Sebastian Carsorio, a 23-year-old Argentine young man overwhelmed by the economic situation amid the coronavirus pandemic, took advantage of a computer given to him and thought himself to mine cryptocurrencies to make extra money.
Carsorio, who works repairing appliances at a recycling foundation, grabbed hardware components donated to assemble a computer and started learning how to mine digital currency on Internet forums that he Google-translated into Spanish.
After one and a half years of mining with a handmade desktop computer, he went from living in a cardboard house to building a one-floor house in a slum 50 kilometres away from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Carsorio explained he started mining Monero, but as soon as he repaired a computer graphics card, he switched to Ethereum.
At first he was unaware of the value of cryptocurrencies but after researching, he found an opportunity to profit from what had become his hobby.
He made over 180,000 dollars.
He invested that money in a plot in the middle of a mountain where he moved into a wooden house, which flooded with rain and got cold with low temperatures. Gradually, he has been turning it into a brick-and-mortar place.
The house is still halfway done – it lacks a bathroom; the entrance has a wooden bridge over sewage, and he uses a water pump – but from the living room, Carsorio spends his free time in front of a computer desk mining digital currencies.
Carsorio, father of three, still works repairing appliances, but he says mining will always be there to avoid being money-strapped again.
Looking back at what he has achieved, the 23-year-old points out how good it feels to sleep without getting cold, under a non-leaking roof.
Cryptocurrency mining has become popular in Argentina due to the high profits that the activity provides.
According to a survey by Canada’s Fraser Institute, the South American country stands out as the fifth most attractive region worldwide for the mining industry.
Some cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, are created by a process called proof of work which requires computers to “mine” the currency by solving complex puzzles. Powering those computers involves large amounts of electricity.
(Production: Horacio Soria, Anna Portella, Alfonso Duarte, Liamar Ramos)