If I buy a block erupter, what can I do with it other than mine Bitcoin (I know it's not profitable/possible)?
My understanding is that ASICminers can't mine scrypt-based alt. coins. Edit: Alternatively, thinking about how much it would cost to buy 1 USB block erupter and whatever else I need for it, I probably could just buy a pretty nice graphics card. Is it possible to buy one and set it up to GPU mine (for alt coins, not BTC)?
Getting a bit overwhelmed with the coronapocalypse.
First off, I'm sorry if this post is off-topic or inappropriate here, but I like the blog and enjoy lurking in this community. I don't really want to start a conversation. At least, it's not my goal. Also, please know I'm not going to do anything rash. I just want to get these thoughts off my chest (more accurately, out of my head), and you guys here are the kind of people I'd want reading them. I don't need a response, or even an upvote. It's enough knowing someone will read it. I'm not asking for help. I'm not exactly sure what any of us, individually, can really do right now anyway. We aren't in control now, and that's sobering and terrifying. If you want to help me, just try to influence things in your microcosm for good. Be kind and help your family, friends, and neighbors. [Also, putting it out there ahead of time - feel free to look at my post history and decide that I'm not a good person. I'm fine with that, but know this is my troll/shitpost/inappropriate-use Reddit account. And it's my only Reddit account.] I'm not a fan of social media. I like real people in the real world and avoid this sort of thing. Since that option been taken away, here I am. That all being said, here is my rant:
This whole coronapocalypse/covidtastrophe/viriigeddon/end times is getting me down.
In "normal" times, I'd just drop some acid, and in the psychedelic state, I'd watch the news... see the squabbling of the US political parties (or any countries political parties), the other straight-up nonsense that passes as "news", shrieking hyperbolic hysterics, ridiculous posturing from talking heads, the stupid celebrities.... and I'd just laugh. The whole outside world would seem so disconnected with 'true reality' — all so 'alien' — and my only reasonable way to respond to it is with amusement and laughter. Such a great feeling, feeling being connected to something deeper. At least, it was great, the news was always so ridiculous and FAKE, until now. Now it's serious, it's real, and there is no time for that kind of distraction. Before I rant and ramble on, I need to say that I'm essentially the most grounded, most resilient, and most unfazed person out there, a goddamn rock no matter what supposed emergency is happening outside. A bit of a dick maybe, a bit of Floridaman, but not neurotic, and never one to panic. I'm the stereotypical "prepper" dude, the macho asshole, proud redneck, and I've faced years of snide remarks, derision, maybe even simple eye rolling from my "liberal" "hippie" 'friends'. No offense to you guys. I've got my "arsenal", the details of which I don't want to go public with. I've been training for our next civil war, like all the other paramilitary militia douchbags. I've got two years worth of MRE's in the pantry. I had my 250 rolls of toilet paper in the supply closet, from way before the current panic buying. I've got my own private pharmacy (that that I regularly cycle expiring drugs out of) that practically meets the WHO definition of a functioning health system. I've got the majority of WHO Model List of Essential Medicines stocked, many acquired at great personal risk. Also, I don't know how to use a lot of it, but I've got surgical equipment, an external infusion pump, an oxygen generator, and even more stuff I'll probably never use. I always joked that when the SHTF and it's TEOTWAWKI, the first thing I'd look to acquire would be a friendship with an actual doctor. The second would be a farmer friend - someone who doesn't kill off plants like I do. Turns out that whole worldview was naive. None of my expected scenarios have come to fruition. I wasted my a lot of my time, and a decent amount of money. So now, I'm just sad, and I'm scared.
I've been sick now - for a week.
I'm apparently one of 1,200 people still waiting for my test results (for more than four days now) after being roughly nose swabbed and throat scraped by a military medic. A very cute military medic girl, mind you, but still, a girl in a moonsuit, who seemed way more frightened than me. I'm now under quarantine, at least through the 29th, regardless of what the test result turns out to be. Turns out the test results won't even matter. COVID or no COVID, you get told to quarantine yourself, and call '911' if you stop breathing, informing them of your test status. It's like a bad joke. We've got the National Guard deployed, literally right outside here. The military is building a field hospital at my local airport to handle "mass casualties". We've got 100 confirmed virus cases in my county alone and two days ago a poor man just died just a few miles east of me.
I'm not a young man, unlike most of you kids online today. Luckily though, I already work from home, for a startup, so there is not any change in routine work for me. My biggest concern is for my elderly (and diabetic) mother. She is dependent on me for her care. I don't even know if I'm sick (Corona-sick, that is), and I sure don't want to get her sick. Hospitals here are on the verge of being overwhelmed. What if something happens? Even if I could get her to one, would it be any safer than treating her myself at home? At this point, if the worst happens, it's looking like I'm going to have to bury her, by myself, in our backyard. We can't even have a gathering of more than 10 people to have a proper funeral. Oh, on top of all that, I'm apparently not getting a paycheck tomorrow. This is not the fault of anyone. I could hear my boss choking back tears. I'm going to keep working anyway, because what else can I do? Now, with all this doom and gloom, I did what a lot of stressed out people with poor coping skills do: I called up my long-time reliable plug (drug dealer, for you normies), justifying my "final" relapse. Of course, he doesn't have shit for me, but he is selling face masks. No deliveries either - he's shut up at home too. If I want his overpriced masks, he accepts Bitcoin now, and he'll push my purchase through his mail slot. I'd need to act fast, apparently, because he was taping plastic sheeting up over all the doors and windows. Seems the mail slot will soon be unavailable. It's all like scenes from a bad movie outside. I thought about going back to the Catholic Church, breaking down, confessing forty years of sins, but the Churches have all closed their doors. I waited too long, apparently. It's too late even for absolution. My whole life has been peppered with threats of the apocalypse. We've been warned about the Reds and their atom bomb, then those commie's got the hydrogen bomb, and then we had Castro with his shitty little missiles - still tipped with nukes. I survived the Great Recycling of 1997 and the Hale-Bopp UFO. I think it was all supposed to end again, but in 1999. Then Y2K was it. Then 2012. Then killer asteroids - or are they actually meteors? Alien invaders maybe, with ray guns and particle beams. Jesus' Second Coming, the prophecies of Revelation. Maybe the Baptist's and Pentecostal's would get their Rapture? Or more likely Kurzweil and his Singularity - or should we call it Skynet? Perhaps genetic modifications gone wrong? Or some time travel mishap... paradoxes... a fatal causality trap. Supervolcano eruption: Yellowstone goes boom! Cobalt Thorium G doomsday devices. Global crop failures and subsequent mass starvation. Perhaps the boring Red v. Blue Civil War scenario I'd been running around in the woods "practicing" for? Nope. All fucking bullshit. Seems like we are all going to die looking out our windows, watching the sun shining, alone and quarantined, binge-watching the pandemic movie marathon on Netflix. When I'm gone, my friendly neighbors will get to split up my stock of MRE's. I hope the nice old lady at the end of the block gets first dibs on my toilet paper stash. This isn't the end times we were promised at all. This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but with a whimper. I just want everything to be OK.
USB Block Erupter questions from a newly interested miner...
