Scrypt Mining with ASICs

Published in Columbia University, 2014

Recommended citation: Watkins, David. "Scrypt Mining With ASICs." (2017). /files/2014_spring_SMWA.pdf


Crypto-currencies have garnered a lot of attention by governments and internet enthusiasts over the past three years. These currencies are celebrated for their security and speedy transactions in a modern era of digital commerce. Bitcoin was the first of these currencies to gain a large advantage over subsequent iterations. Bitcoin was first conceived by Satoshi Nakamoto who mentioned the concept of a crypto-currency in his paper titled Bitcoin. It featured new concepts such as proof of work and transactions which utilized hash-based encryption. One particular alternative crypto-currency is known as Litecoin. Backed by a memory-intensive algorithm known as Scrypt, many crypto-currency enthusiasts have decided to celebrate this particular coin. Scrypt expands on Bitcoin’s proof of work algorithm by adding the amount of work it takes to commit a transaction within the Litecoin network. Scrypt forces more work on the device that is being used to perform the algorithm by making frequent memory requests. This makes it difficult to create specialized hardware to create new coins and to commit transactions due to the nature of memory intensive applications.