Why I almost bit on bitcoin and nearly bought into the
Bitcoin Mining Scam: Butterfly Labs – The best and worst
Buttcoin Foundation ROCKED as founder exposed to be PAID SHILL for Butterfly Labs
My name is borderpatrol. I'm the founder of Buttcoin.org and have been making fun of bitcoiners since 2011. Buttcoin is one of the oldest Bitcoin sites on the internet and just last month celebrated it's 1 millionth visitor. And about 7 months ago I (accidently) became a paid shill for Butterly Labs. In December of 2013, Bitcoin losing steam and after 2 1/2 years of running the site I was getting tired. I had started up school again and work was getting steady so I wasn't updating as much. I was in the middle of a redesign to keep myself busy but I went weeks between updates. But I liked the site so I kept it around. A few months prior killhamster had helped me find new comedy gold to mine and was posting constantly on the twitter. I was approached by someone named Jeff. He emailed me from a domain at a local bar in Chicago. He had asked about buying the site. This wasn't the first offer I had gotten. I have been asked to comment on articles in PC World and speak at John Hopkins University about Bitcoins and the site was somewhat popular, but no one ever put in any serious offers. The site got steady traffic but everyone who knows about bitcoins, knows about computers. And everyone who knows about computers runs AdBlock. So the site made no money but was a fun little hobby of mine. Jeff presented himself as a regular reader of the site who owned bitcoins and had presumably cashed out. He said he liked the writing style, liked the site, and wanted to know if I was interested in a sale. I asked what he was offering. He said he wanted to offer me $XX,XXX dollars (not as high as the $30,000 someone is quoting however). I thought his was a joke. The site had no revenue and was virtually impossible to monetize. The only people willing to advertise on bitcoins sites are BFL, Mt. Gox, BitPay, and they would never advertise on Buttcoin. I asked him a few more questions to gauge his sincerity; what he planned on doing with the site, how the transition would be handled, would he allow me to continue to write for the site. He explained that he wanted to keep the site like "The Onion of Bitcoin", wanted me to keep writing for a minimum of 6 months. He also wanted everything to be in his daughters name because she was just graduating out of journalism school and he wanted her to learn online publishing. The guy was going to buy my site and then let me still have control. I have bought and sold a few domains and sites before and could tell he was serious, so I said fuck yeah and took his money. Signed a contract, completed escrow and We did the site transfer and closed escrow. The day after the transfer occurred my admin account was locked out even though I had an agreement to stay there for 6 months. Since I was already fighting with little site issues because of the transfer I didn't think much of it, I emailed Jeff but got no response. Killhamster still had publishing rights. The next day we noticed that our most popular article on the entire site, the "The $22,484.00 Butterfly Labs Mini Rig bitcoin miner is a huge, broken, unstable piece of shit." had been edited and now read The Butterfly Labs Mini Rig is a sexy Bitcoin mining machine. At this point killhamster emailed Jeff and asked what was up. He stated that there were "going to be some changes to attract new advertisers". He explained that he liked the humor but picking on specific brands was no good. He said that BFL pays $1000/month for every ad on BitcoinTalk and that there's no reason we can't get the same kind of deal. Since my account was now locked out and I was the original author, killhamster could not change the article. At this point I was pretty bummed that what was told to me was no true but whatever, not much I could do about that now. Killhamster was still running the twitter and planning to do some funny stuff with future articles. I wanted to see what was up with this guy though. I checked and see what was edited. The only thing edited was That BFL article and 2 more, one about them faking CE certification and one where Wired tested it and was unimpressed. But there was some much worse stuff on there that wasn't touched. If he was trying to clean up the site for advertisers, why just those BFL articles. Then I remembered that my Google Search Rankings for certain Butterfly Labs related terms were high. Very High. Buttcoin was ranking between 3-4 for the search term "Butterfly Labs" and "Butterfly Labs Review" and was usually #1 for "Butterfly Labs Scam" and "Is Butterfly Labs ligit". It was obvious to me that the purpose of purchasing the site was to simply remove the negative articles that were destroying their search traffic and making them look bad. So I Google "Jeff Butterfly Labs" http://www.butterflylabs.com/management-view/jeff-ownby-2/ Jeff Ownby is the VP of marketing for BFL. I never got his last name and all contracts where under his "daughter's name". So I looked a bit deeper and see Jeff from BFL graduated from Elmhurst College in Illinois and the Jeff that bought Buttcoin emailed me from was a Chicago-area bar domain. I still couldn't get this guy's last name but I finally found an old Facebook post from a press release by the bar the guy owns and it said his name was Jeff Ownby. Could be another guy with the same name but I'm sure now that BFL bought the site simply to remove three negative articles. So that's the whole story. I was tricked into selling Buttcoin.org to BFL and no longer have access to the site so I've set up camp on the subreddit instead so I can shitpost about bitcoins still. Killhamster still can write articles once in a while and does wonderful things on the twitter. And in way, even though I never owned any, I still cashed out because of Bitcoin.