OK, I have been seeing a lot of USB block erupter mining devices for sale and have started wondering. How well does something like this work? If I invested in one and then added one or two every once in a while as I had the extra cash could I potentially make any money or would I always be behind the curve? I have seen them selling for anywhere from the $40 range to over a hundred or more dollars. I guess my questions basically is: Would it be worth it to start doing it instead of just thinking and wondering about it. I figured this was the place to ask...thanks for any help
So I'm considering my first mining rig, because I'd like to get into bitcoin (not for the big digibucks) and I wanted to check my reasoning with the this subreddit. I see a lot of disrespect for the Block Erupters, but the cost has come down a bit. Using this configuration, you get 3GH/s for about $1200 in GPU's. Not counting the rest of the build, that nets you 2.5MH/s per $1. Using USB Block Erupters, you get 330MH/s for (based on current exchange) $90.3. This works out to 3.6MH/s per $1. Doesn't it make sense to build a mining rig out of Block Erupters instead of a costlier GPU rig which sucks power and makes noise? EDIT: Added mining rig link.
Ordered 10 Block Erupters from BTCGuild... 3 died within a day
I was excited to start mining again after ditching GPU mining. Once the price dropped to 0.06 per, I ordered a set of 10. Plugged in 5 to two different computers (both modern systems with quality motherboards and high output USB ports with individual fuses). Right off the bat, one of them wouldn't mine. The light would turn green as soon as mining was attempted. Later that night, another went down. It just stopped after a while. Edit: Only 2 went down, not 3, but I will have to test them more to make sure Is this common? Is there a way I can troubleshoot this? I am not doing anything crazy with my miners, just plugging them into various USB ports, and mining. They aren't crowded or anything that would cause problems as far as I can tell.
So this is an ASIC mining rig. Got like 1100 give or take to spend on this. please give this a look over, and if you have any suggestions, feel free. Im down to completely change the whole list, Just mostly want to maximize coin profit. I dont know what processevideo card/CPU to use because there are so many combo deals and I just dont know what would be best. Thanks, this is it: CPU ?? Mother board ?? video card ?? Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium WD 500GB Caviar Blue G Skill 2GB Zalaman ZM-T2 30GH Block Erupter
Hey guys I want to start mining. After doing some research I was ready to pre-order the monarch because it seems so powerful and worth it. Then I searched reddit. I now know I am not going to be getting that, but what out there is the most viable option for mining? Is there some other option? Should I just build a PC with multi AMD cards?
So, I have 6 USB ASIC Miners, they run on average anywhere from 2.1 to 3.1 Gh. I have been mining on EclipseMC for about 2 weeks and only have gotten 0.0105..... BTC. As of right now they appear to be generating next to nothing. Is that enough Gh? Is there a better pool to mine in? Should I just sell these right now and only take a small loss? When I bought them, I used a bitcoin calculator, and it seemed to think I would make my money back in 3.5 months.. but I dont think I can even do that now with the difficulty going up?
Has anyone tried using bitmining hardware? What was your experience with it?
So I've been looking into mining bitcoins, and I understand that everyone now thinks it is a bad idea since you won't really make a profit. My question is, what about bitmining hardware like this where you can get max 600 GH/s? Is that total BS?
Wealth Formula Episode 187: Ask Buck Part: Part One
Catch the full episode: https://www.wealthformula.com/podcast/187-ask-buck-part-part-one/ Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone and let's get on with the Ask Buck component of today's show. As a reminder this is part one of two. The next one will be airing next week, but we have lots of questions. I want to make sure we give adequate time and yet not bore the lights out of you by making this into a two-hour show. So the first question from Jeffrey Cattell. Jeffrey asked, hey Buck I had a question about investing with an LLC and mortgages. I had heard that purchasing rental properties inside an LLC limits you to getting a commercial mortgage. Can you discuss the differences between commercial and conventional mortgages and how buying within an LLC affects your options. Yes I can certainly give it a try and of course remember I am not an attorney and I am not an adviser these are my opinions and there are things that I've done etc so don't hold me to it, I'm just giving you my perspective. So let me start out by reminding you a little bit about you know the different kinds of mortgages and they're kind of obvious right I mean there are two really two kinds of mortgages there's two residential there's a commercial mortgage. Now residential mortgages I mean that's the kind that you get for your house that's the kind that you might get for a 1 to 4 unit house or duplex or triplex or quad but you can get a second or third mortgage etc but those are all considered residential mortgages. Pricing is obviously best when it's the first one and it's your primary home but these other residential mortgages that you get as a second or third etc are generally favorable in terms of pricing and amortization and all that stuff as well. Now if your property is already owned by an entity such as an LLC or you're buying it in the name of an LLC by definition you are no longer in the residential category because you're declaring to everybody in the world that this is an investment property in which case you must obtain a commercial mortgage which the major difference between the two frankly is just that the commercial mortgages are more expensive and have less favorable terms than residential ones. So how can you potentially get around this okay. So I let me give you an example and again this is not advice but I'm gonna talk about experience and the experience of others around me so I've had a couple of houses that I own in Chicago one of them that I lived in for a few years and now I rent them all. I bought those houses in my name and therefore at the time we got mortgages and the mortgages are in my name, my wife and my name in this case, but after they were purchased in personal name and mortgages were issued, I then transferred them over especially after obviously when I moved down and I rented the place out into an LLC. So they are now deeded to an entity each shows actually deeded to a separate entity. The process that used to do this is called a quitclaim deed. So if you want to ask your attorney about doing something like this is called a quitclaim deed. Now theoretically and I emphasize the theoretical here if you do this your mortgage could be called. Why? Because in your mortgage usually it's gonna tell you you you know you you know this is a mortgage on you and that if you make these kinds of changes you gotta let them know. In practice though what I have found and this is the part where I keep emphasizing I am not giving you advice is that everyone does this right everyone does a quitclaim deed everyone does it. My dad has been doing this for 50 years and has never had a problem. I'm doing it now and these are major banks they even know about it they don't seem to care. Anyway as long as the mortgage gets paid it seems like no one cares. So bottom line is what most people do what I've done for these smaller properties, buy them in your own name quitclaim deed, so you can't but in your own name get the good better mortgage and then quitclaim. Am I advising you to do that? No. I'm not advising you on anything just what I do what I've done what my dad's done and a lot of people I know have done. Okay all right so that is the first question. Now I'm going to move over to an audio question because some of you weren't chicken. Just kidding I'm kidding about that but audio questions are fun they're fun to hear from people so let's see the so I got have a question here from Garth. Okay Garth here we go. Garth: Hello Dr. Joffrey this is Garth in Portland Oregon. I understand the definition of accredited investor which I am not one but I've also heard a term sophisticated investor and I'm wondering if that is different than accredited investor and if so what do I need to do to get that title? Thanks. Buck: Thanks for the question Garth. So the question really is what is a sophisticated investor? Well first of all why does this matter in the first place it's all accredited sophisticated stuff? Well the answer that, for private placements in real estate a certain kind of offering is frequently used called a Regulation D offering, it's the typical structure. Regulation D, a Regulation D offering allows you to move forward with a private offering without pushing it through the SEC for formal classification as the security. Now why would you not want to file with the SEC? Well there's two reasons really cost in time, it's expensive. But the bigger issue in terms of real estate is a very practical one it's the element of time. So if you're doing an SEC filing and you know on an offering it's gonna take you at least a year to get that through the SEC and contrast that with the fact that when you get a building under contract and you know one of the properties that we do an investor club for example, usually you got some under contract you raise capital you close the building and all that it's happening within three months, so you only usually have a very short period of time, you don't have time to send that to the SEC and let them mess around with it. And the SEC in reality knows this so this is not