Cryptocurrency mining is a computationally-intensive process that requires powerful hardware. With the rise in popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, miners have been using more and more hardware to try and mine coins. This has resulted in a shortage of graphics cards, as miners snatch them up to use for their rigs. To address this issue, Intel has designed a new chip specifically for crypto mining. The ‘blockchain accelerator’ chip is also claimed to be more energy-efficient, one of crypto’s biggest criticisms. Intel's new chip is said to be 1000 times better than its current offerings. Whether or not this claim is true remains to be seen, but it’s definitely an interesting development in the world of crypto mining.
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Why is this important?
The environmental concerns behind crypto mining have been long-documented. Bitcoin’s environmental impact has been suggested to come in at more than the whole Netherlands, according to analysis from the University of Cambridge. “We are mindful that some blockchains require an enormous amount of computing power, which unfortunately translates to an immense amount of energy. Our customers are asking for scalable and sustainable solutions, which is why we are focusing our efforts on realizing the full potential of blockchain by developing the most energy-efficient computing technologies at scale,” senior vice president Raja M. Koduri wrote. The manufacturer announced that the “blockchain accelerator” is set to ship later this year, saying that the technology “has the potential to enable everyone to own much of the digital content and services they create” as people “usher in the era of metaverse and Web 3.0”.
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