Final version 1.3.0 of the core software was released bringing all the enhancements reported last month to the rest of the community. The groundwork for SPV (simplified payment verification) is complete, another reduction of fees is being deployed, and performance stepped up once again with a 50% reduction in startup time, 20% increased sync speed and more than 3x faster peer delivery of block headers (a key update for SPV). Decrediton's integrations of SPV and Politeia are open for testing by experienced users. Read the full release notes and get the downloads on GitHub. As always, don't forget to verify signatures. dcrd: completed several steps towards multipeer downloads, improved introduction to the software in the main README, continued porting cleanups and refactoring from upstream btcd. Currently in review are initial release of smart fee estimator and a change to UTXO set semantics. The latter is a large and important change that provides simpler handling, and resolves various issues with the previous approach. A lot of testing and careful review is needed so help is welcome. Educational series for new Decred developers by @matheusd added two episodes: 02 Simnet Setup shows how to automate simnet management with tmux and 03 Miner Reward Invalidation explains block validity rules. Finally, a pull request template with a list of checks was added to help guide the contributors to dcrd. dcrwallet: bugfixes and RPC improvements to support desktop and mobile wallets. Developers are welcome to comment on this idea to derive stakepool keys from the HD wallet seed. This would eliminate the need to backup and restore redeem scripts, thus greatly improving wallet UX. (missed in July issue) Decrediton: bugfixes, refactoring to make the sync process more robust, new loading animations, design polishing. Politeia: multiple improvements to the CLI client (security conscious users with more funds at risk might prefer CLI) and security hardening. A feature to deprecate or timeout proposals was identified as necessary for initial release and the work started. A privacy enhancement to not leak metadata of ticket holders was merged. Android: update from @collins: "Second test release for dcrandroid is out. Major bugs have been fixed since last test. Latest code from SPV sync has been integrated. Once again, bug reports are welcome and issues can be opened on GitHub". Ask in #dev room for the APK to join testing. A new security page was added that allows one to validate addresses and to sign/verify messages, similar to Decrediton's Security Center. Work on translations is beginning. Overall the app is quite stable and accepting more testers. Next milestone is getting the test app on the app store. iOS: the app started accepting testers last week. @macsleven: "the test version of Decred Wallet for iOS is available, we have a link for installing the app but the builds currently require your UDID. Contact either @macsleven or @raedah with your UDID if you would like to help test.". Nearest goal is to make the app crash free. Both mobile apps received new design themes. dcrdata: v3.0 was released for mainnet! Highlights: charts, "merged debits" view, agendas page, Insight API support, side chain tracking, Go 1.11 support with module builds, numerous backend improvements. Full release notes here. This release featured 9 contributors and development lead @chappjc noted: "This collaboration with @raedahgroup on our own block explorer and web API for @decredproject has been super productive.". Up next is supporting dynamic page widths site wide and deploying new visual blocks home page. Trezor: proof of concept implementation for Trezor Model T firmware is in the works (previous work was for Model One). Ticket splitting: updated to use Go modules and added simnet support, several fixes. docs: beginner's guide overhaul, multiple fixes and cleanups. decred.org: added 3rd party wallets, removed inactive PoW pools and removed web wallet. @Richard-Red is building a curated list of Decred-related GitHub repositories. Welcome to new people contributing for the first time: @klebe, @s_ben, @victorguedes, and PrimeDominus! Dev activity stats for September: 219 active PRs, 197 commits, 28.7k added and 18.8k deleted lines spread across 6 repositories. Contributions came from 4-10 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: started and ended the month around 75 PH/s, hitting a low of 60.5 and a new high of 110 PH/s. BeePool is again the leader with their share varying between 23-54%, followed by F2Pool 13-30%, Coinmine 4-6% and Luxor 3-5%. As in previous months, there were multiple spikes of unidentified hashrate. Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 98 DCR (+2.4). The price varied between 95.7 and 101.9 DCR. Locked DCR amount was 3.86-3.96 million DCR, or 45.7-46.5% of the supply. Nodes: there are 201 public listening nodes and 325 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 5% are v1.4.0(pre) dev builds (+3%), 30% on v1.3.0 (+25%), 42% on v1.2.0 (-20%), 15% on v1.1.2 (-7%), 6% on v1.1.0. More than 76% of nodes run v1.2.0 and higher and therefore support client filters. Data as of Oct 1.
Obelisk posted two updates on their mailing list. 70% of Batch 1 units are shipped, an extensive user guide is available, Obelisk Scanner application was released that allows one to automatically update firmware. First firmware update was released and bumped SC1 hashrate by 10-20%, added new pools and fixed multiple bugs. Next update will focus on DCR1. It is worth a special mention that the firmware source code is now open! Let us hope more manufacturers will follow this example. A few details about Whatsminer surfaced this month. The manufacturer is MicroBT, also known as Bitwei and commonly misspelled as Bitewei. Pangolinminer is a reseller, and the model name is Whatsminer D1. Bitmain has finally entered Decred ASIC space with their Antminer DR3. Hash rate is 7.8 TH/s while pulling 1410 W, at the price of $673. These specs mean it has the best GH/W and GH/USD of currently sold miners until the Whatsminer or others come out, although its GH/USD of 11.6 already competes with Whatsminer's 10.5. Discussed on Reddit and bitcointalk, unboxing video here.
@matheusd started tests on testnet several months ago. I contacted him so we could integrate with the pool in June this year. We set up the machine in July and bought the first split ticket on mainnet, using the decredbrasil pool, on July 19. It was voted on July 30. After this first vote on mainnet, we opened the tests to selected users (with more technical background) on the pool. In August we opened the tests to everyone, and would call people who want to join to the #ticket_splitting channel, or to our own Slack (in Portuguese, so mostly Brazilian users). We have 28 split tickets already voted, and 16 are live. So little more than 40 split tickets total were bought on decredbrasil pool. (@girino in #pos-voting)
KuCoin exchange listed DCBTC and DCETH pairs. To celebrate their anniversary they had a 99% trading fees discount on DCR pairs for 2 weeks. Three more wallets integrated Decred in September:
Atomic desktop wallet added Decred in version 0.1.31. The team answered many questions on Reddit.
AnyBit wallet added Decred. It features built-in price and news tracking. Notably, the source code is open for their Android and iOS wallets.
Coboadded Decred support into their Android and iOS wallets.
ChangeNow announced Decred addition to their Android app that allows accountless swaps between 150+ assets. Coinbase launched informational asset pages for top 50 coins by market cap, including Decred. First the pages started showing in the Coinbase app for a small group of testers, and later the web price dashboard went live.
