On Saturday, a popular Youtuber, Stacksmashing, posted a video describing how he hacked the 1989 Nintendo Game Boy to mine bitcoins. Despite its creativity and the fact that the mineral requires only four double-A batteries, Stacksmashing discovered that the 8-bit handheld is not nearly as powerful as a modern mining rig.
Bitcoin mining with Game Boy
Four years ago, some people developed interesting methods to mine bitcoins and connect to the Bitcoin network. For example, bitcoiner Ken Shirrif, who became famous for introducing the bitcoin symbol into Unicode, showed the world how to mine bitcoins using an old Xerox Alto.
The computer is a classic and the first machine with a graphical user interface (GUI) in 1973. Shirriff also mined bitcoins in 2015 using a 55-year-old IBM 1401. In addition to Shirriff’s retro-mining experiments, another man developed a miner for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 2013.
The latest Youtube video uses an 8-bit handheld game console from 1989, the Game Boy. As with the NES miner, Stacksmashing involved connecting the Game Boy to the Raspberry Pi and using the portable link port to connect directly to the BTC network.
It also used the GBDK, an open source Game Boy development kit written in the C programming language. The stack also used the SHA256 implementation of the open source firmware created by the vendors of the Trezor hardware wallet.
The Game Boy was then able to connect to the Bitcoin (BTC) network and he said he even heard the 31-year-old machine doing some hashing. As a joke, the Youtuber noted that his Game Boy, with its four double-A batteries, is less redundant than the electricity used by conventional miners.
TheGame Boy is much slower than today’s traditionalMiner.
Nintendo’s machine could handle 0.8 hashes per second (0.0008 kilohash), and stacksmashing has shown that modern machines can handle about 100 terahashes per second (TH/s).
This means that Game Boy’s speed has dropped 125 trillion times, as Stackmashing has noted. A BTC would last several quadrillion years with the classic Game Boy game.
Stacksmashing not only teaches someone how to collect Game Boy bitcoins, but also gives viewers a look at how bitcoin blocks are mined.
With a little ingenuity and innovation, people can mine bitcoins with any device that can run numbers. Ken Shirriff once explained that, although it’s not practical at all, someone can mine bitcoin with a pencil and paper.
Still, Shirriff achieved 0.67 hashes per day, compared to 0.8 hashes per second for the Game Boy.
What do you think about the fact that Game Boy can mine bitcoins? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Tags in this story
Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin mining, BTC mining, Game Boy, Hashes, Ken Shirriff, Mining, Mining activities, NES, Nintendo, Raspberry Pi, SHA256, Stacksmashing, Terahashes, Trezor, YouTube, youtuber
Photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Youtube, Stacksmashing,
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