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Author Topic: Who will be mining a year from now?  (Read 2364 times)
macsga
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October 12, 2013, 09:17:53 PM
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It's kinda puzzling but I want to verify this:

According to Genesisblock calc, whatever gear you're going to buy -right now- seems to draw itself obsolete within a year or so. Well; this is a bit puzzling but who will be mining by then? What for? And most importantly, with what gear? I can only think of ONE good reason for one to be mining at this difficulty rising rates and this is an outrageous BTC exchange value with fiat money.

Thoughts?

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October 12, 2013, 09:30:39 PM
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Labcoin I hope. Cheesy

AM and ActiveMining, or any other company who makes their own ASICs, but who knows...

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October 12, 2013, 09:41:13 PM
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What I find difficult to understand is that the BTC logic is to keep the miners mining up until 2140. I'm a miner myself (just received my BFL 60) but I can get no clue as to what I'll be doing when this will be producing something like 0.01BTC/month within a year from now. Well, I see no other logical explanation for this to be done but the BTC/fiat rising to a level that we miners are going to have some sort of profit...

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October 12, 2013, 09:54:54 PM
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What I find difficult to understand is that the BTC logic is to keep the miners mining up until 2140. I'm a miner myself (just received my BFL 60) but I can get no clue as to what I'll be doing when this will be producing something like 0.01BTC/month within a year from now. Well, I see no other logical explanation for this to be done but the BTC/fiat rising to a level that we miners are going to have some sort of profit...

If it doesn't even pay the electricity you shut the device down and buy bitcoins instead.

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October 12, 2013, 09:58:33 PM
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What I find difficult to understand is that the BTC logic is to keep the miners mining up until 2140. I'm a miner myself (just received my BFL 60) but I can get no clue as to what I'll be doing when this will be producing something like 0.01BTC/month within a year from now. Well, I see no other logical explanation for this to be done but the BTC/fiat rising to a level that we miners are going to have some sort of profit...

If some miners stop mining then difficulty goes down and those remaining miners get paid more.  The network needs someone to mine, it doesn't necessarily need you to mine.  If your electrical costs are too high, your rig too inefficient, or you simply overpay then you may never turn a profit.
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October 15, 2013, 03:09:07 AM
 #6

I've been watching the cost of mining hardware on E-bay, just for fun.

BFL Little Singles (30 GH/s) are down from about 1100-ish to 900 -ish. (original retail $649)

Biggest drop seems to be the Singles (60 GH/s units), list price at $2499, in hand units are not even going for current retail price.

As for ASICMiner stuff, blades use to go for $3000-ish, now down to $300-ish.

Bitfury starter kits at about $1100ish.

Block erupter USBs for $17 bucks and change.

I'm predicting a HUGE drop in mining gear prices, once people realize that it's not worth it to buy anything at 250 million difficulty, and climbing.

The bus has left the building. Unless you have half a terahash mining tomorrow morning or right now, you ain't making squat.

Of course, some people do not really care, and they are securing the network, making a little on the side. Nothing wrong with that either.  Grin

The network self-regulates itself. It's a beautiful thing.

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October 15, 2013, 04:48:29 AM
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I just sold my BFL preorder 2 days ago (a 60 gh/s unit) for 9 btc.  It should ship in a few days.
It was an upgrade for an Fpga unit that had just barely given ROI. I only needed to clear about $750 usd to break even, and I figured I still could. My price on the BFL classifieds page was below average and I got several offers. I think of the sale as a kind of 'pre-mine'. I figure I can use the coins now to buy bonds or a CD on coin traders and be better off with interest income. So after mining for 8 months and planning on ramping up for the next year, I'm now totally out of the mining game. I'll take a look at it again in the Spring.
Always an interesting ride with bitcoin....
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October 15, 2013, 12:13:17 PM
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These threads pop up ever week, and it's the same story. The people that will be still mining in a years time, are the ones that don't have to pay for air conditioning, data center space, and staff wages. So that pretty much means the thousands of small home mining rigs. The big corporate farms have way too many overheads, and they will just fold each out out of business.

