Published On: Thu, Feb 15th, 2018

Crypto Miners Crippling Search for Alien Life

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There are at least 100 billion planets in our galaxy alone, so — statistically speaking — there’s a pretty decent chance we’re not alone in the universe. Unfortunately, radio-astronomers are having a harder time discovering whether or not that’s the case, thanks in no small measure to cryptocurrency mining.
We’re Not Saying It’s Miners, but …
The demand for high-powered hardware by miners of cryptocurrency is crippling radio-astronomers’ search for extraterrestrial life.
According to the BBC, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) researchers are looking to expand their operations but can’t get their hands on the hardware they need. “We’d like to use the latest GPUs [graphics processing units],” explained Dan Werthimer, chief scientist at the Berkeley Seti Research Center, “and we can’t get ’em.”
Without the ability to acquire high-powered GPUs, Werthimer and company are finding their search dramatically stifled. He explained:
That’s limiting our search for extra-terrestrials, to try to answer the question, ‘Are we alone? Is there anybody out there?’ This is a new problem, it’s only happened on orders we& …

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