Using The Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) It Will Take a Billion Times The Age Of The Universe to Mine a Single Bitcoin (BTC) Block
Ken Sheriff, an expert in early computers, has been restoring the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC), the guidance system used in the 60's by NASA to put a man on the moon.
Sheriff also programed the AGC to process Bitcoin (BTC) code, however, he concluded that the time required to mine a single Bitcoin block using this “high tech” (at some point) hardware will be insanely long.
Although, it will be challenging to code, Ken Sheriff is of the opinion that it is possible to use the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) to mine Bitcoin , however using this system, it will take a billion times the age of the universe to mine a block of Bitcoin at the hashrate of 10.3seconds per hash.
Sheriff, who is an expert in early computers, has in the past restored a computer from air defense system of the Soviet Union as well as other systems from the past.
“Pointless and Anachronistic”
This rebuilding of the Apollo Guidance Computer from the 1960s is the latest of his projects. On the completion of the restoration of the AGC, Sheriff decided to attempt to code the machine to mine BTC (Bitcoin) a task he himself described as both “pointless and anachronistic” he however decided to give it a try.
In a tweet, Sheriff said “The Apollo Guidance Computer navigated to the moon, but can it mine Bitcoin? I tried it on our working AGC; at 10.3 seconds per hash, it would take a billion times the age of the universe to mine a block. Still faster than mining by hand or punch cards.”
The Apollo Guidance Computer navigated to the moon, but can it mine Bitcoin? I tried it on our working AGC; at 10.3 seconds per hash, it would take a billion times the age of the universe to mine a block. Still faster than mining by hand or punch cards.https://t.co/uGXfDYWAHd pic.twitter.com/6bLpOzAhqK
— Ken Shirriff (@kenshirriff) July 8, 2019
Due to the fact that the computers that the Bitcoin (BTC) code was written on are way more advanced than the AGC, Ken Sheriff, a computing historian stated in his blog that, simply getting the AGC to mine the BTC network was riddled with challenges.
Modern ASIC Units Vs The AGC
Ken Sheriff, however, successfully completed the project and wrote the required code for the mining of Bitcoin (BTC), the only remaining challenge is that it would take the AGC a billion times the age of the universe to guess a single hash of a BTC block.
A modern ASIC BTC mining unit makes about 16 trillion guesses every second, now, compare this to the AGC which takes 10.3 seconds to make a single guess at a random hash. Sincerely speaking, a human, guessing hashes is most likely going to give a faster hash rate than the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC).
Cutting Edge Tech of its Time
The AGC mining BTC in this age will be extremely wasteful in terms of power consumption. However, it was the most advanced computing system of its time, being that previous systems were often the size of a room.
This guidance system weighed 70 pounds and was 1 cubic foot in size, it was one of the first ever systems with ICs (Integrated Circuits).