When computers are mining now, they're actually trying to break nonsense codes. Can't all that processing power be used to do better things with like gridrepublic etc.?

  • Note that these days, much mining is done by dedicated hardware such as ASICs, which are designed for a single computational task only and are not useful for other work. – Nate Eldredge Nov 22 '13 at 1:22

Yeah it could be it's just not the type of proof of work algorithm that was used. Some crypto-coins have since been implemented that are somewhat useful, such as Primecoin.

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