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Author Topic: BitForce SC - full custom ASIC  (Read 49024 times)
cablepair
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May 29, 2012, 08:20:59 PM
 #141

Just some food for thought here...


ASIC:

BAD:
It will make it very easy for a small group of wealthy individuals to monopolize Bitcoin mining which will be horrible for Bitcoin.

GOOD:
it will be just as easy for our dedicated and trusted small group of core Bitcoin devs to change the Bitcoin code to render those un-adaptable ASICS completely useless.

(I cannot think of anything more hilarious than a 2013 Bitcoin update followed by the creation of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of custom made ASIC drink coasters.)


WATCH:

The individuals in the coming days that praise and promote ASIC, their motivates and agendas. Do they Really think ASIC is GOOD for Bitcoin? Or Do they Think ASIC is good for their own bank accounts and don't mind selling out Bitcoin in the process.

One of the greatest things about Bitcoin is the way it has empowered so many people in so many ways, giving such a small group of people so much power is very very bad for Bitcoin and I completely trust our developers to do the right thing in this regard.


QUESTION EVERYTHING / TRUST NO ONE:

Seeing everything I have seen over the year + I have been a part of this Bitcoin community this is probably the best advice I could give anyone at this time, just please really ask the important questions and give thought to these things I have proposed before you make up your mind.

ASIC proponents may say I have my own axe to grind (agenda) as I am a FPGA Manufacturer and Distributor, however I do not encourage you to just take my side of this I encourage you to really ask the questions that need to be asked and analyze the facts and players in an objective way and determine WHAT and WHO is really GOOD for the future of Bitcoin (which I happen to love dearly and believe in) and WHAT and WHO is really BAD for the future of Bitcoin. Their are plenty of wonderful people who are really dedicated and driven by making Bitcoin a success and realizing the ideals it stands for and at the same time their are plenty of people involved in the Bitcoin community who are solely and completely driven by greed and it's really not that difficult to see the difference if you know the right questions to ask.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

-Tom




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SgtSpike
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May 29, 2012, 08:30:38 PM
 #142

ASIC:

BAD:
It will make it very easy for a small group of wealthy individuals to monopolize Bitcoin mining which will be horrible for Bitcoin.

GOOD:
it will be just as easy for our dedicated and trusted small group of core Bitcoin devs to change the Bitcoin code to render those un-adaptable ASICS completely useless.
I disagree with this.  ASIC's being brought to the public market does nothing other than help PREVENT monopolization of Bitcoin mining.  As it is now, someone could monopolize mining by producing their own ASIC and not releasing it for sale to the public.

You could argue that a wealthy individual could try to buy up all of the supply of ASICs to monopolize it.  I'd argue back that that could have been done with GPU mining, or FPGA mining already.  BFL isn't the only manufacturer bringing ASICs to the party...

EDIT:  Also, good luck with getting anyone to agree to changing the Bitcoin code to render ASICs useless.  I don't think many people believe ASICs are a bad idea.
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May 29, 2012, 08:31:53 PM
 #143

The thing that people are missing is that ASICs have a high initial cost, but once that is paid off they are absolutely dirt cheap to make and therefore sell. It is a technology that WILL be accessible to the masses.

EDIT: And if you want to nit-pick, the existing BFL offering is already an ASIC... albeit a reprogrammable one. Smiley

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May 29, 2012, 08:39:02 PM
 #144

Just for the record, Im not entirely pulling numbers out of my arse. I cant tell you everything I know, but I can tell you what google will tell you if you search for SHA256 performance comparisons between 65nm FPGAs and 130nm ASICs, like this paper here:

http://eprint.iacr.org/2010/536.pdf

Of course, no one said BFL will use 130nm, they might have picked 90nm or who knows, perhaps even 65nm, in which case you could be looking at closer to 5TH per wafer. But even if they went for 180nm or Im wrong by an order or magnitude, the basic premises remains the same: the variable cost per TH is several orders of magnitude lower than the current market price, and if BFL rides the price / difficulty curve from the current top to the eventual bottom, as a miner you will have a serious problem keeping up.

