Chinese electrical appliances manufacturer, the Midea Group, has filed a patent for a technique for mining Bitcoin using household products. The patent application was published earlier in 2017 by the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of the People’s Republic of China.
Based on the patent application, Midea plans to embed specialized mining chips inside its appliance products like air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and TV for the purpose of digital currency mining. Once the chips are programmed, the products will then connect to a cloud-based service and contribute their hashing power to mine cryptocurrencies.
Part of the patent documents read:
“The method comprises the following steps: controlling network access of the household appliance, and logging in a Bitcoin account via the household appliance, wherein the Bitcoin account is an account preregistered in a Bitcoin [mining] website; driving a controller of the household appliance to [mine] coins in the Bitcoin [mining] website, and storing the … Bitcoins into a Bitcoin wallet corresponding to the Bitcoin account.”
The Midea Group currently ranks 450 on the Fortune Global 500 list as of August 2017. The company has more than 125,000 employees around the world. The household appliances manufacturer posted over $22 bln in revenue and $2 bln in profits for its fiscal year (FY) 2016.
Among the products manufactured by the firm are small kitchen appliances, large cooking appliances, laundry and refrigeration appliances.
Bitcoin mining concept
The concept behind Midea’s patent application is not a new one. Several companies like Bitcoin startup 21 Inc. have already explored the idea over the years.
In its concept, 21 Inc. has proposed the integration of its custom-made ‘BitSplit’ mining chips into everyday tech products like routers, game consoles, and phone chargers for the mining of Bitcoin.