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Author Topic: are we being stupid?  (Read 4446 times)
Sukrim
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May 31, 2011, 09:09:02 PM
 #21

EDIT: Thanks JJG for demonstrating my point. For the record you've been saying the same thing for a couple months now, and while you might be right in the future, you've been wrong up til now.
Tell me one point in time where it made more sense to buy a 2600USD mining rig (which has costs to operate too!) than to buy 2600 USD worth of bitcoins!

Well said.
Actually I'm really curious about the answer, might be that at the time where BTC were worth nearly 10 USD 1 or 2 difficulty steps back it might have been a good choice to do mining. I'm not sure if it would have been a good choice to set up a minig rig though, as the exchange rate went down after that again and difficulty went up.

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Sjalq
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May 31, 2011, 10:16:43 PM
 #22

Buying bitcoin now will yield only the increase in price at whatever future point they are spent. Buying a miner now will yield the miner, the cost of the miner in bitcoin at some future point and whatever bitcoins can be generated cheaper than power consumption for the lifespan of the miner.

Also mining is a far more resilient means of investing in BTC since mining share goes up when price falls. Remember the war for a widely used alternative currency is far from won, and probably will have some bumps along the way.

Cheesy mine mine mine mine mine mine mine Cheesy
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bcpokey
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May 31, 2011, 11:07:14 PM
 #23

EDIT: Thanks JJG for demonstrating my point. For the record you've been saying the same thing for a couple months now, and while you might be right in the future, you've been wrong up til now.
Tell me one point in time where it made more sense to buy a 2600USD mining rig (which has costs to operate too!) than to buy 2600 USD worth of bitcoins!

Define the parameters of your purely hypothetical situation. When I buy mining stuff in this scenario what is my outlook? Am I forced to play by the rules you coin buyers typically set for someone buying mining stuff such that they must sell coins the instant they are mined?

Actually I will set the parameters myself, if you don't like them, too bad for you.

Theoretical mining rig(s): Caseless -- Used 5870 $175 each // 400MHash/sec; Random mobo choice -- MSI 790X-G45 AM3 $90 each new (cheaper used) // 5PCI-E slots; Cheapo 1x PCIE extenders $5 each; Corsair tx950 $150; some crap ram $20; Sempron 140 $40. There is a thread floating around somewhere about how to build a custom wood enclosure for like $30 of wood and nails that houses 5 x 2 cards very nicely.

2x above (5 5870s) = $2400. Use the last $150-$200 for some fans or something, I don't care. Hashing power of system 4GHash/sec, electricity cost estimated @ 1296kWh / month + fans, let's round it out to 1400kWh/month, locale dependent, 11cents / kWh = $154 / month.

So, I can choose any point in time? Let's go with 2/18 - 4/18. Nice 2 month period of time. This is winter time so the cost of cooling will be opening a window and pointing a fan out of it to vent the hot air.

Miner Start: 0 BTC $2600 Debt $2000 Assets; Buyer Start: 2600BTC $2600 Debt $0 Assets
Difficulty 2/16 ~45000, Miner Generates 1300 BTC in 2 weeks.
Difficulty 3/01 ~65000, Miner Generates 900 BTC in 2 weeks.
Difficulty 3/14 ~80000, Miner Generates 700 BTC in 2 weeks.
Difficulty 4/01 ~80000, Miner generates 700 BTC in 2 weeks.

End of 2 month period:

Miner End: 3600 BTC $2900 Debt ~$2000 Assets; Buyer End: 2600BTC $2600 Debt $0 Assets

Bitcoin Value Start $1 / BTC; Bitcoin Value End: $1 / BTC

If they both sold at 4/18:
Miner Net profit $700 (excl assets), $2700 (incl assets). Buyer Net profit $0.

Source: MtGox all time value list. Bitcoin.sipa.be network computation graph 8/10 - 6/11, bitcoin mining calculator.

