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Author Topic: Capital set in motion by BFL ASIC pre-order  (Read 2617 times)
2112
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June 23, 2012, 06:07:53 PM
 #1

BFL will soon start accepting preorders of dedicated ASIC bitcoin miners. This is done with exclusive cooperation of Bit-Pay with BTC as a source currency. BFL is located in the USA, so I presume USD will be the target currency.

What will be the impact of this move of capital on the price of our favorite asset?

Here's the link analysing the move from the angle of difficulty change: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=89258.msg984426#msg984426

Please comment, critique, criticize or ridicule BIP 2112: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=54382.0
Long-term mining prognosis: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=91101.0
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June 23, 2012, 06:23:25 PM
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customers -> BFL -> btc exchange -> cheap(er) coins
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June 23, 2012, 06:30:50 PM
 #3

customers -> BFL -> btc exchange -> cheap(er) coins

So you expect BFL needs the bucks right away? And that people are buying these mostly with coins they already have, and that they don't want to replace the coins?

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June 23, 2012, 06:36:14 PM
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customers -> BFL -> btc exchange -> cheap(er) coins
I'm pretty sure that BFL will not touch BTC. The flow will be:

BTC in miner's wallets -> BTC@Bit-Pay -> Huh -> USD@Bit-Pay  -> USD in BFL's credit

And BFL needs to funnel maximum USD to the ASIC vendor up front for the Non-Recurring Engineering. Quite possibly they need to spend more USD that they receive from Bit-Pay and have some sort of bridge USD financing arranged on a side. That financing likely isn't typical technology venture capital but something else that is contingent on the pre-order volume.

Edit: changed customer's to miner's; because all BFL customers are miners.

Please comment, critique, criticize or ridicule BIP 2112: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=54382.0
Long-term mining prognosis: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=91101.0
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June 23, 2012, 06:43:11 PM
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i expect BFL converting their BTC funds at least partially to cover their business expenses and venture capital. business like that cannot risk hedging most of their revenues in BTC, maybe net profit, probably some % of it would make more sense

customers making their orders with BTC of course would like to replace their coins, i just don't see at the moment how it could impact exchange rate. once asic's become norm on the network - i think BTC overall will appreciate more in light with reward halving
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June 23, 2012, 06:46:19 PM
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@2112, what do you think bitpay does with their BTC? - they will dump them on exchange partially or in full unless they came up with some algos and backing funds to slowly sell them off without disturbing exchanges much with high volume
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June 23, 2012, 08:18:39 PM
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@2112, what do you think bitpay does with their BTC? - they will dump them on exchange partially or in full unless they came up with some algos and backing funds to slowly sell them off without disturbing exchanges much with high volume

They use bit-pay so they either sell them all or they sell a percentage.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
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June 23, 2012, 08:49:05 PM
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@2112, what do you think bitpay does with their BTC? - they will dump them on exchange partially or in full unless they came up with some algos and backing funds to slowly sell them off without disturbing exchanges much with high volume

They use bit-pay so they either sell them all or they sell a percentage.

exactly. in case they're going to have large btc volume - it will effectively lower btc price short term when they sell. i'm not betting on it rather seeing it as more probable event
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June 24, 2012, 01:12:04 AM
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@2112, what do you think bitpay does with their BTC? - they will dump them on exchange partially or in full unless they came up with some algos and backing funds to slowly sell them off without disturbing exchanges much with high volume

They use bit-pay so they either sell them all or they sell a percentage.

exactly. in case they're going to have large btc volume - it will effectively lower btc price short term when they sell. i'm not betting on it rather seeing it as more probable event

Oops, I misread you.

My "they" was BFL, yours was bit-pay.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
While no idea is perfect, some ideas are useful.
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June 24, 2012, 05:58:51 PM
 #10

Some miners spend all BTC they mine immediately, not saving any in their private wallets,
some save any or all of what they mine. Lets say those groups of miners are distributed 50/50.

