Bitcoin mining doesn’t have to be an individual pursuit. In fact, thanks to the concept of cloud mining, both mining operations and cloud customers can help share in the costs and rewards of the industry. Just like everything else though, there are pros and cons to cloud mining.

The first pro of cloud mining is that it reduces costs, for both the operation and the consumer. A Bitcoin mining operation that opts to offer cloud services can use subscriber funds to help off-set their operating costs, and ensure a baseline income regardless of how the market performs. For the consumer, subscribing to a cloud service means skipping the costs of purchasing hardware and infrastructure.

Continuing that thought for the consumer, anyone can subscribe for a cloud mining service, anywhere in the world. That’s a huge advantage for those who might not have the funds to start up their own operation, or those living in hot climates or energy-expensive areas where it wouldn’t be cost effective to mine cryptocurrency.

As a cloud mining contract typically offers a certain amount of hashrate for a fee, the fluctuation of the markets could then be both a pro and a con. You’re paying to mine Bitcoin regardless of the price, so if the market explodes, it can be quite lucrative. If the market tanks, it could be a losing proposition. That’s not that different from running your own mining operation, but the nature of being in a cloud contact offers less flexibility to the end user.

Giving up that flexibility and sense of control can be another con. Without having total control over the mining operation, you may be unable to switch which coin you’re mining as fast as you’d like to, and potentially give up bigger block rewards as a result. It’s less risky, but there’s a drop a necessary drop in reward that comes with that.

Allowing the cloud provider to handle most of the responsibility and hard work of running a mining operation can be a huge pro. They’re maintaining the equipment, keeping it cool, and delivering you a potentially profitable service for your subscription fees. If you’re unable to afford the space and time to manage these things yourself, because you’re still a student or living in a small family home for example, these become massively important pros.

The decision to pursue cloud mining is really just that, a choice. It has lots of pros and cons, and weighing all of them can help you decide if it’s the right choice for you, or your operation.