‘Mining’ bitcoins is a lucrative business if you’re canny and have a lot of money to lay down on hardware. This project on the other hand, is entirely different. It will never be economical mining bitcoins using a NES but who cares? It’s the fun of hacking that counts…
Mining bitcoins is simply just performing a SHA256 hash on a random value from the bitcoin network and relaying the result of that calculation back to the Internet. Of course this requires an Internet to NES bridge; [gbg] brought in a Raspberry Pi for this task. There’s the problem of actually getting data into an NES, though, and that’s something only a USB CopyNES can handle. After doing some 32-bit math, the NES sends this out to the Raspberry Pi and onto the bitcoin network.
When you consider that even a high-end gaming computer has little chance of mining a bitcoin in any reasonable amount of time, there’s little chance RetroMiner will ever be able to mine a bitcoin. It’s all random, though, so while it’s possible, we’ll just appreciate the awesome build for now. [hackaday]
Funnily enough the Raspberry Pi used to connect the NES to the internet is more powerful than the console itself. It’s pretty impressive nonetheless. [retrominer]