There are a number of crypto projects that have launched recently with a physical product that mines their crypto token. These miners do a lot more than the typical GPU mining, and most contribute directly to the use case of the network. The only thing they all have in common is that demand greatly exceeds supply – they’re mostly back ordered for months. Here’s a list of the easiest miners to buy and immediately begin using with minimal technical set-up, called “Plug and Play” mining.
Helium (HNT) - Highly rated ones range from $150 - $430
Helium is a "proof-of-coverage" cryptocurrency project operating a global wireless network intended for internet of things (IoT) devices. The Helium network is powered by special hotspots that provide network coverage and mine HNT coins. As far as the hotspot miners go, there is a wide range, but most are backordered for months.
Akash (AKT) - $975
Akash Network is the world’s first decentralized open-source cloud, providing faster, more efficient, and lower cost application deployments for high-growth industries including DeFi, decentralized organizations and applications, and machine learning/AI. Their Supermini is sold out, but was listed at $975. Technically, this isn’t a miner, but it offers compute power in exchange for tokens.
Deeper Network (DPR) - Starts at $249
Deeper Network combines blockchain, network security, and sharing economy to create a global peer-to-peer network that empowers the real users of the internet and paves the way for the next generation of the web. Deeper Network has a number of devices available and a low electricity footprint.
TL;DR: Companies are beginning to launch hardware-based crypto projects building distributed networks working around wifi hotspots, distributed VPNs, distributed supercomputing, etc. Since most of these projects are new, they’re still sold out and backordered.