On my last post, I talked about how I wanted to get into bitcoin mining. I looked at my own mining rig, but the cost of parts and most importantly the cost of electricity locally was such that it wasn’t even close to working out. I would have to pay out of pocket every day to keep it running, so that was a non-starter.
I considered other options, but there aren’t a lot out there. However, I have been working online for a very long time and I have always had my own web servers, so I figured that there had to be some way to use a data center as a place for mining.
Well, most data centers don’t want miners. Mining takes too much power, generates too much heat, and generally you can’t fit a decent mining rig into a standard server rack space. Some will do it, but again, the costs to do it are pretty much prohibitive. Also, it’s hard to have what is effectively non-standard, one off hardware in someone else’s data center, it’s unlikely they would be able to maintain it for any reasonable price.
Then I heard about cloud mining. What is cloud mining? Well, according to Wikipedia:
Cloud Mining is the process of bitcoin mining utilizing a remote datacenter with shared processing power. This type of cloud mining enables users to mine bitcoins or alternative cryptocurrencies without managing the hardware. Since Cloud Mining is provided as a service there is generally some cost and this can result in lower returns for the miner. There are many cloud mining scams.
Let’s start with that last part first. There are many cloud mining scams. Talk about a discouraging fact to be hit in the face with up front. If I wasn’t particularly stubborn or easily discouraged, that line alone would likely have me heading for the exits. Since I always know that anything with the get rich quick potential of Bitcoin and ether would be crammed with scamners, I didn’t let it put me off. It did however raise my guard a bit.
So I looked around to see who is leading in the world of cloud mining. A couple of names kept coming up, one of them is Genesis Mining (you can sign up and use my code AKNiSe if you like) and the other is Hashflare. Both of them seem to get a fair bit of coverage online, both positive and negative, and appear to both have quite active communities around them.
Genesis Mining is a pretty big deal all considered, but at the time I am writing this, they are pretty much entirely sold out of every type of mining rig they have, except for at this moment Monero. I am sure they will have stock again some time soon, but I really wanted to get started up, so I kept searching.
Hashflare came up pretty interesting. They were offering at this point a pretty good price point for bitcoin mining ($140 for 1TH/s, which is pretty good), and they have “stock” and are ready to go. The biggest difference here is that they don’t seem to rent you a box as much as they rent you the hash rate. So rather then picking up a server as I am use to, I basically select my level of processing, and pay for it accordingly.
Ahh yes, paying for it. One of the things I picked up pretty quickly in the mining world is that many of these companies are a bit, well, slippery to get ahold of. Almost all bitcoins companies seem to have a bit of a dark side to them of some sort, and that often leads to problems with processing payments. They will all accept bitcoin payments (natch) but payments through other means isn’t exactly as easily handled. Having selected Hashflare and a basic mining package, getting it paid for turned into a whole other adventure that lead me a whole lot further down the rabbit hole, as we will see next time out!