The birth of a Brazilian girl was registered on the Decred blockchain using OriginalMy, a blockchain proof of authenticity services provider. Read the full story in Portuguese and in English.
Advertising report for September is ready. Next month the graphics for all the ads will be changing.
Marketing might seem quiet right now, but a ton is actually going on behind the scenes to put the right foundation in place for the future. Discovery data are being analyzed to generate a positioning strategy, as well as a messaging hierarchy that can guide how to talk about Decred. This will all be agreed upon via consensus of the community in the work channels, and materials will be distributed. Next, work is being done to identify the right PR partner to help with media relations, media training, and coordination at events. While all of this is coming up to speed, we believe the website needs a refresher reflecting the soon to be agreed upon messaging, plus a more intuitive architecture to make it easier to navigate. (@Dustorf)
Raedah Group went on the streets of Portland, USA with a pretty blue tent. (photos)
Meetup at Binzantin Cafe in Taipei, Taiwan. @morphymore: "There were 20-ish attendees, and about half of them have joined the Chinese FB group. Most of them don't hear about Decred before, but have expressed the interest in learning more about it after the event. Overall, it's a good exposure for Decred in the Taiwan community.". A report with photos was posted on Facebook, more photos are here and here.
@joshuam made a Decred Jacket appearance at Singapore Grand Prix. (photos)
NewTech PDX meetup in Portland, USA. Raedah Group presented Decred and reported "lots of new converts". (photos)
North Shore Bitcoin & Blockchain in Glenview, USA. @dustorf gave a five minute overview of Decred and noted: "There were only about 25 people, but about 1/3 of them were aware of Decred prior. (...) Our simple presence and explanation of the project moved opinion from 'another shitcoin they sold after mining' to 'an interesting and viable project worthy of further investigation'.". (photos: 12)
Bitcoin Meetup CDMX in Mexico City on Oct 6. @elian will be talking about Decred at the oldest Bitcoin meetup in Mexico.
SF Blockchain Week in San Francisco, USA on Oct 9. @lukebp will discuss DPoS vs PoS on a panel 9:30a-10:15a at the Titans of Tech Stage, Hilton Union Square.
Decred Meetup in Casablanca, Morocco on Oct 27. @butterfly will host the event and talk about Decred in French.
Texas Bitcoin Conference Austin, USA on Oct 27-28. @BAB: "The great thing about this is that it will also be a Decred Summit. We will have half of the conference dedicated to Decred topics, updates, etc."
Websummit in Lisbon, Portugal on Nov 5-8. @moo31337 will be on a panel discussing "2018: A Rollercoaster Year for Cryptocurrencies"
We'll begin shortly reviewing conferences and events planned for the first half of 2019. Highlights are sure to include The North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami (Jan 16-18) and Consensus in NYC (May 14-16). If you have suggestions of events or conferences Decred should attend, please share them in #event_planning. In 2019, we would like to expand our presence in Europe, Asia, and South America, and we're looking for community members to help identify and staff those events. (@Dustorf)
August issue of Decred Journal was translated to Russian. Many thanks to @DZ! Rency cryptocurrency ratings published a report on Decred and incorporated a lot of feedback from the community on Reddit. September issue of Chinese CCID ratings was published (snapshot), Decred is still at the bottom. Videos:
The underbelly of blockchain Governance - fiat licensing and our code with Marco Peerboom and Chris DeRose (youtube, tweet, decred, missed in August issue) Insightful dialogue about men's underwear, licenses, subtleties of GPL, BSD wars, tiling window managers and much more.
Introduction to Decred (Korean, youtube) @Killawhale collected a lot of feedback from the community and produced this video to spread the word in Korea.
Perspectives on Governance from Nathan Wilcox, Jonathan Zeppettini, Vitalik Buterin (z.cash)
Decred - an example of governance (Portuguese, youtube)
Decred, the crypto that wants to compete with Bitcoin (French, youtube)
Exodus.io Live with Marco from Decred! (youtube) Marco joins Exodus.io to discuss what makes DCR an asset that will stand the test of time.
Building Decred With Systems Development Lead Marco Peereboom - Governance, Politeia, Lightning (youtube) Topics: early days, Politeia, the structure of Decred, dcrtime, Lightning Network, attracting users and developers, future plans (DEX, Schnorr signatures, privacy, DAEs).
Decentralized autonomous funding of blockchain projects by @Richard-Red (medium, discussion on decred and dashpay)
The trouble with infrastructure, "thin" protocols in particular, is that someone has to build them at a cost. e.g. LN takes a ton of work, doesn't necessarily generate value itself, but it magnifies the value of BTC or whatever coin that uses it. I see the DEX in a similar light - whoever creates it is not going to make a bunch of money from it, but it will magnify the value of the underlying asset(s) that end up having a deep order book on the DEX. (@jy-p in #dex)
Twitter: why decentralized governance and funding are necessary for network survival and the power of controlling the narrative; learning about governance more broadly by watching its evolution in cryptocurrency space, importance of community consensus and communications infrastructure. Reddit: yet another strong pitch by @solar; question about buyer protections; dcrtime internals; a proposal to sponsor hoodies in the University of Cape Town; Lightning Network support for altcoins. Chats: skills to operate a stakepool; voting details: 2 of 3 votes can approve a block, what votes really approve are regular tx, etc; scriptless script atomic swaps using Schnorr adaptor signatures; dev dashboard, choosing work, people do best when working on what interests them most; opportunities for governments and enterprise for anchoring legal data to blockchain; terminology: DAO vs DAE; human-friendly payments, sharing xpub vs payment protocols; funding btcsuite development; Politeia vote types: approval vote, sentiment vote and a defund vote, also linking proposals and financial statements; algo trading and programming languages (yes, on #trading!); alternative implementation, C/C++/Go/Rust; HFTs, algo trading, fake volume and slippage; offline wallets, usb/write-only media/optical scanners vs auditing traffic between dcrd and dcrwallet; Proof of Activity did not inspire Decred but spurred Decred to get moving, Wikipedia page hurdles; how stakeholders could veto blocks; how many votes are needed to approve a proposal; why Decrediton uses Electron; CVE-2018-17144 and over-dependence on single Bitcoin implementation, btcsuite, fuzz testing; tracking proposal progress after voting and funding; why the wallet does not store the seed at all; power connectors, electricity, wiring and fire safety; reasonable spendings from project fund; ways to measure sync progress better than block height; using Politeia without email address; concurrency in Go, locks vs channels. #support is not often mentioned, but it must be noted that every day on this channel people get high quality support. (@bee: To my surprise, even those poor souls running Windows 10. My greatest respect to the support team!)
