Bitmain Launches An “Extremely Efficient” ASIC Antminer Z9 For Equihash

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New Bitmain Antminer Z9 mini

Bitmain presented a new hardware product dedicated to the Equihash algorithm, used by the Zcash privacy-centric cryptocurrency. This ASIC device, which is called Antminer Z9 Mini, is now available for purchase and will be shipped from June 20th to June 30th 2018.

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On the occasion of the announcement, Bitmain posted via Twitter that in order to avoid hoarding and provide access to more people in the world, the company established a purchase limit of one miner per user.

A surprisingly efficient ASIC

The most surprising thing about this announcement is the efficiency of this ASIC with respect to the GPU mining. The approximate comparison is as follows (all variables are average):

GPU – GTX 1080 ti:

  • Hashrate = 740 Sol/s.
  • Power Consumption = 200 Watts.
  • Price = $980.
  • Hashing-consumption efficiency = 3.70 Sol/Watts.
  • Hashing-investment efficiency = 0.76 Sol/$.
GTX 1080 ti profitability, source: cryptocompare.com

ASIC – Z9 mini:

  • Hashrate = 10,000 Sol/s.
  • Power Consumption = 300 Watts.
  • Price = $1,999.
  • Hashing-consumption efficiency = 33.33 Sol/Watts.
  • Hashing-investment efficiency = 5.00 Sol/$.
Z9 mini profitability, source: cryptocompare.com

Hard fork or not hard fork? The great dilemma

In the mining community, there’s been the discussion in regards to ASICs centralizing the mining industry since companies like Bitmain are specializing in creating ASICs for the most profitable algorithms, and there are intentions from other companies like Samsung that want to participate in the development of ASICs as well. Recently Monero made a change in its algorithm to make them “Anti ASIC” and Ethereum has not made any changes at the protocol level to block the new Bitmain ASIC just yet, but the community is discussing the possibility. In the case of the Zcash community, several statements have already been made by the developers using the Equihash algorithm:

  • Zcash (ZEC)

  • Bitcoin Gold (BTG)

  • Bitcoin Private (BTCP)

Those opposed to ASIC mining claim that the introduction of these devices tends to centralize mining in just a few operations of great influence in the network. They also consider that this trend is totally opposite to the intention of decentralization of cryptocurrencies. The founder of Zcash, Zooko Wilcox, said that a possible blockade of this miner is still under debate.

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