Old Electronics: Mining, Instead of Retiring

While shiny new rigs provide unprecedented hashing power, Samsung has started a drive to salvage older devices and make them secure blockchain networks.

Older electronics has its place in the industry of mining- it is not just the latest-model rigs with high hashing power. Samsung has started a drive to find applications for devices a few years old, which could support coins with the right algorithm. 

The Samsung drive is not limited to mining, but offers to harness the power of older Galaxy devices for gaming, entertainment and other functions. 

"This innovative platform provides an environmentally responsible way for old Galaxy mobile devices to breathe new life, providing new possibilities and potential extended value for devices that might otherwise be forgotten in desk drawers or discarded," said Samsung spokesman Robin Shultz.

But Samsung showcased a mining rig created from 40 discarded Samsung Galaxy S5 phones.

And while such a rig would be no match for the machines of Bitmain, there is an array of coins that is available even for GPU mining. 

One of the latest projects, Electroneum, which ended its ICO about a week ago, has opened mining for mobile phones- at least in theory, as the system is still full of bugs. But generally, consumer electronics can be harnessed to mine CryptoNote coins such as Monero. It is precisely this type of mining that has been done without the knowledge of users in a series of attacks in the past months.

But when obsolete electronics are used, the damage is lower. This type of mining resembles the early days of Bitcoin, when it was more of a hobby project than a large network of extremely powerful hashing machines.

To facilitate the transformation of older models into usable machines, Samsung plans to release some of the unlocking software and invite users to re-purpose the phones and tablets. The code would be available from a GitHub page.