It is true. P4man and me are both scared that BFL will corner the mining market ... Cry

I almost had a stroke when I read this thread yesterday.

Looking at BFL's past history it looks like they will deliver, unfortunately for all of us running GPUs and FPGAs now. ( not Singles )

Bowing down to the BFL mining overlords ... all this can be stopped by a community effort and mining can be decentralized again.

NDA ASIC = not good plan for us and Bitcoin in general.

What's stopping BFL having a ride with the blockchain and 51% ? NOTHING.

This needs to be fixed. Algo change is in order IMHO.

I wish BFL all success in the world but I don't like where this is going for BTC  Undecided

In fact, ASIC is the only thing that can prevent 51% attack. Why? Today there are banks, financial
institutions, intelligence organizations that have super-computers, consisting of thousand and thousands
of CPUs or GPUs. These grids are used to run financial analysis, mostly Monte-Carlo.

Imagine "Societe General" in France for example. They have a GPU array of 15,000. If for financial
interests or certain other reasons, they decided to switch to BitCoin for a week. This grid alone can
give them over 15TH in processing power... this will not be 51% attack, it will be 120% attack.
This is just one bank, activating only one of its grids.

As long as the algorithm used in BitCoin can be effectively implemented in CPU or GPUs, network will always
be under threat. Scrypt won't be good either, since many institutions have grids of several thousand CPUs.

The only thing that can stop it is the ASIC. Imagine tomorrow the processing power of the BitCoin network
is 2,000TH. This is something super-computers cannot attack, simply because their combined processing
power cannot reach even 10% of it, let alone 51% attack....


Regards,
BF Labs Inc.

First off 15,000 GPU != 15TH Where the hell did you get that number? as far as I know there are no GPU's that do 1 Gh/s and most likely they don't have 15,000 high end video cards but lower end video cards. Second whats to stop any entity with money to produce their own ASIC's? if you have enough money I'm sure you could get some made on intels new 22nm tech and they would outperform any Bitcoin ASIC made for the public. Second whats to stop a entity from just buying enough hashing power from BFL to attack the network? Third what are you going to do if the proof of work system changes? ASIC's will be hard coded for the current proof of work system. GPU's and FPGA's can just be reprogrammed to work with the new system. What would you do in that situation completely redesign your ASIC and offer replacements?  There are ways that ASIC's can be very bad for bitcoin especially if one company has a monopoly over the whole market and abuses that power (which is illegal in the US where BFL is based)

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May 29, 2012, 08:44:49 PM
 #145

In fact, ASIC is the only thing that can prevent 51% attack. Why? Today there are banks, financial
institutions, intelligence organizations that have super-computers, consisting of thousand and thousands
of CPUs or GPUs. These grids are used to run financial analysis, mostly Monte-Carlo.

Imagine "Societe General" in France for example. They have a GPU array of 15,000. If for financial
interests or certain other reasons, they decided to switch to BitCoin for a week. This grid alone can
give them over 15TH in processing power... this will not be 51% attack, it will be 120% attack.
This is just one bank, activating only one of its grids.

As long as the algorithm used in BitCoin can be effectively implemented in CPU or GPUs, network will always
be under threat. Scrypt won't be good either, since many institutions have grids of several thousand CPUs.

The only thing that can stop it is the ASIC. Imagine tomorrow the processing power of the BitCoin network
is 2,000TH. This is something super-computers cannot attack, simply because their combined processing
power cannot reach even 10% of it, let alone 51% attack....

Regards,
BF Labs Inc.

Well partially this is true - ASIC would be able to counterfeit 51% attack, but it depends on:
1) what kind of ASIC - i.e. 150 nm ASIC can be something like NEC does @ 266-300 Mhz or something like Intel does @ 2 Ghz - and that requires different amounts of investments;

2) depends on ASIC developer's wishes - say successful ASIC deployers would make a) centralize system around them controlling majority of network hashing power; b) implement way for decentralization.

