After the Game Boy, the Commodore 64 was also faced with a very hard and unprecedented test — Bitcoin mining.
This has been the idea of Robin Harbron, a modder and programmer who has taken the mythical Commodore 64 and made the necessary modifications to mine bitcoin. YIn his YouTube channel, 8-Bit Show And Tell, Harbron shows, in detail, all the steps to make CBM’s old home computer released in 1982 a potential source of income.
In the video, Harbron shows how he managed to adapt the Commodore 64 to do the unusual task, testing the MOS Technology 6510 processor with a frequency of 1.02 MHz, accompanied by 64 KB of RAM and 20 KB of ROM. The Commodore 64 achieved a performance of 0.3 hashes per second, less than the Game Boy’s 0.8 hashes per second.
The result, far from exciting, could, however, be improved. Despite everything, the “Bitcoin Miner 64” does its job, but at its own pace.
According to the YouTuber, the code was written in C language and not in machine language, and this could yield ten times more performance.
The Commodore can also be enhanced by an external add-on called SuperCPU which, thanks to a 65816 chip from Western Design Center at 20 MHz, can further improve system performance up to 20 times.
Although, Bitcoin mining with the C64 remains a technical gimmick. It is surely only a matter of time before more retro hardware is equipped with mining programs. However, you cannot earn money with it. Under the best of circumstances, it would take hundreds of millions of years to make $ 10 in profit.
In short, if you find a Commodore 64 in the attic, know that the best way to make money with it is not to put it to mine cryptocurrencies but to resell it.