The spacecraft used by the US Apollo Plan, which made the world’s first lunar landing, used the Apollo Guidance Computer to automatically control navigation functions and to check and modify flight information by astronauts. Of course, it has surprisingly low specifications compared to modern computers. However, there is someone who has mined bitcoin, a cryptographic asset, which is a high-tech business with such a low-end computer.
The Apollo-guided computer developed by the MIT Institute of Mechanical Engineering in the 1960s played an important role in the Apollo program, but is now considered an antique. Software expert Ken Shirriff succeeded in repairing and relaunching a broken Apollo-guided computer he had obtained. According to him, his Apollo induction computer is the only one in the world to run.
Using such an Apollo-derived computer, he uses a retro computer for bitcoin mining, which can be called a modern work. Bitcoin mining is now a high-tech business using mass computers. The world’s largest mining company buys more silicon semiconductors than Nvidia and even builds a system dedicated to mining Bitcoin.
It is said that it was a little difficult to implement an algorithm for mining bitcoins with a 15-bit computer developed in the 1960s. The algorithm used to mine Bitcoin is SHA-256. By providing the energy necessary to calculate the hash value that makes up the blockchain, the Bitcoin miner gets bitcoin in return. The Apollo guidance system specification takes 10.3 seconds per hash. On the other hand, if you use a USB stick-type bitcoin mining machine, you can calculate 130 billion hashes per second.
It is calculated that it takes 400 zetta seconds for the Apollo-derived computer to mine the first bitcoin. It is said that it takes a billion times the age of the universe to mine Bitcoin. The developer was once a person who challenged bitcoin mining by manual calculation using paper and pencil. According to his calculation speed, 0.67 hashes per day were possible. Even if it is a retro computer, it can be seen that the computational speed of the Apollo-guided computer is beyond the reach of humans.
In addition, it is also mining bitcoin using the IBM 1401, a computer released by IBM in 1959, and at this time, the hash value was calculated using a punch card. It is said that the calculation speed at this time was 80 seconds per hash. The Apollo induction computer can mine bitcoins at eight times the speed of the IBM 1401.
In fact, you can also check the video of Bitcoin mining with the Apollo-induced computer. You will see a number on the display and know if you are doing calculations for mining. Related information can be found here .