BTCGuild owns. I found 27.5 bitcoins from 2011 yesterday
If any miners are out there, I hope you're scouring for bitcoins. I mined these in 2011 and forgot about bitcoin when it tanked from the big $30 height to $5 ... Sold yesterday at $850. O.o I think bitcoin will crash to $300, I'm going to buy back in at $300 and come back in 2015 when its worth $8000 per btc. EDIT: proof for debbie downers thinking I made this up: found coins: http://grab.by/shuI sold coins: http://grab.by/shuQ
After many months of consideration, I have finally made the choice to announce the planned closure of BTC Guild. Below, I've outlined the closure process/timeline and reasons that this decision was made. Closure Timeframe and Process As identified in the support section and in the 2nd post on this thread, BTC Guild has had an official policy for the amount of time that will be given in the event of closure. The official date that BTC Guild will cease all business is January 31, 2015. This post is the start of the identified 3 months of warning. 1) Effective immediately, registrations are closed to new users. 2) BTC Guild mining servers will remain online until November 30, 2014. 3) Users will have until 11:59 PM (PST) on January 31, 2015 to withdraw any remaining balances on their account. The above timeline may change if BTC Guild is sold prior to the planned date of closure. Main Reasons for Closure 1) Risk/cost of a successful attack against the pool. As pooled mining in general is shrinking due to large manufacturers creating private farms, the potential revenue for the pool has gone down as expected. While the pool is still very profitable, the amount of time it would take to recover from an attack has increased due to the overall share of the network shrinking. BTC Guild has, to date, never been successfully hacked. However, I have seen a rise in attack attempts, and things like Heartbleed/Shellshock which show that efforts are being put into compromising common Linux services if possible. Neither of those attacks had any affect on BTC Guild, but they were both reminders that under BTC Guild's own code, there are many services which could be a doorway into the pool's servers if a vulnerability was discovered. One successful attack could cost close to a year of pool revenue, maybe more depending on what happens in the mining landscape over that period of time. If something else happened in that time (subsequent attack or regulation forcing closure), it would mean continuing to operate the pool beyond this point has cost me more money than it might potentially make in the rest of its lifetime. 2) US government/regulators are already taking stances against specific business types in Bitcoin, applying requirements which would be impossible for BTC Guild to operate under if they attempt to extend regulation into pooled mining, either directly or indirectly due to unclear definitions. Nobody will mine on a pool which requires them to provide personally identifiable information when they can change a single line in their configuration to point elsewhere. Additionally, state regulators are starting to make noise about Bitcoin. New York is the first to publicly put anything forward, but there are 49 other states which can put their own spin on things. Due to the ability for states to establish a nexus for businesses dealing with their state's residents, it is a scary landscape to continue operating in. I have no intention of leaving the US myself, and given the recent history of the US when it comes to online businesses, I don't feel safe simply moving the business legal entity to another country while continuing to live in the US myself. Aquisition and Users's Privacy/Funds In the event that BTC Guild is acquired prior to closure, users will not have their mining history and withdrawal history transferred to the new owner. All balances up to the date of aquisition will be retained by myself, and a separate service will be made available to claim any funds owed. I am unwilling to compromise on this, because I refuse to do anything where it puts the users of the pool at risk of not receiving what they've earned under my watch. Pool Recommendations and Advice For users looking for a new home for their miners, I highly recommend BitMinter, Eligius, and p2pool. I do not recommend Slush over any of those 3 options, and I actively encourage users to not use Discus Fish or GHash.io. Other smaller pools exist which are run by honest people, but due to their size, it is difficult to recommend them to the average miner. Closing Words When I got into Bitcoin back in March of 2011, I never expected anything that we've seen over the last 3 and a half years. I had never built a computer before, never run a server beyond a Gentoo PC in a spare bedroom, and never setup a website that experienced even 0.1% of the traffic BTC Guild gets on an average day. Bitcoin and BTC Guild have both radically changed my life. While I am closing BTC Guild, I still plan to remain a part of the Bitcoin community. I do believe, even in the face of over-regulation, that Bitcoin will continue to grow and become more useful and usable. I just feel that it is time to move on from BTC Guild, and take pride in the fact that BTC Guild's closure can show that not all Bitcoin businesses end with somebody stealing funds from their users, either by "getting hacked" or outright theft.