Why - because in chips market MAIN price is to recover initial R&D and chips basically costs low. And this depends on your plans - you can make webmoney-like system for yourself, by controlling majority and thus development of bitcoin completely or you can spread it... Greedy way would be to control it completely and I doubt that you would choose way first getting to the top, and then giving out your powers.

To everyone - I would like that you understand - MINING POWER IN BITCOIN POWER IS LIKE VOTING POWER TO ELECT GOVERNMENT, ETC with mining power you can decide which blocks would be correct one in the future, etc. Thus with 51% you can change protocol like it was with BIP-16 for example. Can change emission rules - so say there will be not 21'000'000 BTC only, but unlimited emission... Then - when ONE ENTITY would take decision, it could have pros - that if BFL would get money, and lead overall bitcoin community - it can become better organized movement, and has cons - that if their decisions would get to failure - system would fail. You can compare this as democracy vs autocracy (dictatorship) - it maybe beneficial for some period of time to concentrate power, but long-term it fails....

So your choice whether you with BFL or not with them depends on whether you are willing to give such power to them or not. Behavior of many miners however remind me other story - that people would easily sell their votes with peanuts, and then they cry that their governors make laws to rob them, because they're kind "returning initial efforts and investments" :-)

With buy-back offer they mainly stated following: "all of those who will not use our equipment exists only temporary on this market, so you can either join us, or we'll it obsolete and you loose investments"... They haven't offered buy-back of ANY MINING EQUIPMENT, EVEN FROM DIFFERENT VENDORS. This is to make it clear.... I don't know however what they'll do with that equipment though.

Anyway, this grade has increased my awareness, and I like how it works... Do you see improvements ? BFL improved hash rates for singles... Probably their next mini-rig will be with proper hashing power etc. ! That's are mine congratulations to you!

So probably my next move would be to develop ASIC as well and deliver much better offer for obsolete equipment exchange to everyone, and not just those who use equipment based on spartans. However I have still to look for competition not against BFL, but against those who ALREADY develop high-performing silicon for many years AND HAVE TRULY DEEP POCKETS. And it is unlikely that with modified SHA256 there can be kind of "zero point" where say intel wouldn't develop better chip that would blow off mine or BFL "homebrew" chip. I call it so - as this chip would be technologically more like some simple microcontroller than like intel cpu. Unlikely however that I will buy into this ASIC buzz, as it not solves problem in its roots, as still community vs corp edge would not be so high.

Another way would be to improve algorithm and make it more latency-dependent... So when implemented in hardware there would be physical difficulties to reduce latencies and to implement parallelism as can be done even with Scrypt.
As you see for example that LATENCIES to access DRAM in computer do not follow Moore's law... There's speed of light limits that you can't counterfeit. And if your algorithm requires some beforehand-known minimal latencies and better without much variance between specific implementation - i.e. CPU, GPU, FPGA, ASIC - it would be much more fair to use.

And yet another point - is risks that ECC would be not secure in the future. As I mentioned already with quantum computers. Because that imposes risks of making bitcoin cryptosystem obsolete. This issue as well should have eye kept on.

2 BFL guys: I really love that you are improving. I have no personal hate to you, but only attacked your biz behavior, and as act towards you I disclose you another attack vector against bitcoin and you with ASIC: if you do autocracy-way, then if attacker would just kidnap you and crack your balls hard (hmm... you're in USA... well... say FBI ambush your office and you now stand before court against 10-20 articles each adding up you +2 - 5 years prison term for money laundering, fraud, etc like was for example with Vadim Vassilenko - 5 years in prison still no trial... - and his westernexpress exchange system) you are very likely would give power to attacker like e-gold did etc. Don't tell ME that you're doing only ASICs etc, as gov. systems does not work that way... They'll charge everything they can... And they're pretty powerful... And you will be responsible then for everything - for illegal usage that could happen in bitcoin and for people who loose bitcoin's values. I suppose by what I saw from your actions that you probably haven't met yet with the bad sides of live, how it can be... Please, remember that Satoshi had purpose to be anonymous... That is really important, because well - I can abandon all of this stuff myself - no problem for me, but with your passion, you could take risks that you wouldn't pass and take many people with you as well. And this is truly challenging... how to do it right way... so challenging, that I can't simply answer how to do it right, however your answer is premature... I think that till June you should think really harder on these issues - on what you do and what consequences will be...
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May 29, 2012, 08:48:54 PM
 #146

Second whats to stop any entity with money to produce their own ASIC's? if you have enough money I'm sure you could get some made on intels new 22nm tech and they would outperform any Bitcoin ASIC made for the public.

Nothing, except money. Do you have a few million dollars at hand to make it work? And furthermore, there is exactly one entity outside of Intel itself that is allowed to use Intel's fabs - Achronix. And Intel has stated that they are using less then 1% of the fab capacity. EDIT: Bad info. It would need a shit ton of money though.

Second whats to stop a entity from just buying enough hashing power from BFL to attack the network?

Valid question. BFL made it sound like they would limit sales to large entities, but I don't know how they would verify that for sure.

Third what are you going to do if the proof of work system changes? ASIC's will be hard coded for the current proof of work system. GPU's and FPGA's can just be reprogrammed to work with the new system. What would you do in that situation completely redesign your ASIC and offer replacements?

There is no guarantee of a POW change any time soon, at least not within the profitability window of these devices, I should think. By that time if it ever happens, the equipment will be paid for and a new design could be created. As of currently, SHA256 is NOT in any way vulnerable or in need of replacement.

There are ways that ASIC's can be very bad for bitcoin especially if one company has a monopoly over the whole market and abuses that power (which is illegal in the US where BFL is based)
There are also many ways that they can be very good. And do tell about the monopoly - who are you going to call, anyway? It's an absurdity to state that they would have a monopoly for very long at all, when the cost of entry into the "monopoly" is only a few million dollars.

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May 29, 2012, 09:03:56 PM
 #147

And furthermore, there is exactly one entity outside of Intel itself that is allowed to use Intel's fabs - Achronix. And Intel has stated that they are using less then 1% of the fab capacity.

Actually, for the record, more than one company gained access to Intel fabs so far - at least three:
- Netronome
- Tabula
- Achronix
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May 29, 2012, 09:20:33 PM
 #148

You don't know what the future will hold just the same that I don't know.  But my instinct is that miners won't continue purchasing these things to the point where the original price point will never pay back.

if miners stop buying at a given price/difficulty, BFL isnt going to stop selling, they will just lower their price. THats the point

As you point out, for BFL to sell their boxes, they have to price them such that at the current difficulty, it at least appears to be a sensible investment, otherwise no one will buy. But with every batch of boxes they sell, difficulty goes up a bit and thus soon after they will have to lower their price again or miners wont buy.. which should result in new buyers, but further increasing difficulty, and forcing lower prices. Thats the feedback loop we are facing.

Now you may think thats no different as with gpus or fpga, but its completely different, because gpus and fpgas have prices that have almost nothing to do with bitcoin difficulty. If bitcoin difficulty goes x10 higher tomorrow, AMD or Xilinx isnt going to drop their prices. But the asic vendors will, because unlike gpus, they cost ~100x less to produce than what they can be sold for. So why not sell them?

And thus this spiral of increasing difficulty and lower prices wont stop until BFL reaches somewhere near their break even point. That wont happen over night obviously, but it does mean between one and two orders of magnitude lower per GH prices, and therefore between 10x and 100x higher difficulty as when you bought your first asic. That could happen in only a few years. Now ask yourself, If difficulty will increase, say "only" 10x over the next 2 years, at what current "payback time price" would you want to buy an asic?  6 months suddenly wont look so good anymore.