When BTC are needed to pay for BFL, at least the first group has to buy BTC on the market therefore increasing demand, while the second group can at least partially use their savings. --> Price goes up

As soon as BitPay unloads their BTC on the market, supply increases and --> Price goes down

First up, then down.

The only question is: How strong will this effect be?

And also: What time lies between the two movements?

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June 24, 2012, 08:41:34 PM
 #11

First up, then down.

The only question is: How strong will this effect be?

And also: What time lies between the two movements?

The opposing flows are largely concurrent. With pre-orders, capital will be tied up for at least a few months, reducing available supply in the market. At the same time, blocks are still being generated. I don't see major movement overall.

I'm more focused on after ASIC devices are delivered. As they come online, they will likely produce a short-term increase in available supply and a rush to pay off initial hardware costs, dropping Bitcoin prices for a period.
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June 24, 2012, 10:32:42 PM
 #12

First up, then down.

The only question is: How strong will this effect be?

And also: What time lies between the two movements?

The opposing flows are largely concurrent. With pre-orders, capital will be tied up for at least a few months, reducing available supply in the market. At the same time, blocks are still being generated. I don't see major movement overall.

I'm more focused on after ASIC devices are delivered. As they come online, they will likely produce a short-term increase in available supply and a rush to pay off initial hardware costs, dropping Bitcoin prices for a period.

This.
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June 24, 2012, 11:22:19 PM
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Is it feasible to track the orders placed this weekend by parsing for transactions that are an integer multiple of the btc prices for each device?
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June 25, 2012, 02:47:20 AM
 #14

First up, then down.

The only question is: How strong will this effect be?

And also: What time lies between the two movements?

The opposing flows are largely concurrent. With pre-orders, capital will be tied up for at least a few months, reducing available supply in the market. At the same time, blocks are still being generated. I don't see major movement overall.

I'm more focused on after ASIC devices are delivered. As they come online, they will likely produce a short-term increase in available supply and a rush to pay off initial hardware costs, dropping Bitcoin prices for a period.

+1  I've been saying this for a long time now.  It'll probably take a year or so after the block reward change before there's a distinct break from the current price level, and I think with the flood of ASICs on the horizon we could see the price move back down toward $2 over the next year, maybe even lower.  The only way I see that forecast upset is if there's a massive influx of new money and users, and I just don't see that happening for a while.
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June 25, 2012, 03:09:38 AM
 #15

First up, then down.

The only question is: How strong will this effect be?

And also: What time lies between the two movements?

The opposing flows are largely concurrent. With pre-orders, capital will be tied up for at least a few months, reducing available supply in the market. At the same time, blocks are still being generated. I don't see major movement overall.

I'm more focused on after ASIC devices are delivered. As they come online, they will likely produce a short-term increase in available supply and a rush to pay off initial hardware costs, dropping Bitcoin prices for a period.

+1  I've been saying this for a long time now.  It'll probably take a year or so after the block reward change before there's a distinct break from the current price level, and I think with the flood of ASICs on the horizon we could see the price move back down toward $2 over the next year, maybe even lower.  The only way I see that forecast upset is if there's a massive influx of new money and users, and I just don't see that happening for a while.

mining has very little impact on price

the reward halfing only means mining will have less of an impact on price

40$ a bitcoin Will happen if only the community stays true and slowly grows.

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June 25, 2012, 05:03:50 AM
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+1  I've been saying this for a long time now.  It'll probably take a year or so after the block reward change before there's a distinct break from the current price level, and I think with the flood of ASICs on the horizon we could see the price move back down toward $2 over the next year, maybe even lower.  The only way I see that forecast upset is if there's a massive influx of new money and users, and I just don't see that happening for a while.

Retail banking failures + Bitcoincard = Wider Adoption?

It may not be long after the block reward halving before Bitcoincards are available. I suspect that more banking asset disasters are due over the next six months, which will directly affect normal people and provoke a growing search for alternatives, even among western citizens.

