Bitmain, a Chinese mining hardware manufacturer, is the leading manufactures of mining equipment and has announced the launch of sales of Antminer E3, an ASIC miner for Ethereum. It is priced at $800 and will be capable of using Ethash as the hashing algorithm. The power consumption is rated at 800W and the hashrate is 180MH/s.
As a payment, they would only accept Bitcoin Cash [BCH] and US dollars for this batch. They also offer a warranty of 180 days starting from the day of shipping. The expected delivery date for this first batch is between July 16 to July 31, 2018.
“The Antminer E3, world’s most powerful and efficient EtHash ASIC miner.”
Antminer E3’s main feature is the support of Ethash algorithm which is used in Ethereum and a number of other cryptocurrencies. This becomes the first ASIC miner to be capable of mining Ethereum [ETH]. It also allows the first Ethash miners to use Application Specific Integrated Circuit [ASIC] chips, which are more efficient than the general purpose GPU chips that are currently used to mine Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and other Ethash-based cryptocurrencies.
The Ethereum Developer, Vlad Zamfir, had conducted a survey on the idea of potential hardfork, in March, making the ASIC miners useless. But the Antminer E3 will be capable of using Ethash and hence will be able to mine ETH. Smaller manufacturers are also developing Ethash ASICs and their release has not yet been confirmed.
There is a duality in opinions regarding the development of ASIC miners. Some are of the opinion that it will be a huge bonus for the industry, whereas others argue that the ASICs centralized hashpower into the hands of a very few corporations like Bitmain might be harmful.
It is expected of Ethereum to execute a hardfork to restore ASIC resistance like how it was done by Monero for the Bitmain’s release of a Cryptonight ASIC miner.
The developer Piper Merriam, who drafted the Ethereum Improvement Proposal [EIP] published last week asked users to vote on whether they would support a fork to restore ASIC resistance. The results show that almost all of them who voted expressed their readiness to support such an initiative.
A Twitteratti says:
“My A3 is the most profitable individual miner I have right now. Of course I have VERY cheap electricity. It’s not @BITMAINtech fault that the market is down right now. Many factors, mainly government and banking resistance to cryptos and the damn sharks on Wall Street.”
Another Twitterer says:
“With 180MH/s you can earn 5$ per day. That means you need 200 day for ROI (without calculating electricity). In few moths Eth will switch from POW to POS and then this asic miner is useless. I think that bitmain is selling they old miner instead to wait until it is useless…”