Altcoin News: The Computer from the Apollo Space Program Was Adapted for Bitcoin Mining

July 9, 2019, by Marko Vidrih on ALTCOIN MAGAZINE

Marko Vidrih

The developer and fan of rare computing equipment Ken Shirriff decided to restore the Apollo spacecraft onboard control computer (AGC) — the one that carried out the calculations and controlled the movement, navigation, and also managed the command and lunar modules during flights using the same NASA program.

As Shirriff explains in his blog, the only currently functioning AGC has come into his hands, which he decided to use to mine Bitcoin. Processing a Bitcoin hashing algorithm in assembly language with a 15-bit computer from the 60s is not an easy task, the developer notes.

AGC does not have a microprocessor since it was created long before they appeared. Thus, he is unlikely to be able to compete with the more advanced models and generally add at least one block to the Bitcoin blockchain.

In a separate video, Shirriff shows how the Bitcoin mining program functions on AGC and displays the results on a display selected by the developer — no one found the original one.

“The Apollo Guidance Computer took 5.15 seconds for one SHA-256 hash. Since Bitcoin uses a double-hash, this results in a hash rate of 10.3 seconds per Bitcoin hash. Currently, the Bitcoin network is performing about 65 EH/s (65 quintillion hashes per second). At this difficulty, it would take the AGC 4×10²³ seconds on average to find a block. Since the universe is only 4.3×10¹⁷ seconds old, it would take the AGC about a billion times the age of the universe to successfully mine a block,” the author writes.

“For some perspective, a $70 USB stick miner performs 130 billion hashes per second,” writes Motherboard.

Shirriff notes this isn’t his first run in with what he calls “absurd Bitcoin mining.” Previously, he tried to mine cryptocurrency, for example, with a pencil and paper, thus obtaining a hash rate of 0.67 hashes per day.

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Marko Vidrih

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I love writing, and that is why I do it. A passion for not only providing the information but for helping people understand.

ALTCOIN MAGAZINE

The best damn place to read and write about crypto and blockchain.