© Reuters.

While, intuitively, mining may appear like a highly profitable endeavor, research suggests otherwise.

After discovering Bitcoin (BTC), most users go down the rabbit hole and consider whether it is better to mine or buy Bitcoin directly. They usually give up on mining due to the cost and rigor of running ASIC miners, regulatory uncertainty and the lack of technical expertise.

Return on investment from Bitcoin miners denominated in BTC over the next five years. Source: Hashrate Index
Times when Bitcoin mining was preferred (in gray) over direct BTC purchases (in white). Source: River Financial