First death from mining Bitcoin
Danai Makmek, 26, in Thailand is the latest in a string of industrial accidents caused by unregulated Bitcoin mining

You can see what comes next after “unregulated”. That there should be regulation.

In what is believed to be the industry’s first fatality, a bit-coin “miner” has died after his computer exploded during an attempt to increase its power and allow him to mine more Bitcoins.

The death of Danai Makmek, 26, in Thailand is the latest in a string of industrial accidents caused by unregulated Bitcoin mining, in which practitioners often rig up dozens of computers that then cause power overloads.

Any regulation wouldn’t be about stopping people putting computers in tandem, would it? For that cannot be regulated. Instead it would be something about having to register who owns bitcoin or summat – entirely tangential to the issue but desired by the Swamp anyway.

27 thoughts on “OK, and?”

  1. “causing a blast that electrocuted him”

    Awful reporting. Electrocuting yourself, fine, easily believable. Killed by a computer explosion, unlikely but not impossible. An explosion that electrocutes? WTF?

  2. It’s a standard technique for information management. Connect something you disapprove to something generally disapproved of & imply causation. A causes B so to prevent B regulate A.
    Pretty well everything about coronapanic has been this. The B is “kills Grannie”. And the A can be anything you don’t approve of.

  3. There’s been something similar done in assigning a proportion of global warming to Bitcoin mining. I believe the logic went something like this:
    Take the total value of Bitcoin now in circulation. Assign the value of the very last Bitcoin mined as the energy used to mine it. Now retrospectively claim that as the energy per Bitcoin consumed to produce all Bitcoin.
    Ignores 1) Price & value are different things & there needn’t be a connection between one & ‘tother.
    2)The energy needed to mine the first Bitcoin was virtually zero. It’s a task that progressively becomes more difficult.
    3)If the energy was the entire cost of mining Bitcoin, no one would mine Bitcoin. Because they couldn’t recover the cost of the hardware or make a profit.

  4. bloke in spain,

    Also, it ignores how much crypto is mined with renewables.

    One of the things with crypto mining is that it’s flexible about locations and time, so you can mine anywhere where there is cheap electricity. And the best way to get cheap electricity is to get electricity that no-one else wants.

    For example, there are areas of Switzerland up in the mountains where there are hydro electric dams, but the old industries left. A few villages still use the power but there’s a glut of electricity that will be thrown away. Which means that it’s cheap. In China, you have miners who move from one province to another based on when the rainy seasons come, because that means that area has hydro dams that get full.

    Or this: an oil drilling operation used to just burn off gas in Siberia. Probably not worth transporting it or building a pipeline, now they use it for mining. Zero effect on CO2. https://www.coindesk.com/russian-oil-drilling-giant-opens-mining-farm

    Most of the estimates around CO2 are bullshit for this reason. They do things like measure where crypto is mined, and then look at what percentage of that country is fossil fuel and apply that. But that’s not what the miners are doing. They’re seeking out spare hydro, wind, geothermal and solar first, because it’s more profitable.

  5. @BoM4
    Oh, I’ve no doubt they assigned the very lowest cost per unit to the calculation. Because that would produce the very highest total of energy consumed. Don’t forget, they’re running these calculations backwards to produce the result they want. Probably audited one of the P3’s classes in political economics.

  6. The heavily-loaded bitcoin truck went off the rails and hit a bitcoin pitprop leading to a collapse of one gallery of the bitcoin mine and a consequent release of dangerous electrons.

  7. He was tinkering with his computer, something thousands of people do, and it killed him. I’d be interested to see the official cause of death, but I fail to see how what he was using the computer for has to do with it.

  8. Any regulation wouldn’t be about stopping people putting computers in tandem, would it? For that cannot be regulated. Instead it would be something about having to register who owns bitcoin or summat – entirely tangential to the issue but desired by the Swamp anyway.

    If it isn’t registered then politicians can’t tax it or earn graft from not-taxing it. That’s the basic premise isn’t it?

  9. @roue

    Exactly

    When a driver has an accident his destination isn’t particularly relevant to the accident

    There are plenty of accidents caused by jury rigged power supplies to run cannabis farms. Did cannabis cause them? Nope, the idiots that didn’t power them properly/safely did

  10. The Pedant-General

    @rhoda

    “a consequent release of dangerous electrons.”