a new new thing this regulation D, it's been around forever you know but so they provide this as an exception to the rule they say if you're not going to file with the SEC you can still do this legally but it has to be under this kind of exemption Reg D and these are limited, these will be limited to investors that are either accredited which we've talked about before, you make $200,000 a year for two years with a reasonable expectation of doing it again the next year, $300,000 if filing jointly and/or a net worth of $1,000,000 outside of your personal residence. That is an accredited investor. What's a sophisticated investor? Well that's the problem right? So that's that's not very clear, it's not very clear at all and it's a little nebulous and when it's not clear frankly often that becomes the area of abuse. There's no clear definition of a sophisticated investor. Sophisticated investors are supposed to be financially savvy. They're supposed to have experience and knowledge and acumen that makes them more qualified to make decisions about these types of more sophisticated investments than your average Joe. But the problem is that it's essentially up to the fundraiser to determine if an individual is sophisticated or not. Now I have seen situations where people join say a real estate gurus organization and immediately upon paying for the course they are somehow deemed sophisticated and start investing in other students deals within that ecosystem, a bit shady if you ask me but it is what it is. Now that's not to suggest that you in particular are not sophisticated because if you're listening to this show there's a very good chance you are sophisticated, you may you know just understand the language well and you may understand real estate well you may own a bunch of real estate and you want to invest passively in a real estate syndication and in those cases you might be sophisticated, you know. I mean it is a little bit random because you know I run into people who are making you know doctors who are making five hundred thousand dollars a year but they've only made it for eighteen months and so therefore they're not accredited, right? So then you have to make some judgment calls but anyway bottom line is sophisticated is subjective but I think the biggest problem for this terminology is that there really is no safe harbor in my opinion at least that makes it really really difficult to deal with from the side of the operator and therefore in our group in general for investor club it's very rare when we will you know not require the true accredited definition and the reality is most major syndicators won't even consider sophisticated investors who are not accredited for this reason, it just becomes one of those situations you don't want to put yourself in trouble. Okay so let's go to the next question or a couple questions from the same individual so that's fine too, okay from Ron. Ron: I have a question about Bitcoin. Where do the new bitcoins come from in short I know we are accurate we have and they create blocks in those blocks we store transactions and the miners get a fee for building a block that's 12 Bitcoin I believe so are those 12 bitcoins also getting into relation we'll end up with those 21 million bitcoins in the end or is there something else? So that's my question can you help me with that. Thank you. Buck: Sure Ron pretty straightforward I mean without getting into too much technical the new Bitcoin you mentioned you know the whole mining basically the new Bitcoin come from doing the mathematical work to solve these complex mathematical problems that's what these supercomputers do those are the miners and then there's a competition whoever gets the answer first as you mentioned gets rewarded with this fee, they get rewarded with Bitcoin and that's weird those Bitcoin are actually generated so that's what it means to mine Bitcoin and you're also right they'll never be more than 21 million Bitcoin you know so that's one of the true values of Bitcoin is that it is a finite thing there’ll never be more than 21 million so the fact that some go out of circulation to get lost etc it's deflationary in that regard. The last thing I guess I would point out is you know what happens after mining is complete with 21 million well basically miners get paid for exchanges transfers etc at that point but it'll be interesting to see how that all turns out at that point. All right I think Ron has another question here and I think it's related. Ron: Hello there Buck. Ron again here with a question, a what-if scenario. What if my thousand dollar worth of Bitcoin explodes and all of a sudden it's 1 million and I started with storing it on my Ledger Nano S. Is that still a good way to go when it's about a million or maybe 10 million or do I need to have some other methods in place due to spread risks or to be safe? Please let me know. Thank you. Bye bye. Buck: Alright well a good question you know what Ron is talking about is the Ledger Nano S which is a hardware wallet it basically is something that's stored offline. Now listen that's what makes it so resistant to you know any kind of hacking right so you're not it's you're not online if you're not online no one can get to you, you know a hacker and Russia can't get to you, you know. But so if you suddenly end up with a million dollars of Bitcoin or more the reality is that in terms of the ledger it's just as bulletproof as before. I think the issue becomes when people have you know when they get like several million dollars a Bitcoin or Bitcoin million you know multi millionaires and billionaires or whatever then you know I may become a little nerve-racking just to have this little ledger around here right you may want to have you might want to have a little bit more protection than that in which case you might consider some kind of a custodian service like Gemini etc, but that's you know that's not necessary because one of the things about Bitcoin one of the appeals is that itself the ability to self custodian this stuff right you don't need a bank for this. And so I guarantee you that people are walking around with millions of dollars on their ledgers. Now I will point out that you know Ledger Nano S is just one Hardware wallet and you can get a lot more sophisticated and complicated type things you can even get a like a multi signature wallet Hardware wallet would that would require you know multiple people's keys in order to get to the cryptocurrency which you know I mean if you end up with a ton of money in crypto currency that's you know that's probably something that you might want to do. Okay next question from John Jillette. Hi Buck love your podcast been extremely helpful in increasing my financial intelligence. There's been talk about impending financial crisis from well-known economist Dent, Rickards and Schiff. What do you believe in the percentage chance that we go into a 2008 like financial crisis in the next couple years? Also as the recession is always coming how much dry powder do you recommend having at this point in the cycle scoop up deals when there's “blood in the streets”? Good question John the problem in my view with those guys that you talked about Harry Dent, Jim Rickards, Peter Schiff all super smart guys right and Harry Dent was on the show recently, is that they've all been predicting the same darn thing for at least four or five years now, right? I mean and it hasn't happened and when there is some sort of pull back because as you said there's always gonna be a recession at some point why is it after you blood in the street, you know? The bottom line is that you know Harry Dent in our last show even said you know I said dude it's hard to predict when right yeah it's hard to predict one I absolutely admit that. So what do you do then because let me give you an example of the counter risk to this whole you know this whole world of fear-mongering, and I'm not saying those guys are just doing that on purpose for that reason, I mean I do think that you know if your whole thing is like the world is coming to an end and you need to buy gold and your major business is selling gold then you know it's a little bit hard to swallow sometimes but let me give you an example of what could happen. So six years ago because you know I said before that Peter and you know all these guys have been talking about for five years at least about how you know everything's going to hell. Six years ago there was a company that we work with now called Western Wealth Capital and Investor Club and they have an investor who has put in twenty five thousand dollars and every deal for the last six years and they have a really unique model of people within our group know a lot about it. The total of seven hundred fifty thousand dollars was invested out-of-pocket during that period of time but the principle is now worth four million dollars. Now those are pretty exceptional numbers right that comes out to you know an annualized return of about a hundred percent and I'm not saying that that is you know what's going to happen in the future, but what I would skew to consider is what if we'd been listening to that advice for five years now? If this person had done that would they have done well? Okay well obviously not because you know if you stopped investing because of because of fear then you didn't make any money. Is it a guarantee that they would have lost money? Absolutely not. I mean listen these deals are really solid they go in there and they start to de-risk these things right away by driving up net operating income and maybe you know maybe wouldn’t have made as much money, but would it have lost a bunch of money? Well personally I just don't I don't think so. Now listen I'm not saying there will not be a recession. As I said eventually there will be. The problem is that we cannot time it and we cannot really