The Home Mining Panel at the Bitcoin 2022 Conference was a collection of long-time Bitcoiners: Matt Odell hosted Econoalchemist of Upstream Data, John Stefano of FutureBit, Coin Heated and Diverter. The topics of discussion were why people should consider mining at home and the challenges they may face.
Econoalchemist opened by saying, “Mining at home solves a lot of issues. It solves problems with censorship, it solves problems of not being able to get a bank account, and it solves the problem with the risk introduced by using KYC (know your customer) services.” By mining at home, smaller miners help distribute the hash rate, and in many instances can mine bitcoin cheaper than buying it outright.
Diverter began hashing as a means to acquire KYC-free bitcoin when exchanges started to demand more and more personal information. Being able to mine at home gave him more privacy. He realized he could mine at a profit, which was an added benefit for him. Diverter was one of the first to write about his experience and share the ins-and-outs of home mining with the community. I would guess thousands have been inspired by his work; I was. Acquiring ASICs for mining can be a daunting task. There are many scammers out there. If the reader is interested in mining at home, reach out to others for assistance and do lots of research before buying the necessary equipment.
ASICs are industrial machines; they are not designed for home use. These machines require a lot of energy: typically 240-volt service on a 20-ampere breaker. They create heat and are extremely loud — ask any home miner’s family how loud they are. Imagine something loud, then multiply it by two. Coin Heated relates it to a large Shop-Vac running 24/7. This is a good analogy: I can hear my ASICs from the kitchen table, even while they are in the garage, howling.
Sound and heat are two major issues with mining at home. The panelists shared ways they’ve attempted to solve these issues. Two new products and immersion-cooling technology were discussed at length. Bitcoiners come up with solutions for these problems; that is what we do.
Stefano created FutureBit, a scaled-down version of an ASIC that can be run in an apartment sitting on a night stand. Home miners using FutureBit aren’t going to get big rewards, however, they can participate in the network and avoid having people complain about the noise.
Upstream Data created the Black Box. This product is designed to sit outside and keep the ASIC weather-proofed while also mitigating sound.
Coin Heated discussed the advantages of immersion cooling. At his home, he kept his swimming pool heated through the winter and he is now designing other immersion systems for home use.
Econoalchemist and Coin Heated both discussed instances of blowing out their electric service. Econoalchemist melted his wires from the pole and Coin Heated said he “Popped his transformer five times.” Someone has to keep the electric company updating their outdated infrastructure. The speakers stressed that if home miners plan to incorporate hashing into their homes, it is best to hire and consult a licensed electrician. It is all fun and games until the house burns down. In summary, advantages from mining at home include KYC-free bitcoin, strengthening the network by decentralizing the hash rate and helping to keep Bitcoin censorship-resistant. In many cases, mining can be cheaper than buying. Challenges include power draw, heat and sound.
Diverter encouraged listeners to participate in the whole ecosystem by running nodes and hashing with their own miner. Whether running a FutureBit in an apartment in Brooklyn, heating a home or pool in the winter with immersion-cooling, or air-cooling an ASIC outside in a Black Box, the hardware, tools and resources are available.
We need millions of participants all over this planet to distribute the hash rate. Don’t let the megamines control all the hash rate; they are ripe for censorship. It only takes the swift stroke of a pen and these fiat-financed mega mines could begin censoring transactions. The goal is to get ASICs into millions of homes and small businesses. Get hashing — but hire a licensed electrician so the house doesn’t burn down.
If readers are interested in home mining, there are plenty of resources available. The guests on this panel have written numerous guides. They will take the time to answer questions or point people in the right direction. My DMs are open as well. Feel free to reach out. I will gladly respond unless you ask me how my trading is going.
This is a guest post by Barnminer. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.