FRISCO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Ishaan Thakur, 14, and his sister Aanya, 9, make it easy. Eight months ago, the Texas siblings converted their gaming computer into a cryptocurrency mining machine.
“I went online, watched some tutorials on YouTube, and just found out,” Ishaan told KTVT-TV in Dallas. “It’s possible for anyone to do it if they put their mind to it. “
On their first day of mining, the siblings won $ 3. Now they do more than $ 35,000 per month mining primarily for cryptocurrency, Ethereum.
“We didn’t know much about it at first,” Aanya said. “But our dad told us stories about rising prices, so we wanted to know. This is how we started.
The way mining works is that every time someone buys or sells cryptocurrency, a new unique digital coin has to be created to ensure security. To do this, computers around the world are trying to solve a complex mathematical problem. The computer that does it first wins and produces the new coin. This computer is then rewarded with a cryptocurrency for itself.
The odds of winning a computer are slim, so having plenty of computer servers is the key. With the help of a loan from their father, the Thakur siblings have invested tens of thousands of dollars in their farm. This included the purchase of 145 graphics cards, each costing over $ 3,000.
Most of their operation is also no longer in their garage. Instead, the majority of their computing platforms are now located in a secure, air-conditioned data center in Dallas.
Mining computers create heat and potential danger to the home
To successfully mine cryptocurrency, you need several powerful computers running around the clock. These computers get hot – sometimes too hot.
Last year, Fort Worth firefighters responded to a house fire on Bamberg Lane, north of the city. No one was home at the time, as the fire destroyed most of the two-story house. While searching through the charred debris in the garage, fire investigators noticed boxes of graphics cards, the type often used to mine cryptocurrency.
According to the investigation report, investigators concluded that the electrical fire started from a computer server rack in the garage. The tenant told firefighters the server rack “was exploding for cryptocurrency.”
Home Bitcoin miners struggle to compete with business operations
When mining cryptocurrency, home miners often have to compete with large, well-funded mining operations. This is why many home miners do not mine Bitcoin and instead look for less valuable cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum.
The Whinstone facility in Rockdale, Texas is the largest Bitcoin mining operation in North America. The 100-acre facility has over 115,000 computer servers that mine Bitcoin. Whinstone goes to great lengths to keep its servers from overheating.
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The company has built a high-tech cooling system in its buildings that sends cold water through exterior walls, while heat generated by computers is drawn through vents in the ceiling. “I think that’s what a lot of people don’t realize is the amount of investment that goes into buildings like this,” said Whinstone CEO Chard Harris.
Without major investment in equipment, most home miners usually make small profits
Because it is difficult to compete with the big cryptocurrency miners without a major investment, most home miners have a similar experience as Noah Jost.
When the 10-year-old student from Bedford isn’t playing Fortnight on his computer, he passes his computer to mine for Ethereum.
Over the past year, Noah has learned a lot about the cryptocurrency market as well as a lesson in getting rich. “I made about $ 230 in total in eight months,” he said.
Noah said he plans to save his earnings to buy a “better” computer so he can “make more money mining.”