Got a 0 on an assignment about Bitcoin for it not being "age appropriate!"
Hello people of Reddit. I'm an 8th grade student of a Cyber School. I am very familiar with Bitcoin. I maintain my parents' 2 KnCMiner Jupiters. I have also traded it at an exchange. I'd say I'm pretty familiar with the coin. In my English class, about 2 weeks ago, I was told to make a "how-to" document on something I know how to do. So, I made it on Bitcoin mining. I spent a few hours working on it, making sure it was the best thing I had ever worked on. Finally, I submitted it. Then, I checked the grade the next day. After a document is submitted, it will say "0%" next to it, until it's graded. So, I when I saw this, I thought, "oh well. Still hasn't been graded." But I clicked on it just to make sure it wasn't actually a 0. Well, it was. I was so confused. I wondered if I submitted the wrong document. Now, you can see what the teacher said about the document. She said it was not "age appropriate!" I then got mad. As I read on, she said, for an 8th grade student, I should write about "cleaning my room" or "washing the car." Well, then i got EXTREMELY mad. Something I had worked so hard on, given a 0% because I had not written about something a 3rd grader knows how to do. Then came yesterday. We had to write a follow-up assignment on the topic we wrote about. So, I headed the document stating the truth that many kids my age mine Bitcoin with their computers, and that many of my friends want to know how to also. I submitted the document and waited. So, went back to check the grade and said "0%." I think you already know what's going to happen next. I checked it and, big surprise, I got a 0. This time, it was a bit different. She said she understands how I "feel" that it's age appropriate. Then she said what I got very, very, angry at. She stated that if I write about abortion, drugs, sexuality, or any other non age appropriate topic, that it will be automatically given a 0% grade. So, yeah. Bitcoin's like killing babies and being gay, I guess? Tell me what you guys think about this. If you want, you can vote this up to spread the word. But thanks for reading this guys. :) EDIT: So, you guys wanted to see the document. Well, here it is: How to Mine Bitcoin
Short on money? Want to make some extra dough for the holiday season? Try Bitcoin! Bitcoin is an online digital currency. Right now, 1 Bitcoin is worth $640! But, did you know that you can create these coins, and help the network at the same time? This is a process called “mining,” and you can do it too! You're only going to need a few things for this. Firstly, I recommend not trying to mine with your home computer. You need a somewhat expensive machine called an ASIC. ASIC stands for application specific integrated circuit. This is just fancy talk for a very power computer that can only mine Bitcoin. Now, these range anywhere from $15 to $25,000, but I have a recommendation for you. It's called a KnCMiner Jupiter, and it's very fast. They're only $5K, which may seem expensive at first, but you can mine about half a Bitcoin PER DAY! That's over $300! You're also going to need a power supply. I recommend a Cooler Master V850. That's what I use. Next, you need an Ethernet cable, plugged into the router and miner. Finally you need a Bitcoin wallet. It can be on your computer or from blockchain.info. Get your address, beginning with a 1, ready! Now comes mining. First, find the miner's IP address. Go to your router's homepage – which is normally 192.168.1.1 – and look for something like “Connected Devices.” Then, it should be labeled “Jupiter” and then some numbers. Then go to the address that it says it is. This may be 192.168.1.145, or something like that. Now, it will say to log in. Log in with the username and password “admin.” This should bring a page up with numbers. You're done with that. Now, go to the mining tab. For the pool, use “mining.stratum.eligius.st:3334” without the quotes. Then, for the user, put your Bitcoin address. For the password field, put a simple “x.” It can be anything, but x is simple to remember. The pool could go down at any time, so be prepared! Get an account at btcguild.com, and make a worker. It shows this on the site. Then connect the miner using the stratum address. Also, be prepared for your earnings to slowly go down. There is a new difficulty every week, which it means it's harder to get a coin. But, don't worry! The price is going up. 2 years ago, it was worth $6! It's gone up over 100x since then! Also, that's the other thing. The price may crash. If it does, don't fret! The price will be back up over that in no time! One more thing before this ends. Bitcoin is NOT illegal. Nor is mining. The US government actually has no problem if you use Bitcoin, as long as you use it legally. There are multiple sites that you can buy contraband, like drugs and guns. Stay away from these sites! In conclusion, Bitcoin is an amazing thing. I mine it myself with a KnCMiner Jupiter. There may be some risks, but they're like any job. I've actually paid off the miner in less than 1 month! So, Bitcoin can really help our economy. It can help the WORLD economy!
