A 30 year old in the US Air Force, stationed in Korea, mines bitcoins in his dorm room. He mined in the US from his own apartment before being deployed.
He doesn’t pay for the electricity. “If [the brass] makes a fuss,” he says, “I will see if I can come up with an arrangement to pay for my own electricity.” But so far, no issues.
“If I can break even, I see it as worthwhile,” the USAF member, who wishes to remain anonymous due to the nature of his work, says. “So, if I were trying to run a profitable mining operation, I don’t think I could compete with China. But since I’m looking to break even, and that’s it, I think I’m doing fine.” The member of the Armed Forces argues that, while the Chinese must make a profit, he doesn’t.
“Large scale mining operations in China must make back their investment, or they won’t be able to get the loans for new hardware they need,” he says. “Since I can operate at a small loss, and still contribute to the decentralization in Bitcoin that I want to see, I see it as a win.”
He knows quite a few people who operate GPU mines. “I actually bought my S4 off of a guy in the Army who was doing Bitcoin mining.”
GPU mining is the lower investment, higher return option right now. “But, I think Bitcoin is going to be the most important crypto-currency long-term, so I intend to keep running one Bitcoin miner constantly.”
Why mine without a profit?
“I don’t want China to have too much influence over the Bitcoin network,” he says. “Theoretically, if China had 51% of the network, they could drastically destabilize the network. And given that China is so authoritarian, I could see them specifically making laws that force miners to choose specific hard-forks, etc.”
The Army man mines on Slushpool.com and on the Bitcoin Classic fork.
“If I were to just buy Bitcoin directly, I wouldn’t be able to influence which way the fork would go,” he says. “Given that it’s only about $1.50 a day in electricity, and I essentially break even, it’s similar to getting a vote in the fork, and also purchasing Bitcoin on an exchange.”
He doesn’t believe it should affect his standing in the military.
“The military is actually surprisingly tolerant, and Bitcoin has mostly shed its reputation as being money for buying drugs,” he says. “It’s too mainstream now for it to carry the same stigma.”