Intel has come up with a bitcoin mining chip accelerator and is trying to patent the innovation. World’s largest semiconductor company has filed a patent which was it acknowledged in September 2016. The recently released chip is titled – “Bitcoin Mining Hardware Accelerator with Optimized Message Digest and Message Scheduler Datapath.
Cryptocurrency has often been accused of using a tremendous amount of energy to function. Iceland confirms that mining bitcoin consumes more energy than powering its residence. To combat the situation, bitcoin-friendly cities like New York and Plattsburgh have imposed strict rules to decrease energy consumption and demands of bitcoin miners.
According to a report in bitcoinmagazine.com Intel has claimed to find a solution to the problem. The new bitcoin mining chip is efficient in reducing energy consumption and costs in bitcoin production. It also says that up to 35 percent energy would be saved while mining more number of bitcoins in the same process.
The document states, “Because the software and hardware utilized in Bitcoin mining uses brute force to repeatedly and endlessly perform SHA-256 functions, the process of Bitcoin mining can be very power-intensive and utilize large amounts of hardware space. The embodiments described herein optimize Bitcoin mining operations by reducing the space utilized and power consumed by Bitcoin mining hardware.”
As per Intel finding the 32-bit field is the most expensive and burdensome step in creating a bitcoin. Block hash contains a solid set of zeros or a nonce under a fixed value. After computation, these zeros are tied to the hash of the transaction hashes in the blockchain”. Numerous 32-bit additions and 32-bit words are pushed to work together by the message digest and message scheduler blocks which trims the energy use.
On the one hand, energy costs are getting out of control in the US while China is clamping down bitcoin production by limiting their energy supply on the other. Due to bitcoin’s underperformance in the last week experts do not see it as profitable anymore. Most of the miners are not able to stretch the gap between their investment and earnings.
Intel is not the only company developing mining chips.
Coindesk.com earlier reported that Samsung is creating specialized cryptocurrency mining chips. Samsung now provides application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) to a Chinese mining company.
The problems for Intel have increased with the rise of BDPL, Blockchain Defensive Patent Licence. It orders bitcoin-based companies to submit their patents with other license holding members of the group. BDPL has laid down strict rules that prevent blockchain companies from having particular rights over specific products and patents. It also holds the power to penalize licensees who charge against patents licensed by other members.
If Intel can create value for bitcoin miners while working under BDPL’s guidelines, it will undoubtedly change the crypto market forever. It should also be noted that rival companies are also trying to mold the cryptocurrency in their favor. There are many chances of different chips being used by various miners in future.