back to article Crypto inferno: Intel's Bitcoin-mining Blockscale ASIC to arrive in Q3

Intel has disclosed more details of its Blockscale ASIC, the firm's entry into the realm of cryptocurrency mining with a dedicated chip built to provide users with energy-efficient hashing for proof-of-work consensus networks. As previously revealed, the chip now identified as the Intel Blockscale ASIC is designed to provide …

  1. mark l 2 Silver badge

    "The compute requirements for blockchains utilizing proof-of-work consensus mechanisms is growing rapidly, Intel says, and requires an enormous amount of energy, citing this as its motivation for developing Blockscale – delivering new technologies that can provide the requisite power in a more energy-efficient manner."

    Or more likely, they want to get on the gravy train and make some quick money selling kit which will become completely useless once the crypto bubble bursts, or more cypto currencies switch away from proof of work.

  2. tony72


    Wait, I thought the hype around this chip was that it was more efficient than anything, but the numbers in the article say that it's less efficient than bitmain's best. That's a little disappointing.

    1. Pascal

      Re: Efficiency

      For Intel, power efficiency being within 20% of the best is effin' spectacular

      1. quxinot

        Re: Efficiency

        And 'best' with an asterisk being of the air-cooled stuff.

    2. Trubbs

      Re: Efficiency

      "but the numbers in the article say that it's less efficient than bitmain's best."

      That should be the headline, to me it read like a sponsored article

    3. brainwrong

      Re: Efficiency

      Well it looks like intel don't understand bitcoin. Making mining machines more efficient will lead to an increase in the hashing capacity of the network, so the difficulty will increase, so more hashes will need to be calculated.

      The money stream feeding the miners is provided by the price of bitcoin. If a miner has the choice of computing the same hash rate for a lower cost, or a higher hash rate for the same cost, They're likely to want to increase the hash rate to increase their share of the mined coins. Especially considering that others will be making the same decision.

      The energy usage of bitcoin will only reduce if the price collapses, they switch away from proof of work, or maybe if energy prices go up a lot. Energy is far too cheap currently.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Efficiency

        Yeah, that's not really the play. Intel is more concerned with creaming profit off the top of speculators labor and edging in on on the monopoly of the existing ASIC players. Plenty of money in a duopoly, and they have plenty of manufacturing capacity, unlike the poor fabless incumbents.

        Like the other guy said, they plan to make and sell a lot of shovels. Yes this will drive up the difficulty, at which point earlier mining hardware becomes less profitable and incentives miners to either tap out or also buy into the new ASICs.

        Nothing about this is in anyway a "green" initiative. Expensive energy isn't a solution to this problem either, as it impacts everything that ISN"T crypto worse than crypto. If you are not willing to wait for it tank on it's own, set a targeted tax on every transaction with a watts/block over your threshold of offense.

        The whole things public, so you could literally calculate a carbon and energy bill for every wallet ever and send it to them. But really you just have to lean on the exchanges, without them Bitcoin at least would crash on it's own. Let the "store of value" crowd eat the risk they have been ignoring since the beginning.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "3,860W of power"

    It's so good that 1st worlders have their priorities straight.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Intel must be glowing with pride

    That they can at last get in on the act of wasting the planets precious energy resources to facilitate the preferred payment method of cyber criminals and rogue states everywhere.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Intel must be glowing with pride

      Yes, because all other Intel silicon isnt being used to just write up dubious business plans, watch cat videos, cat pron videos, listen to podcasts in which the cat-owning status of the contributers is somehow considered to be of interest to the listener for some reason, complain about cats on Twitter, play video games (thankfully most of which don't feature cats) or otherwise benefit human kind.

      Don't blame Acme Shovels for a gold rush.

      (Maybe blame Heinlein for aspiring SciFi writers to think it's okay to include cats in their brief bio. Out of all the things they could have learnt from him, like writing a decent story for example, or having some spaceships, damn near every SciFi author today talks about their sodding felines instead.

      Actually, don't blame Heinlein. A lot of that Q bollocks used his stuff to add texture to their tapestry of truthy nonsense. Heinlein did raise the question of "What is money"? with respect to different planets. Seafaring. Conrad. White City. The Company. Ridley Scott. Alien.

      Okay, Ridley Scott can use a cat on set. And Terry Pratchett had cats, that's fine. But if you're not putting out their quality of work, I don't want to know. )

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Intel must be glowing with pride

      "Cyber" crime has been moving off Bitcoin for some time, some inconvenience about every transaction on it being public since it's inception or something like that. That's Monero your probably thinking of.

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