Tesla owner claims to be using his Model S to mine Bitcoin for free – but all may not be as it seems
Bitcoin’s value has soared and sunk in recent months and the need to mine increasingly more coins to meet expected demand has similarly ramped up.
The problem is, Bitcoin mining becomes harder and uses vast amounts of energy the more coins that are being mined. So much so, reports last week claimed the current mining rigs are so power hungry, they’re using 0.13% of the world’s total energy consumption – more than the whole of Ireland.
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One shrewd Tesla owner has come up with a novel, more environmentally friendly solution.According to a post on the Tesla Owners Worldwide Facebook page, first spotted by Eco Motoring News, the owner has installed a Bitcoin mining rig in the boot of his Tesla Model S which reportedly uses the free energy supplied by Tesla’s Supercharger network.
Bitcoin’s mining software can be installed by anyone and uses a computer’s processing power to carry out the calculations needed for the transactions. The aim is to identify a sequence of data known as a “block” which generates a pattern when the Bitcoin “hash” algorithm is applied to the data. Whoever’s computer does this first will “win” bitcoins.
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Because there are a finite amount of bitcoins, mining them takes a significant amount of energy. The “Proof of Work” algorithm is used to uncover new bitcoins from a total pot of 21 million. So far, there are 16,695,313 bitcoin in circulation, and that means as we get closer to that 21 million mark, energy consumption is going to keep rising.
After the Facebook post went viral, a number of experts began questioning its legitimacy. As Motherboard’s Daniel Oberhaus points out, the rig is missing the specialised computer chips needed to perform the repetitive calculations in order to mine and verify Bitcoin transactions.
He also explains that the number of GPUs in the boot would make the vehicle “unbearably hot”. Oberhaus also delves into the sums behind the claims, concluding that it’s a “stupid” idea.