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New Computing Technique Could Help Make Bitcoin Mining Faster and Greener

University of Alberta researchers' algorithm improves on “brute force” method that makes cryptocurrency mining consume massive amounts of energy.

A new algorithm by computing scientists at the University of Alberta could be the first step in reducing the massive amounts of energy and computing power it takes to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

“Each new Bitcoin transaction must be validated in a process called Bitcoin mining—a computationally expensive problem,” said Md Solimul Chowdhury, lead author of the study and PhD candidate in the Department of Computing Science.

New Computing Technique

“The computational difficulty of this task means mining programs need to run for long hours, sometimes even for days.“

The difficulty of mining new Bitcoin is part of what makes it both scarce and valuable—currently valued at about C$13,600 per bitcoin.

Chowdhury explained that the electrical power needed to perform the computation has a massive carbon footprint—a growing concern for the Bitcoin mining industry. Read More...