Customers were able to deposit $99 to reserve the $499 device starting yesterday.
Feb 1, 2023 at 6:30 p.m.
Updated Feb 1, 2023, at 10:36 p.m.
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Network technology startup PKT Pal has started taking pre-orders for its latest product, the “Mini,” a Wi-Fi hardware device that rewards users with a coin called PKT for sharing their Internet connection.
The device, which comes on the heels of a $5 million funding round led by Acuitas Group Holdings in August, will be shipped to customers as early as April, according to a press release.
Customers will be able to mine and earn PKT, a fork of bitcoin launched in 2019, every minute the Mini is connected to the internet. Customers also earn PKT from sharing their Wi-Fi with others.
The Mini, which retails for $499, has a larger and more expensive sibling, the “Cube,” which PKT Pal launched at the end of 2021 at a hefty $2,500 per device.
The PKT Pal business model resembles that of Nova Labs, the company behind the Helium blockchain, a decentralized telecommunications network powered by the HNT token. Josh Berger says PKT Pal’s focus on building high-speed networks for everyday use instead of low-speed networks for internet of things (IoT) devices, sets it apart.
“There’s not a big market right now for IoT,” Josh Berger, co-founder of PKT Pal, told CoinDesk in an interview. “So when we created the PKT network, it was very much focused on a high-speed network that people could, you know, watch Netflix on.”
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Frederick Munawa is a Technology Reporter for Coindesk. He covers blockchain protocols with a specific focus on bitcoin and bitcoin-adjacent networks.
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