In September DCR was trading in the range of USD 34-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0063. On Sep 6, DCR revisited the bottom of USD 34 / BTC 0.0054 when BTC quickly dropped from USD 7,300 to 6,400. On Sep 14, a small price rise coincided with both the start of KuCoin trading and hashrate spike to 104 PH/s. Looking at coinmarketcap charts, the trading volume is a bit lower than in July and August. As of Oct 4, Decred is #18 by the number of daily transactions with 3,200 tx, and #9 by the USD value of daily issuance with $230k. (source: onchainfx) Interesting observation by @ImacallyouJawdy: while we sit at 2018 price lows the amount locked in tickets is testing 2018 high.
ASIC for Lyra2REv2 was spotted on the web. Vertcoin team is preparing a new PoW algorithm. This would be the 3rd fork after two previous forks to change the algorithm in 2014 and 2015. A report titled The Positive Externalities of Bitcoin Mining discusses the benefits of PoW mining that are often overlooked by the critics of its energy use. A Brief Study of Cryptonetwork Forks by Alex Evans of Placeholder studies the behavior of users, developers and miners after the fork, and makes the cases that it is hard for child chains to attract users and developers from their parent chains. New research on private atomic swaps: the paper "Anonymous Atomic Swaps Using Homomorphic Hashing" attempts to break the public link between two transactions. (bitcointalk, decred) On Sep 18 Poloniex announced delisting of 8 more assets. That day they took a 12-80% dive showing their dependence on this one exchange. Circle introduced USDC markets on Poloniex: "USDC is a fully collateralized US dollar stablecoin using the ERC-20 standard that provides detailed financial and operational transparency, operates within the regulated framework of US money transmission laws, and is reinforced by established banking partners and auditors.". Coinbase announced new asset listing process and is accepting submissions on their listing portal. (decred) The New York State Office of the Attorney General posted a study of 13 exchanges that contains many insights. A critical vulnerability was discovered and fixed in Bitcoin Core. Few days later a full disclosure was posted revealing the severity of the bug. In a bitcointalk thread btcd was called 'amateur' despite not being vulnerable, and some Core developers voiced their concerns about multiple implementations. The Bitcoin Unlimited developer who found the bug shared his perspective in a blog post. Decred's vision so far is that more full node implementations is a strength, just like for any Internet protocol.
About This Issue
This is the 6th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are available here. Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research. Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room on Matrix or Slack. Contributions are also welcome: some areas are adding content, pre-release review or translations to other languages. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Dustorf, jz, Haon, oregonisaac, raedah and Richard-Red.
Here is a conspiracy theory for the amusement of those who believe in the theory that skeptics are conspiring to make up conspiracy theories: There have been a few reviews of DragonMInt, the Halong mining rigs (and mysterious bitcoin.org co-owner Cobra has apologized for his earlier skepticism). However, the company still ticks several red boxes in the scam test:
Owners and CEOs are anonymous. (And mysterious BTCDrak seems to be involved);
The company has no legal address
They only accept payment in bitcoins
The units do not comply with consumer regulations
The first independent reviews say that the units are only 5% more energy-efficient (in hashes per joule) than similar Bitmain rigs; even though they are said to use 10nm chips rather than 16 nm, and to use ASICboost while Bitmain's don't. Pricewise they don't seem to be better either. Right? So the conspiracy theory is: The DragonMint is a "prepaid miner" scam. To better fool the butters, the authors built a few miners with chips "mined" from Bitmain rigs and repackaged in slightly different boards and box, with a bit of overclocking and overvoltage, and shipped them to selected customers for review. And, as the cherry on the icing of the theory, Halong is no Asian company, but the same Butterfly Labs gang. ;-)
Minted our first bitcoin this morning! Took about 18 hours (Butterfly Labs Mini Rig SC 500 GH/s)
http://i.imgur.com/LvDPIjY.png We're using the Butterfly Labs 500 GH/s Mini Rig. Might as well do a small review -- the hardware itself is temperamental. For example, ours showed up with the unresponsive Nexus tablet on the front panel. Dealing with Butterfly is a total shit sandwich given the rip-and-run state of the overall business, so I had to figure out how to bypass the internal routing and have a laptop be the brains of the operation. After a couple of days of messing with usb drivers, which refused to stand up on Windows 7, I finally got the laptop to recognize all 8 modules. However, I could not start mining due to an error starting the bfg miner task from the inside of their Easy Miner application. I tried to force bfg via the command line, and it finally worked, although the hash rate was atrocious. Another day or so, and I had the rig mining. The hardware recognition issue was due to me not giving the laptop enough time to kick ALL modules on. It takes a good 2-3 minutes for all usb notifications to stop bleep-blooping. The hash rate was in the 470 GH/s area, which was perfect, but then the modules started to shut themselves off due to overheating at 83 C. The log would show how the unit was taking down hot modules and then kicking them back on non-stop. The ambient temp in the room is around 75. I played with positioning, fan speeds, to no avail. The hash rate at that point dropped into the 400s, and my 15 amp circuit breakers started to get tripped. This went on for a little, and then I permanently blew one of them and had to pick some up at the Home Depot. But hey, it only took a single trip :) So then I got a 5200 BTU A/C unit, mounted it in the window, and positioned the rig in front of it. That seemed to fix the breaker-tripping and overheating issues. It runs at low 70s C during the day and low 60s C at night. I am now making custom funnels out of thermal foam board to vent exhaust heat outside and also connect the 11" AC opening to the 16"x16" intake area of the rig (looks something like this). The unit generates a lot of heat, no joke. I bet when the weather gets colder, it can serve as a furnace for this side of the house. If you're wondering why I'm talking about it still not being cold outside in November, I'm in Texas. It's really beautiful right now, high of 75 and sunny. Also, the noise ... how could I forget about the noise. It sounds like a server room. There's 18 fans, plus PSU fans, and they are quite loud. Don't expect to inconspicuously set this rig in the corner of your living room. It's been on for over 24 hours now, uninterrupted. To the moon! Timestamp,Core Temp,AC ON/OFF,Total Mined (BTC) 11/1/2013 12:00 PM,80 C,OFF,0.00 11/3/2013 3:30 PM,73 C,OFF,1.78 11/4/2013 2:05 PM,75 C,ON,2.28 11/5/2013 11:00 AM,75 C,ON,2.74 11/6/2013 5:00 PM,70 C,OFF,3.18 11/7/2013 12:00 PM,79 C,OFF,3.53 11/8/2013 5:00 PM,70 C,OFF,4.03 11/13/2013 11:00 PM,68 C,OFF,6.01 11/18/2013 5:00 PM,78 C,OFF,7.69 11/23/2013 11:00 AM,66 C,OFF,9.21 11/26/2013 8:00 PM, 62 C,OFF,10.41
