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The BTC Mining Game Has Changed

2 min read

ASCI or application-specific integrated circuit machines have arrived in the BTC mining market. The first machine arrived at a miner’s home in late January and ever since reports have been trickling in of shipped ASCI machines finding their way into miner’s BTC mining rigs.

Since ASCI machines are designed specifically for the task of mining BTC, they are highly effective machines at what they are designed to do. High end ASCI machines have a per second hash rate of over 1 million. A typical CPU running BTC mining software has a per second hash rate of 1.5.

Needless to say the shipment of ASCI machines have been a game changer in the BTC world. CPUs are no longer even supported by BTC mining software because a CPU running 24 hours a day would likely not see a BTC for several years, even if it was mining in a pool.

This trend favors those interested in mining who also happen to have thousands of dollars lying around to be used on expensive hardware, as well as the early adopters of BTC mining who likely have made a hefty profit from their early mining efforts. Those early profits could be rolled into the latest and greatest hardware and rig setup to continue generating Bitcoins well into the future.

Those miner who are running relatively powerful GPUs are being hit the worst by the ASCI development. The difficulty in successfully mining a block of BTC has increased to a level that may make the cost of electricity outweigh the payout a GPU miner will see in BTC from year to year.

All of this speculation is tied heavily to the stability of the price of BTC going forward. If BTC stays around the current 30 usd level then innovation will continue to progress. ASCI in part has contributed to the rally that BTC has seen over the last 2 months. The USD exchange rate for BTC has soared from 10 usd to 30 usd. It is hard to find an investment with that kind of return anywhere on the planet, so it is natural for BTC to be drawing attention in recent days. But will this attention last? And if so will it bring more scrutiny and volatility than stability on the young digital currency? In the long term relative stability is the one trait that BTC must establish if it is to accomplish the original goal of being a viable and competitive currency on a world scale.

So will BTC transcend the current label of speculative instrument? The answer lies in a tangled web of variables that include the broad spectrum of humanity: politics, psychology, finance, fear, freedom, privacy, security… etc. Regardless of the outcome it is sure to be a fascinating show.

Robby Andrews

All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.

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