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2014-12-19
Featured Article

My Year of BitCoin Mining

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Tagged As: Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrency

About a year ago, the price of a single BitCoin skyrocketed above $1200 apiece. I finally opted to get in on the action after having now missed the BitCoin boat for a fourth time. It began with getting myself a single 10GH/s miner and a little slice of cloud time as the days of CPU and GPU mining were long past. Although I eventually made it up to 120GH/s worth of Chili Miners, I never really kept any mining hardware longer than three months and continued to exchange it out on Craigslist to minimize monetary loss on equipment. I also dabbled in with the AltCoins [LiteCoin] and doing pooled exchanges which were possible with a home built GPU mining rig. All of this was quite entertaining at least to build the equipment, solve cooling, optimize hash rates, and plan a mining strategy. I eventually grew tired of the GPU fan noise and dumped that equipment before the summer time heat set in. At it's peak, I was using nearly 2KW of power between the GPUs and the ASICs. In the end, I settled on "trading GH/s as a derivative on CEX.io while using my "owned" speed for hashing.

After a year of participating, what can I say about it? Most of my equipment has sold back for only a minor loss so the hardware investment was largely a wash. It's the folks that held onto it that basically lost full value. The cloud solution runs a bit pricier than doing it yourself in terms of maintenance fees but it no longer impacts the home electric bill nor comes with the risk of owning deprecated hardware. As I mentioned before, it was fun building the rigs again after years of owning generally non-modifiable Apple computers. But lastly, I was able to mine 3.8BTC over the year.

3.8BTC isn't as valuable as it would have been last year, but in present dollars that is still about $1200 which is more than all of my costs for the endeavor. The days of hobby mining are likely over due to the increasingly high cost of hardware (what was $100 a year ago for 10GH/s now costs thousands for multi TH/s speeds), electricity, and falling BTC prices. As a matter of fact, so many people have gotten out of mining that the BTC mining difficulty actually dropped.

EDIT: Wow - years later those 3.8BTC were worth over $19K each.



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