Gold and silver are the obvious first choice outside of the banking system, but at least a percentage whom are accustomed to doing everything on their smartphones will take quickly to Bitcoin. Any decline in the cost to generate bitcoins could easily be offset by even that relatively minor fresh inflow.

You may be right: it could take a year after the 'First Halving' (that sounds so prophetic Smiley ). There could also remain steady growth until then, even with greater mining efficiency. Time will tell Smiley
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June 25, 2012, 06:14:49 PM
 #17

First up, then down.

The only question is: How strong will this effect be?

And also: What time lies between the two movements?

The opposing flows are largely concurrent. With pre-orders, capital will be tied up for at least a few months, reducing available supply in the market. At the same time, blocks are still being generated. I don't see major movement overall.

I'm more focused on after ASIC devices are delivered. As they come online, they will likely produce a short-term increase in available supply and a rush to pay off initial hardware costs, dropping Bitcoin prices for a period.

+1  I've been saying this for a long time now.  It'll probably take a year or so after the block reward change before there's a distinct break from the current price level, and I think with the flood of ASICs on the horizon we could see the price move back down toward $2 over the next year, maybe even lower.  The only way I see that forecast upset is if there's a massive influx of new money and users, and I just don't see that happening for a while.

Sry, how does mining influence bitcoin prices again? Please be as precise as you can in counting and determining causes and effects!
Thank you
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June 25, 2012, 08:34:12 PM
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Sry, how does mining influence bitcoin prices again? Please be as precise as you can in counting and determining causes and effects!
Thank you

Many economic types tend to focus on a one-size-fits-all theory for how an item gains value. Some, including myself, see it as going through phases in which several schools of thought hold credibility (labor theory of value, subjective theory of value, intrinsic theory of value, etc). I'll discuss (kind of haphazardly) functional items and especially money, leaving things like music and toys for another time. If you already have an understanding of this, consider the first part to be confirming common ground to work with. All values will be in USD.

Origins of value

For small markets, or those with very tight supply/demand dynamics, the marginal cost of production can have a very strong effect. Introduction of an item is almost exclusively dependent upon production cost, or energy input in the case of Bitcoin mining. If a new tool could make my job 100 times more effective, I would certainly consider using it. However, it if will take a decade to construct, I would have to possess sufficient vision to see how it would change things for the better, as well as the drive/passion to see it through to completion.

As market size grows, demand develops based mainly on utility value. If it's useful, it stands a good chance of being adopted, especially if it improves on what currently exists. When its existence becomes known more widely, adoption may accelerate or meet resistance, depending heavily on conceptual familiarity and functionality. If demand accelerates relative to supply, obviously the production cost will be negligible. If the demand remains constant, production cost equalizes at a level that provides enough supply to meet demand in addition to returning enough profit to keep the production operating. In the final case of demand declining, production cost sets the floor in value because it dictates supply.

When the market for an item matures, supply and demand fluctuate within a familiar and stable range. At that point, efficiency improvements related to production cost are rare and demand might have little space to expand, but plenty of room to contract.

Relating to Bitcoin mining

If demand for Bitcoin remains consistent or rises, mining efficiency won't matter much thanks to difficulty adjustments. However, rising demand is dependent upon multiple factors and cannot be predicted with absolute certainty. On the downside in 2011, GPU mining costs were a primary factor in putting a floor under the exchange rate price. The mining operations were not as willing to sell so close to production cost which was largely in the $1-3 range at the time (now mostly in the $3-5 range).

With FPGA mining, production cost could reasonably be projected to have decreased to about $0.10 or an order of magnitude better than GPUs. This means that a mining operation has more competitive pricing leeway to work with, and will retain that flexibility until the majority of the market falls in line with comparable efficiency. Until then, FPGA miners would enjoy a greater profit margin. Input costs still need to be covered as well; because of that, any substantial rise in demand would be met with an equivalent rise in selling so long as sufficient supply can be produced.

