The Exahash Era: SHA-256 Mining is a Significant Achievement in Computer Engineering

The Exahash Era: SHA-256 Mining is a Significant Achievement in Computer Engineering

The cryptocurrency economy is nearing the end of 2018’s fifth month after a spectacular year of bullish prices throughout 2017. The past five months have been incredibly bearish as far as market values are concerned but the processing power of digital assets, particularly SHA-256 cryptocurrencies, continues to increase exponentially. Today SHA-256 miners makeup on of the largest computational networks ever created since the dawn of the internet.

Also read: Prague Subway System Now Has Ten New Bitcoin ATMs

SHA-256 Mining Has Created One of the Largest Computational Systems in the World

There’s always a lot of talk about how valuable cryptocurrencies are today or how much electricity miners use to process blocks across the multitudes of public blockchains. However, there usually isn’t much talk about the powerful computational processing power these networks achieve on a daily basis. Since the inception of the original Bitcoin network back in 2009, and the myriad of other SHA-256 networks leading up to today has led the significant advancement in Exascale computing.

The Exahash Era: SHA-256 Mining is a Significant Achievement in Computer Engineering
The most profitable SHA-256 cryptocurrencies on the market today on May 28, 2018 according to Coinwarz.

Cryptocurrencies with the SHA-256 algorithm are processed by mining computers and at a speed at which miners complete a hash operation (complex math problem) which then, in turn, is called the hashrate. When an individual miner or organized pool has a higher hashrate it increases their chances of finding the next block reward. These rewards and the profitability of cryptocurrencies as a whole has truly led to one of the largest computational networks ever created.

Computer Scientists Expected Computers to Break the ‘Exahash Era’ in 2018 SHA-256 Cryptocurrency Networks Broke the Record Two Years Before the Predicted Date  

Exascale computing refers to a system that can process more than one exaflop per second  which is equal to one billion calculations per second. Back in May of 2013, the BTC network surpassed 1 exaflop, which at the time was six to eight times faster the combined speed of the top 500 supercomputers in the world. Today, the BTC hashrate is over 30-35 exahash per second or over 30 billion gigahashes per second, and the BCH network is 3-5 exahash per second or over 5 billion gigahashes per second.

The Exahash Era: SHA-256 Mining is a Significant Achievement in Computer Engineering
The BTC network hashrate breaks 1 exahash back in January 2016.

Back in 2009 when the IBM Roadrunner supercomputer broke the petaflop (1,015 operations per second) record, computer scientists estimated exascale computing would be realized by 2018. Coincidently the Roadrunner supercomputer surpassed the petaflop the very year Satoshi launched the blockchain network that utilized Nakamoto Consensus. But the BTC network surpassed 1 exahash in 2016 and the BCH network exceeded 1 exahash in late 2017, as both networks have gained incredible amounts of processing power since then. The BCH and BTC networks combined account for more than 2/3rds of all the hashrate among every SHA-256 coin in existence.

The Exahash Era: SHA-256 Mining is a Significant Achievement in Computer Engineering
May 28, 2018, the BTC network’s absolute hashrate in exahashes per second is 35 exahash according to Blockchain.info. 

The World’s Strongest Computational Networks Has No Government or Corporate Backing Just Miners Voluntarily Processing Blocks for an Incentive

The fact that Nakamoto Consensus has taken cryptocurrencies into the age of the exahash era is simply astounding, especially seeing how there is no corporation or government behind these operations. ASIC manufacturers and miners looking for profit have driven this computational processing power to record-breaking levels and it is a  significant achievement in computer engineering.

The Exahash Era: SHA-256 Mining is a Significant Achievement in Computer Engineering
Side by side POW statistics for BCH and BTC on May 28, 2018, according to Fork.lol.

Someday if SHA-256 networks can surpass 500 exahash, then the processing power will see these network(s) enter the zetahash era. The hashrate will likely climb further as 10 and 7 nanometer (nm) chips are installed into new mining rigs later this year. Love them or hate them miners have formed a symbiotic relationship with Nakamoto Consensus pushing forth computational limits into the age of the exahash era. The aforementioned metrics show that even though markets are down over the past few months, a lot of individuals believe in the long-term power of this technology, and these believers are continuing to smash computational records month after month.

What do you think about the processing power of SHA-256 coins that use Nakamoto Consensus like BCH and BTC? Do you think this amount of processing power is a milestone in computer engineering? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Blockchain.info, Coinwarz, and Fork.lol.


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The Results Are In: Dragonmint T1 Doesn’t Make the S9 Obsolete

The Results Are In: Dragonmint T1 Doesn't Make the S9 'Obsolete'

There’s been a lot of skepticism aimed at the company Halong Mining and its machine the Dragonmint T1. The firm announced in November of 2017 that it would be distributing its Dragonmint devices in 2018 and stated its miners would be the most efficient machines on the market. So far, after all the controversy, some Dragonmint miners have been delivered and reviews show the machines do produce close to 16 terrahash per second during operation  but the rigs are not even close to being 30 percent more efficient than the S9 as claim in November.

Also Read: NYDFS Superintendent Was Wrong — Bitlicense Severely Damaged Bitcoin Businesses

Myrig Mining Distributor Claims Samsung 10nm Chips Power Halong Miners

This week cryptocurrency enthusiasts have been talking about the new Dragonmint device, a SHA-256 BTC/BCH miner produced by the firm Halong Mining. On April 10 the mining device distributor Myrig stated on Twitter that the company Samsung and its semiconductor technology is “what powers Halong Mining DragonMint T1.” According to the owner of Myrig, the application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) designed by Samsung is a 10-nanometer (nm) design.

