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Intel addresses Cryptocurrency mining concerns on power consumption

One of the primary concerns voiced by global policymakers is that mining of cryptocurrency involves higher power consumption and it even matches with that of a country’s power needs. Intel, which focuses mostly to chip making for PCs and smart devices, has come out with a solution to address the concerns. The chipmaker filed a patent for mining hardware accelerator for bitcoin last week. The company wants to capitalize the advantage of being one of the firsts and did not want to lag behind others in coming out with a solution.

Improving Efficiency of Mining Chips

Intel’s new patent seeks to enhance the efficiency level of mining the digital currencies. It was on September 23, 2016, that the company had filed its first application with the Patent and Trademark Office in the United States. The application was filed on behalf of Intel Technologies, and its inventors were listed as Suresh Vikram, Satpathy Sudhir, and Mathew Sanu, who were all Hillsboro residents.

As part of the patent, the biggest semiconductor firm has given its plan of mining a hardware accelerator for bitcoin. This included a processor core apart from an accelerator along with the processor core. Currently, bitcoin protocol is based on the proof-of-work consensus mechanism, and that new coins could be added through a mining process. Several computer networks attempt to crack a programmed mathematical puzzle. Once it is solved, it would release plenty of bitcoin.

According to btcmanager.com, cryptocurrency miners have also been utilizing specialized mining hardware, which is also called as ASICs for making digital currencies around the world. However, these chips were expensive and required a higher amount of electricity, and the output of heat is also higher. This has given enough room for companies like Intel to come up with a solution.

The company took the challenge and came out with a new hardware accelerator primarily for bitcoin miners. Incidentally, the virtual currency is the biggest asset in terms of market capitalization despite losing significant value in the current year. The new hardware is predicted to save approximately 35 percent of power consumption from the existing level of mining chips. In other words, the hardware would boost efficiency by 35 percent.

Blessing In Disguise

The latest development should be a blessing in disguise for the cryptocurrency market that is struggling to move forward for quite some time following the tightening of regulations around the world. Miners of virtual currencies would view the development as a favorable catalyst as most of the electricity used was coming from coal-based power plants that involve climate issues. The new hardware would also come as a relief to the providers of contract mining firms since it would cut down power consumption.

Intel’s application for patent disclosed that “Because the software and hardware utilized in bitcoin mining use 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.”