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Author Topic: ASICMINER: Entering the Future of ASIC Mining by Inventing It  (Read 1510065 times)
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August 09, 2012, 08:17:17 AM
 #1

Introduction
ASICMINER is a virtual identity totally held by investors of the Bitfountain company. The Bitfountain company's business includes mining with self-built ASIC devices, as well as the sales of them. Currently ASICMINER shareholders holds 163,962 shares, while Bitfountain shareholders holds 236,038 shares. ASICMINER shares have the privilege of getting all net profits till 0.1BTC/share from the day when dividends began to be paid. They also have the exemption of dilution, which means that each ASICMINER share always equals to 1/400,000 of the total profits and voting power of the summed value from both ASICMINER and Bitfountain.

How to buy shares
There are no public exchanges approved or chosen by us yet. Nor we will be selling any of them without a public announcement. Currently you could only buy shares from earlier investors privately with or without third-party escrows. We provide no escrow service. The trade should be registered in our database to make the dividend payment conform with the transfer.

Dividend payment
The income, including mining income, sales via Bitcoins, and fiat income transferred to Bitcoins, are paid to ASICMINER and Bitfountain shareholders proportionally after the ASICMINER shares are paid by 0.1BTC each from the day when dividends began to be paid, when maintainance costs, labor costs, and R&D costs are taken.

Our chips
Generation 1: Block Eruptor. 130nm with 6-8J/GH. Each chip's rated frequency is 336MHz at 1.05V. It translates to 336MH/s because it does one hash per cycle. The chips work stable and well at 392MH/s at 1.15V. Further overclocking needs proper handling of heat and power supply.


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August 09, 2012, 08:18:17 AM
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Q: Why could I trust you?
A: In principle, like scientific theories, trustworthiness can only be
disproved. However some facts might contribute to more confidence: My ID, phone and email have all
been verified in GLBSE. I started running the fund called MU on GLBSE before it updated to version
2. I am also responsible for the GLBSE-listed bond MOORE.

Q: What about your partners?
A: They are my friends also located in China. I know them in person, trust
them myself in person. They are enthusiastic to this project and already commited a lot of hard
work at their best to make it succeed.

Q: Are you qualified of running Bitfountain and ASICMINER?
A: The short answer is yes.
    The long answer is: Although I myself come from a software background, my other two partners
have been worked in the IC field for long. One of my partners worked in a national lab focusing on
microprocessor design, the other worked in an CPU-for-embedded-device startup. Mining ASICs are
easy to be made work compared to their former projects, and the only problem is how good we could
make it to be. In this aspect, we have done almost all baseline optimizations and some more
aggressive ones. The uncommonly high heat density of mining ASICs is another technical problem but
we are also confident in solving it nicely.

Q: Why don't you raise money from angels or venture capitals?
A: Because most of them come from a different background to Bitcoin. The risk
model of their minds is far away from that of the Bitcoin community. They would consider Bitcoin
itself as an extra major, if not the biggest, source of risk. Therefore they usually tend to pose
harsher clauses than the Bitcoin community on us.

Q: Why don't you borrow money to do it?
A: Same as most startups: the expense is beyond the number we could borrow
from a normal channel. Plus, we are frank that our project involves quite a few risks. We choose to
share both the risks and the profits to investors willing to take them.

Q: Why do you choose to do IPO so early when you haven't reached the stage
of sending your final designs to the foundry?

A: Because we have to save time. If the IPO takes too long, or doesn't work
out so that we have find inferior ways to raise funds, time elapses and we will be outpaced by our
competitors. A IPO in parallel with the later stage of physical design will make the arriving date
of our products earlier. Plus, if we finally have found that it is necessary to cancel the IPO,
100.5% of all raised funds will be turned back to investors.

Q: What if your first generation of chips are outdated? What if the other
companies deliver their products earlier than you do?

A: The so called "outdated" technology is exactly why we have so inexpensive
NRE. And we plan to do self-mining before product-selling, to avoid pre-maturely triggering a
fierce price war. There will almost definitely a relatively long window for both us and our
competitors to profit before the market price of hashrates falls down to their margin cost. In
this time range, the difficulty will not exceed a level that even with our technology of choice,
the electricity fee and management cost is still negligible compared to the Bitcoins mined.

