Two leading car manufacturers have their vision set firmly on the future with the recent announcement of an intriguing new feature. Earlier this month, GMC and Nissan both announced their forthcoming 2021 Sierra 1500 and 2021 Titan models will feature built-in Bitcoin-mining, allowing drivers to capitalize on the lucrative cryptocurrency market. The announcement comes as Bitcoin hits an all-time high, with the newfangled form of currency reaching the $60,000 mark in mid-March. This will certainly make things more difficult for drivers considering the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2021 Nissan Titan.
Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency to truly take hold on the global market, was introduced in 2008 and has steadily grown from a financial novelty to something that your brother-in-law won’t shut the hell up about. The success of Bitcoin has spurred an explosion of new cryptocurrencies in recent years since all that’s required is a computer, a network of technologically adept users, and a dumb name.
Now Nissan and GMC are eager to get in on the racket, lending their two new full-size pickups to the cause. While anyone can simply buy Bitcoin, those who actively “mine” the currency are rewarded with tokens in exchange for using their computing power to verify transactions as part of the blockchain: essentially acting as auditors who legitimize Bitcoin transactions taking place throughout the network.
“If that all sounds confusing, it’s because it is,” says Mark Angelli, Senior Vice President of Innovation at Nissan. “To be honest, I had to have my neighbor’s son explain it to me. I still can’t say I totally understand it; all I know is that Josh invested his Bar Mitzvah money in crypto a couple years ago and now owns 16 Taco Bell franchises throughout the tri-county area.”
While traditional crypto mining operations rely on traditional computer processing power to verify transactions by doing…something [Editor’s note: our neighbor’s kid was at band practice when we were writing this], the two trucks will take slightly different approaches. The 2021 Nissan Titan is more traditional in its methodology, using the truck’s onboard computer to mine Bitcoin.
In order to maximize computing power, all the Titan’s other nonessential operations––including navigation, braking, power steering, and radio––are put on hold, and the engine is ramped up to its maximum RPMs. When in “Crypto Mode,” the Titan does sacrifice efficiency in the name of power, averaging somewhere around .07 MPG. While this might mean more trips to the pump, the current trajectory of Bitcoin should make it worthwhile as drivers will be able to afford their own service station, or oil derrick, within weeks.
The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 takes a slightly more vehicular manslaughter-y approach to crypto mining. When GMC engineers were unable to successfully retrofit the truck’s computers to act as mining rigs, they decided to play on their strengths. “At over 6 feet tall and 7,000 pounds with a beefy V8, this truck is nothing if not intimidating,” says Tomas Perez, Global Assurance Director at GMC. “We decided to leverage that intimidation into a bold new cryptocurrency mining approach.”
GMC has tweaked the truck’s lane-assist monitoring cameras to identify what those in the industry refer to as ‘total nerds.’ These ‘nerds’ are then accelerated upon, honked at, and generally messed with until they agree to come back to your house and set you up with your own Bitcoin mining operation. The Sierra’s 2,030 pound max payload allows drivers to collect nerds in bulk, and the truck bed’s integrated asthma inhalers and Red Bull hose keep them fresh and energized, ensuring quick and easy installation. “You can call it kidnapping if you want. We call it innovation,” says Perez.
While GMC and Nissan are both bullish on the prospect of future vehicle-based Bitcoin exploits, they do note that all truck sales must be made in cash. “Crypto might be the future, but they still don’t recognize it as a valid form of payment at Buffalo Wild Wings, so for now, hard currency only,” says Angelli.
With their new cryptocurrency mining features, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 and Nissan Titan vow to be the only full-size trucks on the market that are rugged, dependable, and able to pay for themselves with nothing more than a Wi-Fi connection.