Bitmain, one of the largest cryptocurrency mining ASIC manufacturing companies, announced on Sept. 21 the release of new SHA-256 mining rigs at the World Digital Mining Summit in Georgia.

SHA-256 is a common cryptographic encryption algorithm used in several industries and is what Bitcoin uses to secure its network. Bitmain’s most recent SHA-256 ASIC is the Antminer S9 and is capable of mining Bitcoin at around 13.5 TH/s.

While no hash rate estimation has been given yet for the new chip, Wu claims the chips energy consumption ratio is as low as 42J/T. The chip will also feature over a billion transistors for maximum efficiency.

This is key timing for Bitmain, as Bitfury recently announced the release of the Bitfury Clarke. According to Bitfury, this new device has a max performance of 71 TH/s with an energy efficiency of~55 mW/GH.

Bitfury’s newest mining chip.

A crypto’s strength and decentralization can be determined by the –Bitcoin’s hash rate is the highest out of any cryptocurrency and has been steadily increasing since its inception.

According to Blockchain.com, Bitcoin’s network hash rate is currently estimated at 54,756,137 TH/s. Given the Antminer S9’s hashrate, we can estimate the current rate is equivalent to over 4 million Antminers or 771,213 Bitfury Clarkes.

Obviously, the Bitcoin network doesn’t only have ASICs mining on it, but this provides an interesting estimation of just how much computing power is going towards securing Bitcoin.

Bitcoin hash rate

Bitcoin hash rate

One of the largest issues people have with ASICs is that they are so much more expensive than GPU’s giving dedicated mining setups huge advantages over the everyday miner.

Competition in any industry does a great job at keeping businesses honest and reducing prices. Overall this competition leads to more efficient, cheaper, and faster mining rigs which ultimately makes the cryptocurrency network more secure.

Blockstream CSO Samson Mow voiced his opinions on a Twitter thread with a different view of the news.

No matter what side you are on, the release of new mining chips helps the network overall by reducing prices and encouraging new development.

There is no official release date for the new Antminers yet, except that they will be out “soon” and in the next batch of miners.

Cover Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

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Austin TuwinerAustin Tuwiner Author

Austin Tuwiner

Austin is an avid cryptocurrency investor studying computer science and software engineering at Towson University. His hobbies include researching cryptocurrencies, travel, and rock climbing. His goal is to help the average person understand and get into into cryptocurrency.

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