Bitcoins: Fame or Lame?

We’ve heard so much about this virtual currency.  From different people mining for the currency to the government possibly stepping in to regulate it.  We’ve had some time to look at this and mine for bitcoins.  Back around the time that we started this website,  We got heavily vested in Folding@Home.  It was exciting and an absolute challenge.  I think our users can really relate to this.  Since then, F@H has sort of dropped off and we simply are not really based around F@H anymore, But we’ve looked at getting into something new as a community.  Could mining for bitcoins be it?

If your not familiar with bitcoins yet.  Each bitcoin is worth anywhere from 120 to 150 USD per bitcoin.  It gained almost overnight success when Cypress’s national currency died, bitcoin’s adopted in to keep things going.  Overnight we saw bitcoins go from 20 USD per bitcoin to 120 USD .  Very impressive if you ask me.  It turned the currency from  not being profitable to mine to being profitable.

So what does it mean to Mine bitcoins?  When you mine bitcoins you run mathematical calculations for the bitcoin network to verify and confirm transactions and increase security.  To reward people for their services, bitcoin minder can essentially collect transaction fees for the transactions they can confirm along with newly created bitcoins.

Sounds easy doesn’t it?  It’s not.  It’s actually very hard to do and requires a LOT of power(CPU/GPU).

My nVidia 690 only was able to do about 200 megahashs/sec.  Which may make you 1 bitcoin per month.

What is a hash?  Hash rate is really a unit of measuring the processing power of intensive mathematical calculations and operations for the security of the bitcoin network.  200 Megahashs/s would be 200,000,000 hashs/sec.

How is your money protected?  They use a key system similar to the OpenSSH system.  You have a private key, and a public key.  If you loose your private key, you essentially loose your money.  When you want to send a payment or receive a payment.  You receive or send someone your public key.  The system is essentially a P2P system, and one downfall is you cannot get your money back after its sent.  It is very necessary that you protect your private key, because if you do happen to loose this. you are SOL.

So I think the biggest question is, is it worth it?  The only person who can answer that is yourself.  I can tell you that there are a lot of computer shops, and clothing shops that are accepting bitcoins to receive payment.  Can you imaging paying .1 bitcoin or possibly less for clothing?  Well its a very real possibility.

Let us know what you think.

Discuss here.

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