back to article For just $400 you can have this Raspberry Pi – and mine bitcoin

Move over, mega-miners: an Andreessen-backed venture is going to beat off your data centre rigs with $400 worth of Raspberry Pi-powered brick. Rather than take the magic to the press, the 21 Bitcoin Computer landed direct to Amazon for pre-order by enthusiasts, developers, and suckers. Units will actually ship in November …

  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Why the fan?

    What's the idea of a fan on a RasPi? Not like it generates that much heat.

    1. wabbit347

      Re: Why the fan?

      Unless I've misunderstood, they've attached a daughterboard to the RasPi with a bitcoin processor on it. I assume that the fan is to keep the bitcoin processor cool, not the Pi itself.

      1. Evildon

        Re: Why the fan?

        It is not a fan, its where all the bitcoins will come out.

  2. davtom

    It's time for the goldrush!

    "It's time for the goldrush! Come and get your shovels here and YOU could be the next millionaire!"

    In other news, a shovel seller was reported as becoming a millionaire recently...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't sound like it's mining coins at all.

    The blurb is a bit vague but sounds like this is aimed at setting up internet commerce and performing transactions in Bitcoin.

  4. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Looking at the Amazon website, does anyone think how similiar Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz look alike?

  5. werdsmith Silver badge

    I've read the article and the Amazon listing and I still don't know what this does extra that can't be done with free software.

    $400 could buy you a Th/s+ Antminer which would pay back some of that $400, then by choosing the right moment to sell on the Antminer would leave you a little profit.

  6. JimmyPage

    Reminds me of the comment about the Analytical Engine

    that the only use for it would be to calculate how much it had cost

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can it pull a caravan? If not then I'm not interested as I have a moped for that.

  8. Shane McCarrick

    How long would it take to repay the outlay on the kit?


  9. wayne 8

    and former US treasury secretary Larry Summers

    That is all I need to know to stay away.

  10. monty75


    The two most important specifications are the two that are conspicuously absent : power consumption and hashrate.

    1. ZSn

      Re: Specs?

      I suspect the power consumption is probably low, looking at the barrel connector. However the commensurate hash rate is also low at a guess. The picture shows just one chip with no markings on it. Assuming the chip is an BM1385 (as a first guess) then 30 GHash/s and a power draw of about 10 Watts.

      Mind you, assuming my very crude guesses are right, then the Antminer S7 is about 150 times faster for three times the cost, so this is very bad value for money.

  11. Unicornpiss

    Reminds me of..

    The pic reminds me of kids that put a coffee-can muffler and a giant spoiler on a stock Honda Civic and think it's a race car.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reminds me of..

      If they can afford coffee, they can afford a proper race car.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Fungus Bob

      Re: Reminds me of..

      Hey! Aerodramatics are important on a race car!

  12. Richard Crossley

    HK Property Bubble

    You'll need to mine a lot of bitcoins to pay for your data centre in HK.

    Over US $1,000,000 for an apartment that is the size of a few TEU.

    As with everything here, it's cheap until you have to find somewhere to put it.

  13. Crazy Operations Guy

    Steady Stream of bitcoins

    It might be a stream in the way that the pitch-drop experimenter is a torrential rain-shower...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Steady Stream of bitcoins

      ...if the pitch was running backwards; once you add the electricity cost in.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    I think I will wait until the BYTE miner comes out.

    (Reputedly EIGHT TIMES FASTER)

    Joke Alert (just for the Germans)

  15. Justin Pasher

    Seems legit...

    Hmm... This has got to be some elaborate scam or something to try to get rich selling junk.

    Like others have said, no mention of hash rate, which is key for bitcoin mining. Also, just read the "testimonials", which all appear to be made up

    "If I were 21 today, I'd learn Bitcoin" - Marc Andreesen, Inventor of the web browser

    "Bitcoin could be the internet's next big protocol" - Padmasree Warrior, Former CTO of Cisco

    "Are you a developer? Then you need to get a 21 Bitcoin computer" - Ben Horowitz

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Seems legit...

      There's no suggestion that it is meant to be a mining ASIC.

      There is no real suggestion as to what it actually is.

  16. Camilla Smythe

    Hmmmm.. PiCoins

    Why not set up a blockchain that is Pi specific so people can mine their own PiCoins using the stock kit, no cheating now, and use them on the Pi Swag Shop...?

  17. x 7


    You used the wrong vowel. Don't you mean crapto-currency?

  18. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    If this really worked, why don't they make them for their own exclusive use, and get infinitely rich?

    Just make more and deploy more as the pockets get deeper..

    I guess it doesn't work then.

    1. John Tserkezis

      "I guess it doesn't work then."

      Well, it would make money for the creator - so it does work in a sense.

  19. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    "The blurb is a bit vague but sounds like this is aimed at setting up internet commerce and performing transactions in Bitcoin."

    I wouldn't need that huge (well not that big I guess) heatsink and fan to run the Pi. This thing does have a Bitcoin mining circuit (often times an FPGA) attached.

    Anyway... I'm assuming the bitcoin mining speed isn't too quick? Don't know for sure, but generally the bitcoin rigs that have any resonable chance of ever making you a bitcoin use 100s-1000W of power, they'd have a much larger cooling system than pictured in TFA; and the (seemingly) more reasonble setups are enough slower than the high-end rigs that you're chance of ever mining a bitcoin are pretty low.

  20. Chemical

    Putting the bitcoin mining aside for the moment...

    Will it play Crysis 3

  21. jaume


    This "article" and following comments denote the idiocy our youngest generations. This is really bad.

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Really?

      * idiocy of.

    2. Uffish

      Re: Really?


      Congratulations, you have invented the self commenting comment.

  22. Wisteela

    Well, I like it

    To me this seems a very cool bit of kit.

  23. maximusdecimusmaridius

    Unbelievable how many really believe the hash-power/mining abilities to be focal

    and subsequent comments from people commenting who have absolutely no clue what the fuck they're talking about. First of all, if you think this device was designed and/or is being marketed with its hash power as a focal point or attribute than you clearly aren't too familiar with the climate of the current crypto-space (i.e. proclivity towards mining becoming (seemingly) inevitably more centralized) and how, in part, this device attempts to tackle that issue head on. It's also not a Raspberry Pi, it's a proprietary board and its process came complete with prefabs and the whole process believe it or not. Does it have similarities spec. wise? Sure, but what dev. boards aren't in at least the same arena in that regard? It's pretty unfortunate that the author of this garbage attempt at journalism? is a direct reflection of the mind behind the words, words a lot of readers will even more unfortunately take at face value. It's clear you've not done your home-work one bit, if you had watched or listened to Balaji S. Srinivasan speak about the project, its purpose, or his feelings about blockchain tech., Bitcoin, and what his thoughts about the future behold, you would then have been able to publish something with perhaps one dab of fucking credence, instead you fueled a fire of retarded comments being..well..ignorant - trying to take jabs and commenting on something they truly don't know about. If this board were aimed to make a profit by mining, it would have been released 2+ years ago. The hash-power it pushes could barely stack an alt-coin with a $100,000 M.Cap, let alone BTC. With that, re-think it's purpose, or don't even bother and just read about it without THINKING you already have a grasp first.

    1. mangobrain

      Re: Unbelievable how many really believe the hash-power/mining abilities to be focal

      What is its purpose, then? Since all the upvoted comments so far seem to agree with the viewpoint that this thing is largely useless, we're clearly all in an echo chamber, congratulating ourselves on seeing through the BS whilst having missed the point.

      So what, pray tell, is the real point?

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