Bitcoin network trashes supercomputers

Posted by Nermin Hajdarbegovic

The Bitcoin hash network is eight times faster than the world’s top 500 supercomputers combined.

According to The Genesis Block, the network recently passed 1 exaFLOPS (1,000 petaFLOPS), making it a force to be reckoned with.However, some experts might be crying foul, as FLOPS aren’t exactly the right metric to gauge Bitcoin performance.

Bitcoin relies on integer calculation rather than floating-point operations, which also explains why some GPUs and custom designed ASICs are pretty good at it. In any case FLOPS can still be used to see how other supercomputers measure up to the rebellious Bitcoin crowd. 

By comparison, IBM’s Sequoia churns out 16.3 petaFLOPS, which makes it look like a featherweight compared to the Bitcoin network. Fujitsu’s K computer is capable of 10.5 petaFLOPS. 

Although Bitcoin is still more or less an oddity, the sheer size and performance of its network should raise a few eyebrows in the tech community. While this doesn't exactly mean the days of costly and exotic supercomputers are numbered, it does demonstrate it's possible to get exceptional performance from a large network of dedicated machines, rather than confined to a single facility.