The coin I did very well speculating on had to be abandoned by my rigs for a while because difficulty adjustments were not keeping pace with the major fluctuation in hashing power in the network. Because the coin was doing so well, I believe one or more multipools picked it up, jacking the difficulty level way up. Then the network hash rate dropped off, but the difficulty didn’t adjust. This led to blocks which took over two hours to crack and a bottleneck in the supply of these coins.
At that point I chose to abandon the LiteCoin Dark pool and search for a new Scrypt coin to speculate on. I did not find one in the limited time I had, so that sent me back to the multipools. I hung out on CleverMining for a while and also leased out my rigs as the going rate for rental fees was better than what the multipools yield. I then discovered the LiteCoin Pool, thanks to it being picked up by Zen Hosting, and mined there long enough to amass an entire LiteCoin in about a day and a half (with interruptions from my rigs being rented).
Yesterday I checked back with LiteCoin Dark to see if the development team had done anything to address the difficulty problems. And they had. They added some sort of difficulty shield to the code and hard forked it at block 16300. I jumped into the pool about a hundred or so blocks later. At that time there wasn’t too much hashing power involved and blocks got cracked every five or six seconds. But the pool website didn’t update very well and a lot of the ongoing statistics seemed off. Nonetheless I managed to mine over 1,700 LTCD in a very short time, and I consider myself lucky to have done so.
Today the pool is producing around 4 LTCD for my account every fifteen minutes or so. It’s the situation where I won’t make anything if I sell at current market prices, but if I can hold out for the price to hit 5,000 satoshis or more, then I can do quite well. I’m noticing a rather tight correlation between the network hash rate and the last price of LTCD on both Cryptsy and Bittrex. When the price goes up, so does the network hash rate. When the price drops, the network hash rate also drops.
As a miner, what I want is for the price of LTCD to really tank for about two weeks so that I can mine it without competing with so much other hash power, and then when I’m satisfied that I have mined enough of it, then I want the price to skyrocket so I can sell at the top. And of course, for the entire two weeks that the price is tanking and I’m mining, I want to know that the future holds better prices. Of course, it’s the fact that no one can know the future for sure that causes many people to get out of the game at the first sign of the price dropping, and back into the game when the price starts to go back up. It’s those who believe in the coin who will continue to mine it when others won’t.
The current scenario where the price is gradually climbing also works, as long as I can hold out for an even higher future price. And I also need to be able to pay my bills while holding out for the higher price.
I’m going to continue mining LTCD for today and possibly tomorrow and keep an eye on things. I’ve done well enough with this coin so far, so it’s not like I can’t afford to take a risk on it doing better in the future. But I do wish that I had a larger collection of mining rigs. I really need to have some dedicated hashing power to the lower risk multipools–enough to cover the monthly colocation expenses. Then it would be nice to have some hashing power on top of that which I can play with. That way if a coin a speculate on really doesn’t pan out–and I’m sure that will happen at some point–then at least I’m not scrambling to pay the bills. If I can spring for upgrading all my rigs with the Zeus Miner upgrade chips, I’ll actually have that wiggle room. But I need some quick profits to make those upgrades possible.
Either that, or I need to write a lot. While I was in the thick of researching data centers and buying mining rigs and supplementary equipment, all while being taken along on the GAW/Zen wild ride, I did not have any mental resources left over for writing. I have made up for it somewhat by sharing my entire story in seven parts and I’ll start seeing some of the generated shares from that effort in a bit less than two weeks.
Despite all the other mining opportunities out there, and even through major price swings in Bitcoin as well as an all time low price for Devcoin (nine satoshis for weeks now), writing for the Devtome continues to be a very good opportunity. Devtome collective word count behaves very similarly to LiteCoin Dark network hash rate. When the price is high, lots of people are writing many words. When the price is low, fewer people write. The trick is to write like crazy while the price is low and stockpile. When the price is high and everyone else wants to jump in–that’s when you want to take some time off. Of course, just like with the LTDC price, if you’re going to invest any resources (in the case of Devtome writing, it’s my time and creativity) into it while the price is low, you have to believe there is at least a possibility of the price going up in the future. Or, you just deal with the price being low and try to write more to make up for it. I prefer to stockpile my Devcoins when the price is low, but when I want to buy a new miner or upgrade to better chips it’s usually the stockpiled Devcoins that end up being dumped to fund the purchase. Devcoins are the easiest to replace. All I have to do is keep writing. But I’m hoping to get to the point with my Scrypt mining that I can use the Bitcoins earned from that endeavor rather than the stockpiled Devcoins to fund future endeavors. But either way, regardless of how Scrypt mining goes both now and in the future, if I can just keep writing for the Devtome I have that much more of a financial cushion. This is a good thing as the costs of all my mining hardware and colocation costs are starting to run in the thousands of dollars–more money than I’ve spent on one thing in a long time. Although I have every reason to believe I will ROI on all of it, it doesn’t hurt to have a backup plan. Just keep writing, just keep writing…
This brings me to a rather interesting and important question. If my Scrypt mining experiences make good stories, and I write them up on the Devtome, can I count the resulting generated shares as part of my Scrypt mining ROI?
As a purist I’m not going to. But… it’s an interesting question nonetheless.