YouTuber Converted Their Old Game Boy to Mine Bitcoin

Be prepared to wait a quadrillion years for just one Bitcoin, though.
Fabienne Lang
Game Boy mining Bitcoinstacksmashing/YouTube

If the words Bitcoin, mining, and Game Boy pique your interest then do you have a nice surprise awaiting you. Modder and YouTuber, StackSmashing, converted his old Game Boy to mine Bitcoin, and he's broken down his every step in a bite-sized YouTube video.

Before you get too excited with dollar signs glinting in your eyes, be warned that you'd need roughly a couple quadrillion years to mine just one Bitcoin, as this Game Boy miner is approximately 125 trillion times slower than modern ASIC miners. Thank you for doing the maths, Tom's Hardware.

Regardless, as StackSmashing said themselves on Twitter, "It's without a doubt the slowest miner I've ever heard of. But you have heard of it." 

How a Game Boy can be repurposed into a Bitcoin miner

As explained in their video, the modder used a standard USB flash card to their compiled ROMs onto the Game Boy. Next up: Internet. As a Game Boy isn't connected to the Internet, and Bitcoin mining requires a connection, a Raspberry Pi Pico was added to the mix. 

Then, a Nintendo Game Link Cable was modified to help communication. As the voltage requirements for the Raspberry Pi Pico and the Nintendo Game Link Cable are different, the modder added a four-channel, bi-directional logic shifter for the voltage translation.

The Pico and the Link Cable connect to a computer that's running a Bitcoin node, and once it's connected, the Game Boy runs the hashing program from a programmable cartridge, explains The Verge.

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And that's it! 

As a Game Boy runs just a smidge slower than current mining machines — 0.8 hashes per second compared with 100 terahashes per second — it's rather unlikely the system will actually mine Bitcoin. 

But heck, it's a funky project with fun prospects and blends old with new in a cool way.