Bitmain to maintain mining monopoly with the new 7nm ASIC chip?

On 21st September, Jihan Wu, the Founder and CEO of the mining giant, Bitmain announced the launch of a new 7-nanometer application-specific integrated circuit [ASIC] chip at the World Digital Mining Summit in Tbilisi, Georgia. Bitmain claimed that the chip will provide many efficiencies that have not been found in the previous mining models.

Of late, the cryptocurrency mining space has been experiencing a lot of activity, with the announcements by Bitmain competitors, Bitewei and Bitfury earlier this week. Bitewei announced the launch of its WhatsMiner M10 whereas Bitfury revealed that it is bringing a 14-nanometer mining chip into the market. Some even thought that Bitmain’s monopoly could be broken by these revolutionary advancements until the leading company made its own announcement.

However, Samson Mow, Blockstream CSO released a series of Twitter posts to dig further into the situation of Bitmain and its announcement of the new chip. Blockstream is a blockchain security firm that has been in a feud with Bitmain for a long time.

In his first tweet, Mow wrote:

“Let’s take a closer look at Bitmain’s announcement at #WDMS #miningconf for their “next gen” 7nm ASIC chips. To most people this may seem like a big deal and good news, but actually the announcement shows things aren’t looking too good for Bitmain. Read on. #BitmainIPO”

Before his position at Blockstream, Mow was the Chief Operating Officer at the first Bitcoin exchange in China and used to manage mining business units. On Bitmain’s announcement, he stated that the announcement carries much ambiguity, using phrases such as, “will soon mass produce”. This does not give any timeline of when the actual product will be out for sale, Mow explained.

Next, he pointed out another hyped usage, wherein Bitmain stated that the chip will include over a billion transistors. Here, Mow conveyed that this feature is easily achievable in an 8nm or a 10nm chip as well. Furthermore, the fact is fascinating for people outside the industry, but not to those who know the space well, Mow believes.

He took a shot at the marketing schemes of Bitmain. He cited an example from the earlier times when Bitmain touted its S9 chip to have 75/TH efficiency. However, the miner itself ran at 98J/TH. He added:

“About 30% more power consumption. So it’s likely the new Bitmain miner with 7nm chips runs at 55J/TH at best. Nowhere near 42J/TH. Misleading.”

In the later tweets, the CSO concluded that the chip is not going to reach anywhere close to 42J/TH and is going to be an expensive production.

Cobra, the owner of Bitcoin.org had a different viewpoint on Bitmain’s announcement. He believes that the mining giant is not going to see an end and will continue to thrive with the new launch. On his official Twitter handle, Cobra wrote:

“BITMAIN have just announced the BM1391 7nm chip that can mine at 42J/TH efficiency, which is absolutely insane. I don’t know why *everyone* underestimates them. Their dominance isn’t coming to an end anytime soon.”

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