Also, thanks guys for all the support! :) EDIT #2: "A" Cyber School is just like homeschool. I stay at home and do my work on the computer. The only contact with teachers is situations like this. When I have an assignment to submit. EDIT #3: I am not saying being gay and abortion are bad. If anything, some of my best friends are gay. I'm putting this in words that she would use. Not mine. EDIT #4 A.K.A. THE PROOF Well, you guys think it's fake. I edited the files down so it wouldn't reveal any personal info of the teacher or myself. Here you go: http://imgur.com/a/SdlUg
Does anyone else miss the good old days of Gavin & Andreas?
Today we have $10 bitcoin fees. 200k backlog of transactions. Paying a $1 fee is now considered "spam". I remember when bitcoin was a sunny outlook and the sky was the limit. Now I see the failure to scale as much of a problem as the MtGox collapse. It may delay mass adoption by some number of years. The price is going up, which is great, but I see Bitcoin's stalemate on the technology side of the house as the main barrier at this point. Developers and Miners both want bitcoin to succeed. I remember how BTCGuild "fixed" the last fork in 2013. Back then Devs and Pools knew how to work together. Why do they have to stay stuck in this asinine stalemate? Bitcoin's governance model was to have miners create blocks. Majority rules, 51% is king. The mechanism is already set. All that should be required is merchants/payment processors/etc commit to actually supporting the real Bitcoin, AKA the "longest" chain. Bitcoin today needs to grow some balls and stick with the model as designed. Sure give me Segwit, but give us bigger damn blocks too! Anyone with half brain knows 1mb, even 2mb is too small. This really is common sense stuff. And unfortunately common sense seems to be a rarity these days. Bitcoin's second chance IPO is here. Lets not fuck it up again (throws karpeles the finger)! Sincerely, A bitcoin believer and miner since 2011
In the past, BTCGuild increased their fees to prevent themselves from obtaining 51% hashing power. I suggest they lower their fees again to become competitive with GHash and take back some market share.
Learn how to code Once the basics of programming are understood, it can be difficult to understand how or why those concepts are applied. We believe the most effective way a beginner can approach learning to code is by breaking the learning process into three broad segments or “phases”. Learn syntax Solve problems Make stuff There is currently a complete lack of attention on the second segment. A beginner must go directly from learning syntax to making things without any real understanding of how the syntax is used to solve problems. In other words, the beginner has not yet learned how to think like a programmer, yet they are expected to solve problems like a programmer. Edabit was created to bridge this gap between knowing syntax and actually making stuff with syntax. In the real world, a developer will typically encounter a problem or challenge they’re not completely sure how to solve. They search for documentation, tutorials or Q&A to overcome the challenge and sometimes ask questions in discussion forums. A pattern repeated over and over again. Edabit simulates this pattern in a more structured way, while removing the tedious non-educational aspects and adding simple game mechanics. It teaches the beginner to think like a programmer, read documentation and ask appropriate questions. All of which transfer nicely to real world development environments. This approach will dramatically speed up the beginners journey to becoming an actual developer while at the same time making the process more enjoyable. It's easier, quicker and more fun.
