15 Nov '13, 4am

Bitcoin Mining Chips, a High-Tech Arms Race

Bitcoin Mining Chips, a High-Tech Arms Race

The easiest way to get a Bitcoin is to buy one. You can join drug dealers, speculators, and the curious by hopping onto an online exchange and purchasing one unit of the digital currency for, as of Nov. 11, about $340. But you can get Bitcoins for free by mining them, and a new breed of chips will soon make doing that a lot faster. “You would need 70,000 Intel chips to equal what one of ours can do,” says Eduardo de Castro, co-founder of Bitcoin chipmaker HashFast Technologies. Each Bitcoin has to be verified on a virtual ledger of all the Bitcoins ever circulated. Anyone can download some software and get a copy of this ledger, but to add to it, you must become a Bitcoin miner. That means you set your computer to work performing cryptographic calculations to decode elements of the currency system and confirm the validity of transactions, which then get added to the main r...

Full article: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-11-14/2014-outl...

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