A couple months ago I had expressed hope that for a hobbyist bitcoin person, one could participate in the "experience" and actually turn a little profit from it. Today those hopes have come to fruition as I made back my initial investment, and have started turning a profit!
About a week shy of two months ago, I signed up with HashOcean, a cloud mining service that has a low price point of entry, and had demonstrated continuous payouts through a bitcoin review site called BitMakler. So I gave it a go. I took a measly .01366 BTC ($6.32 USD) bought some hashing power, and waited. The estimated "ROI" was two and a half months. However, thanks to the 15KH bonus given for signing up and the 2KH bonus I received from a referral, that time was shaved down to just shy of two months.
Better yet, I've technically made more than my initial investment. Bitcoin has been surging in price lately and so that same .01366 BTC I mined back is technically worth $9.35. That extra three bucks goes a long way to get some coffee around here too 8^D
One interesting thing I discovered is that HashOcean isn't truly a "bitcoin mining" operation as a lot of places are. What HashOcean does is mine Scrypt based cryptocurrencies (LiteCoin, DogeCoin, DarkCoin, etc.) based on what is most profitable and then sells them off for bitcoin. This allows them to keep costs more manageable (they are using graphics cards) and it's clever since they can easily swap to whatever is most profitable at the time.
So what am I going to do with my new found wealth? Two things...
I've already purchased another 20KH of hashing power to start building up my mining platform. Now that the platform has a good track record, I can see building more off of it. I'll keep reinvesting for a while until to get the mining power up. Since price of bitcoin is up, I was able to reinvest for only .009 BTC instead of the original .01366, which is also great.
Lately, another cryptocurrency called Ethereum is gaining a lot of traction. Considering that CoinBase recently expanded their online exchange to include Ethereum (and none of the other Scrypt based cryptocurrencies out there), I'm thinking that it might have some merit. It's price isn't nearly as high as Bitcoin, and I found another "low barrier of entry" cloud mining site through HashFlare that looks promising and is providing returns on investment. So I'll buy some Ethereum mining power there and see how that plays out.
It's fun to be back in the cryptocurrency flow and who knows, maybe I'll make enough after a while to help fund my side project.