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Author Topic: 2013-05-23 CNN: Bitcoin more powerful than fastest supercomputers  (Read 3758 times)
Kikkerdril
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May 23, 2013, 11:44:47 AM
 #1

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The power of all the computers networked together to maintain the digital currency's system far exceeds the combined processing strength of the top 500 most powerful supercomputers.

Easily. The matchup isn't even close.

http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/23/technology/enterprise/bitcoin-supercomputers/
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May 23, 2013, 12:37:13 PM
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That's stunning for an "economy" that sprang into being just four years ago, when an inventor using the pseudonym "Satoshi Nakamoto"

Better term at least.
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May 23, 2013, 01:41:22 PM
 #3

over 8 times the combined processing power of the Top 500. Amazing.

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May 23, 2013, 01:49:12 PM
 #4

It's Andresen, not Andersen... but on the whole, nice little article, no?

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May 23, 2013, 01:55:17 PM
 #5

It is totally nonsense, because you cannot compare a bitcoin ASIC with a supercomputer but sssshht, don't tell them, saying "omg bitcoin is moar powerful than supercomputers" is cool  Cheesy

Fact: bitcoin computing power equals to exactly 0 FLOPS
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May 23, 2013, 02:11:44 PM
 #6

It is totally nonsense, because you cannot compare a bitcoin ASIC with a supercomputer but sssshht, don't tell them, saying "omg bitcoin is moar powerful than supercomputers" is cool  Cheesy

Fact: bitcoin computing power equals to exactly 0 FLOPS

True, it does only one thing, but it does it well  Grin

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May 23, 2013, 02:13:58 PM
 #7

Fact: bitcoin computing power equals to exactly 0 FLOPS
That's not true.

The hardware using for Bitcoin computing is currently not performing any floating point calculations. The amount of floating point calculations that hardware could perform is a number larger than 0 FLOPS.

Since a supercomputer isn't kicked out of the Top 500 just because it's currently being used for integer calculations instead of floating point calculations it's not accurate to ignore the underlying floating point capabilities of some Bitcoin mining hardware just because it's doing integer math.
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May 23, 2013, 02:19:52 PM
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It is totally nonsense, because you cannot compare a bitcoin ASIC with a supercomputer but sssshht, don't tell them, saying "omg bitcoin is moar powerful than supercomputers" is cool  Cheesy
It's not totally nonsense, as it's a perfectly valid comparison if you're talking about the risk of a 51% attack posed by an entity with access to a bunch of supercomputers (spoiler alert: none at all Grin).

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May 23, 2013, 02:27:00 PM
 #9

What about four years from now. Will bitcoin be the first currency to artificially think?
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May 23, 2013, 03:09:42 PM
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What about four years from now. Will bitcoin be the first currency to artificially think?

'The Bitcoin Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line August 4th, 2017. Human decisions are removed from currency control. The bitcoin network begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.'

 Grin

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May 23, 2013, 03:20:34 PM
 #11

Fact: bitcoin computing power equals to exactly 0 FLOPS
That's not true.

The hardware using for Bitcoin computing is currently not performing any floating point calculations. The amount of floating point calculations that hardware could perform is a number larger than 0 FLOPS.

Since a supercomputer isn't kicked out of the Top 500 just because it's currently being used for integer calculations instead of floating point calculations it's not accurate to ignore the underlying floating point capabilities of some Bitcoin mining hardware just because it's doing integer math.

These comparisons between supercomputers and the bitcoin network don't make sense. It's like saying Kobe Bryant is better at sports than 99% of all professional athletes. It doesn't mean anything until you compare a specific sporting activity, because there's a big difference between his ability in basketball and say, tennis.
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May 23, 2013, 03:22:27 PM
 #12

Fact: bitcoin computing power equals to exactly 0 FLOPS
That's not true.

The hardware using for Bitcoin computing is currently not performing any floating point calculations. The amount of floating point calculations that hardware could perform is a number larger than 0 FLOPS.

Since a supercomputer isn't kicked out of the Top 500 just because it's currently being used for integer calculations instead of floating point calculations it's not accurate to ignore the underlying floating point capabilities of some Bitcoin mining hardware just because it's doing integer math.
Bitcoin mining ASICs can perform exactly 0 FLOPS as far as i know.

This comparison is pointless, you cannot compare a dedicated ASIC to supercomputers, how in the hell is bitcoin more powerful when it can only do mining tasks? Supercomputers can do thousands of thing, they are more powerful than bitcoin ASICs. Sure, not at mining, but at everything else.
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May 23, 2013, 03:30:53 PM
 #13

The comparison is not completely useless, because it is possible to estimate the hashrate the supercomputers could sustain and compare that to the current bitcoin network. Then it is comparing apples to apples.  The comparison done is going the other way, trying to estimate the FLOPS rat of the bitcoin network's hashrate.

I think the comparison is interesting in that it gives us a good idea of how much impact th eexisting supercomputers could affect the bitcoin network if they were reprogrammed to mine bitcoin efficiently.  The fact that even with all 500 top super computers turned on bitcoin, they could capture about 10% of the hashrate is rather interesting and somewhat comforting that we are beyond the possibility of a 51% attact by these supercomputers. If somebody was to try a 51% attack, they would have to build the system from scratch and not just repurpose an existing system.

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May 23, 2013, 03:33:10 PM
 #14

What a waste of energy.

It's a shame this computing power hasn't but put to something useful, like Folding@home or Rosetta@home.

"It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it." -George Washington
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May 23, 2013, 04:03:26 PM
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there's a lot of really stupid people commenting on the article. o well, i guess they will be laughing at themselves at how dumb they are pretty soon

ok
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May 23, 2013, 04:04:18 PM
 #16

What a waste of energy.

It's a shame this computing power hasn't but put to something useful, like Folding@home or Rosetta@home.

Someone should develop a coin where the hash power goes toward something usefull (ike Folding@home or Rosetta@home) and then give credit in coins.
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May 23, 2013, 04:04:25 PM
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What a waste of energy.

It's a shame this computing power hasn't but put to something useful, like Folding@home or Rosetta@home.

yes, i would also come to the conclusion that a government wastes a lot of energy, human energy and actual energy. what is your point? f- off

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May 23, 2013, 04:18:27 PM
 #18

What a waste of energy.

It's a shame this computing power hasn't but put to something useful, like Folding@home or Rosetta@home.

Someone should develop a coin where the hash power goes toward something usefull (ike Folding@home or Rosetta@home) and then give credit in coins.

This is a good idea.

"It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it." -George Washington
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May 23, 2013, 04:39:49 PM
 #19

What a waste of energy.

It's a shame this computing power hasn't but put to something useful, like Folding@home or Rosetta@home.

Someone should develop a coin where the hash power goes toward something usefull (ike Folding@home or Rosetta@home) and then give credit in coins.

FWIW, my mining 'puters also run BOINC, mainly WCG, 24/7. The apps seem to coexist painlessly as long as I don't let BOINC use the graphics cards.

Every morning I get to check whether I've found a block or cured cancer during the night.     Smiley

It would be great if this were all within a single coin app.
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May 24, 2013, 12:33:10 AM
 #20

What a waste of energy.

It's a shame this computing power hasn't but put to something useful, like Folding@home or Rosetta@home.

The only "waste" here is your lack of understanding.

The hashing power secures the network and helps verify transactions. I'd say that isn't a "waste". Its like complaining about your car wasting energy while idling at a stoplight. Its powering the internal instruments and charging the battery, circulating coolant, etc..

fortitudinem multis - catenum regit omnia
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