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October 15, 2013, 01:52:52 PM
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BFL customers will still be mining. They will ignore electricity costs and their children and grandchildren will still be mining 50 years from now, still hoping to break even on their ancestor's investment. Or at least on the $1400 "express shipping" fee of their mini rig.
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October 15, 2013, 03:18:57 PM
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I won't be mining 3 months from now.
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October 15, 2013, 03:29:28 PM
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Almost all ASICs that are currently mining or are in preorder will still be mining a year from now, with possible exceptions for USB Block Erupters, maybe ASICMiner Blades and of course units that have malfunctioned.

While most ASICs will never earn back their initial cost, they're energy-efficient enough to still generate a positive net income even if the difficulty jumps up by more than an order of magnitude. So while ASICs that are currently out on the market may switch owners once or twice as current owners try to find a way to cut their losses, they will still continue to mine.

Of course, the difficulty-explosion is due to come to an end somewhere next year. ASICs are already at the level of 28nm feature size. There isn't much room to improve before you start to infringe on the area of CPU/GPU production and that market is still massively larger than the BTC mining market, so I don't see mining ASICs going significantly below the 28nm feature size anytime soon, putting a cap on the efficiency of any new models in the next year.
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October 15, 2013, 03:36:48 PM
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These threads pop up ever week, and it's the same story. The people that will be still mining in a years time, are the ones that don't have to pay for air conditioning, data center space, and staff wages. So that pretty much means the thousands of small home mining rigs. The big corporate farms have way too many overheads, and they will just fold each out out of business.

Exactly this. A worldwide army of renters (with free electricity) and college students will keep the difficulty high enough to prevent a corporation or government from overpowering and destroying the network. I hope.

Personally, I'll keep mining just for the lulz.
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October 15, 2013, 05:54:53 PM
 #13

Almost all ASICs that are currently mining or are in preorder will still be mining a year from now, with possible exceptions for USB Block Erupters, maybe ASICMiner Blades and of course units that have malfunctioned.

I would add Avalons and BFL (65nm) rigs.   They will only be operational in areas with insanely low power costs.  Say <$0.05 per kWh.


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Of course, the difficulty-explosion is due to come to an end somewhere next year. ASICs are already at the level of 28nm feature size. There isn't much room to improve before you start to infringe on the area of CPU/GPU production and that market is still massively larger than the BTC mining market, so I don't see mining ASICs going significantly below the 28nm feature size anytime soon, putting a cap on the efficiency of any new models in the next year.

Well it isn't that ASICs would infringe upon CPU/GPU production it is simply that 22/20nm is cost prohibitve especially for a product.  Other than Intel (who uses their own fabs) the first 22nm customers are cellphone chips.  For something like a cellphone paying 3x the cost per mm2 of silicon is worth it if you can cut power consumption by 30% or more.  For an ASIC miner not so much.   Generally it takes ~3 years before a new process node has a lower cost than the prior node.  That means there won't be smaller than 28nm tech until late 2015 at the earliest.


Still even with efficiency "capped" at 28nm there is a huge spread.  An Avalon is 8.8 J/GH and a ASICMiner blade is >7.5 J/GH.  HF and Cointerra are promising ~0.8 J/GH.  Bitfury achieves roughly that at 55nm so with a die shrink to 28nm they could be even less (<0.5 J/GH?).  You are looking at a 11x (potentially 16x) spread between least efficient and most efficient hardware.  This is something we never saw in the GPU era.

Another way to look at it is when difficulty is so high that an Avalon miner with $0.05 per kWh electrical rate is underwater (electricity cost > BTC value) a HF miner with higher $0.10 per kWh electrical rates will only be spending ~ 20% of gross revenue on electricity.  At some point the least efficient miners won't make sense anywhere.
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October 15, 2013, 09:17:19 PM
 #14

Large farms mostly.  All my new clients are getting bigger with the amount of gear they are throwing at this.

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October 15, 2013, 09:43:16 PM
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Ive been looking in to collocation options. The cheapest electricity anywhere is in Kuwait, but doing business there as a foreigner seems almost impossible.

