The Fortune Global 500 company Midea Group has been issued a patent for embedding chips that mine bitcoin in household appliances. Mining is the computationally-intensive means by which new cryptocurrency is brought into circulation. According to the patent, Internet-of-Things appliances would be sold pre-registered to an existing bitcoin mining operation and connect via the cloud. Mining would occur whether one of these appliances was in use or idling, and it would not bog down normal operation. This way, air conditioners and ovens could earn extra income for their owners’ bitcoin wallets. But rather than foreseeing runaway bitcoin inflation, industry analysts are doubting anybody will ever use the patent. A recent study published by Cambridge University determined 2.9-5.8 million people had used cryptocurrency, with the preponderance of transactions being made with bitcoin.