While concerns around the electricity consumption of cryptocurrency mining operations might be somewhat exaggerated, French startup Qarnot today has unveiled a new twist on an old formula in the guise of the QC1; a home-bound heating unit that doubles as an Ether mining rig.
The QC1 arrives after years of research, in which Qarnot has previously built three generations of computing heaters with multiple CPUs. The French brand has previously sold such units to construction companies seeking heaters for new sites, which other firms such as Air Liquide and Blender have in the past rented such units for their own requirements.
The first product to ship to ordinary consumers directly, the QC1 comes equipped with AMD GPUs (specifically, a Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX580) and is pre-set to mine Ether. The unit relies on passive heating – meaning that it does not rely on a fan.
The unit requires a simple setup, through which users can connect the device to the web through an Ethernet cable, and can input their Ether wallet address through a dedicated mobile app. Qarnot has clarified that it does not charge commission fees for mined Ether, and instead miners (or lounge-dwellers) retain all of their profits.
Qarnot has further illustrated that, at present, QC1 owners can use their devices to additionally mine Zcash.
The QC1 is now available for the price of $3,600 USD from the firm’s official website, and owners leveraging the unit’s heating powers can expect to mine around $120 USD’s worth of ETH per month at current price levels.
If nothing else, the concept behind the QC1 is an intriguing idea that might well encourage other appliance manufacturers to consider investing in the production of cryptocurrency mining rigs. South Korean chaebol Samsung is one such brand, and is readying its own foray into ASIC computing.
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