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One Chinese startup wants to build a blockchain toothbrush to mine coins while you clean your teeth

The next addition to the blockchain bandwagon

This article originally appeared on ABACUS
Everyone is jumping on the blockchain bandwagon, from a blockchain smartphone to a blockchain bicycle. So how about a blockchain toothbrush?

One Chinese company says they’re developing a toothbrush to let you mine coins while cleaning your pearly whites. And if you’re not impressed by 32Teeth’s idea, they threw in another two buzzwords too: They claim it will also use facial recognition and augmented reality.

(In case you’re wondering how a toothbrush can see your face or use augmented reality, that part is in the companion app.)

The blockchain toothbrush from 32Teeth claims to use facial recognition technology. (Picture: 32Teeth)

Given that the project is still at the crowdfunding stage -- and the idea seems rather odd -- it’s hard not to be suspicious. But some companies say there are benefits to integrating blockchain with household devices.

IBM says the inherent security of blockchain can be used to keep devices in the Internet of Things safe. And the distributed ledger means data from smart sensors is less likely to be faked or altered.

But that’s not how the toothbrush uses blockchain. Instead, 32Teeth says it records how you well you brush your teeth, uses an algorithm to mine, then rewards you with “teeth loving” coins. You can use these coins to exchange them for other 32Teeth products, including… more toothbrushes. ​

It seems to have some fans at least: It has already reached 124% of its target, raising US$20,000.

For more insights into China tech, sign up for our tech newsletters, subscribe to our Inside China Tech podcast, and download the comprehensive 2019 China Internet Report. Also roam China Tech City, an award-winning interactive digital map at our sister site Abacus.