There are at the very least 100 billion planets in our galaxy alone, so — statistically talking — there’s a fairly first rate probability we’re not alone within the universe. Unfortunately, radio-astronomers are having a tougher time discovering whether or not or not that’s the case, thanks in no small measure to cryptocurrency mining.

We’re Not Saying It’s Miners, however …
The demand for high-powered hardware by miners of cryptocurrency is crippling radio-astronomers’ seek for extraterrestrial life.
According to the BBC, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) researchers want to broaden their operations however can’t get their fingers on the hardware they want. “We’d like to make use of the newest GPUs [graphics processing units],” defined Dan Werthimer, chief scientist on the Berkeley Seti Research Center, “and we will’t get ’em.”
Without the power to amass high-powered GPUs, Werthimer and firm are discovering their search dramatically stifled. He defined:
That’s limiting our seek for extra-terrestrials, to attempt to reply the query, ‘Are we alone? Is there anyone on the market?’ This is a brand new downside, it’s solely occurred on orders we’ve been making an attempt to make within the final couple of months.

Cryptocurrency mining is the method by which transactions on the blockchain are confirmed and added to the general public ledger. Miners obtain rewards within the type of cryptocurrency by fixing advanced computation puzzles and, in doing so, verifying transactions.
Though almost anybody can mine Bitcoin, the method is extremely taxing and dear, requiring high-powered hardware to really flip a revenue. Thus, miners have turned to high-powered GPUs and graphics playing cards historically related to hardcore video gaming, creating worth gouging and shortages.
Like mining, the seek for clever life additionally requires some critical computational energy. Some telescopes make the most of 100 GPUs on their very own. Explained Werthimer to BBC News:
At Seti we need to take a look at as many frequency channels as we presumably can as a result of we don’t know what frequency ET might be broadcasting on and we need to look for many completely different sign sorts – is it AM or FM, what communication are they utilizing? That takes numerous computing energy.

Nvidia — probably the most distinguished GPU producer — is working exhausting to fulfill demand, however supplies have gotten more and more scarce. At the speed miners are shopping for up graphics playing cards, it’s unlikely the seek for clever life will be capable to outbid cryptocurrency fanatics. Says Werthimer:
We’ve received the cash, we’ve contacted the distributors, and so they say, ‘We simply don’t have them.’
Are you a cryptocurrency miner having issues getting your fingers on GPUs? Do you consider we’re not alone within the universe? Let us know within the feedback beneath!

Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock, and Flickr/@Beckie.
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