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Motorcycle riding — the smell of oil, burnt rubber and leather in the sun is an intoxicating experience. The open road laid out before you can take you anywhere and it’s in this situation that true freedom can be felt.
What’s a better idea than taking this maximally-free form of movement and using it across America, the land of the free, to celebrate Bitcoin, the freedom money? I don’t think there is a better person to take on this journey than Captain Sidd, an author here at Bitcoin Magazine and Bitcoin pleb extraordinaire. He will be launching his journey at Bitcoin 2022, happening April 6 through 9 in Miami.
Beyond his glorious journey, we discussed his views on home mining and how it benefits Bitcoiners. There are so many use cases and interesting routes for the technology to go, especially for those who can harness their own energy.
Be sure to give the written interview below a read and check out the podcast.
You’ve been on “Meet The Plebs” once before — could you just give us a quick overview of who you are and how you got into Bitcoin?
Sure — my journey down the rabbit hole began with my first economics class in high school. Many unanswered questions piled up for years, and I only found clarity on them when I started diving into Bitcoin. I went full-time into Bitcoin in 2018, quitting my job in marketing tech to work on fundraising for a mining operation and dabble in writing. I worked in marketing at Kraken for almost three years, and recently turned to writing full time for both Bitcoin Magazine and https://whatismoney.info, an economics education website I launched in 2020. This year I’m taking a look at the people and culture behind Bitcoin by riding a motorcycle around the USA visiting Bitcoin meetups — that kicks off at Bitcoin 2022.
So, what is this awesome motorcycle ride that you plan on doing starting at Bitcoin 2022?
The motorcycle tour started with a scale model of a Harley Davidson touring bike that my girlfriend gave me for my birthday last year. I looked at that model day-in and day-out all year. At the same time, I’ve watched the growth of in-person Bitcoin meetups across the world as well as the rise of a pleb culture within Bitcoin that I want to learn more about. The stories of the plebs are the stories of average people who are finding value in Bitcoin, and I think those stories are undertold — even though their authenticity and relatability might be exactly what we need to bring in the next 10 million people to Bitcoin. The desire to hear and share those stories just clicked with the motorcycle, so I started planning this tour around the USA. I’ll start at Bitcoin 2022, then crisscross around the country visiting meetups and interviewing bitcoiners for three months with the help of Swan Bitcoin, Bitcoin Magazine (and potentially others!).
Why a motorcycle ride? And can you share any details of your journey as far as stops, etc.?
To me, the ultimate freedom machine is a motorcycle — nothing but you and the road, with the wind in your face. On a motorcycle, you are out in the open much more so than in a car. That’s a freeing feeling for me. As for the brand of bike — what could be more American than a Harley Davidson motorcycle? I’ll be sharing my route and stops on Twitter @CaptainSiddH and in the Bitcoin Tour Telegram.
Besides the obvious launch of your motorcycle journey, what are you excited for in regards to Bitcoin in 2022?
I’ve been living outside of the U.S. since late 2019, so I’m excited to reconnect with all the bitcoiners I haven’t had the chance to see since then. So much has changed in the world — let alone in Bitcoin — and I am looking forward to the late night discussions that I haven’t been able to have living so far away from many of the people I met earlier in my rabbit hole journey.
Pivoting here, you’ve recently begun writing about bitcoin home mining. Can you explain what is important about home mining in regards to securing the network?
My experience fundraising for a small mining operation impressed upon me the importance of mining — however, I thought home mining would be a relic of the past. Discovering how home miners reused heat to improve the economics of their machines beyond what an industrial miner is capable of opened my eyes to how integral home mining could be to network security and decentralization. A miner in every home, used to heat water and air, would not only cut down a homeowners’ energy bill but also distribute hash power on a very local level.
What are some of the benefits and use cases of home mining, such as for heat production?
The eureka moment for me was understanding that electrical components always give off the same heat from the same watts — so, a space heater produces no more heat than an ASIC for the wattage you put into it. This means ASICs could be used as a heat source to heat water, air, floors, a pool, etc. in a home. There are more and more home miners today realizing this and experimenting with how to utilize that heat to lower their overall energy bill, usually by cutting out the need for natural gas furnaces.
Many people object that home mining is expensive or unfeasible. What are some obstacles and barriers to home mining, and are there any ways to work around them? (If there is no way to “get around” them, that’s cool too!)
Heat reuse and power agreements are two ways that home miners are improving their margins and busting the myth that home mining is infeasible. Heat reuse can help lower power bills elsewhere, by cutting down the need for gas furnaces and other heating appliances that suck natural gas or electricity without producing any sats.
Depending on location, power agreements that offer lower power costs might exist with local power companies. These agreements usually help balance the grid by giving the grid operator some level of control over consumption. For example, some power companies will give a smart switch to a homeowner allowing the company to shut off the AC during peak consumption times — however, the homeowner gets a better power rate to compensate.
Do you see the network trending towards increasing home mining usage, or decreasing, and why?
I see it increasing. There is so much to be commercialized within the home mining space around heat reuse, and we are seeing the beginning stages of tinkering just now. Mining machines will ultimately fill in the nooks and crannies of excess energy, which will increasingly squeeze out large industrial miners in favor of smaller operations.
I last asked you (second to last question) what you were excited about for bitcoin heading into 2022. What are the developments in regard to your answer so far?
It is surreal for me — and I’m sure many others — to see the weaponization of the financial system against Canadians. The Ukrainian invasion, backlash and geopolitical games are also shining a spotlight on how critical a tool Bitcoin is, and how it will be used by both friends and enemies.
Knowing that, what are you most looking forward to in the Bitcoin space?
I’m very excited to see more home mining equipment — like immersion tanks from CoinHeated — hitting the market. Development of more privacy-centric tools is also something I’m looking forward to, as the need for financial privacy across the world is more and more apparent with each passing day.