Raspberry Pi Zero Gambles for Bitcoins with USB Antminer

Raspberry Pi Lotto Miner
(Image credit: Data Slayer)

If you’ve got a spare Raspberry Pi lying around, you really should put it to good use. If you don’t have a functional project in mind, you could always gamble a bit like maker Data Slayer is doing with this Bitcoin mining project. With a Raspberry Pi Zero alongside a USB Antminer device, he’s taking a chance (a very small chance) that he will luck out and win some serious cryptocurrency.

The way the project works is simple enough. The Raspberry Pi is running Raspberry Pi OS. It’s connected to an Antminer via USB which is responsible for handling Bitcoin mining algorithms. The system is connected to it Bitcoin wallet which will receive a handsome deposit if he’s lucky enough to win an entire hash. Because the system is so small, it’s not practical enough for regular mining and is better suited for what’s called lotto mining. In this case, he has a 1 in 2 billion chance of winning a whole block each day.

Data Slayer is using a Raspberry Pi Zero W which needs network connectivity to function. It’s connected to the Antminer USB stick which requires a huge heatsink while operating to keep cool. For storage, the project is relying on a 32 GB micro SD card. The system is a headless setup so it must be operated over SSH.

To conserve resources, Data Slayer is using the 32-bit Lite version of Raspberry Pi OS. Once he had the operating system installed, he remoted into the Pi via SSH to install CG Miner. This application is main driver behind the mining operation. In the demo, Data Slayer is using the SHA-256 algorithm for mining which can be configured in CG Miner. The project video shares plenty of details on how to install the system, set up the miner, and connect it to your wallet.

Is this project practical? Not really. Is it fun and worth tinkering around with on a lazy afternoon? Absolutely. If you want to recreate this Raspberry Pi project or just get a closer look at how it goes together, check out the original video shared to YouTube by Data Slayer and be sure to follow him for more cool projects as well as any future updates on this one.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.