“Bitcoin energy use in Iceland set to overtake homes, says local firm” says BBC news! Cryptomining is taking off like crazy and we the people are using more and more energy to do it. Everyone is doing, yours truly included and the ideas and principles behind it are only now becoming more commonly understood. It’s been estimated that the total power usage of the Bitcoin network is larger than all electricity consumed by the country of Ireland. Let that sink in for a second… But what exactly are we doing? I’ll be talking about it in a few posts coming up in the next few months, but first I’ll tell you about my little experiment.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve set up two of my computers with a service called Nicehash. Mind you, I’m NOT recommending you do this; they were hacked and robbed blind in December of 2017 under very suspicious circumstances. My experiment is humble, my systems relatively low-power, and thus I’m not making major investments or running big risks with large sums of money. In my main system I have a GTX 1050ti 4GB and in the other a GTX 750 1GB. I’ve been mining for two weeks, and have now been paid 0.002 Bitcoin, or about $17 at today’s price. Normally my main rig is always on anyway, the equipment is fully paid for, but of course there is extra electricity being used; my estimate is around $5 for a net profit of about $12. It’s nothing to write home about, but it’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick and I just got started. If Bitcoin goes up 1000% like some people are forecasting, it’ll be $120!
Initially, I was planning on adding a GPU or two but after looking the current prices I flipped out: most usable cards are going for double MSRP! My 1050ti, which I paid $105 for, has been going for over $200; USED! Video gaming is definitely a hobby of mine, and I’d love to get a 1060, but not at $400, even though it has double the mining power of my current card. Luckily things never stay the same and because of the drop in cryptocurrency prices, they now bring in half the profits they did only a couple of months ago. Some people paid upwards of $500 and they will never recoup that investment because net rewards will only go down due to increased difficulty, even if Bitcoin goes back up to $20k. For a gamer like me, a 1060 is of great value, even when it doesn’t mine, but what are the hardcore guys gonna do with 6, or 12, or 24 of them when they’re not worth running anymore? I feel a great flood of used GPUs in the very near future!
Up next: transferring my earnings from Nicehash to Coinbase, and online wallet for safekeeping. My buddy Peter in Holland actually has a hardware crypto-wallet, which is the safest place to put them; might ask him to look after my coins for me. Through Coinbase and GDAX (its coin exchange), I might trade for some Ethereum once I get to a $50 balance or so. Unlike so many other ‘alt-coins’ I believe that ETH and BTC are here to stay, but that’s for a later article.