Lots of people say they are and they very well might be crypto or BitCoin miners. If we look at 8 years ago you could throw any piece of hardware at the few currencies out and if you had the foresight to hold on you made a ton of money. However today the trade space has changed. Cryptocurrency is becoming a competitive market place with a wide range of mining options to include both hardware and coin types.
There are still three major mining styles:
The CPU mining style is very limited in the number of coins that are mine-able and when electric costs are factored in it's almost never profit able.
GPU mining remains the most fluid of the mining styles but also requires the most skill to configure for optimum value. The number of miners purchasing hardware have driven up the cost of both GPUs and PSU in the recent months to prices we have not seen before.
ASIC mining is a delicate dance as well with hardware being limited in the operations it can perform and based on the algorithm. As Bitmain (the primary manufacture of ASICs) release new models previous generations become devalued rather rapidly.
So how do we actually run a profitable mining operation (GPU)? Here are a couple of steps to follow.
Never buy hardware without researching it first:
It's too easy to buy something that looks good but may not fit your needs. Here's a great example. The new MSI B250 PC Mater mother board. It has 5 PCIe slot so it looks fantastic at first glance until you read the manual and you will see that the PCIe lanes are shared meaning you can never run all five due to hardware limitations. Used hardware on the surface may also seem like a great value but keep in mind the individual you are buying it from is selling it for a reason (broken, under performing, incompatible, wearing out)
One of the best resources is: http://www.bitcoin-talk.org
Keep organized information:
I very easily can argue you need at least two very good set of notes for running a GPU farm. Your notes should look like something like this...
* Software steps to setup a rig: O/S and version, software packages installed, and hacks to enable or disable features in the BIOS or the O/S. This includes items such as power settings, bios clock settings for the PCI bus and over clock settings for any GPUs, auto recovery procedures, remote settings and monitoring.
* List what each system is comprised of, (CPU / GPU), the electricity required to run the mining rig (a watt meter is a must), the cost of electricity per K/W (kilo-watt). The coin mined with speeds and expected return per day. This will help you determine if your processing cycles are in the correct place.
If all of the above seems complicated on the different coin types NiceHash (http://www.nicehash.com) offers a simple option to mine in many algorithms with the payout in BTC. I recommend it as a great starting point to simplify the process.
They have their own mining software that will test your system for the most profitable operation and pay directly into BitCoin as mentioned. Expect lower returns in exchange for simplification, typically 5-10% lower.
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