As Cryptocurrency continues to go from strength to strength so does the ‘mining’ of it. However, the computer power needed to do this generates a serious amount of heat. Step forward Qarnot who have harnessed this and created the QC-1; a fusion of electrical heater and a high-performance computing server.
A Cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. Does that make sense? Good.
Cryptocurrency really came to the fore last year with the prominence of Bitcoin, but in reality, it’s been around for almost 10 years now.
There was a famous case back in 2010 where a Florida man bought 2 large pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoin – more on that later on.
It’s just not about Bitcoin though with almost 1,400 different types of Cryptocurrencies out there, although admittedly it is hard to look past Bitcoin, especially with all the publicity it has created.
For example, at the start of 2017 it was already doing very well, as if you had 1 Bitcoin it was worth round about £650. By November that same coin was worth more than £12,500 – that would price those 2 pizzas bought back in 2010 at around £62 million each!
Of course, it’s a volatile market and the price fluctuates – with the current price somewhere around the £6,500 mark for 1 bitcoin – but there’s no denying that cryptocurrency is becoming a major player. More and more major companies are allowing payments via cryptocurrency. You can buy a car, book a holiday, or even join a dating site with payment via Bitcoin with the list of companies accepting including Microsoft, Virgin, Tesla, KFC, Subway, Expedia, and T-Mobile to name just a few.
There’s even been cases of people selling houses for bitcoin!
But these Cryptocurrencies don’t just appear as if by magic you have to ‘mine’ them. Mining is the process of adding transaction records to cryptocoin’s public ledger of past transactions and a 'mining rig' is a colloquial metaphor for a single computer system that performs the necessary computations for ‘mining’. This ledger of past transactions is called the blockchain as it is a chain of blocks. The blockchain serves to confirm transactions to the rest of the network as having taken place. The cryptocurrency nodes use the blockchain to distinguish legitimate Bitcoin transactions from attempts to re-spend coins that have already been spent elsewhere.
OK even in simple terms that sounds complicated.
This is where there QC-1 comes into play. It is designed solely to acquire the crypto coins you want – although one of them is Ethereum by default.
But anyone that has ever mined for this currency or equally anyone who has ever pushed your games console or computer to the limit with use knows just how hot they get even with the internal fan desperately trying to keep everything cool. Well the QC-1 doesn’t want this heat to go to waste, so has harnessed it as a heater.
A sleek little black machine, topped with a clean mid-century-modern strip of wood and a scant amount of dotted, lit-up indicators it’s all connected via an app.
Able to be set up in a mere 10 minutes the heat from the QC-1 is generated by 2 graphics cards embedded in the device, which makes it noiseless.
The premise is that the cryptocurrency it mines pays for the electric bill it generates, and then any excess money is pocketed.
It’s hard to say whether the QC-1 is a computer that heats your home, or a heater that makes you money, but either way it’s an ingenius creation.
For more information on the QC-1 please head on over to Qarnot official website here.