Research work on extraterrestrial life has been going on for decades. However, the recent crypto craze is hindering this search. According to a radio-astronomer, scientists who are listening out for broadcasts by extraterrestrials are having a hard time finding the computer hardware that they need. The reason for this is simple. Such hardware has largely been dedicated towards cryptocurrency mining.
The rise of the digital currencies cannot be underestimated. After only a few short years, digital currencies like Bitcoin are now worth a lot of money and it’s natural for people to do whatever they can to mine them. But their desire to become owners of cryptocurrency is getting in the way of important extraterrestrial research.
Researchers working at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute say that they are trying to expand operations at two observatories. But they have not been able to get important computer chips that are needed for this process. The researchers say that the chips are actually in short supply.
Dan Werthimer who is part of the research team told BBC that the research team needs the latest GPUs to do their work. But even with lots of efforts, they can’t seem to get what they are looking for.
Demand for GPUs has been on the rise over the last few years. Experts attribute this rise to the cryptocurrency craze. In order to mine digital currency, you need to solve complex mathematical problems. These problems cannot be solved by an ordinary computer. They require a lot of processing power and this explains why the best GPUs are finding applications in cryptocurrency mining. Dr. Werthimer said that this is significantly affecting their research. He added that orders for these chips made over the last month have run into delays due to scarcity of the GPUs.
Mining cryptocurrencies is becoming a profitable business. You can start mining as long as you have the processing power needed, and it seems that a lot of people are starting to see this opportunity. The GPUs, in particular, are expected to be in very high demand. Although most people associate GPUs with gaming, they can also be used in many other areas.
SETI researchers say that they want to listen to many frequency channels, and that it would be great to have access to as many frequency channels as possible. In order to build an infrastructure that allows this, computing power will be needed. There aren’t many chips that can offer this high level of performance and it seems that the ones that are available have already found other uses in the digital currency market.
We don’t know whether there are other industries that have been affected by the short supply of GPUs. However, since these are very important computer chips, it will not take long before other sectors start to feel the pinch. The cryptocurrency craze will, of course, continue. Based on the advancements that we have seen so far, there is no doubt that digital currencies are here to stay.