The same will occur with ASIC mining, although without any really major advances possible in efficiency, it will be harder to maintain large margins. If it costs $0.01 or less to produce a Bitcoin, there has to be enough demand to justify $6+ as the rate. If bids increment in $0.01 intervals, that means 600+ buyers must be present for every Bitcoin. That's obviously a rather absurd scenario, and an oversimplification, but you can see how the supply leaves ample room for lower prices.

One major factor that would keep the production cost elevated is an expansion of the mining market itself, as reflected in the difficulty level. If 10x the participants started mining with ASICs, driving the difficulty up by the same factor, ASIC mining would cost $0.10+ per Bitcoin. FPGA would be at $1.00+, and GPU at $10.00+. That's where the ratio of different classes matters, with GPUs potentially falling off due to lack of competitive efficiency. FPGAs might put a floor under the exchange price until they're paid off or no longer profitable. Then ASICs would remain as the production cost floor.

Pricing dynamic

Value floors can be either hard, as in production cost, or soft in relation to demand. As you can see from above, the production cost floor would be where miners start shutting down operations. The soft demand floor is where the perceived utility value picks up, and since that can be highly subjective, it can be anywhere above the hard floor. Since several dynamics are in play, with at least three strata on the production side, demand constitutes whatever buffer exists between the production cost and market rates.

I like to use gold for comparison - today, it costs about $1,200 to bring one ounce to market. The market currently values gold at about $1,600 per ounce. That $400 amount is exclusively demand side. If demand evaporates and the price declines below $1,200 there will be some producing operations that slow down or halt entirely. For this example, the price is also like difficulty in Bitcoin. Since gold mining is a mature industry at the equivalent point of Bitcoin ASIC mining, factors that affect the production cost are limited.

On the upside, competition for a share of the Bitcoin economy is likely to bring ASIC mining costs up rather quickly - maybe as fast as units become available, until the network is saturated. Depending on how long that transition takes, with GPU and FPGA mining all but gone, demand may not vary much and won't have an opportunity to test even the GPU hard floor. In the table below, each will bump up to the next level of estimated production cost.

ClassProd. Cost
CPU100.00
GPU3.00
FPGA0.20
ASIC0.02

If we assume 75% of the network is mining using GPUs and 25% are using FPGAs, then the average production cost would be $2.30 - the remaining $4.10 for the ~$6.40 rate today is from demand. Block halving with constant demand would be an effective doubling of demand, which should be reflected in the prices. Mining efficiency could absorb some of that, so the price rise might not double to $12 instantly.

The major factors are, not in any particular order and including ones that weren't explored in detail:
  • Demand
  • Block Reward
  • Mining Efficiency
  • Difficulty (related to #2)
  • Ratio of Miner Classes (CPU/GPU/FPGA/ASIC)
  • Size of the Bitcoin economy (related to #1)
  • External Influence (global markets & banking crises)
Hexadecibel
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June 26, 2012, 01:05:11 AM
 #19

Sry, how does mining influence bitcoin prices again? Please be as precise as you can in counting and determining causes and effects!
Thank you

Many economic types tend to focus on a one-size-fits-all theory for how an item gains value...

Wow. Well said. So much more compelling than:

"OMG PICE CRASH 3$!!!111!1 sell sell sell"

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June 26, 2012, 03:22:31 AM
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My prediction is that a severe loss of confidence stemming from retail banking failures, bank runs and Draconian capital controls will cause the trickle into Bitcoin to turn into a flood. Spain just announced new capital controls. Italy has cash sniffing dogs already deployed at the border. It's not just Europe either - Argentina is also experiencing their own bank runs (there was a recent article on Reddit where an Argentinean wrote about converting their pay to Bitcoins). Add on all of the positive Bitcoin press that's been coming out lately and I think it won't be long before this train really leaves the station!  Grin
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