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Bitcoin Essentials by Albert Szmigielski

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Chapter 5. ASIC Mining

In this chapter, we will take a look at mining with Application Specific Integrated Circuits or ASICs. They are microprocessors built for a single purpose. In the case of Bitcoin mining, they are built to perform the SHA-256 hash function that is used in Bitcoin. ASICs have a clear advantage over other mining hardware, as they are the fastest hashing machines (save for the still-theoretical quantum computer) designed specifically for the repeated hashing of candidate blocks.

ASICs can mine much faster than CPUs, GPUs, and FPGAs and are therefore more desirable to a potential miner. Furthermore, improvements in ASIC technology mean that even faster machines have been hitting the market in the last two years. However, the trend ...

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