Coinbase Customers Suffer from Delays as Withdrawal Period Ends

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Over the past few days the bitcoin platform Coinbase has been experiencing some significant withdrawal backlog from customers trying to move their bitcoins in order to obtain bitcoin cash (BCC) after a possible network fork. Since the company stated it would not support the BCC blockchain, and associated token many customers have been scrambling to withdraw. Now the time to withdraw from Coinbase and other exchanges has officially ended. 

Also read: Indian Bitcoin Hotspot Bangalore Sees 50+ Merchants Added This Month

As the Bitcoin Fork Approaches Coinbase Customers Complain About Withdrawal Delays  

Coinbase Customers Suffer from Delays as Withdrawal Period EndsCoinbase dashboard presents this message after login.

It seems it’s been a difficult few days for the bitcoin exchange Coinbase as the company has been processing a lot more withdrawals lately due to the upcoming August 1 fork. Over the past couple of days, customers have been complaining of twelve-hour delays to get their funds off the platform. Coinbase addressed the problem a few times via Twitter stating;

Were experiencing delays due to a large number of bitcoin withdrawals. All funds remain secure. We understand this is frustrating for customers and will continue our efforts to process all these withdrawals as swiftly as possible.

Coinbase Customers Suffer from Delays as Withdrawal Period EndsWithdrawals delays started a few days ago for Coinbase.

Coinbase and Many Other Bitcoin Exchange Withdrawal Periods Have Ended

Furthermore, the San Francisco based company suffered from a DDoS attack on July 28 and temporarily went offline. When viewing the Coinbase dashboard customers are greeted with a warning about the company not supporting the bitcoin cash currency. The post warns clients that if they wish to access both bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCC) need to withdraw before 10 am PT, July 31, 2017.

Coinbase Customers Suffer from Delays as Withdrawal Period EndsCoinbase announcement via Twitter.

Coinbase and its associated exchange GDAX was one of the first companies to explain that it would not support BCC. In fact, the GDAX revealed this information a while ago on July 19 when many other exchanges not supporting BCC have just announced their plans over the past few days. Because Coinbase has such a large customer base, there’s been a lot more complaints directed at their business and customer support.

Following the fork, those who leave funds on exchanges that don’t support bitcoin cash like Coinbase, Bitstamp, and a few others will not be able to access tokens on the other chain after the fork settles. As of now Coinbase and nearly every other exchange have officially shut down deposits and withdrawals for the next 12-36 hours so users who want BCC and hold funds on these specific exchanges will not be able to withdraw or claim those funds.

What do you think about the withdrawal backlog Coinbase has experienced over the past couple of days? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Coinbase dashboard, and Twitter. 


Bitcoin.com’s store features a wide range of interesting Bitcoin-related products. Looking for a hardware wallet? We got ‘em. Want a good-looking t-shirt? It’s there. Want to gift a nice Bitcoin coffee mug? Go shopping.

News

The bitcoin wallet with its own network of human tellers around the world, Abra, has just integrated a new way of buying bitcoin inside its app. American Express cards have been added as a funding option in addition to cash and bank accounts.

Also read: Abra Now Offers Deposits and Withdrawals at 60+ US Financial Institutions

Integration with American Express

Bitcoin wallet and payments service provider Abra announced a new feature on Tuesday to let customers fund their Abra wallet using American Express (Amex) cards. The company explained:

With this new funding option, American Express card members can now add funds to their Abra wallets immediately and send payments worldwide. This feature will be made available to a small group of Abra wallet users today and will be rolled out to our entire user base in the coming days.

Users need to already have an Amex card to use this option and they cannot sign up for one within Abra. In its announcement, the company provides information on how customers can sign up for an American Express card online.

Fees and Limits

American Express Credit Cards Can Now Be Used to Buy Bitcoin in Abra Wallet AppAbra recently updated its fee schedule. The company advertises “no transfer fees. Plus, sending money using your bank account, Abra wallet balance or your Bitcoin wallet is always free.”

