I'll try to keep it short and realllllllly simple
I did my fair share of research on mining crypto-currencies because I wanted in on not only the trading part, but the mining part as well. The question is - is it profitable? The answer is "it depends" on the following factors -
Before you start and put in 1000's of $, ask yourself this -
What currency am I mining, what value will it hold in the longer run?
What is the computation cost and speed?
(How powerful of an ASIC will I need? What will be the throughput?)
What hardware to use?
( What will be the power consumption? Is it worth the cost? When will I reach the breakeven point? Can I find an arrangement that can facilitate the cooling needs of the ASICs )
How and which mining pool to join?
(A mining pool let's you in on a community of miners where you make a joint effort to solve a block - yielding faster results but shared profits)
My take -
It all boils down to what ASIC you are using because that is a heavy investment. Most people believe that all you need to mine is a GPU because of its immense computing power (first thing people will think of is Nvidia or AMD). A few people who have been neck deep in this would go for this ASIC called Bitmain.
I'm a hardware guy and I understand the complexities. ASIC, short for Application Specific Integrated Circuit is something that HW companies create to do one task but do it pretty good. Compared to its counterpart FPFA, short for Field Programmable Gated Arrays, which can be programmed to do different tasks but usually slower than ASICs.
ASICs like Bitmain get sold out in a blink of an eye. Recently the price for each ASIC doubled from 1400 USD to 2800 USD. And we're missing some competition in this sector.
I can do a more detailed review on the ASIC computation power and break-even points. We can talk numbers for ASIC selection and compare different ASICs. Just upvote and I'll know people are interested to listen to this :)
Thanks guys. Hope you guys enjoyed this article. Feedback is welcome :D