quantify the magnitude. As much as people would love to talk about this blood and the street thing I mean the major mainstream economists and ITR Economics who I like don't think it's gonna be that big, they think it's gonna be stuck to the manufacturing and industrial sectors. So what do we do? So what do I do? I should say that I stick to quality assets and quality areas, I create value the moment you know that and then we create value in those assets the moment we acquire them, right? So that helps that whole value add concepts helps de-risk any project by dynamically decompressing cap rates. So think about it you you know you you buy something at a certain cap rate all the sudden you're driving in net operating income and you dynamically decompress your cap rates you have a better margin over your debt burden your risk is significantly lowered and if you can get all of your money out of the deal with a refinance all of your risk is gone okay. So now if there is a downturn and you're in one of these things you want to be in a position where you can ride out the storm with assets you already own and then, and then, this is the important part, lean into the downturn right lots of people freeze up when things go south or but the right thing to do is to be greedy when others are scared. So by continuing to deploy on a regular basis my personal belief is that you can volume average your way through a downturn and get capital preservation and then hopefully pick up some really cheap assets, ride them back up and hopefully it you know you end up in really good shape. That's my own approach to this. I'm not sitting around waiting for zombies to you know erupt out of the ground and start you know only accepting silver dollars, you know from a monster box. I'm just that's just not I just don't see it. As for the current financial climate I'd say the banks are, and I think again most economists would tell you that the banks are in a lot better shape than they were in 2008. I don't think that there's necessarily anything that looks like 2008. I think GDP has grown at a record for a record length of time it's been sluggish but on the other hand you know so in other words there will be some kind of recession eventually but why does it need to be blood in the streets? See we have to remember that before 2008 there was such thing as a recession that you just hear about like three months after it happened right it doesn't always have to be cataclysmic. Now you know talking about these guys you know Peter Schiff himself talks about you know the nature of this crisis that he sees happening and what he describes it as, is a dollar crisis. And if it's a dollar crisis what that means is it's gonna result in inflation. Now inflation is good for real estate. Conversely you've got Harry Dent who's talking about a deflationary recession which I have a harder time believing because of how it affects our own ability to pay you know Treasury holders, US Treasury holders, but you know even Harry thinks in his scenario that well you might as well you know own multifamily real estate because the demographics would suggest that that would be a safe place to be now Harry's a demographics guy. Now listen who knows what'll really happen just because Harry said that and Peter said that and I said this it could be completely something different, but if you do nothing and keep all your money in a bank you're guaranteed to lose money with inflation in my opinion because again I don't think it's gonna be deflationary I've been over that before. And as for dry powder it’s always good to have some obviously right I mean it's always good to have some, so it's hard to quantify how much. The way I have done it is I use as you may know I'm sure you know by now I am an advocate for Wealth Formula Banking because I like the option of you know being able to borrow etc. now for this purpose I use Wealth Formula Banking because it's it's sort of a source of liquidity for me that I can access very quickly that it's out of the banking system but how much dry powder I keep, generally relies on my contribution to the Wealth Formula Banking policy every year. So it's one of the things that sort of keeps me honest right I have to put a certain amount every year in there all the way up to the paid up perdition's and so that's basically circulating as my you know almost like a bond portfolio of liquidity in case I need it, so that's how I do it. But that being said, I'm also in a situation where I am very incentivized to invest rather than to keep my money around or invest in anything that's not real estate so I probably could do a better job with keeping a little bit more dry powder around. Anyway right now, so Wealth Formula Banking that's where my dry powder is and like I said that's where it keeps me disciplined, but I do not have a crystal ball and I don't really I'd really don't foresee myself anything horrible happening so I mean if I did if I was sure of it I'd probably I'm sure I would just you know have a bunch of money sitting around but I don't see any serious indication of that frankly. You know and I should point out I saw today you know Ray Dalio came out and said even about the stock market that he's bullish still right on the stock market, right? I'm not saying I'm bullish on the stock market but the point is there's some still some big names not really like hiding out in shorting markets at this point. So anyway I don't know that I even came close to answering your question but I talked a lot so let's see here. Next question Jason got an audio question. Jason: Buck, this is Jason Beck from The Rock Arkansas. Wanted to see if you had come across any good ways to utilize raw land investments for a tax-advantaged purpose. I've got some land that is timber and some more land that is pasture that we keep some horses on. I want to see if you had seen anybody utilize either various schedules on their tax returns or creation of entities to try to gain some tax advantage from those type of investments? Buck: Yeah the big one that comes to mind Jason is conservation easements. Now you know as soon as I say that a lot of people think oh that's that one thing that's kind of like that the IRS hates and they write articles about to try to scare people off of them and that's actually not totally the case the thing that IRS really hates are the syndicated conservation easements even those you know they're totally lawful but what I'm talking about is conservation easements on your own land which really are not controversial for the most part at all. So basically here's how that works okay. Effectively what you do in a conservation easement is you commit your land you still keep it you don't give it but you're giving up certain rights, you remember like yeah if you do any kind of real estate you know there's land rights there's ground rights all that kind of stuff. Anyway, in this case you're giving up the right to develop the land and or or in some cases if it's a mining situation, giving up the right to drill on the land. And if you do that what's interesting is that and what's powerful is that you can if you’ve done it appropriately get a valuation on your lands maximum value if it were to be used for that other purpose. Well let's give a give you an example so it's not so nebulous in other words say the alternative of keeping your horse pasture land was to build a multi-million dollar resort and you had all the plans you had architectural drawings etc. In that case you could theoretically get a valuation of how much that resort would be valued at and take the deduction for the amount of the valuation that you got instead of the value that your land currently has. So as you can imagine that could be an enormous potential tax benefit and so I would probably look into that for sure there's some very famous people who use that, Ted Turner CNN that's why he's got so many Buffalo, people say Donald Trump that's one of the reasons why he has so many golf courses but of course we don't see his tax return so we don't know that for sure. Anyway I know the guy you should speak with and I have already sent you a connection via email. Okay next question when evaluating a private placement opportunity I should say I don't I for some reason I don't have a name on this one so I apologize, but when evaluating a private placement opportunity, how important is it to you that the general partner has their own personal money invested in the deal? Well the answer is it depends okay. Let's take Ken McElroy for example let's take Western Wealth Capital and those guys for example Ken's be a better example because Western Wealth Capital I know got a couple of million dollars in every deal but let's take Ken. In the past you know where he was I've invested in as a limited partner in companies deals where you know I neither Ken was putting any money in and does that bother me not really. Why? Well listen I know Ken's model and he doesn't really get rewarded unless the asset performs. I also know Ken personally and know that he works hard, has a lot of integrity and takes pride in his work. He's got a tremendous track record and I also know that it takes a lot of work to do what he does, so not getting rewarded financially until the you know property starts to really perform the way he pro formas it out is a type of sweat equity because what you're talking about ultimately is skin in the game. Does the operator have skin in the game? And the question really I think is better termed you know does the operator have skin in the game? Because the skin in the game can also come in the form of sweat equity. Now if Ken in his case doesn't get paid unless investors get paid, I would definitely consider that skin in the game knowing how much work that is. Now the problem these days in my opinion is that there is you know there's everybody and