My first foray into mining was sometime in late 2011/2012. At that time Bitcoin Core had mining functionality and mining on a PC was relatively simple. I didn’t take the time to truly understand Bitcoin then. Me being an intensely paranoid individual was distrusting of this software using my computer’s GPU to solve an algorithm, didn’t read the white paper and didn’t join any chat rooms or social networks to connect with others involved in Bitcoin. I regrettably uninstalled the software not to return to Bitcoin until 2017 and not to mine again until 2019, couldn’t even tell you if I am responsible for some orphaned Bitcoin. In those 8 years we had 3 kids but let something like 450,000 block slip past me. That’s okay, I don’t cry myself to sleep every night because of regret, anymore. I have a nice mining setup now and I don’t consider it healthy the live a life of regret.
I can reflect though. Perhaps I should have joined one of those Bitcoin Nerd channels. I never had social media before Twitter, maybe I should’ve or at the very least done my research. So, what’s my point here? As the poet, John Donne wrote, “No Man is an Island, Entire of Itself. Every man is a piece of the continent. A part of the main.” And although I don’t live my life regretting past decisions, I can learn from them. It wasn’t until I left that island or at least connected it to the main, that I learned the true nature of Bitcoin and its unique properties. It wasn’t until I began to research and read articles written by so many hard-working Plebs who were willing to pass on the torch of knowledge to others that I finally understood this technology we revere. And it wasn’t until further study that I realized my place within it, was mining. By then the S9 was a couple of years old and it wasn’t difficult to find one. I learned a lot over the next couple of years about mining. I quite enjoyed the experience and by 2021 I had 6 S9s running in my garage. Like many at that time, I saw the China exodus as a good time to upgrade my setup. I acquired 5 s19 and am now up to 6. Now what to do with those S9s I had laying around? I suppose I could have sold them, but I was busy tinkering with my home heating projects and working… and of course, numbing my mind by bullshitting with all of you on Twitter.
I decided I’m going to give some machines away. I gave 2 S9s to my partner at work. I have been orange pilling him for years and HE thought it would be fun to dip his toes into mining, the heat reuse case was a big draw for him. The joy I felt when he showed me his mining setup was exciting. It was the perfect situation for him, a mechanic and a farmer, mining suited his skill set. I later sent a machine to a friend in Texas that was at risk of losing his job over vax mandates and I thought maybe the machine could help him out. That’s about the time I became more vocal on Twitter and the Telegram groups… and began answering simple home-mining questions. I prefer to just communicate on DM’s regarding mining rather than wade through the string of backlogged Telegram messages. In discussions with Plebs, I always felt myself saying, “well I’ll send you an S9 and you can mess around with it and find out if you like home mining or have an interest in it.” “Then once you learn you can send it back or because shipping is so much just hand it off to someone else.” I’m not unique in this, I’ve seen the generosity in the mining community, truly some of the best people are in mining, especially Pleb Miners.
I had the idea to call it HashTheTorch, seemed like a fun name for what everyone was doing. I gave another S9 away to a buddy of mine who is a machinist and was helping me out with my immersion project. This HashingTheTorch is fun. I saw Barnminer making strides in the same direction as well with his S9 lending program at local meetups, which certainly solves the shipping dilemma. It kind of all hit me at that point, The No Man is an Island concept, the connected decentralized network concept, the Plebs helping Plebs idea. Don’t let someone just up and quit on Bitcoin without understanding it as I did in over a decade ago. HashTheTorch of knowledge, HashTheTorch are these machines that don’t mean much to us beyond being able to offload them for a few bucks, or holding for whatever reason.
When Max and I came up with the idea of PlebMinerMonth it was just supposed to be a few pods with cool Pleb miners, a few Bitesize Bitcoins, and FUD Busters, and a couple of articles to give Plebs another resource to get into mining. It quickly morphed into what it is today and is developing a life of its own. One of the biggest surprises, (though I shouldn’t be surprised given the quality of Plebs in the mining community) was the outpouring of support from other miners who too wanted to pass the torch. We’re early in the first iteration of PlebMinerMonth and we already have 10 machines to give away. So many miners are offering not only HashTheTorch of unused or underused machines, but offering much of their time to produce content, write articles, or do interviews. So many in this space whether they call it HashTheTorch, or S9 lending program, or whatever is willing to dedicate part of themselves to this overall movement.
To ensure that Plebs don’t feel like they’re on an island, that those blocks are just as much at play for a small time Pleb as they are for large institutional miners. That whatever regret they had in their mining journey doesn’t have to be a regret for someone new to it. They know if they HashTheTorch that they may be giving a machine to the next Schnitzel, TechEngineer, or CoinHeated. They could be kicking off the mining innovation journey of the next EconoAlchemist, Diverter, or HODL Tarantula. And who knows what innovations and rabbit holes those new miners will discover?
So I’m putting out the bat signal Pleb miners. Go to a meetup with your old machines. Orange pill that mechanic or machinist buddy or yours. Unload that knowledge you have in your dome and teach your kids and grandkids the value of decentralizing the network through Pleb Mining. HashTheTorch Plebs. And To all of the Pleb Miner month winners of the donated old gen miners. Lean on that machine, experiment with different settings, firmware, and pool. Find uses for the waste heat or perhaps find alternative sources of energy run your machine. And then do as the PlebMiner that gifted you that ASIC…. And…#HashTheTorch
If you have any questions please reach out. Also make sure to follow on twitter and check out everything we are doing for #plebminermonth
Today you can exchange $1 for 4680 Sats (Sale ends soon.)
Thank you Foundation Devices for sponsoring the show. Use code BITBUYBIT at check out for $10 off your purchase