Monday, April 26th 2021

Commodore 64 Modded To Mine Bitcoin

We saw the modified Nintendo Game Boy last month which could crank out Bitcoins at a blistering 0.8 hashes per second or ~125 trillion times slower than a modern Bitcoin ASIC miner. If you are searching for something a bit more modest than the Game Boy take a look at the Commodore 64 which has been modded to achieve a Bitcoin mining rate of 0.3 hashes per second. The Commodore 64 was released by IBM in 1982 featuring the MOS Technology 6510 processor clocked at 1.023 MHz and paired with 64 KB RAM and 20 KB ROM.

While the Commodore currently falls behind the Game Boy there is hope on the horizon with the creator of the program claiming a 10x performance improvement to over 3 hashes per second is possible by re-writing the code in machine language. The commodore 64 can be further upgraded with the SuperCPU upgrade which boosts mining speeds to over 60 hashes per second completely destroying the Game Boy but still falling just short of the latest ASIC miners at ~18,000,000,000,000 hashes per second. Obviously, this demonstration was not meant as a practical application but it is interesting to see how cryptocurrency mining can be implemented on older hardware and the amazing rate of technological advancement we have seen over the last 40 years.
Demonstration Video

Sources: 8-Bit Show And Tell, C64 Bitcoin miner
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50 Comments on Commodore 64 Modded To Mine Bitcoin

#3
sepheronx
Are you keeping up with the commodore?

Cause the Commodore is keeping up with you!
Posted on Reply
#4
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
That’s cute. It’s great to see how something that couldn’t possibly have been envisaged back in the 80s when it was designed can be implemented on it.
Posted on Reply
#5
Vayra86
'completely destroying the Game Boy'

Bonus points earned @Uskompuf
Posted on Reply
#7
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
BorisDGPathetic.
It’s an enthusiast hobby project, so how is it pathetic?
Posted on Reply
#8
Muser99
"The Commodore 64 was released by IBM"
Are you sure about that?
Posted on Reply
#9
RealKGB
@Uskompuf The Commodore 64 was not released by IBM...
Perhaps fix it to say that the C64 was released by Commodore?
Posted on Reply
#10
Metroid
This is to show how stupid people can be in order to hype bitcoin.
Posted on Reply
#11
64K
The Commodore 64 was released by Commodore International. It was the first computer I owned back in the mid 80s. It wasn't an IBM compatible though.

I taught myself BASIC and Machine Language on the C64 and I can tell you that the C64 was capable of being 100s of times faster in Machine Language than the default built in BASIC.

Even though I've owned PCs that are millions of times faster since then the C64 will always hold a special place in my heart for being the most fun to tinker around with. It was my first experience online over dial up on Bulliten Board Systems.

For mining it is pitiful though as should be expected. It was just done as a novelty.
Posted on Reply
#12
lemonadesoda
I grew up on 6502. So I just went to the github library to go view "new" assembly code for an old Western Digital 65xx CPU, to see how they handled the arithmetic. (6502 is an 8bit CPU and dealing with SHA256 is non trivial). What a disappointment! The miner program was written in C and used some compiler. So really this is nothing than a port to C64 using a compiler that did the heavy lifting.

1. Disappointed. Long live 6502!
2. Program would execute much faster if written native

@64K - now I know why you chose your username!

There was something very nice about 8bit and 64K memory. There was an upper bound - a perimeter - or a short rope - as to how far you could go - what you could actually program within the constraints of the processor and the memory map. Everything was within reach - including disassembling the code to work out what it was doing. I remember buying a book of BBC Basic which had been disassembled and the code explained. Fantastic learning tool.
Posted on Reply
#13
64K
lemonadesoda@64K - now I know why you chose your username!
Yep. That's where my username came from. The C64 had 64 Kilobytes of RAM but people just shortened it to 64K like later on they shortened Megabytes to Megs.
Posted on Reply
#14
1d10t
I'm faintly remember playing Jumpman here, imagine if I'm mining back then.
Posted on Reply
#15
lexluthermiester
UskompufThe Commodore 64 was released by IBM
What?!? The C64 never had ANYTHING to do with IBM. It was released by the company "Commodore International". It used MOS Technologies IC components. Not one part of the VIC20, Commodore64 or Amiga lines of computers ever had anything to do with IBM..

You need to fix that...
Posted on Reply
#16
BorisDG
qubitIt’s an enthusiast hobby project, so how is it pathetic?
Because this turned into a meme and it's pretty annoying. Tomorrow's news will be how Samsung fridge turned into bitcoin miner.
Posted on Reply
#17
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
BorisDGBecause this turned into a meme and it's pretty annoying. Tomorrow's news will be how Samsung fridge turned into bitcoin miner.
ok so it’s the meme that bugs you lol.
That’s a matter of preference, I guess.
Posted on Reply
#19
Atnevon
MetroidThis is to show how stupid people can be in order to hype bitcoin.
Let em! The fun will die off if its no longer exclusive and Grandma can get in with her eMachines!

THEN we'll have 3080s available for the gaming masses.
Posted on Reply
#20
efikkan
Someone needs a better hobby :rolleyes:
But if they want a real challenge, try implementing mining on a relay computer. Just imagine sound when mining a single hash.

It's sad when so much effort and resources is put into creating pointless virtual tokens, with no inherent value, just to keep speculating as long as there are more fools.

Those who were fearing humanity were going to use computers to build a "Skynet" to destroy itself were apparently underestimating its biggest asset; greed. Hopefully this nonsense will end before the bubble creates a major impact on the real economy.
Posted on Reply
#21
xrror
RealKGB@Uskompuf The Commodore 64 was not released by IBM...
Perhaps fix it to say that the C64 was released by Commodore?
Pretty sure that's a typo/auto-correct copypasta for CBM (Commodore Business Machines)...
Posted on Reply
#22
delshay
Being a Amiga fan & still owning a A1200 it has nothing to do with IBM. ...Saying this, Amiga did use processors from IBM/MOTOROLA joint venture before the split. The expansion cards were made by PHASE 5 & used PPC Processors.
Posted on Reply
#23
sepheronx
64KThe Commodore 64 was released by Commodore International. It was the first computer I owned back in the mid 80s. It wasn't an IBM compatible though.

I taught myself BASIC and Machine Language on the C64 and I can tell you that the C64 was capable of being 100s of times faster in Machine Language than the default built in BASIC.

Even though I've owned PCs that are millions of times faster since then the C64 will always hold a special place in my heart for being the most fun to tinker around with. It was my first experience online over dial up on Bulliten Board Systems.

For mining it is pitiful though as should be expected. It was just done as a novelty.
You're lucky. I grew up with the TRS-80 from radioshack cause my dad was too cheap to buy a Commodore.
Posted on Reply
#24
Tardian

Now for REALLY old-school mining. Oldowan hammerstone.
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