their mother is a syndicator. And you know what I'm talking about right? So you've got all these people I was in here, I'm a full-time software engineer we're 50 hours a week and oh yeah and I just went to a guru course and I'm you know I'm taking down a twenty five million dollar asset would you like to join me? Those people are everywhere now and in those kinds of deals personally I would never invest anyway. However, if you do you should demand heavy skin in the game through cash why because you don't you know you don't know what they're gonna do, they don’t have a huge track record, they've got full-time jobs this isn't just about plugging in a property manager and taking your cut that's BS you know but honestly I would stay away from those deals all together personally you don't want to be part of someone's learning curve. All right let's see next question I have this via email here, I'm gonna read it. Okay so the next question is from Kenny. Kenny French is asking he says hi Buck I'm a podcast listener and Western Wealth Capital investor as well. I'm currently working with Rod Zabriskie to set up Wealth Formula Banking life insurance policy. So far everything has been going pretty smoothly with one exception. One of the features that I really like about the life insurance policy is it offers a way to have money grow that is protected from creditors and it really gives me a peace of mind to know that I will have a good chunk of money set aside for my family that can't or at least is very difficult for creditors or anyone else to touch. In looking how to hold that policy in a trust LLC personally etc I found out that California, where I live, that's where I live too, has terrible protections for life insurance policies. They only exempt a very small amount less than $20,000 presumably of cash values what we're talking about there, but from the little bit of research I did it looks like a Nevada trust may be the way to go, either way I think this would make for a good podcast topic to do a bit of a dive into so that's why I'm reading that and I got Kenny's okay to do this. So I thought was a good question. So what I did is I actually ran this by Doug Lodmell of Lodmell and Lodmell. Doug is of course my asset protection attorney, very smart guy, all-around good guy. I also want to put a plug in for him if you go to wealthformula.com and you go to there's basically some where you can click there and Doug did this really good webinar on asset protection from sort of the very basic to the more complex and he's just really really good so I would highly recommend you consider using him if any of this stuff is relevant to you. So here's the deal, and here's effectively the answer I've got from Doug: life insurance in many states is already a protected asset, so part of the issue is you got to check in your own state like Kenny did, as in some states like Kenny he's talking about California life insurance turns into pretty much just like an asset like any other asset and it has to be put into an asset protected vehicle. But because it is life insurance, there is an additional consideration of what happens when the policy pays out and how that affects the estate and for that reason there's also an additional choice which is an ILIT which stands for irrevocable life insurance trust. So the issue is that life insurance obviously has a death benefit which could impact the size of your estate and this must be a primary driver for where you hold it. If the death benefit will create or increase in estate tax, then the policy should be held by either an ILIT or another type of gift type trust like a dynasty trust. If the death benefit will not affect the estate tax because the total estate is below the exemption then I would suggest using an asset protection trust asset protection structure to hold the insurance if you are not in a state with good protections. He says it also matters if the insured is using life insurance as a savings vehicle and will need it for their retirement, as often we do with these kinds of things. If so then it is better in an asset protection plan. So I know that was a lot. So first of all if you know you're one of these if you have one of these plans I mean Kenny brings up a very good point you you sure look into this if you're looking for the asset protection component of this too. A few thoughts here okay, first of all you know the first thing to do is check your state and see what kind of protections you have. Next you know the ILIT is certainly an option right I mean it's it's just it's not very expensive it is a couple thousand dollars and you can use that, the problem with that it's difficult to to borrow out of. The next thing to consider is okay how big is that life insurance policy right? If it's three four million bucks, may not be a big deal especially if the rest of your estate is sitting outside of your estate or you've got a plan to have it outside of your estate then you can still figure out you know how to keep you know your estate stuff below you know whatever I think it's probably gonna sunset down to five and a half million or something like that for estate taxes. So in that regard, it seems to me that the smart thing to do would be to use like an asset protection trust which is you know certainly an option that that Doug can help you with, and frankly the nice thing about that is that you know you've got the protection from the creditors and it's still available for retirement. Now if you've got a great big you know death benefit on there, the next step really and actually this step that I've got is a dynasty trust, that was a Nevada dynasty trust and I've got one of those. In that situation though you are getting a trustee involved so you're not directly controlling it. Now I can tell you from personal experience that it's actually relatively not that difficult, you know to work with the trustee, but it does make it a little bit more difficult you know to get the cash available for the insured to use so that's the one thing to consider. Now Doug makes the point that you can also in some situations take an asset protection trust that automatically converts to a dynasty trust at death so then it's really the most flexible tool for most people so that might be the way to go. I think based on what I'm hearing and that's actually different from what I did but you know it was before I met Doug but I might have done like an asset protection trust that converted into a dynasty trust later that might have been what I would have done. Anyway complicated question complicated answer and that's kind of where I'll leave it because I've got a little headache from that last one at this point. So that's it for this week and that is just like half the questions we've got. We've been going on for a while. So that's it for me this week on Wealth Formula Podcast for Ask Buck Part One and we'll be back next week with part two.
My first 30 days running a Bitcoin only E-commerce business.
The MineNinja store, www.mineninja.com, has been up for a month now, so I figure its a good time to reflect on the whole experience of running a business that accepts Bitcoin exclusively. I’ve run other E-commerce websites, mainly selling digital products for PayPal. In my previous experiment I tried adding Bitcoin payment to one of my best performing products and honestly got less than stellar results even offering a huge discount. After studying the market I determined that a better path was to offer a product that would appeal to one of the core segments of the Bitcoin participant population: Bitcoin miners. The MineNinja is a Bitcoin mining controller for managing USB connected ASIC devices. I underestimated how difficult the whole process would be from manufacturing to shipping. The first few orders were very painful to fulfill. There were many late nights spent trying to dial in the packaging and shipping. 3d took some time to get dialed in correctly, and we threw away a ton of failed prints. It was a great learning experience. I also learned that keeping everything denominated in Bitcoin is risky. When the price of Bitcoin fell, and I didn’t update my pricing quick enough, we had sales that resulted in a net loss. I could eliminate this risk by pricing in USD, but it’s a matter of principle to keep it all Bitcoin. I didn’t do any sort of advertising, no Adwords or anything like that. All I have done is just a few posts on bitcoin and Bitcoin related forums. I did a total of 28BTC worth of sales for the first month. Expenses: Startup Investment - 3D printer: $2195 Cost of Goods Sold:
USB Block Erupters: 10BTC
Power Supplies: $75
microSD cards: $100
The USD denominated supplies were personally funded. I am trying to keep all the BTC earnings in BTC. I am moving my supply chain to Bitcoin as practical. I found a cool 3d Printer company www.makergeeks.com that accepts Bitcoin payments so next month’s personal finances will be a little better. I’m still having to pay USD to buy the boards as I have not yet found a supplier that accepts Bitcoin payment. I don’t think my decision to go with a completely open source solution hurt sales too badly. Most customers chose the more expensive ready-to-mine options over the build-your-own. I got hit hard for BeagleBones when the BTC price dropped, and I didn’t adjust prices, but thankfully my low inventories and a recent rebound in price insulated me from disaster. Now that I have shut down my GPUs, I can move the business from the dining room table to the room we now refer to as the "crap room." The big weekend project is to clean it out and convert it into the CoinNinja headquarters. I’ve got quite a few cool things planned for the MineNinja project and other CoinNinja Open Source projects. Stay tuned.
New to mining. Electricity is free. What are some low cost hardware options that'll make enough for grocery costs?
