In 2018, Siraj Raval purchased a Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle. Today, he doesn’t just use it to get from point A to point B… He uses it to mine cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum.
You Can’t Buy a Tesla with Crypto, but You Can Use it for Mining
Raval has run bitcoin mining software on the Apple Mac mini M1 computer located within the car. He has also plugged an inverter into the 12-volt power socket located within the vehicle’s center. While engaging in this behavior can potentially void his warranty, he says it’s worth it, as when assets like Ethereum peaked last year, he was earning as much as $800 a month.
Alejandro de la Torre – a bitcoin miner – says that mining from a Tesla vehicle is just like mining from any other source. He comments:
The main component is the price of the electricity. If it’s cheaper doing it through an electric vehicle, then so be it.
Raval isn’t the only person using his Tesla to extract crypto units from the blockchain. 2018 – the same year when he bought his vehicle – saw Chris Allessi, the alleged first-ever electric car dealer in Wisconsin, begin messing around with his Tesla vehicle in the names of bitcoin and crypto.
Allessi is well known for activities like this given he’s got a YouTube page that features the many electric cars he, himself, has built from scratch. In an interview, he states:
I like electricity. I like zapping stuff, building stuff. You give me an electric motor, and I give you a finished product.
As the owner of a Tesla Model S vehicle, Allessi has used every power in his book to turn the vehicle into a tool that can mine crypto. He has plugged an Antminer from Bitmain – widely considered one of the biggest and most popular mining rigs in the world – directly into his car battery, while he has also used the vehicle’s internal firmware to mine for assorted altcoins. He comments:
It was no big deal. I could run the mining program within the browser.
Discussing the methods that worked to get his car in tip-top shape for the sake of extracting currency, Raval says he was able to hack his car’s internal computer and plug GPUs directly into the motor of the vehicle. He comments:
It’s a computer with wheels…It’s so simple to hack into this computer car.
Not Everyone Is Convinced
But while these moves have arguably proven successful, Tesla hacker and crypto miner Thomas Sohmers says they aren’t necessary to get the job done. He explained:
The car is already built to deliver over 100 kilowatts, and anything connecting to the car is going to be a fraction of that. There’s no need to do what [Raval] says he’s doing. It doesn’t make technical sense.