Hotmine CEO Oles Slobodenyuk couldn’t have picked a better place to pitch his product: a bitcoin mining rig that doubles as a home heating appliance.
Irkutsk, Eastern Siberia, is famously cold in the winter, when subzero temperatures are the norm. So a few weeks ago, when Slobodenyuk took the stage at the Baikal Blockchain and Crypto Forum with one of Hotmine’s little white boxes in tow, he opened with a joke about the warm August weather.
“I was told that in Irkutsk, the average temperature of the air is minus 2 degrees Celsius, so I brought a radiator with me,” he said.
Eventually, Slobodenyuk told the crowd, Hotmine aspires to sell up to 200,000 of its devices to Irkutsk residents. But the Ukraine-based company’s ultimate ambitions are even greater.
“Our goal is to reach the point where 80 percent of all mining is done with the smart use of the hot air it’s producing, at the same time protecting the bitcoin network,” Slobodenyuk told CoinDesk, adding:
“We believe mining should become decentralized again, with a full node in every home.”
It’s a lofty goal, given that the four largest mining pools control about 60 percent of the total hashrate, or processing power devoted to securing the bitcoin network, according to BTC.com. But like bitcoin itself, Hotmine will seek to employ economic incentives to achieve its decentralist ideals.
According to Slobodenyuk, each Hotmine miner performs calculations at a rate of 8 tera hashes per second (th/s). With the current price of bitcoin, he said, 1 th/s earns about $7.20 a month, so a single heater can make about $55 for its owner while radiating heat for up to 10 square meters.