When will a next generation Bitcoin miner be released?

When will a next generation Bitcoin miner be released?

Today we share with you a question sent to us by a fellow miner. Evan asks,

Heard rumors regarding a new bitmain bitcoin miner, what kind of information has the union heard?

Here’s what the Miners’ Union thinks:

A Dark Horse Miner

If a new miner comes out, it’s either going to take the world by surprise, or come from Bitmain. The Japanese conglomerate GMO is not building 7nm or even 12nm chips[1]. 7nm chips are fresh out of the labs and the global infrastructure to design, manufacture, and ship 7nm chips doesn’t exist. It’s likely an excuse to say “blockchain” and have their stock go up. Samsung likely is making SHA-256 chips, however. As we believe they’re leveraging the same node (TSCM) as Bitmain, it’s unlikely they’ll be assembled into full, turn-key mining rigs. We suspect they will be selling loose chips, which is way more interesting. Anyone who attempts to compete against Bitmain has seen their market flooded, and their customer base Wu’ed away[2].

A New Bitmain Miner

In the mean time, there have been rumors of an S11 rig being deployed in 2018 but we haven’t heard anything concrete. To do so would render the S9s obsolete and Bitmain operates hundreds of thousands in their long-houses. There’s no real incentive to spend the non-recurring engineering on new chips (which at cutting edge technologies would cost tens to hundreds of millions in upfront, sunk costs). They could – they made 2.3B in 2017 – but why bother.

With China pressuring all miners, and therefore presumably working with Bitmain, to reduce the strain on the electrical infrastructure, those machines are being moved to North American data centers as well as being sold. Their S7s are on sale today rebranded as V9s. Get them while they’re obsolete! The question is: As mining rigs are migrated from Asia to North America, is Bitmain retaining ownership of those machines or are they being offloaded to private buyers? If the number of miners controlled by Bitmain shrinks enough, I’d keep my eyes peeled for new equipment to get launched.

Quiz Time

Question for the blockchain forensic scientists in the audience: Is there a way to observe how many machines Bitmain controls? We think there is. Send your responses to info@theminersunion.com – the first to answer correctly will receive a prize!

[1] Here’s how you can tell GMO is full of baloney. The cited article is a tl;dr for the GMO press release, which is all marketing fluff around this central paragraph:

In consideration of the fact that GMO Internet has succeeded in developing a 12 nm FFC mining chip, we will proceed to the next step of the development to realize a 7 nm process technology for chips to be used in the mining process. We will not sell mining boards equipped with 12 nm FFC process based mining chips.

In other words, “We have succeeded in inventing a 12nm Bitcoin chip that would immediately disrupt the $2.3B cash flows generated by Bitmain’s 16nm chip sales. But you can’t have them or see them.”

[2] Arguably a missed opportunity to title the blog about the release of the A3 “Wu woos Obelisk wounded”.

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