The nascent world of blockchain-powered virtual currencies keeps getting more irresistible with each passing day and many more firms are looking to have a piece of the ‘cryptocake.’ Intel Corp., the world’s largest manufacturer of personal computer microprocessors, has caught the bitcoin bug and is now awaiting approval for its cryptocurrency mining system-on-a-chip patent.
Intel Wants to Hodl
According to Investopedia, Intel has filed a patent that would enable it to manufacture high-grade chips that could make bitcoin mining faster, with very minimal power consumption.
The system-on-a-chip (SOC) comes with inbuilt hardware that fast-tracks the entire mining process.
On April 26, 2018, the 17 millionth bitcoin was successfully mined out of a total of 21 million. With this milestone reached, it means that mining the flagship cryptocurrency will keep getting more difficult, hence miners would need more sophisticated mining equipment and a substantial amount of electricity supply to remain in profit.
“It’s an event that makes the market more aware of the scarcity of bitcoin. It will eventually turn into higher prices,” Ansel Lindner, host of the Bitcoin & Markets podcast, remarked back in April.
Intel has seen a significant opportunity in the whole scenario and has come up with an innovative idea that could help miners do more with less.
According to reports, the proposed system will come with an array of elements including a processor farm, logic device, and an integrated circuit. If all goes as planned, the system will function by limiting the search space needed to determine the next nonce required to solve the mining-related equation. However, if the problem persists then the highly functional chip will reshuffle the Merkle tree or the arrangement of unprocessed transactions. The above process is quite cumbersome for quite many systems currently being utilized by crypto miners. In essence, if the patent is approved, it will bring smiles to the faces of many.
Although Intel’s decision to venture into manufacturing of bitcoin mining chips may turn out to be a significant step in the right direction, the company is however not alone in this endeavor.
On April 13, 2018, BTCManager informed you that renowned electronics manufacturer Samsung had started developing Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) chips for Halong bitcoin miners.
The Need for a Greener Cryptospace
Its stale news that cryptocurrency mining guzzles excessive power and produces heat that’s unfriendly to the ecosystem. According to Fortune, bitcoin mining operations consume much more energy than all the electric cars in the world, and Morgan Stanley has estimated that the electricity demand of the pioneer cryptocurrency could surpass that of Argentina by the end of 2018.
Amidst this backdrop, various companies in the blockchain industry have started establishing large mining rigs powered entirely by renewable energy. One of such firms is GMO Group, a Japanese conglomerate that began mining bitcoin on its facility that runs on altogether green electricity in December 2017.
At current, Intel is the clear leader in the world of PC chip manufacturing. Notably, its new SOC can support a vast array of chips, including ASICs and GPUs.
Whether the firm will also take over the market from big whales like Bitmain and others remains to be seen.