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A number of questions on this site ask whether it's possible to make money mining bitcoins and the expected profits. However, I'd like to know if there are real-life stories of people becoming wealthy solely from mining bitcoins.

It seems like mining bitcoins is, at best, a hobby that cannot make someone wealthy.

  • 5
    Perhaps define rich. – Stephen Gornick Apr 18 '13 at 22:17
  • 2
    Good point. I suppose "rich" starts around being a millionaire, but I'd also be interested in hearing how common it is to make more than $100K USD. – speedplane Apr 19 '13 at 0:20
  • 4
    It's way too late now though. It's awfully hard to make any profit at all mining these days because it's so popular. – David Schwartz Apr 24 '13 at 0:20
  • If everyone reading this put $1000 into bitcoin when this question was asked, we'd all be rich by now. – speedplane Dec 4 '17 at 23:28
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I suspect that it is hard to find real life stories because the miners would like to remain anonymous. If you had a few million dollars in largely untraceable BTC, would you want to publicize your story and make it easy for the government to tax you?

But there's some very strong evidence to indicate that "getting rich" was very possible. One story that comes to mind is "allinvain" who posted a reasonable amount of evidence that 25,000 BTC that he had mined was stolen from him. So, even though allinvain didn't "get rich" in this story, it certainly showed that a solo miner in 2011 could be making tens of thousands of BTC, easily worth millions of USD in 2013.

If you look at the blockchain it is easy to find addresses used by miners in 2010 that have thousands of bitcoins in them. Just find a block reward and trace where it went to. Here is one: 1AvLeBnWbiBeCNHwLGtWEK9GSVug3RWWxt It appears to be an address where the miner collected his block rewards over six weeks or so. (I'll substitute a blockchain.info link when it is back up.) Perhaps this private key was lost, so we can't say for sure. But it's reasonably to think that this one account (worth about $400,000) represents only a few weeks of work for this miner. If he kept all of the BTC he mined in 2010, he is likely a millionaire. At least on paper.

In short, since mining was much less difficult several years ago, and the exchange rate has gone up so much in that same time period, it seems very reasonable to assume at least some of the serious miners from those early days have made a considerable amount of profit.

  • The 25kBTC theft is questionable and doubted by many - please make sure people know the whole story (and thanks for linking directly to the thread instead of a news "summary"). – Ben Apr 23 '13 at 22:45
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    or they could just pay the taxes and have peace of mind and liquidity? – CQM Oct 31 '13 at 19:10
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Here is a story published on Bloomberg Businessweek about "the millionaires of Bitcoin":

“I’ve got a friend who forgot he had his computer mining Bitcoins in his garage—he checked and it’s worth about $12 million today,” says Kenna, 30, who is chief executive officer of Tradehill.

The same article also mentions Yifu Guo, the founder of Avalon ASICs:

Yifu Guo was a digital media student at New York University when he began mining some of the first coins, occasionally cashing in a few to help pay his rent. After he recognized Bitcoin’s potential, he quit school and founded a company called Avalon, which sells hardware built solely for the purpose of mining Bitcoins.

(Not an answer to your question, but the article also mentions other people that made big money doing other business related to Bitcoin other than mining.)

0

The early bot-miners and current major pool owners are those with the major share beside those who stole or ponied significant amounts of bitcoin..

  1. A botherder (see mariposa botnet for imagination)who mined back in 2011 and pushed ASIC like hashrates will indeed sit on a decent stack of coins and if solo mined the transaction fees. Dont need rocket science to figure that.

  2. A pool owner who owns a major pool maybe makes a load off the transaction fees if kept.

My guess those are the guys with the big bucks.

0

Yes, many people became rich mining Bitcoin, but years ago. Today mining is for those with the resources to operate huge mining farms. Transaction fees are supposed to keep miners motivated, but I think significantly increasing transaction fees would kill the main advantage of Bitcoin (which is cheap transactions). I wrote an article about that a few months ago:

https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/post-mining-bitcoin-collapse-sustainable-growth/

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Yes. The problem is if one will remain rich. You can make money of the bitcoin speculation but you should sell it when production is getting near the end.

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Yes, there are. Yesterday there was a story in Dutch newspapers about a Norwegian student who bought bitcoins in 2009 for 18 Euro, he forgot it then and recently found out that his investment has accumulated to 615.000 Euro. With much effort he found back his password. He sold 20 percent of it and from that amount of real money, he bought an apartment in Oslo

  • 2
    While accurate, the OP is asking for people mining. The Norwegian in the story has bought his. – cdecker Oct 31 '13 at 8:40

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