ASIC mining hardware has always been considered somewhat controversial in the world of cryptocurrency mining. These powerful devices give wealthier miners a competitive advantage over others, which can eventually lead to centralization. In the case of Sia, miners have been looking forward to the Obelisk ASIC miner for quite some time now. The big question is when this unit will finally come to market.
The Current Status of the Obelisk ASIC Miner
A lot of people were surprised when the Sia team announced they were working on an ASIC miner several months ago. That news also made a lot of sense, as Sia is evolving rapidly and there needs to be more mining support to keep the network safe and secure at all times. Native ASIC miners can have a positive impact, as they can preclude third-party ASIC manufacturers from dominating.
In reality, however, Bitmain unveiled its Sia miner quite some time ago, and it has made an impact on the network. Obelisk, the unit under development by the Sia team itself, has not fared all that well. That hardware is still not production-ready at this time, which has caused some people to question the current status of the project.
According to the latest update posted by the Obelisk team, their target ship date is June 30. That is positive news, even though it also puts this ASIC well behind the launch of Bitmain’s unit. Whether or not this is a positive development remains to be seen, as not every miner wants to wait for the Obelisk miner to be released. At the same time, competition in the ASIC mining industry is more than needed, as Bitmain has virtually monopolized most of the cryptocurrency markets in this regard.
Some changes have been made to the design of the Obelisk ASIC miner. The company responsible for producing these units has focused mainly on ease of use, especially when it comes to assembly and repair. The unit will be a lot more modular and look less like an Obelisk, although those are positive changes overall. Moreover, the units will no longer be manufactured in China, as manufacturing has been moved to the United States.
Because of this change in location, this miner’s shipment will undergo some modifications as well. Due to political realities, any country importing computer hardware from the US will be subject to additional import taxes. Chinese customers will need to take these developments into account, as there will be no manufacturing in China from this point forward. A European Union distribution center is being set up as we speak, although it is still possible that customers will pay an import tax regardless.
It also seems the specifications of the Obelisk miners have changed a bit. For now, it appears its performance has dropped a bit, which is not necessarily a positive development. There is still some testing taking place as we speak, and the performance will be optimized in the weeks to come. It will be interesting to see whether Obelisk can stick to its original shipping date of June 30th. The future for Sia looks pretty interesting; that much is rather evident.