The Bitcoin-Mining Arms Race Heats Up

bitcoinmining_heatsup09 Jan 2014 / Bloomberg – Joel Flickinger’s two-bedroom home in the hills above Oakland, Calif., hums with custom-built computing gear. Just inside the front door, in a room anyone else might use as a den, he’s placed a desk next to a fireplace that supports a massive monitor, with cables snaking right and left toward two computers, each about the size of a case of beer. Flickinger has spent more than $20,000 on these rigs and on a slower model that runs from the basement. They operate continuously, cranking out enough heat to warm the house and racking up $400 a month in electric bills. There isn’t much by way of décor, other than handwritten inspirational Post-it notes:

“I make money easily,” one reads.

“Money flows to me.”

“I am a money magnet.”

Flickinger, 37, a software engineer and IT consultant by trade, doesn’t leave the house much these days. He’s a full-time Bitcoin miner.

Bitcoin is the digital currency that thrills nerds, inspires libertarians, and incites the passions of economists who debate the value of money made from nothing but ones and zeroes. Devotees watch the fluctuations of Bitcoin’s price with a fanaticism typically reserved for college football scores. Alternative currency startups are being lavishly funded by venture capitalists while visionaries gush about the world-changing possibilities of money free from government control. Silicon Valley is the natural center for Bitcoin mania. An advocacy group named Arisebitcoin recently put up 40 billboards around the Bay Area with messages such as: “The Revolution has started … where do you stand?…. Read more

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-01-09/bitcoin-mining-chips-gear-computing-groups-competition-heats-up

Photo credit: Jake Stangel

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