However, adding funds via an Amex credit card has a 4% fee. Adding or withdrawing funds via an Abra teller also has a fee starting at 1.5%, that goes directly to the teller. “When you add funds using cash at an Abra Teller, the Teller charges a small service fee. Tellers set their own fees, which are visible within the Abra app, so you always know how much you are going to pay,” the company clarifies.

American Express Credit Cards Can Now Be Used to Buy Bitcoin in Abra Wallet AppAbra has also updated its transaction limits. Amex credit card deposits have a daily limit of $200 and a $1,000 monthly limit. Bank deposits and withdrawals have a $500 daily limit, a $1,000 weekly limit and a $2,000 monthly limit. However, Abra warns that “bank regulations may supersede Abra’s limits: please check with your financial institution.” Meanwhile, bitcoin deposits and withdrawals have no limit.

Eligible cards are consumer cards issued by American Express or third-parties that are licensed to issue American Express-branded cards. American Express reloadable prepaid cards including Bluebird and American Express Serve cards are also eligible.

Abra Tellers Standing by in 170+ Cities Globally

American Express Credit Cards Can Now Be Used to Buy Bitcoin in Abra Wallet AppLaunched in 2015 and available worldwide earlier this year, the Abra smartphone app is a bitcoin wallet that shows the balance in the currency of the user’s choice. In addition to bitcoin, the Abra app currently supports over fifty currencies, the company detailed, adding that “even if your local currency is not supported, you can still use the Abra app for exchanges in any supported currency.”

Only users themselves have access to their own private keys in Abra, even if the wallet’s balance is denominated in a fiat currency such as dollars or yen. Using smart contracts, Abra wallets can send or receive bitcoins to and from other Abra users and the network of human tellers for loading or cashing out in whichever currency the recipient requires.

In April, Abra announced that users in the U.S. and the Philippines could start buying bitcoin via over 60 banks and credit unions in the U.S. In May, the company announced that customers can use Abra Tellers to make cash deposits and withdrawals in over 170 cities and 50 countries worldwide, including over 1,500 Tellers in the Philippines.

American Express Credit Cards Can Now Be Used to Buy Bitcoin in Abra Wallet App

What do you think of Abra integrating with American Express? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Abra, American Express


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Mining Services

Bitcoin.com’s mining services continue to grow exponentially as pool.bitcoin.com commands roughly 3 percent of the Bitcoin network’s global mining power. In addition to the company’s mining capabilities, Bitcoin.com is partnered with the largest U.S.-based bitcoin mining data center allowing the company to leverage mining services like no other business in the industry.        

Bitcoin mining is a very competitive industry as miners worldwide are verifying transactions while securing the network for economic incentives. Bitcoin.com takes mining seriously with its world-class mining pool as well as offering the best cloud mining contracts in the industry. In the last quarter alone Bitcoin.com in partnership with a large confidential North America-based data center has purchased over US$15M worth of Bitcoin mining equipment and have sold more than $8M in cloud mining contracts.

Bitcoin.com's Mining Services Sees Record Growth Last Quarter

Cloud mining is a unique service that allows anyone to earn bitcoins through the mining process without having to purchase specialized hardware or use complicated software. In essence, users purchase the mining power from a data center enabling them to obtain bitcoins. Bitcoin.com started its cloud mining operations back in May and has seen record sellouts ever since.

“Our hashrate demand seems to be growing in lockstep with the Bitcoin price, and it doesn’t show signs of slowing,” explains Bitcoin.com developer Shaun Chong after the first wave of cloud mining contract sales were sold.

Bitcoin.com's Mining Services Sees Record Growth Last Quarter

Bitcoin.com’s CEO Roger Ver is thrilled to see pool.bitcoin.com and the firm’s cloud mining services gain so much interest.

“This clearly shows that Bitcoin.com is one of the most profitable companies in the entire ecosystem today. With our continued efforts we will pave the way for the future mass adoption of Bitcoin via on chain scaling as originally outlined by Satoshi Nakamoto.”

