Most Bitcoin users are well aware that Bitmain is one of the largest ASIC hardware manufacturers in existence today. It is also one of the few companies still selling cryptocurrency mining equipment to mainstream consumers. The company recently made the decision to only accept Bitcoin Cash payments for its latest batch of Antminer S9 units. It’s an interesting decision, although a controversial one as well.
Bitmain Doubles Down on Bitcoin Cash
Although the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem has seen its fair share of growth as of late, there is still a lot of work to be done. When it comes to spending BCH especially, things are not necessarily straightforward. A lot of companies still don’t accept BCH payments right now and that situation will not change anytime soon. Bitmain is setting an interesting precedent in this regard, even though it may hurt business in the process.
Indeed, the mining hardware manufacturer has made a very bold decision by requiring that the new batch of Antminer S9 mining units be paid for with Bitcoin Cash exclusively. That is a rather surprising turn of events, considering the company has always accepted payment with Bitcoin. Interestingly enough, the unit price is still denominated in BTC, BCH, and LTC right now. However, after scrolling down to the “Payments” section of the page, only BCH is shown as an accepted payment method.
While this decision may bring more usability to the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem as a whole, it is not necessarily a smart business decision. That’s not because people don’t want to spend their BCH on things they can use, mind you, but rather because Bitcoin Cash is still a rather small – albeit valuable – ecosystem right now. In a way, it was to be expected that one of the biggest proponents of BCH would accept this payment method, although exclusivity was not necessarily something anyone saw coming.
The big question is what Bitmain hopes to gain from this course of action. It is in its best interest to see BCH succeed. The company’s Antpool is still one of the largest supporters of BCH right now, although not the largest entity by any means. Moreover, Bitmain may still support SegWit2x when that hard fork occurs, although it is unknown whether they would ever accept that new altcoin for payment purposes. With this rather surprising precedent, it is only a matter of time before we see other companies follow its example.
Moreover, it is also unclear if future batches of Bitmain products will support BCH payment. It is certainly possible this is just a “test run” by the company to gauge interest in the concept. A lot of people hold BCH as a means of speculation, rather than an actual intent to use it to make purchases. Moreover, not everyone wants to mine cryptocurrency at home with such machines, either due to costs, noise, or genuine disinterest.
All things considered, this decision comes at a time during which Bitcoin Cash is struggling to retain its value in the market, and whether or not things will improve for BCH remains to be seen. It is good to see some more positive attention for different cryptocurrencies, especially by such a well-established company. Rest assured this controversial decision will not go by unnoticed for long.