Why BTCGuild is a bigger threat than you think (or: why 6 confirmations is not enough)
TL;DR: even 40% hash control is too big, and 6 confirmations is too few. A lot of people have been worrying about the possibility of BTCGuild getting 51% of the mining power and pulling off a majority attack. Personally, I don't think it will; I believe that if it does they'll cut off getwork and drop down to 35% or however much, plus people might start leaving. But even 35% is still a threat. Consider the figures in Table 1 of this paper. Specifically, look at the success rates for reversing a 6-confirm transaction with 25% of the hashing power. It's about 5-8%. Do you really want to deal with BTCGuild having a 5-8% success rate at reversing a transaction? Obviously they're not going to try for tiny ones, but what if they try it on a transfer on the order of tens thousands of bitcoins? That's a couple hundred USD at today's prices; while that wouldn't hold in the resultant panic selling, it'd still be a sizeable loss. A lot of people say 'well, BTCGuild wouldn't do that, because X and Y and Z'. I think this is an unreasonable defense. BTCGuild might not, because they're invested in BTC staying a strong currency. But someone who wants to see BTC fail would have reasons to try this. I'm not saying I think that the government or whoever is going to try to hack the BTCGuild servers and try this, but I think that given that the point of BTC is to be resilient to that sort of thing, we shouldn't be making it possible. Another thing I see people say a lot is that people will notice. How? It's not like your miner is going to suddenly pop up a big "ACTIVATING EVIL MODE" dialog box. Plus, even when people do notice that it's been suspiciously long since BTCGuild found a block, it might just be probability. And even if it were confirmed that they're malicious, you'd have to wait for people to actually find it out and pull their mining power. There are altogether too many 'if's here. The intermediate solution, if you're worried, is to wait for more than 10 transactions for high-value transactions. However, the transaction number required is extremely high; even with 100 transactions BTCGuild would have a roughly 0.5% chance of reversing the transfer. I'd like at least eight more zeroes in front of that number (this is supposed to be super-secure, right?), and for the transfer count to be no more than 25. According to this calculation, the success probability with nobody controlling more than 25% of the hash power and 25 confirmations is about 10-12; even with 10 confirmations it's 7 * 10-6, and with 6 it's 6 * 10-4. These are numbers I can live with, but I suspect they're still a lot higher than most people's intuition for how high the probabilities are.
Can i still use my Trezor in the event of a HF or UASF?
I saw something from Slush that said that Trezor is ready for UASF. I've also read that from a user standpoint even if the chain splits we'll just have two sets of coins, one on each chain that can be spent independently. If all my keys are held in a Trezor will I still be able to use them on both chains should there become two chains?
I am just wondering what pool is the best..I am currently mining at elgius and bitminter. I am not sure if I am getting proper payout from biminter..I have only been mining at bitminter for a day with 1 TH and I dont hav even .01 yet? With 180 GH at elgius I feel like I am getting more.
Reason why miners like me won't leave GHASH.IO or won't stop purchasing cloud based mining power through CEX.IO
I've been Bitcoin mining for a little over a year now and I've tried various pools, some popular (BTCGUILD tripplemining) and others not so popular. With BTCGUILD their fees are extremely high and the only other crypto currency your earn is NMC. With Tripplemining they rarely find a block. With GHASH.IO they have 0% in fees, they of course always find blocks since they are the most powerful pool on the planet (literally), in addtion to BTC mining I also earn NMC, IXC, and DVC. I can also purchase GH/s via CEX.IO which can be added to my existing mining power on GHASH.IO. I can also sell any and all GH/s that I purchase on the CEX.IO exchange and of course if the price of GH/s goes on the CEX.IO exchange I make a profit. Let's not forget people were saying the same thing about BTCGUILD:
Mining at this point is no longer about profit. It's about ideology. You mine BTC to support a system in which you believe, the revenue serves the purpose of keeping it affordable to you. For the pool operators, the situation is different. For them, mining IS about profit. If BTC Guild has 25% of the Hashrate, it means their pool discovers 25% of the block per day or 1800 BTC, their 3% fee, (excl transaction fees), means 54 Bitcoin/43,200 dollar daily, far exceeding the cost of hosting a pool. For this reason it is important that Bitcoin miners know about ALL options available to them to secure the network. Please understand the following simple fact: You do not depend on the pool operators. As I will go on to show, the pool operators depend on you. You are already aware of your ability to switch to a different pool. You can move to Eligius or other pools