We can see the significant interest for bitcoin mining as specialized hardware and chips are getting harder to obtain because global manufacturers can’t keep up with the demand.

Our partnership with one of the largest data centers in North America has enabled us to purchase millions of dollars worth of mining equipment. This allows Bitcoin.com the ability to offer the best cloud mining services in the industry.

As one of the main security components for bitcoin, the most trusted and tested blockchain worldwide, mining will continue to be a profitable industry. Bitcoin.com’s pool aims to sustain its leadership by offering the very best mining structure to its clients with 110 percent block reward and 0 percent fees. Further, our cloud mining offering includes three contract durations for maximum flexibility: three months, six months, and lifetime (while profitable) plans. Bitcoin.com sells cloud mining to continue growing its hashrate that supports on-chain scaling, and utilizes sales revenue to purchase more mining hardware.

Bitcoin.com is a leader in the digital currency and blockchain industry by leveraging multiple facets of this emerging and innovative technology. The company’s mining pool and cloud services are growing in unison with bitcoin’s natural development as the future of money.

For more information please visit www.bitcoin.com and pool.bitcoin.com.  

Media contact: Mate Tokay

Media contact e-mail: mate@bitcoin.com

Russia Prepares to Legalize ICOs

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Russia is currently working on a regulatory framework to legalize Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), local publications reported on Wednesday. This is in addition to a bill that is being finalized to recognize cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether.

Also read: Russian President Vladimir Putin Discusses Using Ethereum with Vitalik Buterin

Amending Law to Recognize ICOs

Russia Prepares to Legalize ICOsRussian lawmakers are working on amendments to the civil law aimed at legalizing ICOs, according to Vedomosti, one of Russia’s largest newspapers. Discussion of the amendments has already begun by an interdepartmental working group under the State Duma, which has been assessing the risks of cryptocurrency use in the nation.

An associate criminal law professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Elina Sidorenko, heads the working group. “The group includes representatives from the Parliament, including the initiative’s originator Andrei Lugovoi. We also cooperate with other parliamentary committees,” she told Forklog in an interview published on Tuesday. “Aside from that, there are representatives from the central bank and the financial monitoring service.”

The Need to Regulate ICOs

According to Konstantin Vinogradov, Senior Associate at Runa Capital, there were more than 150 ICOs globally in the past year, which totaled more than $500 million.

Sidorenko explained that “legislative gaps exist which do not allow legal settlement of crowdfunding issues and ICO contracts,” according to Russian 360tv which also reported her saying:

The State Duma should undertake the development of legal mechanisms that would allow the verification of such contracts. They should also be designed to identify users and protect the rights of the holders of tokens to fulfill the obligations of issuing companies.

ICOs require investors to use certain cryptocurrencies, typically ether and bitcoin, in order to invest in their projects. The legalization of cryptocurrency in Russia can help large companies and small businesses that need investors, Vesti Finance reported market participants saying. “If the law is to allow the minimum cost of cryptocurrency transactions in Russia, this step will be the springboard for the takeoff of the Russian economy,” the publication wrote.

“Cryptocurrency Bill” Being Finalized

Russia Prepares to Legalize ICOsThe working group has also been working on a bill to provide a legal framework for cryptocurrencies including bitcoin and ether in Russia. “The bill’s text is currently being finalized. When it’s done, it will be submitted to all departments,” Sidorenko told Forklog.

Early this month, Russian politician and the Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights Boris Titov proposed for the country to follow Japan’s lead and legalize bitcoin. Sidorenko echoed this sentiment, telling the publication that “our task now is to give some confidence to the market players and take the Japanese path.” She then described:

The bill will be a framework. Therein, we define the nature of cryptocurrencies and their status, as well as basic principles for the cryptomarket operation. Other provisions will be mostly referential. We don’t try to create an enormous and viscous law that defines all parameters of a new market right away. Creating such a law would just hinder the market.

The topic of cryptocurrencies has frequently been in Russian media recently. In June, President Vladimir Putin met with Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin. “The conversation was held following the President’s meeting with heads of major foreign companies and business associations,” Putin’s official website states, adding that “Mr. Buterin described the opportunities for using the technologies he developed in Russia.”

