Ethereum Wallet – don’t waste your time !

Since Ethereum seemed to be gaining popularity and value, I figured I would set up a wallet and give it a try.  WOW… what a mistake !

Setting up ANY other coin has been no problem for me.  Download a wallet, get some of the coin to deposit into the wallet, and I was good to go.  Ethereum… WOW, what a hassle !

Downloading the wallet (Windows-64bit) is no problem… setting it up is another matter all together.  Well actually it’s not the setup that’s the problem, it’s the finding “peers”, and “syncing” part.  Thinking I have done something wrong, I tried this process several (almost a dozen) times.  Several times by deleting the entire folder where the application was installed.  I wanted to be sure I started fresh, leaving no remnants of possible previous mistakes behind.  I started the complete removal after having tried several times to simply close the application and restart.

First, once the wallet is launched it looks for peers.  This might be successful, maybe not.  This had me concerned because if it’s so hard to find peers… to me, that’s a red flag.  (I should have heeded my red flag gut feeling and given up much earlier than I did)

This looking for peers process could take minutes, or hours (many hours).  So, once it finds peers (or maybe just one peer), it starts the sync process.  If trying to find peers isn’t frustrating enough, just wait until you have attempted the sync process about a dozen times !

At first, once the peer or peers are found and the syncing starts, you can see the blocks being downloaded (syncing).  At this point you’re thinking… finally, this thing is working.  However… now comes the frustrating part.  At the time of this writing there are a little over 4-million blocks.  Each time, the wallet downloads about 2-million blocks, then stalls.  You could wait days and not one more block is loaded (all while watching it look for peers, find one, only to see it looking for peers again without ever having downloaded one more block).  After several days of active looking for peers and trying to download the rest of the blocks, you get frustrated and close the wallet and try to relaunch it to give it a kick start.  BIG MISTAKE… now it will start the process all over again… from block #1 !!!

I have repeated this process more times than I care to count.  At one point (the latest attempt before giving up), it made it to 99%.  WOW… I thought it somehow fixed itself and was on its way to getting fully synced.  I thought wrong !  After letting it sit for almost a week without closing the wallet and starting over again… it never downloaded another block.

This is the point at which I gave up !  Way back when I initially started the process, it asks you if you want to add some Either to the wallet.  Mistakenly I added $50.00.  Thankfully that’s all I added, because as of now, it’s lost money.  I can see it using Etherscan, but at this point I am considering it lost money because I can’t do anything with it.  I guess I should consider myself lucky having lost only 50-bucks.

So… if you want to try your luck at getting a Etherum wallet, I would caution you to not invest more than a couple of bucks, and, more than an hour or two trying to get the wallet set up.  If your luck is anything like mine… your efforts will be a huge waste of time just like mine was.  Learn from my stupidity !

One only has to visit the Ethereum forums to see that others (MANY others) have the same problems.  I guess those that tell you they didn’t have any problems, maybe they are storing their Ethereum in a “online” wallet like Coinbase.  I personally don’t like the idea of storing my cryptocurrency online, hence my efforts at trying to get my personal wallet set up.

And just to put the Ethereum wallet into perspective, I have 21 other wallets set up… and NOT ONE was anywhere as difficult to set up and manage as this Ethereum wallet.  I’m not sure how this Ethereum currency will perform in the future, but they could be doing a lot better if they would get that wallet thing figured out !

Good luck to Ethereum… however it’s dead to me !




Back in the game !

Well folks, it’s been quite a while since I last posted.  I sold most of my miners and exited the mining business.  Then I started seeing the advancements that had been made in ASIC mining equipment, and decided I would give it another go.  I bought 2 Bitmain S-9’s.  I have been mining with them for about 4-5 months now.  These are great miners.  I was using S-4’s before which mine about 2Gh and use about 1400 watts of power each.  The S-9’s mine at almost 13Gh and use about 1300 watts of power.  It’s a real no-brainer justifying moving to the S-9’s.  I had 4 S-4’s before and now I have only 2 S-9’s, and I have more than tripled my mining hash, and cut my electricity costs about 60%.  Like I said… a real no-brainer.

Money wise, mining with the S-9’s is profitable, but given the size of the reward now (12.5 Bitcoin), the number of Bitcoin I receive is small, so my total volume of Bitcoin is growing ever so slowly.  However, given the price of Bitcoin as I write this is $4577.72, it doesn’t take much Bitcoin to make a profit.  I figure it costs about $6.00 a day to feed the miners, and just one payout a day gives me about $23.00 a payout.  The pool I’m using usually hits about 2 blocks a day, so that about a $40.00 profit a day.

I was mining in a pool where my 26+ Mh put me in about 10th position on the payout ladder, which provided an excellent payout, but the drawback is they didn’t hit many blocks.  At times it took more than a month to hit a block.

