Using Crypto-Mining To Improve Your Homestead

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Engineers hate wasting. We are always trying to optimize the usage of the resources surrounding us.

In my research for some additional passive income, I looked into cryptocurrency trading and mining. As a result, I watched a few videos about this process and the incredible amount of heat (and noise) generated.

I never lived in a colder climate than Lima and its (very) mild winters, but I know about the difficulties of paying for services bills within the restrictions of a budget that seems to shrink every month. Therefore, looking to optimize the performance and outputs of the systems we use (like recycling used motor oil as a fuel), I put together some concepts that maybe some of you will find useful and hopefully take advantage of.

This is nothing new, nor my creation. Its effectiveness has already been verified in locations where the colder climate allows cooling equipment efficiently. Just check the links, and you will see for yourselves.

Crypto mining is merely the production of digital currency via hardware.

This production needs a permanent connection to the Internet to solve complex problems proposed by an algorithm hosted on a server. Once this process finishes, the mining equipment owner gets a reward in the form of a small amount of the mined cryptocurrency. As a side note, my (not-so-blind) trust in crypto comes from the general loss of value than fiat currency presented this last few years. Compare and see.

The crypto-mining process involves two methods.

The first involves using commonly found hardware like graphic cards.The second method requires dedicated crypto-mining hardware. We’ll tackle the more common approach first.

Utilizing graphic cards for crypto-mining

A GPU is a graphic card used to enhance the calculations capabilities of your computer. This product is for designing and video edition, or gaming computing. Their great capacity for math calculations makes them very suited for cryptocurrency mining operations. It is not like this is something new, either. Plenty of people have done so, and there are added benefits of using a GPU as well.

The advantage of this system is scalability. You may start with, say, an array of three GPUs and get the remaining three afterward as the cryptocurrency you are mining increases in value. The total GPUs you can add is very high making this system highly flexible.

This method presents one additional advantage: the resale value of used GPUs is good, allowing you to recover a part of your investment. Gamers will happily take them out of your hands once you decide to renew your equipment. Mining activities have made GPUs both pricey and difficult to find, meaning you’ll have no problem selling yours should you choose to do so.

You can see why in the video below…

However, this choice does have a few caveats.

Usually, you will need some computing skills to put together the entire rig and solve any potential problem that could arise afterward. It is not like you need a Ph.D. or a degree in software engineering. If you can install a video card on your PC and make the software work, you will handle this. To better understand how to set all this up, make sure you watch the following video…

Using ASIC miners to for crypto-mining

The second method employs dedicated hardware: specific equipment known as ASIC miners. This equipment (computing chips specifically designed for an intended task) participates in solving the mathproblems the algorithm hosted in the server asks for. There are tutorials everywhere to set up this equipment from scratch. Contrary to GPU mining, ASIC mining is different as the resale value of the used equipment may not be that high, and units can be hard to sell. Nevertheless, what I have seen happening is that cryptocurrency gains value faster than the equipment depreciates.

(Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide to starving the beast to learn more means to build a parallel society.)

And if you live in a colder climate, there’s an additional benefit: heat.

Here is the real benefit for those living in colder climates. It doesn’t matter what type of cryptocurrency you’re mining – if you’re mining, your equipment is going to generate heat. If you already have a good battery rack and solar power rig, you’re all set for a tri-fecta of benefits here. The electricity you generate via your solar panels can not only keep your lights on, but can make you money via crypto-mining as well.

This may not be as inexpensive of a heat source as many proclaim it to be, but it is a potential source that the homesteader should at least know about.

In warmer climates, though, crypto-mining involves different problems.

Computers don’t like heat, and if we live in a tropical location, we need to look for methods to dissipate or cool the equipment. This is necessary to avoid damage, and this costs money in the form of power generation. That means using methods like liquid cooling (with expensive products) instead of just air. The benefit of the liquid immersion method is that electronic equipment cooled this way will last much longer. In air-cooled systems dust is an enemy, and liquid cooling allows for versatile use of the excess heat and an additional advantage: overclocking.

Overclocking means that we can turbocharge our mining equipment just like some people does with their personal computers to get more speed. In cryptocurrency mining, higher hash rates mean more crypto produced.

The possibility of generating power with a solar array for two 3-3.5 kW ASIC miners for 6 or 7 kW is a reality. Using that heat instead of getting rid of it is the logical step for the waste-conscious homesteader. There is plenty of potential to recover the initial investment within a decent period of time.

You are going to need a powerful solar panel setup regardless of what route you go with this, though. The generated heat is a bonus. And if you can then harvest that heat to be funneled into a greenhouse, you could potentially create a micro-environment that would allow some crops to grow year-round.

Cryptocurrencies will keep gaining value with time.

