Bitcoin Miner Rivals Chase Bitmain
Once known to be the largest Bitcoin mining equipment company in the world, Bitmain now seems to be expecting a challenger.
A new company is introducing a generation of ASIC mining chips. The introduction of the DragonMint miner series by Halong Mining are in the first stage of rollout. Its proposed 16TH miner is dubbed the world’s most efficient Bitcoin miner “running faster and cooler than any competing miners.” The miner has the DM8575 ASIC which the company says runs at 85GH per chip with power efficiency of around 0.075J/GH.
Though if a comment by the CSO at Blockstream is anything to go by, the Dragon Mint miners are just the start. Samson Mow claims that another manufacturer with miners more efficient than Bitmain’s is coming soon.
It has not been all rosy about the development though. While the move by Halong Mining – and its timing – has been cheered as good for the decentralization of mining, some questions have risen. They border around the reliability of the Bitcoin miners to be released. It has resulted in suggestions that there is something fishy about the new miners.
Some market observers share the view that anyone who owns profitable mining equipment will have the motivation to mine with them. They believe such a person(s) will not have an incentive to sell to the public for one of two reasons. It would only happen if they have approached market dominance or they have achieved maximum revenue. It is not yet clear if any of these targets have been reached in the case of Halong Mining.
Other claims that support the assertion of a scam includes that the Dragon Mint 16T looks just like the Bitmain’s Antminer S9. There are also questions about the contact details of the company. Though its name suggests it is Asia-based, its location is unknown. The company only provides its Twitter handle and an email address as its contact details. This is unexpected of a company which claims to have spent $30 million dollars on “research, development and prototyping miners, writing software and producing small batches of silicon wafers.”
Another view is that Halong Mining’s offer is too good to be true considering the yet-to-be-released miner’s projected output and the sales price attached to it. Bitmain’s S9 (13.5TH/s) costs about $1415. However, according to Halong Mining, the miner costs about $1600 each with a minimum order of five miners. Pre-orders are being taken for a March 2018 delivery. A guesstimate by a Twitter respondent puts the return on investment for the equipment to be realized in 15 months by the time it ships – based on a $8000 Bitcoin price.
Whether Halong Mining’s supposed entry into the market supports the view that mining decentralization will happen all by itself as Bitcoin grows bugger is unclear. While those behind the Halong Mining have remained anonymous, the most active pseudonymous Bitcoin Core contributor to date, BtcDrak, has been linked to the project.
Despite Blockstream’s Adam Back has confirmed seeing Dragon Mint’s miner operating in person, the authenticity of Bitmain’s supposed competitor may not be confirmed yet until the first mining hardware has been delivered to users. Moreover, Bitmain could have also prepared for a situation like this. Whichever way, until the unknown has been confirmed, it’s going to be a waiting game.