Q: The privileges of board members are vague. What exactly could they do?
A: Some of the information and details of our company is only provided on
request of board members. Board members can monitor our business running face to face, or send
representations to do it. We also hope that board members could help us with a full-fledged
open financial management on both the RMB-nominated and BTC-nominated funds.

Q: How will your MU and MOORE interact with ASICMINER?
A: I will try to keep as objective as possible and evaluate ASICMINER as yet
another normal startup when considering the configuration of the MU portfolio. MOORE, on the other
hand, will be boosted up to in MH/s per share with ASICMINER in exchange of its raised funds when
our chips come out, and also will be used as one of the mechanisms for ASICMINER to sell hashrates
in the future.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What is your fundraising target? How do you decide whether this IPO succeeds or not?
A: The minimum target is 100k$. If the raised funds surpass this number, we will consider that our IPO is successful. However, we would like to raise more (120-140k$) because keeping the budget at minimum is very prone to unexpected scenarios.

Q: So you will send the extra shares at at time?
A: Yes.

Q: How do you achieve so low costs?
A: There are several factors.
  1. 130nm node size. As the mainstream switches to 28nm, the 130nm existed for so long that even many smaller foundries could do it very well. The intense competition of manufacturing in China brings the price of everything down, including ICs.
  2. MLM(Multi-Level-Mask). Compared to full-mask, this technology reduces the cost of mask-set to half with the exchange of increasing the margin cost by about 40%. This is a good deal for us because the margin cost of chips themselves is one of the lowest cost in our budget.
  3. Low EDA license fees and low labor cost in China.
  4. We ourselves did most of the RTL design, optimization and simulation.

Q: Why don't you use Bitfountain for your GLBSE ticker?
A: Because the ASICMINER shareholders (GLBSE investors) have an extra set of privileges upon Bitfountain shareholder (us).

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August 09, 2012, 08:30:28 AM
 #3

When will I be able to buy in on the GLBSE?

Thanks for you interest. The 30,000 shares for public sale is already put as an ask wall on the GLBSE system with the asset name ASICMINER.

In fact the ASICMINER ticker was created more than a week ago. We were double-checking and discussing about the IPO details so the IPO was delayed to today.

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August 09, 2012, 08:57:28 AM
 #4

This looks interesting and is a nice breath of air against all those ponzi listings
Thanks. Though I won't call many suspected ones ponzis myself, but we feel that given all
the risks involved, the venture on ASICMINER still does not belong to the riskiest class of
GLBSE assets. Smiley

As a miner I look forward to the product, BFL needs a serious competitor
The products for sale will not be very early. However, if approved by all my partners and
motion-passed by our shareholders, we will be giving out a small batch of our first-generation
products to the community for free.

*buys the first 5 shares for .5 btc* equivalent price to a beer in my local bar. Cheers.
Thank you. Maybe it's just me kidding, but I still can't help my self saying it's not totally impossible
that the whole return could buy you a bar after several years. Grin

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August 09, 2012, 09:52:39 AM
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I'm sure this is addressed before, but how certain are you about the dates? They seem too optimistic to me. Can you give us a best / worst case range?

I will try to keep as objective as possible and evaluate ASICMINER as yet another normal startup when considering the configuration of the MU portfolio.

It would be particularly nice if this were to boost up MU also. Since you are an insider, MU has an opportunity to jump in earlier if things turn out fine.
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August 09, 2012, 10:40:52 AM
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I'm relatively active between 1:00AM to 3:00PM of forum time each day. Contacting me within this time interval could get quicker responses.


(Recent update: We are collecting the shareholders data. Please check:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=99497.msg1264071#msg1264071)

As some people might have already known, we have been working
on our own design of ASIC miner chips for quite a while.
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=91173.0) The front-end (RTL) design,
optimization and simulation has finished and we are currently focusing on the
physical design. From existing data, we are convinced that it will be very
profitable thanks to the reasonable NRE, low margin cost, and revolutionary
speed and power consumption compared to all the current mining devices. Our
project will greatly contribute to the Bitcoin community and Bitcoin itself, by
offering nice return to investors and at the same time securing the network
significantly.

