Intel aims to cut Bitcoin mining costs
US tech company Intel has filed a new a Bitcoin (BTC) mining hardware accelerator patent.
The technology aims to reduce the amount of electricity used in crypto mining by “reducing the space utilized and power consumed by Bitcoin mining hardware.”
The US Patent and Trademark Office released the patent application on March 29.
Initially filed in September 2017, the patent says it seeks to solve the “challenge for miners” by “search[ing] through the entire nonce space in a brute force manner while minimizing energy consumption per hash and maximizing performance per watt.”
This minimization can be achieved by “optimizing the critical paths in computation-intensive message digest and scheduler datapaths,” according to Intel.
This optimization will result in “extra time” that can “reduce switching capacitance or scale the supply voltage.”
These measures will create a “35% combinational power improvement in the message digest logic.”
Bitcoin mining energy
Intel refers to Bitcoin mining as the “most popular type of (e.g., unit of) digital currency used in the digital currency eco-system.”
Mining Bitcoin requires large amounts of electricity when solving algorithms to mine the coin.
Some suggest that using leftover electricity and renewable energy will make mining a “non-issue” for the environment.
While others have branded the energy use an “environmental disaster.”
In the patent application, Intel writes that the current process is inefficient:
“Because of the large amount of power utilized, and the relatively high cost of that power, mining Bitcoins can be a very costly endeavor.
“In some embodiments, the cost to mine a single Bitcoin may exceed the value of the mined Bitcoin.”
During low price dips for Bitcoin, a negative mining ratio can occur.
These losses were highlighted by “Bitcoin Bull” Tom Lee earlier this month.
Intel’s interest in crypto
This patent application isn’t the first time Intel has expressed an interest in crypto.
The company partnered with healthcare transaction service provider PokitDok in May last year.
The firms wanted to utilize blockchain technology in the healthcare industry.
Intel also teamed up with Chinese media and tech firm Tencent to collaborate on a Blockchain solution in September last year.
And the following month, Intel joined forces with cryptocurrency hardware wallet developer, Ledger, to use their Blockchain platform for storing digital currency holdings.