Recessionary Endgame

June 13, 2022

Read more

QT <Insert Yawn Here>

June 06, 2022

Read more

Worse than 2008?

May 27, 2022

Read more

G7 Communiqué

May 24, 2022

Read more


digital daily: Manchester, Baby

Manchester, Baby: We see clearly standing on the shoulders of past giants. Giants like Tom Kilburn, a computer science pioneer from the University of Manchester. Kilburn wrote the first stored-program computer where instructions in the machine’s memory performed computational tasks, rather than being etched into wires. A distant 75-year-old memory, the computer that executed the first program was nicknamed the “Manchester Baby.” It was proof of concept of “32-bit” architecture – 32 bits of data transmitted at a time. Only this baby was big, clunky, slow…and revolutionary. Like the crypto assets built using Kilburn architectures. Bitcoin miners search for a special number by adjusting the “nonce” in a bitcoin block – a 32-bit field that has more than 4 billion unique possibilities (2^32). Competition is stiff because the reward – bitcoin – has value, not out of academic interest. Miners compute billions of calculations per second by changing the nonce searching for the key to creating a block and earning bitcoin. By now you know that it takes a lot of energy – by design. Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) estimates the bitcoin network demands 16.6 gigawatts of daily power, on par with the world’s second-largest hydroelectric power dam (Itaipu). It’s an educated guess. CoinMetrics unveiled a novel way to improve accuracy. It’s based on “nonce analysis,” patterns created that identify the precise bitcoin mining machine being used. Energy consumption was 16% lower than the CBECI estimate in May – miners are moving to more efficient machines faster than previously thought. It doesn’t change the energy narrative. But it doesn’t have to. It improves visibility to bigger issues like energy sources. After all, it was baby steps that built the Manchester Baby.