Are there any other uses for ASIC hardware besides mining crypto? Also what are the consequences of the hashing power race?

  • 4
    Space heating and noise emission. :p
    – Murch
    May 3, 2017 at 0:55
  • haha, I just can't believe Satoshi didn't have a good reason for implementing it this way. Gotta be some reason...
    – OutFall
    May 8, 2017 at 22:28
  • Satoshi probably did not envision ASICs at all. May 9, 2017 at 1:22

2 Answers 2


ASIC stands for Application Specific Integrated Circuit.

This is hardware that is specifically designed for one use case.

Bitcoin mining ASICs are good at one thing: Bitcoin mining. If they were good at more things, they'd be less efficient and/or more costly than they need to be, and competition would replace them.

  • 1
    But can't you use it to brute force hashed passwords?
    – OutFall
    May 2, 2017 at 18:59
  • 1
    No. It can only hash data that is in the specific structure of Bitcoin block headers. And it's only efficient at searching through various nonces that are in the specific byte position in which they occur in Bitcoin. May 2, 2017 at 19:16
  • @PieterWuille ok makes sense. How hard would it be to modify bitcoin ASICS to use them for password brute force? What I am trying to understand is what is the purpose of bitcoin mining race and where it leads (besides getting bitcoins)? I was thinking maybe the purpose is to bring the hashing power (technology) to the level where no hashed password will ever be safe to use? So that the only thing that is safe to use for financial purposes would be blockchains
    – OutFall
    May 8, 2017 at 22:23
  • 1
    The purpose of the Bitcoin mining race is Proof of Work, nothing else. It makes creation of a chain costly, and thus incentivizes miners to produce a valid chain - as an invalid chain would not pay them anything. The presence of Bitcoin mining ASICs does not in any way make password cracking easier, you need different hardware for that. May 9, 2017 at 1:20

Possibly to break cypher codes.. i often wonder if that's what really going on sopmewhere with the congregation of computing power to create what amounts to mega computers designed to bust thru huge blockchains of data

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