Cryptocurrency was hugely profitable in the first quarter of 2018, resulting in high-end GPU prices skyrocketing, stock shortage and gamers being left with either paying a high premium for a top end GPU or waiting for the cryptocurrency craze to die down. It’s safe to say that with bitcoin being worth $3,800 USD compared to the market high of $20,000 USD only a year ago, that the interest in mining cryptocurrency has fallen significantly and at this stage isn’t profitable in the current climate, or is it?
For GPU mining, it’s a solid no; it is not profitable unless you live in a location where your electricity is free, and even then the returns would be minimal if you account for the cost of hardware, it just wouldn’t be worth the time and investment.
So how can mining be profitable in 2019? Well, that’s where ASIC miners come in.
ASIC miners are designed from the ground up to perform the calculations required by a specific cryptographic hash algorithm used by cryptocurrencies, and they are incredibly efficient at doing so.
To put in into context, to achieve the same hashrates as say a Dayun Zig Z1+ miner using the Lyra2REv2 algorithm achieves a hashrate of 7.25GH, costing around $4200 for the ASIC miner. The top contender from high-end GPUs as of right now is the RTX 2080ti that can mine the same Lyra2REv2 at 93.73MH, for around $1200. The math here is that it would take 77 RTX 2080ti’s to achieve the same hashrate, costing well over $80,000+.
But buying ASIC Miners comes at a risk, the algorithm for the coin that you are looking to mine could become ASIC resistant and fork to a modified version of the same algorithm, leaving your miner essentially redundant. There are also so many legitimacy issues behind the company’s shipping and stocking these miners, offering little to no assurances of delivery, limited or no warranty on the miners themselves and of course scams altogether.
The latter of which is what I’m going to tell you about in more detail today, as I myself am a victim of Estrahash’s cryptocurrency scam and I don’t want anybody else to fall for the same traps I did and to of course stay away from the site that scammed me, is still actively operating and screwing more and more people over.
Who Are Estrahash?
Estrahash offer ASIC mining hardware at what would seem a reasonable price, some hunting around on other ASIC providers shows Estrahashes prices cheaper than the competition, sometimes in excess of $500+ dollars.
The Estrahash Scam: My Experience
I reached out to Estrahash to determine in more detail on what specifically they offer. Aside from ASIC miners, Estrahash also offer 2 types of purchase options. The first to buy the ASIC hardware outright and have them ship it to you, the other to purchase the hardware and leave it mining on their farm and Estrahash take a 5% overhead for the cost of electric and pay you on a monthly basis. Estrahash will then supposedly ship it to you whenever you want the miner back in your own home as it were. As previously mentioned, the cost of electric is what kills minings profitability, so this option is definitely more lucrative.
I also wanted more detail for the payment options on Estrahash, as there is no current way to pay via PayPal or VISA on their website, the only apparent payable option is via Bitcoin.
(below is the support ticket I opened to determine this information)
All in all, Estrahash seemed pretty knowledgeable and reasonable with the information they provided to me. I spoke to their support a little of Facebook chat and Estrahash seemed really helpful in helping me facilitate the Bitcoin transfer. I used Coinbase to purchase the required Bitcoin amount and then transferred it over to Estrahash Bitcoin address that captures payment in the checkout basket.
However, almost immediately after receiving my payment things started to go wrong.
I never received any sort of email that offered me any indication of a receipt. The most I was able to gather on my order was this that was attached in my order history (below):
As Estrahash had been helpful and responsive on Facebook, I reached out again for support. Following the confirmation that the order had gone through, I followed up with an email confirming the wallet address. However, I never received a reply to that email, so below covers both:
As you can see, Estrahash support assures me that they could transfer a small about of Monacoin to my wallet to confirm everything was set up from both ends correctly, then completely ignored the fact they had done so when I questioned them on it.
Nonetheless, it seemed that I had at least made progress post-purchase.
Again, I was very wrong.