We are in a close race with our competitors. It is quite possible that
Bitfountain will be the one to have the world's first working ASIC-based
devices for Bitcoin mining. In this case, there will be fantastic early return.
Even if we are not the earliest, our company will still have a lot of room to
make money, because the impossibly insane price wars are not likely to happen,
or at least not all at once if they do.

About the Company ASICMINER is a GLBSE-listed partner company of the
Bitfountain IC company registered in China. After the fully issuing of
ASICMINER shares, each one of ASICMINER and Bitfountain controls 50% power to
make decisions and shares 50% of the total profits, but the ASICMINER investors
will first get 100% of the total profits until they have their principals paid
back. After the first payment, the dividends will always be paid weekly in each
Wednesday of Beijing time.

To be more detailed, ASICMINER has 200,000 shares in total. Each share gets
1/400,000 of the voting power of, and the regular dividends from, the Bitfountain
IC company registered in China. In addition, before investors of ASICMINER
break even against the IPO price, all net gains from Bitfountain will be paid
to them. The issuer could stop selling ASICMINER whenever enough funds for the
expenses are collected.

IPO The GLBSE ticker is ASICMINER. 200,000 shares are issued. Initially,
30,000 are for public sale. 170,000 are for private bulk purchase via PMs and the
asset transfer system of GLBSE. The ratio may be adjusted but the total number is
always 200,000. The price per share is set at 0.1BTC. Given the fluctuation of BTC price,
the IPO will be closed when collected funds exceeds the expected expense and the
expected abundance reservation. No more shares will be released to the market other
than the very 200,000 ones.

Each investor who privately buys 5,000 or more shares will get extra 10% ones,
plus a position on the board of Bitfountain. 10,000 or more shares will get
another extra 2.5%. Board members could ask for details of Bitfountain, as well
as inspecting and monitoring our financials.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Business plan and Estimated Return The expected starting date of chips
manufacturing is late August to September, 2012. The chips are supposed to be
deployed and start hashing in October to November, 2012.

After the ASIC miner chips are produced and deployed, we will first directly
mine with them, then use part of the revenue to make user-friendlier mining
boards or rigs for sale.

If our chips are successfully produced, all the following businesses will
contribute to the shareholders' return:
  Self-Mining with First Batch of Chips At least 12TH/s in
total, that is equivalent to 30MH/s per share, or 300MH/s per BTC.
  Hashrate/Chip/Board Selling Net profits are
conservatively calculated as $5 per GH/s. That roughly equals to 0.5BTC per
GH/s with the current BTC/USD exchange rate. It means that each time we sell
1TH/s of hashing power in various forms, the net profit per share will be
1.25mBTC, that is, 1.25% of the initial investment.
  Self-Mining after Mass Production Unlimited hashrate in
theory because of the low margin cost. But in reality we have to consider the
cost of management (labor) and place (rent). We believe an expansion to 50TH/s
is not hard to achieve. That pushes the hashrate per share to 155MH/s, or
1.55G/s per BTC.
  Next-Generation Products The plan will be discussed among
board members and approved by shareholders, because it would require keeping
some of the revenues instead of paying them all as dividends. The return of
this stage is difficult to estimate, since in the Bitcoin world everything may
happen and happens even quicklier than imagination. But we personally believe
that much more potential profits wait there.

Potential Risks and Tips on How to Hedge We list all possible risks of
our project here, and the most straightforward way to hedge each of them.
  BTC drops too much in value This will finally make mining
unprofitable because even with ASIC devices people still have to pay
electricity bills and operating fees. Hedge: take a short position on BTC.
  BTC increases too much in value This might make your
investment of your Bitcoins to ASICMINER less profitable than simply holding
them. Hedge: take a long position on BTC.
  Failure to produce The IC production has some minimum
failure rate. We have some fund reservation ourselves to cope with this
scenario, but the risk here is still not zero. Hedge: diversify your portfolio
by also making bets on our competitors.
  Outpaced too much by competitors It will make the
difficulty very high and our efficiency/price less attractive. Hedge: same as
above, making some bets on competitors of us.

