Hardwarefan turn 55 years old IBM mainframe for minae of bitcoins




Ken Shirriff, a hardware enthusiast, has been trying with an IBM Model 1401 mainframe, running on punch cards, to mine bitcoins. That was successful, but there is need for patience: to calculate a single block hashes to need more time than the lifetime of the universe.

Shirrif tried the sha256 algorithm to run is used bitcoin-mining dating from 1959 on the IBM Model 1401. This algorithm is optimized for systems that can handle 32-bit operations, but the IBM 1401 can not even operate with bytes: The device operates on 6bit characters. He had the necessary translation therefore work with the assembly programming language with one character per bit. The old mainframe is in the eye of the hardware enthusiast therefore actually the worst possible system to mine with bitcoins.

That is also reflected in the computational: the Model 1401 – from a computer museum in California – could calculate in practice a hash every 80 seconds. With the computing speed would take the system 5×10 14 years to mine a large block of 1MB. That is about 40,000 times the current age of the universe. The electricity bill is fierce: the mainframe burned 3000W, so the cost would be approximately $ 10 18. The yield would be 25 bitcoins, approximately 5400 Euros at time of writing.

In: Technology & Gadgets Asked By: [18455 Red Star Level]

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