Do you think Russia will legalize ICOs? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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Kraken Estimates Last Quarter's Trading Volume 10x Previous High

Kraken’s CEO, Jesse Powell, has stated the cryptocurrency exchange’s volume during the second quarter of 2017 comprised 10x more trade than during the company’s preceding all time high. Despite this incredible spike in volume, Powell speculated that the cryptocurrency markets will likely see growth of 10x to 100x in coming years.

Also Read: Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Cryptocurrnecy Exchange Kraken

The Cryptocurrency Exchange Has Hired 150 New Employees in the Last Two Months

Cryptocurrency Exchange Kraken Estimates Last Quarter's Trading Volume 10x Previous High

During a recent interview on Trace Mayer’s Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast, Kraken CEO, Jesse Powell, detailed the enormous growth witnessed by the cryptocurrency exchange during 2017. When compared with the company’s preceding all-time highs, Powell describes last quarter’s growth as having been “immense”, with total trading volume comprising “maybe 10x above the largest previous quarter”.

To cope with the surging demand, Kraken has expanded its personnel – with the cryptocurrency exchange having hired 150 people in the past two months. Despite the growth, Powell is concerned that should the cryptocurrency markets downtrend then layoffs may be necessary – as occurred following the popping of the 2013 bubble, during which the exchange downsized from 35 to 12 employees.

Despite the Record Breaking Trading Volume, 2017 Has Been a Challenging Year for Kraken

Cryptocurrency Exchange Kraken Estimates Last Quarter's Trading Volume 10x Previous High

Powell says that the surging volume has also affected the cryptocurrency exchange’s banking relationships, creating challenges for Kraken’s customers. “[Our banking and payment partners] might be fine with what the usual volume is, but an overnight 10x in wire transfers or KYC requests – because they will often want to do enhanced diligence – and if they have to do 10x what their enhanced diligence is, they might need to hire more people themselves,” stated Powell.

Despite the record breaking trading volume, 2017 has been a challenging year for Kraken. The exchange experienced numerous outages during peak trading periods in recent months, several of which were the consequence of a string of DDoS attacks that targeted cryptocurrency exchanges. Earlier this month, www.bitcoin.com reported that five Kraken customers have launched a class-action lawsuit seeking compensation for liquidations that occurred as the results of an ethereum flash crash on May 7th, claiming that the exchange should have halted trading operations due to DDoS attacks. Kraken has stated that “the DDoS did neither cause nor exacerbate liquidations’, and rejected accusations that it acted unlawfully during ETH’s 70% dip.

Do you think that the recent growth in the cryptocurrency markets is sustainable? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Kraken


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$500,000 per Bitcoin? Public Personas Get Bullish on Bitcoin

Financial strategists, stock analysts, and tech gurus are all bullish on bitcoin. Even amidst concerns about how bitcoin will be upgraded and its recent violent price fluctuations, several public figures believe the cryptocurrency has a bright future. They tend to see bitcoin trending upward as demand for the digital currency accelerates. In this regard, bitcoin will either “cannibalize gold” or cause John McAfee to “eat his own dick on national television.” 

Also read: The Bitcoin Scaling Countdown: Miners Begin Running Segwit2x Software

Tom Lee and the Cannibalization of Gold

On July 7, Fundstrat’s Tom Lee became the $500,000 per Bitcoin? Public Personas Get Bullish on Bitcoinfirst big league Wall Street strategist to analyze bitcoin under a light of optimism. In a report, he claimed bitcoin could reach $55,000 by 2022. He also commented on the gold market, saying that urgency for possessing bitcoin will act as a substitute for gold. A CNBC article covered his enthusiasm:

“We believe one of the drivers [of bitcoin] is crypto-currencies are cannibalizing demand for gold. Based on this premise, we take a stab at establishing valuation framework for bitcoin. Based on our model, we estimate that bitcoin’s value per unit could be $20,000 to $55,000 by 2022.”

