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Jun 1, 2018

Cryptocurrency mining rigs are just PCs — so why won’t Stripe let you sell them?

At the end of 2017, and the height of the cryptocurrency craze, Noah Katz decided to start a mining rig company called Artesian Future Technology. His plan was simple: he would make custom computers for people who didn’t have the time or know-how to do so on their own, but wanted to enter the wildly volatile field of cryptocurrency mining. However Katz’s offering quickly reached stratospheric prices: the basic computer he sold cost $1,899, but customers could fill it with GPUs sometimes costing upward of $47,990. These machines were listed on Katz’s website and eBay, where they were explicitly labeled as mining rigs. Those machines would then mine alternative cryptocurrencies, and in theory at least, eventually pay for themselves.

Katz’s...

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