Risk Compensation for Investors To further compensate the risks of
investors, we give investors following privileges.
  You Break Even First We (Bitfountain) will not take any
net profits from mining or device sales until the investors (ASICMINER) break
even against the IPO price (0.1 BTC per share). It means that each share of
ASICMINER will first have 1/x of the total net revenues as dividends, in which
x equals to the total number of ASICMINER shares in circulation, and have
1/400,000 after the principals of the investors are paid out.
  Return On Rally If the price of Bitcoin rallies too much,
then we probably don't need so much money to make our project succeed. We will
return part of the principals as big dividends before we tape out the chips
when BTC/USD exchange rate rises a lot.
  Return When Discontinuation If we haven't raised enough
money to tape out before August. 28, 2012, we will return 100.5% of the total
raised funds to investors of ASICMINER. The 0.5% is for compensating the GLBSE
fee.
  No Future Dilution Each share of ASICMINER always
represents 1/400,000 of the whole company. If we have to attract more investors
in the future, we will only sell our own Bitfountain shares.

Extra Words The OP is kept as brief and clear as possible, if you have
any further questions about details, just ask. Advices and criticisms are also
welcome.

Q: Why could I trust you?
A: In principle, like scientific theories, trustworthiness can only be
disproved. However some facts might contribute to more confidence: My ID, phone and email have all
been verified in GLBSE. I started running the fund called MU on GLBSE before it updated to version
2. I am also responsible for the GLBSE-listed bond MOORE.

Q: What about your partners?
A: They are my friends also located in China. I know them in person, trust
them myself in person. They are enthusiastic to this project and already commited a lot of hard
work at their best to make it succeed.

Q: Are you qualified of running Bitfountain and ASICMINER?
A: The short answer is yes.
    The long answer is: Although I myself come from a software background, my other two partners
have been worked in the IC field for long. One of my partners worked in a national lab focusing on
microprocessor design, the other worked in an CPU-for-embedded-device startup. Mining ASICs are
easy to be made work compared to their former projects, and the only problem is how good we could
make it to be. In this aspect, we have done almost all baseline optimizations and some more
aggressive ones. The uncommonly high heat density of mining ASICs is another technical problem but
we are also confident in solving it nicely.

Q: Why don't you raise money from angels or venture capitals?
A: Because most of them come from a different background to Bitcoin. The risk
model of their minds is far away from that of the Bitcoin community. They would consider Bitcoin
itself as an extra major, if not the biggest, source of risk. Therefore they usually tend to pose
harsher clauses than the Bitcoin community on us.

Q: Why don't you borrow money to do it?
A: Same as most startups: the expense is beyond the number we could borrow
from a normal channel. Plus, we are frank that our project involves quite a few risks. We choose to
share both the risks and the profits to investors willing to take them.

Q: Why do you choose to do IPO so early when you haven't reached the stage
of sending your final designs to the foundry?

A: Because we have to save time. If the IPO takes too long, or doesn't work
out so that we have find inferior ways to raise funds, time elapses and we will be outpaced by our
competitors. A IPO in parallel with the later stage of physical design will make the arriving date
of our products earlier. Plus, if we finally have found that it is necessary to cancel the IPO,
100.5% of all raised funds will be turned back to investors.

Q: What if your first generation of chips are outdated? What if the other
companies deliver their products earlier than you do?

A: The so called "outdated" technology is exactly why we have so inexpensive
NRE. And we plan to do self-mining before product-selling, to avoid pre-maturely triggering a
fierce price war. There will almost definitely a relatively long window for both us and our
competitors to profit before the market price of hashrates falls down to their margin cost. In
this time range, the difficulty will not exceed a level that even with our technology of choice,
the electricity fee and management cost is still negligible compared to the Bitcoins mined.

Q: The privileges of board members are vague. What exactly could they do?
A: Some of the information and details of our company is only provided on
request of board members. Board members can monitor our business running face to face, or send
representations to do it. We also hope that board members could help us with a full-fledged
open financial management on both the RMB-nominated and BTC-nominated funds.

