Bitcoin

There's an interesting bitcoin-related news story in New Jersey. The state Attorney General is demanding any and all information about Tidbit, a student project that intended to allow websites to let visitors "lend" the site processing power to mine for bitcoins instead of having to view ads. The problem is that the project had only reached the "proof of concept" stage, was developed as part of a school sponsored "hackathon", and was run by students who have no connection to New Jersey. The AG is effectively stating that because it has the potential to compromise user systems (using processing power without warning the user), it is a violation of New Jersey's computer crime statutes. The EFF is trying to quash the subpoena based on: the subpoena is unconstitutional, the state has no jurisdiction over the students or the project, and it has not been linked to an offer of immunity. (via Wired, EFF)
 
I may very well regret my bitcoin purchase, but at least I was smart enough to know not to keep it on an exchange.
 
Man, they must be pissed that Bitcoin mining has switched to ASICs in order to be profitable at all.
I’m sure that’s not a Bitcoin farm. Right now Ethereum is the currency of choice for GPU mining.
Assuming they are using GTX 1070 cards (good middle-of-the-road card, 30MH), have 6 per rack (as shown), have 16 racks per section (as shown) and have 70 sections (I can see numbers up to at least 35 and the room has sections on both sides) and pay $0.09/kWh (as shown) then according to CryptoCompare they are pulling in about US$19k/day profit if they are mining Ethereum.

—Patrick
 
Their annual profit on that farm is $7M? That...is kind of nothing, considering that CryptoCompare doesn't include the churn cost of replacing GPUs that burn out because they're not built to sustain the heat-loads form 100% usage 24/7, that building's share of employee salaries, and the property tax of the building (in Iceland, that shit is really high). I assume they must make more from their Bitcoin operations.
 
GPUs that burn out because they're not built to sustain the heat-loads form 100% usage 24/7
This right here is why I'm going to be gun-shy about buying any 10x0/5x0 GPUs once they're no longer useful for crypto. You'll be able to pick up a 1070 for $50 but you have to underclock it 100MHz from stock else it'll crash.

--Patarick
 
This right here is why I'm going to be gun-shy about buying any 10x0/5x0 GPUs once they're no longer useful for crypto. You'll be able to pick up a 1070 for $50 but you have to underclock it 100MHz from stock else it'll crash.
This is actually the thing about cryptomining that annoys me the most. It's not even that I can't buy a new GPU now, it's that the used market is going to be literal pieces of trash for years. Not only will buying the things be worthless, but non-miners who are trying to sell their old cards on the secondary market to recoup the cost of a brand new card are going to be fucked.
 
This right here is why I'm going to be gun-shy about buying any 10x0/5x0 GPUs once they're no longer useful for crypto. You'll be able to pick up a 1070 for $50 but you have to underclock it 100MHz from stock else it'll crash.

--Patarick
It's literally going to be the crypto companies trying to unload their dying stuff on the public via Pricewatch. It's gonna SUCK.
 
Cryptocurrencies are a God damned waste of epic proportions. The amount of wasted energy, literal electricity, is astounding.
 
It worries me a bit that the blowback will eventually kill blockchain, which has genuinely interesting applications that are being completely overshadowed by the gold rush.
 
It worries me a bit that the blowback will eventually kill blockchain, which has genuinely interesting applications that are being completely overshadowed by the gold rush.
Botox feels your pain.
“Let’s use this breakthrough medication to help people with crippling nerve/muscle spasms lead a more normal life.” NOPE WRINKLES ARE MORE IMPORTANT

—Patrick
 
“Let’s use this breakthrough medication to help people with crippling nerve/muscle spasms lead a more normal life.” NOPE WRINKLES ARE MORE IMPORTANT
I remember an old TV special before the wrinkle revolution that was entirely about how doctors helped a woman regain use of her vocal chords and a classical violinist regain the use of his left-hand by applying a series of small botox injections to the applicable muscles that were spasming. I thought it was one of the most amazing things I'd ever seen at the time.
 
I remember an old TV special before the wrinkle revolution that was entirely about how doctors helped a woman regain use of her vocal chords and a classical violinist regain the use of his left-hand by applying a series of small botox injections to the applicable muscles that were spasming. I thought it was one of the most amazing things I'd ever seen at the time.
That’s the exact same special I remember. “Cramping and spasming.”

—Patrick
 
Welp this just came out:

h370.png


Your eyes don't deceive you, this board has spots for TWENTY video cards. Oh, and also three 24-pin connections for PSUs, presumably so the board can control turning all those cards off/on when it powers up or down. The GPU connections look like USB3 ports because that's exactly what they are, but they use a cable designed to mechanically convert them (on the other end) into the PCIe connection that the GPUs will be looking for.

...but ASIC companies have said as early as April that they're starting to manufacture chips that can mine Ethereum more efficiently than GPUs, so is something like this too little, too late?
Side note, the algorithm for Ethereum was supposedly made "ASIC-resistant" by requiring the computing device to have a lot of RAM in order to do the computations. So because of the ASIC rumors, graphics card prices are starting to fall (you can find GTX 1070's for only $50 above MSRP now!), but RAM prices (especially the newest DDR4 standard) are rising.

