A father and son "mine" bitcoins and litecoins 24/7 in their unfinished Chestnut Hill basement.
These "coins," son explains, are virtual currencies not under the control of any government. As such, the world of digital money has attracted illegal activity such as the Silk Road online black market that the U.S. government has shut down for dealings in drugs.
Rocky relates that bitcoins are convertible to dollars and that when China recently clamped down on their use, the price crashed from upwards of $1200 per bitcoin to $700.
These exchanges depend upon an army of computer geeks called miners (like the duo) to verify transactions through the use of computers installed with software that solves complex mathematical formulas. As explained in an Internet video, miners may work together in "pools".
The son enjoys both the technical challenge of configuring and adding hardware and the money-making aspect of mining. A friend of theirs, he says, has earned $100,000 with a shed full of equipment. For now, the duo are transitioning from bitcoin to litecoin which uses the same peer-to-peer network protocols as bitcoin but can be mined using consumer level graphics cards. They currently earn about $16 a day from running their set-up around the clock out of which $2.50 a day covers additional electricity charges.
Dad is not new to home industry; he also keeps bees.