Q: How will your MU and MOORE interact with ASICMINER?
A: I will try to keep as objective as possible and evaluate ASICMINER as yet
another normal startup when considering the configuration of the MU portfolio. MOORE, on the other
hand, will be boosted up to in MH/s per share with ASICMINER in exchange of its raised funds when
our chips come out, and also will be used as one of the mechanisms for ASICMINER to sell hashrates
in the future.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What is your fundraising target? How do you decide whether this IPO succeeds or not?
A: The minimum target is 100k$. If the raised funds surpass this number, we will consider that our IPO is successful. However, we would like to raise more (120-140k$) because keeping the budget at minimum is very prone to unexpected scenarios.

Q: So you will send the extra shares at at time?
A: Yes.

Q: How do you achieve so low costs?
A: There are several factors.
  1. 130nm node size. As the mainstream switches to 28nm, the 130nm existed for so long that even many smaller foundries could do it very well. The intense competition of manufacturing in China brings the price of everything down, including ICs.
  2. MLM(Multi-Level-Mask). Compared to full-mask, this technology reduces the cost of mask-set to half with the exchange of increasing the margin cost by about 40%. This is a good deal for us because the margin cost of chips themselves is one of the lowest cost in our budget.
  3. Low EDA license fees and low labor cost in China.
  4. We ourselves did most of the RTL design, optimization and simulation.

Q: Why don't you use Bitfountain for your GLBSE ticker?
A: Because the ASICMINER shareholders (GLBSE investors) have an extra set of privileges upon Bitfountain shareholder (us).

Quoted as per post 940

­aminorex: "there are no good arguments for regulation, merely bad arguments in a good suit."
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August 09, 2012, 11:00:26 AM
 #7

About all that "as soon as we have raised enough, we won't sell any more shares" thingie:

Imagine, BTC prices still rise as crazy and you only need to sell 100k shares - does the other party (Bitfountain) then own 200k shares (2/3rds of the company) or is it then just that each ASICMINER share owns 1/200000 instead of 1/400000 of the company?

Will additional (unsold) shares be sold later or deleted, including a change in contract that you will not sell more than the ones sold - ever?

Also I find it worrying that you give that high discounts for bigger investors - 10%, 12.5% etc. are far from what I'd call reasonable. After all, why should I as a smaller investor then buy a handful of shares, if others get them for a LOT cheaper? This actually discourages me to buy directly from you, but rather hoping that someone wants to make some quick money by buying at 12.5% discount and immediately opening a (cheaper than 0.1 BTC) bidwall.

https://bitfinex.com <-- leveraged trading of BTCUSD, LTCUSD and LTCBTC (long and short) - 10% discount on fees for the first 30 days with this refcode: x5K9YtL3Zb
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August 09, 2012, 11:44:09 AM
 #8

Thanks for your question. Smiley I will try to answer them.

About all that "as soon as we have raised enough, we won't sell any more shares" thingie:

Imagine, BTC prices still rise as crazy and you only need to sell 100k shares - does the other party (Bitfountain) then own 200k shares (2/3rds of the company) or is it then just that each ASICMINER share owns 1/200000 instead of 1/400000 of the company?
If BTC prices still rises as crazy after we stopped selling, we will do a proportional return as a big dividend before we begin to exchange BTC for fiat. But each ASICMINER share always owns 1/400000 of the company.

Will additional (unsold) shares be sold later or deleted, including a change in contract that you will not sell more than the ones sold - ever?
The unsold shares may be sold later, but hopefully with a higher price if we successfully produced our first batch of chips. We only guarantee that no more than 200,000 shares will be created and sold ever.

Also I find it worrying that you give that high discounts for bigger investors - 10%, 12.5% etc. are far from what I'd call reasonable. After all, why should I as a smaller investor then buy a handful of shares, if others get them for a LOT cheaper? This actually discourages me to buy directly from you, but rather hoping that someone wants to make some quick money by buying at 12.5% discount and immediately opening a (cheaper than 0.1 BTC) bidwall.
The price spread caused by the discounts are indeed large. From the investors perspective, who are not willing to buy so many shares for the discounts, could either directly buy from us, or from other people who offer less price. From our perspective, while it indeed discourages investors to directly buy small amounts from us, it attracts larger bulk purchase. After all, finally the market will settle the price down.

