The Bitcoin Craze Is Making It Harder For Scientists To Hunt For Aliens
Last year, a bunch of people who bought bitcoin to order mushrooms on the Silk Road in 2012 and forgot about the extra ones they had stored on a hard drive struck the jackpot when the price of the cryptocurrency quadrupled in value over the span of a few months. The surge inspired plenty of people to join the digital gold rush, but not everyone has benefited from the boom.
I have a feeling that anyone who took out a mortgage in December to get into the market probably isn’t super thrilled by how things have turned out so far, but even people who have stayed well away from the unproven currency are feeling the impact of the newest investment craze. This includes those working in one of the world’s most important professions: alien hunting.
According to the BBC, a bunch of scientists who are presumably big fans of the movie Contact are facing serious issues when it comes to operating the computers they use to monitor the universe for extra-terrestrial life. There’s been an insane rise in the demand for (and price of) the computer chips needed for crypto mining, which means researchers hunting for the most advanced graphics processing units can have trouble tracking them down.
Dr. Dan Werthimer, who works at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Insititute, outlined his concerns, saying:
“That’s limiting our search for extra-terrestrials, to try to answer the question, ‘Are we alone? Is there anybody out there? This is a new problem, it’s only happened on orders we’ve been trying to make in the last couple of months.”
I sincerely hope every teenager who used their bar mitzvah money to make bank on bitcoin can find a way to live with themselves when we fail to predict an alien invasion that could have otherwise been prevented.