So, the 64-thousand dollar question is… should you mine in a pool where you are one of the big fishes, but hit less blocks, or, join a pool where you are about 200th on the payout ladder, but get 2 payouts or more a day.  I don’t have the answer to that question.  What I do know though is the power company wants their money quite regularly, so I opted to go for the more frequent payouts rather than wait for the big payout less often.

Another topic that no one talks about… the well publicized top limit of Bitcoins minted (currently set at 21-million).   As you may know, scarcity adds to the price of anything, and Bitcoin is no different.  Now, most will not even entertain the idea that someday that limit will be increased.  However… anything can happen.  If enough folks (perhaps miners) think it would be a good idea to increase that amount… then it will get increased.  If you are one of the ones to say “it will never happen”, then you are most vulnerable to any negative ramifications of such.   I have no idea if the 21 million cap would get increased… but most people will be thinking that if 21 million is good… then 30 million would be better.  I’m also unsure that down the road when this discussion happens (and you know it will), will it even matter if the cap is raised a small percentage.  If it’s raised a lot, then it might matter, but raising it a little may not hurt anything.  Who knows… certainly not me.

Leave a comment below for the world to see about your thoughts on the possibility that someday the cap will be raised, or, anything else you feel would be beneficial to folks that may be reading this blog.


I shut down my miners !

Hello Folks…

Yes, I have shut down my miners.  I did this just a little before the “halving”.  To be honest, it wasn’t so much the halving, because the price about doubled, which made the profit margin about the same as before the reward reduction, but it was more that the electricity costs were getting difficult to pay without having the offset of the cash to do so.  If the power company would have taken BitCoin… I would still be mining, but no luck.  And… I couldn’t find a reasonable way to convert the BitCoin into cash, so the only way to utilize the earned BitCoin was to buy things that at times I really didn’t need.  What I needed was to pay the electric bill !  (I still have my equipment)

Now, something I knew was coming (and stated such on this blog almost a year ago), has in fact started.  Namely the government getting into taxing BitCoins.  I received a memo from Coinbase a day or so ago which, in short, stated the feds had issued them a subpoena for the identities of their customers.   See below (click to enlarge)

coinbase_1Of course this is troublesome on 2 fronts.  One, the tax issue.  Now I suspect many are like me, in that after electricity costs, there is not a lot of profit left over to be taxed.  However I also suspect many more may have more of a worry if they have not been reporting profits from mining.  Second, I suspect that some, maybe many, have been spending their earned Bitcoins in areas perhaps they shouldn’t have been.

Without the “anonymity” of Bitcoin… there isn’t much benefit to use it.   And, don’t think that because you may live outside of the US this intrusion from the US government into Bitcoins won’t affect you, it will.  How… when it comes to governments getting money to fund their ever growing appetite for spending, all governments have that in common, therefore treaties are drafted and instituted, giving them wide latitude to share data.  Don’t ever think you can win against a government – ANY government !  You may win a couple of battles, but you will never win the war.

Pleas feel free to comment.

What happens to BitCoin mining after “halving” ?

Hello Folks…

Well, it been a long time since I have last posted.  I am still mining, and of late have been enjoying the $400+ price of BitCoin.  HOWEVER… I am concerned with my rewards being cut in half on or about June 13th. of this year  See the clock here.

Although the price of BitCoin has been rising (overall trend is up, but not without it’s retreats from time to time), it would need reach about $600.00 just to keep even with the profitability of pre-halving prices.  I suspect most miners will be shutting down their mining rigs if the reward is cut in half but the price does not double.

The price of BitCoin hovered around the $250.00 range for quite a while.  Given my electricity costs, that is about the break even point for me.  Maybe a little less because I use the heat generated from the miners to augment heating my house.  But that does me no good during the summer months.  In fact, in the summer months it costs even more electricity to expel the heat generated.

The other concern for me is, how widespread will BitCoin use be?  Techie folks, and miners, likely don’t mind the sometimes wide fluctuation of price, but I fear the general public will never get used to that.  Yes, the value of the dollar fluctuates, but the general public never see such.  If you have $20.00 in your wallet today, you will have $20.00 a week from now (provided of course you haven’t spent any), however, that’s not the case with BitCoin.  Yes, if you had 1-BitCoin today, and didn’t spend any, you would still have 1-BitCoin next week, however it would likely not be worth the same.  You could have less value, and of course you could have more value also.  The general public is not ready for such wide fluctuation in value.

So… why take a chance on using BitCoin?  Anonymity of use will not appeal to most, and the fluctuation of price will scare them to death.  Cost and speed of transactions is appealing now, but the double-edge sword is the general acceptance by the banks.  When BitCoin becomes as convenient as the dollar, those folks providing the convenience will be charging for such services, thereby increasing costs (and all but eliminating what (if any) anonymity of use there was).

