For most of its history, mining has been a misunderstood industry. In this livestream, author and journalist Ethan Lou talks about his new book, “Once A Bitcoin Miner.” Lou’s book is based on what he learned after exploring this new, volatile, and rapidly growing industry.

Video Recording

Other ways to watch and read about this conversation:

Watch previous livestreams here.

Show Notes

Introduction and about the book

  • I ran a mine previously.
  • This book was written from the perspective of the human condition vs a technical perspective.

General thoughts on mining

  • Bitcoin mining is still very institutionalized.
  • China’s mining ban caused a dispersion of hashrate around the world, which so far has been bullish for the network.
  • China may see bitcoin as a competitor to their CBDC. This may be why they banned it.

Do you expect another “China like” event in other parts of the world

  • It may happen in the far future.
  • El Salvador may reverse course with future leaders since their laws can be easily changed by the sitting president.
  • Canada might ban mining that isn't deemed "ESG compliant".

Canadian mining

  • Alberta is like the “Texas of Canada”.
  • Alberta is populated due to economic growth.
  • Many Canadian oil drillers are beginning to understand the positives of placing mining rigs on their fields.

ESG narrative

  • The narrative will get worse before it gets better.
  • Every activity practiced around the world uses as much electricity as a country but bitcoin mining is criticized because many people don’t see the value.
  • Bitcoin’s beginnings on the dark web hurt its reputation among some demographics of people

Lou's personal mining journey

  • I started with Antminer S9s.
  • I also found computers that I repurposed, bought GPUs for them, and started mining Monero.
  • I rented out a space for the miners and began scaling my operations, reaching 700 ASICs.
  • We had to bootstrap in the beginning, and even made our own Ethernet cables.
  • I am not currently mining but hold significant amounts of crypto.

Traders vs miners

  • Mining used to be more of a blue collar activity, many miners were electricians by trade.
  • Traders typically came from a white collar finance background.

How to handle success in crypto

  • Its important to be mindful of lifestyle inflation and learn how to manage your gains.

Crypto in North Korea

  • North Korea has started using it to circumvent sanctions.
  • North Korea organized a crypto conference.
  • Seeing someone get arrested for speaking at a crypto conference was shocking but also a sign that regulatory involvement will only increase.

Advice for would-be miners

  • Don’t try mining if you don’t hold bitcoin first.

Hosted by Zack Voell and Will Foxley