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May 29, 2012, 09:32:24 PM
 #149

Would you say the same when enterpoint, fpgamining, bitfury or whoever (sorry if i forget one) would have brought the first one ASIC on the market?
Or would be there a huge round of applause for that?

I have huge respect for all those developers!
But i respect also the work of BFL, which seams always one step ahead and has provided at this date a good product for a good price.

51%?
Who says that not bitfury will destroy the Bitcoin with his 500 Giga monsters? uuuhhhhuuu ................!
Everyone with a new Super-Miner hardware could pulverize the Bitcoin at this weak time.
And now to speak about a code change.....ridiculous!


BFL, it's all about money?
Sure, like all other professional developers. Finally, salaries must also be paid.

Why do you not curse the manufacturers such as AMD or Nvidia, which have a monopoly on there overpriced graphics chips.
Or, Atmel, Altera, Xilinx, which will have $ 2,000 for their $ 20 FPGA chips if I not buy 1'000'000 piece!

In this forum, I've often read about, whether it might be possible to make ASIC's. And they all said uhhh .... yes ... that would be great ....why not do it one.......  blah blah blah ...
And now it seems they are here .... but ...... not by the self-declared protectors of Bitcoin........... BFL has it!

So stop with this ridiculous bashing.

It seems to me as I read the Bitforce-single post from last year with 200 pages of shit!

Just ridiculous!


With great respect to all the fair developers and traders.

Tinua
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May 29, 2012, 09:35:27 PM
 #150

And furthermore, there is exactly one entity outside of Intel itself that is allowed to use Intel's fabs - Achronix. And Intel has stated that they are using less then 1% of the fab capacity.

Actually, for the record, more than one company gained access to Intel fabs so far - at least three:
- Netronome
- Tabula
- Achronix

Also BlueSilicon which is owned by Lattice

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May 29, 2012, 09:41:02 PM
 #151

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May 29, 2012, 09:57:00 PM
 #152

Cmon guys! If all goes well, offline/online spread of bitcoin will increase #tx and exchange rate as well. We have very little time left to scale up the network speed and secure it, before bitcoin gets real attention from banks, corps and governments. ATM they DO have ability to overtake the system...

There is no place like 127.0.0.1
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May 29, 2012, 10:38:13 PM
 #153

You don't know what the future will hold just the same that I don't know.  But my instinct is that miners won't continue purchasing these things to the point where the original price point will never pay back.

if miners stop buying at a given price/difficulty, BFL isnt going to stop selling, they will just lower their price. THats the point

As you point out, for BFL to sell their boxes, they have to price them such that at the current difficulty, it at least appears to be a sensible investment, otherwise no one will buy. But with every batch of boxes they sell, difficulty goes up a bit and thus soon after they will have to lower their price again or miners wont buy.. which should result in new buyers, but further increasing difficulty, and forcing lower prices. Thats the feedback loop we are facing.

Now you may think thats no different as with gpus or fpga, but its completely different, because gpus and fpgas have prices that have almost nothing to do with bitcoin difficulty. If bitcoin difficulty goes x10 higher tomorrow, AMD or Xilinx isnt going to drop their prices. But the asic vendors will, because unlike gpus, they cost ~100x less to produce than what they can be sold for. So why not sell them?

And thus this spiral of increasing difficulty and lower prices wont stop until BFL reaches somewhere near their break even point. That wont happen over night obviously, but it does mean between one and two orders of magnitude lower per GH prices, and therefore between 10x and 100x higher difficulty as when you bought your first asic. That could happen in only a few years. Now ask yourself, If difficulty will increase, say "only" 10x over the next 2 years, at what current "payback time price" would you want to buy an asic?  6 months suddenly wont look so good anymore.
I agree with you to an extent, but I think the timeframe will be MUCH longer.  I can't imagine difficulty increasing 10x over the next 2 years without a corresponding increase in price.  We're both speculating though.
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May 29, 2012, 10:50:10 PM
 #154

BFL is announcing full custom ASIC chips.  Shocked
http://www.butterflylabs.com/products/

Will this chip compute shares with a > 1 difficulty? P2Pool or any existing pool that would be doing 10 - 100 times more work?

