Computers really are magical machines. Unfortunately, it’s not until you do some things by hand that you truly appreciate it for yourself. Ken Shirriff can now appreciate computers better than anyone I know. You see, he decided he wanted to mine his own Bitcoins, by hand. Using a paper and pencil. At first glance you’d think that that’s impossible. Well, it’s not, apparently it’s a rather simple process, if you’re a math major. But he outlines the whole process and the calculations needed and everything.
His initial time took just under 17 minutes to mine a single block. To put that into comparision, current dedicated hardware can mine bitcoin blocks a quintillion times faster than that. If that’s not enough, someone on reddit asked him how much energy he expended doing this. He’s 10 quadrillion times less efficient than the above chip. And the cost of this, (just the energy, pencil and paper wasn’t included), was 67 quadrillion times less efficient. Truly this is the wave of the future. I can see hipsters mining this at coffee shops right now.
He even has a video of himself doing it, it’s 8 minutes long: