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You Can Apparently Mine Bitcoin With Little More Than A Game Boy

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You Can Apparently Mine Bitcoin With Little More Than A Game Boy

Oh, Bitcoin. I don't understand it. But, this YouTuber has managed to repurpose their old Game Boy into a Bitcoin mining machine... though the process itself is a little questionable.

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Following Tesla's announcement that it would begin accepting Bitcoin in transaction for its cars, this and a general curiosity about cryptocurrency spurred stacksmashing to explore Bitcoin. The issue was that he didn't have a powerful enough graphics card to hand, and the ones on offer online wouldn't do the job either. Mining Bitcoin requires a computer to complete "blocks" (worth one megabyte) of verified transactions which are added to the blockchain. If you are the first miner to work out the correct or closest answer to a numeric calculation, then that gets you proof of work, and then you're eligible to the Bitcoin generated in that action. Furthermore, the amount you earn from mining is halved every four years.

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Because computers are always advancing technologically, the difficulty of these numeric problems has increased stratospherically. That's why you need some whizzy specs to get ahead of the game and earn the Bitcoin you are entitled to. Sort of. Anyway. stacksmashing thought he could find the components he needed in his house, for a far more frugal entry into the cryptocurrency scene. The Game Boy, boasting a 4.19 megahertz CPU and eight kilobytes of video memory, isn't the most suited of gadgets for this task, but that made it all the more enticing for the YouTuber. In order for the Game Boy to communicate with the Bitcoin node, he linked it to a Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller chip and created a USB adapter to connect the console to his computer.

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With a Bitcoin node installed, he then wrote custom mining firmware for his handheld and used a custom program to "outsource" the calculations to the Game Boy so that it would use the CPU and memory of the little gizmo. I'll admit, it is impressive... until he found out the rate with which it would complete those numerical problems. "If you compare that to a modern ASIC miner, which comes in at around 100 terahashes per second, you can see that we are almost as fast-only off by a factor of roughly 125 trillion," he explained. In other words, it would take the Game Boy "a couple of quadrillion years" to gain one block of Bitcoin. Well, it was worth a try.

Earlier this month, a teenager scammed their way into more than $100,000 of Bitcoin by convincing someone who worked for Twitter that they were a fellow colleague and to give them the login details for various accounts. As they were under the age of 18, they'll be in jail for three years, which is the maximum sentence for the 30 charges that were read out to the court. "[They need] to be held accountable for that crime, and other potential scammers out there need to see the consequences," said the state attorney attached to the case.

Featured Image Credit: AMC, Luis Quintero via Pexels

Topics: News

Imogen Donovan
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