Arvin Chinsalkar is an astrologer in the village of Palahalli in the Mundya district of Karnataka. The lime-washed walls of a 26-year-old tiled house are blackened by smoke rising from Homakund in the middle of the hall. He gives them a mysterious Yantra when people come to him in search of a solution, primarily a way to improve their finances.
Unlike the walls of the hall, Irvine’s room is painted according to Vastu Shastra. The room where he meditates every day is quiet, except for countless mini-fans roaring from the strange gimmicks sitting under the raging bull painting. Mini fans also emit colorful light and radiate heat. The machine runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to improve Arvin’s finances. This is a cryptocurrency mining rig.
Mining rigs solve complex mathematical problems. All the issues it solves approve cryptocurrency transactions on the global network. This is part of the public bookkeeping process. The ledger is called the blockchain. A miner is an individual who devotes his computer to the process. As a reward for keeping the public ledger alive, they receive transaction fees and a small portion of the new cryptocurrency.
Indians are increasingly participating in the growing community of cryptominers. However, mining requires a large amount of computing power. This has created a demand for graphics processing unit (GPU) cards, which are hardware that accelerates computing. Mining rigs require a lot of GPUs. Kishan Rajpurohit, owner of Super Computers and Laptops at SP Road in Bangalore, says miners are ready to replace gamers and pay twice as the main consumer of GPUs.
However, since January 2022, demand has declined, Kishan says. “The war in Ukraine continued as cryptocurrency prices fell after rumors of a ban,” he says. “But there are people who are accumulating crypto for the future. Despite their depreciation, they continue to mine.”
Ethereum is the preferred currency for Indian miners. This is due to the reduced availability of minable Bitcoin. It is limited to 21 million, of which only 2 million remain.
Shakeeb Ahmed, 30, a computer hardware engineer in Bangalore, started mining two years ago with an investment of Rs. 0.5 million. He made a profit and founded a company called Wingz Digital with his friends Shoiab Ahmed. They build custom mining rigs for individuals who want to start crypto mining. “I’m not going to sell crypto assets,” says Shakeeb. “The longer I store them, the more valuable they become.”
One of the things that earth mining and crypto mining have in common is the damage to the environment. Cryptomining significantly increases electricity consumption, thereby contributing to increased greenhouse gas emissions. But there are miners like Zeeshan Raza who use sustainable energy. Zeeshan lives in Gauribidanur, one of the hottest regions in Karnataka, and takes advantage of the climate. He installed 30 solar panels and 24 batteries. They generate about 6kw of power. This is enough to run his 31 GPU rig.
“The saved penny is the earned penny.” This quote is from Benjamin Franklin, whose portrait is on the $ 100 bill, the highest denomination currency in the United States. Polymath played an important role in the study of electricity. Electricity is now playing a major role in changing the concept of money. But while electricity has evolved with contributions from things like Franklin, money has evolved with the participation of the general public, Irvine, Shakeb, Sishan, and millions of other miners.