Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Being Skeptical: Can you make $$$ mining bitcoins? (2017 edition)

With Bitcoin around 8000, people are once again excited about mining Bitcoins. But does it make sense for YOU to order a mining rig and start mining yourself?

Frankly, no, unless you live in an area with extremely cheap electricity.

You can play with the profitability calculator.

Remember to plug in the cost of the rig (assume Antminer S9 cost $2000, 1600W, produces 14 TH/s), and cost of your local electricity (assume $0.13/W), AND the current BTC/USD conversion (use $8000)

Even at the current prices of $8000 USD/BTC, you won't break even for 5 MONTHS (breakeven is calculated for 140-160 days depending on electricity costs). The ONLY way this can be profitable is you setup where electricity is cheap, like in India and China, where electricity is 1/3 less than in the US.

But then you say, wait, I can join a cloud mining pool! I'll just LEASE the computing power I need in China or something!

Please don't. It's fraught with danger you don't understand.

Gavin Andresen, chief scientist of Bitcoin Foundation, called mining contracts "make no sense... suspect many of them will turn out to be Ponzi schemes".

Furthermore, it is *very* likely that hash-power leasing will be declared an INVESTMENT and anyone offering such may be subjected to penalties because it fits every criterion specified in Howey Test that gave power to the SEC decades ago, making them illegal security offerings.

Even the oldest company on the block, Genesis Mining, is having some PR problems.

Not to mention there are companies that promise you crazy things, like a perpetual motion machine that will generate them "virtually free energy" to mine their coins.  No, really. They presented such a thing at their "convention" in London.

All in all, it is STILL not a good time for you to mine Bitcoin (or any altcoin) for money. Unless you ALREADY have the equipment.

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