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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:59 am 
This user is a Tool! Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter Mined 4 Erf For when you need it most Was an active Tool on Free Cards Day
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 5:30 pm
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In case anyone cares; here are my thoughts on Mine4Erf.

Pros:

- Mining for Erfworld is easier than mining individually, because Erfworld will deal with converting the cryptocurrency into cash. If I mined for myself I'd have to sign up with an exchange.
- Mining can sometimes be "for free". I'm running the miner right now because my computer sits in the basement, which is unheated, and I'd like it to be a bit warmer. It beats running an electric heater. Also, the electricity where I live is green, and I have a recent/fast graphics card.
- So, mining can sometimes be an efficient way to donate to ErfWorld.

Cons:

- The current messaging is not, for me, clear enough about the costs. There is a risk that people who would not be okay donating $5 a month will pay that or more in electricity costs. If they notice, they will be unhappy; if they don't, they will simply be poorer.
- Efficiency varies dramatically depending on hardware. It seems there is an effort to include inefficient hardware so that everyone can join in.
- With any fixed hardware setup, mining will at some point stop being profitable because the hardware is obsolete.
- There is a significant risk of a large drop in coin value which would cause all mining to no longer be profitable.
- There is a risk that error on the part of the ErfWorld team, or hacking (of something ErfWorld specific or an exchange) causes some/all of ErfWorld's cryptocurrency balance to be lost.
- Mining can be ecologically unsound even if it's profitable, depending on whether the heat is wanted and whether the energy source is green.
- Requires work by the ErfWorld team to maintain.
- Risk of a negative response from readers due to the perceived or actual ecological impact.

My humble recommendations:

- Give clear cost estimates. A good place for this would be in the miner when you launch it; best would be to give estimates based on the detected hardware. "Running this 24/7 will cost you an estimated $5 per month. Continue? (y/n)".
- Refuse to run on inefficient hardware. Inclusiveness should be solved in another way, e.g. granting up to one spin per day for the miner refusing to run.
- Encourage people to think about the ecological impact: whether the heat is useful or not, whether the electricity used is renewable or not. (Note that wasting renewable energy is not to be encouraged, either, but it's preferable to wasting non-renewable energy).
- ErfWorld needs to cash out, i.e. convert to USD, regularly. Gambling/speculating with donations would not be okay if they were USD donations; keeping donations in cryptocurrency would be the same.
- Perhaps plan to salvage as much of the work as possible in a non-cryptocurrency-powered system if the crypto part fails.

Overall, I'm enjoying running the miner; due to the precise circumstances the ecological cost is minimal, and I don't mind the monetary cost. I think it's an interesting experiment, and for the most part a cool thing to try. But I worry that for many (most?) users the tradeoffs are not as good as they are for me. (Less efficient hardware, less green energy, less use for the waste heat, more worried about the cost).

Mostly, though, I expect that the experiment will simply stop working at some point due to market changes. It might then be possible to switch to mining another coin, but I expect the new coin will also fail in time; I don't expect that there will ever be a stable state where it makes economic sense to crowd source mining of a particular coin. (When the costs of the miners are taken into account. When they're ignored, I believe that could stay profitable, but I don't for a moment think that's the ErfWorld team's intent.)

Still, it's been a fun diversion. So, thanks for that :) ... and I will keep mining as long as it's cold outside.

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     Post Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:27 am 
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    Mined 4 Erf Has collected at least one unit Won Mine4erf for the Marbits
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    Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:24 pm
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    For a point of reference, my mining computer uses 145 watts when mining. The computer normally isn't left on, so I'm not negating the non-mining power usage. My electric rate is variable, but averages 11¢/kwh. Fees and taxes raise that to 22¢/kwh.

    (145w × 24 hr/day × 30 day/mo ) ÷ 1000 w/kw = 104.4 kwh/mo
    104.4 kwh/mo × $0.22/kwh = $22.97 / mo

    That's quite a bit of electricity. I ran it non-stop for a couple weeks, but now I'm just running it while the computer is normally on. I could try to offset the heat generated vs. heating costs during the winter, but my heating cost is very low for my house.

    My mining computer isn't all that efficient. It wasn't built with mining in mind. The video card is not the most effective miner either; not many MH/s per watt. It was fun to try, but I'm not going to leave it mining continually.

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