“Get out of there, you bastards!” grunts local Bitcoin miner, Alexei Sokolov, repeatedly swinging a pickaxe into a freshly unwrapped Nvidia Titan V—his third one since our arrival.
Sokolov is no stranger to cryptocurrency. He first “invested” in Bitcoin back in 2014, and since then, no one has bothered to tell him and break his fragile little heart. “I haven’t found any Bitcoins yet, but my moment is coming up any day now, I’m sure of it,” he tells us.
“I really pick these things apart, too.” Sokolov regularly takes advantage of bulk packages on Amazon, buying a large number of graphics cards and spreading the pieces thin across his workshop. “It’s gotten a little disheartening. Some days, I don’t even remember what a Bitcoin looks like.”
“I just have to stay positive.”
In recent times, the PC gaming community has built up something of a resentment towards Bitcoin miners, as the seemingly insatiable cryptocurrency market drives up the cost of GPUs. Is Sokolov the least bit concerned? “Not at all. The way I see it, if PC gamers can’t see the real value in these babies, they don’t deserve them,” he says, holding a broken fan blade up to the light.
“Or maybe they should just find a different thing to put Bitcoins in if people like using these so much,” he remarks, throwing the fan blade away. Sokolov also found time to show us how he tosses the mangled leftovers of his hardware into a woodchipper, a process he calls “spelunking.”
It’s sad to see Alexei’s Bitcoin workshop, knowing that he will never—wait, is that a Bitcoin?