Bitfury’s Bitcoin Mining Light Bulb: Mainly an Education Tool

Lester Coleman
June 10, 2015 14:28 UTC

Bitfury, a bitcoin infrastructure provider and transaction processor, recently unveiled a bitcoin mining light bulb during the inaugural Blockchain Summit on Necker Island in the Caribbean. The light bulb automatically mines bitcoin when it screws into a light socket. The bitcoin mining bulb will be released later this year, according to Bitfury CEO Valery Vavilov.

“This idea was conceived a year ago during a Necker gathering organized by MaiTai Global,” Vavilov told CCN. “Our investor and board member Bill Tai, one of the co-founders of MaiTai Global, conceptualized the product with our head of product, Niko Punin, and together we built a prototype that we had functioning early this year, in January 2015.”

Take the mystery out of bitcoin

“We wanted to take the mystery out of bitcoin and make learning, creating coins, opening a bitcoin wallet and transacting as easy as ‘screwing in a light bulb. We are now on our third generation of prototype and envision this as an educational product that will help lower the friction toward understanding the technology and making it super easy for kids and adults of all ages to touch bitcoin block chain ecosystem.”

While plans have not been finalized, Bitfury is considering everything from open sourcing the hardware to opening up an SDK and API for people to create social applications to make understanding and transacting with bitcoin super fun and easy.

“Our board member Bill Tai likens this to products he had as a child such as the Radio Shack 100 in 1 electronic projects kit, or to modern day Raspberry Pi bundles for first time users,” Vavilov said.

Let anyone learn about bitcoin

Bitfury determined that one of the best ways to improve bitcoin acceptance was to enable anyone to touch and play with a physical device that has this technology inside. They would have fun in the process. “With our light bulb, learning about bitcoin, getting a start creating coins via mining, attaching to a wallet and transacting with friends in your social graph will be as easy as screwing in a light bulb!”

Bitfury has made just a couple dozen bitcoin mining light bulbs as a pilot, he said. The tech specifications will be published later. The first step is to collect ideas on how the company will market the light bulb. The second step is to launch the project based on people’s proposals. The third step is to find a way to support the teams or individuals that provided ideas and who could execute them and bring those ideas to life. The fourth step is to choose best prototypes and launch these to the mass market.

Also read: Bitcoin Foundation launches public education campaign for bitcoin

Bitfury to provide SDK and API

“We plan to provide SDK and API so that developers could start to create applications,” Vavilov told Cryptocoins News.

“We believe that the project’s focus should not be on making money from bitcoin mining, but on creating innovative solutions with the main purpose to use this product for educational purposes and fun. This is also a great opportunity to join the bitcoin block chain community. We believe that each such project will help to increase the security of bitcoin block chain.”

Bitfury has offices in San Francisco, Calif. and Amsterdam, and mining operations in Iceland and the Republic of Georgia.

Images by John Dill for Bitfury.

Last modified: June 10, 2015 14:29 UTC