Bitcoin Mining May Drive Scientific Innovation: BlockShow Asia, 2017
Yangdong Deng, the head of artificial intelligence at a blockchain startup called Matrix, believes combining artificial intelligence with the blockchain could enable researchers to drive scientific innovation through Bitcoin mining. Deng made these statements at BlockShow Asia 2017 – an international event featuring more than 300 blockchain startups and over 1,500 attendees.
Matrix believes it can revolutionize Bitcoin mining operations by inserting artificial intelligence into the mix through what is called a Bayesian mining system. Deng explains that this system will use an algorithm called the Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) that works similarly to traditional Bitcoin mining functions currently in use.
Why is this Innovation Necessary?
Many believe Bitcoin mining is wasteful, and Yangong Deng agrees. In his presentation he argues that it consumes up to 17 percent of the world’s total computing power: a total of 8.23×10²² floating point operations per second (FLOPS) compared to the total world computing power of 1.2×10²³ FLOPS. Essentially, Bitcoin mining requires a great deal of computational work, and Deng believes AI technology can be used to leverage this energy toward scientific innovations in the outside world.
Deng pointed out several scientific applications that would be well-suited for Bitcoin mining’s computational power. For example, a human brain network simulation requires 1018 FLOPS and metabolic network simulation requires 1025 FLOPS. Bitcoin mining could also be used in financial modelling, medical diagnostics, and chemical reaction simulations. Matrix is not the first company to explore the scientific possibilities of the blockchain. Intel, a publicly-traded company known for computer processors, recently filed a patent for a blockchain-based system for genetic sequencing.