tens of thousands of ASICs at once, which dramatically increases their chances of solving blocks. Solo miners — like those running singular Raspberry Pis — can boost their odds by joining mining pools. 

Whenever the pool wins, so do all those contributing hashpower. Major mining pools Foundry, AntPool and F2Pool currently mine more than 70% of all Bitcoin blocks, with participants sharing their hashpower for a cut of the pool’s block rewards.

Solo mining can actually work – but it’s rare

Here’s some inspiration for those feeling lucky: Two solo Bitcoin miners separately mined their own Bitcoin blocks within two days of each other last year, using only a small number of mining chips.

The miners used solo mining software Solo CK Pool, which unlike standard pools, serves as something of a web proxy for bitcoin miners. Successful miners recoup 98% of all rewards, with 2% going to the administrator for hardware upkeep, code iterations and the like.

The chances of actually winning a Bitcoin block reward from a single rig is about one in 1.1 billion, according to one estimate. Hence the comparison to a lotto draw. SoloCK miners have snagged six blocks over the past six months and 257 over the past eight years. 

Framing participation in Bitcoin consensus — in support of a potently censorship-resistant money network — as mere lottery may be a little gauche. 

Still, tiny miners like these serve as a perfect entry point for tinkering with blockchain technology in its purest form. You might as well be rewarded with an (almost) never-ending lottery ticket.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research



Aerodrome is a "MetaDEX" that combines elements of various DEX primitives such as Uniswap V2 and V3, Curve, Convex, and Votium. Since its launch on Base, it has become the largest protocol by TVL with more than $495B in value locked, doubling Uniswap's Base deployment.


If we tokenize all assets in a speculative rush, the risk of creating illiquid markets and trapped value will manifest on a large scale


Plus, Trump is headed to the heart of Bitcoinlandia with a speaking appearance at the Bitcoin 2024 conference


Meanwhile, stocks rally after Jerome Powell finishes his Capitol Hill tour


Plus, Blinks have reshaped many people’s understanding of what blockchains are capable of


Franklin Templeton has the lowest intended ETH fund fee so far, though a similar advantage did not help it win the race for bitcoin ETF assets


It’s now time for the entire Bitcoin community to recognize that Satoshi’s design transcends the confines of a single chain