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Monday, October 13, 2014

GAW to Introduce HashBase, No More New Primes

It's Monday, and GAW is finally done with their big conference. That means all the big names in the company should be back to work, which means we should finally get our refunds for that Thunder X6 snafu from two weeks ago, right? Um, wrong! (Edit: Hey, what do you know -- I got my refund right as I posted this. Hallelujah!) What it actually means is that GAW's CEO is full of more talk and hype for their latest new project, HashBase.

So exactly what is HashBase? As usual, Josh isn't really saying much. It's going to be huge, it will be the best thing ever, and it will put everyone else to shame. Okay, I've heard this sort of talk quite a few times, and what's more, their customer service is a joke. But my Hashlets do continue to pay out a decent number of Bitcoin and they're still set to reach ROI in about three months, so it's not all bad. In fact, as long as you're not waiting for support (or an affiliate payment), and you're not trying to post constructive criticism on Hashtalk, GAW is okay. (Posts like this would definitely get me banned from Hashtalk... again.) That's quite a few caveats, I know, but anyway, back to HashBase.

It will be a new platform that will absorb the current ZenCloud (or if you prefer, the ZenMiner Cloud) platform. It will also initially launch for Hashlet Primes only. There's a ton more hyperbole, but GAW does mention that their new hardware is coming online (yeah, the hardware that should cost something like $0.005 per day per MH in electricity compared to the current stuff that's around $0.06 per MH per day), there are more data centers coming online, and as such they're going to be reducing maintenance fees. When and how much are the two major questions, and my bet is that the answer is "not until we absolutely have to, and not by as much as you'd like."

Other features that will likely come at a later date include X11 mining and mining of other "ASIC proof" algorithms, more HashAmps (e.g. no maintenance Amp will probably launch with HashBase), multiple coin mining, a new coin apparently mineable exclusively via HashBase (Note to GAW: there are already way too many coins!), and "the ability to earn money offering Primes as collateral for loans while still mining with them". Yeah, I have no idea what that last one means, but loans and debt in general are almost never your friends, so tread carefully or you might find that you've lost your Primes that were being held as collateral. You've been warned....

Along with the announcement of HashBase, which is clearly intended to bolster the flagging value of Hashlet Primes, GAW has pulled Hashlet Prime from the market -- no more new Primes. Now the only way to get Primes will be to buy them on the Hash Market. Except, you can't actually do that still, so really there's no way to buy Hashlet Prime right now. But with all the hyperbole, I suspect anyone that previously wanted to sell their Primes will now be taking a "wait and see" approach -- because maybe, just maybe HashBase will be worthy of all the hype. Oh, and at some point Hashlet Prime will also get first access to -- and again, we have no idea what will be there.

While we're here, let's also quickly list some of the things that are currently missing:
  1. Still no HashAmps for Solo Hashlets.
  2. Hashlet Prime still can't mine SHA256.
  3. Can't buy/sell Hashlet Prime on the Hash Market.
  4. The new Vegas Legendary Hashlet. (Maybe this is already out there; there are apparently only 100 Vegas Hashlets.)
  5. Remove Shadow banning from Hashtalk (and ban any user that tries to downvote too frequently -- here's a thought: your reputation takes a hit as well for every five downvotes).
  6. Fix the existing code (and test the fixes!) before implementing the "next great thing".
  7. Customer support and refunds.
To be fair, many of the cryptocurrency companies are far worse than GAW when it comes to customer support, warranties, refunds, etc. I should also note that Alpha Technologies is offering to pay out 50% of our investment for missing their ship date of Q3 2014 (and I'm going to take that because 50% is better than nothing). But just because "everyone else" is doing it wrong doesn't make it okay. If you want to build a successful company that will stand the test of time, the first thing you absolutely have to get right is customer support; a great product with terrible support will fail eventually. Oh, you still need a good product as well (great support of a crappy product won't work), but a good product with excellent support trumps a great product with mediocre support almost every time.

Let me just end with a final comment on Hashlet Primes, to put things in proper perspective. Let's say the maintenance fee was just killed completely. It would still require 208 days at the current rate of 0.0006 BTC per MH to break even, or 139 days if you remember to use the Double Dip every single day. Meanwhile, a Zen Hashlet at the current rate can break even in 125 days, with maintenance fees and without any HashAmps. Will we actually see something in HashBase that makes Hashlet Prime truly worth the current $50 per MH price? I think the only way that happens is if at some point GAW does a 2-for-1 split on Primes, which of course isn't going to happen or they'd make all of their Prime owners really mad. Primes will likely hit ROI within the next seven months, at least the $50 Primes will, but there's no way to sustain a $50 price per MH when ASICs that can do 500+ MH are coming online.

Oh, and one final prediction: all future Legendary Hashlets will eventually become equivalent to Primes, if they aren't that way at the start, so "no more new Primes" doesn't really mean "no more Prime equivalents". If you're looking for a Prime, it might be better to just buy as many Legendary Hashlets as you can afford. Then again, if they only release batches of 100 every couple of months, you're not going to have much of a chance to do that.

PS: You can still get Primes on a couple of the GAW reseller pages, specifically and PrimeHashlets; they're now $69.95 per MH (yeah, milk it baby). And if you want to know what's wrong with, that right there is your answer. You see, both of those sites are run not just by GAW resellers, but by Hashtalk moderators. Anyone talking negatively about Hashlets on those forums (or perhaps finding a loophole) is just asking for the various moderators/resellers to ban their accounts.

Let me also put it this way: if Primes are going to be so absolutely amazing once HashBase launches, why would these companies be selling at $69.95? That's 3.5 times the price of a Zen Hashlet; does anyone actually think Primes will make 3.5X as much BTC when all is said and done? It's profiteering, plain and simple: let GAW create some hype, then buy low and sell high. At $69.95, these Primes are going for roughly the same cost as a 140MH ASIC selling for $10,000. Would you buy that? Maybe if it shipped this past June, but certainly not today!

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