Crypto user modifies old school Game Boy for Bitcoin mining

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An IT security researcher has been able to adapt Nintendo’s first major handheld game console to mine cryptocurrency.

According to a recent YouTube video, user Stacksmashing used the hardware from a Nintendo Game Boy first released in 1989 as a starting point to mine Bitcoin (BTC). Because the gaming console has no built-in wireless capabilities — and largely predates the internet — the YouTuber said he used a Raspberry Pi microcontroller board attached to the Game Boy’s link port and a USB flash card to establish a connection to a BTC node run from his computer.

Screenshot from YouTube

“My goal was to use an original, unmodified Game Boy,” said Stacksmashing. “I want to plug in a cartridge, and start mining.”

Stacksmashing wrote his own mining code for the Game Boy’s read-only memory, integrated mining software — modified for the gaming console — and ran a BTC node on his computer. The result was nonces getting incremented on the console’s green screen, showing the rig was attempting to mine crypto.

“The hash rate is pretty impressive, roughly 0.8 hashes per second,” said Stacksmashing, explaining: 

“If you compare that to a modern ASIC miner, which comes in at around 100 Terahashes per second, you can see that we are almost as fast, only off by a factor of roughly 125 trillion. At this rate, it should only take us a couple of quadrillion years to mine a Bitcoin.”

Screenshot from YouTube

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