He went on to say gold’s market value currently sits at $7.5 trillion, and bitcoin is $41 billion (at the time of writing). However, gold’s supply is swelling due to intensified mining operations, whereas bitcoin’s supply will remain stable as a result of the 21 million cap. This apparently places a huge demand burden on bitcoin, which may cause the price to trend forcefully upward.

Ronnie Moas and Bitcoin’s Limited Supply

Major stock research analyst Ronnie Moas also commented on Bitcoin’s supply cap. Earlier this month, he said, “Since only 21 million bitcoin can ever exist, increasing demand for the digital currency will naturally drive its price up.”

Moas believes bitcoin can reach $5,000 just before the end of the Could BTC Cannibalize Gold? Public Personas Get Bullish on Bitcoinyear. He elaborated in comment to CNBC: “$5,000 could happen in a few months. It’s only starting to gain traction right now. It’s starting to spread like wildfire right now.”

The analyst said he personally put a few hundred dollars into bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies. He plans on investing even more. He mentioned bitcoin is not something he wants to miss out on. “What is more painful than losing money to cryptocurrency is inaction in the ecosystem, Moas said.

John McAfee Vows to “Eat His Dick on National Television”; An Extremely Bullish Ride

Cybersecurity guru and libertarian presidential candidate John McAfee’s thinking follows alongside Moas, except McAfee tweeted to one of his followers today that if his predictions fail to materialize, he will dine on his own penis in front of everyone. McAfee made the comment after saying bitcoin will move above $500,000 within three years.

He said, “Bitcoin’s low of $1,800+ yesterday simply could not be maintained. In the long term Bitcoin moves above $500,000 within three years. Bets?” Shortly after making the comment, one of his followers responded, “So 1btc 500k $ within 3years?” McAfee’s response was memorable:

If not, I will eat my dick on national television.

Needless to say, these public figures and many others are predicting an extremely bullish ride over the next few years for bitcoin. It will be interesting to see how everything pans out, especially when promises of eating one’s own phallus are made publicly in defense of bitcoin’s predicted gains.

Will bitcoin remain bullish well into the future? Will McAfee follow through with his promises if his prediction fails? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock and seekingalpha.com


Bitcoin is cool, and you know everyone wants in – even the ones who say they don’t. Show the world how cutting-edge you are with a bitcoin T-shirt, hoodie, bag, key-ring, even a Trezor hardware wallet. Shipping all over the world, quality merchandise and, of course, a payment system that makes people say “wow”!

Segwit2x

It seems July 17 has initiated the beginning steps towards Segwit2x activation as the code has been released and miners who supported the “New York Agreement” (NYA) have started running the new BTC1 software.

Also read: A Brief Glimpse Into the Lives of Chinese Bitcoin Miners

Miners Begin Running the New Segwit2x Software

As the price of bitcoin dropped to new lows this weekend, some bitcoin proponents were patiently waiting for the promised BTC1 software. Now it seems in a short period of time the bitcoin ‘community’ may see the protocol Segregated Witness (Segwit) activated as the mining community has begun to signal BIP91. The proposal BIP91 is a combination of Segwit2x and BIP148. The version 1.14.4 code has been pushed to the repository by the Segwit2x working group, and a few mining pools have already started running the protocol. The China-based Bitmain technologies announced their support via Twitter by stating;

All of our bitcoin mining pools will start running the new Segwit2x software today  

Other mining pools signaling and mining BIP91 blocks include Bixin, Antpool, BTC.com, Bitfury, and Bitclub so far. Now spectators are waiting for other pools like BTCC, F2pool, Slush, and a few others to join. Back in June Bitcoin.com reported on how a vast majority of the hashrate was signaling their initial support for Segwit2x. Miners running the new BTC1 software and currently signaling BIP91 means that if enough hashrate reaches over 80 percent and continues for a 336 block period, Segwit will “lock in”. If all is successful, this will then lead to another 336 block period that will activate the Segwit protocol on the main chain.