I wanted to ensure I knew exactly what was happening now as to their “policy” so I chased again for the information:
At this stage, I was getting a little sick of Estrahashes misinformation and lack coherency between messages. I created a support ticket directly from my account on Estrashashes website, raising my concerns as well regarding the lack of information and assistance I had received from Estrahash support. My key goal here finding out what were these payment dates were:
The laughable thing here is I actually had to bump Estrahashes support ticket to coax a reply from them. Well a week passed and zero information was provided to me:
Haazah! Finally a payment date! But wait, I think you can guess where this is going:
Safe to say I was pretty irked at this point and getting so tired with the lack of information as to why I hadn’t been paid, despite multiple assurances that I would be paid on the 30th of November:
Why does this arsehole keep telling me to wait? And where has this new “process” came from? Estrahash then go on to elaborate what this new “process” is:
I was sick and tired of Estrahash’s misinformation and borderline scamming ways. I just wanted a refund at this stage. Nevermind the time and energy I’d wasted in trying to get Estrahash to honour their promised monthly payments, the hassle just was not worth it.
Estrahash responded to my request for a refund with:
Where Things Are Now
Fed up of these promised payments, I submitted another support ticket and to this day I have not had a reply. I also tried bumping more information as I did the first time, yet I got no response. The ticket still remains “open” in my account. I even went as far as inserting a screenshot of the support ticket I’d raised into Estrahashes Facebook support messaging. This is what I got in response:
Okay, wow. BTC (Bitcoin) crashes and somehow that affects the amount of Monacoin my miner had supposedly been mining for the last 6 weeks? Apparently a separate cryptocurrency had off and walked away with what my miner had made? I lost my shit at this stage and really hammed through the refund.
Estrashash never replied to me again after this, they even went as far as to block me on Facebook messenger, the only outlet they were ever responsive on. Despite how bad the replies I actually got were, they were at least replies. I added to that support ticket and offered an amicable solution. I raised a PayPal invoice for $4200 dollars and sent it over to their support address
But, of course, no reply.
So here we are. This is what happened to me. This is my story of how I was scammed by Estrahash. How they outright promised me repeatedly things were good and that I would be paid as promised.
It Wasn’t Just Me
After my experience, I took to delving into the reaches of the web, looking to find out if my situation was unique or whether others had suffered a similar fate at the hands of Estrahash. It didn’t take long to find examples of others who’d had issues with Estrahash, or indeed concerns about their legitimacy.
Unfortunately, it appears that my experience with Estrahash is far from unique and a number of individuals have been scammed by this supposed supplier. And these are just the voices that took to the internet to share their concerns. It’s tough to know exactly how many people have been impacted by this sham of a company.
How to Avoid Cryptocurrency Fraud
This article does not exist to score pity points or just bemoan the fact I made a mistake when opting for my hardware supplier. It’s an effort to help others avoid what happened to me, and hopefully, that means helping you save your money and major stress.
Many people understand the world of cryptocurrency is lucrative, but given the complexities of getting involved in the trade, it can often leave us underprepared as well. This Estrahash scam highlights the need for in-depth research not only into the art of making money through cryptocurrency, but also who you choose to work with and buy from. I was sceptical at first but taken in by their responsiveness and knowledge. Because I didn’t take my time to look further into this brand, I suffered for it.
Finding this information – the information about others who had experienced issues – was not always easy. As a small online ‘business,’ dredging up details on Estrahash sometimes proved a challenge. However, as this example shows, it was also necessary to go that extra mile.
So how do you avoid the Estahash scam or other similar problems?
Dig deep. Dig as deep as you can. Find reviews and previous customers. Check social media feeds for comments from consumers and get onto specialist forums like BitCoinTalk. If you aren’t finding the information you need, ask for it on any channel you can. If nobody can offer up past experiences, go elsewhere.
Don’t gamble like I did.
One of the major lessons i also learned here was that just because they operate with cryptocurrency, it doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to only take it as payment. This industry is, by nature, risky. However, this wasn’t a risk I needed to take, and it isn’t one you need to take either.
Hopefully what you’ve read here will help you avoid a scam like Estrahash. But, if you’re like me and already been hit by a dodgy online company, share your experience in our comments below!