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Author Topic: Non-Bitcoin Uses for Old ASIC Miners?  (Read 13939 times)
Geremia
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March 14, 2015, 01:24:59 AM
 #1

Can I use an old ASIC Bitcoin miner for other applications? For example, quickly reindexing the blockchain on my computer? Or quickly hashing every file on my hard-drive?

(I really wonder if the hard-drive could even supply the data to the miner fast enough, and the computer's CPU would probably have to be involved, translating the data for the miner, so that would be a bottleneck…)

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TheRealSteve
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March 14, 2015, 01:34:00 AM
 #2

Nope.  ASIC Bitcoin miners do one thing and one thing only: mine Bitcoin.
( and any other coin that uses the exact same mining parameters, algorithm, etc. )

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March 14, 2015, 01:36:14 AM
 #3

If you had another problem that could formulated into the work structure ASICs are expecting (basically spoofing cgminer output to the hardware's driver with data that isn't bitcoin jobs), sure you could.

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March 14, 2015, 01:48:06 AM
 #4

If you had another problem that could formulated into the work structure ASICs are expecting (basically spoofing cgminer output to the hardware's driver with data that isn't bitcoin jobs), sure you could.

Agreed, but so far I haven't seen any such work.
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March 14, 2015, 02:17:21 AM
 #5

Agreed, but so far I haven't seen any such work.
Due to what the ASICs tend to do (accept data and start nonce, hash away with new nonces, return nonce if the hashed data falls below a specific threshold), and presuming SHA256 is everything it claims to be, it's also unlikely you'd ever see any such work.
They're not generic hashing chips, so any sort of 'quickly hashing every file' is not applicable.  They couldn't even do a single SHA256 hashing of a few bytes, as the hash isn't actually returned.
The output of a SHA256 hashing is supposed to be sufficiently unpredictable that any task you think you could accelerate by exploiting what the ASICs do and working back from there is also not going to fly.

This question has pretty much been asked since before ASICs popped up, and a Google search for 'bitcoin asic other uses'* will readily pop up some suggestions, most of which are invalidated or just unlikely to be practical.
As an example, as one blog post postulates:
The ASIC could aid in password cracking if:
* the hashes are generated with sha256(sha256(x))
* salt + password = 80 bytes
* the hash starts with 4 zero-bytes
Which is a situation that has never existed and, moreover, is now practically guaranteed to not exist (unless purposely done so).

I think some generic discussion posts around here come brrrr-weather time may have the only reasonable answer (beside "no") so far: they're pretty good as heaters.

* That search also returns this same question, over at StackExchange, which elaborates on the question a bit:
(Note: My question differs from "Reusability of ASIC miners" because I am only asking about hashing-specific applications, not whether ASICs can do other mathematical operations.)

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March 14, 2015, 02:33:21 AM
 #6

SHA256 is everything it claims to be
Well, technically, SHA(SHA(•)).

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March 14, 2015, 02:39:04 AM
 #7

SHA256 is everything it claims to be
Well, technically, SHA(SHA(•)).
Sure, but if SHA256 is broken (in such a way that you could exploit it), SHA256(SHA256()) should be equally broken, is what I was getting at Smiley

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March 14, 2015, 02:51:22 AM
 #8

The 4 most valid alternative uses for outdated asic miners depend on the size of the device in question, and they are: Boat anchor, door stop, book end and paper weight.

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March 14, 2015, 05:33:38 AM
 #9

An outdated miner if sufficiently quiet and wifi connectable does have an alternative use as a space heater. Generally unless you need baseload heat you don't want to use a miner for heating if it's going to be an intermittent load since it's a waste of the capital cost of the miner to only run it some of the time. I've actually got a few underclocked S1s behind my couch in the front room, which can get a little drafty. They're not worth running anymore from an economic point of view, but I've turned off the heating element in the electric fireplace in that room and now anytime my wife would have turned on the fireplace, she instead turns on the miners to give the room a bit of extra warmth.

