Just this Thursday, the leading Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer, Bitmain, announced two new improved iteration of their most famous equipment – the AntMiner S19 and the S19 Pro. This piece of news was revealed to the public by way of their latest press release. According to the said document, the Antminer S19 will have an impressive 95 terahashes per second (TH/s). The Pro version, on the other hand, will have a native 90 TH/s but is claimed to have the ability to reach even up to 110 TH/s. As per its energy consumption, both models would require an energy cost of 29.5 watts per terahash (W/T).
The new S19 series hardware will replace the current flagship models of the firm – Antminer S17 and T17, which has a 67 TH/s and 55 TH/s, respectively. The S19s are expected to weigh an approximate 15.5 and 16.5 kilograms (3.5kg and 4.5kg heavier than that of their previous iteration). In terms of its slated price range, however, there is still no exact figure given. That being said, it is worth mentioning that the S17 and T17 were originally priced at $1,567 and $939 respectively.
Bitmain and MicroBT’s rivalry
If the firm’s released specification did turn out accurate, the two models could most certainly be the most remarkable and profitable Bitcoin mining hardware available. It would then be closely followed by the WhatsMiner M30s of MicroBT, Bitmain’s top competitor based in Shenzhen, according to f2pool’s miner profitability index.
Bitmain’s unveiling of their latest hardware may be seen as their way of firing back against MicroBT. As we may recall, the M20 series gained a major share of the mining equipment industry after they successfully sold more than 600,000 units back in 2019. Such development by MicroBT can observably be seen as a chip on the long-time dominance in the market of Bitmain.
The flagship M30 models of MicroBT were officially released last December 2019, and have since started to take public pre-orders for it last week. Sample unit deliveries of their current most powerful product are expected to start as early as March. According to the major distributor of MicroBT, Pangolin Miner, the M30s will be priced at $2,430 per model and is touted to have the computing power of 86 TH/s alongside an energy cost of 38 W/T. Take into factor that it would also utilize 8-nanometer chips from Samsung; the M30s do look promising as well. The firm then clarified that some devices may indeed start to ship this March to May, however, large volume orders would have to wait up until June.
On the other end of the spectrum, the price range and the date of deliveries or orders for the new S19 models are yet to be officially announced by Bitmain. On top of that, it still remains uncertain whether the firm can indeed deliver production on such a large scale. This is because the latest S19 models would utilize 7-nanometer chips that are a limited supply from its vendor, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.
Bitmain’s recent problems
How the industry would react to new top-notch releases but with more expensive costs for mining equipment, plus the retraction of the Bitcoin price from its previous growth above $10,000, is yet to be seen.
Considering that Bitmain is based on Beijing, China, it is evident that their manufacturing and logistics businesses would be directly affected by the recent corona virus outbreak. Such a problem would surely further delay mining facilities’ plans for expansion and upgrades.
As a matter of fact, a recent data from BTC.com’s mining pool dictates that the difficulty of mining Bitcoin has seemingly halted for a month already is currently observed to be at the same level of that back on January 28. This measure represents how hard it is to contend for mining rewards.
That being said, with the impending Bitcoin halving event this May, a pre-programmed change that shall reduce the mining rewards on the network from 12.5 BTC per block to 6.25, old models such as the S9 will definitely be unprofitable unless the price of Bitcoin significantly shoots up. This would surely give miners the ultimatum of either upgrading or getting out of the business all in all.