Bitcoin mining rig

Bitcoin Miners Find it Increasingly Hard to Make Money

(South China Morning Post) Tucked away in an air-conditioned data center in Silicon Valley is a hotchpotch of black boxes, circuit boards and cooling fans owned by 27-year-old Aaron Jackson-Wilde, a modern-day prospector looking for bitcoins.

Since discovering the digital currency a few months ago, Jackson-Wilde has paid about $2,000 for his “rigs,” which are powered by specialized computer chips. They are designed to help operate and maintain the Bitcoin network – and, in return, generate a small reward in a process known as “Bitcoin mining.”

While they quickly gained a reputation for facilitating drug deals and money laundering, bitcoins have of late garnered attention from investors, such as venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. The volume of transactions using bitcoins today remains miniscule, but enthusiasts believe the peer-to-peer currency will play a major role in e-commerce and could eventually become as ubiquitous as email.