    Just wait till they find out that could be restated (sort of) as “a consequent release of dangerous Beta radiation”

  11. That may be the most technically clueless article about something the writer has no shred of knowledge in in the past decade, if not century.

    Looking at the picture of the rig, there’s a conservative estimate of 20kW worth of GPU’s in that picture. 30kW-ish if those are top-line GPU’s. That’s 90 up to 140 amps at Thai voltage.
    Something tells me he did not pay his ‘leccie bill like a Good Boi. Nor used a wall socket to power that stuff.

  12. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    I thought the Swiss used their nukes to pump water uphill during periods of low demand so they could use it during periods of high demand.

  13. You sure about those figures, Grikath. 20kW of GPU’s is 20kW of heat. 10x 2 bar electric fires. You’re not going to cool that with a couple of portable room fans. Or supply that sort of amperage through a few bits of 2.5 Cu insulated.

  14. @Arthur the Cat Look up arc flash. Doubt it happened in this case as it usually requires high voltage but it does happen.

  15. @BiS There’s 19 GPU’s that I can identify in those racks in the picture. The serious GPU’s used for this work are typically in the 400-450W range under “normal” loads, more if overclocked ( which, of course, they generally are..) , and then there’s the PSU’s themselves. The power consumption of the CPU itself is an afterthought, really.

    Those rigs are seriously power-hungry, and yes… generate a tremendous amount of heat.. Those fans are aimed to get that heat out of the window asap..
    Also note that in the picture the racks have been disconnected.. This is not the actual operation setup.

  16. Can computers really explode? I know there’s an Acer Nitro gaming computer, but it isn’t actually explosive. I once saw the result of someone (the head of IT for a Fortune 500 company, honest) plugging her hairdryer cord into her laptop, because she’d left her power brick at home. It wasn’t pretty, but not exactly an ‘explosion’, though there was a pretty loud bang, I gather.

  17. The sort of person who does this would have been tinkering with the computers even if there was no
    Bitcoin, it’s just an excuse to mess around with stuff, the messing around with stuff is built in the excuse doesn’t really matter….wonder how many people have been injured in home brewing accidents

  18. “ It’s a standard technique for information management. Connect something you disapprove to something generally disapproved of & imply causation. A causes B so to prevent B regulate A.
    Pretty well everything about coronapanic has been this. The B is “kills Grannie”. And the A can be anything you don’t approve of.”

    How about we compare Bitcoin mining deaths to Covid vaccine deaths?

  19. More electricity = more computing speed?

    I always thought that a higher frequency processor, or parallel processing, increased computing speed.

    That, or those red LED lighting strips that make people think the computer is going faster.

  20. “How about we compare Bitcoin mining deaths to Covid vaccine deaths?”
    Interesting proposition. Since there seems to have been only one recorded case of the former but more than a few of the latter, obviously an inverse relationship. Step up Bitcoin mining to make vaccines safer?

  21. Going to be visiting Dawson City centre of the Klondike Goldrush, by all accounts those miners knew how to party when they struck it lucky

  22. @Vern Cooke Yes, and that’s why the mining rigs are full of ( preferably the latest) GPU’s. They’re not used for the video output, but for the number of numerical processor cores in them.
    For instance the AMD Radeon RX 580 ( “best budget” ($600 range) , if you can even get them…) has 36 “cores” and a rated max operation ceiling of 6.2TFLOPs.
    Probably more cores and even more TFLOPs if you can co-opt other bits on it with specialised/adapted drivers, but that’s specialist territory.

    When you look at the power consumption that card is rated at “typical” 185W. But that’s desktop/gaming use, and doesn’t mention top/burst load power consumption. Recommended minimum rating for the PSU is 500W, which is a Hint.
    Between overclocking and pushing the cards to the limits doing mining.. easily north of 350W for these cards..

    Which also gives the most likely scenario and an answer to Chris’ point: Can electronics explode?
    At a 12V DC(!) feed those leads on the mentioned GPU run just under 30 Amps.. Currents like that do Interesting Things when suddenly interrupted, even at low voltages.
    Interesting enough to vapourise capacitors and anything they’re on, and make a beautiful (and loud!) spark arc.
    I’ve seen the results of those in server racks… Not Pretty. Definitely not something you want to be near when it actually happens.

    If the Idjit was working on his rig while it was running, in his underwear in a sweaty environment, and he made a mistake or something gave.. Weeelll….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *