In Raleigh, North Carolina, a father-and-son team are bucking the trend of industrial bitcoin mining.
Bitcoin mining is a highly energy intensive process in which competing parties race to add the next block or batch of transactions to the blockchain. The reward for doing so is 12.5 BTC – just under $7,700 at a bitcoin price of $615.
It’s that pursuit for fresh bitcoins that led Jason Gantt and his father Vernon to pursue a mining operation of their own. They operate two bitcoin mines out of their respective homes, with a third one currently under construction.
In some ways, the North Carolina operation harkens back to the old days of bitcoin mining. Back then, hobbyists at home would build a rig, connect to the network, start hashing and, with a dash of luck, scoop up some bitcoins of their own.
But mining has changed over the years. Driven by competition, climbing costs and an ever-escalating network difficulty, the most successful mines are the ones that scale the most effectively. As such, the average mine has evolved from a handful of computers at home to data center-based operations in which hundreds of machines are simultaneously grinding away. What’s more, these