Bitcoin is no more considered as a concept, but it has entered the phase of an alternative financial movement. There’s currently lot of happenings in the cryptocurrency world and the immense growth has resulted with hardware shortage of stock of AMD’s RX 400/500 series cards in many places.
All these may be sounding alien to some of the readers here, but there is nothing to feel bad about it as many who are involved in the movement too don’t know exactly what is Bitcoin, what is cryptocurrency and what is blockchain.
You may have heard about cryptography, which is simply a math, and this format powered the idea of cryptocurrency, which as a word was heard as early as in 1999 through a book of Neal Stephenson titled Cryptonomicon. About a decade later Bitcoin was introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto to a mailing list. A related software went live in January 2009.
The virtual currency was created with the technology of distributed computing competition and it is dubbed as ‘mining,’ which means finding a block of Bitcoins that rewards at least fifty of such coins.
As mining secures entire network of the virtual currency, those who run the software on their computers are rewarded. However, it is important here to know that mining is not easy as it is based on the total speed of the hashrate, name given for the network.
In terms of hacking it is said cyber criminals need to control more than 50 percent of the network to do so and this is the reason it is said more participation means more secure network.
Initially people started mining with CPUs, but later found it difficult to get the speed and so moved to GPUs. This too was unsatisfactory and many crazy miners probably echoed together LetsGoBitcoin and turned towards FPGAs and thereafter towards ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuit), which is currently providing around 100 GH/s per chip speed, something much faster than the CPU or GPU obviously.
The fact is further interesting. A miner can have dozens of such chips, even some hundred in few cases. This mean the hardware is capable of doing the same to 14 TH/s.
The result of all these is well understood and it is the skyrocketing prices of graphics card lately. Before the development of ASICs there was a huge demand for all the Radeon HD 5870 cards. This was way back in mid-2011. By the end of 2013 or in few initial months of 2014 the Hawaii GPUs (R9 290/290X) went out of stock and was only made available in the grey market, far beyond MSRP.The virtual currency market is currently more than $100 billion USD and experts keep the view Bitcoin will stay for some time.