...pty-tum trrrumpty-te-tum trumppty-tum te dumdum
A new branded bug (sigh) has landed, specific to an ASIC-based Bitcoin miner: dubbed “Antbleed”, it allows remote shutdown of hardware sold by a company called "Bitmain". Bitmain's Antminer cryptocurrency-mining hardware performs a start-up with a remote server, handing over MAC address, serial number and IP address – but as …
The miner pays real money to his electricity supplier to run the mining hardware. But aside from that, there is no overt cost (in the BitCoin world) of mining coins. The benefit is that you create bitcoins, but as indicated, you create them out of real money that paid for real electricity made from real uranium atoms.
There's also a sort of opportunity cost, in that if miner A creates a coin, then miner B cannot create that coin. It really is a zero-sum game, and if I've understood the operation correctly, there is a finite, fixed supply of possible bitcoins, of which some non-zero number have been permanently lost for a variety of reasons.
EDIT: footnote: *your* electricity might not be made from uranium atoms, but 85% of mine is.
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