The Bitcoin Scaling Countdown: Miners Begin Running Segwit2x SoftwareMining pools mining BIP91 blocks on July 17, 2017.

Bitcoin Community Sentiment  

It’s still a bit early and hard to gauge the overall sentiment of bitcoiners, but there are definitely a lot of individuals on forums and social media who support the Segwit2x plan. For instance, Fred Wilson, managing partner at Union Square Ventures revealed he favored Segwit2x adoption on July 17 via the investor’s blog.

“I am for the Segwit2x proposal and hope that we see it broadly adopted later this month,” explains Wilson. “There is a chance that doesn’t happen, and a user activated soft fork (UASF) could be used to force Segwit into the market. I personally hope that a user activated soft fork doesn’t happen as it would create a lot of turbulence.”

The Bitcoin Scaling Countdown: Miners Begin Running Segwit2x SoftwareAn explanation of BIP91.

Rootstock Chief Scientist, Sergio Demian Lerner also states his opinion of the Segwit2x compromise revealing he doesn’t believe the intention is to “fire core programmers,” which is one of the conspiracies that has been spread around the community.

“In my humble opinion the New York Agreement wanted to start from Bitcoin Core 0.14 because the group wants core to keep leading Bitcoin,” explains the Rootstock developer and initial creator of the Segwit2x proposal.

It doesn’t try to be the next core — If NYA intention was to dump Core, they would have started from BU or Bitcoin Classic or they would have removed the witness discount

Further Sergio Demian Lerner details that he knows Segwit isn’t perfect but he doesn’t think perfection is obtainable anyway.

“I audited Segwit in 2016. Found problems. Code far from perfect. HOWEVER I DO support Segwit because I don’t believe in perfection,” says the Rootstock engineer. “You have to know the actual code in detail to say you know Segwit. That’s the problem with Segwit. That’s a community fault.”

Many Others Just Want This All to Be Over

The Bitcoin Scaling Countdown: Miners Begin Running Segwit2x SoftwareBIP91 begins to gather support on July 17, 2017.

There are still those who vehemently disagree with the progression of BTC1 and are showing sole support for either UASF or UAHF, vowing never to compromise. However, gauging sentiment via Twitter or Reddit forums is a horrible metric, and the only things that matters now in this debate are the actions from the network’s participants, rather than mere internet chatter.

People are also discussing the next step of the Segwit2x plan after the Segregated Witness protocol is implemented, which is the 2MB hard fork. The hard fork subject is also a contentious topic, and people are wondering if NYA participants will still support the hard fork after Segwit gets implemented. If Segwit2x continues to be agreed upon then exactly 12,960 blocks (~3 months) after Segwit activates  The hard fork will commence.

Now if mining pools continue to do what they agreed upon in regards to the NYA plan and other miners join in then the implementation of Segwit will likely happen soon.

What do you think about Segwit2x? Are you in favor of this compromise? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, XBT.eu, and Bitcoin.com.


Do you want to vote on important Bitcoin issues? Bitcoin.com has acquired Bitcoinocracy, and rebranded the project to Vote.bitcoin.com. Users simply sign a statement with a non-empty Bitcoin address and express their opinions. The project focuses on determining truth backed by monetary value and transparency.

Bitcoin mining has grown into a vast economy over the past few years as large ASIC-powered mining farms process transactions for the $32 billion dollar market. In the early days, people could mine bitcoins using their central processing units (CPU) and they still can, but the undertaking is extremely inefficient. However, a few people still mess around mining bitcoins using older computers and retro devices merely for the fun of it and for experimentation purposes.

Also Read: Investment Funds That Offer Cryptocurrency Exposure See Big Gains

Bitcoin Mining With Classic Computers and Retro Gaming Consoles

Mining Bitcoin Using Old Computers and Retro Gaming ConsolesThe Xerox Alto mining bitcoin.

The bitcoin mining ecosystem is a competitive environment of pools processing transactions while simultaneously securing the network. Miners run special software and use application-specific integrated circuitry (ASIC) to mine bitcoins these days, using chips far more efficient than your standard CPU. Currently, older computers can mine bitcoins at a prolonged rate, but it’s still pretty cool to see if a classic system can perform the task of bitcoin mining.

