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Author Topic: How much computer resource is needed to make Bitcoins?  (Read 4472 times)

Offline syhprum

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How fast could the worlds largest computer systems produce bitcoins and would it be profitable to rent time on one to produce them?
« Last Edit: 02/12/2013 23:36:57 by chris »


 

Offline evan_au

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Re: How much computer resourse is needed to make Bitcoins
« Reply #1 on: 28/11/2013 09:37:52 »
General-purpose computers are too slow and power-hungry to mint bitcoins.
Today, most people use special-purpose hardware to solve the cryptographic puzzles that produce bitcoins - these hardware engines are smaller, faster, cheaper and consume less electricity.

Note that the Bitcoin mining algorithm is scalable, so that the puzzles get harder as more people around the world start mining for them. So don't base your investment on today's Bitcoin price - other people will be doing the same calculation, and if you could make money out of it, the number of miners will increase until only the miners with the most recent hardware and the cheapest electricity will be making any money.

More than you ever wanted to know about Bitcoin: http://omegataupodcast.net/2011/03/59-bitcoin-a-digital-decentralized-currency/
(Includes links to Bitcoin hardware...)
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How much computer resourse is needed to make Bitcoins
« Reply #2 on: 01/12/2013 19:54:01 »
I don't think I've ever encountered a "bitcoin".  However, isn't it a currency to be used within a video game.  Computerized "mining" is frowned upon. 

It would be easy enough for the developers to knock out "mining".  For example, they could wipe out all accounts for 2013 currency, and require people to start afresh in 2014.  Accounts could be capped with the "value" that they can have in bitcoin currency.

I'm surprised they don't block IP addresses or subnets from acquiring more than a certain number of bitcoins.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: How much computer resourse is needed to make Bitcoins
« Reply #3 on: 01/12/2013 21:36:41 »
I don't think I've ever encountered a "bitcoin".  However, isn't it a currency to be used within a video game.  Computerized "mining" is frowned upon. 

It would be easy enough for the developers to knock out "mining".  For example, they could wipe out all accounts for 2013 currency, and require people to start afresh in 2014.  Accounts could be capped with the "value" that they can have in bitcoin currency.

I'm surprised they don't block IP addresses or subnets from acquiring more than a certain number of bitcoins.
I suspect that you know even less about bitcoins than I do.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin
 

Offline RD

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Re: How much computer resourse is needed to make Bitcoins
« Reply #4 on: 01/12/2013 23:15:03 »
« Last Edit: 01/12/2013 23:24:34 by RD »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How much computer resource is needed to make Bitcoins?
« Reply #5 on: 28/02/2014 07:12:10 »
Interesting....

The "value" of bitcoins increased tremendously in 2013....  Then about the time this topic appeared, the value crashed, dropping by about 50% in the last couple of months.  Apparently one of the major bitcoin exchanges suffered by a bug allowing double payments.  The one exchange lost millions of dollars and went out of business this week, possibly also loosing client money at the same time.

The bitcoin is a most interesting "currency", not specifically tied to anything, and apparently new coins are "mined" out of thin air.  Daily volatility is apparently as high as many stocks.

Nothing seems to indicate what "mining" actually does, other than "numerical math computations".  Computers actively "mining" are supposed to help with the flow of bitcoins somehow, but that seems a bit nebulous. 

The concept of a "virtual supercomputer" came out a while ago.  It would seem like one might find a way to tie the idea of "mining" to a virtual supercomputer.  Reimburse people for donating CPU time to one's virtual supercomputer project.  Compensate people for the CPU time using a digital currency, and sell the virtual supercomputer time for either cash or the digital currency.  That way, one is actually introducing value into the system at the same time one is introducing new currency.

The question asked here was what it would take to mine every, or most bitcoins.  Say there are 100,000 people actively "mining".  Some would have fast dedicated mining hardware, others would be using ordinary PCs.  If you could make your computer 100,000 times as fast as the average mining computer, then you should be able to get half of the new mined bitcoins.  Make it 10x as fast as everyone else combined, and you would get most of the new bitcoins. 

Perhaps one could configure one's virtual supercomputer, tasked specifically to mine bitcoins (paying for CPU time, of course, with a new bytecoin).

Anyway, "bitcoin" is one type of distributed virtual currency.  There are other types of virtual currency available, and there really is nothing that keeps the next one from booming while this one goes bust.  If more bugs are discovered, the bitcoin will definitely be knocked off of its pedestal. 
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: How much computer resource is needed to make Bitcoins?
« Reply #6 on: 28/02/2014 14:14:13 »
I read on the internet of a student misappropriating time on his universities large computer installation to mint Bitcoins, the result he has now been barred from all access to the system .

http://bitcoinewz.com/news/dogecoin-harvard-university-student-hijacks-computer-to-mine-dogecoin-currency
« Last Edit: 28/02/2014 14:17:44 by syhprum »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How much computer resource is needed to make Bitcoins?
« Reply #7 on: 28/02/2014 16:46:51 »
I was wondering about using supercomputer time for the mining of the digital currency. 

It looks like you could have your own Cray Supercomputer for merely a half million.  Hmmm...  According to the specs, that gives you about  up to 33 Tflops per system cabinet.  I assume one gets one cabinet for the half million investment. 

There apparently is a KNC Neptune Miner for about $10,000 (to ship soon).  They are claiming about 3 THz performance.  That means it is about 1/10 of a Cray, which isn't bad, like a personal mini-super computer.  A block is worth about 25 bitcoins.  With each bitcoin worth over $500, the first block should more or less pay for the Neptune. 

The notes seem to indicate that a block is offered as part of a brute-force cracking, and issued to the first one to crack the hash, with one starting over every time a block is issued.  If it is based on the most calculations done in a 10 minute period, then perhaps one should just bite the bullet and invest in the Cray. 

Or, could one network, say 300 of the Neptunes ($3 Million), to get an effective rate of 1 PetaHZ, and blow the socks off of the Cray?
 

Offline JP

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Re: How much computer resource is needed to make Bitcoins?
« Reply #8 on: 28/02/2014 17:03:48 »
This is a good summary of how bitcoin works and how to go about mining them:

http://www.economist.com/news/technology-quarterly/21590766-virtual-currency-it-mathematically-elegant-increasingly-popular-and-highly

If your goal is to mine bitcoins, you get more bang for the buck by purchasing something like the miner that Clifford linked, since you don't need any extra overhead do do anything except mine bitcoins.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How much computer resource is needed to make Bitcoins?
« Reply #9 on: 28/02/2014 18:07:19 »
http://www.economist.com/news/technology-quarterly/21590766-virtual-currency-it-mathematically-elegant-increasingly-popular-and-highly
Quote
The system is now straining at the seams. Its computational underpinnings have collectively reached 100 times the performance of the world’s top 500 supercomputers combined: more than 50,000 petaflops.

[...]

Your correspondent visited a miner who operates a rack of mining hardware in his modest apartment. He had purchased his ASIC-based hardware a few months earlier, and it had arrived weeks late, causing him to miss out on a bonanza, because after arrival, the kit generated Bitcoins so quickly that it paid for itself within three days. But the edge that ASICs provide is quickly eroding

So, I can now understand why E-Bay is selling pre-orders for the next generation of mining equipment, and mere days of delays can be a significant loss of money. 

It still seems like an awfully cumbersome system with horrible redundancies.
 

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Re: How much computer resource is needed to make Bitcoins?
« Reply #9 on: 28/02/2014 18:07:19 »

 

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