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Author Topic: Purchasing bitcoin ASICs - The Manual  (Read 4357 times)
becoin
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January 15, 2013, 12:24:46 PM
 #1

We all must draw our conclusions from what has happened to bASIC "customers". I was quite active recently on this forum and I think I've spotted quite a large number of problems. Let me try to help you avoid future troubles following step by step considerations below:

1. There is nothing wrong with investing in ASIC startups as soon as you understand that you are investor, not customer!
2. There will be a lot of companies manufacturing ASICs, including bitcoin ASICs, by the end of 2013. It is just another question how successful their products will be and to what extend their specification will correspond to what was originally announced. Most of products will be complete failures.
3. Don't be greedy. Greed is the worst possible advisor of inexperienced investors.
4. Get rid of all your unprotected investments! Risk/reward ratio for unprotected investments is very unreasonable at this stage. Unprotected investments are all payments you made to an ASIC startup other than with a credit card not older than the 3 months chargeback window.
5. You should contact your credit card issuing bank and find out what is the maximum period of a payment you can request chargeback for! Be absolutely confident about that! About three months is the standard but your might be different.
6. You can get rid of an unprotected investment either by selling it or by requesting a refund from the ASIC startup company. I'm not aware of a third method.
7. Of all the unprotected investments the worst possible one is paying with bitcoins. I understand that this a bad advertisement for bitcoins but those are the merchants that refuse full bitcoin refunds that make it to appear that way! This should not be allowed by the bitcoin community if we want bitcoin to be addopted as a commercially viable currency!
8. ASIC startups strongly oppose full bitcoin refunds as they are a big profit source. Firstly, because bitcoin is still unregulated as a currency and as a method of payment and secondly, because receiving bitcoins and later refunding in $, gives those companies free option call to profit from BTC /$ exchange rates differences between payment and refund dates. Of course, what is profit for them is a loss for you!
9. If the chargeback window is about to close ask for a refund. If refund is not honored by the merchant within 48 hours then contact credit card issuer and request a chargeback!
10. If you successfully got your money back you might want consider paying for a pre-order again.
11. Don't be fooled by someone yelling at you that you'll lose your spot on the queue!
12. Maximum time loss might be couple of weeks. On the other hand, you can win big. If your ASIC is finally delivered you might find out that it does not match the announced specifications. If you are lucky you may have couple of month for finding such discrepancies and still be under the protection of chargeback window!

Good Luck
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January 15, 2013, 01:21:01 PM
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We all must draw our conclusions from what has happened to bASIC "customers". I was quite active recently on this forum and I think I've spotted quite a large number of problems. Let me try to help you avoid future troubles following step by step considerations below:

1. There is nothing wrong with investing in ASIC startups as soon as you understand that you are investor, not customer!
The only new company in the ASIC round was ASICMINER, which is not (yet) selling products or taking preorders. Most of the other vendors (BFL, BTCFPGA, and ngz) have shipped successful FPGA products. Deepbit operates a popular mining pool. Furthermore, last I checked both BFL and BTCFPGA clearly stated that they were not using customer money for the actual product expenses. So, while it is true that any purchase of mining equipment is an investment, it is only an investment in your own mining business, not necessarily in the vendor producing it. bASIC customers were/are in fact customers.
2. There will be a lot of companies manufacturing ASICs, including bitcoin ASICs, by the end of 2013. It is just another question how successful their products will be and to what extend their specification will correspond to what was originally announced. Most of products will be complete failures.
Depends on what you mean by a "failure". Most likely all 5 vendors will deliver a working product, but none of those products will break even any time soon. I don't expect to see any room for new vendors to get into the market without overcoming a huge barrier of entry.
4. Get rid of all your unprotected investments! Risk/reward ratio for unprotected investments is very unreasonable at this stage. Unprotected investments are all payments you made to an ASIC startup other than with a credit card not older than the 3 months chargeback window.
5. You should contact your credit card issuing bank and find out what is the maximum period of a payment you can request chargeback for! Be absolutely confident about that! About three months is the standard but your might be different.
6. You can get rid of an unprotected investment either by selling it or by requesting a refund from the ASIC startup company. I'm not aware of a third method.
7. Of all the unprotected investments the worst possible one is paying with bitcoins. I understand that this a bad advertisement for bitcoins but those are the merchants that refuse full bitcoin refunds that make it to appear that way! This should not be allowed by the bitcoin community if we want bitcoin to be addopted as a commercially viable currency!
Fraud is not something special to ASIC vendors (and I have no reason to suspect fraud from any of them). People using Bitcoin need to learn to adapt to these situations, whether that means escrow or insurance or whatever else.
8. ASIC startups strongly oppose full bitcoin refunds as they are a big profit source. Firstly, because bitcoin is still unregulated as a currency and as a method of payment and secondly, because receiving bitcoins and later refunding in $, gives those companies free option call to profit from BTC /$ exchange rates differences between payment and refund dates. Of course, what is profit for them is a loss for you!
This is nonsense; I'm sure every vendor is more than willing to refund purchases made with Bitcoins. Bitcoins are just as regulated as any other currency. No ASIC vendor is selling in Bitcoin units, just USD; your ability to pay in another high-volatility currency does not give it a set price in that currency! What the ASIC vendor does with their income, including gambling or investing in Bitcoin volatility, is entirely up to them so long as they honour their agreements with their customers (including their refund policy).
9. If the chargeback window is about to close ask for a refund. If refund is not honored by the merchant within 48 hours then contact credit card issuer and request a chargeback!
10. If you successfully got your money back you might want consider paying for a pre-order again.
11. Don't be fooled by someone yelling at you that you'll lose your spot on the queue!
12. Maximum time loss might be couple of weeks. On the other hand, you can win big. If your ASIC is finally delivered you might find out that it does not match the announced specifications. If you are lucky you may have couple of month for finding such discrepancies and still be under the protection of chargeback window!
If specifications are not met, I'm sure your vendor will probably let you know before shipping, and give you the opportunity to request a refund at that time. If you choose to go ahead with the purchase, filing a chargeback at that point is fraud (on your part).

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January 15, 2013, 03:30:37 PM
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8. ASIC startups strongly oppose full bitcoin refunds as they are a big profit source. Firstly, because bitcoin is still unregulated as a currency and as a method of payment and secondly, because receiving bitcoins and later refunding in $, gives those companies free option call to profit from BTC /$ exchange rates differences between payment and refund dates. Of course, what is profit for them is a loss for you!
This is nonsense; I'm sure every vendor is more than willing to refund purchases made with Bitcoins. Bitcoins are just as regulated as any other currency. No ASIC vendor is selling in Bitcoin units, just USD; your ability to pay in another high-volatility currency does not give it a set price in that currency! What the ASIC vendor does with their income, including gambling or investing in Bitcoin volatility, is entirely up to them so long as they honour their agreements with their customers (including their refund policy).
I think he's referring to the discussion that's been going on in the BFL and bASIC forums where people have received refunds for the amount of BTC equivalent of the USD amount of their product, rather than the actual BTC amount they paid months ago when the exchange rate was lower.

Ex. You buy BFL SC Single a few months ago for 111BTC (when the exchange rate was $12). Now when you order your refund, you get 95.2BTC (because the exchange rate today is $14).

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BR0KK
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January 15, 2013, 03:38:26 PM
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He's greedy like hell... That's all Wink

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January 15, 2013, 03:43:08 PM
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8. ASIC startups strongly oppose full bitcoin refunds as they are a big profit source. Firstly, because bitcoin is still unregulated as a currency and as a method of payment and secondly, because receiving bitcoins and later refunding in $, gives those companies free option call to profit from BTC /$ exchange rates differences between payment and refund dates. Of course, what is profit for them is a loss for you!
This is nonsense; I'm sure every vendor is more than willing to refund purchases made with Bitcoins. Bitcoins are just as regulated as any other currency. No ASIC vendor is selling in Bitcoin units, just USD; your ability to pay in another high-volatility currency does not give it a set price in that currency! What the ASIC vendor does with their income, including gambling or investing in Bitcoin volatility, is entirely up to them so long as they honour their agreements with their customers (including their refund policy).
I think he's referring to the discussion that's been going on in the BFL and bASIC forums where people have received refunds for the amount of BTC equivalent of the USD amount of their product, rather than the actual BTC amount they paid months ago when the exchange rate was lower.