The $22,484.00 Butterfly Labs Mini Rig bitcoin miner is a huge, broken, unstable piece of shit.
(This was a rather controversial article posted on Buttcoin.org and became quite popular, even moving to the top of /bitcoin. It's since been mysteriously edited on the site [maybe by g-g-g-ghosts!] so it's being reposted here for posterity's sake. Some numbers may be off by now, but it was all accurate at the time of posting.) Butterfly Labs has a long and horrible history with their mining rigs. They started taking pre-orders over a year ago, with a ship time sometime in late July. After numerous delays in production, shipping problems and general incompetence, the only thing they’ve managed to get out the door are some of their tiniest miners, the Jalapenos. And those mainly ended up in the hands of reviewers and blogs in order to keep pumping the Butterfly Labs hype train and securing millions of dollars of pre-orders still in limbo.Lucky BFL forums user Luke-JR however scored a sweet Mini Rig from Butterfly Labs (it’s just a coincidence he’s a driver developer for them I’m sure). This rig was originally promised to produce 1500 GH/s hashing power at 1500 watts for $30,000, but has since seen it’s hashing power slashed to a third of what was promised and it’s power consumption increased 75%, now just offer 500 GH/s at 2400 watts. They’ve promised to make good on pre-order buy sending out 3 rigs to match the initial hashing rate, so now it’s only 1500 GH/s at 6900 watts, a reduction in GH/Watt by a factor of 5. So what does $22,484 buy you? Take a look!
Minirig is here! Today, my Minirig arrived. http://i.imgur.com/Yp0WPvE.jpg FedEx apparently dropped it somewhere along the way, and the weakest part of the case, the thin metal part around the back of the PSU, broke. http://i.imgur.com/lFcOHxP.jpg I’m not sure how sturdy the back side was supposed to be, but its two pieces aren’t quite together either. http://i.imgur.com/AVttcOt.jpg The power supplies (EVGA 1500W) also created havoc interfering with the neutral on the power line. This disrupted X10 communication significantly enough that the pool overflowed because the system controlling it was unable to turn off the pump. Workaround: This PSU supports 240V, so we rewired the outlet. 240V does not use neutral, so now all should be okay. Edit: 240V workaround is only partial. Still having problems But the good news is, it all seems to be working for the most part. Next up, installing it in the window so the heat goes outside
A twenty two thousand dollar box of electronics that is broken out of the box, that required the guy to do a sketchy electrical workaround to get partially working, that he is going to install in a window… and he’s happy about it? In case you didn’t notice it, the delivered unit is different than the picture on the website. They had to install 2 power supplies instead of 1 and had to modify the case to fit. Also, if you didn’t notice, the LCD/Phone thingy in the front has been replaced by … a piece of cardboard spray painted black. Wonderful. You could maybe chalk this up to a careless Fedex postman, but when you’re shipping something that costs as much as a mid-sized sedan, how bought putting a little more effort into packing? Dell and HP can ship bigger and heavier servers across the world without this kind of problem. The unit had to hit its huge power draw increase by putting dual EVGA consumer grade power supplies in the unit. We’re talking almost a 75 amp load (6*1500/120), disregarding power factor. He could very well overload the circuit panel and trip the main breaker for the house. Let’s take a look inside this guy. This is from an earlier version of the Minirig (note the single power supply) This is apparently from an earlier FPGA but it will give you a good glimpse at what kind of craftsmanship you can expect from a computer that is half the average household income in the United States. Consumer grade PSU and cheap USB hubs glued to the inside case. Electrical tape and random velcro glued to the insides A closer look at the USB hubs. Plugs are hot glued to stay secured. Electrical tape everywhere, splices and voided hardware are the theme. You can view the entire album here. Despite all that, this thing can still mine bitcoins and it should be profitable. Keep in ind that many people jumped in on the preorders a year ago when bitcoins were still hovering around $6.50 per. Meaning customers paid 1562 bitcoins for that particular piece of shit, which at today’s value is $156,200. Aston martin money. How long will it take them to make their money back (as apposed to just hanging on to them)? If the difficulty didn’t change, they would make 37 bitcoins a day and recoup the initial investment in 124 days. Difficulty is jumping pretty much 20% every 12 days or so, so in the next week before adjustment, they’ll make 259, the next 12 days 369, the next 12 days 312, then 256, then 213, etc. So by day 127, they’ll be halfway to breaking even, but by day 151 they’ll be making less than 5 bitcoins a day, and even if difficulty stopped rising at that point(which it won’t), it would take another 435 days for a total of 586 days to break even. If difficulty kept rising at the same pace, by day 200 they’d be making 2.4 bitcoins per day, and it would take 1024 days to break even with no difficulty increase. Assuming 25 cents per kw/h, and $100 a bitcoin, it would cost 0.43 of a bitcoin per day in electricity which means the unit would no longer be profitable on a power usage basis by day 307, at which point it will have produced 2620 bitcoins. Bear in mind this is only for the first few units, and that’s running 24/7 pumping out around 24,000 BTU, so yes, medical bills from heat stroke will be on top of that. But Alas, the chips don’t run nearly as well as they’re supposed to, frequently running too hot and giving multiple hardware failures. Coindesk noted in one of the first ever runs of the Minirig by hosting provide gigavps that it was running much too hot and erroring out.
