Cryptocurrency mining takes a lot of energy, and anything that uses that much energy generates a lot of heat, which is why cooling systems are so important for computers using high-end graphics cards. But what if instead of cooling down your mining rig, you found another use for all that excess heat — like, say, heating your entire home?
Qarnot’s QC-1 “crypto heater” looks to do just that, combining a cryptocurrency mining rig with a wall-mounted radiator to heat your home and earn you some of that sweet, sweet digital money at the same time (via TechCrunch). While there’s a certain air of ridiculousness to this — how much more did cryptocurrency mining need to embed itself into your home? — there is also a certain amount of sense to the idea. Heaters are already one of the most expensive electrical devices in a home, and if you’re already spending the money to heat your home, you might as well make some of that back in cryptocurrency, right? It’s not the first time we’ve seen companies try to funnel excess heat from computing tasks into home heating, either: Dutch startup Nerdalize began a pilot program that used servers as heaters last year.
At the very least, the hardware might be one of the nicest radiators I’ve ever seen. It has a wooden top and matte-black finish that puts it miles ahead of the hulking cast iron monster in the corner of my apartment. The QC-1 is also said to be totally silent; there are no fans for cooling, of course, because that would defeat the entire purpose of the “heater” part of the idea.
According to Qarnot, the QC-1 has two Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 graphics cards that can mine at up to 60MH/s, which TechCrunch notes should be enough to make around $120 per month (€100) based on the current price of Ethereum. (That number doesn’t take into account the power usage from the QC-1, which the company hasn’t commented on.)
The company claims that the whole thing can be set up in under 10 minutes. You just plug in the QC-1 to power and Ethernet, add your Ethereum wallet address in a companion smartphone app, and you’re off to the races. You can also set up the QC-1 to mine other cryptocurrencies instead if you’re not an Ethereum fan. Users will be able to monitor mining progress through the app, as well as activate a “heating booster mode” that kicks the heat up beyond the usual level of heat generated from the mining for when temperatures drop.
The QC-1 costs €2,900 (roughly $3,570), and the company is taking preorders now. The first batch of devices set to ship out before June 20th.