05 Dec '12, 5am

Custom Chips Could Be the Shovels in a Bitcoin Gold Rush

Custom Chips Could Be the Shovels in a Bitcoin Gold Rush

The digital “crypto-currency” Bitcoin surged into the public eye last year, tantalizing enthusiasts with the promise of money unfettered by any government before falling victim to digital heists (see “Crypto-currency Security under Scrutiny ”) and short media attention spans. But $130 million worth of bitcoins are still out there, tended by a dedicated community working to expand their use. More are still being “mined” in a process that rewards digital gold-diggers when their software solves mathematical puzzles involved in verifying transactions and regulating how the currency is used (see “What Bitcoin Is, and Why It Matters ”). Now some in that community are taking the expensive step of creating custom silicon chips dedicated to running the software that carries out that process. “It’s a business opportunity, and also because we believe in Bitcoin and what it can do,” s...

Full article: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/508061/custom-chips-...

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