If you continue the trend then the miner continues making more and more coins and as bitcoin value explodes pulls even farther ahead. Because I'm lazy I'm going to extrapolate from 4/16 to 6/1 using the 6/1 difficulty (incredibly unfair to the miner) of 434000 for for the remaining 6 weeks. @ 434000 difficulty miner generates 67.5BTC / wk, or 405 more BTC.

on 6/1
Miner: 4005 BTC $3125 Debt ~2000 Assets; Buyer End: 2600BTC $2600 Debt $0 Assets
Bitcoin Value Start $1 / BTC; Bitcoin Value End: $8.7 / BTC

Miner Net: $31718.5 (excl assets); Buyer Net: $20020

Any time when bitcoins are profitable but not exploding in value mining is a superior cost-benefit.
Again, I'm not arguing that either one is superior, just that I'm sick of fanboys touting one method or the other. No one knows the future. Stop pretending you do. If you have chosen one or the other that's fine.
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May 31, 2011, 11:16:09 PM
 #24

Thanks for calculating and writing out what I was too lazy to do bcpokey.  Wink
bcpokey
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May 31, 2011, 11:18:52 PM
 #25

Thanks for calculating and writing out what I was too lazy to do bcpokey.  Wink

I've been meaning to write something like that out for a while, as I keep seeing this argument pop up over and over, finally had some free time to sit down and do it heh. I will mention that I may have written that out a bit more grumpily than I should have as I'm sitting in my room that's like 80F from all these stupid mining machines  Cheesy
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June 02, 2011, 08:04:13 AM
 #26

As implied earlier, don't underestimate liquidation value of parts. I bought 5850s @ ~$170 new and had no problem selling one @ ~$150 in BTC last week (the BTC of which has appreciated well beyond the $170 I paid). 4 garbage PSUs, CPUs, MoBos & RAM/HDDs I had lying around doing nothing came to about $700 (note I bought one excellent PSU, MoBo, HDD, etc. to be my own personal gaming rig whenever I felt like it) to run 7 5850s which can be sold @ $1050. Total investment of ~$2000 (-$170 because I sold one card) after I purchased a dedicated "real" fan for each setup means I only needed ~$400-500 to get into the black which took about a week.

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June 02, 2011, 09:30:35 AM
 #27

EDIT: Thanks JJG for demonstrating my point. For the record you've been saying the same thing for a couple months now, and while you might be right in the future, you've been wrong up til now.
Tell me one point in time where it made more sense to buy a 2600USD mining rig (which has costs to operate too!) than to buy 2600 USD worth of bitcoins!

Define the parameters of your purely hypothetical situation. When I buy mining stuff in this scenario what is my outlook? Am I forced to play by the rules you coin buyers typically set for someone buying mining stuff such that they must sell coins the instant they are mined?

Actually I will set the parameters myself, if you don't like them, too bad for you.

Theoretical mining rig(s): Caseless -- Used 5870 $175 each // 400MHash/sec; Random mobo choice -- MSI 790X-G45 AM3 $90 each new (cheaper used) // 5PCI-E slots; Cheapo 1x PCIE extenders $5 each; Corsair tx950 $150; some crap ram $20; Sempron 140 $40. There is a thread floating around somewhere about how to build a custom wood enclosure for like $30 of wood and nails that houses 5 x 2 cards very nicely.

2x above (5 5870s) = $2400. Use the last $150-$200 for some fans or something, I don't care. Hashing power of system 4GHash/sec, electricity cost estimated @ 1296kWh / month + fans, let's round it out to 1400kWh/month, locale dependent, 11cents / kWh = $154 / month.

So, I can choose any point in time? Let's go with 2/18 - 4/18. Nice 2 month period of time. This is winter time so the cost of cooling will be opening a window and pointing a fan out of it to vent the hot air.

Miner Start: 0 BTC $2600 Debt $2000 Assets; Buyer Start: 2600BTC $2600 Debt $0 Assets
Difficulty 2/16 ~45000, Miner Generates 1300 BTC in 2 weeks.
Difficulty 3/01 ~65000, Miner Generates 900 BTC in 2 weeks.
Difficulty 3/14 ~80000, Miner Generates 700 BTC in 2 weeks.
Difficulty 4/01 ~80000, Miner generates 700 BTC in 2 weeks.

