Nobody Expects the Bitcoin Appliances
Blockchain technology is nowadays widely recognized in the corporate world as means of substantial improvement of various transaction mechanisms. Banks form consortiums to research it, while Tunisia directly integrates blockchain into its government-backed e-currency, even Russians want some blockchain.
However, some rather peculiar appliances and techniques go more or less beyond traditional applications inherent in the cryptocurrency community. I have listed five of them in the order of increasing peculiarity.
BitFury presented a lightbulb that can mine bitcoins. That’s right, you may illuminate your house and expect a reward for it. Once connected to the network, the bulb automatically appears on interactive map at Bit Lamp Community website. The interface also reflects the lightbulb’s hash rate and temperature. Maximum working temperature of the bulb comprises 80 degrees Centigrade. If temperature exceeds the limit, the device’s brightness gradually fades. And, certainly, a user may individually change settings of the pool. Just imagine, now you may read a book and influence the network at the same time!
Transactions via television
Finnish TV company Digita used its digital radio network to broadcast blockchain. The system transmits data via DVB-T network employed for television and radio broadcasting all around the globe. Then a computer connects to the blockchain to translate the latest operations into a data flow. The signal is readable with a Linux computer, provided it has a DVB-T receiver installed. Thus, cryptocurrency operations may become completely independent from internet access.
Bitcoin wallet printer
Those feeling unsafe with online wallets may use a black box whose only purpose is to print wallets. The device dubbed Piper does not interface with the internet, so no one from beyond can reach this elegant paranoia box. After the button is pressed, the machine generates a pair of keys alongside with a QR code, and prints it on a piece of paper, which looks like, and essentially is, a receipt. Moreover, once you put it in a bigger paranoia box, like a safe, it will become really hard to obtain.
NB: The other case of using “printing” is the story of a startup from Hannover named PEY. They give away their handcrafted point-of-sale (POS) bitcoin terminals made via hacking used Nexus 7 cellphones and inserting it into a 3D-printed casings. The POS terminals are fully functional, however, vendors need to download the startup’s own bitcoin wallet to use it (unfortunately not a printed one).
Bitcoins for fax
BitcoinFax offers its customers to send fax online and pay for it with bitcoins. The service must be of extreme demand in 2016, as people â€“ at least according to the service’s founder â€“ still cannot do without good old faxes. The service could also prove useful for sending documentation through a wormhole into not-so-distant past. However, there is even some elegance in this mixture of brand new concepts with almost extinct technology.
A small Canadian startup Real Coin Tickers released a device that will prove the world you’re a true bitcoin nerd. The appliance named Tixie looks like a regular bedside radio. The difference is that it shows current bitcoin exchange rate instead of good old time. Depending on whether the rate surges or falls into a pit, it highlights it all with positive green or menacing red, respectively.
The whole community was surely dying to have this kind of appliance. After all, everyone surely wakes up in cold sweat in the dead of night thinking about bitcoin’s exchange rate every now and then. Now, with Tixie, you may just take a look on its display and proceed with your sleeping. In addition, you will fall asleep knowing, how much money there is in two of your wallets, when have you awaken, and was it warm enough outdoors. The device is totally irreplaceable.
By Jenny Aysgarth
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