Under Pressure, Bitmain Releases Patch to Let Bitcoin Miners Activate ‘Overt AsicBoost’

Cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain has published a firmware update that allows bitcoin miners to activate “overt AsicBoost,” a technological upgrade that provides significant cost savings over conventional mining setups. Bitmain Firmware Enables Overt AsicBoost Bitmain released the patch just days after braiins, the software development group that operates Slush Pool, revealed that it had verified that Bitmain’s Antminer S9 hardware is capable of supporting overt AsicBoost, though the manufacturer had purposely disabled it by default. The group further stated that it would integrate overt AsicBoost support into a future firmware update for Braiins OS, the open-source ASIC mining system it launched in September. Invented by Timo Hanke in collaboration with Sergio Lerner, the patented AsicBoost technology reduces the amount of work that SHA256 miners must perform to produce a hash. AsicBoost can be implemented either covertly or overtly, with covert AsicBoost being more controversial as it incentivizes miners to produce…

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