Guest “you gotta be kidding me” by David Middleton
Solar-Powered Bitcoin Mining Could Be a Very Profitable Business Model
Tam Hunt outlines the compelling economics for using solar to supply Bitcoin mining operations.
TAM HUNT SEPTEMBER 11, 2017
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are now a major business, with the global market capitalization of these coins exceeding $170 billion at their recent peak, according to Coin Market Cap.
Bitcoin alone has reached over $70 billion in value, up from nothing when it was created just eight years ago.
A major issue with Bitcoin, which may eventually undermine success unless it is remedied, is the massive amount of power required for “mining” of the coins.
The mining metaphor is apt because bitcoins are created through specialized computers looking for the correct codes (hash keys), just like digging for gold. That electronic digging takes more and more power as more and more people dig for that virtual gold. Sebastian Deetman calculated in 2016 that mining would require as much electricity by 2020 as the entire nation of Denmark currently consumes.
The bottom line is that solar-powered Bitcoin mining operations can be highly profitable and enjoy payback times as short as a year or two. After that, Bitcoin revenue comes with almost zero ongoing costs for another 25 years or more for solar farms — though the mining machines will need to be upgraded periodically.
“The mining metaphor is apt because bitcoins are created through specialized computers looking for the correct codes (hash keys), just like digging for gold. That electronic digging takes more and more power as more and more people dig for that virtual gold.“
OK… So let’s assume we did some solar powered Bitcoin mining and struck the mother lode of “virtual gold.” Do we take the virtual ore to a virtual assayer?
How to Use Bitcoin for Purchases
Bitcoin can be an investment, but it’s also a currency. And a store that accepts bitcoin payments may be closer to you than you think.
Apr 18, 2018
Where Online Can I Buy With Bitcoin?
Do the proper research on whether a company is currently allowing for bitcoin use, as some may have integrated it at one point but may not be using it at the moment. Steam, Valve’s video game distributing platform, stopped allowing bitcoin payments in December 2017, citing the volatility but admitting they may come back to it. Dell claimed it was a lack of interest that led it to stop accepting bitcoin in November 2017. But there are plenty of other places that continue to allow you to pay with bitcoins.
What can you buy with bitcoin online? Depending on the retailer you choose, quite a bit. Overstock.com (OSTK – Get Report) has more of an investment in it than anyone, using it to develop their own blockchain. Those looking for basic retail goods (apparel, furniture, home décor, etc.) can shop on Overstock, check out, and use the option to pay with bitcoin.
Electronics retailer Newegg has also been a big proponent of bitcoin. Computers, televisions, gaming consoles and more can be purchased with bitcoins on Newegg, with separate methods of payment depending on whether you are on mobile or desktop.
[…]The Street Dot Com
Maybe I’m just being a grouchy old geologist, but does any of the above justify Bitcoin mining? Much less solar powered Bitcoin mining? Most people get jobs and use their income to purchase crap online.
Then there’s this…
Bitcoin can also be used in some cases to make donations. Want to donate to Wikipedia? You can do it anytime and they connect with Coinbase to allow for bitcoin transfers.
There are many other websites that currently allow for bitcoin too, including but not limited to:
OKCupid (dating site)The Street Dot Com
CheapAir (travel/hotel booking agency)
PizzaForCoins (pizza delivery)
Zynga (Mobile apps/games)
Etsy (e-commerce, some Etsy sellers accept bitcoin as payment)
I wouldn’t donate real money to Wikipedia… I certainly wouldn’t pay real money to set up a fake mining operation to fund fake money donations to Wikipedia.
What else could I use the virtual ore for?
How to Use Bitcoin at Stores
Bitcoin still hasn’t hit a point yet where it’s a common method of payment at your average retail outlet. We’re not sure if or when it would reach a level of ubiquity even 1% close to the dollar. But whether as a novelty or because the owners truly believe it’s the wave of the future, there are some places out there that you can physically go to and pay with bitcoin.
[…]The Street Dot Com
I guess dropping a wad of Bitcoin at the mall is out there in the distant future when fleets of autonomous ride-share EV’s have replaced personal automobiles… Does Uber take Bitcoin? You can apparently purchase Uber gift cards online with Bitcoin. I just use my AmEx card and skip the whole fake mining bit.
Does Bitcoin serve any purpose?
Bitcoin: Does It Have a Place in Your Portfolio?
By Schwab Newsroom
Bitcoin continues to be a hot topic. Prices for the digital currency rose by more than 1,000% in 2017, but are down more than 49% so far in 2018. In December 2017, Bitcoin futures started trading on two major U.S. exchanges.
This has left some investors wondering: What’s the big deal with Bitcoin? How risky is it, and is it something I should consider for my own portfolio? Here are some facts:
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a digital currency—or “cryptocurrency”—that allows online payments to be made directly from one party to another through a worldwide digital payment network, without the need for a central third-party intermediary such as a bank.
