Cryptocurrency as Installation Art: Mining Rig Fueled by Breath #ArtTuesday


Cryptocurrencies have a huge energy problem, but fortunately there is no shortage of creative ways to generate magic internet money while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Some mining rigs—the specialized computers that solve complex math problems to earn cryptocurrencies—rely on wind power. Others are literally built in the back of a Tesla. Still others take a cue from The Matrix and harvest human body heat to mine cryptocurrency.

Developed by Max Dovey, an artist and researcher at the Institute of Network Cultures, Breath repurposes a medical tool called a spirometer that measures how much air is inhaled and exhaled by your lungs. This data is then fed to a small computer mining on the Monero blockchain.

While a user’s breath doesn’t actually power the computer, it does determine the computer’s hashrate, which ultimately determines how much Monero the computer can mine. According to Breath’s website, 1 puff per second equates to the computer performing 1,000 hashing operations per second. This may sound like a lot, but it’s just a drop in the ocean of the Monero network’s total hashrate: Around 500 million hashes per second.

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