Samsung upcycles old Galaxy 5S handsets into Bitcoin Mining Rig
Samsung has always been a blockchain technology enthusiast. This time, it’s “upcycling” initiative resulted in making of an efficient Bitcoin mining rig out of 40 old Galaxy 5S devices. The Samsung’s Bitcoin mining rig runs on a new operating system that has been developed to upgrade the old phones at its e-waste store.
Samsung’s Bitcoin Mining Rig
Image credits: Kyle Wiens
Samsung launched this sustainable mining rig that it made out of old smartphones at its recent developer’s conference in San Francisco. Although the team declined to reveal details about the same, an information sheet at the conference suggested that with this new software, eight galaxy S5 devices can mine at power efficiency greater than a standard desktop.
"This innovative platform provides an environmentally responsible way for old Galaxy mobile devices to breathe new life, providing new possibilities and potential extended value for devices that might otherwise be forgotten in desk drawers or discarded." -Robin Schultz, Samsung’s spokesperson.
Blockchain technology and Samsung
Samsung is one of those tech giants who has realized the potential of blockchain technology and has worked on the implementation part as well. With the belief that financial sector is merely a part of the wide scope that blockchain technology covers, Samsung is keenly working on expanding the same.
The Director of Strategy at Samsung Research America, Steve Rahman said:
“The blockchain technology is very interesting in general, and it can be applied in a lot of
areas,” “Currency, it’s just the first use case. You could imagine that anything, like prescriptions, could be managed with the blockchain technology.”- He further added.
The company has been making constant efforts to accommodate mainstream payments through blockchain technology. Down the road, implementation of this technology will benefit the company by cutting down the operator and server and many other expenses by a remarkable fraction.
Considering the pace of Samsung’s research in the area, Peter Vessenes, Chairman of Bitcoin Foundation and CEO of CoinLab said:
“At least half a billion U.S. dollars, up from $10 million two years ago, will be spent on purchasing Bitcoin mining systems worldwide next year or in 18 months. Much of the money will go directly to foundries with the highest technology in the world, including Samsung, Intel and TSMC,”
Samsung’s “upcycling” initiative
In the technological advancement era, where each day welcomes a new smartphone feature, people keep switching to the better versions. This leads the old phones to the company’s e-waste store. And this is where the story of Samsung’s “upcycling” initiative begins.
Samsung has been working on this sustainable approach to upgrading the old Samsung devices for better use quite appreciably. Previously, the team upcycled an old Galaxy tablet into a new Ubuntu-powered laptop. Not just this, it has also transformed an old phone’s facial recognition software into an owl-shaped “guard” for a house’s entrance.
For this upcycling project, Samsung is taking help from iFixit, an open source that helps people repair things. Kyle Wiens, the CEO of iFixit explains that Samsung is working to set up a dynamic open platform. This platform will allow the users to browse, upload and download the new software. Once installed, it that will remove the Android and open their devices to other forms of software.
“There’s a direct correlation between secondary market value and environmental longevity. [Samsung] wants to maintain the value of their devices long term. If they know they’re going to justify a new price of a thousand dollars for a new Note, it’s easier to get people to spend that thousand dollars if they can resell it for five hundred”.-Wiens
The idea of upcycling the e-waste to make Samsung’s Bitcoin Mining Rig is undoubtedly a wise option to go with. However, the success and feasibility of the project is yet to be unveiled.