Additionally, BitCoin is currently largely flying under the radar of the taxing authorities.  As the level of transactions and use grows, you know the government will be stepping in to tax and regulate it.  And, should it be designed in such a way that it can not be taxed and regulated (i.e. decentralized)… it will be outlawed.  Never underestimate the power of the governments reach into every aspect of your life, and your finances are the most attractive aspect of their reach.  As the old saying goes, the only 2 sure things in life are death, and TAXES!

Don’t get me wrong… I am a believer, and supporter of the BitCoin concept.  But because I don’t know what the future holds with respect to government intrusion (or other influential parties) into the control of BitCoin,  I have a large degree of uncertainty that BitCoin of the future will look and function anything like what users today enjoy.  BitCoin technology may survive, but will users enjoy any of the benefits it currently offers?

What are your thoughts ???   I would like to hear from you.  Other readers could benefit from your thoughts also.  And, from a mining aspect, if any reader could offer some clarity on the confusion now taking hold with respect to the many new versions of block-chain  technology coming on line (competition to BitCoin Core), I’m sure other miners like myself would appreciate some insight and unbiased explanation of the benefits and drawbacks of such.

Been a while…

Hello folks…

It’s been a while since I have posted anything.  Yes, I am still mining.  I have not added to my mining capacity, but as of this writing, Bitcoin is currently sitting at about $297.00.  That’s a good thing.  AND… it’s been a slow climb over the past 15-days or so.  A slow climb usually means its not a “spike” that will be short lived.  Anything can happen (any usually does) but I’m hopeful it stays at or above the $300.00 range.  I can make some decent return on my investment at or above that price.

As you may have seen, I originally had my miners in the basement rec-room area of my house.  I used the miner’s heat byproduct to heat that area, saving me money from using space heaters and a pellet stove.  Well, I live on the east coast and now that summer has arrived, I needed to get those miners out of there.

I moved the miners to the garage, took out several of the garage door window panes (replaced such with screen), and added 2 box fans to the windows.  This setup allows the heat to be exhausted to the outside when the garage is closed while at work and at night.  So far the setup is working pretty well.  I have one miner that shuts down occasionally when the temperature rises above 90 degrees in there, but so far that has happened only a few times.

Also, I am still mining Scrypt coins with my 1 miner.  I have been almost exclusively been mining DotCoin.  Currently I have over 4.5 million DotCoins and growing.  Basically I’m just sitting on them in hopes that as the price of Bitcoin increases, so will the alt-coins (although that hasn’t happened yet).  Currently DotCoin is selling at about 0.00000015 BTC.  I have a small amount sitting in an exchange, queued to sell at 0.00000025 BTC.  At that price I will have a decent return on my investment (plus electricity costs) to make it worth running the miner.  I don’t know when, or if, that will happen, but I’m hopeful.

Sad news about BTC Guild shutting down.  I am hopeful that as the price of BitCoin increases, perhaps there will be more options for pool mining.  I am a firm believer that more competition is good for the consumer, but they need to make a buck also.  With BitCoin price around $225.00, it’s hard to make any decent return on investment.

Also, Bitcoin Affiliate Network has fallen (as I write this) to 388 workers (from a high of around 3000), and only 0.40 PT/h.  That’s just plain sad.  Hopefully as the BitCoin price increases, they will be able to payout on a more consistent basis, and overcome the fear that some (and me) have had that they will get paid at all.    I have been averaging about .12 BTC a day with BitMinter, and they have been pretty consistent with their payouts.  I have an automatic payout set at .10 BTC and have been receiving regular payouts when that threshold is reached… unlike BitCoin Affiliate Network.  With BAN I never knew when I was getting paid, in spite of the auto-payout threshold being reached.

Well, that’s it for now.  Feel free to ask questions, or comment, and/or subscribe if you want to be notified when I create a new post.  Different points of view help everyone to make better decisions.

P.S. I’ll bet more people in Grease wish they would have had their money in BitCoin !  No limits on BitCoin withdraws, unlike the government regulating the banks to withhold people’s money.  Sad… you work hard for your money, only to have a government tell you when you can have it and when you can’t !  For those of you who don’t like the government telling you what you can do with the money you earned… think about the BitCoin (blockchain) concept.   I think that BitCoin is here to stay, and even if the vehicle is not BitCoin – blockchain technology is the future.  At least until the government figures out a way to regulate that also.  Don’t say it’s impossible, people in the government work long and hard trying to figure out how to get more and more of your hard earned money.   There are an ever increasing number of  folks RIDING in the wagon, and fewer and fewer folks PULLING the wagon.  It’s a tough sell to convince folks to pull rather than ride, hence the ever increasing riding population.  Something has to change, as this trend is not sustainable !  Just my opinion.