Finally got paid !

Yes… after 13-days Bitcoin Affiliate Network (BAN) finally paid me out, in full.  I had all but considered that money a total loss.  However, to their credit, they made good on the earnings.

I had since moved to another pool, because frankly I thought they were going under.  Although looking at their performance results of late, that may still be a possibility.  Their participation level (active miners) is down by about 2/3rds.(i.e they currently have about 1/3 of the mining power they once had).  The number of blocks being found is therefore significantly reduced.

If one takes a look at the statistics available on their site, one can see the problem.  Over the last 4-weeks they have found 36 blocks.  That averages about 32 coins a day over that period.  Averages over the past year are about 22 coins a day.  The math of the earnings (miner shares) for the 4-week period are about 45 coins a day.  Therefore, of late, they are about 13 coins a day short, and that is not counting the 1% bonus amount paid to miners, AND is based on the latest 4-week period.  If one calculates on the yearly average, the picture is even worse.

So… what is a miner to do ???  I personally like Bitcoin Affiliate Network, and perhaps that’s why I have been rather hard on them in this blog.  I still think they need to come clean on what has transpired over these last couple of weeks, beginning about the time they advised they were being extorted by a group threatening to shut them down unless they paid a ransom in Bitcoin.   Shortly thereafter the site went dark for many hours.  That is also about the time the periods of non-payment seemed to grow longer.

I would like to return to their pool, but at this time I will not until they explain the problem(s) and how they are addressing the situation of delays in payouts, and future plans to resolve such.  At this point, without reassurance of their stability, I am not yet ready to risk the possible loss of funds.  There is no recourse if BAN were to cease operations, and be unable, or unwilling, to make good on any earnings up to that point.  I would simply be out the money with no one to blame but myself for having ignored the warning signs.

Why would I return to BAN… because the amount I am earning with GTC Guild is less (about 10% less) than I earned with BAN.  Perhaps that is part of BAN’s problems, they pay out more than other pools.  But, that’s a good thing, and that should be their selling point to attract new miners.  However, 10% extra, at this point, is not worth the risk of loosing 100%.

Although I will continue to mine in BTC Guild… I will be keeping a close eye on Bitcoin Affiliate Network.  Hopefully someday I can re-task my miners to mine in their pool.

What are YOUR thoughts ?  Let others know by leaving a comment.

Tip Jar: 1PtMWGRYkvtd5SmJPPCHEzW8o9hpFryvK8

BAN still in decline !

Hello everyone… it appears Bitcoin Affiliate Network worker participation is still declining.  As you can see by the below graphic (click to enlarge), the worker count has fallen below 900, and as of this writing is sitting at 898.  I have seen this at over 3000 at times.

BAN_11 You will also see in the graphic that I have over half a Bitcoin trapped in there, and I have not had a payout in over 8-days.  You will also see in the next graphic below, 5 blocks have been found since my last payout.  WHERE is the money going ???  Are some being paid and others not?  And if not, why not?

BAN_12My math puts 5 found blocks at about $32,000.00 dollars.  Since the payout hierarchy or procedure is not publically listed, could one reasonably assume that perhaps those with the highest hashing power are being paid first?  My hashing power averaged around 7.5 Terabyte.  Even when the worker count was normal, I was listed in the top 50.  If I am not being paid out, who is?

Bitcoin Affiliate Network needs to come clean on the issues surrounding their troubling recent past.  They need to, at the very least, issue an explanation to those they owe money to.  If they have any hope of recovering their lost participation, they need to issue a public press release detailing the issues, and what they have done, or are doing, to resolve the situation.

I figure I am not unlike many others that have directed their mining capacity to another pool.  I could not justify risking any more costs with a declining chance of payment.  Hopefully I get paid at some point, but that confidence is at present next to nothing.  I cut my losses and moved on.

Will I return… I don’t know at this point.  The pool I am currently participating in (BTC Guild) seems to offer a better user interface, and they are finding blocks about every few hours.  They have found 5 today and the day is 14 hours from being over.  Yes, a larger pool means more shares have to be paid to other workers, but with so many blocks being found there is a much higher confidence level of being paid out on time.

BAN_13So folks… certainly make your own decision, but at least you have some information to decide upon.  Lacking little or no information from Bitcoin Affiliate Network, one needs to determine the importance of such.

As always, feel free to comment with your thoughts.

Tip Jar: 1PtMWGRYkvtd5SmJPPCHEzW8o9hpFryvK8

Is Bitcoin Affiliate Network in a Death Spiral?

