Last week, bitcoin finally surpassed its all-time price high, exceeding $23,000 for the first time, seeing year-to-date gains of over 180 percent.
This was largely attributed to growing institutional interest, with established names such as Square, Galaxy Digital and Grayscale Investments all helping to push bitcoin’s scarcity to new heights. Meanwhile, renowned market index providers have made promising announcements, with S&P Dow Jones Indices announcing the launch of crypto indices in the coming year, signalling greater interest within the world of traditional finance. When bolstered by prominent consumer-facing players such as PayPal catalyzing renewed interest in cryptocurrencies, this recognition — in the form of financial legitimacy as well as commercial promise — is extremely valuable in charting the path to bitcoin’s long-term future.
But if we pull back the curtain — looking behind the scenes into the very mechanics that have anchored Bitcoin over the years — success has rested on an ever-growing ecosystem of miners and their trusty hardware. Over the years, Bitcoin mining has fast cemented its position as a lucrative industry, with the global mining industry generating $5.4 billion in revenue in 2019 alone. In a space where success is determined by the delicate balance of cost, performance and efficiency, mining hardware firms have certainly felt the effects of the “innovation crunch” as they look to develop infrastructures that can deliver on the computing needs of the future.
Rewinding back to 2009, where the first peak of innovation took place, let’s take a look at what’s changed and where the industry is headed as the year draws to a close.
In Favor Of Specificity
When Satoshi Nakamoto mined Bitcoin’s genesis block in 2009, mining was arguably a more accessible task. Far from the computationally-intensive image that Bitcoin is associated with today, the earliest days of mining merely…