The scientist of the Institute for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) said that the "crypto-currency craze" and popularity of mining negatively affect the activities of the organization. In particular, researchers have faced a shortage of video cards, which are necessary for complex calculations, BBC reports.
We'd like to use the latest GPUs [graphics processing units]... and we can't get 'em. 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. At Seti we want to look at as many frequency channels as we possibly can because we don't know what frequency ET will be broadcasting on and we want to look for lots of different signal types - is it AM or FM, what communication are they using?
According to him, some telescopes can use up to 100 video cards to process data from satellites that can catch sounds and echoes throughout the solar system - for example, echoes of natural phenomena like exploding stars.
Currently, SETI scientists are trying to update the equipment in two large observatories: Green Bank in West Virginia and Parkes in Australia. However, the shortage of video cards on the market is a serious problem.