This is an opinion post Barnminer is a Bitcoiner focused on developing his own sovereignty, contributing to home miners and Bitcoin Magazine.
Accessing a borrowed ASIC for a day, week, or month will provide enough learning for the ins and outs of home mining, including some of the key challenges. This allows a low-risk entry to join the backbone of the Bitcoin network. You will learn about installation, sound reduction, heat, electricity and home networking. An Antminer S9 can be overclocked on a 120 volt circuit. After experience, a longer-term decision can be made about mining bitcoin at home.
- Is it a lot of work or do I want to move forward with mining?
- Do I need to reduce noise and/or heat?
- Given my electricity rate, does it make sense to mine bitcoin at home in the long run?
Even if someone decides that bitcoin mining is not their thing, they have learned a lot about the Bitcoin network.
I started an Antminer S9 lending program with my local Bitcoin meetup group. The idea came from somewhere good friend Who takes credit for the concept. Someone donated Antminer S9 for this inspired program twitter chat. I wanted to share this program with others in the hope that we could reproduce this program worldwide.
I wouldn’t be where I am at this point without the help of other Bitcoiners who take their time to teach me. I am grateful for that. Setting up a local S9 lending program is a good way to give back. Enhanced my own education by teaching others. The program provides the opportunity to take a quick dive into proof of work. You learn how to deal with the three main obstacles to mining at home: electricity, heat and sound. Additionally, you gain a better understanding of how mining pools work and how miners are rewarded for hash rates.
The program is simple. The aim is to teach people about the proof-of-work consensus mechanism and learn the basics of mining at home. This provides an opportunity for local Bitcoin users to try their hand at mining without ASIC capital expenditure. A used S9 can cost $500. Also, people run the risk of being scammed if they don’t know how to take the hassle out of acquiring used equipment. I’ve heard stories of buyers buying faulty hardware or scams. Renting from a trusted plebe is a safe way to get locally supported hardware.
Installation costs can be minimal if the intended user has a 240-volt circuit in the garage. Additionally, the Antminer S9 can be operated at 120 volts when properly overclocked. If you have a 240-volt dryer outlet, you’re halfway there. If not, it costs between $125 and $175 to have an electrician wiring circuit in a garage. The borrower of the miner should understand that this is an educational experience. It is not an opportunity to make money. In my local service area, the residential electricity rate running an Antminer S9 is par at best. It’s an opportunity to plug in an ASIC, hook it up to a pool, and let it go.”brrrr“There’s a lot to be said about learning by getting your hands dirty.
The first buyer in the borrowing program had a suitable drying chamber. Since they had a relative who was an electrician, the costs of replacing the outlet were very low. It goes without saying that this is an excellent first person. The time frame of the program can be from one to three months or more. This is enough time to get an idea of how the process comes together and to overcome any hurdles that may come up. I have not set a time frame with the borrower. I wanted it to be an opportunity for them to dip their toes in the pool (pun intended).
The next borrower will set up a two-thirds multi-signature wallet to pay a deposit to the miner. This process will show how simple it is to set up a multi-signature wallet and get them to start thinking about what can be done for wallets, private keys and cold storage setups. This is not to save money for the person renting the equipment, but to educate the participants and provide some protection against damage or theft.
It is recommended to make two multi-signatures out of three with the borrower, the lender, and a trusted third party, each with a private key. The third person could be the dating host or a mutual friend in space. The borrower sends some sales to the lender as collateral in case anything goes wrong i.e. lost with ASIC or misused the hardware. The third key holder of the Multisig wallet must be an active member of the group or an independent third party who may need to mitigate any disputes that may arise.
If you’re holding a Bitcoin meetup, consider creating a lending program. Find a sponsor to donate to or have the group get together for gear.
In summary, an S9 lending program will help disseminate knowledge of Bitcoin mining and multi-signature setup. Participants can learn by doing more by reading or watching. Gift education and consider starting your own loan program locally. The benefit of giving back to the community can be rewarding.
Latest Bitcoin meetup to promote this program NWA Bitcoin. If you’re in the Bentonville, Arkansas area, consider going to an event. You may have the opportunity to queue up to borrow an S9. Let’s hash.
This is Barnminer’s guest post. The opinions expressed are their own and are owned by BTC Inc. or may not reflect the views of Bitcoin Magazine.