Sunday, September 28, 2014

Zenminer HashStore -- Coming Soon to Hashlet Solos

Continuing from where I left off yesterday, there are a few items to cover. First and foremost, my last post may have ruffled a few feathers, and GAW_CEO even responded to a thread to say that this loophole was a "glitch" with the following statement:
"This is an oversight with the department that does the site listings. All orders will be canceled and refunded. We apologize for the error."
Now, I'm not sure what orders will be canceled and refunded, as that would mean rolling back orders of Thunder X6 ASICs, but before doing that you'd have to roll back the conversion of the ASIC into a Hashlet Prime, and even if you did both of those items you'd still have to have somewhere to refund the money (BTC) to. At present, my new Hashlet Primes still exist, so let's hope it stays that way.

But let's get to the discussion of new features for the Zenminer cloud, which were announced Saturday. The biggest news other than the ability to convert ASICs into Hashlets (it was supposed to be Bitcoin ASICs into Hashlet Genesis, but somehow it ended up being all hosted ASICs -- sort of an Easter egg) is that there's a new HashStore. Except, there isn't -- at least not yet. But thanks to Hashlet Prime we know what will be present at the HashStore: you can purchase HashBoost, and you can purchase Double Dipping. Oh, and we also don't know the pricing on these boosts, except it will be paid in HashPoints.

To recap, HashBoost gives you a 50% boost in hash rate on an ASIC for 30 minutes. For Hashlet Prime it can be used twice per day (for free), once every 12 hours. It's possible that on Hashlet Solo you can use it more frequently, paying as you go, but again we don't know the cost yet.

Double Dipping on the other hand lets you mine two pools at once, with your full hash rate on each. (I wasn't 100% sure on this yesterday, but after reading more posts I don't see how it could be anything other than effectively doubling your income by mining on two pools.) It lasts 12 hours and at present you can use it once per day on a Hashlet Prime for free. By that token, I'd expect Double Dipping to cost about 48X as much as HashBoost -- it doubles your hash rate for twelve hours compared to boosting by 50% for 30 minutes. So it lasts 24X as long and pays potentially twice as much.

One HashPoint, if you're wondering, is currently worth 100 Satoshi (one Satoshi being 0.00000001 BTC), but about three weeks back GAW CEO announced HashPoints would be converted to being worth one penny each. That conversion doesn't seem to have happened yet, though it shouldn't really matter as they'll do the conversion based on the current value of your HP -- so if you have 15000 HashPoints that are currently worth 0.015 BTC stored up, you'll get 567 HP after the conversion (at the current price of $378 per BTC). Of course, with HashPoints being useful for buying stuff at the HashStore, whenever that's enabled, they might be worth stockpiling for a bit. So if you happen to have auto purchases enabled on Zenminer Cloud right now (to save 5%), well, you're going to use up all your HashPoints and might need to wait to get more for the HashStore.

There will be additional boosts available in the future (reduced maintenance, increase payout percentage, and lock in payout rate have been specifically mentioned before). Again, pricing and availability are a bit of an unknown, but I'd guess in two weeks we'll see something. Which is part of the announcement as well: major updates to the Zenminer Cloud are going to come every two weeks instead of every week. That's if Josh sticks to his current plan, which if you've followed him much is a bit of a craps shoot. (See the USD value of HashPoints as an example -- three weeks and it's still not here.)

How Can GAW Afford All These Features and Extras?

Besides all of the above, there's still this nagging question that most people have: how is Josh/GAW paying for all of this stuff? If you buy a 1MH Scrypt Hashlet that should pay around 0.0004-0.0005 BTC according to PoolPicker, and Zenminer's Zen Pool (and LTC Pool) typically pay out 25-50% more, and then on top of that GAW starts offering the ability to Double Dip and get an additional 50% per day for "free"... well, the math wouldn't add up, right? So either it's a ponzi scheme where the system depends on "new blood" coming in to pay existing users, or there's something else going on.

My best guess is that the ASICs Josh/GAW uses are actually far more efficient and powerful than what we can currently buy. Remember that Vaultbreaker Batch 1 is basically supposed to be shipping by now -- see the famous "I will not be beat in my house" quote about Scrypt mining -- and originally I believe Vaultbreaker was going to cost $10,000 for 750 MH. As Hashlet's the "value" of a Vaultbreaker is now at least $11,250 -- that's assuming all 750 MH became MultiHashlets that cost $15 per MH -- and potentially as much as $37,500 -- e.g. if all 750 MH became Hashlet Primes. Obviously at $10,000 GAW was still going to make a decent amount of money, and Batch 2 was dropped to $7000. GAW could have early Vaultbreaker ASICs now up and running and their efficiency would more than pay for the potential 50+% value we're seeing in Hashlets compared to normal Scrypt ASIC mining.

Heck, Josh doesn't even need 750 MH Vaultbreakers to pull this off. Let's say he has data centers loaded up with a reasonably efficient ASIC. The Excalibur ASIC is supposed to do 40MH at 160W, so 4W per MH, and an "inefficient" Vaultbreaker could probably do the same. At $0.08 maintenance fees per MH, GAW is effectively charging around 40W per MH on Hashlets right now. Plus economies of scale means that if GAW is selling tens of thousands of Hashlets, they are ordering thousands of ASICs to power those Hashlets, which means they're going to be getting a very good price compared to someone paying for a single ASIC.

Anyway, bottom line is that so far GAW Miners and their Hashlets are doing fine for me in hitting ROI. When the Hashlet Market officially allows selling of Hashlet Prime, I could in theory sell all my Hashlets and come out with more than I've invested, and there will be others just waiting to snap up a good deal on any Hashlet. Seriously, go look at the Hashlet Market right now -- anything more than about 5% under the normal price gets picked up almost as soon as it's listed.

By that metric, I could cash out of my Zen Hashlets as well and earn a solid 20% over what I invested at the start of the month. So needless to say, I'm feeling pretty good right now. I also felt pretty good when I got in early on Darkcoin and mined 10,000 DRK in one week -- with about 15 consumer CPUs, no less! Too bad I didn't sell all of that when DRK was at $10+, but I still can't complain about netting that much DRK in a week. (For the record, my Darkcoins have largely paid for my Hashlet investment, and then some.) Let's hope lightning strikes twice....

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