I've been using nicehash on my gtx 1060 and my fx-8350 the last couple days, netting me a whopping $3.12 in 2 days. That's an extra 539 a year so it at least pays for 5/8ths of a months rent. However, I have about $450 to spare that I was going to use to buy bitcoin. I would like to, instead, buy a cheap mining rig that can at least make a couple hundred a month. At my current $46.8/month mining, I think a cheap dedicated rig could easily pull that off, right? I found a "AsicMiner Blade Block Erupter" for $50 on ebay that looks like it doesn't take much power, can be attached to my gaming rig's PSU, and gets 10Gh/s. My nicehash states im currently getting 29Mh/s, so that's a substantial, simple upgrade, right? All in all, if there are other options that I can easily attach to my computer, rather than a separate power supply, that's be amazing EDIT: i suspect my current 29Mh/s is wrong, or the online mining calculators are off, because when i plug in that rate it shows i make about $0.014 per year, which clearly doesnt match up. Can someone confirm this?
TL:DR: Don't bother mining if you want to get rich yo. You're way too late to the party. Welcome to the exciting and often stressful world of bitcoin! You are wondering what looks like a once in a lifetime opportunity to get rich quick. Of course you guys probably heard about this "mining" process but what is this? Simply put, a bitcoin mining machine that performs complicated calculations and when deemed correct by the network, receives a block which contains 25 bitcoins (XBT). This is how bitcoins are generated. So your brain instantly thinks, "Holy shit, how can I get on this gold rush?" Before you proceed further, I would like to explain the concept of mining further. Bitcoin is limited 21m in circulation. It is coded to release a certain number of blocks at a certain time frame, ie: this year the network will release close to 500,000 bitcoins. What this means is that the more people (or specifically the amount of mining power) mine, the less each person gets. The network tries to keep to this time frame through the process of difficulty adjustments which makes the calculations harder and this happens every 2 weeks. So every 2 weeks, you get less bitcoins with the same hash rate (mining power) based on what the difficulty changes are. Recently, the changes have been pretty staggering, jumping 226% in 2 months. You can see the difficulty changes here. Now, why are these changes so large? A bit of a simple history. Bitcoin's algorithm runs on SHA-256. This algorithm can be solved using many hardware, from CPU to GPU and dedicated hardware (Application Specific Integrated Circuits). When bitcoin first started, mining on CPU was a trivial process, you can pretty much earn 50 XBT (the block size then) every few hours between Q1 and Q2 of 2010. In late 2010, due to the difficulty increase that is reducing the effectiveness of CPU mining, people started to harness GPU mining. Only AMD GPU's architecture design are better optimized for bitcoin mining so this is what the community used. Immediate improvements of more than 10x was not uncommon. In time of course, GPUs reached their limit and people started to build dedicated. In the same vein as the CPU to GPU transition, similar performance increase was common. These ASICs can only perform SHA-256 calculation so they can be highly optimized. Their performance mainly depends on the die size of the chips exactly like CPU chips. In general, think of bitcoin mining's technological advancement no different to mining gold. Gold panning (CPUs) vs pickaxes (GPUs) vs machinery (ASICs) and we are still in the ASIC mining race. ASIC mining started with ASICMiner and Avalon being first to the market, both producing 130nm and 110nm chips. The technology are antiquated in comparison to CPUs and GPUs which are now 22nm with 14nm slated for Q1 next year by Intel but they are cheap to manufacture and with performance gains similar to the CPU to GPU transition, they were highly successful and popular for early adopters. At that point in time since there were less competing manufacturers and the low batch runs of their products, miners became really rich due to the slow increase in difficulty. The good days came to an end mid August with an unprecedented 35% increase in difficulty. This is due to existing manufacturers selling more hardware and many other players coming onto the market with better hardware (smaller die). Since die shrinking knowledge and manufacturing process are well known along with a large technological gap (110nm vs 22nm), you get an arms race. Current ASIC makers are closing in on our technological limit and until everyone catches up, the difficulty jumps will be high because it is just too easy to get a performance increase. Most newer products run at 28nm and most chips are not well optimized, so it will be around another 6 to 9 months before we see hit a hard plateau with 22nm or 14nm chips. The estimated time frame is because manufacturing chips at 22nm or 14nm is a more difficult and expensive task. In the meantime most manufacturers will probably settle at 28nm and we will reach a soft plateau in about 3 months. Now, you might ask these questions and should have them answered and if you have not thought about them at all, then you probably should not touch bitcoin until you understand cause you are highly unprepared and probably lose lots of money.
I read that you can mine with a CPU/GPU, should I do so?
No. If you have to ask, please do not touch bitcoin yet. You will spend more on electricity cost than mining any substantial bitcoin. Seriously. At all. A 7990 would produce a pitiful 0.02879 XBT (USD $14 @ $500/XBT exchange rate) for the next 30 days starting 23 Nov 2013 at 35% difficulty increase. And if you think you can mine on your laptop either on a CPU or GPU, you are probably going to melt it before you even get 0.01 XBT.
I get free electricity and I have existing hardware, should I still mine?
Probably not because you probably forgot that GPUs and CPUs produce a ton of heat and noise. You can try but I see no point earning < $20 bucks per month.
Should I buy an ASIC machine?
No, because your machine will probably not mine as much as buying bitcoins. This situation is called the opportunity cost. While you can still make money if XBT rise in value, it is a fallacy.
IE: if you start mining on 1 Dec 2013, a KnC Jupiter running at 450Gh/sec (KnC lies as not all chips run at 550Gh/sec) will yield you a total revenue of 9.5189 XBT with a profit of 0.7859 XBT in profit by 30th Jan 2014 at a constant difficulty increase of 35%. The opportunity cost is: 8.5910 XBT @ USD $580/XBT with USD $5,000 which is the cost of a KnC Jupiter. This is the best you can earn and it's a bloody optimistic assumption because:
You are assuming your pre-order will arrive on time. (I do not think any first batch pre-order from any manufacturer has arrived on time).
All pre-orders are sold out for 1 Dec.
You are assuming your chips will run at 450Gh/sec minimum but many miners here will tell you their chips have been under performing.
Electricity cost have not been taken into account.
Shipping cost and time has not been taking into account.
Import Tax or VAT has not been taken into account.
Risk of downtime due to DOA or warranties has not been taken into account.
You are assuming the difficulty increase will be a constant 35% which is very unlikely because Cointerra with a team that has worked on some of the world’s highest performance CPUs, GPUs and chipsets for NVIDIA, Intel, Samsung, Qualcomm and Nortel has pre-sold an absurd amount of hash rate. Difficulty increase of 45% or more (which we have seen when a small player, KnC shipped their 1st batch) will be repeated commonly. This is only 1 company, imagine what the rest will come out with. I have failed repeatedly and so have many in estimating future hashrate. You wont be able to do better.
Even if you earn some profit, it will be < 15% and will probably be not worth your risk or your trouble. I can buy and hold XBT with no risk of losing them.
The only circumstances where you will earn money is when XBT exchange rates is so high that it makes the opportunity cost pales in comparison. Unfortunately this is not the case. If XBT stabilized at 900/XBT today (20 Nov 2013) then we might have a good case. The risk is just generally not worth it. Unless you have at least a hundred thousand and can make a contract with a manufacturer for a lower cost, do not bother. Just wait until the arms race is over then you can start mining.
