Tesla owner mines bitcoin, ethereum with his car

Tesla owner Siraj Raval uses his Model 3 to extract cryptocurrencies.

Siraj Raval

Siraj Raval has tried almost every way to extract cryptocurrencies from his 2018 Tesla Model 3.

It carries free bitcoin extraction software on its Apple Mac mini M1 and powers the computer by connecting an inverter to the 12-volt outlet on the center console of your car.

He also connected interconnected graphics processing units or GPUs to the “frunk” of his Tesla, running these machines with the car’s internal battery.

Although he runs the risk of voiding his car’s warranty, Raval says it’s worth it.

When the price of ether reached its peak in 2021, he claims he was earning up to $ 800 a month.

Bitcoin miner Alejandro de la Torre said that ultimately mining a Tesla is like connecting to any other power source.

“The main component is the price of electricity. If it’s cheaper to do it through an electric vehicle, so be it,” de la Torre said.

How to Extract Cryptocurrencies with a Tesla

In 2018, Chris Allessi, who tells CNBC that he was Wisconsin’s first electric car dealer, decided to play with his Tesla.

This is nothing new for Allessi, also known as K-Man on his YouTube channel, who builds custom electric cars in his spare time and presents himself as a modern Doc Brown, the character in the movie “Back to the Future” that transforms a car in a time machine.

“I like electricity. I like zapping things, construction stuff. Give me an electric motor, I’ll give you a finished product,” he said.

Like Raval, Allessi has tried a couple of different ways to turn his Tesla Model S into a cryptographic mining platform.

In the industry, cryptographic mining is the energy-intensive process in which machines around the world contribute their computing power to the general network, to create new currencies and validate the transactions of existing tokens. They do this by running specialized software that analyzes complicated mathematical equations. To participate, all you need is a computer and electricity.

Allessi tried to extract bitcoins by connecting a Bitmain Antminer S9, a type of mining platform that is used specifically to coin the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, directly into your car’s battery, with the help of a power inverter. The inverter adjusts the voltage of Tesla’s electric battery to a level compatible with its Antminer.

Allessi also successfully used the vehicle’s internal firmware to extract altcoins.

“It wasn’t a big deal,” he said of the process. I used the computer and screen built into the car to navigate to a web page that I set up specifically for me for the popular monero privacy token. “I could run the mining program in the browser,” Allessi explained.

Of all the techniques Raval tested, he said the most cost-effective involves a mixture of hacking into Tesla’s internal computer, in addition to connecting the GPUs directly to the car’s electric motor.

“It’s a computer with wheels … It’s so easy to hack this computer car,” said Raval, who described the process as essentially hijacking the car’s internal firmware to allow for extra power usage.

Tesla hacker and cryptographic miner Thomas Sohmers argued that this step is not necessary.

“The car is already built to deliver over 100 kilowatts, and anything that connects to the car will be a fraction of that. You don’t have to do what [Raval] he says he is doing. It doesn’t make sense, “Sohmers said.

From there, Raval connects five GPUs to its Tesla battery and runs a hash algorithm to undermine ethereum.

Professional-grade miners tell CNBC that, in theory, logistics verifies.

“The mechanisms are all there,” explained Whit Gibbs, CEO and founder of Compass, a bitcoin mining service provider.

“You have a power source, you have space, you have the ability to add cooling. There is certainly enough power provided by the battery to activate an ASIC and run it,” Gibbs continued.

Tesla owner Siraj Raval uses his Model 3 to extract cryptocurrencies.

Siraj Raval

Profitable but worth the hassle?

Whether Tesla’s cryptocurrency mining is profitable has a lot to do with when the driver bought his vehicle.

Allessi, for example, bought his car before January 2017, which means he was stuck with a scheme in which he has free and unlimited overload for the entire life of his vehicle.

In 2018, he estimates that in a 60-hour window, he would earn $ 10 in bitcoins, all of which had a profit, because he didn’t have to pay for energy.

But even though it was profitable, it wasn’t worth it, he says.

“Why would you want to put that kind of wear and tear on a $ 40,000 to $ 100,000 car?” he said. “And right now, even though the price of bitcoin has gone up dramatically, so has the level of difficulty … In the same amount of time with the same team, you’re probably looking for $ 1 or $ 2 worth of bitcoins.”

Currency mining was equally unsuccessful.

“Did it work? Yes. Did you extract something worthwhile to be able to be profitable in any way, shape or form? No,” Allessi explained.

Raval is more optimistic about the revenue potential of his Tesla.

Although he has to pay to charge his vehicle, Raval says that the battery itself “is none”, so he is able to earn a lot in return.

The Raval car has 320 miles per load and takes between $ 10 and $ 15 to charge. If you drive a few hours a day, you will need a charge once a week and a half, so your monthly bill is between $ 30 and $ 60.

Raval estimates that he draws about 20 hours a day from his Tesla battery. Although the price of altcoins such as ethereum is prone to volatility, Raval has made other supports to ensure profitability.

On the one hand, you bet your ethereum on “Midas.Investments”, a guarded cryptocurrency investment platform that offers you an annual percentage return of 23% of your investment. Nor does it charge in U.S. dollars for its cryptographic egg to continue to grow.

Raval also buys its used GPUs on eBay, which helps save money.

Given all these steps, Raval says that over the course of 2021 he will earn between $ 400 and $ 800 a month, which has made the company profitable, even during the cryptocurrency crisis.

Sohmers, who says he was the first to enter Model 3 in 2018, tells CNBC that such high profits are not possible.

“The best estimate I would have for the hashrate for the GPU in Model 3 would be about 7-10 MH / s. Currently, at 10 MH / s, that would generate revenue of about $ 13.38 on ether, before any spending.” Sohmers told CNBC.

Allessi tells CNBC he no longer cares about mining.

“The difficulty is so high … I could make more money working at McDonald’s,” he said.

Allessi offered an alternative. “If you’re working for a company, it’s better to hide a miner on the roof than mining with a car,” he said of a businessman’s free electricity extraction.

But for Raval, extracting cryptocurrencies from his Tesla is not just a trick. Instead, it’s a big part of your plan to make your Tesla a fully autonomous robot that gains cryptography as long as you’re not driving.

Although Tesla CEO Elon Musk has promoted the potential for vehicles to become autonomous robot taxis, Tesla is still far from being able to drive on their own today. However, the Raval believes in this future.

“It will use its profits from both transportation and cryptocurrency mining services to pay for its own expenses, such as repairs, electricity costs and upgrades, as well as investing them in a diversified portfolio of emerging cryptocurrency networks,” he said. said.

CORRECTION: The article was updated to reflect the fact that Siraj Raval only tried to mine for ethereum and bitcoin. Some of the technical details about how Raval hacked his car have also been fixed. The story has also been modified to include additional voices questioning Raval’s mining method.

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