Bitmain, Bitcoin mining hardware firm, presented its long-expected project on ethereum mining on Monday. The new tech, named Antminer E3, is set to ship this July.
We are pleased to announce the Antminer E3, world's most powerful and efficient EtHash ASIC miner.
Ordering limit of one miner per user and not available in China.
Limited stock, order here now: https://t.co/Zfw3afjJHs#antminerE3 pic.twitter.com/SjHu2eUThp
— BITMAIN [Not giving away ETH] (@BITMAINtech) April 3, 2018
Bitmain is the world’s foremost producer of ASIC bitcoin mining hardware. Headquartered in Beijing, China, the company is famous for design of ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) chips, offering both consumer and enterprise solutions for every level of miner.
For Ethereum’s developers and users, the news about launching Antminer E3 wasn’t a surprise – it had long been planned.
Last month, Susquehanna analyst Christopher Rolland told the firm’s clients that a forthcoming ethereum-focused application specific integrated circuit would dampen the prospects for graphics card makers AMD and Nvidia, whose products have been in high demand by the world’s cryptocurrency miners.
“During our travels through Asia last week, we confirmed that Bitmain has already developed an ASIC [application-specific integrated circuit] for mining Ethereum, and is readying the supply chain for shipments in [Q2 2018],” Rolland reportedly wrote.
According to Bitmain, the new Antminer E3 chips will retail for $800 per unit. The chips will be shipped starting in mid-July. The company is limiting orders to “one unit per user” with restrictions on shipping to China and Taiwan. The chips quickly drew interest from would-be buyers, and according to Bitmain website, the first batch has already been sold out.
However, much about the new chips is still unclear. There are doubts in the ethereum community that Bitmain’s mining chip is capable of significant performance increases which would be obvious enough to inspire the widespread adoption of the hardware in the way bitcoin ASICs replaced hobby miners.
According to Finder, the new Ethereum ASIC miner can turn out to be worthless. One of the reasons is that it might not work as promised. The EthHash algorithm needs a lot of memory, and regardless of whether you’re mining with a GPU or an ASIC, those storage requirements are the main bottleneck.
Another reason is that you will have to wait for the profit at least till 2019. The gear won’t be shipping until 16-31 July, and even if you somehow manage to get it immediately and run it under good conditions, you will still have to wait. And this is a problem, because there’s a decent chance of this miner being obsolete before it even ships, and super obsolete 6 months after that.
What is more, the mining rewards will be sharply cut before Ethereum enters its hybrid PoS/PoW mode.
Those are just assumptions, but it will be possible to make definite conclusions very soon.