During the 2017 cryptocurrency boom the network’s hashrate and difficulty went up big time. As a result it became almost impossible to have your computer running at home to make a profit with mining. Home computers simply can’t compete with the power of ASIC farms in China. But with the fall in value of bitcoin, litecoin, ethereum and all other currencies, we might be on the verge of a new dawn.
Currently cryptocurrency are relatively cheap. Many Chinese mining companies are scaling down their operations. After the mid-November collapse 30% of the Chinese mining market has closed down. As a result it’s becoming more interesting to mine at home. We’re already seeing companies jumping in on this opportunity.
Taiwanese tech company ASUS has partnered with mining platform Quantumcloud. This partnership will allow consumers with an ASUS graphics card to mine crypto when it’s not being used. The two companies are not making any statements on possible profits and costs, but earnings will be able to be withdrawn from the Quantumcloud software through Paypal or the Chinese app WeChat.
These ASUS GPU’s aren’t the only ways to mine currencies at home. There are simple routers on the market with built-in miners for the Scrypt algorithm. Even though 1.29 Mh/sec will not make a lot of money, in this case it’s the technology that counts.
Obviously it’s well known that crypto mining rigs generate lots of heat. There are plenty of stories online of miners who hardly needed to use their heating system in winter. But mining rigs aren’t really nice to look at, and they certainly won’t do well in your designer living room. There are some companies jumping into this gap.
Tech company Qarnot has build a heater that uses the heat coming from mining as a way to warm your house. Their QC-1 Crypto Heater has two built-in Radeon RX580 8GB graphics cards. It requires somewhere between 450 and 600 Watt and it’s priced at 2900 euro, which is quite steep. You’re paying an awful lot for the design. They estimate it can heat a 20 square-meter room. At the current market prices it would take approximately 17 years to earn your heater back, but at the same time you’re saving money on heating of course. Having heaters that also mine coins, is a smart way to utilize the heat create from mining (even though you could wonder about the need for this product in summer).
Technically it could be possible to stake coins or mine using every internet-connected device. Think about your smart-tv, your Google Home device, the alarm system, perhaps even your light switches and refrigerator. If an device is already always online and always using power, why not utilize that opportunity? Why not have a small mining device built-in in every electricity socket? It would make sense to me.
Proof-of-Work (PoW), like for example mining bitcoins, is unfortunately an electricity consuming activity. It requires quite a lot of power. With Proof-of-Stake (PoS) you would circumvent that problem, as a staking wallet or masternode only requires some computer power and an internet connection. With PoS there’s no need for expensive graphics cards or ASIC miners.
The lower coin values will not do casual mining at home any good, but with giant mining farms dropping out there’s space to jump in. There’s an opportunity here for company to create appliances that embrace the blockchain revolution. IKEA is already making many of its devices and furniture compatible with the internet-of-things (IoT), so making them compatible with the blockchain revolution is just a small, next step.
Currently IKEA’s Tradfri (literally: wireless) selection is limited to lighting and a smart home center. It’s also compatible with Apple Home kit and Google Home for example. The Swedish furniture company also has living room furniture with built-in wireless charging stations for phones and tablets. Seeing how IKEA is revolutionizing our houses with technology, and honestly believe to jump to the blockchain is not far away.
Also published on Medium.