which have 0% fees, thus earning you more money. If you want to help the network, mine on a pool that has a low hash rate, abandon the largest pools. However, there's another option available to you that you have to be aware of. Pools can become malicious. As an example, GHash.IO is believed to have committed double-spending attacks against Betcoin dice, which accepts zero confirmation bets. Theoretically, GHash.IO could use the money from attacks committed against the network to subsidize miners who mine on their pool, thus leading to them eventually getting 51% of the network. If you believe a pool is a threat to the Bitcoin network, you have the ability to engage in a block withholding attack. There's nothing a pool operator can do about this, which is why they don't want you to know about it. Block withholding attacks are an essential weapon of last resort we have against malicious pools. It works as following. When you find a valid hash, you normally give the hash to the pool, just like any other hash. The pool takes the reward and distributes the profits equally to everyone in the pool based on the amount of attempts they contributed. You're not able to use the hash for yourself, the reward goes to an address controlled by the pool operator. However, the pool operator doesn't know if you found a valid hash until you hand it over to him! If you choose to withhold the hash, it doesn't cost you anything, the one who suffers financially is the pool operator, who pays you for your valid shares. If enough people do this, eventually the pool operator figures out that people are probably screwing him over. However, he doesn't know who! There are roughly three ways the pool operator can respond to this. He can try to figure out who is screwing him over. If the problem began recently, he might try to kick people who joined recently. However, he will also inevitably kick people who are mining honestly. Thus, his share of the network drops. Alternatively, he can increase his fee. When he increases his fee, people will get angry and leave his pool, meaning his share of the network still drops. The third response is to test miners, by sending them work that has already been solved whenever the pool mines a block. If any of the miners decide to withhold the solution, the pool operator knows they're screwing him over. However, miners can check the blockchain, thus allowing them to send the work they did if the block has already been successfully solved. The only response the pool operator has to such smart miners is to wait with publishing his block. This however increases his risk of having his block orphaned, which will end up costing him money as well. Thus pool operators who can't trust their miners will always lose money, one way or another. When should you use the block withholding attack? When to use the block withholding attack is ultimately your decision. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind. The block withholding attack takes some time before people discover it, as the pool operator will at first attribute his lack of blocks to a statistical fluctuation. Thus, if you move to a pool that's 45% of the network and growing rapidly, my guess would be that you're too late. Previous episodes have shown that we depended on ASICMiner, BTCGuild and GHash.IO to play nice with us and not start a 51% attack. My personal opinion would be that any malicious pool with more than 30% of the network is dangerous enough to justify a block withholding attack against them. Just the threat of a block withholding attack may be enough to save Bitcoin Why am I telling you this? As miners, your knowledge of your power to execute a block withholding attack is a danger to the pool operators, because it emancipates you. When most miners know how to commit a block withholding attack, the pools will have to prove to you that they deserve your trust! Thus, pools will have to make concessions to you. As an example, pools will have to promise not to go over 30% of the network. Alternatively, pool operators will have to reveal their identity to you. Pool operators right now are greedy, happily taking 40% or more of the network, as it raises their revenue. They will have to stop being greedy when miners learn that they can punish greedy pool operators. The ongoing threat of a 51% attack is also reducing the market cap of Bitcoin. When mining decentralizes again the value of Bitcoin will go up. How do you commit a block withholding attack? This is the embarrassing part of my post. I'd really like to provide an answer here, but I can't. I am not aware of any mining client that has an option to carry out the block withholding attack. The block withholding attack for now remains a theoretical construct, akin to a Cobalt bomb, a theoretical weapon of mass destruction that nobody has bothered building. The first guy who builds an open source mining client capable of carrying out a block withholding attack will make large pool operators shit bricks. I'm sure some people would be willing to pay a coder who produces a client capable of a block withholding attack as well. Until that time, the block withholding attack remains the stuff of game theory and nerd-mythology.
