Technologies mature. It’s inevitable. If you are of a certain generation, you might remember bedroom coding, wrestling with some primitive version of BASIC on a Commodore 64 for hours so you could play Witching Hour or Spacewar. Or maybe a decade or two later you hand crafted your first website out of raw html, 90s style.
Those days are over, misty water colored digital memories, but the do-it-yourself ethos lives on. Tools like Game Maker and Unity allow indie game developers to compete with the big studios. WordPress and other CMS suites allow individuals to make clean, modern websites with the same bells and whistles as big budget, professionally published sites.
And so it goes with Bitcoin and its descendants, the digital currency revolution that’s been called the “internet of money”. The cycle has gone a bit faster, as a lot of things do these days. But the principle is the same.
In the early days, an old pc that had been running SETI@home could be repurposed. As time went on, the difficulty increased and the field got more competitive. CPUs gave way to linked arrays of GPUs. Power consumption became an issue and ASIC came along. Profitable mining quickly came to require economies of scale, which meant massive data centers and the huge up-front investments that go along with them.
And so the little guy is squeezed out of the action, leaving all the fun…and the profits…to the sort of big conglomerates that can raise the capital needed. Right?
Wrong. The same march of technology that chokes off old opportunities opens up new ones. In this case, cloud computing is the key, the technological advance that democratizes access to high-powered, specialized computing resources and lets the small player get back into this game. Bitcoin cloud mining, or cloud hashing as it is sometimes called, is the way for ordinary folks to get back into this digital coin revolution.
The first pooled bitcoin mining efforts got underway around 2013. As with Bitcoin itself, refinements and technological advances proliferated quickly. Today there are dozens of services offering cloud mining opportunities, covering Bitcoin, Litecoin, Etherium…all the different digital currencies. And having lots of choices is good, of course.
But with all this competition comes complexity. How do you choose which service is right for you? There are good opportunities to make money, but there are also lots of scams, Ponzi schemes, fly-by-night operators out to get your money and disappear. A good online guide to the best paying cloud mining services will help you to sort the wheat from the chaff and arm you with the information you need to navigate past the pitfalls.
Don’t be put off, whatever you do. Remember, a few hundred dollars invested in Bitcoin back in 2010 would be worth millions today. Digital currencies are set to upend and remake the world of finance. The heady, early frontier days may be over, but opportunities still abound. Don’t let them pass you by!