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May 29, 2012, 10:57:41 PM
 #155

The chips compute shares (such as it is), they have no concept of difficulty.  The concept of difficulty is in the protocol/network/mining program.


If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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May 29, 2012, 11:08:07 PM
 #156

my concern is if you could deliver your products from inside EU (Europe).
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May 29, 2012, 11:14:10 PM
 #157

my concern is if you could deliver your products from inside EU (Europe).

I have said this MULTIPLE times.

It is the only thing preventing me emptying out my bank account with BFL products Kiss
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May 29, 2012, 11:47:18 PM
 #158

my concern is if you could deliver your products from inside EU (Europe).

I have said this MULTIPLE times.

It is the only thing preventing me emptying out my bank account with BFL products Kiss

For 5% and shipping, I'd be happy to forward them to you guys.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”  -- Mahatma Gandhi

Average time between signing on to bitcointalk: Two weeks. Please don't expect responses any faster than that!
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May 29, 2012, 11:54:51 PM
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my concern is if you could deliver your products from inside EU (Europe).

I have said this MULTIPLE times.

It is the only thing preventing me emptying out my bank account with BFL products Kiss

For 5% and shipping, I'd be happy to forward them to you guys.

How to avoid the big fat greedy gov taking a 20% VAT cut though ?

Declare some gift or $50 worth of RMA broken products maybe  Cheesy
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May 30, 2012, 12:20:27 AM
 #160



I hope my prediction is wrong. I hope ASICs wont be used in a way where the Bitcoin devs have to take measures such as I described above, but it is certainly probable enough to where the community needs to identify it. I hope I dont have to come back in a year and say I told you so, only time will tell...

However... to anyone who believes this fallacy that BFL or any other corporate ASIC mining manufacturer is going to limit their sales in order to protect Bitcoin - you need to get over that.

Fallacy #2 ASICs will be cheap and plentiful for all to use and enjoy
yeah right!

The first Bitcoin mining ASICs that are mass produced (BFL singles ARE NOT ASIC they were Identified as XILINIX FPGA by ngzhang) are likely to be used and abused by its makers for massive mining profits, the first ASICs to be sold will be sold for thousands. The corporate entities that invest the money and time needed to create these chips are not going to just make them and give them away.

Fact #1 Right Now the only groups that can achieve access to Bitcoin mining ASICs are those with the money and connections to get them made

Fact #2 Last Summer difficulty and Bitcoin value SKYROCKETED purely on the backs of GPU mining - Can you IMAGINE what Bitcoin would be like now if only the Wealthy Had Access to GPU's in the Summer of 2011?

I built a 10 ghash mining farm (back when 10ghash was alot) little by little on the mining profits of one single 5870 purchased in the early spring of 2011. A lot of others in this community have gained similar or greater Bitcoin success because Bitcoin mining can empower even the most modest of Miners, this has changed a lot of the last year but its still realistic to some degree, a lot of you may think ASIC is your chance, everyone wants to be a (God I hate saying this) " Early adopter " right?



Like I said at the beginning of this rant ( Tongue ) I hope I am wrong, I really hope this horrible feeling about what I am hearing about certain people who are working on acquiring ASIC based Bitcoin mining is wrong, all I am asking anyone to do is keep your eyes and your mind open to whats really going on before you jump on the band wagon and support something for the wrong reasons.


I was one of the first people to be skeptical about BFL when they first came on the scene, and I admit I was wrong at that time about them, but this "FAQ" that encourages people to buy BFL Singles now and not worry about ASIC later because they will give you a full trade in value? Its just another piece of this puzzle that makes me entirely too uneasy...

From a business stand point that makes absolutely zero sense....

...just food for thought and motivation to prove me wrong...  Enjoy! Wink



 
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