The search for alien life is being hindered by cryptocurrency hunters. Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) researchers are looking to expand their operations but can’t get the hardware they need, the BBC reports.
Scientist say they are now running out of Graphic Processing Units (GPUs) used in telescopes to find aliens.
"We'd like to use the latest GPUs [graphics processing units]... and we can't get 'em," radio-astronomer Dan Werthimer told the BBC.
"That's limiting our search for extra-terrestrials, to try to answer the question, 'Are we alone? Is there anybody out there?'," he added.
Demand for GPUs has soared recently thanks to cryptocurrency mining. The cost of the GPUs has skyrocketed, almost doubling in price, thanks in particular to the rise in Ethereum (ETH/USD) cryptocurrency mining.
While Bitcoin (Bitcoin) miners have largely moved on to specialised "Asic" chips that have been designed from scratch to support mining, it's still possible to use GPUs on the Ethereum mining network.