First impression of BitCoin poker from a USA player
First some background, I am a US player who hasn't played a lick since Black Friday. I have never used BitCoin before (after reading up on it though I am definitely intrigued), and I didn't want to spend any real money (at least not yet). So instead of going the route of buying BitCoins I set up a miner on my ATI 7950 and let it run for ~2 days until I had .15 BTC (~$1.95 US). I then transfered that to my BitCoin Wallet. Side note. The BitCoin client app that stores your wallet takes a LONG time to sync. It's downloading a ~3GB file that contains all BitCoin transactions EVER. I have a 50MBs connection and it took about 24 hours to catch up which is terrible and I sent them a bug report. I was able to mine in the mean time using a separate app that I got from the BTCGuild.com mining pool. So as previously stated it took about two days to get to the point were I could actually make a deposit. The card room I picked was SealsWithClubs.eu and they had my transfer almost instantly. That said it took a bit of poking around to make sure I did send the transfer to the right place. It's very obvious that this is a small scale room. That said I was able to quickly sit down at a table and start playing. Software wise the room is very basic. I don't currently have HEM or PT installed but since the room is flash based in side of your browser I doubt the HUDS will work. There is a way to view your hand history for the table your at but I didn't see a way to save HH locally so I don't know that you can even add the data to your program of choice. On top of that I tried copying and pasting a hand history to weaktight.com and handconverter.com neither of which could read the hand. So for serious play right now it's kind of a bust. That said I did almost quadruple my funds in about 2.5 hours so that's not bad. All in all it did scratch my poker itch. While the software leaves a lot to be desired I think I will keep playing and encourage others to do so with the hope that it will encourage other rooms to start taking US players with BitCoins.
Hey guys. I recently got myself four asic block eruptors and have been using them and they work just fine. I use my computer a lot and need to get on it fast when I get home so I normally just leave it on and leave the miner running. I have been using 50btc.com (PPS) but I was wondering if maybe I should use slushes? (Score) What are your thoughts? I get around 1,320 Mh/s
TL:DR: Don't bother mining if you want to get rich yo. You're way too late to the party. Welcome to the exciting and often stressful world of bitcoin! You are wondering what looks like a once in a lifetime opportunity to get rich quick. Of course you guys probably heard about this "mining" process but what is this? Simply put, a bitcoin mining machine that performs complicated calculations and when deemed correct by the network, receives a block which contains 25 bitcoins (XBT). This is how bitcoins are generated. So your brain instantly thinks, "Holy shit, how can I get on this gold rush?" Before you proceed further, I would like to explain the concept of mining further. Bitcoin is limited 21m in circulation. It is coded to release a certain number of blocks at a certain time frame, ie: this year the network will release close to 500,000 bitcoins. What this means is that the more people (or specifically the amount of mining power) mine, the less each person gets. The network tries to keep to this time frame through the process of difficulty adjustments which makes the calculations harder and this happens every 2 weeks. So every 2 weeks, you get less bitcoins with the same hash rate (mining power) based on what the difficulty changes are. Recently, the changes have been pretty staggering, jumping 226% in 2 months. You can see the difficulty changes here. Now, why are these changes so large? A bit of a simple history. Bitcoin's algorithm runs on SHA-256. This algorithm can be solved using many hardware, from CPU to GPU and dedicated hardware (Application Specific Integrated Circuits). When bitcoin first started, mining on CPU was a trivial process, you can pretty much earn 50 XBT (the block size then) every few hours between Q1 and Q2 of 2010. In late 2010, due to the difficulty increase that is reducing the effectiveness of CPU mining, people started to harness GPU mining. Only AMD GPU's architecture design are better optimized for bitcoin mining so this is what the community used. Immediate improvements of more than 10x was not uncommon. In time of course, GPUs reached their limit and people started to build dedicated. In the same vein as the CPU to GPU transition, similar performance increase was common. These ASICs can only perform SHA-256 calculation so they can be highly optimized. Their performance mainly depends on the die size of the chips exactly like CPU chips. In general, think of bitcoin mining's technological advancement no different to mining gold. Gold panning (CPUs) vs pickaxes (GPUs) vs machinery (ASICs) and we are still in the ASIC mining race. ASIC mining started with ASICMiner and Avalon being first to the market, both producing 130nm and 110nm chips. The technology are antiquated in comparison to CPUs and GPUs which are now 22nm with 14nm slated for Q1 next year by Intel but they are cheap to manufacture and with performance gains similar to the CPU to GPU transition, they were highly successful and popular for early adopters. At that point in time since there were less competing manufacturers and the low batch runs of their products, miners became really rich due to the slow increase in difficulty. The good days came to an end mid August with an unprecedented 35% increase in difficulty. This is due to existing manufacturers selling more hardware and many other players coming onto the market with better hardware (smaller die). Since die shrinking knowledge and manufacturing process are well known along with a large technological gap (110nm vs 22nm), you get an arms race. Current ASIC makers are closing in on our technological limit and until everyone catches up, the difficulty jumps will be high because it is just too easy to get a performance increase. Most newer products run at 28nm and most chips are not well optimized, so it will be around another 6 to 9 months before we see hit a hard plateau with 22nm or 14nm chips. The estimated time frame is because manufacturing chips at 22nm or 14nm is a more difficult and expensive task. In the meantime most manufacturers will probably settle at 28nm and we will reach a soft plateau in about 3 months. Now, you might ask these questions and should have them answered and if you have not thought about them at all, then you probably should not touch bitcoin until you understand cause you are highly unprepared and probably lose lots of money.
