Bitcoin more powerful than fastest supercomputers
The power of all the computers networked together to maintain the digital currency's system far exceeds the combined processing strength of the top 500 most powerful supercomputers.
There have been lots of stories about Bitcoin in the past few months thanks to its rapid price rise -- from $5 a year ago for 1 bitcoin to a record high of $266 in April, before falling back to around $122 today.
Bitcoin's price moves attract the most interest, but the system's infrastructure is its most fascinating aspect. The crypto currency dreamed up in 2009 by a still-anonymous hacker is now one of the world's most expansive large-scale computing pioneers.
At any given moment, Bitcoin's peer-to-peer network contains thousands of computers linked together to generate more than 1,000 petaflops of raw computing power. To put that in perspective, the world's fastest supercomputer, Titan, runs at less than 18 petaflops. The Bitcoin network is sucking down nearly $200,000 a day in electricity costs.