Someone built a cryptocurrency mine in the trunk of a Tesla

A goldmine.
A goldmine.
Image: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji
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The cryptocurrency craze has gotten so hot that at least one Tesla owner has apparently fitted a mining rig to their car to make some money, a photo from EcoMotoring News show.

The photo shows 16 graphics cards mounted on four motherboards, according to Vice. Graphics cards are used to mine cryptocurrencies like ethereum; mining bitcoin requires specialized chips called ASICS, or application-specific integrated circuits.

The logic of building a cryptocurrency mine in the trunk of a Tesla goes like this: Because a major cost of mining is the price of electricity, a miner would be able to boost profitability by getting free power. That’s what many public electric vehicle charging stations offer. Tesla’s network of Superchargers offer unlimited free electricity to customers who bought a car before January 2016, and offer 400 kWh of free electricity each year to everyone else.

But, as Vice points out, there are a few things that make mining out of the back of a Tesla unfeasible. For instance, the waste heat generated by the miners would make the vehicle uncomfortably hot. Vice’s Daniel Oberhaus crunched the numbers on the rig, and found that Tesla owners on the limited electricity program could only run their rigs for seven days a year. However, it appears that running a mining rig for ether would actually help a Tesla owner break even on the cost of leasing a Tesla Model S—but only if the owner never drove it anywhere.