Intel introduces ‘blockchain accelerator’ to bolster industry sustainability efforts

Intel has established a blockchain accelerator scheme to contribute towards the development of more sustainable blockchains and mining operations.

Shipping later this year, the blockchain accelerator will focus on energy efficiency and the “responsible and sustainable” advancement of blockchain via the development of a product capable of handling high-demand, energy-intensive operations.

According to Intel, the new product will offer “1000x better performance” than mainstream GPUs – which are today most commonly used for SHA-256 based mining – and will be implemented on a “tiny piece of silicon” to greater offset its energy output compared to other products on the market.

Intel also announced its first cohort of customers – BLOCK, which was formerly known as Square, and is now led by ex-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Argo Blockchain and GRIID Infrastructure. It’s also possible that Intel has more suitors in the pipeline ahead of the launch.

Expanding on its motivation behind the accelerator, Intel said that its mammoth customer base was asking for more “scalable and sustainable” solutions in the blockchain space. To fulfil the demand, Intel is now focusing its efforts on realizing the “full potential of blockchain” via the development of more energy-efficient technologies.

It also noted the pitfalls of the Bitcoin mining industry, which have been “plagued by hardware shortages and excessive pricing” in previous years according to the tech giant. The Bitcoin mining space has faced fierce competition from regulators amid concerns over energy consumption and environmental fears.

Countries like the US, El Salvador and Kazakhstan have since emerged as safe havens for miners following an exodus from China in late 2021 due to a ban on all mining operations in the country.

To help quell the fears faced by miners under the spotlight of regulation and oversight, Intel formed the ‘Custom Compute Group’ to develop further silicon-based products optimised for energy-intensive industries like Bitcoin mining that are looking to reduce their energy consumption.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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