I understand I probably won't earn any money, I just want to do this for fun/hobby...
Okay, go buy an AsicMiner USB Block Erupter. They are cheap and pretty fun to have.
I want something with more omph and still do not mind losing money
Sure, just read the answer below on who NOT to go for. You are doing bitcoin a service by securing the network and you have our (the users') gratitude.
Who are the manufacturers?
You can check out the manufacturers and their products below along with a calculator here. If you still insist on buying, do not to go for BFL. Their track record is horrid and borderline scammish. KnC fucked up a lot with defective boards and chips. Personally, I think CoinTerra is the best choice. Alternatively, you can go on the secondary market to buy a delivered product. You can get a better deal there if you know how to do your "return on investment (ROI)" calculation. Personally, I will go for a 45%-50% difficulty increase for the next 3 months for my calculations and a 2% pool fee. However, most products on ebay are sold at a cost much higher than it should. bitcointalk.org is a cheaper place because everyone knows what are the true value is so you will find less options. If you are unclear or need assistance, please post a question.
Which pool should I use?
I actually do not use any of the pools recommended to the left because I think they lack features. My favourite is Bitminter (Variable fees based on features used; max 2%). It has all advanced features for a pool, very responsive and helpful owner on IRC. Variable fees is good for those who do not need a large feature set, even with all features turned on, it is still cheap. Eligius (0% fees) has high value for money but lacks features. It has anonymous mining which might be attractive to certain subset of people but not for others. Many other community member and I disagree highly with the opinions of the owner on the direction of bitcoin. I do use his pool for now but I do so only because I share my miners with a few partners and anonymous mining allows us to monitor the machines without using an account. Bitminter uses only OpenID which is problematic for me. BTC Guild (3% fees) is another big pool and is fully featured and does charge a premium for their fees. That said, they are the most stable of the lot. I do use them but do so only because my hoster uses them for monitoring. I try not to use them because a pool with a very large hash rate (they are the largest) presents a large vulnerability to bitcoin's network if compromised. All of them pay out transaction fees.
Been mining for about 2 years now and I've been using the S5 since its release with positive results. Even with free electricity the difficulty increase is grinding my payouts to a halt and I've been considering another miner but nothing seems to have the hash power to offset the difficulty for long. Currently the S4 looks good as I've seen prices as low as $495. Is anyone considering buying any new hardware or is the consensus buying bitcoin outright now that the difficulty is so high? Thanks for any insight!
The Simulation, The Multiverse, The Blockchain, and the Powers of Prediction acting on the Time-Space Continuum
The Simulation - The Multiverse A popular topic in philosophy and science as of late is the discussion regarding whether we live in a Simulation. This idea might seem modern, or like it was inspired by the Matrix trilogy, but in fact, this idea is as ancient as any. In Hinduism, the creation of the universe is attributed to Brahman - the idea that reality exists within the mind of the creator. This is altogether not terribly different than the story we are told in the Bible - that existence originates from the thoughts of a divine creator. The alpha, the beginning, and the omega, the end - these are points in time that didn't exist until their creation and measurement - more accurately, the measurement, by us, humans. How does this relate to The Simulation? We would have to ask, if this is a Simulation, then what is it a Simulation of? If we can look at the above stories, it is the question that seeks to know, "what would happen between the beginning and end of time?" And in this sense, what you are experiencing is one of the many possibilities that exist in between the beginning and end. You are simply, somewhere in the middle, between those two points, measuring the flow of time and change in reality. The Simulation Hypothesis is proposing that you are existing in a state of quantum infinite possibilities, and measuring the reality that currently appears as data in the form of vibration ( as light, sound, or materialistically), interpreted by your sensory organs, formatted into signals that can be interpreted by your nervous system which through your brain creates what we call, reality. Your recollection of the past reality is stored in your brain as memory - through a series of neural pathways that we cannot observe from the outside of the mind - but we have learned that this mechanism is subject to tampering. The human memory is a terrible way to store data - studies have shown that it is far from perfect. We constantly change how we remember the past so that we can live with ourselves in the present - we avoid taking responsibility for the part we play in the present entirely. We are seeking to justify our behavior in the past to avoid taking blame for the present realities we experience when they are negative. And yet, the memories that we contain about our perception of the past largely shapes how we act in the present, in an attempt to extrapolate the future in pursuit of a better one. Reality, itself, is subject to tampering. In an attempt to understand where we are in the planetary story, we pay attention to “world events” in anticipation that these events will affect us. We hear a story, and are told how it might affect us, and when we are affected, our minds create a cause and effect relationship between the two objects - the cause, and the experienced affect. Future similarities that fit the model to perceived correlations of the past result in modified behavior in the present to mitigate against the expected outcome. In this sense, we are computers made of meat, in a never ending cycle of storing data, observing data for patterns, in an attempt to extrapolate the outcomes of the future. We are walking prediction machines, looking into the past for trends, so we might learn how to craft a better future. Self awareness, and humility - result in our ability to observe how flawed these perceptions have been in the past, but this is in itself, a step in personal growth that many people are largely seemingly incapable of. We are innately aware of our ability to use these pattern recognition abilities to observe unpleasant past experiences in hopes of avoiding similar experiences in the future - and yet, we are also aware of how often our ability to predict the future goes awry - sometimes resulting in the unpleasant reality that we hoped to avoid. In this sense, we are always looking for better data, so that we can try to make better, more accurate, predictions about the future. And this action, of looking for a better authority figure to tell us what needs to happen next to avoid a future we all want, is dangerous in itself. This behavior of outsourcing our concern and contemplation to an authority figure is perhaps the most destructive habit humanity has ever shown itself to be capable of. And so, going back to our creation story, we are a microcosm of a celestial attempt to compute a simply question: What will/has/might happen between the beginning and end of time, as I perceive it? The brutal irony of the question, is that when a meat computer exists within a experiment to see what happens between the beginning and end of time, the meat computer within the calculation has a way of changing the outcome of the cosmic calculation of this question. An infinite amount of possibility exists as a result of a meat computer within a computation that is prone to making mistakes, unintentionally. But to err is human, and to be expected when the human doesn't have enough perspective or data at any one moment to make a completely educated guess about what's going to happen next, though the hardware is likely capable of optimizing for the future, if it had enough perspective. In spite of this, we can hopefully observe that the overarching trend is towards “good” - and in that sense, it is seemingly true, that as long as you try your best, you can forget the rest, things seem to trend in the right direction. But we must consider the possibility in every choice ever made, that another choice could have taken place that might echo through the reality of time. Cleaving the possible universe in two directions - some people refer to this as the multiverse - the multiple possible universes that could exist infinitely, in all directions. More simply put, it is all the possible configurations of matter and energy in the universe that could have ever been possible, when including such a fuzzy calculator as the meat computer that the human mind is. The Blockchain The first blockchain technology, Bitcoin, was created by a mysterious figure going under the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto”. It was created to act as a replacement for the banking system that didn't require a third party like Visa, Mastercard, or Bank of America to facilitate. Simply put, it is a system that keeps track of the balances of of the quantity of bitcoin in every account on the network, and keep track of its changes. The intervals that change is permitted to occur on are called, “blocks” - hence the name, blockchain. When you start at the beginning, or alpha/genesis block, there is nothing, and as blocks are created, a more complex arrangement of the balances of bitcoin are created using algorithms to validate the changes from