Fourteen-year-old Ishaan Thakur and his sister, 9-year-old Aanya, spent their summer building a lucrative business mining cryptocurrency.
“We started because we wanted to learn something new about technology – and also make some money along the way,” Ishaan tells CNBC Make It.
And they have.
Each month, the siblings make over $30,000 mining three digital coins: Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value; ether, the second-largest; and ravencoin, an altcoin amid the top 100, Ishaan says.
To do this, Ishaan and Aanya, who are based in Frisco, Texas, had to learn how to mine, which is no simple feat. When mining to earn cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether, complex computers are programmed to compete to solve difficult puzzles in order to validate transactions.
“Crypto mining is just like mining for gold or diamonds,” Ishaan says. “Instead of using shovels, you mine with computers. Instead of finding a piece of gold or a diamond in the mine, you find a cryptocurrency.”
After watching videos on YouTube and searching the internet, Ishaan converted his Alienware, a popular kind of gaming computer, into an ether mining rig in April. (He did this by using the graphics card, which can perform a high volume of calculations for mining.)
His parents were supportive: “We could have spent the entire summer playing video games, but instead we used our spare time to learn about technology,” Ishaan says.