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I understand that Bitcoin's ASICs are a highly optimized piece of equipment and, therefore, are also very specific.

My question: are they able to do a single (or triple?) SHA-256 hash at all? And, if so, how competitively would they be with versus a GPU?

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A Bitcoin mining ASIC:

  • does not attempt to complete a single hash, rather fragments of two SHA256 compression rounds which is then compared to a target, the result is never returned
  • can not accept arbitrary information that is not in the form of a partial SHA256 compression round

So in terms of competitiveness, a CPU can actually complete a SHA256 hash, a mining ASIC can not, which I suppose puts it ahead in this arbitrary race.

  • Thank, you. However, let's assume I create a (educational) Blockchain that uses single/triple SHA256. Your answers left some doubt in me as to whether the ASICs would have an advantage or not. – Tiago Loriato Simões Feb 18 at 4:18
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    No, you couldn’t do that with modern ASICS. – Anonymous Feb 18 at 4:19

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