one block to another. More specifically, it is a digital universe that is storing the present configuration of 1’s and 0’s to represent the location of all the bitcoin in existence by way of “wallet” addresses. But, let us imagine for a moment that this system was not accounting for all of the possible locations of “internet money” in “wallets” but instead, was accounting for locations in time and space, and the characteristics of matter and energy at those points. Imagine, that instead this decentralized network of computers was coming to an agreement about reality, not in the sense of how much money each of the users had, but rather how many protons, neutrons, and electrons existed in every possible location in space, and with what amount of energy. Now, every time a block is added to the chain, we are observing the increase/decrease in the presence of energy and particles in each of those possible points in space. If we viewed the changes in these points in space across a progression, we would be observing the change of matter in the flow of time. In this example, the smallest unit of time, is considered to be one block - in physics, the term for the smallest possible unit of time is referred to as a Planck. Physics would tell you that a series of Plancks observed together is what creates a moment in your experience of reality. The change from one planck to another is similar to to the blockchain - your ability to perceive these changes accounts for the continual progression of time as you observe it, which is to be the reality you live in. In the world of blockchain technology, if the machines measuring the change in reality have a disagreement - this can sometimes result in what is called a “fork”. It is when the network of machines measuring, changing, and maintaining the records of the past decide to go their separate ways. Litecoin and bitcoin cash are forks of bitcoin. Ethereum and Ethereum Classic are forks of each other. In this sense, we are watching these blockchain technologies create multiverses every time a fork happens. This is also what is happening in your reality every moment, but you simply cannot access the other forks, because you are experiencing the present reality you measure and choose to participate in while hoping to experience a better future. Prediction What we might consider prediction of the future is in many ways also our creation of that future through action. To think that a desired future is going to come your way simply by wishing for it without participation in the creation of that future is what some might refer to as “magical thinking”. However, inaction is, in itself, a choice that will affect the future. Sometimes, sitting and waiting patiently for change to occur is the right choice. Sometimes, expecting change to occur through inaction is madness. Whether something is madness, or the right choice, largely depends on the outcome, not that actions taken to get there. We do not evaluate a decision based on intention or hope - we base it on results. Results are, after all, the litmus test we use to determine if a choice is a success or not. But hopefully you can see, that the very action of attempting to predict the future, or assuming that one is capable of doing so, inherently changes the future. Which leads to an interesting question - can we predict a desired future, and through the expectation of it to come, actually cause it to manifest it? In short, this is the power of belief and its ability to change the world. It is the Law of Attraction. If you believe that America is going to erupt in cannibalistic anarchy, you might buy a gun, some salt, and pepper. In the presence of these ingredients, it has become that much easier to comfortably eat your neighbor in that horrific future, and thus, created a higher probability of cannibalistic anarchy occuring that drove you to prepare for it. Unfortunately, sales of guns, salt, and pepper are at an all-time high. So in this sense, we should be very afraid. But, perhaps, if we decided collectively that this future is not one that we want to move towards anymore, and predicted a better future for ourselves based on an honest reflection of humanities propensity for cruelty, greed, and madness - that we might be able engineer a prediction mechanism that could use those all too common human traits to manifest a better future. Imagine you are looking out the gap in the blinds of your house - waiting for the race war, or Mad Max future to show itself on your front door. You are deciding whether or not to buy an AR-15 and load up on seasoning and ammunition. The old adage, “Better to have one and not need it” has been the prevailing theory on how to ensure survival in a world where if you don't have a firearm, then in all likelihood, your neighbor does. But what about if we created an alternative that would better suit your needs when the shit hits the fan? Imagine if you could go to a marketplace for prediction, where you could express your worry, certainty, and desire for security in dollars. This already exists in many forms. You can imagine these marketplaces like a sportsbook or bookie for the future. Instead of betting on who is going to win the superbowl, you are betting on the likelihood of an awful outcome that worries you. This is also functionally what an insurance contract is. But imagine if we created an insurance plan that is so competitive in protecting you against the cannibalistic anarchy you are fearing, that instead of buying an AR-15, ammo, and seasoning, you purchased a position in the marketplace where if there was a collapse of society, you would get 500x your investment in a global store of value, like gold, or cryptocurrency. Now, instead of having spent 1,000 USD on an AR-15 and only having a AR-15 to survive the apocalypse with - you have the equivalent of 5,000,000 USD in transferable wealth. You can certainly buy a spare AR-15 at that point. You can also buy any other supplies, like chickens, salt, and pepper - and maybe not need to eat your neighbor. Would we not say that by using such a prediction market, we created a better possible future, where the likelihood of cannibalistic anarchy wasnt increased by the purchase of a firearm? Did the alternative to purchase such a position within a prediction market in fact decrease the likelihood of the awful outcome we had come to fear? Almost certainly. In this sense, simply because we predicted with near certainty that there would be no apocalypse, that the likelihood of an apocalypse decreased. But where would the limits be? How can we know if we never try? Imagine if instead of betting against the apocalypse, there was a 250:1 payout against the likelihood that a base on the moon will be created or discovered this year. In one year, if there was no moon base discovered or created, then the money anyone lost by betting such an outcome would happen could be rolled over into the next year. If in the second year, there was still no moon base discovered or created, the funds could be rolled over an additional time. If no progress was being made on creating a moon base, then we could increase the payout over time to maybe 500:1. Until finally, Elon Musk sees that the costs of creating a moon base is recoverable by way of betting on himself, and builds one, recouping the cost of construction from the prediction market. In this sense, we can imagine a mechanism of prediction that is fueled by greed, fear, wealth, and ambition, that might be able to create or prevent a future that as a species we desire to create in a decentralized way - without ever needing to see our politicians create a compromise to give that future to us. Every moment of your life is an opportunity to create a fork that might lead somewhere better. Often, we simply aren't aware that we have other choices. Maybe its time that we become more aware, before some sort of artificial intelligence becomes aware and makes the choices for us. Conclusion Make no mistake about it - you live in a Simulation on some level. Your very perception of the events of your life is a Simulation that only exists within your own head. When your mind and another mind meet, a compromise of reality must take place if those minds are going to come to cooperate in the pursuit of a better future. On a grander scale, we might be living in a decentralized computational model of reality that only seemingly exists because we perceive the changes through the lenses of our eyes. But hopefully, we exist in a non-deterministic reality, where the past, present, and future are all infinitely configurable and possible. And if all things are possible, then the only thing we can hope to do in the present is increase the probability of our desired possible outcome. But, if we are going to continue to live in fear of each other, rather than cooperate, it seems there is little hope for humanity. We would have to put our faith in the idea that all of us are mirror images of each other, and all want a better future for our families - and hope that a better future has room for us all.
Hello everyone, I recently setup my RPI as a PiHole, I gotta say this thing is pretty awesome blocks everything I need on the home network. Having trouble with youtube ads but thats another thing. But I got thinking if its on all the time about 70% of the time no-one is home in so No DNS requests are being made only IOT objects phoning home. I thought can I use that idle time and put it to some use. I looked into mining some crypto coins but could only find some ASIC block erupters but that would only mine bitcoin / litecoin and people say its not worth it. For the amount it cost to buy one I could buy another RPi and build something much cooler. Does anyone have and ideas for how I could put this idle time to good use ? Perhaps earning a few $ here and there?
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