The bitcoin mining network hit one petahash this weekend.
If you use thegenesisblock mining dashboard to project the future bitcoin difficulty, as many prospective miners do, you get a monthly 80% difficulty increase filled in by default, based on the last several months of steep increase. This predicts the bitcoin difficulty at just under an exahash by the end of 2014. One thousand petahashes.
To celebrate the petahash milestone, I tried to visualize what one petahash of bitcoin mining hardware hashing way would look like.
I wound up with a 30-story office building full of existing gear (asicminer 10 GH blades), consuming 21MW of power. Or, 3 stories and 2.1 MW of power if we are running on the 28nm gen 2 asics that don’t exist yet but are coming soon.
Today I am going to visualize an exahash. I’ll focus on the more more efficient 2.1 MW number for the new gear, as a small concession to sanity.
In this scenario our office building has 28nm asics and is cranking out 10 PH. We need one hundred of our ten petahash office buildings. But these are no usual office buildings. Take a look at the diesel backup generators.
21 MW is a tremendous amount of power.
The Hoover Dam produces 2000 MW, so we could power 100 of our mega-mines if we had exclusive use of the power produced there.
Or 10 747 jets at peak power.
Or 10 nimitz class aircraft carriers at peak power.
(Sorry, that’s actually an Iowa carrier, the picture was cooler.)
You could power all of Las Vegas with 7000 MW, or 3.5 Hoover Dams.
So, our exahash looks like about one third of the Las Vegas skyline.
I don’t think we are going to see an exahash in 2014.