End of 2 month period:

Miner End: 3600 BTC $2900 Debt ~$2000 Assets; Buyer End: 2600BTC $2600 Debt $0 Assets

Bitcoin Value Start $1 / BTC; Bitcoin Value End: $1 / BTC

If they both sold at 4/18:
Miner Net profit $700 (excl assets), $2700 (incl assets). Buyer Net profit $0.

Source: MtGox all time value list. Bitcoin.sipa.be network computation graph 8/10 - 6/11, bitcoin mining calculator.

If you continue the trend then the miner continues making more and more coins and as bitcoin value explodes pulls even farther ahead. Because I'm lazy I'm going to extrapolate from 4/16 to 6/1 using the 6/1 difficulty (incredibly unfair to the miner) of 434000 for for the remaining 6 weeks. @ 434000 difficulty miner generates 67.5BTC / wk, or 405 more BTC.

on 6/1
Miner: 4005 BTC $3125 Debt ~2000 Assets; Buyer End: 2600BTC $2600 Debt $0 Assets
Bitcoin Value Start $1 / BTC; Bitcoin Value End: $8.7 / BTC

Miner Net: $31718.5 (excl assets); Buyer Net: $20020

Any time when bitcoins are profitable but not exploding in value mining is a superior cost-benefit.
Again, I'm not arguing that either one is superior, just that I'm sick of fanboys touting one method or the other. No one knows the future. Stop pretending you do. If you have chosen one or the other that's fine.

Thanks for this but it's still stupid to start mining now rather than investing. I experienced this first hand and many know this already. I've put the money where my mouth is and bought more btc with my income along side my old miners and not add to it. If you already are mining, buying is a great way to spread out your risk as well and doing both isn't a terrible idea. Personally I wish I invested instead the first time around building a miner, but it's too late for that now. I can only correct the mistakes of my own past from now on.

I mean it's so much easier to just buy and hold as well rather than suffer through all the heat and noise along with keeping them up and monitoring time to time. If I had just thought it through before jizzing my pants and buying miner, I would have been about 30k~ more richer now after the growth in the past 4 months.  Lesson learned the hard way.
Sukrim
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June 02, 2011, 10:46:07 AM
 #28

EDIT: Thanks JJG for demonstrating my point. For the record you've been saying the same thing for a couple months now, and while you might be right in the future, you've been wrong up til now.
Tell me one point in time where it made more sense to buy a 2600USD mining rig (which has costs to operate too!) than to buy 2600 USD worth of bitcoins!
Theoretical mining rig(s): Caseless -- Used 5870 $175 each // 400MHash/sec; Random mobo choice -- MSI 790X-G45 AM3 $90 each new (cheaper used) // 5PCI-E slots; Cheapo 1x PCIE extenders $5 each; Corsair tx950 $150; some crap ram $20; Sempron 140 $40. There is a thread floating around somewhere about how to build a custom wood enclosure for like $30 of wood and nails that houses 5 x 2 cards very nicely.

2x above (5 5870s) = $2400. Use the last $150-$200 for some fans or something, I don't care. Hashing power of system 4GHash/sec, electricity cost estimated @ 1296kWh / month + fans, let's round it out to 1400kWh/month, locale dependent, 11cents / kWh = $154 / month.

So, I can choose any point in time? Let's go with 2/18 - 4/18. Nice 2 month period of time. This is winter time so the cost of cooling will be opening a window and pointing a fan out of it to vent the hot air.
To the 400 MH/s starting from 2/18:
No way a 5870 would have gotten that hash rate back then, as BFI_INT was not in miners yet (as well as the phatk kernel)! Also you did not calculate potential downtime (since you slightly undersized the PSU for example at your projected electricity use of nearly 2000W per hour) + setup time. Also prices of 5870s at that point of time were likely different from 175USD. Also not included is shipping time/cost plus risk of hardware bein DoA (used!) and setup time.

However thanks for that detailed overview anyways.

