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Author Topic: What would happen if bitcoin drops so low mining isn't worth it  (Read 2671 times)
stryker
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September 07, 2011, 10:51:15 AM
 #21

In other threads I've said bitcoin needs casual miners.  A casual miner is someone who runs the mhash/s that they can afford to profit or not, simply because its a little fun and their contribution.  I run 820mhash/s, thats what I can afford to come what may.... what hacks me off is all these peeps who throw up 30 ghash rigs and its obvious that when things get rough they will not be able to maintain it... thus big chunks of the networks hash rate could just fall away.
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September 07, 2011, 11:36:49 AM
 #22

In other threads I've said bitcoin needs casual miners.  A casual miner is someone who runs the mhash/s that they can afford to profit or not, simply because its a little fun and their contribution.  I run 820mhash/s, thats what I can afford to come what may.... what hacks me off is all these peeps who throw up 30 ghash rigs and its obvious that when things get rough they will not be able to maintain it... thus big chunks of the networks hash rate could just fall away.

I don't think people who invested so much into bitcoins will just leave. I think they believe in future, and in fact are probably building more cost-effecient and reliable mining infrastructure.

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September 07, 2011, 01:08:51 PM
 #23

true, I'd not thought of it that way.... its still a concern though that a lot of people have taken on too much overhead in the scale of their operations which could result in them scaling back due to lower bitcoin value.  My magic value is 30GBP which is how much I'm happy throwing at bitcoin in terms of electricity profit or none.
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September 07, 2011, 01:39:24 PM
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In other threads I've said bitcoin needs casual miners.  A casual miner is someone who runs the mhash/s that they can afford to profit or not, simply because its a little fun and their contribution.  I run 820mhash/s, thats what I can afford to come what may.... what hacks me off is all these peeps who throw up 30 ghash rigs and its obvious that when things get rough they will not be able to maintain it... thus big chunks of the networks hash rate could just fall away.

I don't think people who invested so much into bitcoins will just leave. I think they believe in future, and in fact are probably building more cost-effecient and reliable mining infrastructure.

I think we do in some cases especially if the price hangs around to the point they can't cover the cost of electricity.  I say this because they might go offline for a bit and then if enough did this we could have large fluctuations in hashing.

I do admit though with the network being so large I think it won't happen unless the price drops substantally.
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September 07, 2011, 01:42:01 PM
 #25

If everyone stops mining I will run a CPU miner at work and get all of the mined Bitcoins.


But then...not everyone would have stopped mining since I would be mining.


So basically, mining will never stop.

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September 07, 2011, 02:33:28 PM
 #26

If everyone stops mining I will run a CPU miner at work and get all of the mined Bitcoins.


But then...not everyone would have stopped mining since I would be mining.


So basically, mining will never stop.

But you could have oscillations in hash rate, much like alternate chains (e.g., Namecoin).  75% of hashing power fires up, mines 2 weeks worth of coins in 3 days, hash rate quadruples.  75% shut down for six weeks.  Mine for 3 days, shut down for a six weeks.   This would be a steady state where mining power quadruples and quarters, alternating.

End result: everyone but the patsies/free power guys mining at artificially inflated difficulty get their coins at a quarter of the price (but 75% get half the possible coins and it takes everyone much longer overall).  Still, it's downward pressure on price as a double whammy of a reduced utility and security of the network (~24 minute confirms 93% of the time) as well as cheaper to produce coins.   

It could turn into a feedback loop where mining 7% of the time for a 75% lower cost is the only way to be profitable for the majority.  Heck, were that to happen now you could even get CPU miners and Nvidia guys joining the fun during profitable periods.  "Unprofitable", artificial difficulty would keep creeping up until even the free power guys are looking at a higher cost to mine vs buy in equipment failure/depreciation and decide to drop out during the bad times.  That would require around 99% of the mining power to flee, so I don't think it's possible.


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