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Thread: Bitcoins--Who has any practical experience?

  1. #1
    Senior Member JaxSon's Avatar
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    Question Bitcoins--Who has any practical experience?

    I have an idiot 16 year old step-brother-in-law who has convinced his parents that he doesn't need to go to school anymore and can make hundreds of thousands of dollars "mining" bitcoins on his personal PC. I've done a little bit of research online and "mining" usually involves huge server rooms loaded with huge servers crunching huge numbers. One little PC can't possibly crank out the numbers required to amount to anything. And, from what I've read, you can't even recover the electrical costs from running the PC 24/7.

    But this kid "says" that he has bought clothes and various other products online with his limited number of bitcoins and that the future is going the way of bitcoins. He even points to Donald Trump as trumpeting bitcoins.

    His mother is completely freaked out and doesn't know what to do. She just lets him do whatever his wants. To me, he's just a spoiled punk with no friends and no social skills. He just sits in his room and plays games.

    So, who knows anything practical about these things and how do I convince his parents that this is a lost cause? Or, is it?

    TIA

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    Senior Member CeeBee's Avatar
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    Interesting, shame on me for never looking into it.
    I have computing resources and I'm pretty sure I can optimize the algorithms...
    If I ever get into this I promise I will give you one bitcoin out of the first payout.
    As far as your BIL goes... don't know, he may be wasting his time or he may hit it once big... looking at $25k payout.
    Quit school to do it... that is absolutely stupid. Being good at programming and knowing how to write lower-level code that executes crazy-fast... that is something that can help, but basically it's a matter of starting the process and letting it run from what I see...
    Last edited by CeeBee; 02-25-2014 at 03:16 PM.

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    Senior Member Mobile PC's Avatar
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    Senior Member Webhead's Avatar
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    Yeah Jaxson, you are right. It requires a tremendous amount of computing power to compete. It's all not worth it. I started looking into this last year and finally realized some things.

    First, there are dedicated mining boxes you can buy (google search for "butterfly labs"). They use GPU cycles to do the mining. The computer or box or whatever you are using gets hot while it's working so hard. Your electrical bill ends up being bigger than the sum of money you would make mining per month.

    Next, there are many places all around the world that have entire warehouses dedicated to computer equipment for mining. So for little guys like us, it's impossible to compete by mining on your own. Heck, even if you had a rack with a bunch of Xeon servers it wouldn't be nearly enough. So you join a mining pool (i.e. Slush's pool). But once you start you quickly realize what a waste of time/energy it is.

    By the way, as soon as an algorithm is solved, a more difficult one comes up. And so on and so forth.

    Then there's stuff like what Mobile PC posted. There's constant scandal happening in the world of Bitcoin. So let's say you start a Mt. Gox account. Then you create your BT wallet. Then you join, a mining pool and start mining. And let's say after all that you manage to make a few bucks (which by the way is registered as a teeny tiny 0.000000000something amount). Or you get impatient and use real money to start your account. Well,... next thing you know they delete the site that was in charge of the account, your money is all gone and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

    It's a scam. The ONLY way this would ever be worth it is if you had put money into back in 2008/2009ish and now it's worth something and you cash it in for real money. Otherwise it's all just tricks and illusions.
    Last edited by Webhead; 02-25-2014 at 03:54 PM.

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    Senior Member Webhead's Avatar
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    By the way, here's a "How a bitcoin transaction works" infographic: http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/defau...130512_BTC.jpg

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    Senior Member Webhead's Avatar
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    Oh and there's other ways to make bitcoin. You can go on malware infected sites and do surveys. Oh gee, what a great way to make money! LOL.

    And another thing, once you get all setup, you'll have a number that corresponds to your wallet. You can put broadcast it by putting it on your social media accounts, or hand out business cards, or whatever the case may be. Somewhere along the line a generous person might donate bitcoins to you.

    I have my wallet posted on my twitter account for example. Couldn't hurt. It's like leaving a bucket out for someone to drop money into.
    Last edited by Webhead; 02-25-2014 at 03:57 PM.

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    Mt. Gox just went under... owing millions. It's a risky business

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    Senior Member Webhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NooNoo View Post
    Mt. Gox just went under... owing millions. It's a risky business
    Yup! I have a Mt Gox account too. Luckily I didn't have any money in it. I just opened the account just to try it out. Although I haven't tried logging in lately to see what the state of the site actually is.

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    Senior Member Gazzak's Avatar
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    5 years ago your idiot step brother would have been spot on, but I'm afraid the horse has bolted on this money making idea.

  10. #10
    Senior Member CeeBee's Avatar
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    So I looked into it... based on the computational requirements, even if I programmed the CPU to use all 8cores at 1 instruction/clock, 32bil ops/sec (4GHz x 8 cores), the computational requirements are so high that I wouldn't be paying for the electricity used (thing supported by other people's research, GPUs are by far more efficient at this).
    SHA-256 space is ~1.15*10^77 (1 followed by 77 zeroes)
    Still some say the threshold has been reached and even the best GPUs don't break even with the cost in electricity. One data center put all the idle power to work and yielded 0.43BC in 1 year. YAWN.
    For some reason I see bitcoin mining being the target of the next gen of malware. 100mil computers doing the work for "free"...
    I'll stick to designing websites and coding for now...
    Kick the BIL in the butt and send him to school... tell him that CeeBee said it's not worth it in 2014 and coming 2016 the payout drops in half.
    Last edited by CeeBee; 02-26-2014 at 03:22 AM.

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