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Bitmain’s Antminer 17 Models Drawing Criticism from Miners for High Failure Rate

Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain has recently been criticized over some of its Antminer 17 products, with Chinese miners complaining about its high failure rate.

The criticized Antminer 17 models, mainly the T17 and S17+ series, were rolled out last August. As the next-gen flagship machines after its successful S7 and S9 series, Antminer 17 models, expected to have much better performance in stability and profitability, were notably sold out in minutes after the commencement of the sale.

While complaints from buyers followed after the machines went online, alleging that those T17/S17+ machines they purchased have a failure rate high as 30%.

The machines that refused to work properly were mainly caused by 1) short circuit on the hash boards as a result of loose/displaced heat sink, or 2) power supply fans failure, according to some Chinese miners.

A miner going by the pseudonym of Lin Kaichun, who had 600 units of T17e (53 T) machines run in his farm since last December, told 8btc that he had kept sending a dozen machines to Bitmain’s after-sale almost every 5 days, later he found out that 60% of the faulty machines’ heat sink had been loose or dropping off, which resulted in the short circuit of the hash board.

While Lin was quite sure that the problem was not man-made, as other machines including T17 (40T), Avalon 1066, Whatsminer M21S running under the same condition in the same mining farm had no such high failure rate.

As more complaints have emerged in the local community, miners have formed groups on social messaging app WeChat and shared problems of their mining hardware. They want to find out whether such problems of this batch of machines is caused by the quality of the equipment itself, or, their improper operation or maintenance.

In response to the accusation that its Antminer 17 machines have quality problems, Bitmain released a post on its WeChat official account, claiming that the company is paying close attention to the problems of some Antminer 17 products, and willing to compensate users for the loss caused by their faulty machines and would like to offer solutions like replacement of new machines, free on-site maintenance, etc.

In a recent online event, the company’s founder and CEO Jihan Wu blamed the ousted CEO Micree Zhan for the criticized machines, saying that

“Bitmain is not always taking the lead in technology, especially after the success of S9 when Micree Zhan and his personal assistant were in charge of research and development. Being self-centered, he set the wrong direction in research and development, which resulted in the market’s complaints about Bitmain, such as high damage rate and poor stability, especially of the T series.”

Wu then begged users to give Bitmain another chance and pointed out that the performance of the S19 series would be industry-leading with stability and adaptability to harsh environment as well as after-sale service significantly improved.

With bitcoin halving 17 days away, the competition between mining hardware manufacturers has been heating up again with strong competitor like MicroBT having rolled out 112T M30S++. It remains to be seen whether Bitmain could keep its dominance by its latest S19 series after Jihan regained the control of the company.

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