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Author Topic: ASIC Mafia, Mining HW Ponzi scheme  (Read 2147 times)
notung
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August 18, 2013, 11:25:01 AM
 #1

As it seems to be clear now, the HW mining vendors are the ones who will make the real profit from now on. They just adjust the price of their miners according to the next difficulty change. They place the prices estimating the total hash power so the consumers think they can reach ROI and make some profit. Then they release new hardware and/or new prices so the new buyers think they can make ROI while the users with old asics are struggling with it. And again and again. Of course it will not last forever... this is why I think this is a Ponzi scheme!

When I see these pictures around the forum with all the CEOs of asic miners together (BFL, KNC, ButterflyLabs, Avalon, AM, etc), I start to think that all of them are coordinated discussing the hashing power that they are releasing to the network so they can put a price accordingly.

Do you think that is like that? Is this the begining of a bitcoin mafia? In the case that finally this is proved to be like this, is there any way that this could be illegal? As they are dealing with virtual currencies there is very little legislation regarding this...
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August 18, 2013, 01:50:03 PM
 #2

I'm not entirely sure what you feel that the problem is (other than being upset about not being able to get rich quick with mining).

Manufacturers adjusting prices to match market conditions (in this case, difficulty among other things) is perfectly normal. You'll find it in every market. And it seems obvious that the manufacturers will try to release bigger and better machines constantly, they're not going to make money selling 1st gen devices until the end of time. This hardly makes it a Ponzi scheme (which is a term that gets thrown out far too often).

It's a free market, anyone can sell what they want to sell for the price they want to buy. With Bitcoin having gained enough public attention, you can expect market forces to ensure that mining is never more than marginally profitable. And as long as people are unable to look further into the future than the first payout after they start up their ASIC, people will keep paying too much for mining machines and mining in general will remain unprofitable for small-scale users.
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August 18, 2013, 03:18:21 PM
 #3

Do you think that is like that? Is this the begining of a bitcoin mafia? In the case that finally this is proved to be like this, is there any way that this could be illegal? As they are dealing with virtual currencies there is very little legislation regarding this...

No one is stopping you from starting your own ASIC mining hardware company. If there was someone trying to stop you, or regulate the creation of ASIC mining hardware out of existence, THAT would be the mafia. No, it is still a free market as far as I can see, and very competitive.
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August 18, 2013, 04:33:12 PM
 #4

Do you think that is like that? Is this the begining of a bitcoin mafia? In the case that finally this is proved to be like this, is there any way that this could be illegal? As they are dealing with virtual currencies there is very little legislation regarding this...

No one is stopping you from starting your own ASIC mining hardware company. If there was someone trying to stop you, or regulate the creation of ASIC mining hardware out of existence, THAT would be the mafia. No, it is still a free market as far as I can see, and very competitive.
^This. You are absolutely right. There is no Mafia. The vendors can't afford to go forward with the marketing OP suggested anyways. We wouldn't buy their ASICs.
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August 18, 2013, 04:44:50 PM
 #5

Has everyone read about the past price fixing of DRAM?

I am sure an exec can price his goods anyway they want. It becomes illegal when many manufacturers get together and explicitly discuss fixing the price and control most if not all of the market. A cartel or monopoly.

Obviously creating from scratch your own DRAM is not an answer to that problem. But dismissing that the existing asic vendors are not discussing ways to milk their customers for all they are worth is foolish. I bet they are doing just that. Will they get in trouble? No. Because this is a specialized market that does not affect a huge amount of people.

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notung
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August 18, 2013, 05:42:05 PM
 #6

Quote
No one is stopping you from starting your own ASIC mining hardware company. If there was someone trying to stop you, or regulate the creation of ASIC mining hardware out of existence, THAT would be the mafia. No, it is still a free market as far as I can see, and very competitive.
I don't want to go into the topic of what is a mafia. I use it as a way of talking. Even if we were talking here about real mafias no one stops you to become one of them (same as free market). My real point here is that this is the begining of a monopolized market sector where the final users, either miners or bitcoin users in the end, will suffer the consequences of this monopoly.

Anyway as you say, I could do the same: Ask people for money in form of preorders and try to start my business with it... Sorry but it is not the business model I like. Yeah,  I know the answer: "Others will do it".


Quote
Has everyone read about the past price fixing of DRAM?

I am sure an exec can price his goods anyway they want. It becomes illegal when many manufacturers get together and explicitly discuss fixing the price and control most if not all of the market. A cartel or monopoly.

Obviously creating from scratch your own DRAM is not an answer to that problem. But dismissing that the existing asic vendors are not discussing ways to milk their customers for all they are worth is foolish. I bet they are doing just that. Will they get in trouble? No. Because this is a specialized market that does not affect a huge amount of people.
+1
Or hard drive prices, or anything where the market is so spezialized and requires such a big investment that is virtually impossible to become part of it.
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August 18, 2013, 08:19:53 PM
 #7

this is why I think this is a Ponzi scheme!

I don't think that term means what you think it means.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme

Quote
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering higher returns than other investments, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. Perpetuation of the high returns requires an ever-increasing flow of money from new investors to keep the scheme going.[1]

Pirateat40 ran a ponzi scheme.

The ASIC miners are not.