--Patrick
 
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Yes, for the love of fucking Christ, SOMEONE produce a chip that's more efficient than GPUs for "mining" your bullshit waste of energy commodity. Seeing 4 or 5 hundred dollar video cards on sale for twice the price is INFURIATING.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
Nope.
Only things that need RAM.
...which is most things.
Well, my line of thought is that those "most things" include stuff like business computers and other things that could cause other prices, of things that aren't even electronics, to rise. High-end GPUs are a niche product. RAM is a commodity, and one that's already in somewhat short supply.
 
Well I'll be damned. I thought it was suspicious last week when my FireTV randomly stopped mid-show to install an update which bricked it and caused it to need to be reset to factory settings (for the third time).
 
Anyone want some special-purpose mining hardware real cheap?

From $600 to $55: Prices of Mining Hardware Drop
The ASUS B250 Mining Expert used to cost from $400 to $600 about a year ago, but right now it is possible to get it for $58 - $78. The situation is similar with the MSI B360-F PRO: it used to cost $200 in May, but now it can be obtained for $63 - $96. Biostar’s TB250-BTC supports “only” eight GPUs, yet it used to cost $250 - $320 from December 2017 to February 2018. By contrast, today it is priced at around $60.
--Patrick
 
Saw this a bit ago, but it's starting to hit more mainstream news outlets.

Greenridge power plant (built 1953 in Dresden, NY) closed in 2011 due to cost concerns (no more nearby resource mining, so no more need for the power in that area), but got new owners in 2014 who took advantage of a state grant to help convert it from coal to gas. It reopened in 2017 but just kinda sat there as a "supplemental" plant powering itself for a couple of years, not doing much. In 2019, after some state law changes reducing sales taxes, they added a good-sized data center...and started mining Bitcoin in early 2020. One of the biggest obstacles to mining Bitcoin is the cost of the power required to do so, but this becomes less important when you literally own the power plant that makes the electricity you use.

Pre-COVID, they were using just over 14MW (14 megawatts) of power to mine about 5 and a half Bitcoin per day, which at the time was worth about US$50k, but a year later is now trading for over 6x that amount. As a result, by the end of 2022 they are looking to expand thei Greenridge data center and ramp up their power output to around 85MW (a sixfold increase) in order to take advantage of current trends. The owners (Atlas Holding, LLC - linked above) say they want to replicate this highly successful and profitable model of a mining facility with its own, vertically integrated power plant in other locations. Coincidentally, the owners also just happen to be part owners of five "intermittent use" power plants in New Hampshire sooo...

Other groups have taken notice. There are already other companies looking to buy old, otherwise inactive or underutilized power plants no doubt in an attempt to set up their own similar operations. Of course this means the environment might suffer a little what with these plants online and running at a constant level instead of the intermittent operation they were doing before, but hey, for a beautiful moment in time, they will create a lot of value for shareholders, right?

So yeah, I think "worth less than cost" probably still applies, so long as the environmental cost is included with the financial one.

And we haven't even started to talk about places like China.
One of the great Bitcoin unknowns has long been the amounts being produced, or "mined," in what's believed to be the top locale for mining the signature cryptocurrency: China's remote Xinjiang region. We got the answer when an immense coal mine in Xinjiang flooded and shut down over the weekend of April 17–18. The blackout halted no less than one-third of all of Bitcoin's global computing power.


--Patrick
 
I'm still bitter about bitcoin.

When I first heard about it, I downloaded some files, got 5 free bitcoin, tried some mining..never mined a coin. A few months later, deleted everything and said "this is stupid." That's what $300K I threw away?
 

Dave

Staff member
I'm still bitter about bitcoin.

When I first heard about it, I downloaded some files, got 5 free bitcoin, tried some mining..never mined a coin. A few months later, deleted everything and said "this is stupid." That's what $300K I threw away?
I did the same thing but I can't tell you how much I had. Not that much, I think. I only had 1 computer and I kept shutting down the miner to play games & stuff, leaving it running overnight & on the downtime.
 
Yeah, I've gotten to watch associates (who are MUCH less risk-averse than myself) become multi-thousandaires with Bitcoin and Ethereum and the like over the last 5-10yrs. So it goes.

--Patrick
friend of mine has a few dollars in etherium..she asked if she should pull it because Elon caused the price to drop a few cents. I said "nope..now'd be a good time to buy a little more"
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I did the same thing but I can't tell you how much I had. Not that much, I think. I only had 1 computer and I kept shutting down the miner to play games & stuff, leaving it running overnight & on the downtime.
Pretty much what I did, but never got a coin out of it. But still, I had the 5 free ones.
 
I once received 0.07 bitcoin as a tip on Reddit. I don't remember the password to that account/wallet any more.

At the time, 0.07 bitcoin was worth about 50 dollars. Nowadays it'd be... let's see... I'll just do a quick search and.... holy fuck.

EDIT: Now that I think about it, it was probably 0.007 bitcoin, that'd make more sense.
 
Elon's been busy with market manipulation this week. First his SNL appearance killed Dogecoin, and now this.

Predictably, the market quickly tanked.
 
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