The Merkle

There’s No Point in Bitmain Developing an Ethereum ASIC Miner

There are rumors on the internet that Bitmain is working on yet another cryptocurrency mining hardware unit. While that in itself is not spectacular by any means – especially because it is the company’s business model – this latest venture would focus on Ethereum ASIC mining. Although it remains to be seen if there is any truth to these rumors, the prospect of an Ethereum ASIC mining unit is quite interesting, for obvious reasons.

An ASIC Miner for Ethereum Makes no Sense

While some people have speculated that Bitmain is working on a new ASIC mining device for Ethereum, there’s no real evidence to back up these claims. Supposedly, this project is code-named Antminer F3 and will consist of three mainboards. With 6 ASIC processors per board, the rumored unit has 72 GB of DRAM memory and is capable of achieving speeds of up to 220 MH/s. It sounds like a dream come true for a lot of Ethereum miners, even though it’s highly unlikely such a system will ever be created.

It would take a lot of money and research to develop a new ASIC mining unit for Ethereum. Even though the altcoin’s algorithm is not ASIC-resistant by any means, there is no reason for companies such as Bitmain to explore ASIC ventures in the Ethereum ecosystem. That’s because there is a very real chance that Ethereum will switch to proof-of-stake in the near future, which would render any real mining efforts completely obsolete. When the switch to PoS will occur exactly has yet to be determined, though.

Especially with GPU mining becoming so popular, an ASIC miner is not necessarily a good thing for Ethereum. If an ASIC device were to be released for Ethereum, it would shake up the entire mining ecosystem in many ways. Getting your hands on one of those units would be quite challenging as well, since these machines would be in pretty high demand from day one. Until Bitmain officially announces this project, there’s no reason to think it will ever become a real thing.

As for the current efficient mining rigs which users can put together with GPUs, the Antminer F3 would blow them out of the water. With nearly double the ROI and a lower rate of electricity consumption, it is evident such tools could be of great value to Ethereum miners. Additionally, it also would alleviate some concerns in the gaming industry, as a lot of GPUs are currently being bought up by cryptocurrency miners.

Even though it is not impossible that Bitmain will be developing an ASIC miner for Ethereum, the company also knows about developments taking place in the cryptocurrency world. They are aware that Ethereum will switch to proof-of-stake at some point, and the longevity of an F3 may not be all that appealing to any of the parties involved. Their other miners for Bitcoin and Litecoin have been well-received by the community, but neither of those currencies plans to change their algorithm anytime soon.

With so many changes coming to Ethereum in the future, it is expected that interest in this altcoin will only continue to increase. Whether or not that means there is a future for ASIC mining hardware focused on Ethereum is a different matter altogether. Bitmain has not officially confirmed this product will come to market, and common sense says they will never do so. Then again, Ethereum’s switch to proof-of-stake may still be years away, for all we know. An Ethereum ASIC miner is an interesting idea, but for now, it’s nothing more than an illusion.