The increasing popularity of bitcoin mining technology has reached a new level, with the “Bitcoin” booth grabbing attention at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Teaming up in the booth are: Butterfly Labs, a manufacturer of high-end mining equipment; BitPay, a bitcoin payments processor; and Blockchain, which runs a bitcoin wallet service.
Their presence underscores the increasing relevance of bitcoin spin-off economies. It will be interesting to see the “GDP”‘s of these industries as they relate to the return on investment when mining for the 9 million or so remaining bitcoins (roughly equal to $9B USD based on today’s value).
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Also at the CES is KnCMiner, a direct competitor of Butterfly Labs. KnCMiner claims that its customers generate 70% of newly mined bitcoins. Other participants include: Hashfast, a new player in the mining equipment game; and KryptoKit, which aims to streamline payments on the web; Lamassu, creators of the first bitcoin machine that allows users to dispense physical bitcoins in exchange for conventional cash; and BitcoinShop, an online mall that only accepts bitcoins for payment.
This is the third year year in which there has been some Bitcoin presence at the show. Blogs from 2012 show participants like BitPay urging peers in the cryptocurrency community to help them put their best foot forward for the over 5000 media on hand at the event. This year, the explosion of technology has grabbed media attention on its own.