Tech company Coinmine has released its first product designed to allow anyone to mine and manage cryptocurrency.
The Los Angeles-based startup – backed by several venture capital investors – launched this month with its Coinmine One device.
The specialised hardware product and accompanying mobile app are intended as an easy introduction to the growing yet complex technology.
Coinmine One organises cryptocurrency wallets
The product simplifies and automates the creation of various cryptocurrency wallets in one place, allowing everyone from novices to experts to power the tech.
"Many people want to be a part of the crypto revolution, but crypto hardware, software and wallets are too hard and time consuming to set up, and more importantly, to update," said a statement from Coinmine.
"So most people will miss out on powering new up and coming cryptos like they missed out on powering Bitcoin in the early days."
Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, are based on blockchain technology – digital records that track transactions chronologically and publicly. These networks are not tied to a particular government or authority, so are considered beneficial by advocates of decentralised systems.
"Crypto is not just about buying and selling magical internet coins," said Coinmine co-founder and CEO Farb Nivi in the statement.
"It's about people combining computation to decentralise the world's money and information from the hands of a few and into the hands of the many. We made this easy enough for anyone to do."
Cryptomining earns users digital currency
Designed to sit on a desk, the Coinmine One device facilitates cryptomining – a process that verifies and adds various forms of cryptocurrency to blockchain ledgers.
The device uses electricity and computing power to "earn" cryptocurrency, providing an alternative to exchanging traditional money for digital currencies – which are currently experienced large fluctuations in value.
"Coinmine replaces the need for several different DIY hardware and wallet solutions with a single plug-in crypto device and mobile app, powered by a proprietary operating system," said Coinmine's statement.
"The simple setup provides a new level of accessibility into an otherwise confusing activity, and makes crypto easy for everyone."
The company has aimed to make the interface as simple and streamlined as possible, instead of users managing several different hardware devices and cryptocurrency wallets.
"When Farb initially came to me with the basis for Coinmine, I knew it was a radically novel solution to a messy problem," said investor Brian Norgard, who is also the chief product officer for dating app Tinder.
"The limiting factor to scale in crypto continues to be complexity for the end user. Farb and the entire Coinmine team are one of the first companies attacking this problem head-on through a blend of hardware and software."
Coinmine One app tracks activity on simple dashboard
Users of Coinmine One plug in the device, then select the cryptocurrency network they want to power via the app, which also allows them to track activity and check how much they have earned.
The users can switch to mining another cryptocurrency, or add additional Coinmine devices to their account through the app's dashboard.
Coinmine's operating system, MineOS, enables the device to run various networks at once – including Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Monero and Zcash. Automatic updates will provide access to new networks once they launch.
The device comes with a white or translucent shell, and retails for $799 (approximately £624).
The rise of cryptocurrency and blockchain has sparked the creation of various products to facilitate the technology, and educate about its potential uses.
Design studio Layer launched a digital wallet and app system that allow users to store cryptocurrency without fear of loss or theft, while an app called Pigzbe – which functions as a digital piggy bank – is intended to be used by children as young as six.