Not really a non-bitcoin use, but it's a non-dedicated mining use.
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March 14, 2015, 01:03:15 PM
 #10

How about mining a SHA-256 altcoin?
See here
http://www.coinwarz.com/cryptocurrency/?sha256hr=1000.00&sha256p=600.00&sha256pc=0.1000&sha256c=true&scrypthr=75000.00&scryptp=1500.00&scryptpc=0.1000&scryptc=false&scryptnhr=875.00&scryptnp=420.00&scryptnpc=0.1000&scryptnc=false&x11hr=13500.00&x11p=600.00&x11pc=0.1000&x11c=false&x13hr=9750.00&x13p=600.00&x13pc=0.1000&x13c=false&keccakhr=1260.00&keccakp=825.00&keccakpc=0.1000&keccakc=false&quarkhr=6300.00&quarkp=825.00&quarkpc=0.1000&quarkc=false&groestlhr=45.00&groestlp=825.00&groestlpc=0.1000&groestlc=false&jhahr=14000.00&jhap=350.00&jhapc=0.1000&jhac=false&blake256hr=6.40&blake256p=450.00&blake256pc=0.1000&blake256c=false&neoscrypthr=400.00&neoscryptp=400.00&neoscryptpc=0.1000&neoscryptc=false&lyra2rehr=3300.00&lyra2rep=825.00&lyra2repc=0.1000&lyra2rec=false&e=hitbtc
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March 14, 2015, 04:56:08 PM
 #11

The 4 most valid alternative uses for outdated asic miners depend on the size of the device in question, and they are: Boat anchor, door stop, book end and paper weight.

Pretty much.

Recycle them.

Don't use them as space heaters.

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March 14, 2015, 06:29:36 PM
 #12

Altcoin mining (technically not bitcoin lol)
Alternately the ONLY reusable part of the miners would bet he controller boards (rasPI and Beagleboards) on various models. 

If you got a PSU that would be about the only truly reusable part. Strip connectors for use in other things or fans and heatsinks. 

In reality IF you had some electronics project you were thinking of you could strip the silicon and possibly reuse it. Of course this is some advanced work you would be doing. Involves working some machine code to reprogram various parts of the boards themselves.

But yea if none of the above applies, IMO the controller boards being the most accessible and usable part of a miner, Bick and -ck comment on usage applies.

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March 14, 2015, 06:35:56 PM
 #13

1001 uses for an old ASIC

Home security. If it has a fixed court attached, you may be able to use it like a flail.

Pest control. If it's a mouse or bigger, you strangle it woh the cord, if its smaller you crush it.

Car warmer. Run it under your engine block in the winter.

Hard boiled egg maker.

Christmas tree ornament.

Cloud mining. Show pictures of it as proof of your operation before you take people's money and run.

Etc.
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March 16, 2015, 04:18:09 AM
 #14

The 4 most valid alternative uses for outdated asic miners depend on the size of the device in question, and they are: Boat anchor, door stop, book end and paper weight.



If you live in a warm hot place you are correct .
But if you live in a cold place.
They are good for space heaters and will always be good for replacing this
 





no miner should own the item above  as long as your miner works and earns any bitcoin at all it is a suitable replacement for this electric space heater.

My home needs one for about 90 days a year So I can always fire up any miner that makes about 700-900 watts of heat rather then fire up the space heater.  I can mine it at your solo pool. ck

 Most likely this is what I will be doing with my avalon's next nov to march spot heating my cold room.

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March 17, 2015, 05:55:50 PM
 #15

When my Antminer C1's get old, I plan to use them to heat the swimming pool water.

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March 18, 2015, 01:36:37 PM
 #16

When my Antminer C1's get old, I plan to use them to heat the swimming pool water.

Now this is a very good idea.  If you get this working post a few photos.