Ex. You buy BFL SC Single a few months ago for 111BTC (when the exchange rate was $12). Now when you order your refund, you get 95.2BTC (because the exchange rate today is $14).
Yes, my point is that anyone expecting anything else is an unreasonable idiot.

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January 15, 2013, 03:44:09 PM
 #6

OP: it should be this:
Guide to purchasing ASICs - Step 1 - DONT!

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January 15, 2013, 03:46:02 PM
 #7

OP: it should be this:
Guide to purchasing ASICs - Step 1 - DONT!

Purchasing ASICs would be fine, except there are no ASICs to be purchased. Only pre-orders with vague dates/specs/etc.

Buy & Hold
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January 15, 2013, 04:37:52 PM
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8. ASIC startups strongly oppose full bitcoin refunds as they are a big profit source. Firstly, because bitcoin is still unregulated as a currency and as a method of payment and secondly, because receiving bitcoins and later refunding in $, gives those companies free option call to profit from BTC /$ exchange rates differences between payment and refund dates. Of course, what is profit for them is a loss for you!
This is nonsense; I'm sure every vendor is more than willing to refund purchases made with Bitcoins. Bitcoins are just as regulated as any other currency. No ASIC vendor is selling in Bitcoin units, just USD; your ability to pay in another high-volatility currency does not give it a set price in that currency! What the ASIC vendor does with their income, including gambling or investing in Bitcoin volatility, is entirely up to them so long as they honour their agreements with their customers (including their refund policy).
I think he's referring to the discussion that's been going on in the BFL and bASIC forums where people have received refunds for the amount of BTC equivalent of the USD amount of their product, rather than the actual BTC amount they paid months ago when the exchange rate was lower.

Ex. You buy BFL SC Single a few months ago for 111BTC (when the exchange rate was $12). Now when you order your refund, you get 95.2BTC (because the exchange rate today is $14).
Yes, my point is that anyone expecting anything else is an unreasonable idiot.
Well I'll agree with you there. Wink

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January 15, 2013, 05:48:52 PM
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He's greedy like hell... That's all Wink
No, I don't take bribes! That's all.
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January 15, 2013, 09:52:09 PM
 #10

I'm sitting here thinking we're going to see another round of 5830's-paying-themselves-off-in-a-week-like profitability.

Almost missed the boat last time.

This time I'm at the front of the line. Smiley

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January 15, 2013, 10:56:10 PM
 #11

I'm sitting here thinking we're going to see another round of 5830's-paying-themselves-off-in-a-week-like profitability.

Almost missed the boat last time.

This time I'm at the front of the line. Smiley
Hope so, because there will probably only be 1 or 2 of those weeks Wink

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January 16, 2013, 01:49:31 AM
 #12

I figure...

the Jump from CPU to GPU mining

Difficulty jumped 2000 times higher (1500+ to 3200000+ difficulty, has been higher)

Price jumped over 250 times higher  (0.06c to $14.30, has been much higher)

over 15 months (October 1st to today)

We're going to see another jump like that moving from GPU to ASIC.

Plan for it.

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January 16, 2013, 02:25:09 AM
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I figure...

the Jump from CPU to GPU mining

Difficulty jumped 2000 times higher (1500+ to 3200000+ difficulty, has been higher)

Price jumped over 250 times higher  (0.06c to $14.30, has been much higher)

over 15 months (October 1st to today)

We're going to see another jump like that moving from GPU to ASIC.

Plan for it.
Difficulty does not influence Bitcoin price.

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January 16, 2013, 03:49:40 AM
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I preordered the bASIC because of these reasons, from most important to least:

  • All the good words about cablepair's transparency in the forums
  • They were the only one with batch 1 pre-orders remaining when I discovered ASICs
  • BTC was continuously getting weaker in October and I wanted to lock in a higher price for my BTC
  • If I was scammed, I would just forget about bitcoin completely, since the BTC I paid with were from mining on a $200 initial investment

I should have refunded earlier when the transparency stopped around December, but I was blinded by the "place in line" concept.  Hindsight is always 20/20.

