How Corporate Data Centers Can Mine Bitcoins After Employees Leave For The Day




Here's an interesting idea: Maybe your company could be raising extra money by using its data center to mine for bitcoins at night.


The thought was half seriously suggested by Jason Langone, director of Federal Sales at a hot Valley startup called Nutanix. He wrote a blog post that explains how it could be done.

Nutanix is a company that makes data center servers. Langone says the Nutanix hardware is uniquely capable of allowing a corporate data center to mine for bitcoins.

Mining for bitcoins typically involves using specialized computers cranking away for days to solve a difficult cryptography problem. When the problem is solved, it creates a new bitcoin which can then be traded for goods, services or sold on the open market.

Langone explains that the Nutanix machine has a built-in graphics processor, a must for today's specialized bitcoin computer. The IT folks would simply need to purchase a special bitcoin mining card like the one made by Butterfly Labs and stick it into the Nutanix computer. Then they would need to install some bitcoin mining software, like the BFGMiner app for Windows.


After that, when employees leave for the day and the data center computer would otherwise sit idle, the IT guys can turn on the bitcoin mining equipment.

Langone calculates that if that equipment runs for 16 hours a night, it could generate up maybe .03 bitcoins a day and over time add up to enough cash to pay for the gear, and maybe generate a profit. It's not that simple, of course. Some of it depends on mining luck. Just because your computer searches for bitcoins, doesn't mean it finds them. The scheme would also depend on the exchange rate for Bitcoin staying high. Otherwise, why bother?

We're not suggesting that many (or even any) enterprises would really try this. It doesn't look like even Nutanix is looking for bitcoins to fund its business. Sources tell us the company is just about to raise $100 million the old-fashioned way, from venture investors.

But it's still a fun idea to think about.