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March 18, 2015, 03:01:29 PM
 #17

They make great shooting targets =)

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March 18, 2015, 03:02:25 PM
 #18

Space heaters, door stops, or target practice is about it. Some of the HashFast units can be parted out and sold off like the Corsair fans and PSU.
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March 18, 2015, 06:46:19 PM
 #19

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March 18, 2015, 07:01:39 PM
 #20

Umm... mining when the price shoots through the roof and the difficulty plummets after the mining reward halves to zero; but would still be profitable for those who stay plugged in. If BTC goes mainstream and there are millions of transactions a day, you'll see fees per block being $100+. Honestly, I still have a BFL 50 GH/s unit in a box for the future.
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March 18, 2015, 10:42:41 PM
 #21

Umm... mining when the price shoots through the roof and the difficulty plummets after the mining reward halves to zero; but would still be profitable for those who stay plugged in. If BTC goes mainstream and there are millions of transactions a day, you'll see fees per block being $100+. Honestly, I still have a BFL 50 GH/s unit in a box for the future.

Price is never gonna go through the roof, sorry to burst ur bubble. Its never going mainstream. Its not trustless like claimed.

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March 20, 2015, 04:52:59 PM
 #22

When my Antminer C1's get old, I plan to use them to heat the swimming pool water.

Now this is a very good idea.  If you get this working post a few photos.

Need a sacrifice anode.... the chlorine water will be bad for your gear...

I am poor, but i do work for Coin Smiley
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April 17, 2015, 08:50:18 AM
 #23

Have you folks ever seen a "Take a whack at a car" for like $1. You get a baseball bat and each swing at the car costs you a $1 (or whatever). Kind of an aggression therapy deal. I'll bet there are some specific miners that could be useful. Some of the gear is pretty sturdy, and you could always charge more than $1 a swing. For example, a BFL Monarch looks pretty fragile, and wouldn't survive many whacks, but I'll bet some of the KNC gear could take a real beating. I'll also bet a BFL Single would survive a while.

You'd have to organize your own local event, since I don't see a good way to organize this over the Internet.

I'll also bet that you could charge more depending on the manufacturer. I think you could get top dollar for BFL gear in general.  Smiley
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April 17, 2015, 12:52:09 PM
 #24

Some of them could make neat decoration.  If you put up blades in your mining area, or unique parts.

Would be fun to have all the old parts on the wall.  And if you can get leds to light up on blades and such would be even neater.
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April 18, 2015, 10:09:15 PM
 #25

Can I use an old ASIC Bitcoin miner for other applications? For example, quickly reindexing the blockchain on my computer? Or quickly hashing every file on my hard-drive?

(I really wonder if the hard-drive could even supply the data to the miner fast enough, and the computer's CPU would probably have to be involved, translating the data for the miner, so that would be a bottleneck…)

I live in Canada... my miners heat up my entire office in colder months (until May or June)
During the summer, not much else than mine and dry out my office & garage.
I also used it to dry wood and other things, they make great dehumidifiers.
As a matter of fact, they do not remove the moisture, but dry the crap out of it.
Anything that needs heat and/or drying, Bitcoin miners excel at.

Hope this helps...

-I'd rather be mining
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May 02, 2015, 03:13:33 PM
 #26

Nope.  ASIC Bitcoin miners do one thing and one thing only: mine Bitcoin.
( and any other coin that uses the exact same mining parameters, algorithm, etc. )

Actually, and speaking from experience,
old asic miners are excellent heaters,
however, they consume a lot of electricity,
so, it's up to you if you think it's worth it  Wink

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May 08, 2015, 08:44:14 PM
 #27

Well, every kind of electric generated heat, uses a lot of energy... If you have electric heater that uses 1 KW, you could use 1KW of miners and get same heat generated, but with some bitcoin and noise as side product Cheesy


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May 09, 2015, 05:31:11 AM
 #28

Well, every kind of electric generated heat, uses a lot of energy... If you have electric heater that uses 1 KW, you could use 1KW of miners and get same heat generated
1 kW miners produce the same amount of heat as a 1 kW space heater?