I finally asked for a refund on his drunken post (I got it last Friday).  I will still buy a bASIC if it is realized, but not a pre-order anymore.

I do not blame them for refunding USD equivalent instead of the BTC I paid.  I lost the bet that BTC prices would keep declining.  It was entirely up to cablepair whether to risk holding the BTC or convert them to USD immediately, and is completely unrelated to the customer.  I certainly would not expect them to ask me for more BTC if BTC kept on declining.  Likewise, I did not expect them to refund me the original BTC amount if BTC strengthened.  (I guess we will never know if he would have refunded more BTC if it had kept on declining.)

Bitcoin is like a variation of Schrödinger's Cat. Everything about it is both scam and fully legit at the same time until you open the box. - ElectricMucus
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January 16, 2013, 06:32:38 AM
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Odi, all good points... and you're right, hindsight is 20/20.

I took the plunge for BFL jalapeno Preorder cause I had the BTC for it, and I was eagerly awaiting when it was announced. Ended up being in the first #300 cause a guy has to sleep, lol.

But I jumped into the GPU game late, after the Crash from $32. For some reason tho I've stuck through all the way down to $2.05 buying 5xx0 series and profiting off people getting out of the game with cheap hardware buys.

What I did wrong, I'll admit was knowing they were going to miss the October date. That was obvious... but I thought they would have a quick turn around and would release something close, or just after the reward split. and so I stop buying hardware.

I shouldn't have.

I should have sold the GPU's I had and replaced them with 7970's and then I'd be making as I was before the reward split. Now it doesn't make sense to do that.

Unless... there are no ASICs.

Then I'm fine, and I'll be buying 7k and 8k cards to replace the aging 5k's I have. Total BTC out, 25.4112 for a $150 preorder, and a chargeback on the mini single upgrade.

It's unfortunate that bASIC went tits up, and you lost money on the deal. but it has to be said again and again...

"Never invest more than you can afford to loose."

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becoin
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January 16, 2013, 09:05:48 AM
 #16

It's unfortunate that bASIC went tits up, and you lost money on the deal. but it has to be said again and again...

"Never invest more than you can afford to loose."
Absolutely. I've said it on rule No. 1:

Quote
1. There is nothing wrong with investing in ASIC startups as soon as you understand that you are investor, not customer!
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January 16, 2013, 10:11:08 AM
 #17

I preordered the bASIC because of these reasons, from most important to least:

  • All the good words about cablepair's transparency in the forums
  • ...


I kinda remembered ~cablepair being something of a dick a long time ago before he became mister salt-of-the-earth in running his 'business'.  The benefit of having been around for a while I guess.  Not that it mattered much because I never was even close to buying any ASIC from anyone until I see one working and working well.  Even then, if I buy any 1st generation stuff it'll be because the next gen made it a bargin.


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January 16, 2013, 10:40:28 AM
 #18

I shouldn't have.

I should have sold the GPU's I had and replaced them with 7970's and then I'd be making as I was before the reward split. Now it doesn't make sense to do that.

Unless... there are no ASICs.

Then I'm fine, and I'll be buying 7k and 8k cards to replace the aging 5k's I have. Total BTC out, 25.4112 for a $150 preorder, and a chargeback on the mini single upgrade.
I may be the newbie here but how do you figure?

Even underclocking a 7970 to make it more efficient will pay the electricity to run it, but won't make a lot of profit. Unless a new 8k-series card can hash like crazy without using much power it's just a way to move dollars to bitcoins until the block reward halves again. (Well it protects the network I guess.)

Why not just buy the coins at an exchange?
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January 16, 2013, 01:20:34 PM
 #19

Some people like mining more than speculating Smiley

The humming sound of a rig nearby keeps us from feeling lost and alone :d

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January 16, 2013, 01:48:45 PM
 #20

Your steps are too complicated.

1. Wait until they have stock
2. Order
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