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D.C. tech contractor Walter Augustine wants to cash in on some decentralized virtual currency.

Specifically, he wants to mine Bitcoins—which involves solving complex mathematical equations in order to create new bitcoins.  Only 21 million units of the currency can be created, and mining them requires special hardware and massive amounts of electricity to keep the machines running 24 hours a day.

But since Augustine, who lives in Bethesda and runs his IT firm out of an office building in Glover Park, doesn’t have one of these expensive, in-demand machines, he’s trying to cut a deal with someone who has a machine in exchange for access to his electricity. After all, electricity is included in his Glover Park office space lease, which means he doesn’t pay extra if he uses more electricity.

Augustine posted a listing on Craigslist calling for a person with one of these Bitcoin miners to use his around-the-clock, free Internet and electricity. He proposed the two would split the profits 40-60, with Augustine take the smaller portion.

“It was just a thought that popped in my head as I was trying to research buying my new mining machines,” Augustine says of the Craigslist posting, adding that because of how much electricity these machines use, it often cuts into miners’ profits.

He says he hasn’t received any responses to his ad yet, but also plans to post the listing in Baltimore and other cities. Augustine already has a small mining machine that he paid about $200 for, and he says the mining machines makes about 1/100 of a Bitcoin every 24 hours.  The value of the Bitcoin fluctuates often, but it’s currently worth about $500 each, which means Augustine earns the equivalent of about $5 a day from his mining.

He estimates the more powerful machines on the market are six times as fast and would bring him about $30 a day, assuming the value stays at $500.

Augustine says he recognizes the volatile nature of this currency and vows to not put more than $5,000 into his Bitcoin ventures.

“I’m looking at both sides, and I’m trying to make a calculating risk reward decision,” Augustine says. “Bitcoins jump up and down $200 overnight sometimes, that’s not normal, that’s the greed.”

Any takers for Augustine’s offer? Anyone?

Photo by antanacoins via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0