Zack Pettit, a Bitcoin miner, skates on his work break at SCATE Ventures' mining facility in Dallesport. SCATE Ventures Inc.
Nick Sears was just 17 when he started a Bitcoin mining farm in Dallesport. When he was 18, he was legal to purchase bitcoin for the first times. Sears is now 19, and has decided to double down on his life as bitcoin miner. He said "no" for college, but "yes" for living in a room within a data center housing 4,500 whirling ASICs. Sears said that his room was sound-locked due to the acoustic retrofitting. Sears said that he can't hear machines when he closes his door. However, they are loud if he opens the door. Sears claims that the machines produce noises around 80 decibels per machine, but he enjoys being close to the action. It beats the half-hour commute from White Salmon to his parents' home. For the past two years, the 19-year-old has been learning the intricacies of mining machines and how to repair them. Sears believes that his education in electronics and soldering is more valuable than a university degree. Sears said, "I don’t think about going college at all. Just pursuing further knowledge regarding the repairs of miners." CNBC interviewed multiple miners to get this story. Many miners explained that mining is attractive because they can tangibly experience the bitcoin power. You'll be amazed at how large and impressive these data centers are if you visit them. They are huge," explained Thomas Heller (chief business officer of Compass Mining), who works with Sears employer, SCATE Ventures. "There's so many noises and so much heat. There is so much going on. It's quite exciting to enter a data center that is mining bitcoin for the first-time. You can connect the intangible aspects with the physical nature these machines using power and performing these calculations.
Nick Sears, a Bitcoin miner, lives on-site at SCATE Ventures' mining farm in Dallesport. SCATE Ventures Inc.
A day in the daily life of a miner
It's not a glamorous job to mine bitcoins. He said that when he first arrived, he was setting up racks and creating the network infrastructure. "We basically had to wire everything." Sears began to get into a more regular routine once the infrastructure was in place. Sears is now up at 7 AM every morning and works from 8 to 4. Sears is allowed to stay on-site in the event of an emergency. A technician works night shifts, so Sears can sleep. Sears' workday is not defined by the hours. Sears said, "That's what's cool about this job. I don't have any set routine that I follow every day." "Every morning I identify what needs fixing." Sears may be responsible for repairing walls or other infrastructure on some days. "If we need to repair a camera then maybe I'm fixing cables." The most important part of the job involves monitoring and managing all 4,500 Bitmain or Whatsminer ASICs, to make sure they run 24 hours a days, seven days a semaine. SCATE Ventures loses money if even one of these machines is offline or only partially functional. This is because bitcoin miners are lending their computing power and computing power to the network. Your chances of winning bitcoin are greater if you have more machines online.
At the SCATE Ventures mine farm in Dallesport Washington, a rig is being inspected. SCATE Ventures Inc.
6.25 bitcoins are created roughly every ten minutes. A global pool of miners is needed to run a hashing algorithm in order to create these new tokens. These miners don't work in isolation. They are competing against one another to unlock each new batch of bitcoin. Sears is in a high-stakes competition. It is crucial to be diligent and to know how to resolve issues throughout the facility. Some sites have more advanced software that monitors the machines. This includes checking the temperature within each individual miner. Sears' most important task is to find out which machines aren’t working at their full potential. He explained that he finds the machines that stop hashing every day and then you take them off the rack to troubleshoot. You have to identify the problem. It's important to determine why the machine went offline. You need to find out why it went offline. It could be a power cut that would affect all machines. He said that sometimes they only need to be powered up or rebooted. The hardware solution is not always so simple. Heller explained that it could be the fan that cools the machine or the power supply. Heller said that it could be the hashboards. Each hashboard is made up of many individual chips. These chips are what do the calculations. With a Bitmain machine the entire hashboard will turn off if there are more than four broken chips. Instead of havinghing at 100%, you can only haveh at either two-thirds or one third. Seasonal changes in weather add another layer of complexity.
Nick Sears, the lead technician at SCATE Ventures Inc.'s mining farm in Dallesport Washington, repairs hardware. SCATE Ventures Inc.
Storms can cause power outages and other disruptions. Heller states that machines can overheat in summer, particularly at farms that have invested in more powerful units in the past two years. SCATE's Washington mine seems to have found a solution to this problem. Instead of relying on fans, it uses its own immersion cooling technology. This involves submerging the bitcoin miners in an inert fluid to heat dissipate heat.
Get paid by training up
Sears doesn't need a diploma in mining, but he has been able to take online courses that are run by Chinese engineers at Bitmain. Sears completed a Bitmain virtual class last month with another employee to learn how to repair ASIC chips on hashboards. Sears explained that he has a certificate of maintenance repair and that he's been working on improving his skills in this area. It certifies my knowledge, and allows me to purchase supplies and materials directly through Bitmain.
Nick Sears, lead technician at SCATE Ventures Inc.'s mining farm in Dallesport (Washington). SCATE Ventures Inc.
He plans to attend an in-person course in Atlanta, Georgia to learn more about soldering. Sears said that the hardest part of learning how to solder and demolish a circuit board is "the hard part." Scott Bennett, Sears' boss is a big believer in giving his employees the tools they need to excel at their jobs. SCATE Ventures CEO, Bennett, is a self-taught miner who founded his company in his garage in 2017. This was just before the crypto "winter," which saw prices plummet for bitcoin and other cryptocurrency. Like Sears, Bennett used to live in one of his data centers, but he chose an on-site camper over a room within the facility. He is able to live within minutes of some the most affordable power in the world. Bennett stated that all of his facilities are hydro-powered. Sears's mining facility is located next to the Columbia River, and right adjacent to the Dalles Dam. We love that power source. He said that it is cheap, renewable, abundant, and very plentiful. Sears claims that he earns $54,000 per year and has full health insurance which is paid by the company. Bennett also owns some mining machines that he uses exclusively for his employees. Sears receives a $788 bonus each three months, or.02 BTC quarterly. Sears stated that the difficulty rate in China has been increasing, which means the rewards are greater. "The last time that we got more than the previous time was cool, which I like."
SCATE Ventures' mining farm is powered by hydropower from the Dalles Dam. SCATE Ventures Inc.
You can also become a crypto miner by not physically touching any mining equipment. Adam Gitzes made the decision in 2021 to mine bitcoin. He began looking for alternative options after his wife rejected the idea of having equipment installed in their home. Gitzes found Compass Mining which allows customers to purchase mining machines at prices between $5,800 - $11,700. The company then locates the machines in partner data centers and handles the logistics. Gitzes explained that he purchased the machines online and Compass handled the logistics. They delivered the machines to three data centers in North America. He spent approximately $60,000 on the machines. "Compass configured them in the way I requested." Gitzes' typical day consists of checking the internet to check how much bitcoin he has mined over the night and making sure that his units are up to date.
The SCATE Ventures mining farm is located in Dallesport Washington. SCATE Ventures Inc.
Gitzes has six machines, which he claims are at the "higher end". Gitzes claims that China's expulsion of all its miners doubled the money his machines make each day. Gitzes' miners produce about.0055 Bitcoin per day after paying the 1.25% mining pool fee. That's $216 at current prices. He makes about $186 per day from electricity, which is $30 each day. That's just shy of $5700 per month. He'll be able to recoup his investment within 11 months, provided there are no significant fluctuations in bitcoin or energy prices. Gitzes was so impressed with the Compass business model, he quit Amazon in March to join the team. Gitzes stated, "The mission of decentralizing mining and making it accessible to everyone is something I find really important."