Feb 12, 2018

I met a professional cryptocurrency miner in Cedaredge Colorado!

I recently inherited a new desktop computer with 32GB of RAM and quad-core 3.3 GHz processor. It's pretty sweet, and I've turned it into my new Emby media server! Since I had this new toy, I didn't need my old workhorse, custom desktop that I built years ago.

So I wiped out all of my data, put Ubuntu and Steam on it and sold it on Craigslist as a custom Steam gaming computer!

One of the potential buyers of my rig contacted me because he was eyeing the case, and was thinking about turning my machine into a cryptocurrency mining machine. The thing that threw me off about it, after talking with this guy for a while, was that he was a professional miner and lived in my little one horse town of Cedaredge Colorado of all places!

For those of you not in the know, Cedaredge is located in Delta County Colorado which is basically a technological blackhole. Nobody knows how to use computers or technology around here. It's kind of scary actually. So imagine my shock when I found out that a guy in town had his own mining farm.

Well, he wanted to see if his high end GPU video cards that he uses for mining would fit in the case, and I was interested in his mining rigs, so he invited me over to his humble abode to check them out while he tested his video cards in my Ubuntu computer.

Being in the tech industry, and working in data centers all the time, I sort of imagined a standard data closet kind of setup, or even a colocation like place... Nope, this miner lived a very non-descript rundown place right in the middle of town.

He invited me in with my desktop computer, and the placed smelled strongly of marijuana. It turns out that although he is a professional crypto miner, he was also running a small pot venture.. and clearly smoking it too!

While he fiddled with my machine, he allowed me to take a few pictures of his three mining rigs:

ASICS Mining setup. Open air, no case... Just boards.

Open air case with one video card

Open case with two ASUS cards, and several PCI-E to USB extension cables

MSI cards attached to a 2x4 connected to USB PCI-E expansion cables

Mining script running

Another mining script running

When I asked him if he used a specific mining pool, he said he actually used several depending on the currency he was mining, or the change in the market. He said he used:

You might be wondering what kind of money he's pulling in with these functional, yet ugly mining rigs. Well, he said he averages about $3,000 per month take home on his venture, and only pays roughly $500 per month in electrical bills. That's an easy $2,500 profit! On top of that, since it's winter here in Colorado he said he isn't paying anything for heating his place with all of his rigs running!

Of course, the day I visited was on January 16th, when the streets were red with blood because the crypto market tanked pretty hard, so he said he was feeling the pain that day. Of course, he and I were very optimistic that things would bounce back!

So long story short, he didn't buy my Ubuntu rig because his video cards were way too big to fit in my case. That's cool though, I had a guy come by later that afternoon that wanted to use it for games and bought it from me anyway. Still though, I thought seeing a professional mining operation was definitely worth the time it took to let him test his cards out.

What do you think about his mining setup? Let me know in the comments.

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