The Internet of Things (IoT) promises that more and more everyday household devices will be equipped with “smart” technology, meaning that they are connected to the internet in some way. Everything from home security systems and sound systems to lights, lamps and more are climbing on board the trend. Now, the broad demand for smart technology has gone a step further: Qarnot has developed a wall-mounted heater that also doubles as a small ethereum mining rig.
According to a report by Engadget, the QC-1 “crypto heater” makes use of a natural property of the cryptocurrency mining process: It uses electricity, and lots of it. Cryptocurrency mining rigs are typically powerful computer systems that utilize massive amounts of processing power with the use of specialized graphics hardware called GPUs. In exchange for solving dense and complex mathematical problems, the operators of those rigs are rewarded with a small amount of a specified cryptocurrency.
The QC-1 heater is designed to look like a radiator, with a black grille and a dark wooden top. It contains two Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 graphics cards, capable of working together to mine at a rate of up to 60MH/s. The designers of the heater claim that it is “perfectly noiseless”—it does not contain any fans or hard drives. While some rigs require fans to keep the temperature down, the QC-1 makes use of the heat to serve its alternate function.
More Than Just Ethereum
The QC-1 is set up to mine for ether by default. However, it can also be reconfigured to mine for Litecoin or a number of other cryptocurrencies. Users are able to monitor their accounts and control whether the device is in “heating booster mode” through a dedicated mobile app.
While the concept of a heater that also makes money for its owner may be enticing, it comes with a hefty price tag. Engadget reports users could earn about $120 per month through the heater’s mining activity. As of the time of its announcement, the heater was available for about $3,570 online. The first wave is slated to be distributed before June 20.
Investing in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or ICOs. Since each individual’s situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns bitcoin and ripple.