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Author Topic: Free computers powered by Bitcoin.  (Read 4030 times)
I.Goldstein
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October 29, 2011, 01:18:03 AM
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Would it be profitable for a company to embed forced gpu-based Bitcoin miners into PC motherboards/whole PCs and sell them to computer manufacturers and/or consumers very cheaply or even for free?
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October 29, 2011, 01:23:35 AM
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Would it be profitable for a company to embed forced gpu-based Bitcoin miners into PC motherboards/whole PCs and sell them to computer manufacturers and/or consumers very cheaply or even for free?


In the dot com boom I received one of those computers that was free (really!) with ads running mandatory according to the terms of service.  The company lost money and in the end turned over the machines to the people (me) who received them. 

You could do the same with bitcoin, but right with the price of coin it would not make business sense.  The payback would be too long, along with many risks such as the machines being modified or not being powered on.

dunand
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October 29, 2011, 01:27:28 AM
 #3

Haha nice idea. For people that need a computer but do not have any money. They will eventually pay more in electricity than the price of the computer but that's not our problem.

The only drawback would be that you will end up paying computers to geeks that will hack the thing and mine for themselves with free hardware.
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October 29, 2011, 01:29:32 AM
 #4

Nothing is free.  The only people who would sign up are dupes who don't understand they are going to be paying more than they would have with a traditional purchase via the electricity bill.  What would you do if someone hacked the hardware to eliminate the miner?

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I.Goldstein
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October 29, 2011, 01:32:10 AM
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Haha nice idea. For people that need a computer but do not have any money. They will eventually pay more in electricity than the price of the computer but that's not our problem.

The only drawback would be that you will end up paying computer to geeks that will hack the thing and mine for themselves with free hardware.
Closed-source GPU drivers and mining software ought to slow things down. Updates can make hackings very inequitable as well.
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October 29, 2011, 01:33:53 AM
 #6

Haha nice idea. For people that need a computer but do not have any money. They will eventually pay more in electricity than the price of the computer but that's not our problem.

The only drawback would be that you will end up paying computer to geeks that will hack the thing and mine for themselves with free hardware.
Closed-source GPU drivers and mining software ought to slow things down. Updates can make hackings very inequitable as well.

So this is a custom GPU?

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deslok
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October 29, 2011, 01:56:21 AM
 #7

The technical requirements don't justify the cost, you'd need to force an os (linux on a ROM device) written specifically to do this, and do so in such a way that's not editable. you would also need to use a board with the gpu soldered directly to it, or use an APU soldered directly to the motherboard either one is an expensive propisition.

So to manage this we have propitairy hardware, propritariy software, and we're offering what to the userbase? a pc that's only got 300-500 dollars worth of processing power crippled by the fact the gpu is always loaded and will run up their power bill, assuming they don't turn it off when they're not using it. even if this contained the eqivelent of a 5970 if they use it only 2 hours a day and it's off otherwise you're looking at a return of .045 coins/day . there are better ways to make coins offer a decent service in exhcnage for them and you'll make a fair ammount eventually

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DeathAndTaxes
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October 29, 2011, 02:00:27 AM
 #8

Closed-source GPU drivers and mining software ought to slow things down. Updates can make hackings very inequitable as well.

You will need a lot more than that.  Rip out the GPU, and wipe the hard drive.  You would need significant hardware locks, custom MB firmware, and remote authorization.  Essentially a lock down project along the lines of PS3.  Remember the PS3 has been hacked and a) it is much harder being custom hardware, b) the payoff is much lower, c) they have something to lose because they paid money for it.

I don't see a hardware solution.  You likely would need a non-hardware solution.  Verify identities, run credit check, only give to people who are credit worthy.  Have users sign a contract, and authorize a credit card.  They need to generate x MH per month or pay a monthly fee.  Have a good collections department and be ready to slam users with $2,000 early termination fee and willingess to pawn them off on collection agencies to recover a fraction of the cost.
Primitive Caveman
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October 29, 2011, 02:01:06 AM
 #9

Make it run in the background as a hidden process, so no one can figure it out.

