As early as April 1 of this year, it was reported that Intel was working on a solution that would effectively make big mining firms like Bitmain obsolete. Specifically, they’re reportedly quite close to developing hardware that has the aim of making mining profitable for the individual again. If this did occur, it would mean that an industry profit share of $3-4 billion would be wide open, if only Bitmain’s annual numbers are considered.
This future product is described as a “Bitcoin mining hardware accelerator,” by one source. In theory, it was originally said to be aiming to contain what is called a processor core, together with a hardware accelerator that’s connected to it.
Theoretically, this means that mining’s energy dependence could decrease exponentially, in that the whole process could be done on an individual’s computer that doesn’t run on ASIC chips or any other type of large addition.
The possible problem here was that Intel had placed their bets on the possible success and quick adoption of one chip, which therefore seemed to be highly risky. The thing is, Intel is now reportedly working on the same problem in a different way.
On Monday, a report by Coin Desk stated that last Thursday, the US Patent Office released another Intel patent to the public. This one apparently delineates a way to automatically record as well as verify blocks as they are created on a Blockchain. In essence, what this means is that if Intel’s new technology works, then miners will essentially be obsolete. This theoretical method is also striking in that it is something that hasn’t been achieved in the space yet.
Concretely, it should be made clear that Intel’s patent doesn’t call their proposed technology, a “Blockchain solution.” The language of the patent is such that it is phrased as a solution for all Distributed Ledger Systems. Even so, by definition, this includes Blockchains.
The kicker is that it is already clear that Intel’s solution won’t be a plug and play option. In other words, to use their special automatic block system, each node will have to be programmed by Intel, in some way, to accept the technology. This, of course, brings the question of how widespread a product like this could get with such a dependence on its creator, even after a sale. Even more specifically, how many industry users would need to be “pre-programmed” for a Blockchain to reliably operate as it does today, without miners?
To make matters worse, the patent apparently casts doubt on the viability of all Distributed Ledger systems, citing concerns related to storage space and scaling, as they grow. However, at this time, since an alternative isn’t suggested, one can reasonably assume that Intel’s still moving forwards with their current model.
By: BGN Editorial Staff