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Language : english

Using a good old GameBoy to mine Bitcoin?

Written by Guillaume
Publication date: {{ dayjs(1617552019*1000).local().format("L").toString()}}
This article is an automatic translation

With the soaring price of crypto-currencies, hackers of all stripes are trying their hand at it... sometimes just for the "beauty of it"!

Currently, several hundred crypto-currencies share a rapidly growing market, but it is still dominated by Bitcoin on one side and, to a lesser extent, Ethereum on the other. Bitcoin is by far the number one in the industry, but mining it is becoming increasingly tricky, as the computation time needed to "mine" a Bitcoin requires the use of overpowered machines, mining farms designed around so-called ASIC solutions.

However, a mild-mannered lunatic by the name of Stacksmashing set out to mine Bitcoin from Nintendo's first handheld computer, the good old GameBoy. Of course, said GameBoy is unable to connect to any mining pool, so for his performance, Stacksmashing connected Nintendo's "racing beast" to a Raspberry Pi Pico, which he plugged into the little handheld's link port. He details the different steps of his setup in the video above and, in the end, the "feat" doesn't seem so difficult to reproduce.

It remains now to determine the interest of it. Indeed, with his assembly, Stacksmashing obtains performances of about 0.8 hashes per second. It should be noted that modern ASICs normally used for Bitcoin mining deploy up to 100 terahashes per second. So we can conclude that the GameBoy is 125 trillion times or 100 billion billion times slower than a modern ASIC. As Stacksmashing explains, it would take " a few quadrillion years " to mine a single Bitcoin with his "solution". For the "beauty of the gesture" we say!