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notung
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August 19, 2013, 09:27:21 AM
 #8

Quote
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering higher returns than other investments, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. Perpetuation of the high returns requires an ever-increasing flow of money from new investors to keep the scheme going.[1]

Thanks for the info!
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August 19, 2013, 11:06:04 AM
 #9

As it seems to be clear now, the HW mining vendors are the ones who will make the real profit from now on. They just adjust the price of their miners according to the next difficulty change. They place the prices estimating the total hash power so the consumers think they can reach ROI and make some profit. Then they release new hardware and/or new prices so the new buyers think they can make ROI while the users with old asics are struggling with it. And again and again. Of course it will not last forever... this is why I think this is a Ponzi scheme!


beside ur assumptions on ponzi scheme and vendors cartel, is clear that the HW mining vendors are the ones who will make the real profit

but i guess that ppl is already tired of dreaming profit when knows well that is difficult achieving roi

mining enthusiasm is dropping, so the hw vendors must take actions in their interest.
however, if btc will hit the mass, they could think to entice newbies

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August 19, 2013, 09:16:42 PM
 #10

When I see these pictures around the forum with all the CEOs of asic miners together (BFL, KNC, ButterflyLabs, Avalon, AM, etc), I start to think that all of them are coordinated discussing the hashing power that they are releasing to the network so they can put a price accordingly.

Do you think that is like that? Is this the begining of a bitcoin mafia?

I'm not sure if this is the beginning of the Bitcoin Mafia - or if the Mafia is already there. But when I look back at the last 12 month I have to conclude: The idea of Bitcoin is dead.

It started altruistic, to give the banksters the finger - but it ended up attracting all sorts of scum (crooks, psychopaths, convicted felons).

Greed seems to be the predominant attribute of mankind. Whether the mammons name is Gold, US-Dollar - or Bitcoin. Makes no difference ...
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August 19, 2013, 09:57:06 PM
 #11

It's not about mafia, it's about business and money.  And people who are making money by making machines that  make money.
A bit of gallows humor:  We're paying ASIC makers for the right to keep paying.  If there's a chance that the money we make is worth more than the money we spend, we will keep buying.  We'll spend the money we mined on the next gen miners.  Rinse & repeat.
The ASIC companies are only as bad as we are -- if we didn't *pre-order,* they'd have nothing to sell.  Please understand that we are paying them *in advance* so that we could keep paying.  Angry Cheesy
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August 19, 2013, 11:22:35 PM
 #12



I'm not sure if this is the beginning of the Bitcoin Mafia - or if the Mafia is already there. But when I look back at the last 12 month I have to conclude: The idea of Bitcoin is dead.

It started altruistic, to give the banksters the finger - but it ended up attracting all sorts of scum (crooks, psychopaths, convicted felons).

Greed seems to be the predominant attribute of mankind. Whether the mammons name is Gold, US-Dollar - or Bitcoin. Makes no difference ...






 Grin

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August 20, 2013, 06:49:16 AM
 #13

The problem is that when a company sells a ASIC Device they have already used it. (HOW LONG?)

I purchase a lot of 100 ASIC Erupter to my surprise - was that all of them had been open.

It has a sticker on each end of the Box that read Q.C. Passed, on every single box, one side was already open.
I contacted the seller, he/she said  We tested them, to make sure they where working properly.


I believe that BFL, Avalon, KnC, all are doing the same.

Here is how they work;

1.  They sell the device to customer,
2.  They use it first (tested them, to make sure they where working properly.)
3.  When they come unprofitable they send it to the customer who purchase it a year ago.



Afew of you might tell me that I'm full of BS.

But thinking about, if you purchase a ASIC last year and you would of have received it, how many BTC will of have generated last year? Compare that if you just got your ASIC.

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August 20, 2013, 09:09:36 AM
 #14


It has a sticker on each end of the Box that read Q.C. Passed, on every single box, one side was already open.
I contacted the seller, he/she said  We tested them, to make sure they where working properly.


eve, is that you?  Roll Eyes

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August 20, 2013, 09:22:26 AM
 #15

This is in no way a Ponzi. A Ponzi, as explained above is repaying investors with other investor's money. This is irrelevant, as BFL (Avalon/KNC/...) never promised to pay out money, and that isn't their business. On the other hand, it is IMO likely that price-fixing occurs. Regarding legality, is sketchy because of the currency. Regardless of legality, they will never be investigated unless they "go bankrupt".


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August 20, 2013, 02:37:41 PM
 #16

We tested them, to make sure they where working properly.

The horrors of having made sure a product they are shipping works properly first...  Roll Eyes

If you buy a device with fans and they are caked with dust, and it has a runtime counter that says it's been in operation for 100+ hours, yes, I agree with you that it's probably not really upright business.

If it's been plugged in, tested, and then shut down and shipped, with under 30 minutes of runtime, that's a reasonable test.

I was busy selling/reselling FPGA boards for a while, and I tested every single one before I shipped.  Some of them were bad, and some had fans that failed quickly (within 5-10 minutes), and some just didn't meet the performance standards I set for boards I ship.  It takes a bit to test them and ensure that the clock rates settle in at proper points with an acceptable hardware error rate.

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August 21, 2013, 01:31:28 AM
 #17


The horrors of having made sure a product they are shipping works properly first...


i don't know if he purchased from seller or reseller

i don't feel confortable with this practice since there is no way to know for how long a unit was tested
(this is the problem with this kind of products)

test must be done in production area, if also a reseller claim to test units ....  Cool

Quote
If it's been plugged in, tested, and then shut down and shipped, with under 30 minutes of runtime, that's a reasonable test

i totally agree

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August 21, 2013, 06:43:57 PM
 #18

I'd rather have a miner that someone tested, rather than getting one that had early infant mortality.  I'm sure they're tested in the factory, but another 30 minutes of runtime isn't going to harm anything.

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