The important thing is that we will only give the extra shares when we decide that the IPO does not fail. Because when it fails and we return back the 100.5% capital, we don't want to cause any wealth re-distribution from small investors to larger ones, since in the GLBSE system all shares are identical.

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August 09, 2012, 11:56:21 AM
 #9

I'm sure this is addressed before, but how certain are you about the dates? They seem too optimistic to me. Can you give us a best / worst case range?
The typical production time of the mask-set by the foundry is 45-60 days. So in the best case, it is indeed possible that we finish the back-end in August, get chips produced in October, and make the first one working within the same month. The worse case is very hard to say, because there might even be failure cases. But November is already a little conservative, and we will definitely make the chips start hashing within this year, if we succeed.

I will try to keep as objective as possible and evaluate ASICMINER as yet another normal startup when considering the configuration of the MU portfolio.
It would be particularly nice if this were to boost up MU also. Since you are an insider, MU has an opportunity to jump in earlier if things turn out fine.
[/quote]

Yes. The expected date of making MU jump in is when we have found that the IPO itself is about to be successful. Smiley

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August 09, 2012, 12:02:26 PM
 #10

About the Extra Shares

The extra shares will be sent to investors when we decide that the IPO is about to succeed. Because if not and when we have to return back the 100.5% capital, we don't want to cause any wealth re-distribution from small investors to larger ones, since in the GLBSE system all shares are identical.

This means that if someone buys, say, 800 BTC worth of shares, 8,000 shares will be immediately sent to the investor. 800 extra shares will be sent later when it is certain that our IPO succeeds and no whole-capital-refunding needs to be triggered.

We believe this decision is fair for both small and large investors, and it does not violate the main thread and the contract. Thanks.

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August 09, 2012, 10:50:50 PM
 #11

could you maybe show some pictures of the hardware? , when it is ready/half ready ,
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August 10, 2012, 02:59:50 AM
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could you maybe show some pictures of the hardware? , when it is ready/half ready ,

We definitely will.

We will also show other interesting pictures before the hardware is ready. Smiley

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August 10, 2012, 11:24:39 AM
 #13

In for a few shares, will definitely be adding more !

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August 10, 2012, 11:31:48 AM
 #14

+1

The ASICMINER Project https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=99497.0
"The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing.", Milton Friedman
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August 10, 2012, 11:36:29 AM
 #15

Also it would be nice to get updates on how the private-bulk fund raising fares....

The ASICMINER Project https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=99497.0
"The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing.", Milton Friedman
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August 10, 2012, 11:39:12 AM
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Also it would be nice to get updates on how the private-bulk fund raising fares....

Got about 50,000 shares of private-bulk pre-ordering already. Not fully executed yet though.

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August 10, 2012, 12:03:30 PM
 #17

I'm new to Investing via GLBSE, but I like your project, so I'll put a few bitcoins towards it.
Think I need a cup of tea first, deposit is just pending confirmation.

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August 10, 2012, 12:15:36 PM
 #18

I'm new to Investing via GLBSE, but I like your project, so I'll put a few bitcoins towards it.
Think I need a cup of tea first, deposit is just pending confirmation.

Thanks. Smiley

BTW, to guarantee security, it is suggested to enable GLBSE's two-factor authentication provided by Google immediately after you sign up.

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August 10, 2012, 12:57:51 PM
 #19

I'm new to Investing via GLBSE, but I like your project, so I'll put a few bitcoins towards it.
Think I need a cup of tea first, deposit is just pending confirmation.

Thanks. Smiley

BTW, to guarantee security, it is suggested to enable GLBSE's two-factor authentication provided by Google immediately after you sign up.

Thank you.

Lethos Designs | UK BTC Seller - BitBargain & Local Bitcoins | BTC OTC Rating | 1EFhXfX9uXsbXBF3LC69GiVfS3SHCsyMR1
FPGA: 2x Quad XC6SLX150 Boards [1.7Gh/s - Miner: MPBM / Pool: HHTT]
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August 10, 2012, 01:26:37 PM
 #20

How much has Bitfountain already invested, to give it right to 50% of shares?



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