Then funnel the profits into your wallet over the internet, like you did with your website.
worldinacoin
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October 29, 2011, 02:22:22 AM
 #10

I think even if it is technically feasible and commercially profitable, you will need to put in very clearly inside your TOS.
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October 29, 2011, 05:30:43 AM
 #11

Considering the lengthy time to break even on most GPUs by themselves, it's pretty unlikely your average machine would even make it to break even point before someone destroys it, hacks it, or stops using it.

You're probably better off running one of those rent-to-own scams they advertise on late night TV, the one where people with bad credit pay almost $3k for a $300 eMachines desktop with a cheap printer and a fuckton of shareware thrown in.

^_^
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October 29, 2011, 06:00:21 AM
 #12

heh

I thought about making free heaters.  just plug them in and they give you heat....  oh yah, and it needs to be pluged into a internet connection Smiley

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rainingbitcoins
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October 29, 2011, 06:10:07 AM
 #13

You're probably better off running one of those rent-to-own scams they advertise on late night TV, the one where people with bad credit pay almost $3k for a $300 eMachines desktop with a cheap printer and a fuckton of shareware thrown in.

Or just get a job at Aaron's or something if you're comfortable scamming the poor in this way.
elggawf
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October 29, 2011, 04:50:15 PM
 #14

Or just get a job at Aaron's or something if you're comfortable scamming the poor in this way.

Yeah but scamming the poor for ~minimum wage doesn't have the same allure, does it? Smiley

^_^
SmokeAndMirrors
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October 30, 2011, 04:22:20 AM
 #15

The only difference between someone doing this and someone financing a pc from future shop or best buy is that the payments will never end via your approach.

This idea is the product of get-rich-quick scheming and like most of those schemes, it's ridiculous and lazy.

Help Bitcoins by buying clothes, technology, books, etc. through people/stores that accept BTC. This will increase overall value of BTC as well as mitigate unnecessary bank transaction fees.

My address -
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Rassah
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October 30, 2011, 04:46:10 AM
 #16

Seconded on the heater idea. Instead of giving these away as PCs, set them up as dedicated miners running some very basic linux, with about four cards inside, and make the case to look and work like a heating unit. Make it very automated so all they have to do is turn it off and on with a simple switch after initial wifi setup. Give them away for free, or sell them at a huge discount, and let people register them with your service, where they can receive a percentage of the mined profits. You can even set it up as a tiered account, where those who got it for free get 15% mining profit, and those who paid almost full price get 90% profit. Make sure they always get at least some portion of the profit to make sure they don't just repurpose them and have an incentive to keep mining. Most importantly, make these HEATERS, not computers, even if that means disabling most of the ports on the motherboard and gluing the cards in place. You can then sell them to North Americans, Greenlanders, Scandinavians, and anyone else who need to use heaters most of the year, and would have to pay for electricity to do it anyway.

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October 30, 2011, 06:21:07 AM
 #17

So the target consumer is one who has internet access and electricity but lacks ability to otherwise acquire a space heater.

"Money is like manure: Spread around, it helps things grow. Piled up in one place, it just stinks."
repentance
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October 30, 2011, 06:22:22 AM
 #18

So the target consumer is one who has internet access and electricity but lacks heating.

And who lives somewhere which lacks consumer protection laws.

All I can say is that this is Bitcoin. I don't believe it until I see six confirmations.
Rassah
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October 30, 2011, 02:36:32 PM
 #19

So the target consumer is one who has internet access and electricity but lacks ability to otherwise acquire a space heater.

No, one who has internet access, electricity, and a space heater, but would like to reduce the cost of running their space heater or get a space heater much cheaper than it's cost.

worldinacoin
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October 30, 2011, 02:38:01 PM
 #20

That would be a very very costly heater with 4 GPUs! Smiley
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