Bitcoin mining rigs use up a lot of energy, and as we all know from science class, anything that uses energy, produces heat. Therefore, mining rigs have traditionally, needed coolers to keep them from overheating.
This high energy use has given bitcoin mining a bad reputation in some quarters, because of its large carbon footprint.
Well, why not try to decrease that carbon footprint by using the heat produced during the mining, to heat your home.
Hotmine, a Ukrainian based bitcoin mining equipment manufacturer has done just that, with their new mining rig that doubles as a household room heater, the Prometheus smart heater.
Evolution of bitcoin mining
Oles Slobodenyuk, CEO of Hotmine explains, 'Bitcoin mining has gone through different stages. Some in the industry call these Mining 1.0, Mining 2.0, and Mining 3.0 eras, which,we may be currently entering.
When bitcoin mining first commenced, the miners where experienced members of the bitcoin community. Then, when video cards and mining pools came on the scene, the mined bitcoin was instantly sent to an exchange.
Next came mining 2.0 industrial era, when hardware manufacturers realized there were extra bucks to be made and started mining bitcoin themselves.
As the Hotmine CEO noted ‘Creating 20-40-100 MW data centers became much more profitable than working on small-scale solutions.’
This took the small-scale miners out of the running.
Bitcoin mining 3.0
Back to the present and recent advances in technology have made the possibility of making mining accessible to home-based miners, once again viable.
The mining 3.0 era will see mining equipment being used in home applications, such as powering water boilers and radiators.
According to Slobodenyuk, ‘we are now entering the ‘Bitcoin 3.0 mining era’, in which home based mining can once again become profitable.
He believes a couple of factors have come together, namely advances in tech, and the bullish direction of the crypto market, at the right time to allow small scale crypto mining attractive and profitable again.
The Prometheus smart heater
Hotmine decided to build their mining rig smart heater in 2018 and brought out a prototype in April 2019.
They now plan to manufacture 1000 of their smart heaters and 2000 of their smart water boiler mining rigs in 2020.
At the time of writing the price for the smart mining heater is $1000.
Features of Hotmine smart heater
There is a power supply with passive cooling, as well as specially designed radiators, which also passively remove heat from the chips.
The heater is equipped with 165 14nm Clarke chips and 15 control chips BF180.
This delivers a hash rate of 8TH/S with power consumption at 60 W/THs. 8 THs/600W or 72W / 1THs.
It has a noise level of 36dBs, which is quitter than a fans or air conditioners.
Height x Width x Length 450 x 100 x 1200mm.
Operating temperature 85 °C (for Clarke chips, the optimal temperature is 85 °C - it produces the best energy efficiency). Operating conditions 0 °C - 30 °C. Max working t °C - 65 °C.
Finally, it weighs 15 kilograms and comes in 3 colors.
The Hotmine smart heater is appealing on three levels; it makes you bitcoin, heats your house and lowers the carbon footprint from mining bitcoin.
Furthermore, with advances in technology and the bitcoin bull market, there is room for growth in this niche market of crypto mining rigs/home appliances.
There is competition in the niche, with Qarnot and Comino, 2 companies with products on the market, and success will not come easy.
But the Hotmine smart heater, with a bit of clever marketing (lower carbon footprint), may just give it the edge over its rivals.