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What is an ASIC?

Short for Application-Specific Integrated Circuit, an ASIC is a dedicated piece of hardware used for – in this context – cryptocurrency mining. ASICs are designed with a singular purpose in mind: to mine a certain cryptocurrency using that currency’s specific algorithm. Each cryptocurrency has its own algorithm through which it enforces its proof-of-work system.

ASICs are attractive because they are singular in purpose. While graphics cards and CPU based mining systems are designed to perform multiple different tasks, an ASIC’s sole purpose is to mine. This focus leads to a powerful machine that generates a very high “hash rate” without using up the resources of a mining rig, making an ASIC much more economical than other mining strategies. ASICs provide:

  • Dedicated hashing power
  • Economic use of power
  • Focused work that can be controlled entirely by the owner
Note: These are non-technical definitions meant for a general audience and should not be used as legal definition
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