Watch Bitcoin Mining Live With BitCam

The BitCamThe BitCam


Bitcoin has been in the press a lot lately, mostly thanks to the incredible changes in value for this virtual currency. But when you get down to the most basic way to get coins, you have to talk about Bitcoin mining. Any coin that gets transacted between two individuals had to be mined at some point. They are not created out of thin air, and in order to mine those coins, you need powerful computer systems to solve algorithm functions, which is part of the very fabric of the virtual currency. We talked not so long ago about one particular device, an ASIC, made especially for mining Bitcoin. These use hardware components optimized for the mining process, and now some reporters at Wired have obtained one such device and setup the BitCam.

With webcams being available to watch about anything you would want to in our modern ever-online way of life, it was only a matter of time before someone would stream Bitcoin mining live for all to see. The camera runs all day long and streams on Ustream, where thousands of people watch the lines of text scroll down on the monitor positioned in front of the camera. This text is simply what the mining software outputs, and the only exciting part of this process is when a successful coin is actually found.

The way mining works is that 25 coins are awarded every few minutes from the virtual network, in relation with how many hashes your particular device can process. Just like a real life lottery, the more people try to mine, the lower your chance at getting those coins. Modern miners however rarely try to mine by themselves. Instead, they join mining pools, and after just two weeks, the Wired crew said that their $274 ASIC device has paid for itself. Needless to say, this makes these types of computers in very high demand.