“Bitcoin or Altcoin Mining, It’s Nice to Make Some Money.”
Bitcoin has brought about many revolutionary innovations, one of which is bitcoin mining where everyone is able to generate bitcoin.
PL, a Beijing-based marketing officer, joined the race of mining bitcoin in late 2013. At that time, the price of per bitcoin was about 7000 yuan. And mining machines that were easy to handle were available on the market, such as Avalon. He wanted to buy an Avalon bitcoin miner but failed to place an order, so he bought an Antminer instead at the price of 18,500 yuan. The machine enabled him to mine 0.14 bitcoin per day and that’s about 1,000 yuan.
As such, he could earn his money back in 20 days. The fact is that with the increasing number of latecomers and rise of large-scale mining facilities, it’s getting harder for him to mine bitcoin.
Nonetheless, he would buy the newly released mining machines whenever he made some money. PL had three electricity meters and had one specifically assembled for bitcoin mining, or some people call this electricity stealing. Little did he know that a price collapse was imminent.
Bitcoin price unexpectedly dropped to 800 yuan on January 2015 and PL sold all of the ten machines he had.
Later he started mining altcoins like Ethereum and Litecoin.
“I think it’s something worth a shot. If profitable, I’d invest more. Before I sold the machines largely because they were making too much noise, not because I was losing money.”
He still has some bitcoins and decides to hold them for a long term.
“I already made more money than my investment. Bitcoin price in 2017 is going nuts. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just a dream.”
Now with the rise of large-scale mining operations, individual miners face challenges like high electricity fee, noise and difficulty increase.
Like PL, DX also gave up mining bitcoins and switched to mining altcoins in 2015.
Based at Shandong province, DX is an operating officer. He used to have 600-odd GPU cards and 120 machines for bitcoin mining. He moved to an attic of his relative and started the mining job.
“It’s my own small mining site.”
In 2012, he was able to mine one bitcoin in three days and the price was about 300 yuan. He sold some of his coins when the price rose to 6000 yuan in October 2013. Later he invested heavily in mining machines in the early 2014, which turned out to be a huge mistake.
“Bitcoin price was in a roller-coaster style in 2014 and every miner I knew was selling their GPUs and mining machines,” said DX, “we could not even afford the electricity price.”
In June 2015, DX spent a fortune on high-end GPUs. He mined 4000 ETH and the price was 10,000 yuan in total while the electricity bill was 5000 yuan per month. Now besides bitcoin, he only has 110 Zcash. The price of per Zcash is around 1940 yuan today. But DX says since he is not selling them, so he is actually not making any money.
DX says that he is expecting an influx of newbies driven by curiosity and speculation in the year of 2017.
“Several weeks ago, when the price of bitcoin surpassed 20,000 yuan, a 60-year-old grandma came to see me with a load of cash about 70,000 yuan. She asked me to teach her how to buy bitcoin, but I rejected her and told her to keep the money for a comfortable retirement.”