So, a little update on this...
I started mining on April 27th with my 5770. After seeing how quickly I was generating bitcoins, I decided to go all-in, and I bought a couple of 5850's and a 5870. A couple of weeks later, I placed an order for 3 5830's.
So right now I have:
- My main desktop, mining with a 5850.
- A single core AMD desktop with a 5870.
- A quad core AMD desktop with a 5850.
- A dual core Intel desktop with three 5830's.
- A dual core Intel desktop with one 5770.
- A dual core Intel desktop with one 4650.
I figure the total electricity usage of all of these machines is about 1,580w, so it costs me $3.79/day for electricity to run them. I've been mining for 43 days (I think), so that makes the total electrical cost around $100 (not the full $163, since I wasn't actually mining with all of those cards this whole time).
Now, on to the exciting bits.
I've cashed out enough bitcoins to pay for all of this hardware (which, aside from what I already had, ended up costing me $1100. So that's $1100 worth of free computer hardware, which is awesome. I think I have cashed out 80 bitcoins so far, but I would have to double-check my records.
I have, currently, about 90 bitcoins saved up. When I started, each bitcoin was worth about $1.60. Now, each bitcoin is worth $28.75. Yes, that is an 1800% rise in value in 43 days. People are expecting even more valuation rise as bitcoins become more publicly accepted.
The depressing part about this is, if I had invested that $1100 into bitcoins themselves, instead of mining hardware, they would be worth over $19,000 now. But I couldn't afford to lose that money, so I couldn't invest it. Mining is a safe way to go, since even if bitcoins go bust, the hardware is still worth a good portion of what it was purchased for. Even still, my current collection of coins that I haven't cashed out is worth about $2,500. So I've made about $3,600 on it in 43 days, while spending about $1200. That's impressive return on my virtually risk-free investment!
What's even more impressive is the particular milestone I reached last night. I made more money in bitcoins in a 24 hour period than what my real job pays for an 8 hour day, by about $1.50.
The reason that bitcoins are highly sought after is that it is a decentralized currency with a limited number of coins that will ever be minted. The coins are minted through the mining process (what I am doing with my video cards), but there will never be more than 21 million of them. People like that it is decentralized, as the government can't manipulate the money supply to their advantage. People also like that it is limited supply, as that classifies it as a deflationary currency, which means that technically, as long as it is used by the same percentage of people worldwide, it will always rise in value proportional to population growth.
If you're interested, I suggest lots of googling, and also checking out www.weusecoins.com
. It explains a lot about the currency and how it works. You can buy things online with it through a rep that will basically proxy for you in USD. So you pay him the bitcoins to purchase something, and he'll purchase it for you. I expect more such services to pop up for major retailers, and hopefully widespread acceptance of bitcoins.
Also, I created a forum dedicated to bitcoins. It can be found at www.bitcoinforums.net.
I would appreciate more members, as it was just started a few hours ago and I need to get it going quickly!
Finally, if you didn't know this already, you can donate to the server with bitcoins. Right now, it'd be about 0.55 bitcoins for VIP, and 1.1 bitcoins for VIP gold. So get mining!