Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC)

Contrary to general-purpose circuits, like the CPUs that drive our computers and mobile devices, ASICs are integrated circuits that have been created specifically to address a specific use case. There are various situations when simple computations can be made without incurring the cost and overhead that a general-purpose CPU would. An ASIC can be utilized as a far more straightforward and effective substitute (both in terms of cost and energy). The word "ASIC" is frequently used in the cryptocurrency industry to describe the specialized hardware being created and continuously enhanced by businesses like Bitmain and Halong Mining. The main purpose of this hardware is to mine Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrency). Some coins can be referred to as "ASIC-resistant cryptocurrencies" since they can't be effectively mined with ASIC miners. In a nutshell, mining is the process of applying numerous hashing operations up until a valid hash output is generated. The miner who discovers a valid hash uses it as evidence of their labor, allowing them to validate the following block of transactions and receive the block reward. Even though they are limited to a single use case, ASICs are utterly useless for doing any other task. In addition, new ASIC models are constantly being developed in the cryptocurrency industry, swiftly making previous designs entirely unprofitable. The centralization of mining power brought on by ASICs is another topic of intense discussion. On the one hand, they offer the critical hashpower for protecting and validating blockchains, but they also concentrate mining power in the hands of a few number of mining firms that can afford to purchase thousands of ASICs to set up and manage massive mining farms and mining pools.