 “Yes Samsung, and Yes 10nm —  I’m sure someone had seen some news in the past about it from big foundry about bitcoin and cryptos,” reveals Myrig’s tweet.

The Results Are In: Dragonmint T1 Doesn't Make the S9 'Obsolete'

Cobra Apologizes

Samsung revealed it was building ASIC technology for cryptocurrencies back in January of this year. News.Bitcoin.com reported on the firm’s foundry producing these ASICs for an “unknown Chinese mining hardware manufacturer.” Reports stated that Samsung was developing both GPU and ASIC semiconductors, and the technology would feature 10-nm chips. On the Halong Mining website, there is no mention of 10nm chips being utilized in any of its mining rigs. At the moment all of Halong’s manufactured batches are completely sold out and the website’s shop page says all of its miners are “unavailable”

The Results Are In: Dragonmint T1 Doesn't Make the S9 'Obsolete'

The news also follows the anonymous co-owner of Bitcoin.org calling Halong Mining a “scam.” However, on Friday, the 13, 2018, Cobra Bitcoin apologized to the Halong Mining company.

“I was completely wrong about Halong Mining,” explains Cobra Bitcoin over Twitter.  

Even though they’re secretive and mysterious company and raised some major red flags, it seems they’ve delivered functional hardware as promised. I’m extremely sorry to them for my attacks and I await my shipment of crow.

As news.Bitcoin.com reported earlier this month, individuals started getting their Halong Mining machines and have been tweeting pictures of some Dragonmint T1s being unboxed. Moreover, there were also pictures of side-by-side comparisons of the Bitmain Technologies-made Antminer S9 chipsets and the T1. At the time there were not many reviews online detailing the machines’ performance. There are a few reviews now online, alongside a video of the machine in action side-by-side with an S9.

The Results Are In: Dragonmint T1 Doesn't Make the S9 'Obsolete'
The Bitmain Technologies manufactured Antminer S9.

Reviews Are In: Dragonmint T1 and Antminer S9 Side-by-Side Comparisons Show the S9 is Not Even Close to Being ‘Obsolete’

The well known ‘Miner Digi’ Youtuber published a video demonstration on the Halong rig on Apr 11, 2018. After being connected to the Myrig 1600 watt PSU the Dragonmint did in fact reach close to 16 TH/s after some attempts to connect with Slush Pool. The video shows over a long period of time the machine consistently clocked between 15.5 to 15.9 TH/s in Miner Digi’s video. The Dragonmint machine in the video was roughly the same size as the Antminer S9 and the device made a distinct sound compared to the S9 as well.

The Results Are In: Dragonmint T1 Doesn't Make the S9 'Obsolete'
The Halong Mining manufactured Dragonmint T1.

Antminer S9s hash anywhere between 13.2 to 14 TH/s which is less than the Dragonmint’s hash performance, but the S9 cost $1,288 per unit as opposed to the first T1 batch price of $1,595 and a minimum of five per order. Eventually, Halong did allow single purchases for the T1 miners, but sold out quick, and the T1s have been “unavailable” ever since. In addition to the 16 TH/s, Halong also claim on its website the devices use (overt) “version-rolling” ASIC Boost technology. The Halong miner is anywhere between 1.5 to 2.5 TH/s faster than the S9 but costs more than $300 more per unit. Moreover, the performance is a stark contrast to being 30 percent more efficient which was a claim stated by bitcoin core developer and Halong Mining associate ‘Btcdrak.’

For instance, another Dragonmint review details the T1’s efficiency is definately a touch higher compared to the S9, “but not by a whole lot.” According to the in-depth review posted April 4, the T1 “ramped up to 14.98 to 15.97 TH/s” but “pulled roughly 1480 to 1497 watts at the wall” The same side-by-side comparison said the “Antminer S9 pulled 1375 [watts] at 14 TH/s.” This means there is a clear wattage discrepancy between both machines and a price difference, which makes performance specs not much different. Even though the T1 is using ASIC Boost and claims to be utilizing Samsung manufactured 10nm hardware, its efficiency is at best minimal. This means calling the Antminer S9 “obsolete” is a pretty absurd statement, to say the least.

What do you think about the Halong Miner Dragonmint series against the Antminer S9? Do you believe the claims that the mining rig utilizes Samsung 10nm technology? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, Halong Mining’s website, Bitmain Technologies, and Twitter.


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Intel: Meltdown, Spectre silicon fixes coming 2018; 3D XPoint RAM, not so much

A 3D XPoint wafer. (credit: Intel)

As part of Intel’s fourth quarter financials release, CEO Brian Krzanich promised that chips shipping this year would include true hardware fixes for the Spectre and Meltdown attacks.

The promise to ship chips immune to the attack leaves many questions unanswered. It’s not clear if the fixes will be revisions of current generation Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake, and Skylake parts, or if the modifications will be constrained to the Cannon Lake processors that are expected to ship this year. Nor is it clear what form the fix will take: better, higher-performance versions of the microcode and workarounds already being rolled out, or deeper modifications to the processor’s speculative execution and branch prediction behavior.

The company’s delayed transition to a 10nm manufacturing process also remains murky. At CES, Intel claimed that it had shipped some unspecified chips built on 10nm last year. The first half of this year will see low volume production, ramping to high volume in the second half. But exactly what processors—in what configurations, when, and in what volumes—remains unknown. Both Cannon Lake, built on the 10nm process, and Ice Lake, built on the refined „10nm+“ process, are planned, but the company has said little concrete about exact timelines.

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