Could an IBM mainframe from the 1960s mine Bitcoin? The idea seemed crazy, so I decided to find out. I implemented the Bitcoin hash algorithm in what is a bitcoin mining computer code for the IBM 1401 and tested it on a working vintage mainframe.
It turns out that this computer could mine, but so slowly it would take more than the lifetime of the universe to successfully mine a block. How Bitcoin mining works Bitcoin, a digital currency that can be transmitted across the Internet, has attracted a lot of attention lately. If you’re not familiar with how it works, the Bitcoin system can be thought of as a ledger that keeps track of who owns which bitcoins, and allows them to be transferred from one person to another. The interesting thing about Bitcoin is there’s no central machine or authority keeping track of things.