Just take a look at the charts.

The volatility is high, sure. However, I would have loved to get some BTC back in 2015 to stash away.

Using solar power for mining is a trend gaining momentum these days, and it is easy to see why. For starters, you wouldn’t be subject to accusations of “hoarding” grid power as happens in Venezuela, where corruption is causing grid to disintegrate.

The excess heat has plenty of uses if you have imagination and some basic skills to build things: dehydrating vegetables, fruits, or drying your laundry, for example. How much could you save without a clothes dryer?

Having equipment consuming 6kW extra is a big deal.

It could take you a long way while generating profits. It may need some money to invest, but starting small and testing it out could be a good approach. Those with a large solar generation setup will find it quite attractive. Once the system starts paying off, rigging a solar-powered setup should be the next logical step.

Depending on what you raise in your compound, some options to consider are:

  • Fish: The entire setup could cool with water from a pond. That final temperature could be warm enough to raise exotic or more productive species. As an advantage, the immense degree of heat absorption of a pond would make the equipment work for much longer.
  • Chicken coops
  • Greenhouses
  • Workshops
  • Garages

 This article is just a brief introduction to an activity that I consider highly positive and with plenty of lateral benefits.

The initial investment could seem high, and we need to understand that a learning curve exists. But with the potential that cryptos exhibit, I will look at this very seriously in my projects in the years to come to an end

If you have some experience or know someone who has, it would be great to read your comments!

Thanks for your much-needed sponsoring and comments!

Stay tuned!

Jose.

About Jose

Jose is an upper-middle-class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has an old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Jose and his younger kid are currently back in Venezuela after the intention of setting up a new life in another country didn’t go well. The SARSCOV2 re-shaped the labor market and South American economy, so he decided to give it a try to homestead in the mountains, and make a living as best as possible. But this time in his own land, and surrounded by family, friends, and acquaintances, with all the gear and equipment collected, as the initial plan was.

 Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151

Using Crypto-Mining To Improve Your Homestead
J.G. Martinez D

J.G. Martinez D

About Jose Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151

Leave a Reply

  • They had this topic on the Kim Kommando show.
    Unless you have a $250,000 to even start, and need to always upgrade for huge money, your not doing this.

  • I have nothing against crypto, but I wonder seriously how compatible it is with prepping. It’s expensive and consumes a lot of energy, when you could be using that money and energy directly for prepping. Also, in a big enough disaster you won’t be able to transact crypto. Right now in Ukraine people aren’t allowed to use crypto as part of their capital controls.

    I read “Cryptonomicon” some time ago, a SF novel that seemed to be partly about cryptocurrencies, before bitcoin was even around. I remember in the novel one of the main characters that was working on crypto was also trying to create a package to protect potential victims of genocide. The link was never explicitly made in the novel, but I wondered if somehow in the author’s mind crypto might prevent genocide. Sounds great if it could be true, but I really can’t see the link. If I were part of a prosecuted group, surely I wouldn’t be in much of a position to do much with crypto while trying to save my life.

    • The intention was to provide a little bit of unbiased information to preppers and see how they could fit it in. Non-preppers have done this already successfully in colder climates and went well for them. However, to each their own! 🙂

  • ASIC miners are expensive, and the current global chip shortage isn’t making them any cheaper. If you deploy cryptomining equipment at any scale large enough to make it financially worthwhile, you’re going to need a lot of electricity – and money.

    • Dear Kelvin, you may be able to tune up your systems to make them financially cost-effective. If cryptos go up 10% in value one year and you are paying a loan of say 5%, you’re already earning 5% plus the equipment that should work for say 4-5 years.

  • You can actually mine crypto on a $100 raspberry pi computer. The chances of you ever making any money at all on any low end computing system is extremely small. Think in terms of 10,000 other people that are each buying 100,000 lottery tickets per month and you are buying only 1 per month. Now if you believe that the universe will help you win (since that is about what it would take) then having a low end system could be an option for you.

    • Dear Michael,
      That’s why I mentioned mainly ASIC and GPUs. I had good luck in the past while buying 100$ in cryptos with my first salary in Peru, and selling 3 years later to buy my airfare ticket to come back. You’re right on the lottery (which I never buy) but I did bought some crypto without hesitating when I could.

  • Something else to consider, there are several counties in south GA that have passed moratoriums on crypto mining & are changing city & county codes to only allow it in certain areas. Such as industrial parks. Apparently, this is due to complaints about noise from the fans used to cool the set ups from nearby neighbors.

    • Dear Gagreenman, that´s why liquid cooling was developed for. It will do wonders to preserve your gear running for much longer and you will be able to use the heat nevertheless. There are people mining without their neighbors even noticing it.

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