Crypto-currency Mining

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#1
Is anyone doing this? I feel like I missed the boat with bitcoin and that it would be too difficult to get anything substantial so started looking into other alternates. For the moment I'm thinking of trying Doge coin, though I'm not totally certain what I can even do with them. Anyone more well informed than myself able to explain a few things for me? Where does the value of these coins come from? Why is a bitcoin "worth" $1000? What are the computations that your computer handles being used for. It all sounds rather pyramid scheme to me but I am passively interested at least.
 
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#3
Thanks. That's a little clearer than some of the responses I'd found which amounted to basically it just does.

I'll have a look when I get home to see which type of coin would be better to try for currently. Apparently the gpu I got with my latest build, R9 280x, is well suited for mining.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
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#4
What are electricity costs where you are? I've been told that, unless you have a very specialized setup, it costs more in electricity than you can mine in bitcoins.
 
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#5
That's another thing I need to look into. Sarah handles most of the bill stuff and just tells me what I need to pay each month so I'm not certain.
 
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#6
Bitcoin mining has pretty much been taken over by ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits). Basically, it became economically feasible to design and make purpose-built chips that are useless for anything but Bitcoin mining, and because designing/fabbing these things is rather expensive, this means Bitcoin mining is now all but impossible/impractical for the "casual" miner due to the arms race-like difficulty increases that are necessary to keep the discovery rate (i.e., "mining") proceeding at a constant pace. This means that mining Bitcoin is now so difficult that you can't effectively (i.e., profitably) do so unless you possess custom ASICs.

Litecoin was created as a response to this, with a different algorithm that is more difficult to parallelize (i.e., harder to build massive ASIC farms), but it also tends to be not worth as much (some call Litecoin "the silver to Bitcoin's gold"). Litecoins can still be casually mined, but the same sort of dynamic as happened above is also happening to Litecoin, especially once folks discovered that AMD's most recent GPUs are especially well-suited to performing this sort of task, leading to unusually high demand and short supply, with prices far North of the region of sanity.

Other crypto currencies (Dogecoin, etc) sprung up as the idea spread, and are pretty much all competing for third place. At least, that's how I understand how things are going.

--Patrick
 
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#7
Maybe mine a bit for fun, but not as a serious investment. If you get lucky, yay a free bitcoin. If you don't get anything, oh well, it cost you nothing except for a slightly higher electricity bill.
 
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#8
I've grown to loathe it, all because of what Patrick above mentions. I WANT TO BUY A FUCKING R290, but I can't.
 
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#9
I've grown to loathe it, all because of what Patrick above mentions. I WANT TO BUY A FUCKING R290, but I can't.
I thought maybe I would look at the FirePro series since the consumer line is so hard to come by (and also because I have a tax return).
Wouldn't you know it? Even the pro-level cards have gone up in price. You used to be able to get a W7000 (the "pro" version of the 78xx/R9 270 series) for $599-699, but now they're going for $799, and this is probably because they're a single-slot card using the coveted GCN architecture, meaning you can cram 6 or 7 of them into your mining rig.

On the plus side, in two years there will be a lot of them on the used market going for only $400 or so, but now I just have to wait that long.

--Patrick
 
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#10
Oh, hey. Looks like AMD released the R7 265 (basically a rebadged 7850) on Wed night, on sale at NewEgg for $149.
Aaaaand they were sold out by Thurs morning.
But don't worry, you can buy them on eBay now for $240.

--Patrick
 
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#11
Yeah fuck Cryptocurrency.

I would pay a premium (not as much as the supply/demand mark-up they currently see) for a card that somehow disables the ability to be used that way. Fucking do it AMD, produce an R290 Fuck Yo Bitcoins edition card.
 
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#12
Bitcoin mining has pretty much been taken over by ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits). Basically, it became economically feasible to design and make purpose-built chips that are useless for anything but Bitcoin mining, and because designing/fabbing these things is rather expensive, this means Bitcoin mining is now all but impossible/impractical for the "casual" miner due to the arms race-like difficulty increases that are necessary to keep the discovery rate (i.e., "mining") proceeding at a constant pace. This means that mining Bitcoin is now so difficult that you can't effectively (i.e., profitably) do so unless you possess custom ASICs.

Welp, I'm out.

--Patrick
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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#13
If you can't hold it, you don't really own it. That's equally true of currency and peninsulas, we're learning.
 
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#14
Last year I spent a week mining 8 or so litecoins. Today I checked and they are worth close to $11 each, so I turned on my miner and found that currently I'd probably make one coin every hundred days, rather than the one every other day I was making when I was mining last year. It also rose in value - last year my 8 coins were worth much less than a dollar total, so it's a 100x increase since I've mined them.

Seems like a lot of people have joined the bandwagon.

There are a lot of newer crypto-currencies (doge coin being the funniest, but it actually has value) coming along, easy to mine, and going up in value.

It's probably worth mining a few dozen to few hundred of the easier coins, then sitting on them. If they don't gain in value, nothing lost but a bit of electricity. If they do gain in value, it'll be faster than inflation, and a year or two down the road they'll be worth vastly more than what you paid in electricity.

So while you probably don't want to spend time on the popular coins, you might consider spending time on the less popular new coins, speculatively.

For those curious, I use https://www.coinotron.com/ for my mining. It simplifies things, even though there's some overhead. You essentially work with others in a pool, and get a cut of the "winnings" when you collectively calculate a hash successfully. They hold onto your coins, so you'll have to drag them out and put them into a wallet of your own if you want to maintain control - like mtgox there's always the possibility the site will go down, or someone will break in and steal your coins.

But I started with them, they're still around, and supposedly they haven't lost my coins yet, so I'll stick with them, since other pools and exchanges have come and gone in that time.

I stopped only because my video card I'm using for mining seems a bit flaky in this system, and I had to check on the computer a few times a day to make sure it was still running. I'll let it run overnight and see if my speed goes up after I stop using the computer, maybe round off my litcoins to 9, then I'll try mining some of the other coins and build up small stashes of them. You never know. I won't become rich, but it's amusing all the same.
 
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