Hello Folks… you may remember my post here, indicating the issues Bitcoin Affiliate Network (BAN) had recently.  As of this writing I have not seen any explanation whatsoever about what happened.  Secrecy is NOT the best policy when it comes to the safety of people’s money.

Well, since that writing (over 5-days ago) I have  not received any payouts.  I have not had a payout since 2:00a in the morning on April 2nd.  Also, the number of pool workers is currently down to 912 as I write this post.  That is not good.  There have been times when I have seen the number of pool workers approaching 3000.

Could this be a death spiral?  The less workers, the less chances of finding a block… the less blocks found, the less likely there will be a payout.  Fewer payouts means more miners will pull their workers and move to another pool, which leads to even less workers… and on and on down it goes.

Bitcoin Affiliate Network needs to tell the mining public what is going on… and they need to do it fast.  Miners are voicing their opinion by pointing their mining machines elsewhere.  They appear to be leaving in droves.  And who could blame them.

I suspect either they will come clean and address the issues openly and honestly, or, the small number of miners remaining may see the site go dark again, and possibly for good this time.

Stay tuned… I suspect something will happen very soon.

 

Tip Jar: 1PtMWGRYkvtd5SmJPPCHEzW8o9hpFryvK8

Will Bitcoin survive ?

Will Bitcoin ever become mainstream ???  Will we ever see a “Visa/Mastercard/Discover/Amex/Bitcoin” accepted here signs on many of your local merchant doors ???

Although Bitcoin is well known, and strongly supported by some, it is hardly mainstream, yet.  What will be the one thing that brings Bitcoin to equal standing with other common forms of tender like credit cards?  And, if that were to happen, what kind of time frame are we looking at ?

I think… the one main thing that needs to happen for Bitcoin to become mainstream is… for employers to embrace the acceptance of Bitcoin, and offer employees the option of getting paid in Bitcoins.  Ideally, employers would offer the ability to split-tender net pay between USD and Bitcoin.

To me, it really doesn’t make much sense for the average Joe to earn USD, then have to purchase Bitcoin to spend.  Bitcoin miners, like myself, of course make their own Bitcoin, so there is no conversion involved.  Even though I support Bitcoin, I can not see myself spending USD to purchase Bitcoin for my consuming needs, when I have checking, debit, and credit cards to do so.  So, unless I was sending 5-million overseas, I see no advantage to convert my USD to Bitcoin just to purchase a loaf of bread, or buy a tankful of fuel, when I could more easily just use USD cash, debit or credit.

Now, closely following the 1st. thing (Bitcoin wages)… is the general public needs to be educated on the advantages of using Bitcoin.  Let’s list those here:

1)

Well… come to think of it, there are no real advantages… yet.  Why… because many merchants don’t accept Bitcoin, and because merchants don’t offer any incentives for consumers to use Bitcoin.  However, and this is under the education effort… I think if merchants understood the advantages of ACCEPTING Bitcoin, and incentivizing consumers to use Bitcoin, then more consumers would use Bitcoin.  The simplest way to get merchants to become interested in accepting Bitcoin, is to whisper the most hated aspect of accepting the other forms of electronic tender… “chargebacks” !  Credit card chargebacks are the necessary evil of merchants accepting electronic tender.  Chargebacks are costly, frustrating, and many times are tantamount to theft of goods and/or services.  And of course this cost is passed on to ALL consumers in the form of higher prices.

What if… consumers were offered a discount for using Bitcoin.  A discount much like we have all seen many merchants give for using cash.  Most merchants will incentivize consumers to use cash because they know that: a) there will be no chargeback, and b) they don’t have the added cost of the bank transaction fee.  That’s what most would call a win/win for both parties to the transaction.

So… what can YOU do to support increased use of Bitcoin ?

1) Talk to your employer about looking into payment of wages in Bitcoin.  This will need to be a small portion of your wages at first, until the acceptance becomes more widespread.  Most employers now offer to direct deposit your wages to at least 2 different accounts.

2) Start asking the merchants you do business with if they take Bitcoin, and if not… whisper the word Chargeback in their ear.

3) And lastly, if you’re new to Bitcoin yourself… try it out.  Purchase some Bitcoin and see that it can be as convenient as credit cards to use.  Remember… the more educated people become, the more merchants will become aware, and the closer YOU become to getting discounts on the things you buy everyday.