Why is Bitcoin’s price so volatile?
As of April 11, 2018, the price of a single Bitcoin was about $6,900 and people around the world held approximately $117 billion in Bitcoins.¹ At this price level that exceeds the market capitalization of such bellwether companies as Nike, American Express and Caterpillar. It is relatively small, however, compared with the $6 trillion value of all outstanding gold bullion, and the market capitalization of $23 trillion for the stocks in the S&P 500® index.
“Because Bitcoin is limited to 21 million coins, and an estimated four million have already been lost, there is a large demand and a relatively small supply. Typically, that is a recipe for high volatility,” says Randy Frederick, Vice President of Trading and Derivatives at Schwab.
“Since two major futures exchanges began listing contracts on Bitcoin in December 2017, price declines may be partially attributed to greater price discovery, due to the ability to sell short in the futures markets,” Randy says. “Plenty of speculators, however, continue to buy Bitcoin due to the fear of missing out on something that has provided large profits—but also high risk—to many buyers.”
Know the risks
“Bitcoin’s dramatic rise and fall has been driven primarily by supply and demand, not valuations,” Randy says. “Bitcoin doesn’t have earnings or revenues. It doesn’t have a price-to-earnings ratio, price-to-sales ratio or book value. Traditional value metrics simply don’t apply, so there are no current methods for assessing its value.”
With a price gain of more than 4,000% in a little more than two years, Bitcoin was definitely in a bubble by most definitions, Randy says. And while the price has fallen more than 63% since the highs reached in mid-December, it is still up more than 80% over the past 12 months, so it’s important for investors to understand that investing in Bitcoin is extremely risky, he says.
Financial loss: Bitcoin prices historically have been highly volatile, and fluctuations could result in significant losses for investors.
Fraud and cybercrime: These already have occurred. For example, in 2011, Japan-based Mt. Gox, then the largest Bitcoin exchange, experienced a security breach in which 850,000 Bitcoins worth approximately $450 million were stolen. In November 2017, a cryptocurrency called Tether reported a $31 million theft.
Theft or loss: A login ID and password is usually needed to access the exchange, so if that is forgotten, lost or stolen by a hacker or phishing scam, access could be denied or lost. Online purchases still require a link to a bank account and/or a credit card. While Bitcoins can be stored in physical wallets so they can be spent without a computer, this creates the same risks as with all cash currencies: They could be lost, stolen or destroyed by accident.
Computer outage or cyberattack: Bitcoin exchanges have been subject to computer outages caused by excessive demand or other problems. Also, because ledgers and most holdings are held on the internet, a large-scale cyberattack could limit access during times of national emergency, something that would not happen with physical cash or gold.
Lack of regulation: Trading in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is largely unregulated. Washington has been devoting more resources to monitoring digital currencies, but regulators have not reached a consistent or universal stance.
“Bitcoin doesn’t fit within accepted asset allocation models, as it is neither a commodity nor currency in the traditional sense,” Randy says. “Virtual currencies are highly volatile and still lack many of the regulations and consumer protections that legal-tender currencies have. Due to the high level of risk, investors should view Bitcoin as a purely speculative instrument that should only be traded with money that they can afford to lose.”Charles Scwhab & Co.
- Bitcoin is like gold and crude oil, except that it serves no physical purpose.
- Bitcoin is like a credit card that isn’t widely accepted… But you can leave home without it.
- Bitcoin is just like cash… at less than 1% of stores.
- Bitcoin isn’t an investment. It’s a “purely speculative instrument that should only be traded with money that [suckers] can afford to lose.” Sounds like Powerball to me.
But… The folks at Green Tech Media are convinced that spending real money on solar power installations for the purpose of fake mining for fake gold “can be highly profitable and enjoy payback times as short as a year or two”???
On top of all of that…
If You Solve This Math Problem, You Could Steal All the Bitcoin in the World
Ryan F. Mandelbaum
You may have heard of the famous P versus NP problem. If you can prove or disprove its cryptically short equation, you’d be a million dollars richer—and maybe even billions of dollars richer, depending on your scruples.
The importance of P versus NP is mainly in its consequences for computing. It happens to be one of the seven Millennium Prize Problems, meaning The Clay Mathematics Institute of Cambridge, Massachusetts will award $1 million to whoever manages to prove or disprove the statement. But should you prove that P in fact does equal NP, you wouldn’t even need the $1 million prize. As theoretical computer scientist Scott Aaronson explained last week at a lecture in a stuffy auditorium at Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico, proving that P=NP would open up some intriguing possibilities.
“If someone proves P=NP, the first thing they should do is steal $200 billion in bitcoin. The second thing they should do is solve all of the other Millennium Prize Problems,” Aaronson said.
To understand this…
To understand this… I would need to drink a whole lot of this…