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bcpokey
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June 03, 2011, 01:41:49 AM
 #29

EDIT: Thanks JJG for demonstrating my point. For the record you've been saying the same thing for a couple months now, and while you might be right in the future, you've been wrong up til now.
Tell me one point in time where it made more sense to buy a 2600USD mining rig (which has costs to operate too!) than to buy 2600 USD worth of bitcoins!
Theoretical mining rig(s): Caseless -- Used 5870 $175 each // 400MHash/sec; Random mobo choice -- MSI 790X-G45 AM3 $90 each new (cheaper used) // 5PCI-E slots; Cheapo 1x PCIE extenders $5 each; Corsair tx950 $150; some crap ram $20; Sempron 140 $40. There is a thread floating around somewhere about how to build a custom wood enclosure for like $30 of wood and nails that houses 5 x 2 cards very nicely.

2x above (5 5870s) = $2400. Use the last $150-$200 for some fans or something, I don't care. Hashing power of system 4GHash/sec, electricity cost estimated @ 1296kWh / month + fans, let's round it out to 1400kWh/month, locale dependent, 11cents / kWh = $154 / month.

So, I can choose any point in time? Let's go with 2/18 - 4/18. Nice 2 month period of time. This is winter time so the cost of cooling will be opening a window and pointing a fan out of it to vent the hot air.
To the 400 MH/s starting from 2/18:
No way a 5870 would have gotten that hash rate back then, as BFI_INT was not in miners yet (as well as the phatk kernel)! Also you did not calculate potential downtime (since you slightly undersized the PSU for example at your projected electricity use of nearly 2000W per hour) + setup time. Also prices of 5870s at that point of time were likely different from 175USD. Also not included is shipping time/cost plus risk of hardware bein DoA (used!) and setup time.

However thanks for that detailed overview anyways.

This was a wholly theoretical exercise in mining vs buying as a response to someone. I chose numbers to most benefit my argument, and I said so from the start. However it was pretty close so as to be relevant, there is no point in taking shipping / building time into account, as the idea was to begin mining on the same date as buying coins, not start buying equipment. The chances of DoA equipment is irrelevant. DoA rates are negligble. I've been continually buying 5870s for < $180 for the past month, there was a sale from newegg about 2 or 3 months ago for 5870 2GB models for $180. It's not at all that much of a stretch. A 5870 gets between 430 - 440MHash/sec right now with BFI_INT and phatk, 400Mhash with a good overclock is reasonable. 2000Watts (per hour doesnt mean anything) is overkill on electricty. I run 3x5870s on < 600Watts right now overclocked, so my numbers were fine.

Anyway, small things aside, the soundness of the argument stands. When bitcoins price remains relatively stable, difficulty does not increase that much, and mining is superior to buying coins. When bitcoins price explodes obviously having bought a coin the day before is better. But no one can know the future.

As Litt says, he wishes he had bought a buncha coins instead of buying mining equipment. Why didn't he? Because he couldn't predict the future. No one knew that bitcoin was going to explode from $1 / BTC to $11 / BTC in a matter of 2 months. It might have stagnated forever. And it might continue to rise or it might plummet like a rock, in which case buying coins is far far far stupider than buying mining equipment.


My only argument from the start has been that you don't know the future, so speculating that one approach or the other is better is irrelevant. You can guess as to what you think might happen, and plan accordingly, and that's the best you can do. But don't tell people that it will definitely be this way or that.
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June 03, 2011, 02:58:36 AM
 #30

If this is your first time then I can guarantee you that you can cut the cost of that $2600 Mining Rig in half and still get the same hashrate.

