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The only way to win at Bitcoin is to Program your own FPGA

Posted on Jul 15, 2013 by Paul White

I just can't stop thinking about Bitcoin.  Its sounds great doesn't it.  You just run some software 247 and you make money.  But I have come ot the conclusion that the only way to get rich with Bitcoin is to take things into your own hands.

Here are some quick stats about Bitcoin for Today(7/15/2013)
1 block is released every 514 seconds
Each block is worth 25 Bitcoins
This means 168 blocks are created each day, and 4202 Bitcoins are created each day.
@ the current market rate of $98 / bitcoin, this means there is $411,828.79 to be made by miners each day.
Current Network hashing volume is 218.478 Thps.

How much you will make Today at the following Hash rates?

Hash Rate% of NetworkPer Day (24 hours)Per Month (30 days)
100 Thps45.771198931%$188,498.97$5,654,969.10
1 Thps0.4577119893%$1,884.98$56,549.40
1 Ghps0.0004577119%$1.88$56.40
1 Mhps0.0000004571%$0.0018$0.054
1 Khps0.0000000004%$0.0000018$0.000054

How much will you make with Today's Bitcoin Mining Hardware?

Assuming today's Bitcoin value of $98 USD per Bitcoin, and Todays current Network Hashing volume and difficulty
DeviceHash Rate$ Per Day (24 hours)$ Per Month (30 Days)
USB Block Erupter ASICMINER330 Mhps$0.594$17.82
Butterflylabs BitForce 5 GH/s SC5 Ghps$9.40$282.00
Butterflylabs BitForce 50 GH/s SC50 Ghps$94.00$2,820.00
Butterflylabs Bitforce Mini Rig SC500 Ghps$940.00$28,200.00

The problem lies in the fact that even if you buy the baddest graphics card for your computer.  You are stil only making maybe a $200 / month, and thats not including the electricity used.

Even though there are ASIC miners out there, they are few and far between.  My theory is manufacturers are using customer's miners for themselves, and wil ship once the price of bitcoin comes back down.

Since you can' get your hands on a powerful ASIC miner, the only other option is FPGA miners.

What are FPGA miners?

FPGA ( Field Programmable Gate Arrays ) are chips that can be programmed to do one specific task.  As a result less cycles are wasted, and they can generate many Ghps of processing power.  They are also very energy efficient when compared to graphics cards.  And they are also cheap.

But the problem is if you want a turnkey FPGA solution you are going to pay for it, and once again I think those companies are hording the supply of prebuilt miners.  FPGA however are not hard to get ahold of.  The problem lies in programming them to mine for Bitcoin.  

So for the first time in my life, strongly regrety not completing my Computer Engineering Degree.  With that knowledge I could have already filled my office with self programmed miners, and would be planning out my retirement.

My entire life I have been motivated to learn something because I wanted to complete a specific task.  Bitcoin mining as become the task, and learning how to program FPGA has become the problem.  

We will see where this goes.  
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il | Nov 13, 2013 8:25 AM
i am so tired of this puzzle... can you finally explain to us poor readers how the hell fpgas generate money. ok i have an internet cable, and an fpga with it's printec circuitboard ready and working.  - then?
Paul | Nov 13, 2013 9:42 AM
FPGA are circuits that you have to program to mine for bitcoin.  Not an easy task, and it goes beyound the scope of this article.  With the continual climb in difficulty I have given up on mining.  Eventually the mining will be dominated by the ASIC miners, or by guys with custom built video card based systems who live in apartments that have unmetered power.
Paul | Nov 13, 2013 9:44 AM
For those of you who want a custom rom 4.0 or higher I highly suggest you try the new Cyanogenmod installer.  They guys at Cyanogenmod couldn't have made it any easier.
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