At the time of posting, gigavps warned that the unit would be repeatedly shut down while ckolivas, who was assisting, modified the machine’s software to optimise performance. After some tweaking, the device was said to have been left to run continuously for two hours, and was shown to have an average hash rate of 478.1 GH/s. As you can see in the table below, ASIC number four (of a total of eight hashing chips) ran significantly hotter (86 degrees) and consequently gave the highest hardware (HW) error rate. http://i.imgur.com/q3iGrnb.jpg
So, what happens if you just decide you don’t want this, you don’t want to wait over a year to get a $22,000 broken piece of shit? Nothing, because BFL won’t let you cancel your preorder because they’re now “shipping”, i.e. they sent out one unit to their own company shill. http://i.imgur.com/0p3Up03.jpg Which is of course illegal regardless of what Butterfly Labs may say. So in summary: Don’t buy anything from Butterfly Labs … ever.
I'm interested in purchasing a small ASIC Miner for the sake of having some stake in the Bitcoin network other than just HODLing, reading the news, and hoping a merchant I use will actually start accepting Bitcoin. Poking around on the Internet, I haven't found any ASIC retailers that looked remotely credible. The reviews of Butterfly Labs are terrible, taking months or years to ship products, and everything they listed was out of stock. The Antminer ASICs I saw on bitmaintech.com were far more than I was looking to spend. Other websites looked sketchy at best. I've read several reviews of people who got ripped off, or waited months for their products to ship. I'm not under any delusion of making my money back. But I'm not opposed to putting a few hundred dollars into an ASIC that outputs a few hundred GH/s and uses less than 30 kwh/day in power... if it is likely to actually show up. Any thoughts or recommendations on where to look?
Basically I wanted to sell my ASIC miner on gumtree. but my Add kept removed from the site. so I have asked them why. here is a transcript of the chat :) http://puu.sh/54I2b/20db0c8979.png • Rossana P: Hello, you are chatting with Rossana, how can I help? Kindly provide your ad id or email address if you haven’t already provided these details on the pre-chat form. • You: Hi there, i have question regarding my add which has been removed • You: Ive checked the allowed items on your gumtree : http://gumtree.force.com/Help/articles/General_Information/Items-not-allowed-on-GumtreeYou: and cannot find anything regarding my product that i wanted to sell • Rossana P: Let me take a look at that for youYou: yes please • Rossana P: Your ad was removed as we do not allow bit coins and other online points to be sold. Therefore items that contain this are not allowed • Rossana P: are you there? • You: sorryYou: yes • You: it is not bitcoin • You: its a device which can be purchased from your sister website ebay. • You: REf: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Butterfly-Labs-BitForce-60-GH-s-BFL-ASIC-Miner-In-UK-/271306181008?pt=UK_Computing_Other_Computing_Networking&hash=item3f2b1bc990You: it is listed as computing and other computing hardware • Rossana P: let me check for you • You: sure! • Rossana P: I have looked into this for you and as you can receive bitcoins with the device and we do not allow bitcoins, we cannot allow your item • Rossana P: I apologise for any inconvenience caused • You: This product does not explicitly receives bitcoin. it is a sha256 processor which designed to perform calculations. having said that it can be used for bitcoin calculations. • You: you are allowing computer to be sold, bit coins can be gained from computers too • Rossana P: Yes, however as it can be used for bit coins we do not allow it. I apologise for the inconvenience caused. We will gladly allow other ads posted by you however in this case we cannot • You: may i know the difference between allowing computers and not allowing ASIC devices? • You: just to inform you.. Mobile phones could be used to produce bit coins • Rossana P: I can imagine that this can be frustrating to encounter however we cannot allow your ad. I will forward on your feedback • You: You took the time to give me an answer for which I didn't questioned. • You: Computers, mobile phones, graphic cards can be used to gain bitcoins.. why would you restrict ASIC devices only? • Rossana P: these are our posting rules and as this devices can be used for bit coins we do not allow it.You:http://gumtree.force.com/Help/articles/General_Information/Items-not-allowed-on-GumtreeYou: is your restriction. could you please point me out where exactly i can find about this device?You: on your restriction list* • Rossana P: The item is not named in the list however it can be related to virtual merchandise due to bit coins which we do not allow • You: define merchandise. • You: it has nothing to do with VIRTUAL merchandise • You: it is an actual product which is capable of perform complex calculations. it can be used for mathematical