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Miner One takes Bitcoin mining to new heights with space mission

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Peter Verreussel / 123rf

How confident are you in your Bitcoin investment? One company is so bullish on the cryptocurrency market that it sent its bitcoin mining equipment where no mining rig has gone before. In an effort to show its confidence in Bitcoin’s performance in 2018, Miner One sent its rig to space to mine cryptocurrency for a few hours.

The mining mission began this morning, April 30, when the Miner One team used a balloon to send a carbon fiber capsule equipped with an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), a Raspberry Pi 3, battery, satellite phone, GoPro Hero 5, and a metal souvenir coin for a competition winner, to the height of more than 35,000 meters, or roughly 100,000 feet.

A helium-filled balloon was used to lift the Space Minor One capsule to this great height. When the capsule passed through the troposphere — roughly 3.7 to 6.2 miles above earth — the ASIC activated and the satellite phone was used to communicate with the internet. The balloon continued to grow — reaching over 10 meters in diameters at its largest — as it ascended to the stratosphere due to falling air pressure.

The mission lasted approximately two hours. At the end of its journey, the balloon exploded, Space Miner One parachuted back to earth, and the capsule landed in a field in Lithuania, where it was retrieved thanks to GPS tracking. Videos of the mission were posted to Miner One’s Facebook page.

“In the middle of what feels like a slump, Miner One wants to remind people that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general is really about the future and the revolutionary technology at its heart: so-called blockchain technology,” the company wrote in a blog post that was published on Medium. Miner One CEO Pranas Slusnys called Bitcoin the world’s most popular and proven application of blockchain technology.

Miner One isn’t the only one optimistic about Bitcoin. The company surveyed more than 1,500 community members and found that 31 percent of respondents believed that Bitcoin’s price will exceed $15,000 this year. In fact, only 7.5 percent of those surveyed think that Bitcoin won’t go above $10,000 this year.

The mission into space was used to attract publicity for Miner One’s initial coin offering, or ICO, in which it is expected to raise $10 million to build a cryptocurrency mining center. The facility would be located in Northern Sweden  — and not in space, unfortunately — because of the country’s low electricity costs and cool climate, which can offset heat generation. Miner One said that it will share the benefits with the company’s MIO Token Holders.

“Short-term ups and downs notwithstanding, these networks will need efficient support centers like the kind Miner One is building,” the company said.

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