We hope to develop this technology so it can be the basis of the new decentralized cloud. This could potentially save up to 3% of global energy usage. This distribution of computational resources will also provide the infrastructure for running DApps(Distributed Applications) enabled by blockchains and cryptocurrencies. We are moving out of R & D phase and into production for our first product in the coming months.
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Our main goal for BitHeat is to create an economic forcing function that will decentralize mining. We got in to mining because we had GPU’s and wanted to get some cryptocurrency. At the time we were mining Bitcoin, before the ASICs arrived. GPU mining is massively popular for newcomers, but today you cannot efficiently mine Bitcoin using a GPU. However that is not all bad. ASICs do secure the blockchain much better IF the hash power does not become too centralized. Over the last few years ASIC mining has been clustering near low cost energy sources to maximize profitability. How can we give everyone a low cost energy source? Reuse the energy for another process and you can quickly effectively lower your cost per kWh without being located next to a hydroelectric dam.
We are brothers and have hacked on many projects together since we were kids. Whether it was building a go-kart together, extreme overclocking of CPUs, or exploring alternative business structures. We discovered Bitcoin in 2011 and started mining with 8 GPUs. We have been obsessed with Bitcoin and Blockchain ever since. We never stopped thinking about ways to reuse the heat from our GPUs ever since the first winter in 2011. The miners made a nice heater, but really sucked in the summer. In 2014 we learned of non-conductive heat transfer fluids and paired that with a something that needed heat year round, hot water. In 2015 we started BitHeat as we felt mining was becoming too centralized and the best solution is one based in physics and not code.
Harrison has skills in blockchains, distributed systems, game theory, electronic engineering, and programming.
Julian is a maker by trade. He specializes in manufacturing and mechanical design. He has over 10 years in CAD/Product Design/Manufacturing.
Because it is the only way to effectively lower the energy cost. If you can recapture and reuse 80% of your waste heat your $0.10/kWh electricity is now effectively $0.02/kWh. This allows a lower bound than what purely cheap (just not free, you really can’t beat free) electricity would cost.
If you can recapture and reuse all of your heat the only other factor on profitability is the upfront capital cost. Do optimize both aspects of heat recapture and capital cost you need to make sure the miner can mine 24/7. Open air mining is great in the winter, but bad in the summer. You have to pay for electricity twice in the summer, once to make the heat and a second time to get rid of it. A water heater solves this problem and (hopefully) everyone takes a shower every now and again. Obviously not everyone has access to their hot water making device, but we could apply this technology to centralized apartment and hotel hot water boilers. We can also apply this tech to anything that needs a 24/7 heatsource. Even if you can’t get things to full temp our tech can still offset some heat costs by pre-heating.
Bitcoin is open source, why shouldn’t the miners be? This technology is too important to slow down it's development into other use cases by only keeping it to our engineers. We understand that ASIC designs are tricky to open source, but if they were more available to purchase chips we would see a commoditization of all types of mining and interesting use cases (like our design).
ASICs get a bad rap because they cause centralization, but in reality it is greed that causes centralization. ASIC’s are better than GPUs at securing any blockchain. The only security gap that can be found is due to the centralization of mining. However, because of their small form factor we feel in the long run ASICs will be helpful for creating interesting use cases, such as getting them small enough to heat water, or embedding them in to other systems with a much smaller footprint. They are also cheaper to produce than GPU’s because you can put as few or as many on a PCB as your design requires. In a perfectly distributed world everyone could actually own one ASIC chip to mine, whereas GPU’s are just far too large to distribute that largely.