purposes, educational purposes anything but calculations • Rossana P: As advised these are our terms and conditions and we cannot allow you ad to go live as the item can be used for bit coins we do not allow. I apologise for any inconvenience caused and I can imagine that this can be frustrating , however this does not comply with our posting rules as advised by our policy review team, with whom I have consulted. for this reason I cannot advise you further or otherwise on the matter.You: would i be able to take legal action against you? because you haven't listed the item on your restriction list. And failing to give provide a correct statement. • Rossana P: As advised we do not allow the ad as it can be used for bit coins which we do not allow. I cannot advise you further or otherwise on the matter, for that reason I will have to terminate this chat And disconnected :D
I've been mining on my 6850 for a few months and I've decided that it's pathetic. I understand that "when ASICs arrive" it will change the entire mining ecosystem, but given the perpetual delays in shipping (at least from Butterfly Labs), I want to build my own GPU powered miner. I have about $4k USD to put into a system (or multiple systems if that's a better idea) and I'd like it to hit at least 3.5 Gigahash/s. So here's my questions: 1) To keep the machine viable as long as possible, it needs to be power efficient. The numbers I've seen on the new 7990 put it at about 1.2 Ghash for 375 watts of consumption (https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison and http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7990-review-benchmark,3486.html) - 3.2 Mhash/watt. Would I see better efficiency numbers from a different card? 2) I understand that mining does not require the card to be in a full speed PCIe slot to get optimal hashing power. If I use a 7990, is the fact that it is a Dual-GPU card going to require more than a 1x PCIe slot? Or, more specifically, how much bandwidth does hashing require per Mhash/s? The answer to that question leads to the last question - 3) If I build a setup with a backplane for additional PCIe slots, how many slots could I realistically add before Windows 7 Ultimate x64 fails to recognize the devices or otherwise derps out? I'm not against setting up with a Linux based system, I just haven't seen appropriate drivers available on that platform. (Side note - do I NEED Catalyst drivers to run an OpenCL miner?) Any advice or information on suggested builds would be appreciated, and I'll tip helpful people. Thanks!
A Look At The 51% Attack And Other Risks On the Bitcoin Network (More Information in the Comments Section)
Synopsis: In this post, we will go over the major risk on the Bitcoin Infrastructure, what kind of solutions have been suggested, and the flaws (if any) of those solutions. The 51% Attack – The Problem/Risks The 51% Attack is based on the premise that, as Bitcoin users, we want no one user to hold 51% of the power on the network. I believe everyone can agree that would be quite the pickle if it were to occur. When we refer to power, we are referring to processing power, which, as most people reading this should know, controls the flow of money, the ability to verify transactions, and other things. Let’s go back a bit and review a few of these basics though. When any machine (which will be henceforth be referred to as a node) applies its processing power to mine, it is doing virtual work, attempting to find a hash which matches up to the algorithm, set at a particular difficulty. As any network grows, the amount of malicious users will too, which is the basis of our problem. If a user (we’re assuming he/she is a neutral entity at this point) controls that much power, we run a few risks.
The user could have found a way in which to maximize the node’s return on investment (ROI), which generally factors in both time and power. This maximization means that the user has found a way to compute multiple hashes at once (thus attempting to take care of multiple transactions at once). This also means that said user wouldn’t receive fees for the transaction though, so the efficiency of this is questionable.
The more malicious route means that the user mines empty blocks, and then refuses to process transactions while mining against only his blocks. I’m assuming (because there seems to be little I could find on the technical side of the attack, for good reason) that this involves a blockchain rewrite, and then the user targeting his/her clients to work on only those blocks which he/she modified, but as for specifics, I do not know. I will research this further and probably post a follow-up that more accurately describe what would happen during this sort of attack. If the user were to mine against just their own blocks though, and not attempt to create any new ones, the Bitcoin network would essentially stop. There is also a variant where a single user can inject a massive amount of hardware into the network quite suddenly, they can bring the production of new blocks to its knees.
