Crypto miners have earned over ten million dollars even without processing many transactions, according to Diar. Bitcoin, Ether, Dash, and Litecoin, who are major proof-of-work blockchains, made over a total of $18 billion. In fact, Zcash has earned more than Bitcoin Cash miners who were able to make almost $1 billion, despite being the least utilized network.
All major networks are earning $5 million per month on average. The two of the most well-known blockchain, Bitcoin and Ethereum has the smallest amount of empty blocks. Since August 2017, Bitcoin Cash miners processed around 3300 empty blocks. And in 2017, Ethereum paid the rewards for empty blocks reaching over $65 million in total.
Saying that miners are essentially doing nothing is an understatement. Whether there are transactions or lack thereof, doesn’t affect the investment of miners for resources that they use to secure the network.
The network which has the greatest number of empty blocks is Litecoin. And, this is caused by the network’s underutilization and having a fast block time of two minutes. This means a new block is set for mining every two minutes. And, it is mainly because of Litecoin miners frequently target lite blocks, which are fast and less difficult to mine.
There are a lot of facets that can influence the cost of mining, like energy cost, equipment, and location. It is hard to predict the future of cryptocurrency, but the past can tell us that there is a time that they can be unprofitable. There is also the issue regarding sustainability and the overall environmental impact of mining.