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May 09, 2015, 08:19:12 AM
 #29

1 kW miners produce the same amount of heat as a 1 kW space heater?

ahh depends on efficiency of chip and something will be consumed by fans but generally yes, if you had 1kW input to some computer, you had 90% of it as "waste heat"

anyway, difference is, that space heater is silent...ahh but not generating btc:)
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May 09, 2015, 08:33:04 AM
 #30


I have 2 knc titan miners 650.1mh for scrypt....the only thing I can tell you for sure is I knocked 35 bucks even off my budget each month last
winter (Minnesota) from the previous years heating bill

but at 12c kwh elec price at 2500w you still lose as a space heater (but hey you need a space heater for the ice fishing shed or the garage this is the way to go)

I can hear it now...'no honey I'm not in the garage to avoid you ..and no I'm not wasting money on using electric heat...see I'm running the old asic miner for coin!"

(like that would work)


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May 09, 2015, 08:40:25 AM
 #31


I have 2 knc titan miners 650.1mh for scrypt....the only thing I can tell you for sure is I knocked 35 bucks even off my budget each month last
winter (Minnesota) from the previous years heating bill

but at 12c kwh elec price at 2500w you still lose as a space heater (but hey you need a space heater for the ice fishing shed or the garage this is the way to go)

I can hear it now...'no honey I'm not in the garage to avoid you ..and no I'm not wasting money on using electric heat...see I'm running the old asic miner for coin!"

(like that would work)



If you have pictures of heating a ice fishing shead with an asic please share Smiley.  I think that would be a great picture with poles and tackle around, ice, then a asic warming it up.
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May 09, 2015, 08:54:22 AM
 #32


I have 2 knc titan miners 650.1mh for scrypt....the only thing I can tell you for sure is I knocked 35 bucks even off my budget each month last
winter (Minnesota) from the previous years heating bill

but at 12c kwh elec price at 2500w you still lose as a space heater (but hey you need a space heater for the ice fishing shed or the garage this is the way to go)

I can hear it now...'no honey I'm not in the garage to avoid you ..and no I'm not wasting money on using electric heat...see I'm running the old asic miner for coin!"

(like that would work)



If you have pictures of heating a ice fishing shead with an asic please share Smiley.  I think that would be a great picture with poles and tackle around, ice, then a asic warming it up.


not quite at that point yet maybe next year thou..a well insulated ice shack I'm pretty sure you'd be golden! Wink





I envy folk with a 'cough' house/shed near a 'free wi fi' starbucks...indeed Smiley





my setup below all the pics

http://lostgonzo.imgur.com/


the knc jupiter 567gh on the bottom shelf is a doorstop now...but yeah it would probably heat an ice fishing shack ..you need a hot spot connection on your cell phone to get
on the Internet but some of those shacks are pretty cushy with the generators and all....so yeah it would work as well as a regular space heater I'd imagine... Smiley

edited: 11/25/15 due to ice shack pic dropping off and added comment.




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ThePhwner
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something something Bitcoin


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May 15, 2015, 05:56:19 PM
 #33

Using S1s last winter and S3s this winter helped offset the heating bills, although I preferred the WiFi ability of the S1 to having CAT6 and switches run across the main floor of the house... We also hung clotheslines in the miner room to offset using the dryer. Not exactly innovative uses for old ASICs but we've offset some of the power use a bit.

Hand-carved Bitcoin stamps for sale: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1247131
2 for $25 including shipping
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May 17, 2015, 04:58:59 AM
 #34

1. create a new crypto currency based on bitcoin and mine it...
2. replicate the blockchain network state on a previous moment of time and play mining on it
3. by using any of the above play the 51% attack on your own setup
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August 30, 2015, 04:56:01 PM
 #35

this is working?

 *Link Removed*  *Link Removed*
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November 19, 2015, 05:22:59 PM
 #36

I have a budget in the hundreds of thousands to spend on outdated bitcoin mining hardware, please spread this message about; I need 2 Mega Watts of equipment!

