Semiconductor manufacturing company Intel released a patent for a Bitcoin mining hardware accelerator on March 29th. It was originally submitted to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on September 23rd 2016.
Breaking Down the Description
The patent describes cryptocurrency as “an Internet-based medium of exchange” and Bitcoin mining as a “costly endeavor”. In the beginning, mining Bitcoins required much less power, but as time passed and the number of mining activities increased, the mathematical algorithms became difficult.
According to Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, 907 kWh is utilized in every single transaction. Miners preferred Central Processing Units (CPU) and Graphical Processing Units (GPU) but now they use Application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) as they are much more efficient than the other two.
Intel describes the product using ASIC as a reference but it also explains that other units can be used such as Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). The hardware will include “a processor core and a hardware accelerator coupled to the processor core, the hardware accelerator to mine digital currency.”
Useful for Solo Miners
Nowadays, mining pools rule theBbitcoin world; miners forms groups where they contribute processing power and solve algorithms together to save time. The reward, in turn, is distributed based on the processing power donated by an individual. However, mining alone means you would need more power and more time, and this is the problem Intel is trying to solve. The President of Velocity Micro, Intel’s partner, Randy Copeland, explained, “Once this new Intel technology comes to market, ultimately more people will mine again because it’s profitable again, driving down the market value of the coins, and finding a new market balance that will again put locations with lower electricity costs back at the advantage.”
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., which also manufactures semiconductors, revealed in February 2018 that it was producing cryptocurrency mining chips. The move was applauded worldwide. However, some people were wondering why Intel chose to stay quiet in this cryptocurrency race. Thus, the arrival of this patent answers many questions that the crypto community and Intel supporters previously had.
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