This could also be a botnet that does not wish to deal with the hassle of constantly sending all of the current transaction information to its zombies. This would be more for coding simplicity rather than for financial gain. (This point is directly copied from Privacy Online News, as I can’t really think of a simpler way to put it). (List lovingly butchered from Privacy Online News)
The 51% Attack – The Actual Risk/Solutions An attack of this sort would be questionably efficient, and becomes more difficult by the day, here’s why: users. Other users are constantly battling to be more efficient, as they upgrade their own nodes with new GPUs, CPUs, addons like the ones from Avalon or Butterfly Labs, and modified settings. The efficiency of an attack of this sort is questionable since the Bitcoin’s code places odd restrictions on a user who has pulled off an attack likes this, due to its failsafes, cryptography, and other features. This is a list of such limits, brought to you by the Bitcoin Wiki. This [51% attack] allows him [the user] to: Reverse transactions that he sends while he’s in control. This has the potential to double-spend transactions that previously had already been seen in the block chain. Prevent some or all transactions from gaining any confirmations Prevent some or all other miners from mining any valid blocks The attacker can’t: Reverse other people’s transactions Prevent transactions from being sent at all (they’ll show as 0/unconfirmed) Change the number of coins generated per block Create coins out of thin air Send coins that never belonged to him As you can see, there are certainly some risks to a user gaining this kind of control, however the common concerns of them stealing from others, creating coins, and playing with other people’s money simply aren’t possible. It is mentioned later in the article that it is possible to change historical blocks, however the difficulty increases exponentially as you go back, and it becomes impossible past the last checkpoint. Solutions have been mentioned over time, including one (implemented by Solidcoin 2.0) that requires at least one user with a balance of at least a million Solidcoins to be working on every other block. The logic behind this is that a user with that much invested in a system would be very unwise to try to devalue a currency which he/she has so much invested in. I’m personally not a fan of this one, for one reason in particular. To combat the problem of not having enough coins in the beginning, the SolidCoin 2.0 dev team introduced “…10 accounts of 1.2 million [that] were created in the genesis block. These are special accounts that cannot be spent on the network, effectively making them “Null accounts used for special purposes”, until SolidCoin does have real millionaires.” I understand that these coins are unable to be spent on the network, but who controls these accounts? Who decides when there are enough SolidCoin millionaires? What happens if some of these people lose their money, what then happens to the network? These questions and more are raised in my head, and if a SolidCoin dev wishes to have a statement added in, feel free to contact me. As put forward by blogger Gavin Anderson of GavinTech, “[The solution is] Something like “ignore a longer chain orphaning the current best chain if the sum(priorities of transactions included in new chain) is much less than sum(priorities of transactions in the part of the current best chain that would be orphaned)” would mean a 51% attacker would have to have both lots of hashing power AND lots of old, high-priority bitcoins to keep up a transaction-denial-of-service attack. And they’d pretty quickly run out of old, high-priority bitcoins and would be forced to either include other people’s transactions or have their chain rejected.” This solution does sound like a fairly good one, although it does leave us still vulnerable to the attack, albeit for a fairly limited amount of time. User David Schwartz on Stack Exchange mentions this: “…As a longer-term solution, there have been proposals discussed to reject reorganizations that invalidate suspiciously large numbers of blocks such as four or more. The problem with these proposals is that under unusual circumstances (such as if a disaster partitions the Internet for half an hour), the network can permanently split with each side rejecting the other side’s block chain as a suspicious reorganization. Essentially, the client would have to go to a “lockout” mode if this happened and reject all transactions until some mechanism to find the real block chain could be implemented. (It could submit all transactions to both chains and consider only transactions accepted in both as confirmed!) One proposal uses a central authority to pick the real chain. This is an area where there is room for innovation.” Schwartz's solution does sound like less of a risk, but a lockout mode sounds like it could very potentially disrupt a lot of the Bitcoin traffic. Also, it mentions a “central authority” which in a decentralized digital currency, is a bit of a foreign concept. If there are any other major solutions you’d like me to add to this list, let me know.
A copy of the email as follows: Shipping Update View this email in your browser Products Support Forums Contact Us BFL Products Shipping Now May 1, 2013 Dear seppukkake, Shipping of our BitForce SC ASIC miners has begun! You may have seen news reports of our ASIC miners in the wild and some of you may have already taken delivery. It's all true. We're finally shipping. You will receive your order as we work through the shipping queue . If you didn't know, you can check your order status on our website. Log in by clicking here. Use the same email and password you set up your account with. If you don't have your password, use the Lost Password function to create a new one. So what took so long? This third generation of our SHA256 engine was a complex multi-year investment in bringing the latest semiconductor technology to bitcoin mining. Developing a fully custom 65nm ASIC processor is not a casual undertaking. In fact, the new products have improved mining speed by a factor of 72. This much advancement doesn't come easy and it's fair to say that getting here has been eventful. The key issue has been the engineering related to accommodating larger power draws than expected. A good example is the Jalapeno product. It was originally designed to be powered by USB but now consumes the power of a small light bulb (30w). Consequently the power regulator, enclosure, airflow and PCB needed upgrading to suit. Although we are very aware of the undesirable dynamics of any delay, we were nonetheless obligated to make these updates in order to deliver a reliable product at the expected performance. The same adjustments have been made with all products in the lineup. You can see the adjusted product cases in our currently posted product lineup. (The Mini Rig case will be double shipped to satisfy their orders which is why we've run out Mini Rig enclosure stock). Final confirmation is required Please be advised that due to the adjustments described above, we need your confirmation prior to release of your order into the final build queue and on to final delivery. It may also be a good time to review your purchase altogether relative to the bitcoin market as this is the last opportunity to do so. If your order is not confirmed, it will be canceled and your money will be refunded. Thank you for your support and we wish you great satisfaction with your product! Jalapenos Out the Door Packaged for its adventure to a new home. Bye Jalapeno! Your owner eagerly awaits your arrival. Easy Miner Beta Release An easy way to mine with a GUI and real-time Bitcoin statistics, developed for Windows and Android. Linux version coming soon. Download and participate in the beta by clicking here. New Single Form Factor The new form factor for the Single. The new body offers room for performance growth while keeping things ultra cool.
From Butterfly Labs: Terms & Conditions: The easyminer software is provided for free as a courtesy of Butterfly Labs (BF Labs Inc). No warranty or liability related to its use should be assumed. Bitcoin Mining Scam: Butterfly Labs by Matthew Hickey · Published September 24, 2014 · Updated August 17, 2016 ButterflyLabs is now under investigation by the FTC. At $19.95 it would be an interesting toy for those curious about crypto-currency, other than that, search Amazon for "Butterfly Labs" to see much better choices. For those who are suffering financial loss from the rapid obsolescence of mining hardware, consider donating your old hardware to charity and taking a tax write off. Butterfly Labs, the now-notorious maker of custom-ASIC bitcoin machines, kept showing up on my radar. It appeared that if you were going to buy a bitcoin miner, that's where you had to go. ·Cloud Bitcoin Mining- though these options are not as profitable or enjoyable but to some miners, they are better suited. Other required equipment necessary for Bitcoin mining ·Miner’s power supply. Since Bitcoin mining needs its own power supplies to operate, you can’t just plug into an extension-cord as it uses lots of electricity to run.