I have built a 21 Bitcoin Computer “clone”

Two months ago, I decided to buy two Bitcoin ASIC Miners. The reason is quite simple: I am easy to get bored when I have everything prepared and ready to be used. 😴 Particularly if we are talking about technologies and computers. There is no fun if I can’t learn from crafting it, right?

When “The 21 Bitcoin computer” was announced I was surprised to see a Raspberry Pi device with a huge black brick on top of it: an ASIC Chip that mines between 50 and 120Gh/s. Basically it is an “already assembled and configured” device that can mine and be a Bitcoin full node. 👍

Photo from amazon.com

That seems to be an awesome product, for thousands of reasons, but I have decided to not buy it. The reason is not the price (~400$) or the software inside that is pre-compiled by a new company for you. The reason is simple: it would bore me.

I believe that the target of the 21’s computer is a spoiled developer, that has no time to synchronize the entire blockchain or configure an external mining device: It comes pre-loaded with a copy of blockchain (~40GB of space) and with a software that will easily mine with the 21’s pool.

So I decided to build my onw 21 Bitcoin Computer, capable of mining, programmable also using the official RPC-API interface, and with a full Bitcoin Node… and some extra security software! 😜

💪 I started rolling up my sleeves, and I ordered two Antminer U3 on Amazon 🛍 . Then I took my unused Raspberry Pi, an external old HardDrive and, when the miners arrived, I turned everything on with the power of Forums and Documentations.

I compiled and configured all the softwares by myself and the time spent was worth. I spent less money by recycling old things and that made me feel even better. The result was a RaspberryPi connected to some devces, with several cables. Ugly but I am happy with that. 👏

After some weeks of checking and playing with different mining pools, and configuration and integration with the API and NodeJS… I got bored… again…

In any case, the device that I have built is still up and running, serving a copy of the blockchain 📜 (as full node), and getting me a continuous amount of bits every day ⛏, and I can play with these money if I want… but whyshould I if we have a Testnet for these purposes?

At the end of the day I can say that probably the 21 Bitcoin Computer would be cheaper in electricity consumption than 2 Antminers and a RaspberryPi. By quickly browsing 21.co website, I can understand that it would not be fun as building my ownoriginalhandcraftedsafe and controlled Bitcoin Computer 😻 and by building it, I learned several new things related to the protocol and the API interface… and I am proud.

Consider that: if you don’t want to spend too much time and you have 400$, I strongly suggest to buy it on Amazon today: There is a lot of fun in using it as well, and learn how the Bitcoin protocol works! 😉

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