New numbers on Bitcoin show the computing network continues to make all-time record highs – there’s also a value spike up to around $10,500, but some analysts are paying more attention to the astounding hash rate per second, as experts mark the 90 quintillion HPS point.
“#Bitcoin hash approaches 90 Quintillion. Per protocol’s hard-coded Game Theory, hash precedes price. $28,000 in play,” tweeted Max Keiser September 1, in a tweet heard ‘round the tech world.
In explaining how Bitcoin exploded to this amount of computing fury, those with an eye toward the industry are pointing out that one major driver of this functionality is the development of ASICS or application-specific integrated circuits.
For anybody who thought that ASICs were a type of sneakers, think about it this way – ASICs are a special kind of microprocessor chip that’s specifically made for a single purpose – in this case, to mine Bitcoin.
ASICs are like the GPUs of the cryptocurrency world. As engineers started with the CPU, which handles general computing, they realize that a alternative design called GPU or graphics processing unit could be built on a customized basis to more readily handle the demands of rendering sophisticated computer graphics.
Years later, the ASIC was built for Bitcoin mining based on the same philosophy of specialization, and we were off to the races. (read more at Digital Trends)
For an interesting detailed picture of how much activity this new hash rate mark (90 quintillion) represents and what it means, check out this back-and-forth on William Suberg’s article breaking the news today at Cointelegraph.
“That is just fake news,” writes Frances Erdman III. “That is not mathematically possible. Let me help you with math – a quntillion is a million trillion. To have a trillion computations per second is only possible with a super computer that would be the space of a whole room, roughly. So, you would need a Million room-size super computers all hashing away at once to do that. There are not enough super computers in all the world for that to happen.”
“Sorry,” wrote Rob Rainone, explaining the phenomenon and mentioning ASIC miners, “But the metric is accurate. You’re right that a quintillion is a million trillion. Let me help you with a little reality. You don’t need a trillion computations per second from a single super computer. A $100 Antminer computer (+ power supply) on Amazon can give you 4 TH/s. Are there 22+ million (required for the 90 quintillion hashes per second) of those ASIC miners out there? Possibly. But you have to figure that most miners have better equipment than what’s available for so little on Amazon.”
“It’s just a sha256 hash. It’s NOT a complex, long computation. Look at the source they cite which tracks TeraHashes per second, not general cpu computations per second,” wrote NP, trying to clarify. “A high end compact ASIC miner the size of a slim mini-tower computer does on the order of 50-70 TH/s. Look up the WhatsMiner M20S. Now imagine floors of these and now thousands of TH/s is easily possible in a roomful. Then multiply x10 for a larger mining operation, then spread more of the around the world.”
After that, the thread devolves into a bit of name-calling, but the conversation is really emblematic of how people view this new phenomenon. Look for the hash rate on BTC to continue to spike as more miners come online during a time when bears and bulls are struggling for the future of the cryptocurrency.