Mining Hardware Arms Race

Yesterday Bitmain began shipping the Antminer S17 and the S17 Pro. In the last 6 months competition between Bitmain and it’s closest rival Innosilcon has been building up as both companies are scrambling to add new products as quickly as Coinbase has been adding new tokens.

Originally due to ship in December 2018, the latest upgraded unit from Innosilicon was delayed yet again in March. Bitmain has had bigger problems coming down on them as of late with regulators in China proposing the unthinkable; a ban on Bitcoin mining.

An interesting bonus for miners came towards the end of 2018. The controversial ASIC Boost firmware offers up to a 20% increase to bitcoin miners by eliminating some of the mathematical computations thereby saving precious seconds. Although the exploits future is uncertain, battle lines are being drawn and quite frankly it’s been a while since the last hard fork.