I read that you can mine with a CPU/GPU, should I do so?
No. If you have to ask, please do not touch bitcoin yet. You will spend more on electricity cost than mining any substantial bitcoin. Seriously. At all. A 7990 would produce a pitiful 0.02879 XBT (USD $14 @ $500/XBT exchange rate) for the next 30 days starting 23 Nov 2013 at 35% difficulty increase. And if you think you can mine on your laptop either on a CPU or GPU, you are probably going to melt it before you even get 0.01 XBT.
I get free electricity and I have existing hardware, should I still mine?
Probably not because you probably forgot that GPUs and CPUs produce a ton of heat and noise. You can try but I see no point earning < $20 bucks per month.
Should I buy an ASIC machine?
No, because your machine will probably not mine as much as buying bitcoins. This situation is called the opportunity cost. While you can still make money if XBT rise in value, it is a fallacy.
IE: if you start mining on 1 Dec 2013, a KnC Jupiter running at 450Gh/sec (KnC lies as not all chips run at 550Gh/sec) will yield you a total revenue of 9.5189 XBT with a profit of 0.7859 XBT in profit by 30th Jan 2014 at a constant difficulty increase of 35%. The opportunity cost is: 8.5910 XBT @ USD $580/XBT with USD $5,000 which is the cost of a KnC Jupiter. This is the best you can earn and it's a bloody optimistic assumption because:
You are assuming your pre-order will arrive on time. (I do not think any first batch pre-order from any manufacturer has arrived on time).
All pre-orders are sold out for 1 Dec.
You are assuming your chips will run at 450Gh/sec minimum but many miners here will tell you their chips have been under performing.
Electricity cost have not been taken into account.
Shipping cost and time has not been taking into account.
Import Tax or VAT has not been taken into account.
Risk of downtime due to DOA or warranties has not been taken into account.
You are assuming the difficulty increase will be a constant 35% which is very unlikely because Cointerra with a team that has worked on some of the world’s highest performance CPUs, GPUs and chipsets for NVIDIA, Intel, Samsung, Qualcomm and Nortel has pre-sold an absurd amount of hash rate. Difficulty increase of 45% or more (which we have seen when a small player, KnC shipped their 1st batch) will be repeated commonly. This is only 1 company, imagine what the rest will come out with. I have failed repeatedly and so have many in estimating future hashrate. You wont be able to do better.
Even if you earn some profit, it will be < 15% and will probably be not worth your risk or your trouble. I can buy and hold XBT with no risk of losing them.
The only circumstances where you will earn money is when XBT exchange rates is so high that it makes the opportunity cost pales in comparison. Unfortunately this is not the case. If XBT stabilized at 900/XBT today (20 Nov 2013) then we might have a good case. The risk is just generally not worth it. Unless you have at least a hundred thousand and can make a contract with a manufacturer for a lower cost, do not bother. Just wait until the arms race is over then you can start mining.
I understand I probably won't earn any money, I just want to do this for fun/hobby...
Okay, go buy an AsicMiner USB Block Erupter. They are cheap and pretty fun to have.
I want something with more omph and still do not mind losing money
Sure, just read the answer below on who NOT to go for. You are doing bitcoin a service by securing the network and you have our (the users') gratitude.
Who are the manufacturers?
You can check out the manufacturers and their products below along with a calculator here. If you still insist on buying, do not to go for BFL. Their track record is horrid and borderline scammish. KnC fucked up a lot with defective boards and chips. Personally, I think CoinTerra is the best choice. Alternatively, you can go on the secondary market to buy a delivered product. You can get a better deal there if you know how to do your "return on investment (ROI)" calculation. Personally, I will go for a 45%-50% difficulty increase for the next 3 months for my calculations and a 2% pool fee. However, most products on ebay are sold at a cost much higher than it should. bitcointalk.org is a cheaper place because everyone knows what are the true value is so you will find less options. If you are unclear or need assistance, please post a question.
