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Can Your Old Game Boy mine Bitcoin?

A hardware hacker modifies an old school Game Boy to mine Bitcoin.

A YouTube content creator, Stacksmashing, who focuses on reverse engineering gadgets and old-school games just for kicks, just recently made waves with his video where he sets up a Game Boy to mine Bitcoin. But with a little help from a Raspberry Pi Pico and a connection to a computer that runs a Bitcoin node.

A Battery-Powered Bitcoin

In a generation where gamers and crypto miners are engaging in asymmetrical warfare about high-end GPUs and exploring the tactical advantages of eBay botting versus the grey market rigs from Newegg, an entertainer has set out to see if he could use other gaming equipment for mining as well.

The experiment was indeed a success, with Stacksmashing successfully setting up a Bitcoin mining rig to run on four AA batteries, childhood memories and sheer ingenuity.

However, some technical hurdles had to be overcome first – for beginners, Game Boys cannot connect to the Internet. The memory available on a Game Boy is also very small to contain the entire blockchain – that is why the Game Boy has been rigged with a Raspberry Pi Pico for some processing power, which was then linked to a PC with internet access running a Bitcoin mining node.

But before doing the experiment, it is noted that the mining rate of the entire setup only amounted to 0.8 hashes per second. For comparison, a mining rig has an average speed of around 125 billion times that, meaning if things were left to run their course, Stacksmahing’s Game Boy could earn 1 BTC in a few quadrillion years.

To test his setup, Stacksmashing had to set up a new Bitcoin blockchain that contained no existing records. But it is quite exciting to see that the thing really works and beeps along to some animations while working at it.

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