Iceland seems like a compelling alternative. They have way too much green energy there. Thats not unimportant to me, if bitcoin ever goes mainstream, the amounts of electricity it will use becomes quite scary. At least in iceland your miner wouldnt be burning coal or oil, but tap in to an almost an infinite supply of geothermal energy thats currently unused.  Connectivity in iceland isnt the best, but more than good enough (3 independent fiber connections to UK, Denmark and Greenland) for bitcoin.

Nice side effect of their geothermal energy is that electricity is relatively cheap.  I asked a quote, for a full rack in a level 3+ datacenter, using 14 kW (thats their limit) it costs ~1500 euro per month. It could house and power 17 HF Sierra's (@800W) so thats 88 euro per month per sierra, all in.  Thats cheaper than many EU and US miners would pay for electricity alone and I havent even tried talking the price down or checking elsewhere. I did check if liquid cooling was a concern, and its not.

IM considering renting a few racks there for bitcoin miners.
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October 15, 2013, 09:46:06 PM
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Large farms mostly.  All my new clients are getting bigger with the amount of gear they are throwing at this.

Your colo clients will be the first to go. The thousands of home miners completing with the large colo clients don't have to pay colo costs including running aircon and your wages. Just wait and see. BTC was designed to absorb all the margin with rising energy costs, until only the rigs with low overheads are left standing.

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October 15, 2013, 10:24:35 PM
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Nice side effect of their geothermal energy is that electricity is relatively cheap.  I asked a quote, for a full rack in a level 3+ datacenter, using 14 kW (thats their limit) it costs ~1500 euro per month. It could house and power 17 HF Sierra's (@800W) so thats 88 euro per month per sierra, all in.  Thats cheaper than many EU and US miners would pay for electricity alone and I havent even tried talking the price down or checking elsewhere. I did check if liquid cooling was a concern, and its not.

$1500 / (14 * 24 * 30 ) = $0.15 per kWh.

Not bad for datacenter but hardly "super cheap".  You could use my "datacenter" = garage and get rates 30% lower.   Some parts of the US have power rates under $0.05 per kWh.



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October 15, 2013, 10:29:16 PM
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Nice side effect of their geothermal energy is that electricity is relatively cheap.  I asked a quote, for a full rack in a level 3+ datacenter, using 14 kW (thats their limit) it costs ~1500 euro per month. It could house and power 17 HF Sierra's (@800W) so thats 88 euro per month per sierra, all in.  Thats cheaper than many EU and US miners would pay for electricity alone and I havent even tried talking the price down or checking elsewhere. I did check if liquid cooling was a concern, and its not.

$1500 / (14 * 24 * 30 ) = $0.15 per kWh.

Not bad for datacenter but hardly "super cheap".  You could use my "datacenter" = garage and get rates 30% lower.   Some parts of the US have power rates under $0.05 per kWh.


I know, but your garage doesnt supply 99.995% SLA's, nor did you include cooling costs (if you have several Sierra's), you probably have very limited theft prevention, no one on 24/7 standby etc. The fact the first quote I asked for a single rack is already competitive with most of our electricity rates alone bodes pretty well. I"ll see if I can work something out.

Oh and your garage probably doens thave 100% green energy. Even if it does, you would be using green energy that would otherwise replace non green energy elsewhere, making no real difference whereas in Iceland it really wouldnt contribute to pollution at all. They have far more (100% green) electric capacity than they can use.

PS, price was in euro, not dollar.
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October 15, 2013, 10:36:04 PM
 #19

"My garage" was tongue in cheek not a serious offer however you will be competing against people who's costs are much lower.

I didn't realize the price was in Euro well that is just horrible (~$0.20 per kWh).    Like I said not bad for a datacenter but the margin on mining is going to be a lot lower.  When industrial space (think racks in a warehouse) is cheap in parts of the US and China and marginal power rates are $0.05 paying more than double just means you will be the "marginal miner".
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October 15, 2013, 10:44:11 PM
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Again, that price isnt for electricity, its for a full service datacenter rack. If you want a glorified warehouse, I still think Iceland could be the perfect place to build it. A few years old, but try to beat this:


Dirt cheap, 100% green and geographically not in the worst place imaginable inbetween the EU and US.
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