Ethereum ASIC Miner Announced By Bitmain

Announcements, News | April 5, 2018 By:

Cryptocurrency mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain has officially announced its long-rumored ethereum ASIC miner.

Called Antminer E3, the new ethereum mining tech is believed to be the first ASIC miner compatible with the Ethash Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm. Antminer E3 is said to be capable of using Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chips, which are dramatically more efficient than the general purpose GPU chips currently used to mine Ethash-based cryptocurrencies, such as ethereum and Ethereum Classic.

According to Bitmain’s website, the Antminer E3 is set to ship this July at a price of $800 per unit. In order to limit reselling and bulk buying, the company is restricting shipments to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau.

Rumours of Bitmain’s launch of an ethereum miner were floated last week when Christopher Rolland, a financial analyst from Susquehanna, reported that the company were “readying the supply chain for shipments in 2Q18.” Rolland said that Bitmain’s ethereum miner would dampen the prospects for graphics card makers AMD and Nvidia.

In February of this year, a Bernstein analysts said in a report that Bitmain, which dominates the bitcoin mining industry, likely made as much as Nvidia did last year. Based on conservative estimates of gross margin of 75 percent and operating margin of 65 percent, the analysts estimated that Bitmain made $3 billion to $4 billion in operating profit in 2017. Bernstein’s US semiconductor team estimated Nvidia’s operation profit was $3 billion during the same period.

“But Bitmain achieved this in merely four years, while it took Nvidia 24 years to get here,” the Bernstein analysts said.

Prior to the Bitmain announcement, ether could only be mined using CPUs or GPUs found in gaming computers. RBC Capital analyst Mitch Steves warned that Bitmain’s Antminer E3 could lure away buyers of Nvidia GPUs, which have for quite some time now been among the main chips used for mining cryptocurrencies.

“The product is notably more powerful than current GPUs,” said Steves, who has a buy recommendation on Nvidia stock and doesn’t cover AMD. “We view this as a negative for the cryptocurrency market as it relates to GPU sales.”