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C64 Bitcoin miner

This is a Bitcoin miner for C64.

It can run in demo mode or communicate with ngbtminer for C64 over serial link (1200 baud, 8N1) to access Bitcoin blockchain.

Screenshots

Note: hashing is 20% faster than in this version, takes 3.6s for each round. see here how it was done

At work

Success

A C64 would need 337 years and 10 months to reach this result

Pros & cons

Pros

  • low memory footprint
  • low power usage
  • doesn't take over GPU
  • dedicated mining equipment

Cons

  • not very fast - 0.2 hash/s (1MHz PAL)

Credits

Coded by Maciej 'YTM/Elysium' Witkowiak using cc65.

Based on stacksmashing's work on Bitcoin mining with Game Boy

FAQ

How to quickly check it out?

Just load and run miner.prg in VICE and press 'd' for demo mode. In about 30 minutes (at 100% emulation speed) you will reach nonce value $0000019d, for which the hashed block value is smaler than the test target.

Don't forget to verify md5 sum of the downloaded file! You wouldn't want your precious C64 computation power to be hijacked by hackers.

How to run the miner from within VICE emulator

VICE's x64 emulator can send/receive RS232 communication over TCP socket. My version of ngbtminer will wait for connections on port 25233.

Setup ngbtminer to connect to your bitcoind (or your mining pool), see original project for more info. Alternatively you can run the test code: python3 test_ngbtminer.py to mine one test block in 5 rounds without bitcoind

  1. Start ngbtminer / test_ngbtminer
  2. Run VICE's x64, load and run miner.prg
  3. Setup Vice:
    • Settings -> RS232 settings -> RS232 settings -> RS232 device 1 -> set to NGBTMINER_IP:25233, for example 192.168.2.54:25233
    • Settings -> RS232 settings -> RS232 user port settings:
      • Enable RS232 userport emulation
      • Userport device - RS232 device 1
      • Userport baud rate - 1200
  4. Continue the miner, press any key

Is this a joke?

No, it really does the same thing that every other miner does:

  1. Receive block data to be hashed (76 bytes)
  2. Append 32-bit nonce at the end
  3. Hash twice with sha256 algorithm
  4. Check if result is smaller than the target value (current blockchain difficulty)
  5. If not, increase nonce and try again

Why is it so slow?

The 6502 CPU in C64 runs at about 1MHz and it doesn't handle 32-bit computations very efficiently.

Just enjoy the experience.

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