The search for aliens is struggling thanks to cryptocurrency mania

Millions of idiots trying to mine  so they can be part of the latest, stupidest and most irresponsibly hyped get-rich-quick tech craze are hindering the actual important work of finding out if aliens exist. This revelation, first reported by the BBC, has ruined my Wednesday.

I generally stay quiet on the cryptocurrency and Bitcoin front, not because I hold any strong position in either (I own zero cryptocurrency) but because I think it’s a stupid, feverish fad that is only encouraged by allowing it any kind of oxygen whatsoever. But the fever doesn’t appear to be abating, and meanwhile GPUs used for cryptocurrency mining are high demand, meaning they can’t be used for other purposes for which they’re well suited, including parsing data gathered by observatories to help find signs of extraterrestrial life.

The BBC notes that a UC Berkeley team of researchers were hoping to expand their GPU capability at their telescope lab, and that they went to spend a National Science…

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