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  1. By the end of April I had invested a total of just over US$10k in the two largest cryptocurrencies (bitcoin and ethereum). 24 days later and my US$10k is now worth US$19k. The price has skyrocketed in the past few weeks. I bought for the long term like 10+ years so while it’s certainly nice to see a large paper profit, I have no idea if my investment will pan out in the long term. Experts are a dime a dozen but nobody can say with any real knowledge what the price will be in the future. One silicon valley dotcom billionaire is recommending putting 1% of your assets into it. He reckons in 5 to 7 years a bitcoin will either be worth zero (20% chance) or 1 million dollars (50% chance). But his guess is as good (or bad) as anyone else’s. Japan has announced bitcoin to be a valid currency for purchase of goods and services and there’s a Japanese airline that recently announced they are accepting it for payments. Other countries including Russia are looking at legalising it for commerce. The criminal element kept it alive for many years but this year it seems to be taking off as a mainstream currency. There seems to be a lot of positivity and tail winds behind it that suggest it will continue it’s rapid ascent. In April when 1 bitcoin was trading at around US$1300 I was thinking maybe it might be worth US$3000 by the end of the year though I thought I was being overly optimistic. As I write this the price has just cracked US$2300 so my dream is looking a little less fanciful. However, it could all fall in a heap at any time so I’m not counting my chickens. It’s tempting to sell now and lock in a huge profit but then it would really annoy me if it continues to rise. Also it’s kind of fun checking the price daily – especially as it seems to keep rising. But I suspect a correction is coming. It’s gone up too much too fast, mostly I think because people are buying it because... people are buying it. In other words it’s a tulip bubble. But whatever happens, I’m committed to holding for the sooner of either 10 years or until 1 bitcoin is worth $1MM. The latter I think is very unlikely but it’s like a lottery ticket: a small price to pay for a dream. Considering it’s recent meteoric ascent, I’m no longer recommending anyone invest in it substantially. I won’t recommend an investment I’m not prepared to invest in and at the current price, I’m happy to hold but won’t buy any more. But if I didn’t own any, I would probably buy 1 bitcoin and put it away for 10 years and see what happens but I wouldn't invest any more. It's a gamble (like all investments), but win or lose, it's something in life to be interested in. Which is something I need.
  2. I'm invested in bitcoin and ethereum and I've been thinking lately of building a mining rig. Bitcoin home mining requires a dedicated ASIC that will likely be out of date in 2 years and be worthless. But most alt coin mining can be done with an upmarket GPU (graphics card). I've researched and to build a decent rig with 6 GPUs will cost me around $3000. Roughly what the latest bitcoin ASIC (antminer S9), would cost. But unlike the ASIC, the graphics cards will still have some residual value when they are no longer able to mine economically. Just for fun, I've been mining monero on my laptop and making around 20 cents a day. Probably using more than 20 cents in electricity but as a proof of concept, it's got me interested in more. It would likely take at least a year for profit to overtake the initial $3000 rig cost, so it's a venture not without risk. But once the hardware cost is paid for the rest is profit until the 6 graphics cards need to be replaced with newer faster ones. The only running cost is electricity which as mining difficulty increases, will likely make the cards uneconomic eventually. Even old cards would continue to be viable if you had a spare kilowatt or 2. (I don't) PROs 1. It's fun! There's the fun in building and tweaking it, and then there's the fun in having a box that sits there day in, day out, earning money. 2. ??? 3. PROFIT CONs 1. Largish initial investment. 2. Black swan event that makes home mining no longer viable especially if it occurs within 12 months. 3. Ethereum will change from POW to POS some time this year which means all those home miners mining ethereum will probably switch their rigs to mining other alt coins. This will mean a massive influx or processing power which will likely greatly increase the block difficulty resulting in much lower profits for all. This is my biggest concern.
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