Wednesday, May 17, 2017

On Bitcoin Mining 6

The next inning in my Bitcoin mining adventure was my ill-fated Bitmain Antminer S7 acquisition. It was ill-fated not because of the perfectly adequate machine that it is but because of what I did with it. Prior to buying it I had no idea how loud this device was (I could hear it outside the garage of my townhouse and so, I figured, could my many closely proximate neighbors.) but I did run it for a while. Finally I decided to run it at a much lower speed so that the fan would run at a much lower (and quieter) speed. This was okay but not optimal. Why have a 4.7 Tera hash bitcoin miner running at a fraction of its design speed?

Then I heard about hosted mining. This is where you send your bitcoin mining computer to someone else who puts it in their building, runs it on their cheaper electricity, and charges a monthly fee that is less than the amount of Bitcoin generated. I did my research on hosting companies and cost and decided on an outfit called ASICSPACE. I and they signed a hosting contract and thus began a nightmare relationship.

I boxed up my Antminer S7 and its EVGA power supply. Both of which cost me $800 back when S7’s were more expensive and there were no S9’s yet. Then I sent the S7 to Tennessee. The company is in Washington state and the pictures on their website of their hosting site are in Washington state so I thought it was odd but I figured maybe they have a satellite site, so I overlooked this little Tennessee detail.

After receiving my miner they told me I didn't send a power supply and of course I told them that I did and described it and sent a picture, etc. After some time they "found it". After this snafu and a period when the owner was "out of town", it took 3 weeks for them to turn the bloody thing on. Once they finally got the miner running it would run for a while and then take days for them to turn it back on or reboot it after it went off. These were days when it wasn’t earning money. Critical time in the Bitcoin mining world. Then it wouldn’t turn on or reboot and that was additional time not mining. Then they stopped trying to turn it on saying that it was only putting out 1/3 of the hashpower. I asked ASICSPACE and Robert Van Kirk, the owner, to return the miner to me after that and he kept stalling or saying that he would and he never did. Then he said that someone else had the miner (!) and I should call him to get it back, only that person never answered the phone.

So almost a year later I still don’t have my miner or power supply back which I basically consider as theft of my property. The company is supposedly defunct but their website is still up, so I am worried that someone else may be taken for a ride by this guy.

My advice to you if you are considering having your miner hosted . . . DON’T!! Try and deal with it yourself.

In the next installment I’ll talk about the Antminer R4.

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