Now, one thing I could have listed under advantages to the consumer would have been “security”.  That’s an involved discussion.  However, in short, when you partake in a transaction with credit/debit cards, as you well know, your personal information travels with the transaction, and such is also stored at the financial institution which issues the account, as well as perhaps the merchant POS systems.  With a Bitcoin transaction, it doesn’t matter who you are, just that you have the available Bitcoin balance to cover the purchase amount.  So, in that respect, you are less susceptible to credit card fraud, and/or identity theft by using Bitcoin.  But like I said, the security aspect of using Bitcoin is an involved discussion, with opinions on both sides of the issue.  It would be best to do your own research, and form your own opinion, about any security advantages or disadvantages of using Bitcoin relative to security.   Think of Bitcoin as electronic cash.  Just like there are (security) disadvantages of using cash, the same applies to Bitcoin.  You certainly protect any cash you have… and you need to protect any Bitcoin you may have also, with the same degree of precaution.

Have an opinion of your own?  Post a reply.  The more Bitcoin is discussed, the more known it will be.

Bitcoin Affiliate Network

Bitcoin Affiliate Network (BAN) went dark sometime yesterday.  Website was unreachable, and mining address were showing up as “dead”.

The website was back up this morning (Wednesday, 4/1/15), partially, but most stats are not showing on the dashboard page.  I personally have not had a payout since 3/24/15, in spite of many blocks having been found during that time.

At the website this morning, Bitcoin Affiliate Network has posted the following message note on the site: (click to enlarge)

BAN_5I entered the chat function and requested information.  The next graphic is the results of that effort: (again, click to enlarge)

BAN_6You can see my frustration at not being given ANY explanation as to the issue, when it will be resolved, or, the safety of my investment.  This is simply unacceptable.  As I stated in one of my comments to the board… management has a fiduciary obligation to provide information on the issues, and what is being done to safeguard their investment.  We’re taking about people’s money here, not simply the inability to access a website.

I like Bitcoin Affiliate Network, and have been using them since I began mining Bitcoin, but this lack of responsiveness about the problem, and it’s resolution, has me searching for another pool.  I understand there can be issues from time to time, and that the cause of those issues may be out of Bitcoin Affiliate Network’s control… however, how they chose to react to such is 100% on them.  There is no excuse for keeping pool members in the dark, while at the same time simply asking for member’s trust.  Trust needs to be earned, not given away freely, which reduces it’s value.

Hopefully, Bitcoin Affiliate Network will realize the importance of good communication, and be forthcoming and forthright with an explanation of the current issues.  And in my opinion, they need to do that immediately.

 UPDATE: (2:00p 4/1/15)  I received a response from Bitcoin Affiliate Network, it is as follows (pasted verbatim):

i understand youre question and can tell you that i am in the same boat
our focus at the moment first is to get up and running again because that would no more reason to be in fear.
most of the participants are very understanding and we have a good community there for i would like to ask you to bear with us and i would like to thanks you for youre patience at this time

here is a official note

we had a pool wide problem and are currently fixing this
the official statement is as follows

DC failure, Server is partially up; shares are being recorded but no eta on stats/payment processing. Suggest backup pools for the time being.

hope this helps clear up the dust a bit for the most up to date information i would like you to go to our webchat to see if there are any updates

we are doing our best to get up and running and better then ever

hope to have informed you enough

with kind regards,

rudolf

In closing Rudolf states he hopes this clears the dust a bit.  What do you think ?  Didn’t do much for me.  While I appreciate the response, it does not offer any more than the next to nothing they have already put out.

UPDATE: 4/1/15 @ 9:00p – Site still not functional.  Message on site states: “ETA: ~1 hours to finish processing backlogged shares…payments to resume shortly after. “

In searching the web for information, I came across this post from AllCrypt.  In addition to an overall message readers could take away from the post about keeping too much of your coins in an exchange, I was awestruck by the honesty and detail provided by the post.  Much respect goes out to AllCrypt for being so upfront and straightforward with their customers.  Bitcoin Affiliate Network could and should take a page from AllCrypt’s book, and make as full an explanation as AllCrypt.

UPDATE: 4/2/15 @ 9:00a – Site appears to be functioning properly, and I received a payout of all up to date earnings early this morning around 2:00a.  However, I still have not received an explanation as to the issues involved with the shutdown of the site, or the extremely slow payouts.  Prior to today’s payout it had been 9-days since the last payout.  My account is set up for payouts every 8-hours.  So… while still nervous about the stability of the service, I have redirected my miners back to their site.  I strongly look forward to BAN releasing a statement detailing what happened, and what actions have been take to prevent such in the future.