Which pool should I use?
I actually do not use any of the pools recommended to the left because I think they lack features. My favourite is Bitminter (Variable fees based on features used; max 2%). It has all advanced features for a pool, very responsive and helpful owner on IRC. Variable fees is good for those who do not need a large feature set, even with all features turned on, it is still cheap. Eligius (0% fees) has high value for money but lacks features. It has anonymous mining which might be attractive to certain subset of people but not for others. Many other community member and I disagree highly with the opinions of the owner on the direction of bitcoin. I do use his pool for now but I do so only because I share my miners with a few partners and anonymous mining allows us to monitor the machines without using an account. Bitminter uses only OpenID which is problematic for me. BTC Guild (3% fees) is another big pool and is fully featured and does charge a premium for their fees. That said, they are the most stable of the lot. I do use them but do so only because my hoster uses them for monitoring. I try not to use them because a pool with a very large hash rate (they are the largest) presents a large vulnerability to bitcoin's network if compromised. All of them pay out transaction fees.
Serious bitcoin question: Will major exchanges stop serving Hawaii, Nebraska, and Alaska (as they did with New York) if those states get their recently proposed bitlicense bills signed into law?
When New York began implementing its requirements that many virtual currency users would have to be registered and be licensed with the state of New York, and additional requirements such as identification of users and submittal of information to the FBI (to name a few), it was immediately evident that such requirements are inimical to free speech and expression. Many companies opted to leave the state of New York or have ceased to operate in New York as a result. (Some stayed and obtained a NY Bitlicense, but most did leave NY.) A partial list of the companies that immediately left New York following its adoption of the NY bitlicense were: BitQuick, BTCGuild, Eobot, Genesis Mining, GoCoin, Kraken, LocalBitcoins, Paxful, and Poloniex. It is not known what would have happened in California if AB 1123 (California's bitlicense) had been adopted, but about a month ago, California's proposed bitlicense was defeated for the third (and hopefully final) time. At the time NY's bitlicense went into effect, BTCGuild nearly had to shut down, citing NY's bitlicense as a reason. It was noted that whether BTC Guild is based in New York "does not matter" and BTCGuild suggested that its pool could face significant legal liability regardless of its location because "the final regulations have enough gray area that BTC Guild is at risk." Later, BTC Guild made a decision to shut down, citing the regulatory environment and NY Bitlicense as some of the reasons. BTC Guild's website now redirects to bitcoin.org. Proposed laws like AB 1123 (California's proposed bitlicense, which fortunately failed three times and thus is not law in CA) are enough to drive businesses out of the state where they are adopted. Will major exchanges stop serving Hawaii, Nebraska, and Alaska (as they did with New York) if those states get their recently proposed bitlicense bills signed into law? Here are the current (U.S.A. state) bitlicense proposals that I am aware of: Hawaii's proposed bitlicense, SB 2129 (this one is the result of an effort by the Coin Center and the ULC) https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=2129&year=2018 Alaska's proposed bitlicense, HB180https://legiscan.com/AK/text/HB180/id/1560140 Nebraska's proposed bitlicense, LB 987 (this one is the result of an effort by the Coin Center and the ULC): https://nebraskalegislature.gov/bills/view_bill.php?DocumentID=34121 Note that two of the three currently active bitlicense proposals in the United States are actually due to the Coin Center and to the ULC (Uniform Law Commission). If you are helping to fund or otherwise support either of these organizations, I'm guessing right now would be a good time to at least evaluate if it's worth it to continue your contributions to them. (If you do donate to Coin Center, for example, you could redirect your donations to a more worthwhile organization, such as the EFF, which has successfully fought bitlicense in California.) This message and the opinions it expresses are purely my own, though I hope of course that individuals and businesses across the United States will help stop bitlicense in Hawaii, Nebraska, and Alaska just like we did in California. Having it in New York is bad enough. North Carolina's law is also fairly horrible, as I mentioned about a year ago in this sub.
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