One bitcoin enthusiast has done just that a few times with older computers. Ken Shirriff is well-known in the bitcoin community for his work on getting the bitcoin symbol added to Unicode. Shirriff also has a popular blog where writes about his projects and how he has mined bitcoins using classic devices from the past. Just recently Shirriff has been working on a Xerox Alto restoration and managed to get the seventies built computer to mine bitcoins at 1.5 hashes/second. The Xerox Alto is a well-known computer classic that was the first device to support a graphical user interface (GUI) in 1973.

“I’ve been restoring a Xerox Alto minicomputer from the 1970s and figured it would be interesting to see if it could mine bitcoins,” explains Shirriff.

I coded up the necessary hash algorithm in BCPL (the old programming language used by the Alto) and found that although the mining algorithm ran, the Alto was so slow that it would take many times the lifetime of the universe to successfully mine bitcoins.

The computer’s 1.5 blocks per second is significantly slower than the chips used today. Shirriff details the Xerox Alto’s speed would take “5000 times the age of the universe” to mine one block. For demonstration purposes, Shirriff used the input of a successfully mined block to see if the algorithm succeeded. Shirriff’s code is available on Github for those who would like to try out Xerox Alto mining.      

An Old IBM Mainframe From the Sixties Would Take Roughly 40,000 Times the Current Age of the Universe to Find a Block

Another project Shirriff worked on back in 2015 was mining with a 55-year-old IBM 1401 mainframe at 80 seconds per hash. This computer was the best-selling computer of the mid-1960s and mainly used for business purposes.

“While modern hardware can compute billions of hashes per second, the 1401 takes 80 seconds to compute a single hash,” details Shirriff. “This illustrates the improvement of computer performance in the past decades, most famously described by Moore’s Law — To summarize, to mine a block at current difficulty, the IBM 1401 would take about 5×10^14 years (about 40,000 times the current age of the universe).”

Mining Bitcoin Using Old Computers and Retro Gaming ConsolesThe card deck Shirriff used to compute SHA-256 hashes on the IBM 1401 mainframe.

Mining Bitcoin With a 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System

Mining Bitcoin Using Old Computers and Retro Gaming ConsolesRetro Miner created a bitcoin miner with a 1985 NES and a Raspberry Pi.

Lastly, another neat project is another incredibly slow miner built in 2013 out of a 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The creator of the NES mining system was joking around with his friend about mining bitcoins with an 8-bit game console. Well, he took that as a challenge and built a Nintendo that communicated with the network and performed SHA256 hashing. For other portions of the project, he did need a Raspberry Pi for computing that did not take place on the NES.

“SHA256 hashing uses many 32-bit operations, and the 6502 in the NES is an 8-bit CPU,” explains the retro miner creator. “Initially I thought this would be a significant challenge, but with some modifications, I got an open implementation of SHA256 to compile to a 6502 target using the cc65 compiler.”

The Raspberry Pi gets a chunk of data, compiles it into a ROM that includes the SHA256 algo and current target data, and sends it to the console via USB CopyNES. Each ROM computes and tests a single hash.

In the end, the NES miner worked and started searching for blocks with Slush’s pool, but the creator said there was plenty of room for build improvements. “What I’m doing now is very slow, and I admit, pretty lame,” explains the retro miner’s blog post. Additionally, bitcoiners have had great discussions concerning mining bitcoin with other gaming consoles like the Playstation 3.

ASIC Producers Don’t Need to Worry About Retro Miners

Obviously, these types of projects won’t be mass adopted to mine excessive amounts of bitcoins like ASICs because it would take many lifetimes to find one block using a retro device. However even though watching an older computer or gaming console mine bitcoins is super slow it’s very interesting to see that these devices are compatible with the Bitcoin network.

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What do you think about people testing old computers and retro gaming devices with the Bitcoin network? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Wiki Commons, and Ken Shirriff’s blog.


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