Mining Bitcoin On The Nintendo Game Boy

Mining cryptocurrency is a power intensive business, with big operations hoarding ASIC rigs and high-end GPUs in an endless quest for world domination money. The Bitcoin-mining Game Boy from [stacksmashing] is one of them. (Video, embedded below.)

The hack is relatively straightforward. The Game Boy is hooked up to a PC via a Raspberry Pi Pico and a level shifter to handle the different voltage levels. The Game Boy runs custom software off a flash cart, which runs the SHA hash algorithm on incoming data from the PC and reports results back to the PC which communicates with the Bitcoin network.

[stacksmashing] does a great job of explaining the project, covering everything from the Game Boy’s link port protocol to the finer points of the Bitcoin algorithm in explicit detail. For the technically experienced, everything you need to know to recreate the project is there. While the Game Boy manages just 0.8 hashes per second, trillions of times slower than cutting edge hardware, the project nonetheless is amusing and educational, so take that into consideration before firing off hot takes in the comments below. If you’re really interested in the underlying maths, you can try crunching Bitcoin hashes with pen and paper.

[Thanks to Stephan for the tip!]

22 thoughts on “Mining Bitcoin On The Nintendo Game Boy

        1. This is a joke but a much more sophisticated and wonderful one.
          Japanese culture has a concept of unuseless gadgets, things that do what they’re designed to do but what they’re designed to do is not worthwhile, ironic, or self-defeating. Think boots with attached giant containers so you can fill them with soap and clothes and do your laundry while you walk. This is solidly in that territory.
          I very much hope the hackaday editors saw this and cultivated it lovingly for this moment, when its sheer brilliance will be best appreciated.

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