This is a great opportunity to shift a huge quantity of equipment that has outlived it's useful life and which is now too inefficient to mine. To clarify 2 Mega Watts is 2,000 kW which is 2,000,000 watts. It's the power draw that we are interested in not the hash rate. The hash rate is just an added bonus.

Ideally looking for all rack mountable miners but this is not critical. Ideally need power supply's and controllers included, if these can be provided we are happy to negotiate a higher price. I understand that this is a very large quantity of miners, please only get in touch if you have a significant proportion of the whole quantity, let's say 500kW or more.
BTCish
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November 19, 2015, 05:32:14 PM
 #37

I have a budget in the hundreds of thousands to spend on outdated bitcoin mining hardware, please spread this message about; I need 2 Mega Watts of equipment!

This is a great opportunity to shift a huge quantity of equipment that has outlived it's useful life and which is now too inefficient to mine. To clarify 2 Mega Watts is 2,000 kW which is 2,000,000 watts. It's the power draw that we are interested in not the hash rate. The hash rate is just an added bonus.

Ideally looking for all rack mountable miners but this is not critical. Ideally need power supply's and controllers included, if these can be provided we are happy to negotiate a higher price. I understand that this is a very large quantity of miners, please only get in touch if you have a significant proportion of the whole quantity, let's say 500kW or more.

So you would like to use it for heating something ? maybe another purpose of miners ? Share with us what would you do with them ?
I am interested in buying more miners too, just for fun, not in that quantity  though.

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November 19, 2015, 07:52:01 PM
 #38

1. create a new crypto currency based on bitcoin and mine it...

How difficult to do is that really ? Compared to say developing a small app ?

(Not planning to do it, just want to know out of interest)
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November 24, 2015, 03:58:35 PM
 #39

As per my experience due to what the ASICs tend to do and presuming SHA256 is everything it claims to be.
Actually they are not generic hashing chips and any sort of quickly hashing every file is not applicable.
They couldn't even do a single SHA256 hashing of a few bytes, as the hash isn't actually returned.
The output of a SHA256 hashing is supposed to be sufficiently unpredictable that any task you think you could accelerate by exploiting what the ASICs do and working back from there is also not going to fly.

hesdeadjim
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October 30, 2016, 12:39:30 PM
 #40

sorry for bumping such an old topic but i read posts on a few different forums that suggested that these asic miners could be used for mining any sha256 coin, of which there are many.

does anyone have any experience with this?

thanks.

Smiley

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leowonderful
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October 30, 2016, 04:56:03 PM
 #41

sorry for bumping such an old topic but i read posts on a few different forums that suggested that these asic miners could be used for mining any sha256 coin, of which there are many.

does anyone have any experience with this?

thanks.

Smiley
Yes, it's possible as they were designed to be SHA256 miners after all. Just point the miner to the sha256 pool of your choice and it will mine for you there. Don't expect massive improvements, though- Bitcoin is usually the most profitable sha256 coin to mine, although Peercoin is sometimes more profitable.














 

 

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Dank14
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October 31, 2016, 11:58:58 AM
 #42

I believe that soon enough we will have more SHA 256 altcoins out there in the market that will also be profitable to mine.

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October 12, 2017, 09:16:34 PM
 #43

With an old miner, you may not be able to make money, but you can still help cryptographers finding a special kind of collision on SHA-256 : http://cristal.univ-lille.fr/3sum-pool.
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October 13, 2017, 04:50:25 PM
 #44

There are indeed many SHA256-based coins out there, you can use your miner to mine these with no problems. However in most cases mining will be unprofitable, since their value is too low.

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Maren
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October 15, 2017, 09:26:40 AM
 #45

Been trying to figure out a great way to use the heat from mining for a long time. Current winners are: fruit dryer, algae farming and sauna

bomberb17
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October 15, 2017, 06:34:36 PM
 #46

Using an old ASIC for heating is an obvious way to earn something from obsolete hardware. Even the oldest ASIC is more efficient that an electric space heater. An unwanted byproduct of course is noise.

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