Bitcoin miners and ET explorers are competing for GPUs. Kevin Quezada/Unsplash Cryptocurrency mining, or verifying cryptocurrency transactions on blockchain, requires a large amount of computing power.

As the cryptocurrency craze attracts more people to join the miner community, high-speed computing chips are in short supply elsewhere. A SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) scientist at the University of California Berkeley’s SETI research center said this week that his organization couldn’t find enough GPU (graphics processing units) cards on the market because cryptocurrency miners had bought too many of them.

“We’d like to use the latest GPUs, and we can’t get them. That’s limiting our search for extra-terrestrials,” Dan Werthimer, chief scientist at the Berkeley SETI Research Center, told BBC.

GPUs are fast-speed computing chips that are most commonly used for powering video games. They are also an accessible tool for individuals and small organizations to process high volumes of data, which makes it an ideal choice for cryptocurrency miners.

“Although the prices of GPUs have been skyrocketing recently and supply is down, it’s often a more accessible way for people to get started. You can start mining with a standard PC,” David Cusick, a market researcher for lighting equipment seller Elite Fixtures, told Observer. Read more from…

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