ASIC, an acronym for Application-Specific Integrated Circuit, is a circuit created for one specific purpose. In crypto, the purpose is typically to mine cryptocurrency.
It is the opposite of general-purpose integrated circuits that have many applications. Among the popular known GPICs include the normal computer RAMs and other microprocessors.
An ASIC miner is a circuit that has one individual purpose, virtual currency mining. Mining in bitcoin and crypto involves performing complex calculations(Hashes). The higher the number of computations solved, the bigger the chance of mining. ASIC mining tools have proven to provide efficiency in mining.
The Rise of ASICs
Historically, Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto wanted normal PCs and laptops to mine the coin. Miners with computers and standard RAMs and CPUs would easily get some coins mined. But, with time, investors realized that using more advanced or high-powered tech gives more computing power.
As such, many miners began using GPU mining systems. GPU mining provided the additional boost required to mine the coins.
Later, miners discovered an even better solution, ASIC mining. Designing a circuit for the sole purpose of mining would give the exact amount of power needed. ASICs have been gaining momentum with multiple networks introducing their own circuits.
Pros and Cons of ASIC Mining
Since the purpose of creation was to provide more computing power, ASICs have brought in more efficiency in Bitcoin mining. They also carry other benefits including;
- They require less maintenance when compared to GPUs.
- They have more power for mining since they are focused on mining alone
- They do not devalue easily. In fact, they increase in value in some instances.
- Their prices may go up or down depending on Bitcoin volatility.
Even though they have many pros, ASIC mining systems also carry a fair share of cons. Among the cons include;
- High power consumers than any other crypto mining systems
- The systems are pretty loud