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Innosilicon to Launch Grin Miner, ASICs for Higher ROI or the Opposite

Innosilicon, a China-based leading ASIC manufacturer for a host of popular cryptocurrencies, announced they are working on a Grin ASIC miner.

According to the company, the new Grin ASIC is expected to be launched early summer this year. While no detailed specifications have been disclosed.

With 12+ years of experience building ASICs, Innosilicon has shifted its focus in recent years to engineering ASIC miners for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Zcash, Decred, Dash and now the recently much talked about crypto Grin.

The company’s intent of making an ASIC miner for Grin has sparked somewhat of turmoil within miners, given that mining difficulty would sharply increase along with the advent of powerful ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) miners as hash power intensifies.

Some are looking forward to the upcoming powerful ASICs, while critics claimed that “Inno is ruining crypto”, the ASIC miner “will never ROI (return on investment)” and “Grin is doomed”.

While initially minable by GPUs, Grin developers clearly said from the beginning that the coin is designed to be mined with ASICs and that GPU mining is only allowed in the beginning. For now, only 10% of the blocks are being generated by ASIC-friendly algorithm Cuckatoo31+. In the next two years, this percentage will slowly increase to 100%, making Grin an ASIC-only coin. The team hopes that more individuals and companies can build their own ASIC miners to mine in a decentralized way.

The question is whether the early advent of Grin ASICs would bring miners more profit for more hash power they could access, or lower ROI for the premature centralization of hash power.

It is certain that Grin has drawn the attention of the hardware community after mining pools and exchanges’ zeal for it, with Sapphire 16GB Grin GPU, Obelisk Grin 1 miner and now Innosilicon. According to tentative specs from Obelisk, Grin 1 miner is expected to perform at least 100 graphs per second while consuming no more than 800 watts, which can be compared to the current leading graphics card, the NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti, which performs less than 2 graphs per second and consumes approximately 250 watts. The device is tentatively expected to ship throughout the month of October, later than Inno’s scheduled early summer.

Grin, a new privacy-oriented cryptocurrency, has drawn increasing interest from the crypto community and fondly described as Bitcoin 2.0 by its supporters for its solutions to some of the main bitcoin scalability and anonymity issues; whilst critics call it another “pump and dump” coin. Its price spiked to over $14.5 earlier this week as Grin hit new exchanges but dipped to $7.37 at the time of this writing.

Although interest in mining and trading Grin has increased since its mainnet launch on Jan.15, 2019, the website issues a warning,

“It’s very young and experimental. Use at your own risk!”

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