Tesla owner Siraj Raval uses his Model 3 to mine cryptocurrencies.
Siraj Raval has tried almost every possible way to mine cryptocurrency from his 2018 Tesla Model 3.
You’ve run free bitcoin mining software on your Apple Mac mini M1 and turned on the computer by plugging an inverter into the 12-volt cigarette lighter socket on your car’s dash.
He also connected interconnected graphics processing units or GPUs to the “frunk” of his Tesla, running these machines off the car’s internal battery.
Although you risk voiding your car’s warranty, Raval says it’s worth it.
“It’s a lot faster and it’s a lot more energy efficient,” explained Raval, who says that when the price of ether and the polygon peaked in 2021, he was making up to $ 800 a month mining both.
Bitcoin miner Alejandro de la Torre says that ultimately mining from a Tesla is like connecting to any other power source.
“The main component is the price of electricity. If it is cheaper to do it through an electric vehicle, so be it, “said de la Torre.
How to mine cryptocurrencies with a Tesla
In 2018, Chris Allessi, who tells CNBC that he was Wisconsin’s first electric car dealer, decided to tinker with his Tesla.
This is nothing new to Allessi, aka K-Man on his YouTube channel, who builds custom electric cars in his spare time and bills himself as a modern day Doc Brown, the character from the movie “Back to the Future. “that adapts a car to a time machine.
“I like electricity. I like to zap, construction things. You give me an electric motor, I give you a finished product,” he said.
Similar to the Raval, Allessi has tried a couple of different ways to transform his Tesla Model S into a crypto mining rig.
In industry terms, cryptocurrency mining is the energy-intensive process in which machines around the world contribute their computing power to the general network, to create new coins and validate existing token transactions. They do this by running specialized software that processes complicated mathematical equations. To participate, basically all you need is a computer and power.
Allessi has attempted to mine bitcoins by plugging in a Bitmain Antminer S9, a type of mining rig that is specifically used to mint the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, directly into his car battery, with the help of a power inverter. The inverter adjusts the voltage of the Tesla electric battery to a level compatible with your Antminer.
Allessi has also successfully used the vehicle’s internal firmware to mine altcoins.
“It wasn’t a big deal,” he said of the process. He used the built-in computer and screen in the car to navigate to a web page that he had specifically set up to mine the popular monero privacy token. “It could run the mining program within the browser,” Allessi explained.
Of all the techniques Raval has tried, the most profitable involves a combination of Tesla’s internal hacking, as well as connecting GPUs directly to the car’s electric motor.
“It’s a computer on wheels … It’s so simple to hack into this computer-powered car,” said Raval, who describes the process as essentially hijacking the car’s internal firmware to allow for additional power use.
From there, you connect five GPUs to your Tesla battery and alternate between running two different hashing algorithms: one extracts ethereum and the other generates polygonal tokens.
Pro-level miners tell CNBC that, in theory, the logistics are checked.
“All the mechanisms are 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. Certainly the battery provides enough power to power up an ASIC and run it,” Gibbs continued.
Tesla owner Siraj Raval uses his Model 3 to mine cryptocurrencies.
Cost effective 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 protected under a scheme where he has unlimited free supercharging for the life of his vehicle.
In 2018, he estimates that in a 60-hour window, he would make $ 10 in bitcoin, all of which was a profit, because he didn’t have to pay for energy.
But even though it was profitable, it was hardly 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 drastically, so has the level of difficulty … In the same amount of time with the exact same equipment, I’m probably looking for a value of $ 1 or $ 2 in bitcoins “.
Monero mining proved equally unsuccessful.
“Did it work? Yes. Did you undermine something worthwhile in order to be profitable in any way, shape or form? No,” Allessi explained.
Raval is more optimistic about the income potential of his Tesla.
Even though you have to pay to charge your vehicle, Raval says the battery itself is unmatched, so you can get a lot of bang for your buck.
Raval’s car travels 320 miles per charge, and it takes between $ 10 and $ 15 to charge. If you drive it for a few hours each day, you need a charge once every week and a half, putting your monthly bill between $ 30 and $ 60.
Raval estimates that he draws roughly 20 hours a day on his Tesla battery. Although the price of altcoins such as ethereum and polygon are prone to volatility, Raval has incorporated other endorsements to ensure profitability.
For one, you bet your ethereum on “Midas.Investments,” a custodial crypto investment platform that offers you a 23% annual percentage return on your investment. Also, you never charge in US dollars to keep your crypto savings growing.
Raval also buys the GPUs he uses from eBay, which helps save money.
Taking all of these steps into account, Raval says that over the course of 2021, he made between $ 400 and $ 800 per month, making the company profitable, even during the cryptocurrency crisis.
Siraj Raval gains root access (administrator control) of the Tesla operating system.
Allessi tells CNBC that he doesn’t bother mining anymore.
“The difficulty is so high … I could make more money working at McDonald’s,” he said.
Allessi offered an alternative. “If you are working for a company, it would be better to hide a miner in the false ceiling than to mine with a car,” he said of diverting free electricity from an employer.
But for Raval, mining cryptocurrency from his Tesla is not just a gimmick. Instead, it’s a big part of his plan to make his Tesla a fully autonomous robotaxi that earns crypto as long as he’s not driving.
Although Tesla CEO Elon Musk has touted the potential for vehicles to become autonomous robotaxis, Teslas is still far from being able to drive itself. However, Raval believes in this future.
“It will use its profits, both from transportation services and cryptocurrency mining services, to pay for its own expenses, such as repairs, electricity costs and upgrades, as well as to invest them in a diversified portfolio of emerging networks of crypto communities,” He said. saying.