All rates with Phoenix 1.50 / PhatK
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5850 - 400 MH/s  |  5850 - 355 MH/s | 5830 - 310 MH/s  |  GTX570 - 115 MH/s | 5770 - 210 MH/s | 5770 - 200 MH/s
finnthecelt
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June 04, 2011, 04:17:18 AM
 #31

EDIT: Thanks JJG for demonstrating my point. For the record you've been saying the same thing for a couple months now, and while you might be right in the future, you've been wrong up til now.
Tell me one point in time where it made more sense to buy a 2600USD mining rig (which has costs to operate too!) than to buy 2600 USD worth of bitcoins!
Theoretical mining rig(s): Caseless -- Used 5870 $175 each // 400MHash/sec; Random mobo choice -- MSI 790X-G45 AM3 $90 each new (cheaper used) // 5PCI-E slots; Cheapo 1x PCIE extenders $5 each; Corsair tx950 $150; some crap ram $20; Sempron 140 $40. There is a thread floating around somewhere about how to build a custom wood enclosure for like $30 of wood and nails that houses 5 x 2 cards very nicely.

2x above (5 5870s) = $2400. Use the last $150-$200 for some fans or something, I don't care. Hashing power of system 4GHash/sec, electricity cost estimated @ 1296kWh / month + fans, let's round it out to 1400kWh/month, locale dependent, 11cents / kWh = $154 / month.

So, I can choose any point in time? Let's go with 2/18 - 4/18. Nice 2 month period of time. This is winter time so the cost of cooling will be opening a window and pointing a fan out of it to vent the hot air.
To the 400 MH/s starting from 2/18:
No way a 5870 would have gotten that hash rate back then, as BFI_INT was not in miners yet (as well as the phatk kernel)! Also you did not calculate potential downtime (since you slightly undersized the PSU for example at your projected electricity use of nearly 2000W per hour) + setup time. Also prices of 5870s at that point of time were likely different from 175USD. Also not included is shipping time/cost plus risk of hardware bein DoA (used!) and setup time.

However thanks for that detailed overview anyways.

This was a wholly theoretical exercise in mining vs buying as a response to someone. I chose numbers to most benefit my argument, and I said so from the start. However it was pretty close so as to be relevant, there is no point in taking shipping / building time into account, as the idea was to begin mining on the same date as buying coins, not start buying equipment. The chances of DoA equipment is irrelevant. DoA rates are negligble. I've been continually buying 5870s for < $180 for the past month, there was a sale from newegg about 2 or 3 months ago for 5870 2GB models for $180. It's not at all that much of a stretch. A 5870 gets between 430 - 440MHash/sec right now with BFI_INT and phatk, 400Mhash with a good overclock is reasonable. 2000Watts (per hour doesnt mean anything) is overkill on electricty. I run 3x5870s on < 600Watts right now overclocked, so my numbers were fine.

Anyway, small things aside, the soundness of the argument stands. When bitcoins price remains relatively stable, difficulty does not increase that much, and mining is superior to buying coins. When bitcoins price explodes obviously having bought a coin the day before is better. But no one can know the future.

As Litt says, he wishes he had bought a buncha coins instead of buying mining equipment. Why didn't he? Because he couldn't predict the future. No one knew that bitcoin was going to explode from $1 / BTC to $11 / BTC in a matter of 2 months. It might have stagnated forever. And it might continue to rise or it might plummet like a rock, in which case buying coins is far far far stupider than buying mining equipment.


My only argument from the start has been that you don't know the future, so speculating that one approach or the other is better is irrelevant. You can guess as to what you think might happen, and plan accordingly, and that's the best you can do. But don't tell people that it will definitely be this way or that.

I guess some people are missing the point that some people may just REALLY enjoy the mining experience. That variable cannot be measured. I always tell people I can't get into golf because I would spend too much time and money on something I don't fine value in. Some guys look at me crosseyed because they enjoy it so much. Same with skiing, water or snow or any other damn sport for that matter.

Personally I view people trying to convince others to just by bitcoins similarly to people who try to get others to believe their religion. They feel better if they can win converts. They're burned out on mining....maybe weren't that good with hardware or would just really rather be doing something else. Which is perfectly fine. But on and on with it these people!!

The way I do math, you can't lose mining. And I will not debate it with anyone.

Cheers
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June 04, 2011, 06:54:29 AM
 #32

I dont have enough cash to warrant investing in something that might possibly be worth zilch tomorrow.

I know that my computer hardware will still be worth something tomorrow.

I would say that the speculating "economists" are the rubes.
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